CFP: SAH 2023 Montréal: “Reinventing Islamic Architecture in the 20th and 21st Centuries (Montréal)”

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Call for Papers SAH 2023 Montréal: “Reinventing Islamic Architecture in the 20th and 21st Centuries (Montréal)”

This panel investigates the phenomenon of 20th- and 21st-century architects and patrons who make references to premodern Islamic monuments and built environments. The modern and contemporary resurrection or reinvention of “classical” Islamic forms can serve diverse functions and contexts. It can proclaim connections to a glorious imperial past; craft new national identities through architectural revivals; recall a nostalgic homeland for diasporic communities; or incorporate Orientalist tropes to convey luxurious consumption or cosmopolitan sophistication. Within the discipline of Islamic art history, scholars have debated the logical terminus for the field’s timeline, with traditional narratives ending before the rise of European colonialism. Recent studies have expanded the consideration of art and architecture beyond this limited framework, but scholars are only beginning to question how pre-colonial Islamic art history informs post-colonial architectural practice. Papers for this panel will be drawn from transnational, cross-cultural contexts and can feature examples from a wide range of geographies. The panel is open to a variety of topics and themes, but we welcome papers that investigate, for example, the reimagining of imperial Ottoman forms in Erdoğan’s Turkey; anachronistic Orientalization in American Shriner architecture; the emergence of the neo-Mudéjar style in Latin America; representations of Islamic spaces in theme parks and video games; or the use of historical forms in restoration and cultural heritage projects in the Middle East. We are particularly interested in examining how scholarly narratives of pre-colonial Islamic art history have shaped these architectural projects and welcome papers that explore how the built form references visual representations of historic monuments that are reproduced in academic publications and mass media. In doing so, we seek to offer new insights into the connection between modern/contemporary architecture and the historiography of Islamic art.

Session Chairs: Jennifer Pruitt, University of Wisconsin – Madison, and Emily Neumeier, Temple University

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