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CFP: International Journal of Islamic Architecture

CFP: International Journal of Islamic Architecture

> Deadline: Mar 1, 2014


> International Journal of Islamic Architecture (IJIA)

> Special Issue on the Conception and Use of Expertise in the 
> Architecture of the Islamic World since 1800

> Thematic volume planned for Summer 2015

> Proposal submission deadline: 1 March 2014

> As traditional narratives go, the internal religiously-driven 
> architectural production of the medieval and early modern Islamic 
> world ended around 1800, when Europe’s impact on the Islamic world 
> became characterized more by force than by affinity. These 
> long-standing, yet dynamic internal forms of expertise, ranging from 
> mathematics and geometry to the mastery of certain crafts like 
> metalwork, tile production, and masonry, faced enormous external 
> pressure that rid the arts of Islam of their (supposed) purity. As 
> several have argued, this transmutation of European “modernity,” as it 
> is known, subjected most of the Islamic world to both political and 
> psychological pressures that stymied intrinsic expertise and the 
> monolithic notions of autonomous, universal, and divine creativity. In 
> the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, such transformations are 
> more widely described under the rubric of “globalization,” a system 
> where access to expertise is open to so many and so readily that its 
> structure merely mimics capitalist culture writ large with its 
> tendencies towards designification, mimesis, kitsch, and ubiquity.

> The binaries of periodization (“apex” vs. “decline”) and 
> characterization (“autonomy” vs. “dependency”) traditionally used to 
> characterize these transformations have been duly challenged by recent 
> scholars, but rarely with an eye toward the immensely important and 
> mutable notion of what expertise means to those it impacts on a 
> day-to-day basis. Although “expert” and “expertise” are commonly 
> deployed terms for describing both historical and contemporary 
> production processes in architecture, the meanings of the terms are 
> markedly devoid of a critical perspective. Defined as comprehensive 
> and authoritative knowledge of or skill in a particular area, the 
> notion of expertise is clearly tethered to the entanglement of power 
> and knowledge at the core of postcolonial studies; yet its inherent 
> function in applied “real world” and collateral design matters has 
> exempted it from the scrutiny directed toward other economies of 
> knowledge in the last three decades. This special issue joins the 
> newer synthetic frameworks that opt out of dualizing narratives of the 
> Islamic world and its other, but in the specific context of 
> understanding the conception and use of expertise in the period post
> 1800 and its vital role in the reconfiguration of artisanal 
> production, the circulation of knowledge and skills, and the 
> transformation of style.

> Some contemporary thinkers from other humanistic fields have suggested 
> a new sociological paradigm of “interactional” expertise that 
> generates knowledge production through transactional and multilateral 
> engagement, while others have theorized expertise as a system of 
> knowledge management and contend that “expert” knowledge has no single 
> source (such as a monolithic “West”). The resulting questions are 
> wide-ranging.  How, for example, were the dynamics of competition 
> between associations of craftsmen in medieval and early modern Islamic 
> cities reconfigured after 1800, and how were the key urban spaces 
> where information was exchanged—the storehouse, the market, and the 
> university—reshaped or muted in the process? With rapidly increasing 
> contact with Europe, but also Africa, East Asia, and later North 
> America, how did conceptions of expertise shift in light of the crafts 
> and skills of formerly unknown populations? To what extent has 
> technology (perceived as originating outside the Islamic world) from 
> the nineteenth century to the present reinforced the stereotype of an 
> expert “West,” and to what extent has such technology facilitated new 
> forms of autonomous creative production in the Islamic world? What are 
> the promises and the pitfalls of the contemporary free market 
> economy’s ability to import foreign expertise to develop local built 
> environments, as in China’s intense engagement in developing much of 
> the housing sector in Nigeria or the rapid development of oil-rich 
> landscapes in the Islamic world designed by European and North 
> American “experts” and executed with South Asian labor?

> This special issue invites papers that explore the notion of expertise 
> in the architecture of the Islamic world since 1800 in a new light, 
> focusing on the history and practice of architecture and its allied 
> design fields, including geography, anthropology, and civil 
> engineering. Themes that might be addressed include, but are not 
> limited to, the following:

> 1. Who and/or what (e.g., guilds, masters, systems of formal training) 
> has defined expertise in the production of architecture in Islamic 
> lands from the late eighteenth century to the present day, and how has 
> the definition been socially, religiously, or culturally informed—for 
> example by the European university system?

> 2. How have “outsider” forms of expertise in the production of 
> architecture—such as the German apprenticeship system for Ottoman 
> engineers in the construction of the Hejaz Railway to Mecca or the 
> introduction of brick production in Dutch colonial Indonesia—been 
> legitimated, imposed, or appropriated in the modern Islamic world?

> 3. What are the contours between different forms of expertise, from 
> the highly technical to the theoretical, in the modern Islamic world, 
> and in what ways have these divisions had greater or lesser cultural 
> or economic importance? For example, which forms of design expertise 
> have been sought from abroad in major projects since decolonization, 
> which have not, and are there patterns that divide along the lines of 
> particular forms of technical, artistic, or theoretical expertise?

> 4. To what extent is expertise an integral part of the power/knowledge 
> genre? How can we understand—through examples such as the importation 
> of French architects to Egypt in the 19th century, which had a defined 
> relationship to a French civilizing mission, or the strong connection 
> forged between the early Turkish Republic and German and French 
> architects and planners, which was elective—the ways in which 
> expertise is both an extension of and separate from the established 
> power/knowledge genre and its geopolitical landscape? Is this 
> contingent on the status of the state (colony vs. republic), the 
> historical period, or something altogether different?

> 5. What are the relationships between author and expert, authorship 
> and expertise, in the architecture of the Islamic world—for example, 
> in massive collaborations such as Masdar—and how are hierarchies for 
> giving credit established and culturally constructed by the host 
> cultures and the cultures of those providing the expertise?

> 6. How can scholars, practitioners, professionals, and artists 
> address, define, and critically theorize expertise, and what 
> particular relevance does this have for the study of Islamic architecture?

> Essays that focus on historical and theoretical analysis (DiT papers) 
> should be a minimum of 5,000 words but no more than 8,000 words, and 
> essays on design (DiP papers) can range from 2,000 to 3,000 words.
> Contributions from practitioners are welcome and should bear in mind 
> the critical framework of the journal. Contributions from scholars of 
> craft history and preservation as well as scholars and critics of 
> sustainability in the broadest sense are also particularly welcome.

> Please send a 400-word abstract with essay title to the guest editor, 
> Peter Christensen, Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter, Technische 
> Universität München, (peter.christensen@tum.de), by 1 March 2014. 
> Those whose proposals are accepted will be contacted soon thereafter 
> and requested to submit full papers to the journal by 25 July 2014. 
> All papers will undergo full peer review.

> For author instructions regarding paper guidelines, please consult: 
> www.intellectbooks.com/ijia