Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the IS-LE activities scheduled for the current year might need to be rescheduled. Please stay tuned to know more about the rescheduling of activities.

Charting Image and Self Image of Islam in Europe

Deadline: 10th of March 2022
Date: 10th of May 2022
Place: Paris (France)  

Scientific Coordinators: Youssef El Alaoui (youssef.elalaoui@univ-rouen.fr) and Luis Bernabé (Luis.Bernabe@ua.es)      

This conference, organized by IS-LE COST Action (CA18129) Islamic Legacy: Narratives East, West, South, North of the Mediterranean (1350-1750), aims to bring together scholars who work on the perception of Islam in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe.  

Abstract: The image of Islam in Europe was usually studied from a Christian-Western point of view, and without a longue durée approach. The aim of this workshop is to create a methodological framework for studying this topic, comparing different case studies through time and space, from the Middle Ages to the end of the Early Modern period, from Iberia to the Balkans, from the Christian and non-Christian point of view. We would like to map this game of perceptions between image and self-image, between identity and representation, breaking with the stereotypes and preestablished ideas and proposing new paths of analysis. Scholars who have been working on these topics and have material related to them are invited to submit a proposal for consideration.  

  • The themes may include, but are not limited to:  
  • The Muslim as a literary and historical character.
  • Race, religion, and cultural stereotypes. Methodological considerations.
  • Images and self-images of Islam at odds.
  • Key moments and key places of the construction of the image of Islam in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe.  

Deadline and details: This call for papers is now open for those researchers who are interested to participate in the conference. They are invited to submit their proposals with a title, an abstract (no more than 300 words) and a brief bio (maximum of 15 lines) before 10th of March 2022 to: Borja FRANCO LLOPIS (bfranco@geo.uned.es).  

In addition to the specific standards established by COST Association regarding COVID-19 pandemic, researchers must also consider the measures adopted by local or national authorities in France. They might be required to be fully vaccinated and / or present a COVID-19 negative test to be able to participate in this activity.

Settlement of Muslim Black Slaves in Early Modern Europe

Deadline: 2nd of March 2022
Date: 27th of September 2022
Place: Valetta (Malta)

Scientific Coordinators: Alessandro GORI (frd322@hum.ku.dk) and Simon MERCIECA (simon.mercieca@um.edu.mt)  

This conference, organized by IS-LE COST Action (CA18129) Islamic Legacy: Narratives East, West, South, North of the Mediterranean (1350-1750), aims to bring together scholars who work on forced migration of Black Muslims in the Early Modern Mediterranean.  

Abstract:  The Aghlabid Emirate of the eighth and ninth century is known to have subjected endogenous Berber Blacks into slavery. Some of these slaves converted to Islam and made headway in the Aghlabid world. Keeping Berber Blacks as slaves continued in the following centuries. Black individuals continued to be subjected into slavery by both Christians and Muslims alike. Records show that there were Black slaves in Medieval and Early Modern Malta. Their presence on the island departs from the religious conflict between Islam and Christianity which was reduced from the seventeenth century onwards to one of corsairing between the North African Muslim troops and the Maltese corsairs. Yet, there were other Christian nations engaged in corsairing even if the Knights of Saint John, who took over the government of the island of Malta in 1530, assumed leadership in this sector and developed corsairing into a proper trade and economic activity.   

Cyprus and Crete were also other islands where Blacks (both in servile and free condition) moved and settled to carry out a stable life until the modern times. Other Black communities are attested at least during the nineteenth century in Epirus, Macedonia, and on the coast of Montenegro (the community in the port city of Ulcinj was particularly developed). Blacks had a more sporadic but still significant presence in Sicily and in many maritime Italian cities (Naples, Livorno, Genoa), and they certainly were not unknown in Spain, for instance in Seville.   

Blacks represent a component of Mediterranean visual arts, architecture and artefacts: Black Baldassarre (or Gasparre) in the Journey/Adoration of the Magi; “Four Moors” monument in Livorno (different in origin from but still similar to the Sardinian [and also Corsican] flag); the “moretto” (floor) lamp in Venice until the Harapi i Beledijes (1916), portrait by Kol Idromeno. The presence of Black figures and personages in this domain has been so far scarcely addressed by the specialist and would deserve a more intense attention. All these geographically scattered and qualitatively different attestations of the presence of Black people in the Mediterranean basin show the intensity and duration of the trade routes linking the northern shores of the Mediterranean and Sub-Saharan Africa through North Africa and the Levant. Through these routes not only slaves but different kinds of merchandise were circulated in a network of connections which is slowly being discovered and described by the scholars.  

