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International Conference 2011

In the Shadow of the Golden Age: Art and Identity in Asia from Gandhara to the Modern Age

This international conference brings together specialists in the visual arts and humanities working on material from a wide range of periods and regions throughout Asia, the Islamic world and the Western diaspora. Instead of concentrating on the so-called ‘high points’ and ‘golden ages’ of art, which have so far stood generally at the centre of art-historical enquiries, this symposium focuses on visual expressions of confrontation with the ‘other,’ struggle or isolation during times of change. These challenging but artistically fertile periods were marked by intense efforts by communities in search for new identities. Through their art and frequently through the re-use of old symbols in new settings they succeeded in redefining themselves so as to strengthen their religious, cultural or political position. In the history of art, these less investigated phases raise issues, which hold the promise of new significant contributions to the subject.



International Conference 2018

In the Footsteps of the Masters: Footprints, Feet and Shoes as Objects of Veneration in the Arts of Asia

This three-day international conference focuses on the creation and veneration of footprints and representations of feet as objects of ritual use. While some of the depictions are negative imprints in low relief, others are high relief depictions of the soles of the feet or delineations of entire feet. The speakers are all specialists in their respective fields presenting material from across South and Central Asia (India, Nepal, Tibet), Southeast Asia (Thailand) and the wider Islamic world (Egypt, Turkey, Arabia, Pakistan and India). The foot-images are associated with Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, a number of Hindu divinities, Christ and the Prophet Muhammad as well as a number of Christian and Muslim saints. Lingayats and Muslims also venerate the shoes of important religious teachers.