ISSN: 20455895
Online ISSN: 20455909
First published in 2012
2 issues per volume
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Call for Papers

Download the Notes for Contributors 

Call for Papers: International Journal of Islamic Architecture 7.2
Special Issue 'Installing Islamic Art: Interior Space and Temporal Imagination' 

Thematic volume planned for Summer 2018

Proposal submission deadline: 31 January 2017

With the establishment of new cultural institutions in the Middle East and Africa, major Islamic art collections have relocated across the globe during the past decade. A number of Euro-American museums, too, have embarked on remodelling their decades-old gallery configurations for presenting material remains from the Muslim-majority societies of the Arab lands, Iran, Turkey and South Asia and have continuously sought compromised, if not ideal, display modes. On the other hand, such efforts have revitalised the following contentious debates concerning the display genre of ‘Islamic art’: to what extent fragmental archaeological finds, restored objects and detached manuscript painting pages can be installed as the unified image of Muslim civilisation within a self-contained space; how such decontextualised objects might speak for themselves; and how they reflect current politics of representation in the midst of global transformations.

The installation of Islamic art has gone through a series of vigorous changes over the centuries. As a display genre, nineteenth-century Orientalist fantasies articulated at world’s fairs served to define static, timeless images of the ‘Orient’ for popular consumption and formed the basis of exhibitory concepts in which the world of Islam ought to be represented in the Euro-American museums during the first half of the twentieth century. In recent years, however, a number of cultural institutions worldwide, particularly those with the adjective ‘Islamic’ in their names, began to be involved in a growing sociological and historical debate as to the function and meaning of the display of Islamic art. It has been increasingly argued that both public and private museums should be designed to offer opportunities for wide public engagement for a better understanding of Muslim civilisation.
What remains to be considered within these larger debates, however, is the design of Islamic art installations itself – the interior space as a three-dimensional, mixed-media construction or as an architecturally unified space (different from the display of separate sculpture or other individual art works). While these topics have been well explored in other fields, the display of Islamic art installation as a form of visual and spatial expression on its own terms remains largely understudied. A number of potential topics surrounding Islamic art galleries and their exhibitions can be proposed, such as the interactivity of its space, as well as its commitments to the needs of non-specialist visitors, and the question of self-expression on the part of curators and exhibition designers.

This special issue invites papers that explore the history, culture and politics of the interior space in the field of Islamic art and architecture from the eighteenth century to the present, as well as to those that extend discussion into the future. Preference is given to topics dealing with global trends, covering a wide area of the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, but new approaches to the installation of Islamic art in well-established Euro- American museums would be welcome as well.

Themes may include, but are not limited to, the following:

    1.     The relationship between internal space and the permanent galleries that this space holds – how does the container itself shapes what ‘Islamic art’ means to the viewer?
    2.    What are the representational politics at stake in preparing temporary exhibitions (within standing museum buildings or mobile architectural environments such as biennales) dedicated to the presentation of Muslim cultures and societies – relationships between objects, their textual commentary, spatial layout and design, as well as modes of display?
    3.    What are some of the dominant theoretical or methodological debates (e.g., modernity vs. revivalism, secularisation vs. spiritualisation, neo-Orientalism vs. neo- Occidentalism) that have animated discussions concerning galleries and their display in general, and specifically in relationship to ‘Islamic art’?
    4.    How can ‘Muslim civilisational’ agendas be represented in the contexts of ethnographical, archaeological or fine art museums?
    5.    What kind of organisational layout was in the past popular or is currently dominant in the display mode of Islamic art (chronologically, geographically, thematically or according to types of objects – e.g. ceramics, metalwork, textiles, manuscript painting) and what were/are the advantages or disadvantages of each layout?
    6.    What are the roles of architectural models, reconstructions or replicas in museum installations, and how are they integrated into the image-making of Islamic art and architecture in exhibitory contexts?
    7.    What are the voices of curators and exhibition designers, and how are they reflected (or suppressed) in the design of Islamic art galleries?
    8.    What are possibilities for the display of Islamic art without objects through digital interfaces and remote connection?
    9.    How can, and should, the display genre of ‘Islamic art’ evolve in the future as increasing pressure is placed on the need to represent the religion to a global public?
    10.    What are new trends in museum architecture, with special reference to its gallery space or/and the relationship between the exterior and the interior, and in particular those spectacular buildings that are designed by leading architects and interior designers, and their ability (or limits) to convey messages about the nature of Islamic art and/or Muslim civilisation?

