William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of the Humanities
Ph.D. University of Edinburgh, Islamic Art History, 1993
B.A. Trinity College, Archaeology with Mental and Moral Science, Dublin, 1988
Areas of Research/Interest
Art and architecture of the Islamic world, Cross-cultural dimensions of Islamic material culture, Theories and practices of image-making, Technologies of Representation, Art historical historiography, methodology, and theory, Orientalism
Globalizing Cultures: Art and Mobility in the Eighteenth Century. Co-edited with Nebahat Avcioğlu, a dedicated volume of the journal Ars Orientalis (39, 2011).
Objects of Translation: Material Culture and Medieval “Hindu-Muslim” Encounter. Princeton University Press, 2009.
Piety and Politics in the Early Indian Mosque. Debates in Indian History and Society.Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.
The Great Mosque of Damascus: Studies on the Makings of an Umayyad Visual Culture. Boston: Brill, 2000.
Articles and Essays
"Bodies and Becoming: Mimesis, Mediation and the Ingestion of the Sacred in Christianity and Islam," in Sally M. Promey, ed., Sensational Religion: Sensory Cultures in Material Practice, 459-493. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014.
"Lost Histories of a Licit Figural Art," International Journal of Middle East Studies (45/3, 2013), 566-569.
"Inciting Modernity? Images, Alterities and the Contexts of "Cartoon Wars,"" in Patricia Spyer and Mary Margaret Steedly, eds., Images That Move (Santa Fe, 2013), 41-72.
Intervention: "Presentation, (Re)animation and the Enchantments of Technology," Res: Anthropology and Aesthetics (61/62, 2012), 228-236.
"Gilding, Inlay and the Mobility of Metallurgy: A Case of Fraud in Medieval Kashmir," in Venetia Porter & Mariam Rosser-Owen, eds., Metalwork and Material Culture in the Islamic World: Art, Craft and Text. Essays Presented to James W. Allan (London, 2012), 131-142.
“From Icon to Coin: Potlatch, Piety, and Idolatry in Medieval Islam,” in Gerhard Jaritz, ed., Images, Ritual and Daily Life. The Medieval Evidence, (Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2012), 163-172.
"Notes from the Field: Anthropomorphism," Art Bulletin (93/4, March 2012), 18-20.
"Christian Mosaics in Jordan and Early Islamic Palestine: A Case of Regional Iconoclasm;" "Faith, Religion and the Material Culture of Early Islam;" "The Qur'an," along with entries on mosaics, pilgrimage art, and Qur'ans, in Helen Evans, ed., Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition (New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012).
“Conflict and Cosmopolitanism in Arab Sind,” in Deborah Hutton & Rebecca Brown, eds., A Companion to South Asian Art (Blackwell Companions to Art History) (2011), 365-397.
“Appropriation as Inscription: Making History in the First Friday Mosque of Delhi,” in Richard Brilliant and Dale Kinney, eds., The Mirror of Spolia: Premodern Practice and Postmodern Theory (Malden, MA, 2011), 121-147.
“A Ghaznavid Narrative Relief and the Problem of Pre-Mongol Persian Book Painting,” in David Knipp, ed., Siculo-Arabic Ivories and Islamic Painting 1100-1300, Proceedings of the International Conference, Berlin, 6-8 July 2007 (München, 2011), 257-272.
"Memory in Material and Light/Mémoire de matière et de lumière," catalog essay for Zarina Hashmi, Noor, Galerie Jaeger Bucher, Paris, 2011.
"Globalizing Cultures: Art and Mobility in the Eighteenth Century," essay co-authored with Nebahat Avcioğlu, Ars Orientalis (39, 2011), 7-38.
“Conflict and Cosmopolitanism in Arab Sind,” in Deborah Hutton & Rebecca Brown, eds., A Companion to South Asian Art (Blackwell Companions to Art History, 2011), 365-397.
Contribution to "Roundtable: The Global before Globalization," October (133, Summer, 2010), 3-19.
