Call for Abstracts: Inside/Outside in Islamic Art & Architecture
Association of Art Historians (Edinburgh, 7-9 April 2016)
As an offshoot of Orientalist fantasies about the absolute interior, the harem, earlier scholarship on the domestic architecture of the Islamic world transformed each household into a micro seraglio, less erotic but equally exotic, with a definite separation between private and public, inside and outside. The damage has been so profound that the revisionist scholarship of the past few decades devoted more effort to replacing the Orientalist canon than to asking new questions about the relationship between inside and outside in Islamic art and architecture. This panel calls for empirically grounded papers that engage with theoretical and methodological issues pertaining to various conceptualisations of inside and outside in Islamic art and architecture. Topics may include, but are not limited to: the relationship between peripheral and central figures in illuminated manuscripts; compositional means of defining or redefining an inside and an outside; the relationship between text and image; questions of audience and visibility; borders and frames in manuscripts and portable objects; architectural means of inclusion and exclusion; architecture as the configuration of an outside as well as an inside; sensory means of defining an inside; an insider’s experience of space versus an outsider’s experience. Papers can focus on any part of the Islamic world from all periods, but especially welcome are comparative studies that discuss multiple works / buildings across space and/or time.
Email paper proposals by 9 November 2015 to the session organizer – Saygin Salgirli, University of British Columbia, firstname.lastname@example.org
Please download a paper proposal form at
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