Click to search the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library Skip Navigation

Lectures from the Allen Room & Wertheim Study: Orientalism vs. Inclusive Practice in Exhibition : Islam and Muslim Peoples in Western Museums, 2011 - present


July 25, 2013

Program Locations:


After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Muslim peoples and the religion of Islam have become politicized and demonized in many Western media representations[1]. Specifically, Islam and Muslim peoples have been represented as closely associated (if not inextricable) with religious extremism/global terrorism (which is also known as Islamophobia) in many Western mass media representations[2].
Contemporaneously, there has been an increase in religion- based cultural exhibition[3], particularly representations of Muslim peoples and Islam in various Western cultural institutions.
Utilizing the visual culture discourse as a methodology, this illustrated presentation explores the connections and societal importance between the contemporary media representations and exhibition text panels/ design within the following major reinstallations of permanent collections and temporary exhibitions:
·        Islamic Arts Wing at the Louvre- Paris, France, reinstallation
·        New Galleries of the Art of Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia and Later South Asia at the Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York City, USA, reinstallation
·        Arts of the Islamic World Galleries- Brooklyn Museum, USA, reinstallation
·        The Islamic Middle East Galleries- Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK, reinstallation
·        Hajj: journey to the Heart of Islam at the British Museum- London, UK, temporary exhibition
·        1001 Inventions- Discover the Muslim Heritage in Our World,-New York Hall of Science, USA, temporary exhibition
·        Three Faiths, New York Public Library,- New York City, USA, temporary exhibition

[1] Abdel-Malek 1963; Allison 1995; Asad 1980; Bealieu and Roberts 2002; Curtis 2009; Edwards 2000; Halliday 2011, 2001, 1993; Hackforth-Jones and Roberts 2005; Little 2008; Lockman 2009; Macfie 2002; Nochlin 1989; Oueijan 2011a, 2011b, 2006, 1996; Prakash 1995; Said 1978, 1980, 1994, 1997, 2000, 2003; Weir 2011.
[2] Abdo 2006; Akram 2002; Bakalin and Bozorgmehr 2009; Cainkar 2004; Esposito and Kalin 2011; Gottschalk and Greenberg 2008; Kumar 2012; Lawrence 2000; Lean and Esposito 2012; Poole 2002; Said 1980, 1997; Shah 2012; Shaheen 2009, 2008, 2002, 1984; Sheehi 2011
[3] Paine 2012; Reeve 2012


Melissa Forstrom is a writer in residence in the Library's Wertheim Study and a Doctoral Student In Visual Culture at the University of Westminster, London.

Click here for other lectures from the Wertheim Study.