Abbas Amanat is Professor of History and International Studies at Yale. Among his publications are Resurrection and Renewal: the Making of the Babi Movement in Iran; Pivot of the Universe: Nasir al-Din Shah and the Iranian Monarchy and Apocalyptic Islam and Iranian Shi’ism. Most recently he coedited Is There a Middle East?: The Evolution of a Geopolitical Concept and Iran Facing Others: Identity Boundaries in a Historical Perspective. His In Search of Modern Iran: Authority, Memory and Nationhood, 1501-2009 will be published in 2015 by the Yale University Press.
Sussan Babaie joined the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London in 2013 to take up a newly established post teaching on the arts of Iran and Islam. Her research focuses on the Safavid Empire and its representations in urban space and architecture, and on transcultural visuality and imperial notions of exoticism in the early modern period. She is the author of the award-winning Isfahan and its Palaces: Statecraft, Shi‘ism and the Architecture of Conviviality in Early Modern Iran (University of Edinburgh Press, 2008) and co-editor with Talinn Grigor of Persian Kingship and Architecture: Strategies of Power in Iran from the Achaemenids to the Pahlavis (London: I. B. Tauris, forthcoming 2014). Her research on sexuality and social habits of ‘seeing’ in the arts of Safavid Iran have been published in “Frontiers of visual taboo: painted ‘indecencies’ in Isfahan” in Eros and Sexuality in Islamic Art, edited by Francesca Leoni and Mika Natif (Ashgate, 2013), and in “Delicate displays: on a Safavid ceramic bottle at the Museum of the Cairo University,” in Ferdowsi, The Mongols and Iranian History, edited by R. Hillenbrand, A. C. S. Peacock, and F. Abdullaeva (London, 2013). A graphic designer by training (Tehran University), Sussan also writes and teaches on contemporary topics, with Shirin Neshat, Detroit Institute of Art, 2013 (co-author) and “Voices of Authority: Locating the ‘modern’ in ‘Islamic’ Arts,” Getty Research Journal 3 (2011), among her most recent publications. For her research, she has received grants from the United States National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright (for research in Egypt and Syria) and the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles.
Shahzad Bashir is the Lysbeth Warren Anderson Professor in Islamic Studies in the Department of Religious Studies at Stanford University. He is the author, most recently, of Sufi Bodies: Religion and Society in Medieval Islam and is currently working on a cultural history of Persianate societies based on evaluating the way the past is represented in a wide range of materials produced during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
Dr. Sheila Canby was appointed Patti Cadby Birch Curator in Charge of the Islamic Art Metropolitan Museum of Art in October 2009. She had served as Curator of Islamic Art and Antiquities at the British Museum from 1991 to 2009. In 2014 she started her term as President of the Historians of Islamic Art Association. Her publications and exhibition catalogues include Shah ‘Abbas: The Remaking of Iran (2009), Shah `Abbas and the Imperial Treasures of Iran (2009), Islamic Art in Detail (2005), Hunt for Paradise: Court Arts of Safavid Iran, 1501-76, co-editor with Jon Thompson (2003), The Golden Age of Persian Art, 1501-1722 (1999), Princes, Poets and Paladins: Islamic and Indian paintings from the collection of Prince and Princess Sadruddin Aga Khan (1999), Rebellious Reformer: The drawings and paintings of Riza-yi `Abbasi of Isfahan (1996), Persian Painting (1993) and The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp (2011 and second edition 2014). She is presently working on an exhibition on Seljuq art scheduled to open at the Metropolitan Museum in 2015. In October 2011 her department opened the galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia and Later South Asia at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Chanchal Dadlani is assistant professor of art history in the Department of Art at Wake Forest University, and is currently an NEH Fellow at the Getty Research Institute. Her research focuses on the early modern Islamic lands and South Asia, with an emphasis on Mughal visual culture. Other interests include artistic encounters between France and the Mughal empire; the urban history of Delhi; the representation of Mughal monuments in texts; early modern architectural practice; and the global reception of contemporary South Asian art. Her work has been published in Ars Orientalis and Artforum, and has been supported by grants from the Mellon Foundation, Fulbright-Hays, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Previously, she was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University. She received her Ph.D. in History of Art and Architecture from Harvard University in 2009.
Jamal J. Elias is the Walter H. Annenberg Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Religious Studies and of South Asia Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He also serves as Special Advisor to the Provost of Aga Khan University.
A recipient of many grants and awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Social Science Research Council (among others), he has lectured and published extensively on a broad range of subjects relevant to the mediaeval and modern Islamic world. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of eight books and numerous articles dealing with a range of topics in Islamic history, thought, literature, and art. His most recent books are On Wings of Diesel: Trucks, Identity and Culture in Pakistan (Oxford, 2011) and Aisha¹s Cushion: Religious Art, Perception and Practice in Islam (Cambridge Massachusetts, 2012); and his previous writings have been translated into Arabic, Chinese, German, Japanese, Persian, Portuguese, Turkish, and Urdu.
Emine Fetvaci received her Ph. D. in History of Art and Architecture from Harvard University in 2005. Her first book, Picturing History at the Ottoman Court (Indiana University Press, 2013), examines the crucial role played by illustrated histories in the formation of Ottoman identity and the shaping of social hierarchies at court during the sixteenth-century. She also co-edited Writing History at the Ottoman Court (Indiana University Press, 2013), with Erdem Cipa. Her research areas include the arts of the book in the Islamic world, and Ottoman, Mughal and Safavid art and architecture. She is currently working on a comparison of Ottoman and Mughal illustrated histories as well as a monograph on the albums of the Ottoman sultan Ahmed I.