Essays that focus on historical and theoretical analysis (DiT papers) should have a minimum of 5,000 words but not more than 8,000 words, and essays on design (DiP papers in the context of this special issue would ideally come from participants in curating museum spaces or developing theoretical models for assessing the impact of museum space/design and layout on visitors) can range from 3,000 to 4,000 words.

Contributions from scholars of Islamic art and architectural history, scholars of museum studies, anthropology, ethnography, archaeology, sociology and political theory in the broadest sense, as well as critics of exhibition history and design are welcome. Contributions from practitioners who have experienced with the designing of art exhibitions and galleries (with Islamic or non-Islamic themes) or who wish to propose a new installation scheme are particularly welcome, and should bear in mind the critical framework of the journal.

Please send a 400-word abstract with the essay title to the guest editor, Dr Yuka Kadoi (, by 31 January 2017. Those whose proposals are accepted will be contacted soon thereafter and requested to submit full papers to the journal by 30 June 2017. All papers will undergo full peer review.

For author instructions regarding paper deadlines, please consult:


General Call for Papers
The International Journal of Islamic Architecture (IJIA) publishes bi-annually, peer-reviewed articles on the urban design and planning, architecture and landscape architecture of the historic Islamic world, encompassing the Middle East and parts of Africa and Asia, but also the more recent geographies of Islam in its global dimensions. The main emphasis is on the detailed analysis of the practical, historical and theoretical aspects of architecture, with a focus on both design and its reception. The journal also aims to encourage dialogue and discussion between practitioners and scholars. Articles that bridge the academic-practitioner divide are highly encouraged.
While the main focus is on architecture, papers that explore architecture from other disciplinary perspectives, such as art, history, archeology, anthropology, culture, spirituality, religion and economics are also welcome. The journal is specifically interested in contemporary architecture and urban design in relation to social and cultural history, geography, politics, aesthetics, technology and conservation. Spanning across cultures and disciplines, IJIA seeks to analyze and explain issues related to the built environment throughout the regions covered. The audience of this journal includes both practitioners and scholars. The journal publishes both online and in print. The first issue was published in January 2012.
IJIA is now soliciting manuscripts in the following categories:

1. Design in Theory - DiT manuscripts focus on the history, theory and critical analyses of architecture, urban planning and design and landscape architecture. Essays submitted should be a minimum of 5,000 words but no more than 8,000 words. (Notes and bibliography are included in the word count).
2. Design in Practice -  DiP manuscripts focus on the practice of architecture, planning and landscape design as well as pedagogy. It is preferential that DiP papers address contextual and/or conceptual issues, analysis or critique of proposals, design and construction processes or built projects. Submissions may also include practitioner reflections on lessons learned but should avoid purely descriptive content. Manuscripts should range from 3,500 to 5,000 words.
3. Book, Media and Exhibition reviews
For those interested in writing book/media/exhibition reviews for IJIA, please submit your CV and your areas of expertise and interest and the books/media/exhibition you wish to review to Michelle Craig, the Reviews Editor ( for consideration.
Unsolicited book reviews will not be accepted. Generally, the length of the reviews should not exceed 1000 words for a one-book review essay and 1800 words for an essay that reviews multiple books.
4. Conference, Conference Panel, and Seminar Précis
IJIA will publish a record of seminars and conferences that focus exclusively or partially on the latest research and findings in Islamic art, architecture, design, and urbanism, including issues in architectural and urban development, history, and theory. This directive is increasingly important with the growing globalization of such events and the geographically dispersed nature of our readership. Preference will be given to conferences that take place outside of Europe and North America and those that will not be documented with a publication. Précis are written by an organizer of or participant in the event in order to present an overview and analysis of topics treated and the issues taken up, but moreover to provide a space for critical reflection on the event’s proceedings. Conference, conference panel, and seminar précis should not exceed 1000 words.
5. Letters to the Editor
Letters and comments on articles and reviews published, editorial themes and topics should be addressed and sent to the Editor of the journal. Send letters to
For full submission details please download the Notes for Contributors.
Email the editors at to submit a manuscript or for any additional questions or information.
Please include the following with any manuscript submission:
  • A Title Page with the following
  • A concise and informative title
  • The full names and affiliations of all authors; a 3–4 sentence bio on each author (with a maximum of 100 words per bio)
  • The full postal address, telephone number, and e-mail address of the corresponding author(s)
  • All e-mail and postal addresses must be valid for at least a year from time of submission.
  • Abstract and Keywords on page 2. This page should include the following: * An abstract: an overview of no more than 200 words, summarizing the significant points of the article. * Six keywords or two-word phrases defining the article should be included for indexing references to facilitate a reader’s search. All keywords should be in lower case unless they are proper nouns or names. * The word count for the full text, i.e. the body of  text and all notes should be included.



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