Conf/CfP - Reassessing Nineteenth-Century Art in Islamic Countries, 6-8 July 2017, University of Vienna, Ital

Publish Date: Feb 23, 2017

Deadline: Mar 01, 2017

Event Dates: from Jul 06, 2017 12:00 to Jul 08, 2017 12:00

About the conference

The Ernst Herzfeld Society for Studies in Islamic Art and Archaeology and the University of Vienna are pleased to invite you to the 13th conference of the Society, organized by the Professorship for History of Islamic Art at the Department of Art History of the University of Vienna:

Reassessing Nineteenth-Century Art in Islamic Countries

University of Vienna, Department of Art History, July 6/7–8, 2017

For art in Islamic countries, the nineteenth century is usually represented as a period that divides a 'traditional' past from a 'modern' present rather than linking them, and as such it has been excluded from most narratives of the history of Islamic art and architecture. To some degree it is still an ‘unknown century’ in terms of an understanding grounded in studies of objects and in conceptual categories (such as was said some fifty years ago for European art from the same period). Despite recent efforts, some regions, media, genres, and ouevres of nineteenth-century art remain less charted. Its understanding is mostly informed by concepts that foreground the global acceptance of European models, such as ‘Europeanization,’ ‘Westernization,’ or, that seek to describe their deliberate adoption and hybridization as ‘Occidentalism.’ Often perceived as transitional and uneven, the period has been framed by the binary of ‘tradition and innovation’ related to modernization. The multitude of formal references, abstracted from discrete meaning, has been characterized as ‘eclecticism’ including phenomena labelled as ‘revival.’

There is a need for reviewing and developing such concepts through case studies which focus on local artistic contexts and approaches. Thus changes of form, function, techniques and aesthetics of art and architecture in the period may become more evident when comparing them with local art traditions, and more meaningful when relating them to indigenous contexts of patronage and audience. While the relation of currents in art in Islamic countries to nineteenth-century evolutionary and historical thinking adopted by Muslim writers and intellectuals may be explored, more attention may also be given to phenomena of continuity with earlier art traditions. These aspects are by no means exhaustive, others may be added.

We invite papers that help to reassess works, genres, media, aesthetics, artistic processes and oeuvres in nineteenth-century art and architecture in the Islamic world and to define formal and intellectual concepts with a view to local or indigenous contexts and attitudes. In addition to this main topic, there will be also a panel for presenting current research on other themes.


For your paper (20 mins in German or English), please submit an abstract (300 words maximum, plus a one-page abbreviated CV) before March 1, 2017 to Dr Maximilian Hartmuth: Acceptance and a preliminary programme will be announced in early April. The conference is scheduled to start the evening of July 6 and to end July 8. Optional fieldtrips to Islamic art in Vienna are planned for July 9. The conference fee of 50/25 EUR is waived for members of the Society.

For more information click "Further official information" below.

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