Carleton Professor to Deliver Lecture on Islamic Architecture

Jan 28 2009 4:30 pm
Jan 28 2009 6:30 pm

 Melanie Michailidis, Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow in Art History, will present a lecture entitled “The Architecture of War: Central Asian Ribats and the Notion of Jihad” on Wednesday, Jan. 28 at 4:30 p.m. in the Gould Library Athenaeum at Carleton College. Extrapolating on the function of ribats in Islamic architectural history, Michailidis’ presentation is free and open to the public.


In the historiography of Islamic architecture, the ribat has been classified as a military fortress along the frontiers of North Africa and Central Asia from the tenth through the twelfth centuries. Passionate warriors of the Islamic faith would use the fortifications as prosecution bases for jihad and for converting other nomadic groups of Central Asia and the Sahara Desert. Through close study of the history and geographical treaties composed in the area, the ribats have been discovered to function as defense bases rather than expansionist fortifications motivated by religious fanatics. They likely served as strongholds for settlers to retreat from outside nomadic attacks. 


Michailidis, Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow for 2007-2009, offers courses at Carleton on Islamic art, architecture, and culture. While serving as an Ittleson Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts in Washington, DC, she completed a PhD dissertation on 10th and 11th century funerary architecture in Iran and Central Asia. Michailidis earned her BA from the University of Tennessee, an MA from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, and her PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


For more information on the lecture and disability accommodations, please contact the Gould Library at (507) 222-4260.  This event is sponsored by the Dean of the College Office and the Library.