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Materials from the margins: A Seljuk horizon and pre-Mongol ‘globalism’

Materials from the margins: A Seljuk horizon and pre-Mongol ‘globalism’
22nd February 2019
6:30pm to 8:00pm
Islamic Art Circle

The Bowland Auditorium, Berrick Saul Building, University of York, Heslington, YO10 5DD


In a celebrated work published in 1989, the historian Janet Abu-Lughod argued the need to recognize a fourteenth-century world system enabled by the Mongol conquests, which integrated regions from Anatolia to China into a unified imperial formation. Seldom acknowledged, however, is the fact that the roots of this Mongol 'global' moment may have lain in artistic developments within the Islamic world in the century preceding the Mongol sack of Baghdad in 1258.

The period between roughly 1150 and 1250 was one of extraordinarily artistic dynamism in the central Islamic lands, witnessing major developments in the arts of the book, ceramics, and metalwork. It was, in addition, one of maximum receptivity to cultural forms and practices developed in the Islamic world on the part of non-Muslim elites ruling outside the Islamic world across a swath of territory from Sicily and the Caucasus to Tibet. This lecture will discuss a range of materials from regions that lay on the peripheries of the Islamic world, suggesting that their dissemination and transregional reception constituted a cultural horizon associated with the rule of the Seljuq Turks (r. 1037-1194).

Attendance by free booking only