The Council on Middle East Studies presents:
The Historians of Islamic Art Association 2018 Biennial Symposium: “Border Crossing.”
The 2018 HIAA symposium will bring together an international group of established and emerging scholars of Islamic art and architecture to present new research on the theme of “Border Crossing.” Very often the field has been defined as one centered on select regions of the Middle East, South Asia, and Central Asia, and focusing on traditional media and categories, such as the decorative arts, manuscript studies, and architecture. Less attention has been paid to regions on the so-called peripheries, including, for example, Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, or to disciplines that are not often associated with the field, such as film and anthropology.
“Border Crossing” is an invitation to rethink the field of Islamic art and architecture by interrogating the ideas of translation, transmission, and transgression that are suggested by the theme. Among the questions that may be asked are: How can this lens help us rethink works that form the “canon” of Islamic art? What is at stake in crossing disciplinary borders? What is lost and what is gained in abandoning traditional academic parameters? What may be learned through literal border crossings, whether they are by conservation authorities or refugees? As the works of several contemporary artists show, border crossings are ultimately ethical positions taken to evince the human condition itself. They thus provide potential to rethink the arts and cultures of the Islamic world, as well as the ways in which we study them today.