Submission deadline:

September 30, 2023

Architecture, Villages, and their Entangled Histories: Rural-urban Encounters in the Islamic World

September 4-7, 2024
Czech Republic

Paper Abstracts for a Conference Session at EAUH 2024 (Ostrava, Czechia) and Chapters for an Edited Volume in Preparation

Co-chairs: Mohammad Gharipour, Prof., University of Maryland,; Kivanç Kilinç, Assoc. Prof., Izmir Institute of Technology,

The organizers invite paper abstracts around 300 words to be considered for a conference session (EAUH 2024 in Ostrava, Czechia) and for an edited volume in preparation that will feature selected papers accepted to this session as well as additional contributions. The deadline for submitting abstracts for both venues is September 30, 2023. Submission requirements for the conference can be found at: For the edited volume, please submit your abstract via email.

Panel Description: The historiography of architecture and urbanism in the Islamic world has mostly focused on cities and urban communities, leaving many societies settled outside urban areas largely unnoticed or marginalized. Villages are on the radar of scholarship so far as they are a site of heritage conservation or postwar reconstruction, or when presented as a fresh approach to modern vernacular architectural practices, such as in Hassan Fathy’s New Gourna in Egypt. However, there is much to learn from these hitherto neglected sites. Travelers’ accounts as well as chronicles refer to urban centers but also to dynamic lifeways in rural areas across the Islamic world. Due to their distance from political centers, some villages remained less affected by major decisions made by central governments, and their development was primarily the result of local forms of governance and internal dynamics. In other instances, villages that were located on global trade routes played an active role in the spread of goods, artworks, and material culture similar to urban centers. Expanded over time, or developed by city planners, such as in colonial or “model” settlements, villages also reflect some of the most potent applications of architecture to the articulation of cultural identity.

This panel invites papers which examine the making of villages in the Islamic world from the medieval era to the second half of the twentieth century. The organizers’ goal is to provide a platform to discuss a much neglected aspect in urban historiography – rural forms of governance over space and how these forms have interacted with imperial or transregional edicts concerning use of resources. Papers may focus on a single village, planning or design of a building complex in a particular village, or any other topic relevant to rural-urban architectural interactions in the Balkans, Middle East and parts of Africa and Asia. Submitted papers could clarify the impact of cultural, political, economic, and physical context on the development and transformation of villages; the spatial dynamics of local societies and their interrelations with the larger world; intricate methods for governing land and water use, marital patterns, and sociomoral codes and their impact on rural development; the perception of rural life as contrasted with urban life found in travelers’ accounts and chronicles; how architecture responded to traditions and the changes within the economic or social context of villages, and how reformist ideas of urban and rural modernization reshaped existing rural settlements; and the spatial transformation of villages in frontier regions where Islamic societies encountered with non-Muslim settlers and traders. The organizers welcome papers that employ archival materials or deploy new methodological approaches to the (comparative) analysis of villages and urban centers in the historic and contemporary geographies of Islam.

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