CFP - CAA panel, New York, 2017: "Islamic Architecture and Contested Cultural Heritage in Africa and the Middle East"

Michelle Apotsos's picture
Call for Papers
Subject Fields: 
African History / Studies, Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Middle East History / Studies, Islamic History / Studies, Architecture and Architectural History

This panel explores historic Islamic architecture in Africa and the Middle East through the lens of contested contemporary culture and politics, particularly surrounding ideas of heritage management. How do definitions of Islamic architectural heritage in the eyes of global organizations such as UNESCO or the Agha Khan compare to or conflict with the way particular states value or devalue these sites in their own agendas? What constitutes Islamic architectural heritage in the eyes of community members? How do these definitions differ from the way scholars might view such heritage? The panel considers to what extent private architectural forms within Islamic contexts deserve our attention in addition to understandable preoccupations with “major” monuments, and theorizes how we might take into account broader, potentially non-Islamic, cultural factors that nonetheless contribute to more universal definitions. By analyzing how these forms are conceptualized (used and abused) by multiple stakeholders, the panel advocates for context-specific approaches to Islamic architecture and heritage management in the face of contested and increasingly global cultural and political landscapes.


Proposals should be sent directly to Michelle Apotsos at by August 30, 2016. Please include a 250-word abstract as well as a shortened CV with home and office mailing addresses, email address, and phone and fax numbers. More information about the conference venue and program can be found at:


If you are interested in participating in this panel but are unable to make this deadline, please contact Michelle Apotsos directly.

Contact Info: 
Michelle Moore Apotsos
Assistant Professor, Department of Art
Lawrence Hall, 219
Williams College
Williamstown, MA 01267

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