Thomas Leisten will be coming to speak in the Trehan Seminar in the Arts of the Islamic World Wednesday, October 28, 2009 on: “Changing Attitudes Towards Power and Palaces: Architecture Between Umayyad ‘Desert Castles’ and Abbasid Urban Imperial Palaces.”

Dr. Leisten is currently Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University where he has taught since 2000. He received his BA, MA and PhD from Eberhardt-Karls-Universität in Tübingen, Germany. He has taught courses in Islamic art, architecture and archeology at Eberhard-Karls-Universität and Harvard University and from 2006 to 2007 he was the Academic Director of the Berlin Consortium for German Studies at Freie Universität in Berlin. Professor Leisten is the Senior Advisor in Archaeology for the Qatar Museums Authority, Co-Director and Islamic specialist at the excavation of Jurash, Saudi Arabia, and Director of the excavation at Balis, Syria; a cooperative project between Princeton University, Tübingen University, and the Syrian Directorate of Antiquities.

Professor Leisten is the author of four books: Beiheft des Tübinger Atlas des Vorderen Orients zu Karte B VII 6, with H. Gaube (Wiesbaden, 1993); Die Gärten des Islam, with H. Forkl, J. Kalter and M. Pavaloi (Stuttgart, 1994); Architektur für Tote. Bestattung in architektonischem Kontext in den islamischen Kernlandern zwischen 3./9. und 5./11. Jh, (Berlin, 1998); and The Architecture of Samarra: Results of the German Excavation in Samarra 1911-13, vol. 1: The First Campaign 1910-12 (Mainz, 2003). He is currently working on, The Façade of Mshatta in the Images of Ernst Rudolf Brunnow, with Andrew Hershberger, Shari Kenfield and Kirk Alexander.

Please join us in the Lecture Hall at 38 West 86th Street, between Columbus Ave and Central Park West, at 5:45pm for a reception before the talk.