Julia Gonnella will be coming to speak at the Trehan Lecture in the Arts of the Islamic World on Tuesday, February 14, 2012. Her talk is entitled “From the Inside Out! The Mamluk Throne Hall of the Citadel of Aleppo, Syria.”

Dr. Julia Gonnella is Curator at the Museum of Islamic Art (SMPK) in Berlin, and also teaches Islamic Art in Berlin and Bamberg. She received her B.A. and M.A. from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, and was awarded her Ph.D. by the University of Tübingen in 1994. Her main fields of interest are the Art and Archaeology of the Early and Medieval Middle East. In conjunction with these research interests, she directs the Islamic section of the Syrian-German excavations on the Citadel of Aleppo. Among her publications are: “Heroische Zeiten. Tausend Jahre persisches Buch der Könige” (Editor), “Columns & Hieroglyphs: Magic Spolia in Medieval Islamic Architecture of Northern Syria” in Muqarnas (2010), Angels, Peonies and Fabulous Creatures: The Aleppo Room from Berlin (Co-editor, 2008), Die Zitadelle von Aleppo und der Tempel des Wettergottes (with Wahid Khayata and Kay Kohlmeyer, 2005).

The Throne Hall on the Citadel of Aleppo is the only remaining example of this kind of official Mamluk palatial architecture that has survived until today. However, it was not commissioned by a sultan, but rather by a little-known officer, Jakam b. Iwad (d. 1407), who had gained power in Northern Syria after Timur’s invasion and proclaimed himself sultan for a very short time. The unusually massive cubic structure above the citadel’s entrance, complete with a magnificent ceremonial window, radically changed the palatial imagery of the citadel. The emphasis had now shifted from the interior of the fortification to the exterior, where the throne hall became the focus of official ceremonial culture. This lecture will discuss the fundamental visual and ceremonial shift within this medieval fortress and will follow up with reasons that led to this development. It will also introduce some of the archaeological work carried out by the Syrian-German excavation team on the citadel hill over the last years.

Light refreshments will be served at 5:45 pm. The presentation will begin at 6:00 pm.

RSVP is required. Please click on the registration link at the bottom of this page or contact academicevents@bgc.bard.edu.

PLEASE NOTE that our Lecture Hall can only accommodate a limited number of people, so please come early if you would like to have a seat in the main room. We also have overflow seating available; all registrants who arrive late will be seated in the overflow area.