Global Displays of Islamic Art Today: Agency, Identity and Politics
Virtual Panel & Discussion sponsored by the Islamic Art and Material Culture Collaborative (IAMCC), Toronto
February 12, 2022, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm (EST, Toronto)
Since the early 2000s, numerous museums around the world have reinstalled their collections of Islamic art as new galleries or created entire museums focusing on the arts and cultures of the Islamic world. During the same period, methodological interventions building on post-structuralist and post-colonial theory have begun to challenge long-standing formal and regional categories defining the field of Islamic art history and have impacted the display strategies of new displays of Islamic art. As a central interface between the academic study of the Middle East, its global representation, and the general public, the approaches these museums adopt to mediate between art, material culture, and Islamic or regional cultures play a central role in shaping discussions about the region. At the same time, Islamic art displays are also embedded in heterogeneous local politics and social discourses that serve local, regional or national agendas.
Through a series of case studies from both public and private museums in Turkey, Qatar, France, Spain, Canada and Iran, this panel of international doctoral candidates examines curatorial practice and agency vis-à-vis the politics of museum display and art discourses from 2000 until today. Rather than interpreting Islamic art displays as passive and neutral representations of the past, this panel theorizes them as a contemporary cultural practice that stages spatialized and immersive, ideological narrations of culture and identity. The papers examine new and complex ways in which museums and galleries of Islamic art use objects today to communicate broader ideas and narratives in various global contexts.
Register for free here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/global-displays-of-islamic-art-today-agency-identity-and-politics-tickets-247387612007
10:00 — Welcome and Introductions
10:05 – 10:20 — Objects Between Secularism and the Sacred at Istanbul’s Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art
Beyza Uzun, Doctoral Candidate, IMT School for Advanced Studies, Lucca, Italy
10:20 – 10:35 — The Cultural Diplomacy and Contested Modernity of Museological Development in Qatar
Abdelrahman Kamel, Doctoral Candidate, Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada
10:35 – 10:50 — Displaying the Transcultural History of Objects: Shaping a French Islamic Heritage?
Constance Jame, Doctoral Candidate, University of Heidelberg, Germany
10:50 – 11:05 – Short Break
11:05 – 11:20 — Configuring Multiculturalism: Heritage and Narrative at Toronto’s Aga Khan Museum and Granada’s Museo de la Alhambra
Philip Geisler, Doctoral Candidate, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz (Max-Planck-Institut), Italy & Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies, Germany
11:20 – 11:35 — Political Dynamics of Curation and Waqf: The Malek National Library and Museum
Leila Moslemi Mehni, Doctoral Candidate, University of Toronto, Canada
11:35 – 12:00 – Audience Q&A and Discussion
The panel will be chaired by Dr. Fahmida Suleman, Curator of the Islamic World collections at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, and co-chair of the IAMCC.
About the IAMCC: The Islamic Art and Material Culture Collaborative (IAMCC), is a research network based in Toronto that brings together the capacities and resources of the University of Toronto (UofT), the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), and the Aga Khan Museum (AKM).
About the IIS: The Institute of Islamic Studies (IIS) at the University of Toronto offers a unique, multi-perspective view of Canadian society through the advanced study of Islam and Muslims.