Islam and Heritage in Europe : Pasts, Presents and Future Possibilities book cover
1st Edition

Islam and Heritage in Europe
Pasts, Presents and Future Possibilities

  • Available for pre-order on December 19, 2022. Item will ship after January 9, 2023
ISBN 9780367751142
January 9, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
238 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Islam and Heritage in Europe provides a critical investigation of the role of Islam in Europe’s heritage. Focusing on Islam, heritage and Europe, it seeks to productively trouble all of these terms and throw new light on the relationships between them in various urban, national and transnational contexts.

Bringing together international scholars from a range of disciplines, this collection examines heritage-making and Islam in the context of current events in Europe, as well as analysing past developments and future possibilities. Presenting work based on ethnographic, historical and archival research, chapters are concerned with questions of diversity, mobility, decolonisation, translocality, restitution and belonging. By looking at diverse trajectories of people and things, this volume encompasses multiple perspectives on the relationship between Islam and heritage in Europe, including the ways in which it has played out and transformed against the backdrop of the ‘refugee crisis’ and other recent developments, such as debates on decolonising museums or the resurgence of nationalist sentiments.

Islam and Heritage in Europe discusses specific articulations of belonging and non-belonging, and the ways in which they create new avenues for re-thinking Islam and heritage in Europe. This ensures that the book will be of interest to academics, researchers and postgraduate students engaged in the study of heritage, museums, Islam, Europe, anthropology, archaeology and art history.

The Open Access version of this book, available at, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (see also

Table of Contents

Foreword; Heritage, Islam, Europe: Entanglements and Directions. An Introduction; Part I. Embodied Heritage and Belonging; 1. From Postcoloniality to Decoloniality, From Heritage to Perpetuation: the Islamic at the Museum; 2. Cemetery Poetics: The Sonic Life of Cemeteries in Muslim Europe; 3. Germans without Footnotes: Islam, Belonging and Poetry Slam in Berlin; 4. The Here and Now and the Hereafter: Engaging with Fragrant Realities in Muslim-minority Russia; Part II. The Nation-State and Identity Formations; 5. Reviving al-Andalus: Commemorating Spain’s Islamic Heritage in the Context of Democratic Transition; 6. Museum Islamania in France: Islamic Art as a Political and Social Scene; 7. The Materialities and Legalities of Forgetting: Dispossession and the Making of Turkey’s (Post-) Ottoman Heritage; Part III. Categories, Connections and Contemporary Challenges; 8. Museum Narratives of Islam between Art, Archaeology and Ethnology: A Structural Injustice Approach; 9. Connecting the Ancient and the Modern Middle East in Museums and Public Space; 10. Re-framing Islam? Potentials and Challenges of Participatory Initiatives in Museums and Heritage

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Katarzyna Puzon is an anthropologist and Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage (CARMAH), Institute of European Ethnology, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Sharon Macdonald is Alexander von Humboldt Professor of Social Anthropology in the Institute of European Ethnology, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, where she founded and directs CARMAH – the Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage.

Mirjam Shatanawi is Research Fellow at the National Museum of World Cultures and Lecturer in Heritage Theory at the Reinwardt Academy in Amsterdam.


"Evocative, lucid writing frames and enhances the powerfully localizing and sense-oriented logic that organizes this collection. Invoking smell, sound, and sight to re-frame Islam's presence in Europe, its authors dismantle preconceived assumptions about Islamic culture and heritage, thereby moving us away from the administrative obsessions of colonial academia, the hostility of dominant and state-supported religious institutions, and the self-congratulation of a narrow European humanism." – Michael Herzfeld, Ernest E. Monrad Research Professor of the Social Sciences, Harvard University.

"This is a highly stimulating collection of essays [...] that moves on from generalities and narrow definitions and from the assumptions and well-funded pieties of the recent past. Fresh research and practice give it a welcome edge. The scope of this book is impressive- not only geographical but also conceptual. It's also user-focused, which is surprisingly rare in this field." – John Reeve, Tutor at the Institute of Education and former Head of Education at the British Museum.

"A tour de force, this collection takes readers away from the well-trodden path of positivist art historical and archaeological analysis of Islamic heritage, offering instead a compelling, in situ investigation of the contemporary period, and a thorough guide to the most exciting works-in-progress in the field today." -- Virginie Rey, Deakin University, International Journal of Heritage Studies.