The 8th HIAA Biennial will be held at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and Rice University, on March 2-4, 2023. The theme will be “Expanding Contexts.”As historians of Islamic art and architecture, we often deal with objects and ediﬁces that are spatially and temporally removed from their contexts. Artworks are displayed in glass cases in museum galleries and heavily restored monuments offer little clue of the social life that once unfolded in and around them.
The discussion of context has long been dominated by politics, dynasties, and patronage. Recent scholarship, however, has immensely expanded the deﬁnition of the context to include urban, sensory, perceptual, social, and global settings, to name a few trends. We no longer discuss works of art and architecture as reiﬁed creations but consider them in the context of labor, craft, and everyday practices. We construe artworks not as neutral reﬂections of their historical settings but as agents that actively inform their contexts. Rather than seeking a deﬁnite provenance, we write transregional narratives of objects and their dynamic (cross-) cultural lives reconstructing, narrating, and visualizing the historical contexts. What are the promises and pitfalls of the digital age for reconstructing the original contexts of artworks and architectural fragments? What approaches and conceptions can we take to invoke the context and intimate the embodied experiences of historical audiences for the public in museums, academic settings, and online platforms? Is it possible to redress the acts of transmission and dislocation that have led to the creation of major collections by means of reconstructing their contexts? How can we use the context to expand the global reach of the ﬁeld and narrate the past in ways that speak to broader audiences?
There are two categories of submission:
Pre-arranged panels (3-4 papers and a discussant) and individual papers. Please submit your abstract/s and a brief curriculum vitae to: email@example.com , by April 8, 2022.
Aimée Froom (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston) and Farshid Emami (Rice University).
Stephennie Mulder (UT Austin), Nada Shabout (University of North Texas), Abbey Stockstill (Southern Methodist University), and Heather Ecker (Dallas Museum of Art)