Art

Cinema and Society in Iran: 1900s to Present

Cinema and Society in Iran: 1900s to Present

Ever since the humble beginnings of Iranian Cinema in the early 1900’s, directors have used the movie screen as a platform to make commentary on Iranian politics, religion, and everyday life. In the fifties, sixties, and seventies, Iran was one of the most prominent countries in the Middle East for cinema. After a brief decline(…)

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Hayley Segall- Ayodhya: The Physical Manifestation of Interfaith Relations in India

Hayley Segall- Ayodhya: The Physical Manifestation of Interfaith Relations in India

 Introduction In the academic and political worlds, the Islamic faith and its Muslim followers are often deemed incompatible with the broader global environment. More often than not, outsiders pit Islam against concepts of reason and civility, using it as a scapegoat for socio-political problems and deeply-seated historical trauma. Yet, it seems almost impossible that conflict(…)

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Islamic Art as Visual Literature

Islamic Art as Visual Literature

Fundamental to the expression of the spiritualism of Islam is the idea that its essence rests within one’s soul. In poetry and prose, that expression is rendered in literature, a reflection of the language of scholarly discourse that has endured since the religion’s founding moments. Though the application of that scholarship has changed, the Sufi(…)

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Hayley Segall: Calligraphy and Arabesque in Islamic Art

Hayley Segall: Calligraphy and Arabesque in Islamic Art

Islamic art and its characteristics, while variant depending on the context and space in which they were created, are highly metaphorical by nature. Art produced by Muslim Persians, Arabs, Indians and others have cultivated techniques deeply engrained in both Islamic tenets and scientific concepts resulting in the formation of a unique genre. With careful attention(…)

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Jorge Kalil: Alike in Origin and Expression

Jorge Kalil: Alike in Origin and Expression

The 16th century was a flourishing period for the European continent; Portuguese explorers had rounded the tip of Africa, Francisco Pizarro had conquered the Incan empire, and Europe was well into its cultural renaissance. Things were no different for the Muslim world to the East, which experienced the rise of three great empires that thrived(…)

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Hayley Segall: Art as Power and Identity in the Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal Empires

Hayley Segall: Art as Power and Identity in the Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal Empires

During the 16th century, Islamic Empires expanded and flourished throughout Europe, the Middle East and South Asia. The three most prominent Islamic Empires (the Ottoman Empire, the Safavid Empire, and the Mughal Empire) ranged in their territorial vastness and length of reign. The Ottoman Empire is viewed as the largest and longest lasting Muslim Empire(…)

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Carlos Armstrong: Islamic Contributions to the European Renaissance

Carlos Armstrong: Islamic Contributions to the European Renaissance

The European Renaissance was a specific period of time in which cultural exchange between the Western and Middle Eastern worlds was at one of its highest points. Sicily and Spain served as the main points of cultural transmission as Norman-Arab-Byzantine exchange grew and developed. Eventually, translations of Arabic writings became available in the various languages(…)

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Practice of Forgiveness in Film: Owen Ellerkamp

Practice of Forgiveness in Film: Owen Ellerkamp

Due to the circumstantial nature of forgiveness much of the semester has been mapping theoretical conceptions of forgiveness to hypothetical scenarios — what would be the best way for the German’s to reconcile the Nazi regime, or how I would go about forgiving a sibling? In the movies Flatliners and Dead Man Walking forgiveness concepts(…)

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Kendal Friendship Ambassadors’ Pottery Gifts

Kendal Friendship Ambassadors’ Pottery Gifts

Kendal has always been the house of wisdom and inspiration. Al Carroll, Joyce Parker and another friend are making Friendship Pots as free gifts for the forthcoming Seventh Oberlin Friendship Festival on April 8. This is indeed visionary. Gift giving is a great part of friendship. It is a manifestation of appreciations. And to give(…)

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Delaney Meyers: Akbar the Great: Pluralism, Stability, Power

Delaney Meyers: Akbar the Great: Pluralism, Stability, Power

Diana Eck—Harvard Professor, interfaith advocate, and creator of The Pluralism Project— defines pluralism as “not diversity alone, but the energetic engagement with diversity”. She says pluralism goes beyond passive tolerance, requiring “the active seeking of understanding across lines of difference” (What is Pluralism?). Akbar ruled over an emperor with immense diversity, and he embodied tolerance(…)

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Emma Nash: Locating Islam in Contemporary Islamic Art

Emma Nash December 19, 2016 Locating Islam in Contemporary Islamic Art Islamic art, in the traditional sense, is an invented category, as the concern with identifying authentic Islamic cultural practices emerged in part from the encounter with the West.[1] Is there a new, contemporary Islamic art? And to what extent does this art have continuity(…)

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Rebecca Posner: European Influences on Mughal Portraiture

Rebecca Posner: European Influences on Mughal Portraiture

The Mughal empire was the dominant political force in India from the early sixteenth century to the middle of the nineteenth century, and its rulers oversaw a large number of impressive artistic achievements.  Most historians seem to agree that the dynasty began with the invasion of India in 1526 by Babur, the first Mughal ruler,(…)

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Adam Jussila: Calligraphy: The Art of Andalusia and Maghreb

Adam Jussila: Calligraphy: The Art of Andalusia and Maghreb

For the Islamic people, calligraphy is more than a means of communication. It is an art form, a way to connect with and honor the divine, which has been widely practiced for over a thousand years. The first words that the angel Gabriel said to the prophet Muhammad were, “Recite: In the name of thy(…)

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Elliot Bailey: The Aversion to Specificity in Islamic Art

Elliot Bailey: The Aversion to Specificity in Islamic Art

I’m sitting in the lounge of the Religion Department on one of the chair enclave’s four sides. Over my right shoulder is a display case brimming with artifacts. I’m here to see the art and calligraphy inside. As I look over them over—the dishes, books, sculptures, rings—I remember what I learned from the readings about(…)

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Timeless Traditions of Islamic Art

Timeless Traditions of Islamic Art

Paintings, massive and miniature; mosques, triumphant in their architectural prowess; calligraphy, the ancient mother of all Islamic art forms. These, among other forms, are the greater progenies of centuries of Islamic civilization’s quest for creative mastery. And indeed, the contributions of the Islamic world towards toward art in all its forms has been a timeless(…)

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Rebecca Posner: Infinity and the Written Word in Islamic Art

Rebecca Posner: Infinity and the Written Word in Islamic Art

Islamic art has several distinctive characteristics that set it apart from traditional Western or European art.  Some of these characteristics include a focus on abstract, curving patterns (such as arabesques and elaborately intertwining foliage of plants), the incorporation of lines of calligraphy (which are often lines from poems or the Qur’an), and a lessened focus(…)

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