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Margaret Graves

GravesAssistant Professor
Radio/TV Building 310, (812) 856-3728



Educational Background

  • Ph.D., University of Edinburgh, 2010
  • M.Sc. (Res.), University of Edinburgh, 2006
  • M.A. (Fine Art), University of Edinburgh/Edinburgh College of Art, 2002

Region(s) of Interest

  • Middle East
  • Iran

Research Topics

  • Orientalism
  • Historiography
  • The master-narrative(s) of Islamic art

Research Summary

I specialise in the art, architecture and material culture of the Middle East, with a focus on Iran and the Eastern Mediterranean lands. My principal focus lies on the portable arts of the medieval period and considers relationships between ornament, representation and perception in a range of media. Current projects include a book-length study of the use of architecture as ornament in medieval Islamic art, and an article investigating the provenance, material qualities and decoration of a group of ceramics from thirteenth-century Raqqa housed in the Indiana University Art Museum. My research on medieval materials has led to a second, historiographic focus in my work, with studies ranging from the material and critical treatment of fakes and forgeries to the “medievalization” of the master-narrative of Islamic art history.

Representative Publications

  • ‘Feeling Uncomfortable in the Nineteenth Century’, Journal of Art Historiography, 6: Islamic Art historiography (special issue guest-edited by Margaret Graves and Moya Carey, June 2012)
  • Margaret S. Graves (ed. and catalogue entries) and Benoît Junod (ed.), Treasures of the Aga Khan Museum: Arts of Islamic Architecture. Exhibition catalogue (Geneva: Aga Khan Trust for Culture, 2011)
  • ‘Treasuries, Tombs and Reliquaries: A Group of Ottoman Qur’an Boxes of Architectural Form’, in The Meeting Place of British Middle East Studies: Emerging Scholars, Emergent Research and Approaches, ed. A. Phillips and R. Abu-Remaileh (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009), pp. 78–98 and plates
  • ‘Visual Culture as Historical Document: Sir John Drummond Hay and the Nineteenth-Century Moroccan Pottery in the National Museum of Scotland’, British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 36/1 (2009), pp. 93–124 (winner of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies Graduate Article Prize, 2008)
  • ‘Ceramic House Models from Medieval Persia: Domestic Architecture and Concealed Activities’,IRAN: Journal of the British Institute of Persian Studies, 46 (2008), pp. 227–252
  • ‘“A Certain Barbaric Originality”: Moroccan Pottery as Viewed by British Travel Writers of the Nineteenth Century’, The Journal of North African Studies, 12/4 (2007), pp. 501–516

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