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.


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)

Binazir Hashimzade, Ibn Haldun University (Türkiye)

Elmin Aliyev (Head), Ankara University (Türkiye)

Emin Lelic, Salisbury University (USA)

Esra Çifci, Marmara University (Türkiye)

Ömer Faruk Yeni, Academic Studies Association (ILEM)

Semih Yakut, Istanbul University (Türkiye)

Suhair Aljahlani, ICYF

Şeyma Gülseren Dönmez (Secretariat), Academic Studies Association (ILEM)

Tuğba Ceren Cerci, ICYF

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

Yunus Çolak, Kırklareli University (Türkiye)

Yusuf Temizcan, Academic Studies Association (ILEM)


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)

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