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Negotiating Islamic Legacies in Europe: Concepts, Heritages, and Comparative Approaches

Deadline: 20th of December 2023
Date: 17th of January 2023
Place:  Athens, Greece

Scientific Coordinators: Eleni Gara (University of the Aegean), Elias Kolovos (University of Crete), Yorgos Tzedopoulos (University of Ioannina)    

Abstract: The legacies of a medieval (in the case of in the case of the Iberian and Italian peninsulas, Sicily and other western mediterranean islands) and/or early modern (in the case of the Ottoman Balkans and southern Central Europe) Islamic presence in Europe are still noticeable today, especially in the form of architectural heritage. Arabic and/or Ottoman mosques, especially, and other Islamic buildings, have been mostly treated as “unwelcome”, or “dissonant” heritage in contemporary Europe – or have not been recognized as heritage at all – and have been constantly contested and negotiated by national ideologies and state policies. Moreover, the Islamic past has been negated, at least in terms of visibility, in monuments of high symbolic value. This is the case of the Acropolis of Athens, which had been the fortified part of the town in Ottoman times, with the Parthenon having been transformed from a church into a mosque. In juxtaposition, monuments like Hagia Sophia in Istanbul have been recently negated their Christian past. The legacies of an undesired past are constantly being reappraised. The aim of this conference is to bring together scholars who would be interested in discussing the management of medieval and early modern Islamic heritage in contemporary Europe, the public discourses concerning this heritage, and, consequently, the questions raised by the above on the very concept of “heritage”.  

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 Eleni Gara (egara@aegean.gr), Elias Kolovos (kolovos@uoc.gr) and Yorgos Tzedopoulo (tzedoy@gmail.com) by the deadline of December 20, 2022.  

Reimbursement of expenses: CA1829 IS-LE will be able to reimburse travel and accommodation expenses to a limited number of accepted participants. Applications should be submitted along with the proposals.

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