ANAMED Talks – Double Book Talk: Sacred Spaces and Urban Networks & The Friday Mosque in the City

Date: 20 January 2022
Time: 18:30 (Türkiye local time, GMT +3)
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For this month’s talk, ANAMED will feature former ANAMED fellows Ayşe Hilal Uğurlu and Suzan Yalman. Moderated by Jennifer Pruitt, their talk will address two recent edited volumes that explore the complex nature of spaces deemed “sacred” and their urban surroundings. The first book, Sacred Spaces and Urban Networks, based on the 11th International ANAMED Annual symposium, examines the construction, distribution, and activation of sacredness in different parts of Anatolia from the medieval period onward. Meanwhile the second book, The Friday Mosque in the City: Liminality, Ritual, and Politics, focuses on different Friday mosques and their relationships to their particular urban and historical contexts across a broader geography, from Cordoba to Jerusalem and from London to Lahore. From ceremonies and prayers to rituals or pilgrimage, the varied case studies in both books illustrate the role of human agency in the creative process of transforming these sites and bringing them to life.

This online talk will be held in English. Please register this event in advance from here.


A. Hilal Uğurlu is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Design and Architecture at MEF University, Istanbul. She completed her PhD dissertation entitled Selim III’s Istanbul: Building Activities in the Light of Political and Military Transformations in 2012, in which she illustrated the relationship between the physical and socio-political structure of the Ottoman capital at that time. She received a senior fellowship from ANAMED in 2014 with her project entitled “Imperial Mosque Courtyards as Social Nuclei of Istanbul.” The later stages of this project, which focuses on nineteenth century imperial mosques and their changing spatial relations with the city, was also supported by several institutions such as Salt Research and Istanbul Research Institute. More recently, she received a Barakat Trust Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Khalili Research Centre, Oxford University (2017–18), and Barakat Trust Major Awards (2018–19) with her project: “A Reformist Sultan in the Age of Revolutions: Politics, Art and Architectural Patronage of Selim III (r. 1789–1807).”  

Suzan Yalman is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Archaeology and History of Art at Koç University, Istanbul. After receiving her PhD from the Department of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University, she held post-doctoral fellowships awarded by the Barakat Trust at Oxford University and Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence. Her research interests include memory, perceptions of the past and antiquarianism in medieval Islamic art; mirrors-for-princes; patronage in medieval Islamic architecture; women’s patronage; medieval Islamic cities and urban networks; pilgrimage and shared sacred spaces. In recent years, she has co-edited several volumes: Spolia Reincarnated: Afterlives of Objects, Materials, and Spaces in Anatolia from Antiquity to the Ottoman Era, with Ivana Jevtić (2018); and Cultural Encounters in the Medieval Period: The Ilkhanids in Anatolia, with Filiz Yenişehirlioğlu (2019).

Jennifer Pruitt is the Howard and Ellen Louise Schwartz Associate Professor of Islamic Art and Architecture at the University of Wisconsin. Her first book, Building the Caliphate: Construction, Destruction, and Sectarian Identity in Early Fatimid Architecture (Yale, 2020), investigates the early architecture of the Fatimids, an Ismaili Shi‘i Muslim dynasty that dominated the Mediterranean world from the 10th to the 12th centuries. It argues that that architecture played a pivotal role in negotiating the kaleidoscope of religious identities in the medieval Islamic world and challenges the assumption that artistic efflorescence was a function of religious tolerance in the medieval Mediterranean. Instead, it argues that conflict and destruction played a crucial, productive role in the formation of medieval Islamic architecture.
Pruitt’s articles have appeared in the journals World Art, The Medieval Globe, Muqarnas, and in The Companion to Islamic Art and Architecture (Wiley-Blackwell, 2018), Sacred Precincts: Non-Muslim Religious Sites in Islamic Territories (Brill, 2015), and Encyclopaedia of Islam. She is working currently on a new book project, entitled Inheriting an Islamic Golden Age: Globalism, National Identity, and Invented Histories in the Architecture of the Arabian Gulf. In it, Pruitt investigates the integration of classical forms of Islamic art in the contemporary architecture of the Arabian Gulf. Pruitt’s work has been supported by a First Book Award from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Fulbright, the American Research Center in Egypt, and the Institute of Ismaili Studies.