Deadline and details: This call for papers is now open for those researchers who are interested to participate in the conference. They are invited to submit their proposals with a title, an abstract (no more than 300 words) and a brief bio (maximum of 15 lines) before 2nd of March 2022 to: Dr. Alessandro GORI (frd322@hum.ku.dk) or Dr. Simon MERCIECA (simon.mercieca@um.edu.mt).   

In addition to the specific standards established by COST Association regarding COVID-19 pandemic, researchers must also consider the measures adopted by local or national authorities in Malta. They might be required to be fully vaccinated and / or present a COVID-19 negative test to be able to participate in this activity.

Conference “Iconography and Religious Otherness”

Deadline: January 31, 2021
Date: 10-11 June 2021
Place: Rijeka (Croatia)

Scientific Coordinators: Ivana Čapeta Rakić (icapeta@ffst.hr), Giuseppe Capriotti (giuseppe.capriotti@unimc.it), and Marina Vicelja Matijašić (mvicelja@ffri.hr)

CA18129 is co-organising Fifteenth International Conference of Iconographic Studies with the Center for Iconographic Studies (University of Rijeka), the Department of Art History, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (University of Split), and the Department of Education, Cultural Heritage and Tourism (University of Macerata). There will be 3 sessions within the Conference sponsored by COST Action CA18129 and dedicated to the topics relevant to the Action.

Abstract: The creation of Otherness is a process by which a dominant group (Self, Us) constructs one or more outer groups (Them, Others) by assigning them different features and attributes, real or imagined. This continuous process was not only directed towards the outside, but also towards the inside, that is, towards dissident groups. With the recent political challenges, Otherness has become a highly relevant and frequently discussed topic among scholars from different disciplines, predominantly philosophy, anthropology, sociology, but also including literature (philology), art history and others. The aim of this conference is to put together scholars who would discuss and reconsider the concept of Otherness from an iconographic and iconological point of view. Scholars are invited to present proposals on different topics related to the construction of otherness in iconography i.e. the visualization of the Religious Other throughout all historical periods.Dedicated sessions sponsored by the COST Action CA18129 will be focused on the creation of the “Muslim Other” focusing specially on Christian-Muslim relations in the late medieval and early modern periods.

Deadline and details: This call for papers is now open for those researchers who are interested to participate in the conference. They are invited to submit their proposals with a title, an abstract (maximum 2 pages – 500 words) and a short cv (with full name, institution, affiliation, address, phone number, e-mail address) before Deadline: January 31, 2021, to: cis@ffri.hr indicating that you are signing up for a dedicated CA18129 sessions. 

Conference: “The Islamic Legacy in the 20th and 21st Centuries”

Open call for applications to participate in the Conference “The Islamic Legacy in the 20th and 21st Centuries”

Deadline for applications: 25th March 2020
Dates: 20th – 21st October 2020.
Place: Cambridge (United Kingdom): Buckingham House, Murray Edwards College, Huntingdon Road
Scientific coordinators: Elizabeth Drayson (eam33@cam.ac.uk), Borja Franco (bfranco@geo.uned.es)

Scope: The legacy of a medieval and/or early modern Islamic presence in both European and Mediterranean countries extends beyond 1750 and continues to manifest itself in life today. One particularly striking example is the powerful influence in current Spanish politics of ideas invoking the medieval heritage of Spain, including concepts of conquest and reconquest, often specifically in relation to the fall of Granada in 1492. Another example lies in the restoration of Ottoman heritage in the urban space of Istanbul that began after the pro-Islamic AKP party came to power in 2002. The aim of this conference is to bring together scholars who would be interested in comparing aspects of life in European and Mediterranean countries today that demonstrate how Islamic and Christian interactions and influences in Medieval and Early-Modern Europe are still noticeable in contemporary cultural, political, historical and religious life.

Deadline and details: This call for papers is now open for those researchers interested in taking part in the conference. Both early career scholars and senior researchers are welcome, as are those working in different fields, in order to encourage interdisciplinarity and plurality of dialogue. Proposals are invited consisting of a title, abstract (no more than 500), and a brief bio of 15 lines, which should be sent to Elizabeth Drayson (eam33@cam.ac.uk) and Borja Franco (bfranco@geo.uned.es) by the deadline of 25th March 2020.

Conference “Images and Borderlands: Mediterranean basin between Christendom and Ottoman Empire in the Early Modern Age”

Open call for applications to participate in the Conference “Images and Borderlands: Mediterranean basin between Christendom and Ottoman Empire in the Early Modern Age”

Deadline: 20th March
Dates: 16 – 17 September 2020
Place: Split (Croatia), City Museum of Split, Papaličeva 1
Scientific Coordinators: Ivana Čapeta Rakić (icapeta@ffst.hr), Giuseppe Capriotti (giuseppe.capriotti@unimc.it)

Scope: Following in the footsteps of Fernand Braudel, an increasing number of recent studies show that the Mediterranean basin might be considered as a “borderland” (Darling 2012), “borderscape” (Brambilla 2016) or “Frontier” (Castelnuovo 2000) suggesting that this area is not strictly a border between Christian and Muslim civilization, but a basin in which the two traditions and cultures meet and overlap, with an extraordinary variety of reactions to the hegemonic practices (acceptance, conflict, refusal, dissent). The aim of this conference is to bring together scholars who will discuss, from different perspectives and with a multidisciplinary approach, the variety of themes (topics) which revolve around the common issue of reflecting the problem of borderlands as a consequence of the encounter between Christendom and Ottoman Empire in the Early modern Mediterranean. The starting point of examination will be images, i.e. the usage of images (pictures, mental images, literaly images and other visual representations …) as historical evidences (Burke 2008).

Deadline and details: This call for papers is now open for those researchers who are interested in participating in the conference. Both early stage scholars as well as senior scholars are welcome. Scholars from different study fields are encouraged to give their proposals in order to achieve the goals of interdisciplinarity and plurality of dialogue. They are invited to submit their proposals with a title, an abstract (no more than 500 words) and a brief bio (maximum of 10/12 lines) to Ivana Čapeta Rakić, Ph.D (icapeta@ffst.hr ) and Giuseppe Capriotti, Ph.D. (giuseppe.capriotti@unimc.it). Deadline for sending a proposal is 20th March 2020.

Visible and Invisible Borders Between Christians and Muslims in the Early Modern World

Conference “Visible and Invisible Borders Between Christians and Muslims in the Early Modern World

Deadline: 22nd of October 2019
Dates: 10-11 January 2020
Place: Central European University, Budapest (Hungary)

Scientific Coordinators: Robyn Dora RADWAY (radwayr@ceu.edu), Gábor KÁRMÁN (karman.gabor@btk.mta.hu) and Ferenc TÓTH (toth.ferenc@btk.mta.hu)

Scope: It has traditionally been argued that with the rise of the modern nation state, borders increasingly became lines demarcating the spatial limits of state power. Recent efforts have been made to re-examine this territorial argument and pay close attention to the social, cultural, political, economic, and religious networks that created, reinforced, and also traversed borderlands. This conference aims to bring together an international group of scholars studying visible and invisible borders between Christians and Muslims in the early modern world in order to put distinct historiographical traditions into conversation with each other. It seeks to probe the overlaps, opportunities, and limitations of a comparative approach to borders and use the juxtaposition of thematically and temporally overlapping but spatially divergent case studies to raise questions of methodology, definitions, and future directions for research.

Deadline and details: Researchers interested to participate in the conference are invited to submit their proposals with a title, an abstract (no more than 300 words) and a brief bio (maximum of 10 lines) to Dr. Robyn Dora RADWAY (radwayr@ceu.edu), and Dr. Gábor KÁRMÁN (karman.gabor@btk.mta.hu) before 22nd of October 2019

Confronting identities: permeability and hybridity relationships among soldiers, prisoners and converts in the Mare Nostrum

(Coming Soon)

The objective of the international conference Confronting identities: permeability and hybridity relationships among soldiers, prisoners and converts in the Mare Nostrum to be held in Palermo is to involve a group of scholars from different countries (European and non-European) in a comparative discussion that has in recent years given rise to innovative research and to the construction of new paradigms in the field of historiography about the early modern Mediterranean.

The “Mediterranean is a culturally saturated space”. The plurality of religions and legal-regulatory systems coexisting in this space has in fact generated complex configurations that escape unilateral considerations and question the differentiation between distinct “cultural universes”. On the contrary, from multiple perspectives, even in times of strong conflicts, the changing ways and the actors of intercultural exchange, the interactions, the connections, the areas of contact between the societies of Western Europe and the Islamized ones are highlighted.

In particular, an already impressive bibliography has focused on the subject of forced migration and mobility. Mobility in the Mediterranean has a centuries-old military, mercantile and religious history. Invasions, crusades and jihad, expulsions, trade have resulted in voluntary or forced mobility from northern Africa and the Near East to Europe and vice versa. The captive, the slave, the prisoner, the renegade, the merchant are somehow the emblem. The slave in particular can be redeemed and this produces economic-financial mechanisms, religious discourses, dependent on political conditioning, causes diplomatic disputes and requires legal spaces and legal institutions.

Furthermore, the situation of captivity, like other occasions, leads to a multiplication of strategies of dissimulation and religious mutations, of identity negotiation, which report to the fragility, fluidity, relativity of identities, redefined and renegotiated in particular contexts. The focus intertwines many aspects and therefore requires a multidisciplinary perspective that COST is able to offer. For this reason, a moment of collective reflection can be used to identify ways to improve the quality of future research.

Conference “Handbook on the Later Crusades”

Deadline: November 1, 2020
Dates: 13-14 July 2021
Place: Frankfurt (Germany)
Scientific Coordinators: Magnus RESSEL (ressel@em.uni-frankfurt.de) and Emir O. FILIPOVIC (emirofilipovic@gmail.com)

Scope: In the last decades, research on the “Later Crusades” has increased significantly. As a result of this a new consensus among researchers has been reached which considers that the crusading movement did not stop after the year 1400. Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe continued to be profoundly influenced by crusading desires across denominational boundaries and through all levels of society. The impact became certainly less “visible” as the centuries after 1400 no longer saw the dispatch of large international armies that had the specific goal of liberating Jerusalem. Yet, apart from the still manifold military activities, the crusading discourse retained a powerful influence and it profoundly shaped not only the European but also the Muslim societies that responded with their own (re-)conceptualization of a holy or just war.

Deadline and details: This call for papers is now open for those researchers who are interested to participate in the conference. They are invited to submit their proposals with a title, an abstract (no more than 500 words) and a brief bio (maximum of 15 lines) before November 1, 2020 to: Dr. Magnus RESSEL (ressel@em.uni-frankfurt.de) or Dr. Emir O. FILIPOVIC (emirofilipovic@gmail.com). 

AIHV. Co-organization of panel on Islamic glass in the International Association of History of Glass Conference

From the 14th century onwards, the production of glass and glazes is among the large group of things that are partially considered as an Islamic legacy in Europe. There are well known cases such as the Venetian one, where the transfer of knowledge to produce glass came from the straight connection with Islamic territories, entering in Venice, that ended up mastering it so well that started to produce and export mosque lamps back to Islamic territories. The objective of this session is to learn more about such cases in other geographical areas, extending to the circulation of written sources on the production and commerce of glass and glaze. 

The session will be subordinated to the following:

  • Trading and circulation of glass objects from Europe to Islamic regions and the other way around;
  • The influence that the presence of Islamic glasses left in Europe in terms of shapes, decorative features and employment of determined raw materials;
  • The influence of European shapes, decorative features and employment of determined raw materials in the glass production in Islamic territories.

The Morisco Diaspora and Morisco Networks across the Western and Eastern Mediterranean

Update: Fully Virtual Event

Deadline: 1 April 2021
Date: 16-17 September 2021
Place: Amsterdam (The Netherlands) Scientific
Coordinators: Mercedes García-Arenal (mercedes.garciaarenal@cchs.csic.es) and Gerard Wiegers (g.a.wiegers@uva.nl)

This conference aims to bring together scholars who work on the movements of Muslims from Spain to other parts of Europa and the MENA Region between the fall of Granada (1492) and the first half of the seventeenth century. These movements had different contexts and characteristics. Most of the movements were induced by repression of Islam, later the expulsion decree forced Moriscos out of the Peninsula. But there were also movements back to the Peninsula, especially between 1609 and 1640.

We aim to study these movements and the motives of individuals groups to participate in them. We will do so in a comparative perspective with other minority groups, such as the Sephardic Jews, but will also study the responses of the Christian majority and minority groups.

To participate please proceed with your registration by following this link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1zglufVM0OPGM5ODpQuXtehXKczJzG-VBvcq5BfB1hfg/edit

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