'Islamic' Art: Disrupting Unity and Discerning Ruptures

A series of lectures to address the historiography of the field ‘Islamic Art’ by scoring the particular moments of ruptures that fractured its foundations.

Organized by Avinoam Shalem, Riggio Professor, Arts of Islam, Department of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University, in collaboration with the Center for Spatial Research at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and the Middle East Institute of Columbia University.


Spring 2016

This semester, the focus is on the city of Aleppo from the medieval to the contemporary. All lectures are held at 6pm. Please note the different venues for each event.

February 18
Yasser Tabbaa (Independent Scholar): "The Remaking of Aleppo under Nur al-Din and the Early Ayyubids"
612 Schermerhorn Hall

March 24
Heghnar Watenpaugh (University of California, Davis): "Ottoman Aleppo: Experiencing Architecture, Narrating Space"
Wood Auditorium, Avery Hall

March 31
Patrick Ball (Human Rights Data Analysis Group): "Seeing the Forest: Analyzing Hidden Patterns Using (Mostly) Public Data about People Killed in Syria, 2011-2015"
Brown Institute for Media Innovation, Pulitzer Hall

April 7
Sussan Babaie (Courtauld Institute of Art): "Urbanity and Mercantile 'Taste': the Houses of Aleppo"
612 Schermerhorn Hall

Fall 2015

September 21:
Eyal Weizman (Goldsmiths, University of London): "Hannibal in Rafah:  a forensic reconstruction of one day in the 2014 Gaza War."

October 22:
Zeynep Celik (New Jersey Institute of Technology): "Photographing Ottoman Modernity."

December 3:
Nada Shabout (University of North Texas): "Modernities: Discontent and Alliances"
with discussant Zainab Bahrani (Columbia University)

All lectures are held at 6 pm
Columbia University, 612 Schermerhorn Hall
1190 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027.


Spring 2015

January 29:
Esra Akcan (Cornell University): "How Modern was made 'Islamic': Recruiting a category for late 20th-century architecture in the Middle East."

February 26:
Walid Raad (Cooper Union): "Scratching on things I could disavow: From the Lourvre's Départment des Arts de L'Islam."


Fall 2014

September 18:
Renata Holod (University of Pennsylvania): 'Our Works Point to Us': Making, Ordering, Describing the Visual Cultures) in the Islamic World.

October 30:
Sheila Canby (Metropolitan Museum of Art): "Early Safavid Art: Rupture or Synthesis?"

* in dialogue with *

Kishwar Rizvi (Yale University): Self and the World: The Arts during the Period of Shah 'Abbas I.

November 13:
Eva Hoffman (Tufts University): "Islamic Art, Art History and Mediterranean Genealogies"


In collaboration with: