Maın Theme of IISS 8

Rethinking Arts and Aesthetics in the Muslim World

Concepts, Theories, and Practices

24 – 30 July 2023

The biennial ILEM International Summer School aims to serve as a forum for discussion of major issues concerning the Islamic world by bringing together academics, researchers and artists from diverse backgrounds. The broader theme of the 8th edition of the summer school will be Rethinking Art and Aesthetics in the Islamic World: Concepts, Theories, and Practices

The summer school will explore Islamic arts, which are usually analyzed in connection with the notions of “tradition” or “mystical experience” in contemporary intellectual and artistic circles, from theoretical, conceptual, and socio-political perspectives, and open up for discussion the “axial shifts” or even the absence of axis, observable on both ontological and epistemological planes. The purpose here is to shed light on what is beyond the conditional and prejudiced forms of artistic expression. This can be expressed as an attempt to study the possibility of producing aesthetic formulas as the golden middle to save the beautiful from the vortex of two extreme poles of “acculturation” and “cultural schizophrenia.”

This is also an attempt to build an aesthetic bridge between the distant past and the future by considering cultural differences as richness. Indeed, the successful result of this attempt is directly proportional to the level of awareness about the recent past and present. Is the juxtaposition of the terms “Islam” and “art” fully comprehended and theoretically justified? How are the aesthetic values and the understanding of beauty, which are intended to be passed on from the past to the future, reflected in various arts today? From which perspective is the notion of universality addressed, if addressed at all, in the art events that directly or indirectly deal with Islamic aesthetics?

To this end, the summer school will be interested in the analysis of relevant issues from three main perspectives

  1. Conceptual content: The analysis of the concepts such as “innovation”, “tradition”, “classical”, and “perennial wisdom”, etc. to enrich and clarify the theoretical interpretations of the metaphysical background of Islamic aesthetics.
  2. Theoretical discussions: Discussing the current theories on Islamic arts in terms of their origins and content; examining “the Islamic” by considering contemporary issues such as digitalization; exploring the possibility of bringing traditional values and contemporary interpretations of art together on a common ground in line with their aesthetic principles.
  3. Socio-political implications: The treatment of Islamic aesthetics from the perspective of social life; discussing whether Islamic arts have any specific mission in the context of the issues of enculturation, cultural diplomacy, propaganda, the problem of environment etc.

Confırmed Partıcıpants

  • Abbass Tarhini, Rethinking Islamic Art and Aesthetics in the Digital Age: Exploring the Challenges and Opportunities of Digital Technology in the Production, Dissemination, and Reception of Islamic Art, Cy Cergy Paris University, France

  • Abdullah Awad, Islam, Adorno, and Aesthetic Theory, Institute For Critical Thought, University of Cambridge, Jordan

  • Adnan Fallahi, Cultural Roots of Jurisprudential Disputes Over Art: Music and Zi al-Ajam (the Ajam costume), Ministry of Education, Iran

  • Chokchai Wongtanee, Al-Qur’an from the Sultanate of the Ottoman Empire: An Aesthetic Tool for Reconciliation, Uplifting nationality (Ummah) and the Spirit of Siamese-Patani Muslims, Prince of Songkla University, Thailand

  • Katya Nosyreva, Lines of Transmission: Abu’l-Wafaʾ al-Buzjani ’s Text and the Contemporary Study of Islamic Geometric Patterns, Independent and Prince’S Foundation School of Traditional Arts, United Kingdom

  • Melike Sıla Acar Kaya, Embodying Ramadan: Islamic Aesthetics, Spirituality and the Production of Space in Ramadan Studios of Turkish Televisions, Yildiz Technical University/ Tigris Development Agency, Türkiye

  • Musab Iqbal, Poetic Thinking: Resistance to Technologization of Being, University of Westminster, United Kingdom

  • Nezih Enes Evren, An Inquiry into the Mathematical Construction Background of Islamic Arts, Orta Doğu Teknik University, Türkiye

