History of the Book Lecture: Debra Higgs Strickland

Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
History of the Book Program
Thursday, May 3, 2012

5:30 p.m.

The Prophet Muhammad in Late Medieval Christian Manuscripts

Debra Higgs Strickland, University of Glasgow

This paper will examine a small selection of portraits of the Prophet Muhammad found in different types of illuminated manuscripts produced by Christian artists during the later middle ages. The focus will be on text-image relationships in order to observe to what extent the portraits addressed the same concerns expressed in their accompanying texts as well as in other contemporary polemical literature and popular Christian belief familiar to their manuscript audiences. Of particular interest is pictorial inconsistency: that there was no fixed iconography for the Prophet in Western Christian art of this period raises the question as to whether the very instability of representation served important cultural and theological purposes that were uniquely served by their manuscript contexts, and it also troubles the truism that medieval illuminators relied slavishly on pictorial models.

A reception will follow the lecture.

This program is free and open to the public, but registration in advance is required. Register online here. 

Faculty and graduate students of Center for Renaissance Studies consortium institutions may be eligible to apply for travel funds to attend CRS programs or to do research at the Newberry Library. Each member university sets its own policies and deadlines; contact your Representative Council member in advance for details.

Learn more about the Center for Renaissance Studies’ History of the Book Lectures.