Christiane Gruber is Associate Professor of Islamic Art and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Art History at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her research interests span medieval Islamic art to contemporary visual culture. She has authored two books on Islamic texts and images of the Prophet Muhammad’s ascension and has edited several volumes on Islamic book arts, ascension texts and images, and visual and material culture. She is currently writing her next book, entitled The Praiseworthy One: The Prophet Muhammad in Islamic Texts and Images.
Navina Najat Haidar
Navina Najat Haidar has been a curator in the Department of Islamic art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art since 1999. At the Met she has been deeply involved in the planning of the new Islamic galleries which opened in November 2011. She is the coauthor of Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Sultans of the South: Arts of India's Deccan Courts, 1323–1687 (both 2011). Navina has also worked on various other publications related to the new galleries, including a new walking guide, and has lectured widely on the Met’s collection, Indian painting, and Islamic art. In addition Navina has an interested in architectural preservation with involvement in projects in the middle east and India. She is presently working towards an exhibition on the art of India’s Deccan Sultans (April 2015) as well as an exhibition on Indian jewelry (October 2014).
Sylvia Houghteling is a PhD candidate in the History of Art at Yale University. Her dissertation, “Politics, Poetry and the Figural Language of South Asian Textiles, 1600-1730,” examines the seventeenth-century regional trade in South Asian textiles, revealing the interconnectedness of courts in the Deccan and Rajasthan, the cosmopolitanism of regional centers and the active role of textiles in the pageantry and politics of courtly life. Houghteling’s PhD research has been supported by a Fulbright-Nehru research fellowship, the Yale South Asian Studies Council, the Yale Center for British Art, the Beinecke Scholarship Fund and the Huntington Library. Houghteling holds an MPhil in history from the University of Cambridge and a BA in history and literature from Harvard University. She complements her academic research with hands-on experiences in the textile arts – she has studied weaving, felting, block-printing and silk-painting in Denmark, Guatemala, Laos and India.
Çiğdem Kafescioğlu is associate professor at the Department of History at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul. She works on the urban, architectural, and visual culture of the early modern Ottoman world. She has contributed chapters and articles to numerous books and journals and is the author of Constantinopolis/Istanbul: Cultural Encounter, Imperial Vision, and the Construction of the Ottoman Capital (Penn State University Press, 2010), which won the Spiro Kostof Book Award from the Society of Architectural Historians. Kafescioğlu earned her doctoral degree in the history of art and architecture from Harvard University, and is currently a fellow at the Radcliffe Institure for Advanced Study (2013-14).
Azfar Moin is Research Fellow in Religious Studies at the University of Texas at Austin for 2013-14, on leave from Southern Methodist University where he is Assistant Professor of History. Prof. Moin’s research focus is on Sufism and Muslim kingship, and the comparative study of early modern Islamic history in South Asia, Iran, and Central Asia. His first book, The Millennial Sovereign: Sacred Kingship and Sainthood in Islam, won the 2013 Best First Book in the History of Religions Award from the American Academy of Religion and the 2013 John F. Richards Prize in South Asian history from the American Historical Association.
Kishwar Rizvi is Associate Professor of Islamic Art and Architecture at Yale University. She has written on representations of religious and imperial authority in Safavid Iran, as well as on issues of gender, nationalism and religious identity in modern Iran and Pakistan. She is the author of The Safavid Dynastic Shrine: History, religion and architecture in early modern Iran (London: British Institute for Persian Studies, I. B. Tauris, 2011) and editor of Modernism and the Middle East: Architecture and politics in the twentieth century (University of Washington Press, 2008). Her new book is The Transnational Mosque: Historical memory and the contemporary Middle East (University of North Carolina Press 2015), for which she was selected as a Carnegie Foundation Scholar.
Marianna Shreve Simpson
Marianna Shreve Simpson (Ph.D., Harvard University, 1978) is an independent scholar of Islamic art, and has published, taught and lectured widely on medieval and early modern Islamic art in general and the arts of the book (especially Persian illustrated manuscripts) in particular. Current research interests include gift exchange between Iran and Europe in the early modern period, the color red, medieval Persian ceramics, and Firdausi’s Shahnama (Book of Kings).
From 1980 to 1992 Simpson helped direct the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, and from 1992 to 1995 served as Curator of Islamic Near Eastern Art at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. From 1995 to 2000 she was Director of Curatorial Affairs and Curator of Islamic Art at the Walters Art Gallery (now Walters Art Museum), Baltimore and continued her affiliation with the museum as Visiting Curator of Islamic Art (through October 2001) and Senior Consultant for the Islamic Manuscript Digitization Project (2009-2010). In recent years she also has served as a consultant for the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Over the years Simpson has taught as a visiting faculty member at: University of California, Los Angeles; Georgetown University; Princeton University; Johns Hopkins University; University of Maryland, College Park; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Maryland Institute College of Art; University of Pennsylvania; and Bard Graduate Center, New York. Recent awards include: Paul Mellon Senior Fellowship, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art; Collaborative Research Award, Getty Grant Program; Senior Fellowship, National Endowment for the Humanities; Membership, School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.
Dr. Simpson is currently a Visiting Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania and has just completed a three-year term as President of the Historians of Islamic Art Association (2011-2013).
Christopher Wood is Carnegie Professor of the History of Art, Yale University. He has taught as a visitor at New York University, the University of California, Berkeley, Vassar College, and the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. He is the author of Albrecht Altdorfer and the Origins of Landscape (1993), Forgery, Replica, Fiction: Temporalities of German Renaissance Art (2008), and (with Alexander Nagel) Anachronic Renaissance (2010).