Session at the 108th College Art Association of America Annual Conference

Caroline Olivia M. Wolf, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga 

This panel invites explorations of diasporic Middle Eastern art and architectural traditions from a transregional, multi-faith and multi-cultural perspective with emphasis on the Americas– defined broadly to encompass not only the Northern Hemisphere, but also Latin America and the Caribbean. Art historical studies examining the visual culture of the Middle East through a global lens have only recently began to expand beyond traditional frameworks of Islamic art centered on the Near East and Central Asia into regions of Africa and Southeast Asia. Yet the diasporic creative production and patronage tied to Middle Eastern traditions extends far beyond these carefully delineated borders of faith and geography. This session seeks papers that delve into the less-researched global intersections of Middle Eastern art and architecture in the Americas, with particular interest in the diverse manifestations that can be seen in places such as –but certainly not limited to– Canada, the United States, Cuba, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. Seeking to engage with a broad range of media, patronage networks and diverse artistic agents, we aim to unpack issues such as migration and translation that are of critical salience in an endeavor to re-think and re-route the conventional borders and boundaries that prevalently define diasporic art of Middle East in the field today.