Ph.D. University of Edinburgh, Islamic Art History, 1993
B.A. Trinity College, Archaeology with Mental and Moral Science, Dublin, 1988
Art and architecture of the Islamic world
Cross-cultural dimensions of Islamic material culture
Theories and practices of image-making
Technologies of Representation
Art historical historiography, methodology, and theory
The Emergence of Islam and its Mediterranean Milieu
Before the Mughals: Early Indo-Islamic Material Culture
Beyond Abstraction and Arabesques: Refiguring Islamic Ornament
Intercultural Islam: Betwixt and Between in the Medieval Islamic World
Globalizing Cultures: Art and Mobility in the Eighteenth Century. Co-edited with Nebahat Avcioğlu, a dedicated volume of the journal Ars Orientalis (39, 2011).
Objects of Translation: Material Culture and Medieval “Hindu-Muslim” Encounter. Princeton University Press, 2009.
Piety and Politics in the Early Indian Mosque. Debates in Indian History and Society.Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.
The Great Mosque of Damascus: Studies on the Makings of an Umayyad Visual Culture. Boston: Brill, 2000.
Articles and Essays:
“From Icon to Coin: Potlatch, Piety, and Idolatry in Medieval Islam,” in Gerhard Jaritz, ed., Images, Ritual and Daily Life. The Medieval Evidence, (Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2012), 163-172. [viewPDF]
"Notes from the Field: Anthropomorphism," Art Bulletin (93/4, March 2012), 18-20. [viewPDF]
"Christian Mosaics in Jordan and Early Islamic Palestine: A Case of Regional Iconoclasm;" "Faith, Religion and the Material Culture of Early Islam;" "The Qur'an," along with entries on mosaics, pilgrimage art, and Qur'ans, in Helen Evans, ed., Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition (New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012). [viewPDF - 'Faith. religion' and 'The Qur'an']
“Conflict and Cosmopolitanism in Arab Sind,” in Deborah Hutton & Rebecca Brown, eds., A Companion to South Asian Art (Blackwell Companions to Art History) (2011), 365-397.
“Appropriation as Inscription: Making History in the First Friday Mosque of Delhi,” in Richard Brilliant and Dale Kinney, eds., The Mirror of Spolia: Premodern Practice and Postmodern Theory (Malden, MA, 2011), 121-147. [viewPDF]
“A Ghaznavid Narrative Relief and the Problem of Pre-Mongol Persian Book Painting,” in David Knipp, ed., Siculo-Arabic Ivories and Islamic Painting 1100-1300, Proceedings of the International Conference, Berlin, 6-8 July 2007 (München, 2011), 257-272. [viewPDF]
"Memory in Material and Light/Mémoire de matière et de lumière," catalog essay for Zarina Hashmi, Noor, Galerie Jaeger Bucher, Paris, 2011. [viewPDF]
"Globalizing Cultures: Art and Mobility in the Eighteenth Century," essay co-authored with Nebahat Avcioğlu, Ars Orientalis (39, 2011), 7-38. [viewPDF]
Contribution to "Roundtable: The Global before Globalization," October (133, Summer, 2010), 3-19. [viewPDF]
"Masons and Mobility: Indic Elements in Twelfth-century Afghan Stone-carving," in Anna Filigenzi & Roberta Giunta, eds., Fifty Years of Research in the Heart of Eurasia, Insituto Italiano per l'Africa et ;'Oriente, (Rome 2009), 137-160. [viewPDF]
"La communauté imaginaire," Qantara, (73, November, 2009) 18-19. [viewPDF]
“An ambiguous aesthetic: Crusader spolia in Ayyubid Jerusalem.” In Ayyubid Jerusalem: The Holy City in Context, 1187-1250, edited by Robert Hillenbrand and Sylvia Auld, 202-215. London: Altajir Trust, 2009. [viewPDF]
“Islamic Identities and Islamic Art: Inscribing the Qur’an
in Twelfth-century Afghanistan.” In Dialogues in Art History, from Mesopotamian to Modern: Readings
for a New Century, edited by Elizabeth
Cropper, 91-118. Washington, D.
