Call for Papers: “Back to Arabia: Arts and Images of the Peninsula after 1850”

CAA 104th Annual Conference, Washington, DC, United States of America, February 3-6, 2016
Deadline: May 8, 2015

Call for Papers

Session “Back to Arabia: Arts and Images of the Peninsula after 1850,“ chaired by Eva-Maria Troelenberg, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz; and Avinoam Shalem, Columbia University.

The image of Arabia is rapidly changing through numerous mod­ernization projects. Concurrently, there is a rising interest in the reassessment of its past, reflected in exhibitions such as Roads of Arabia and archaeological projects. This notion hints at a paradigm shift in thinking about the image of Arabia. The Muslim world has usually associated the pre-Islamic period in Arabia with the con­cept of jahiliyya, thus discarding its historical significance. Western art historians also cultivated the notion of Arabia as lacking history and art and presented it as a “blank spot.” We seek to remap the Arabian Peninsula by critically examining the modern precondi­tions of this current paradigm shift. Papers should address modern artworks, building projects, and archaeological campaigns on the peninsula. We further invite contributions that analyze the image of Arabia as it has been represented through scholarship, art, visual media, and museum practice within the Muslim world and the West.

We invite proposals for participation in the session “Back to Arabia: Arts and Images of the Peninsula after 1850” to be sent to Eva-Maria Troelenberg ( and Avinoam Shalem ( by May 8, 2015. 

Your proposal should include the following five items:

  1. PDF file with your name, CAA member number, address, office and home telephone numbers, e-mail address, and in case you have submitted additional proposals the names of any other session chairs. (Please visit for a template.)
  2. Preliminary abstract of one to two double-spaced, typed pages.
  3. Letter explaining your interest, expertise in the topic, and CAA membership status.
  4. CV with home and office mailing addresses, email address, and phone and fax numbers. Please include summer address and telephone number, if applicable.
  5. Documentation of work when appropriate.

The duration of selected talks should be 20 minutes and will be followed by a short discussion.

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