"Masons and Mobility: Indic Elements in Twelfth-century Afghan Stone-carving," in Anna Filigenzi & Roberta Giunta, eds., Fifty Years of Research in the Heart of Eurasia, Insituto Italiano per l'Africa et ;'Oriente, (Rome 2009), 137-160.
"La communauté imaginaire," Qantara, (73, November, 2009) 18-19.
“An ambiguous aesthetic: Crusader spolia in Ayyubid Jerusalem.” In Ayyubid Jerusalem: The Holy City in Context, 1187-1250, edited by Robert Hillenbrand and Sylvia Auld, 202-215. London: Altajir Trust, 2009.
“Islamic Identities and Islamic Art: Inscribing the Qur’an in Twelfth-century Afghanistan.” In Dialogues in Art History, from Mesopotamian to Modern: Readings for a New Century, edited by Elizabeth Cropper, 91-118. Washington, D. C.: National Gallery of Art, 2009.
“Lost in Translation: Architecture, Taxonomy and the Eastern ‘Turks’.” Muqarnas 24 (2007): 79-116.
“From the Prophet to Postmodernism? New World Orders and the End of Islamic Art.” In Making Art History: A Changing Discipline and its Institutions, edited by Elizabeth Mansfield, 31-53. London & New York: Routledge, 2007.
“Image against Nature: Spolia as Apotropaia in Byzantium and the Dar al-Islam.” Mapping the Gaze – Vision and Visuality in Classical Arab Civilisation, a special issue of The Medieval History Journal 9 no. 1 (2006): 143-166.
“Correct Delineations and Promiscuous Outlines: Envisioning India at the Trial of Warren Hastings.” Art History 29 no. 1 (2006): 47-78.
“Ghurid monuments and Muslim identities: Epigraphy and Exegesis in Twelfth-century Afghanistan.” Indian Economic and Social History Review 42 no. 3 (2005): 263-294.
“Persianate Trends in Sultanate Architecture: The Great Mosque of Bad’aun,” in Bernard O’Kane, ed., The Iconography of Islamic Art, Studies in Honour of Robert Hillenbrand (Edinburgh, 2005), 159-95.
“Between Creation and Destruction,” editorial co-authored with Zoë S. Strother, Res (48, 2005), 5-10.
“Signs of Violence: Colonial Ethnographies and Indo-Islamic Monuments.”Art and Terror, a special issue of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art 5 no. 2 (2004): 20-51.
“Pillars, Palimpsests and Princely Practices: Translating the Past in Sultanate Delhi.” Res: Journal of Anthropology and Aesthetics 43 (2003): 95-116.
“Between Cult and Culture: Bamiyan, Islamic Iconoclasm and the Museum.” Art Bulletin 84 no. 4 (2002): 641-659.
“The Medieval Trophy as an Art Historical Trope: Coptic and Byzantine 'Altars' in Islamic Contexts.” Muqarnas 18 (2001): 41-72.
“Ghurid Architecture in the Indus Valley: the Tomb of Shaykh Sadan Shahid.” Ars Orientalis 36 (2001): 129-166.
“Light in Stone: the Commemoration of the Prophet in Umayyad Architecture.”In Bayt al-Maqdis Part Two: Jerusalem and Early Islam, edited by Jeremy Johns, 311-59. Oxford Studies in Islamic Art, 9, part 2. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
“The Ottoman Windows in the Dome of the Rock and the Aqsa Mosque.”In Ottoman Jerusalem, the Living City: 1517-1917, edited by Sylvia Auld and Robert Hillenbrand, 431-63.London: Altajir World of Islam Trust, 2000.
“Umayyad survivals and Mamluk revivals: Qalawunid architecture and the Great Mosque of Damascus.” Muqarnas 14 (1997): 57-79.
“Herakles and the 'Perpetual Acolyte' of the Buddha: Observations on the Iconography of Vajrapani in Gandharan Art.” South Asian Studies 5 (1989): 17-27.
Articles in Press
“Stucco and Glass Windows from the East and West Palaces.” Forthcoming in Raqqa IV: Excavations of the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut at Raqqa, Syrian Arab Republic.