  • Odil Ernazarov, The educational value of introducing the epigraphic writings in the Islamic monuments to the young generation: the example of the city of Tashkent, International Islamic Academy of Uzbekistan, Uzbekistan

  • Syed T. Raza, Arts and Aesthetics in the Muslim World: Non-Arab Innovation Cases from India and China, Aligarh Muslim University, India

  • Wasamon Sanasen, Applying Islamic Art with Art of Other Cultures: A Case Study of Islamic Motif in Northeastern Thailand Woven Fabric “Lekanis” Brand, King Mongkut’S Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, Thailand

  • Yasmine Elargui, Exploring Islamic Aesthetics as an Alternative Way to Knowledge: Principles, Contributions, Applications, and Limitations, Académie D’Art De Carthage, Tunisia

  • Abdullah Haidar, Evania Herindar, Fauziah Chairiyatia, Seberang City Jambi Arts and Culture Institute, Get to Know Kompangan And Hadrah As Jambi Malay Traditional Art, Values Activation Consultant, Indonesia

  • Adilia Iulgusheva, Islamic Art and Muslims: the Levels of Engagement, Granada University, Russian Federation

  • Bouchra Chougrani, The travelogue and foreign view on the artistic productions of Muslim women, Chouaib Doukkali University, Morocco

  • Isha Suhail, Reviving the Chromatic Legacy: Exploring the Colors of Kashi Kari in Architecture of Pakistan, Mimar Sinan Güzel Sanatlar University, Türkiye

  • Loubna El-Liazidi, That Thing We Call Beauty: Islamic Mystical Aesthetics from an Object-Oriented Ontological Perspective, Sultan Moulay Slimane University (Usms), Morocco

  • Mehmet Salih Babacan, Music The Common Way to Chant Allah, Marmara University, Türkiye

  • Meysam Yazdi, The Soft Power of Contemporary Islamic Art in Nation and Muslim Branding, Islamic Azad University, Iran

  • Müberra Kandemir, Donning a Beautiful Dress: The relation between al-Ihsân and al-Muhsīn in Ibn Arabī Thought, Marmara University, Türkiye

  • Nourelhoda Hussein, ‘God created every craftsman and his craft’: Spirituality, Morality and Social Arrangement of Traditional Craftsmanship in Egypt (from the 16th to 19th century), Nottingham Trent University, UK

  • Sevda Moghaddami, Content Analysis of İllustration of Mawlanas Marvels in Ottoman Miniature (Case Study: İllustrared Editions of Sawaqib alManaqib Auliya Allah), Tabriz Islamic Art University, Iran

  • Seyyed Abbas Haghayeghi, The useless definition of ”Traditional Art”, University of Religions and Denominations, Iran

  • Shunhua Jın, Two Chinese scrolls of Mecca– on the Pattern of Ka’ba in pilgrimage art, Aix-Marseille Université, France

  • Sümeyye Cinisli, Between Two Patrons: Ahmed Pasha’s Qasidas Written for Mehmed II and Sheikh Vefâ, Boğaziçi University, Turkey

  • Tayebeh Beheshti,  Layout Design in the Manuscript of Baysunghur Shahnameh Reserverd in the Golestan Palace Museum of Iran, Dr. Islamic Azad University of Iran (Parand Branch), Iran

  • Yasemin Sönmez, Transformation of space with calligraphy: The example of Hagia Sophia Mosque, Fatih Sultan Mehmet Vakıf University, Türkiye

