CALL FOR PAPERS: The Mosque in Transformation, 17th Colloquium of the Ernst Herzfeld-Gesellschaft

The Mosque in Transformation, 17th Colloquium of the Ernst Herzfeld-Gesellschaft

Córdoba (Spain), Casa ÁrabeJune 30 – July 2, 2022

The mosque, in its diverse architectural and visual expressions and as an institution, is considered one of the most significant manifestations of Islamic cultures. While the basic liturgical concept as a place of prayer is universal, a mosque can acquire further functions, and its form has proven extraordinarily malleable across and within regions and times. Scholarship has dealt with this diversity in studies on formal and conceptual evolution, typologies, and regional or local traditions.

Over recent decades many questions became more complicated or persist unanswered. The formal and conceptual sources of the earliest materially extant mosques remain a matter of debate and speculation. Transformations in the visuality, the layout, the elements, and the fittings of the mosque and its place in urban planning have been described from an architectural, archaeological, and historical angle and may require more explanation from a liturgical, religious, social, or ideological perspective. The re-use of mosques in a changing environment (such as in the Iberian Peninsula) has been documented, while its implications for artistic and cultural heritage call for discussion.

The 17th Colloquium of the Ernst Herzfeld Society invites recent research on the mosque in transformation, as an architecture and a visual and functional space in continuous evolution, transcending notions of the mosque as a fixed entity. The organizers invite papers that deal with transformations in the visuality, materiality, and concept of the mosque as seen in architecture and decoration, in furnishings and liturgical elements, in specific functions at specific times, in their changes including usage by other religious communities, and with reference to social, ideological, and historical currents.

Schedule – The Colloquium takes place at Córdoba (Spain), in the Casa Árabe and is organized by Fernando Valdés Fernández of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in collaboration with institutions in Córdoba. It will start with a keynote lecture on the evening of Thursday, June 30, 2022. The Colloquium continues with the main sessions on Friday and Saturday, July 1–2.

A meeting of graduate students will take place on Thursday, June 30, for which a separate call is to be circulated. The annual general assembly of the Ernst Herzfeld Society will be held on Friday or Saturday afternoon. For July 3 visits to places in and near Córdoba are foreseen.

The Colloquium is planned as a meeting in presence and on-site while the organizers will also prepare for a hybrid format if the necessity of online participation arises. A detailed schedule and information on the format will follow in due course.

Application – Please submit your proposal for a paper or a panel by March 13, 2022 to Prof. Dr. Fernando Valdés Fernández: Individual papers: Please submit a title and an abstract of 250 and no more than 300 words.- Pre-arranged panels: will preferably include three presentations Please submit a title and an abstract of no more than 500 words presenting the topic and aim of the panel, and a provisional list of speakers with abstracts.- The preferred colloquium language is English. Each presentation is limited to 20 minutes, followed by 10 minutes of discussion (or 30 minutes of discussion per panel).

All proposals will undergo a peer review selection process. Acceptance will be notified in the beginning of April 2022.

If you want to submit a paper proposal for the graduate meeting (separate call), please send your title and abstract to Suzanne Compagnon:

Registration for and participation in the Colloquium are free for members of the Society. Other speakers and participants are asked to join the Society by paying the annual membership fee. Please see:…/beitrittsfor…/

We kindly request that speakers and participants make their own travel and accommodation arrangements. A list of hotels located in the vicinity of the Colloquium venue will be made available in due course.

phD scholarship, The Khalili Research Centre (Oxford)

The Khalili Research Centre is offering a scholarship for a student of exceptional promise to undertake a DPhil in Islamic Art and/or Architecture at the University of Oxford. The scholarship will cover fees and maintenance for 3 years starting in October 2022.

The successful candidate will have a fully-formed project with the requisite language and research skills already in place. Preference may be given to students working on one of the following fields: Umayyad art and architecture; Abbasid art and architecture; early Qur’ans; Ottoman art and architecture; the history of Islamic calligraphy before 1900.

How to apply: All candidates who apply for the DPhil at the University of Oxford with a supervisor at the Khalili Research Centre by 12 noon on 1 March 2022 will be considered for this scholarship:…/courses/dphil-oriental-studies

There are no restrictions of nationality. Candidates are advised to contact a prospective supervisor before applying.

The Khalili Research Centre (KRC) is the University of Oxford’s centre for research into the art and material culture of the Islamic societies of the Middle East and of their non-Muslim members and neighbours. It brings together staff, postdoctoral researchers and graduate students specialising in Islamic art and architecture in a dedicated building at the heart of Oxford. The Centre benefits from the exceptional concentration of expertise in related fields at the University of Oxford, as well as the world-class library resources and object collections of the Bodleian Library, Ashmolean Museum, and further institutions in Oxford. For more information, please visit:

Contact:Prof. Alain George (

Webinaire: Regards sur les arts du monde iranien / Insights into the Art of the Persianate Societies (22/02/2022)

Regards sur les arts du monde iranien / Insights into the Art of the Persianate Societies coorganisé par l’Institut Français de Recherche en Iran (IFRI) et le CeRMI, aura lieu le mardi 22 février 2022, de 15h à 17h (heure de Paris) / 17h30-19h30 (heure de Téhéran).

