Back to Arabia: Arts and Images of the Peninsula after 1850

Session at the CAA Conference

The image of Arabia is rapidly changing through numerous modernization projects. Concurrently, there is a rising interest in the reassessment of its past, reflected in exhibitions such as Roads of Arabia and archaeological projects. This notion hints at a paradigm shift in thinking about the image of Arabia. The Muslim world has usually associated the pre-Islamic period in Arabia with the concept of jahiliyya, thus discarding its historical significance. Western art historians also cultivated the notion of Arabia as lacking history and art and presented it as a "blank spot." We seek to remap the Arabian Peninsula by critically examining the modern preconditions of this current paradigm shift. This session seeks to analyze the image of Arabia as it has been represented through scholarship, art, visual media, and museum practice within the Muslim world and the West.


Chairs: Eva Maria Troelenberg (Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut) and Avinoam Shalem (Columbia University, New York)

In the Beginning: Arabia and the Survey of Islamic Art
Ellen Kenney

Travelling Images: Nineteenth-Century Representations of Mecca and Medina
Sabiha Göloğlu

A 1970s Renaissance: The Arts of Islam and Arabian Countries
Monia Abdallah

Roads of Arabia: Shifting Paradigms from Material to Oral Culture
Tara Aldughaither

Back to School: Images of Education Reform from Sana'a in the Abdülhamid II Albums
Erin Hyde Nolan

06 February 2016, 2:30pm

104th CAA Annual Conference in Washington, DC

Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel
Washington 4, Exhibition Level


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