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Making Modernity in Nineteenth-Century Islamic Art and Architecture

Thursday, March 1, 2018, 9:00am

University Club, Presidents Room of the Indiana Memorial Union

The rich and diverse artistic traditions of the Islamic world underwent profound transformations in the nineteenth century, as rapidly developing technologies and globalizing markets ushered in huge changes in technique, style, and content. In spite of its importance, the nineteenth century remains a gaping hole in the popular story of Islamic art disseminated in textbooks and museum displays, which almost invariably exalt the medieval and early modern eras and stop their coverage around 1800. Unfortunately, the resulting exclusion of modernity from the academic and museological history of Islamic art has provided inadvertent support for the “medievalization” of Islamic cultures propounded in extremist rhetoric coming from both the Islamophobic far right and Islamist movements such as ISIS. To counter these dangerously misleading narratives, this workshop seeks to restore modernity to the story of Islamic art. The workshop will explore the changing production and reception of artworks and architecture during the long nineteenth century, in urban centers from Iran to Morocco. Nine papers by leading scholars will map trans- formations in image-making, architecture, and craft, with particular focus on changing technologies of production and reproduction, circulation, and exchange.

Please contact Margaret Graves (Art History) for more information: marggrav@indiana.edu