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Hybrid histories: a framework for rethinking 'Islamic' architecture

Rashid, Md. Mizanur and Bartsch, Katharine (2012) Hybrid histories: a framework for rethinking 'Islamic' architecture. In: 29th Annual Conferenze of the Society of Architectural Historians Australia & New Zealand (Fabulation SAHANZ XXIX 2012), 5th-8th July 2012, University of Tasmania, Launceston, Australia.

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The Adelaide Mosque (1888-1889), the first urban mosque built in Australia, was founded by Afghan cameleers whose contribution to the exploration of Australia’s vast desert interior is largely untold. The cultural significance of the mosque is recognised locally and it is identified as “one of the few relics of Afghan immigration to South Australia and embodies in built form Afghan and Mohammedan culture which is otherwise not significantly represented” (City of Adelaide Heritage Study Item No. 159, Adelaide Mosque file, Heritage South Australia). However, despite this recognition, this unadorned bluestone structure has failed to draw the attention of architectural historians in surveys of ‘Islamic’ architecture. The scope of recent surveys in this field is increasingly inclusive. However, very few studies focus on the architecture of Muslim communities in regions where Islam is not the predominant faith, especially in the southern hemisphere. The Adelaide Mosque, and many others, is excluded from the historical record despite the instrumental role it played in the life of Muslim settlers. This absence raises questions about gaps, or histories untold, as well as myths received, in histories of ‘Islamic’ architecture that raise questions about the truth-value of the past. There is a need to examine hybridised forms and shared architectural narratives to counter the myopic but persistent representation—or fabulation—of supposedly authentic, largely Arab-centric, forms of ‘Islamic’ architecture. This paper argues, then, that new theoretical frameworks are required to interpret this architectural hybrid that is, we argue, typical rather than exceptional. Through a case study of the Adelaide Mosque, this paper critically re-examines the reductive but pervasive conceptions of ‘Islamic’ Architecture that obscure the historical processes of hybridization and its diverse morphological outcomes to comprehend the process of resilience and assimilation through which architecture is shaped in a particular context.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Full Paper)
Additional Information: 6447/30121
Uncontrolled Keywords: Islamic Architecture, Hybrid Architecture, Australian Muslim Pioneer, Adelaide Mosque
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DU Oceania (South Seas)
N Fine Arts > NA Architecture > NA190 History
Kulliyyahs/Centres/Divisions/Institutes (Can select more than one option. Press CONTROL button): Kulliyyah of Architecture and Environmental Design > Department of Architecture
Depositing User: Dr Md Mizanur Rashid
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2013 11:26
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2013 18:38
URI: http://irep.iium.edu.my/id/eprint/30121

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