Before Orientalism: The “images” of Islam (15th-17th c.) and their Mediterranean Connections

Event Date: 
18 May 2017 to 19 May 2017

Fundación BBVA, Madrid.



Call for Papers


In recent years, the study of religious otherness has experienced a significant surge. Regarding the perception of Islam in Europe, the Romantic dichotomous vision between the orientalist attraction and the rejection and hatred is being left behind. The purpose of this conference is to analyse, from an interdisciplinary perspective, which conceptions or images of Islam were developed, from the end of the Middle Ages to the decline of the Austria dynasty in the Iberian Peninsula and other Mediterranean enclaves closely connected to the Hispanic Crown. The aim of this event is to analyse the stereotypes, which have traditionally limited historical studies; and also, the dissociation between the imaged produced by literature and the visual discourses of several social strata which were in closer contact with Islam.


The topics addressed during the conference will be:

  • How the (literary and visual) image of Islam was created and developed in the Iberian Peninsula during the 15th to 17th centuries.
  • What are the convergences and divergences between the spheres of the letters and the arts?
  • The value of stereotypes in the building of the image and identity of Muslims.
  • The weight of 19th century literary and artistic historiography in the blurring of the Medieval and Modern images of religious otherness.
    The contribution of 16th and 17th orientalist images in the later construction of 19th century orientalism.
  • Is it possible to elaborate a cartography of the representations of Muslims in the different Hispanic territories?
  • Was there an invisible Islam? How was it materialized?


Abstracts submitted must be of maximum 500 words in Spanish, English, Italian or French, together with a brief summary of the research record of the author, and main publications. Deadline is 1 February, 2017. Acceptance of papers will be communicated by February 10. The papers must be submitted to Oral communications will be 15-20 minutes. The registration fee is €50. Registration includes both attendance and publication of the texts (once approved by peer review procedure). To participate in the publication it is necessary to attend the conference to present the paper. News related to this conference will be published in

Submission date for papers: 
01 Feb 2017