Topıcs of IISS 8

  • Theoretical Framework of Islamic Aesthetics 
  • Quranic Roots of Islamic Arts
  • Mystical Interpretation of Islamic Arts: Sufi Thought or Perennial Philosophy
  • Sacred Geometry and Symbolism in Islamic Art
  • Beauty, Truth and Goodness: Perception of Value in Islamic Aesthetics
  • Critical Rethinking of Islamic Art Concepts: “Ilm al-Jamâl” and “Ihsan”
  • Islamic Sense of Aesthetics
  • Islamic Aesthetics from the Western Perspectives
  • Methodology Problem in Islamic Arts
  • Role of Art in Knowledge Transmission
  • Islamic Aesthetics as an Alternative Way to Knowledge
  • The Problem of Meaning in Islamic Arts: Muslim Interpretations of Orientalist Discourses
  • The “Islamization” of Art in the Postcolonial World
  • Islamic Arts in the Digital Age
  • Innovation and Conservatism: Rethinking the Concepts of Tradition and Traditional Art
  • The Importance of Art in Daily Life
  • Islamic Art and Social Memory
  • Aesthetic Dimensions of Acculturation and Culture Production
  • Sense of Beauty and Pleasure in the Consumer Society
  • Visual Culture and Environment Awareness 
  • Islamic Arts and Cultural Nationalism
  • Islamic Aesthetics in the Context of the Clash of Civilization
  • The Art Factor in Cultural Diplomacy
  • Art as a Political Legitimacy Instrument
  • Cinema: Aesthetic Propaganda on the Global Scene

Important Dates


Ahmet Köroğlu, Istanbul University (Türkiye)

Ali Eşlik, Oranje Instituut (Netherlands)

Ayaz Asad, Ibn Khaldun University, (Türkiye)

Binazir Hashimzade, Ibn Haldun University (Türkiye)

Elmin Aliyev (Head), Istanbul Medeniyet University (Türkiye)

Emin Lelic, Salisbury University (USA)

Esra Çifci, Marmara University (Türkiye)

Muhammed Hüseyin Mercan, Marmara University (Türkiye)

Ömer Faruk Yeni, Academic Studies Association (ILEM)

Semih Yakut, Istanbul University (Türkiye)

Suhair Aljahlani, ICYF

Süleyman Güder, Istanbul University, (Türkiye)

Şeyda Karabatak (Secretariat), Academic Studies Association (ILEM)

Tuğba Ceren Cerci, ICYF

Wasamon Sanasen, King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (Thailand)

Yusuf Temizcan, Academic Studies Association (ILEM)

Yusuf Ziya Gökçek, Marmara University (Türkiye)


Alparslan Babaoğlu, Ebru Artist, TUBITAK (Türkiye)

Amal Ouchenane, ICYF

Asiye Kafalıer Dönmez, Muzahhib, Ankara Hacı Bayram Veli University (Türkiye)

Ayşe Taşkent, Istanbul University (Türkiye)

Ayşe Üstün, Sakarya University (Türkiye)

Bager Akbay, Artist, Marmara University (Türkiye)

Bahattin Yaman, Süleyman Demirel University (Türkiye)

Berat Açıl, Marmara University (Türkiye)

Betül Bilgin, Fatih Sultan Mehmet Vakıf University (Türkiye)

Bilal Badat, University of Tübingen (Germany)

Bilal Sezer, Uşak University (Türkiye)

Ćazim Hadžimejlić, Calligrapher, University of Sarajevo Academy of Fine Arts (Bosnia)

Cihangir Aşurov, Fatih Sultan Mehmet Vakıf University (Türkiye)

Doris Behrens-Abouseif, SOAS University of London (UK)

Eyüp Al, Marmara University (Türkiye)

Fatih Özkafa, Calligrapher, Marmara University (Türkiye)

Gülnihal Küpeli, Muzahhib, Marmara University (Türkiye)

Gürcan Mavili, Bookbinder, Mimar Sinan Güzel Sanatlar University (Türkiye)

Havva Kök Arslan, Üsküdar University (Türkiye)

Hesna Haral, Nişantaşı University (Türkiye)

Hilal Kazan, Calligrapher, Istanbul University (Türkiye)

Idham Mohammed Hanash, The World Islamic Sciences and Education University (Jordan)

Irvin C. Schick, Harvard University (USA)

İbrahim Halil Üçer, Istanbul Medeniyet University (Türkiye)

