1st Edition

Deconstructing the Myths of Islamic Art

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after March 21, 2022
ISBN 9780367772659
March 21, 2022 Forthcoming by Routledge
248 Pages 47 B/W Illustrations

USD $150.00

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Book Description

Deconstructing the Myths of Islamic Art addresses how researchers can challenge stereotypical notions of Islam and Islamic art while avoiding the creation of new myths and the encouragement of nationalistic and ethnic attitudes.

Despite its Orientalist origins, the field of Islamic art has continued to evolve and shape our understanding of the various civilizations of Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Situated in this field, this book addresses how universities, museums, and other educational institutions can continue to challenge stereotypical or homogeneous notions of Islam and Islamic art. It reviews subtle and overt mythologies through scholarly research, museum collections and exhibitions, classroom perspectives, and artists’ initiatives. This collaborative volume addresses a conspicuous and persistent gap in the literature, which can only be filled by recognizing and resolving persistent myths regarding Islamic art from diverse academic and professional perspectives.

The book will be of interest to scholars working in art history, museum studies, visual culture, and Middle Eastern studies.

Table of Contents


Wendy Shaw


Onur Öztürk, Xenia Gazi, and Sam Bowker

Part 1: Deconstructing the Myths of Islamic Art in Scholarship

1. Deconstructing the Myths and Mysteries of the "Worn" Mosque: West African Marginality, Decolonial Archi-Identity and Reinvented Regionalism

Cleo Cantone

2. Cross-culturation with Classical Hellenism in Late-antique Arabia

Juan de Lara

3. Debunking the Regionalistic Myth in the Discourse on Islamic Ornament

Valerie Gonzalez

4. The ‘Islam in Europe’ Exhibition and the ‘World of Islam’ Festival: Curatorial Aporia and Failure as Methodology

Nur Sobers-Khan

5. Fiber Fragments: The Divided Histories of Medieval Islamic Textiles

Patricia Blessing

Part 2: Deconstructing the Myths of Islamic Art in Museums and Classrooms

6. Influencing Presentation and Interpretation of Islamic Art in Museum Settings: The Myths of Inclusivity, Didacticism, and Provincialism

Xenia Gazi

7. Between Religion and Geography: Arts from Asia and the Islamic World in Mid-Atlantic Museums

Ashley Dimmig

8. Islamic Art Exhibition and Contemporary Socio-politics: Demystifying Connections

Melissa Forstrom-Al-Khadi

9. Decolonizing and Demystifying Islamic Art in American Undergraduate Education

Onur Öztürk

10. The Myth of Center and Periphery

Sam Bowker

Part 3: Deconstructing the Myths of Islamic Art in Contemporary Art Practice

11. Translating the Miniature: Hamra Abbas and an Aesthetics of Resistance

Karen Greenwalt

12. A ‘Layered Lens’ on the Arts of the Islamic World in the Contemporary Pacific

Leslee Katrina Michelsen

13. Gen Y Speaks: Reflections on Contemporary Art by Australian Muslim Artists

Hamida Novakovich

14. Deconstructing Myths via Performance Strategies: Experiences of a Contemporary Practitioner

Sami Ismat


Onur Öztürk, Xenia Gazi, and Sam Bowker

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    Onur Öztürk is an Assistant Professor at Columbia College Chicago, USA. 

    Xenia Gazi is a Lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, USA. 

    Sam Bowker is a Senior Lecturer in Art History and Visual Culture at Charles Sturt University, Australia.