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The 1891 Lectures in the Humanities | Anna Bigelow

The 1891 Lectures in the Humanities

Thinking with Islamic Things


Lecture by Anna Bigelow

Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Stanfford University

What makes a thing Islamic? This talk considers the ways in which objects can be understood as being Islamic and how different orientations within Islam inhabit material cultures in specific ways.

Though Islam’s reputation for iconophobia and a categorical antipathy to most forms of material mediation is well known to be overblown, more work remains to be done to situate somatic and object-oriented approaches within Islamic Studies and Religious Studies. Engaging her forthcoming edited volume Islam through Objects (Bloomsbury, 2021), Professor Bigelow reflects on recent work on Islam and material culture to discuss the value of bringing Islam to the center of interdisciplinary conversations, in this case with art and art history, anthropology, history, and Religious Studies.