C.: National Gallery of Art, 2009. [viewPDF]
“Lost in Translation: Architecture, Taxonomy and the Eastern ‘Turks’.” Muqarnas 24 (2007): 79-116. [viewPDF]
“From the Prophet to Postmodernism? New World Orders and the End of Islamic Art.” In Making Art History: A Changing Discipline and its Institutions, edited by Elizabeth Mansfield, 31-53. London & New York: Routledge, 2007. [viewPDF]
“Image against Nature: Spolia as Apotropaia in Byzantium and the Dar al-Islam.” Mapping the Gaze – Vision and Visuality in Classical Arab Civilisation, a special issue of The Medieval History Journal 9 no. 1 (2006): 143-166. [viewPDF]
“Correct Delineations and Promiscuous Outlines: Envisioning India at the Trial of Warren Hastings.” Art History 29 no. 1 (2006): 47-78. [viewPDF]
“Ghurid monuments and Muslim identities: Epigraphy and Exegesis in Twelfth-century Afghanistan.” Indian Economic and Social History Review 42 no. 3 (2005): 263-294.
“Between Creation and Destruction,” editorial co-authored with Zoë S. Strother, Res (48, 2005), 5-10. [viewPDF]
“Signs of Violence: Colonial Ethnographies and Indo-Islamic Monuments.”Art and Terror, a special issue of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art 5 no. 2 (2004): 20-51. [viewPDF]
“Pillars, Palimpsests and Princely Practices: Translating the Past in Sultanate Delhi.” Res: Journal of Anthropology and Aesthetics 43 (2003): 95-116. [viewPDF]
“Between Cult and Culture: Bamiyan, Islamic Iconoclasm and the Museum.” Art Bulletin 84 no. 4 (2002): 641-659. [viewPDF]
“The Medieval Trophy as an Art Historical Trope: Coptic and Byzantine 'Altars' in Islamic Contexts.” Muqarnas 18 (2001): 41-72. [viewPDF]
“Ghurid Architecture in the Indus Valley: the Tomb of Shaykh Sadan Shahid.” Ars Orientalis 36 (2001): 129-166.
“Light in Stone: the Commemoration of the Prophet in Umayyad Architecture.”In Bayt al-Maqdis Part Two: Jerusalem and Early Islam, edited by Jeremy Johns, 311-59. Oxford Studies in Islamic Art, 9, part 2. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
“The Ottoman Windows in the Dome of the Rock and the Aqsa Mosque.”In Ottoman Jerusalem, the Living City: 1517-1917, edited by Sylvia Auld and Robert Hillenbrand, 431-63.London: Altajir World of Islam Trust, 2000. [viewPDF]
“Umayyad survivals and Mamluk revivals: Qalawunid architecture and the Great Mosque of Damascus.” Muqarnas 14 (1997): 57-79. [viewPDF]
“Herakles and the 'Perpetual Acolyte' of the Buddha: Observations on the Iconography of Vajrapani in Gandharan Art.” South Asian Studies 5 (1989): 17-27. [viewPDF]
Articles in Press:
"Presentation, (Re)animation and the Enchantments of Technology," Res (2012)
“Inciting Modernity? Images, Alterities, and the Contexts of ‘Cartoon Wars’.” In Moving Images, edited by Patricia Spyer and Mary Steedly. Santa Fe: School for Advanced Research.
“Stucco and Glass Windows from the East and West Palaces.” Forthcoming in Raqqa IV: Excavations of the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut at Raqqa, Syrian Arab Republic.
Selected Review Articles
Review of Oleg Grabar, The Dome of the Rock (Cambridge, Mass., 2006), Journal of Palestine Studies (38/4, 2009) 113-115. [viewPDF]
Current Research Projects:
Islam and Image: Aniconism, Iconoclasm, and the Economy of Representation. An exploration of the ‘prohibition of images’ (Bilderverbot) as a perceived characteristic of Islamic cultures and its historical role in the representation of Islam. Based on both empirical and theoretical approaches to image-making and questions of representation, the book analyses the interrelationships between proscription, prescription, and artistic praxis. To be published by Reaktion Books, London.
2011 winner of the Ananda K. Coomaraswamy Book Prize of the Association for Asian Studies, South Asia Council, for the best English-language work in South Asian studies.
Carnegie Foundation Scholar, 2007-2008
NYU's Golden Dozen Award for Outstanding Teaching, 2006
Getty Scholar, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, 2007
Residential fellow, The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Mass., 2006
Ailsa Mellon Bruce Senior Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 2000-2001
Research Fellow, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., 2001-2002
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Aga Khan Program for Islamic Art, Harvard University, 1997
Nasser D. Khalili Research Fellow in Islamic Art and Architecture, University of Oxford, 1993-1995
Fall 2009 Seminar:
Beyond Abstraction and Arabesques: Figuring Islamic Ornament
Spring 2010 Colloquium:
Betwixt and Between in the Medieval Islamic World