Cette deuxième séance s’articulera autour du thème « Regards sur la céramique,

1 / Insights into ceramic arts, 1 », avec les interventions suivantes :

• New data about the «Poteries de Bamiyan» (Afghanistan) Guergana Guionova (CNRS, Aix Marseille Univ, LA3M, Aix-en-Provence), Thomas Lorain (MAFAB/University of Bamberg)

• Architectural decoration, tiles and brickworks of Alamut Castle through historical data Hamideh Choubak (ICCAR, RICHT, MCTH)

• A Research on the Islamic Ceramics of the Sultâniyya plain, Iran Mahsa Feizi (PhD Tehran University/Lyon 2)


Chairperson: Yves Porter (Aix Marseille Univ/IUF/LA3M)

Pour suivre cette séance online (sur Skyroom), inscrivez-vous avant le 21 février sur le lien suivant :…


Job opportunities at Archaïos

Archaïos is a scientific research society in the field of Heritage and Archaeology. Archaïos’ mainly international projects are based on the multidisciplinary skills of its research team. The strong points of our expertise are focused on Archaeological Maps, Archaeological Excavations (Rescue and research, C.R.M.), Heritage conservation and promotion, Research and development of innovative tools for the excavation and promotion of archaeological sites, and training of professional archaeologists.

Archaïos is currently recruiting on different projects. For more information visit their website.

New publication: Riches Beyond the Horizon Long-distance Trade in Early Medieval Landscapes (ca. 6th-12th centuries)

Riches Beyond the Horizon
Long-distance Trade in Early Medieval Landscapes (ca. 6th-12th centuries)

H. Nol (ed.)

320 p., 106 colour ill., 16 b/w tables, 178 x 254 mm, 2021
ISBN: 978-2-503-59981-6
Languages: English

The book offers innovative perspectives, exciting historical insights and often astonishing archaeological data on long distance trade and the mobility of goods during Early Medieval times in the Indian Ocean area, the Mediterranean, East Africa, the Near East and northern Europe.

This book offers new and innovative perspectives on long-distance trade between Europe, the Mediterranean area, the Middle East, Africa, India and China during the Early Medieval period. The archaeological data and historical insights presented in this volume are without exception of great interest, often exciting, and more than once astonishing. The goods which travelled between the continents in the timespan under discussion (ca. 6th to 12th centuries) include pottery in all shapes and forms, textiles, coins, metal, lava millstones, glass, marble columns, rock-crystal beads, and also plants used for incense. 

The scope of the contributions includes the wide-ranging economic contacts of a Viking community, the changing patterns of long-distance trade in the Byzantine Empire, the spread of Chinese pottery to Africa, the Near East and Europe, the information on maritime routes provided by shipwrecks in the Java Sea, the reconstruction of an incense trade network, and the production and distribution of textiles as well as stone objects in the Middle East and beyond.

The varied approaches in this volume underline that the movement of objects in Early Medieval times over vast distances not only reflect mechanisms of exchange, but also imply social networks and the transfer of ideas. Thus, Riches Beyond the Horizon sheds compelling light on a world which was much more complex and much more interconnected than has often been assumed.Hagit Nol was awarded with a PhD by Universität Hamburg and holds a postdoctoral fellowship at the Université libre de Bruxelles. She combines archaeology with a critical reading of textual sources. Table of Contents

Joanita Vroom, Preface

Hagit Nol, Long distance trade in the Early Medieval period: A general introduction

Natalie Kontny, Arabo-Islamic geographies:Indian Ocean trade in Ibn KhurradKit (fl. 884 CE)

Sterenn Le Maguer-Gillon, Elusive remains: Identifying incense trade routes in western Asia from biodegradable commodities (ca. 7th-13th centuries)

Dashu Qin & Justin Ching Ho, Chinese ceramics exported to Africa during the 9th-10th centuries

Guangcan Xin, Maritime trade in Southeast Asia from the 9th-10th centuries: A study of the Belitung and Cirebon Shipwrecks

Joanita Vroom, From Xian to Birka and back: Constantinople as a nodal point in long-distance contacts during the early Middle Ages (ca. 6th-12th centuries)

Hagit Nol, Rolling stones: Distribution patterns of marble, basalt and beach rock from Early Medieval Israel (ca. 7th-11th centuries)

Orit Shamir & Alisa Baginski, Early medieval textiles from excavations in Israel (9th-13th centuries) trade and Transfer

Ralf Wiechmann, Advancing into unknown lands: The numismatic material of Gros Stromkendorf near Wismar during the Early Viking age (ca. 8th-9th centuries)


Second Ḥajar Online Workshop, 28 APRIL 2022

Early Islamic agriculture and water management: Talking about a “revolution”

15:45-19:00 (Brussels)

15:45 Case studies

Helena Kirchner, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

The Green Revolution between technique transfer and local adaptation: The making of a new agricultural landscape in al-Andalus

Vladimir Dabrowski, CNRS-National Museum of Natural History (Paris)

What Islamic agricultural revolution in eastern Arabia? Recent archaeobotanical discoveries (1st millennium CE)

Gideon Avni, Israel Antiquities Authority and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

A “Eurasian exchange”? The penetration of new agricultural and water management technologies into the southern Levant, 6th-10th centuries CE

17:15 Break

17:30 Discussion

Discussant: Chris Wickham, University of Oxford

Discussant: Seven Ağır, Middle East Technical University

General debate and questions

For registration (and zoom link), please write us to until April 27th.