Liminal Spaces in Coastal East Africa. Archipelagic Thinking and Transcultural Art Histories
The Great Mosque of Kilwa, 14th–15th century, Kilwa Kisiwani, Tanzania. Photo: Vera-Simone Schulz, 2016
Coastal East Africa has long been understood as a space of encounters between people, artifacts, and materials from the African continent and other regions of the world, particularly in relation to transoceanic trade. This habilitation project discusses complex intersections between the local and the global, long-distance and short-distance relationships, the precolonial, colonial and postcolonial, and interrelations between cultural and natural heritage and the history of tourism in the region. Seeking to overcome traditional notions of ‘center’ and ‘periphery’, it elucidates how art history can shed new light on the built environment in coastal East Africa, and how analyses of East African architecture can contribute to current debates in transcultural and global art histories today.