İnci Ayan Birol, Muzahhib, Marmara University (Emeritus) (Türkiye)

İskender Erol, Istanbul University (Türkiye)

Karim Lahham, Tabah Research (UAE)

Kübra Bilgin Tiryaki, İstanbul University (Türkiye)

Latif Karagöz, Istanbul Medeniyet University (Türkiye)

Mehdi Mohammadzadeh, Tabriz Islamic Art University (Iran)

Mehmet Memiş, Calligrapher, Sakarya University (Türkiye)

Muharrem Hafız, Musician, Istanbul University (Türkiye)

Mustapha Ben-Hamouche, University of Blida 1 (Algeria)

Nuria Garcia Masip, Calligrapher, Sorbonne University (France)

Osman Öksüzoğlu, Ministry of Culture and Tourism (Türkiye)

Ömer Faruk Taşkale, Mimar Sinan Güzel Sanatlar University (Türkiye)

Paul Hepworth, Independent Manuscript Conservator (Türkiye)

Samir Mahmoud, Usul Academy (USA)

Sarena Abdullah, Universiti Sains Malaysia (Malaysia)

Serhat Kula, Yunus Emre Institute

Seyyed Hossein Nasr, George Washington University (USA)

Uğur Karataş, Samsun Ondokuz Mayıs University (Türkiye)

Valerie Gonzalez, SOAS University of London (UK)

Yusuf Ziya Gökçek, Marmara University (Türkiye)

Zeynep Yıldız Abbasoğlu, Independent Music Scholar (Türkiye)


Abdullah Eren, Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (Türkiye)

Baha Tanman, Istanbul University (Türkiye)

Çiçek Derman, Muzahhib, Haliç University (Türkiye)

Fatih Andı, Fatih Sultan Mehmed Vakıf University (Türkiye)

İhsan Fazlıoğlu, Istanbul Medeniyet University (Türkiye)

Mahmud Erol Kılıç, IRCICA 

Mohamed Zekeriya, Calligrapher (USA)

Mustafa Sabri Küçükaşçı, Fatih Sultan Mehmed Vakıf University (Türkiye)

Sadık Ünay, IRCICA 

Selçuk Mülayim, Marmara University (Emeritus) (Türkiye)

Sinan Genim, Architecht, Marmara University (Emeritus) (Türkiye)

Şeref Ateş, Yunus Emre Institute (Türkiye)

Taha Eğri, Academic Studies Association (ILEM)

Turan Koç, Sabahattin Zaim University (Türkiye)

Uğur Derman, Calligrapher, Marmara University (Emeritus) (Türkiye)

Zeynep Gemuhluoğlu, Marmara University (Türkiye)

FAQS / find your answers

We are seeking submissions from PhD students and junior scholars in the related fields.  
All participants have to attend the lectures, panels, workshops, and talks. Each of participants have to present his/her paper within the workshop.
Step 1: Applicant registers to the Congress Management System and upload his/her proposal to this system. Step 2: The proposals are evaluated by the International ILEM Summer School Scientific Committee. Step 3: Applicants that proposals are accepted are requested to upload their full-text of manuscripts to the Congress Management System. Step 4: The full-text manuscripts are evaluated by the International ILEM Summer School Scientific Committee. According to the consequences of this final evaluation, the participants who are entitled to participate in the IISS-8 are announced.
Each of participants have to present his/her paper within the workshop.
No. All participants have to present a paper.
IISS-8 is a free-of-charge event. Accommodation, meals, transportation (from accommodation location to ILEM), and social-cultural program expenses will be covered by IISS 8 organiser and supporters. We mostly intend to provide funding for travel as well, in case applicants are not institutionally affiliated or their home institutions do not cover travel tickets.
The IISS-8 will be held face to face in Istanbul, Turkey.
No. Only PhD students and junior scholars can participate in the IISS-8.


Aziz Mahmut Hüdayi Mahallesi, Türbekapısı Sk. No:13, 34672 Üsküdar/İstanbul, Turkey