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.
Foreword, Wendy M. K. Shaw
Introduction (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 Mosque: West African Marginality, Transculturation, Vernacularization (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 Textiles from the Islamic World (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. Approaches to Arts of Asia and Islamic Cultures in Mid-Atlantic Museums (Ashley Dimmig);
8. Islamic Art Exhibition, Orientalism, and Contemporary Socio-politics: Demystifying Connections (Melissa M. Forstrom);
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 Mughal History: Hamra Abbas and the Contemporary Miniature (Karen Greenwalt);
12. A ‘Layered Lens’ on the Arts of the Islamic World in the Contemporary Pacific (Leslee Katrina Michelsen);
13. Gen Y Speaks: Performing and Unfolding Identity in the Work of Australian Muslim Artists (Hamida Novakovich);
14. Deconstructing Myths via Performance Strategies: Experiences of a Contemporary Practitioner (Sami Ismat);
Conclusion (Onur Öztürk, Xenia Gazi, and Sam Bowker)