Marcus Milwright

Marcus Milwright
Position
Department Chair, Professor
Art History and Visual Studies
Contact
Office: Fine Arts 149
Credentials

MA (Edinburgh), DPhil (Oxford)

Area of expertise

Medieval Islamic art and archaeology

Areas of research

  • Islamic art and archaeology
  • Traditional craft practices in the Middle East
  • Cross-cultural interaction in the Medieval and early Modern Mediterranean
  • History of medicine

Brief biography

Marcus Milwright completed his DPhil at the Oriental Institute of the University of Oxford in 1999. He joined the Department of Art History and Visual Studies in 2002. His research focuses upon the archaeology of the Islamic period, the art and architecture of the Islamic Middle East, cross-cultural interaction in the Medieval and early Modern Mediterranean, the history of medicine, traditional craft practices, and the architecture and civil engineering of southern Greece during the Ottoman sultanate.

He is the author of The Queen of Sheba’s Gift: A History of the True Balsam of Matarea (Edinburgh University Press, 2021); Islamic Arts and Crafts: An Anthology (Edinburgh University Press, 2017); The Dome of the Rock and its Umayyad Mosaic Inscriptions, Edinburgh Studies in Islamic Art (Edinburgh University Press, 2016); An Introduction to Islamic Archaeology, The New Edinburgh Islamic Surveys (Edinburgh University Press, 2010); and The Fortress of the Raven: Karak in the Middle Islamic Period (1100-1600), Islamic History and Civilization, Studies and Texts 72 (Brill, 2008). He is also co-editor of Brill’s book series, Art and Archaeology of the Islamic World and serves on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Islamic Architecture and the Journal of Material Cultures in the Muslim World.

His articles have appeared in peer-reviewed journals including, Journal of Modern Craft, Word & Image, Mamluk Studies Review, Journal of Glass Studies, Bulletin d’Etudes Orientales, International Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies, MuqarnasTurcicaJournal of the Royal Asiatic SocietyPalestine Exploration QuarterlyLevantMedieval Ceramicsal-Rafidan, and the Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies. He has contributed to reference works, including The New Cambridge History of Islam (volumes 1 and 4), the Encyclopaedia of Islam Third Edition, Encyclopaedia Iranica, and Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology, and Sir Banister Fletcher’s Global History of Architecture. Twenty-first Edition. He has curated exhibitions, including, The Arts of World War I: Books, Prints, and Objects dating to the Period of the “Great War” (McPherson Library, University of Victoria, 2014-15); and Steel: A Mirror of Life in Pre-Modern Iran, at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (2001). 

He has created podcasts on art, architecture, and material culture:

https://gatewaytoart.uvic.ca/talking/

He is currently working on the publication of early Islamic ceramics excavated in the Syrian city of Raqqa. He has also developed and continues to manage a website devoted to the traditional crafts of Syria and Iraq:

http://craftsofsyria.uvic.ca

https://craftsofiraq.uvic.ca

Check out Marcus' many contributions on Gateway to Art:

 Gateway to Art

 

Selected Publications

Books

The Queen of Sheba’s Gift: A History of the True Balsam of Matarea, Edinburgh Studies in Classical Islamic History and Culture (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2021).

Middle Eastern Encounters: Collected Essays on Visual, Material, and Textual Interactions between the eighth and the twenty-first Centuries, Islamic History and Thought 21 (Piscataway NJ: Gorgias Press, 2020).

The Arts and Crafts of Syria and Egypt from the Ayyubids to World War I: Collected Essays, Islamic History and Thought 7 (Piscataway NJ: Gorgias Press, 2018).

Islamic Arts and Crafts: An Anthology (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017).

The Dome of the Rock and its Umayyad Mosaic Inscriptions, Edinburgh Studies in Islamic Art (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016).

An Introduction to Islamic Archaeology, The New Edinburgh Islamic Surveys (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2010).

The Fortress of the Raven: Karak in the Middle Islamic Period (1100-1600), Islamic History and Civilization. Studies and Texts 72 (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2008).

Islamic Arts and Crafts: An Anthology (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017).

 

Articles and Chapters

  • “Reviving the Past and confronting the Present: Crafts in Syria and Egypt, c. 1875–1925,” in Mariam Rosser-Owen, ed., special issue of the Journal of Modern Crafts 13.1 (2020), 7–21.
  • “The Manual Crafts and the Challenge of Modernity in late nineteenth-century Damascus,” in Margaret Graves and Alex Dika Seggerman, eds, Making Modernity in the Islamic Mediterranean (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2022), 139–54.
  • “Contextual Readings of religious Statements in early Islamic Inscriptions,” in Mette Bjerregaard Mortensen, Guillaume Dye, Isaac Oliver, and Tommaso Tesei, eds, The study of Islamic Origins: New Perspectives and Contexts, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – Tension, Transmission, and Transformation 15 (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2021), 275­–96.
  • “An Inscribed Jug from Raqqa: Scripture and the Expression of Identity,” in Melia Belli Bose, ed., Intersections: Visual Cultures of Islamic Cosmopolitanism, David A. Cofrin Asian Art Manuscript Series (Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 2021), 22–39.
  • “Rubbish, Recycling, and Repair: Perspectives on the Urban Crafts of the Islamic Middle East,” in Robert Hillenbrand, ed., The Making of Islamic Art: Studies in Honour of Sheila Blair and Jonathan Bloom, Edinburgh Studies in Islamic Art (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2021), 138–55.
  • “The Traditional Crafts of the Middle East and Central Asia in the Writings of European and North American Travellers,” in Evanthia Baboula and Leslie Jessop, eds, Art and Material Culture in the Byzantine and Islamic Worlds: Essays in Honour of Erica Cruikshank Dodd, Mediterranean Art Histories: Studies in Visual Cultures and Artistic Transfers from Late Antiquity to the Modern Period 4 (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2021), 238-64.
  • “Greater Syria and Iraq (Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates), 661–1258,” Sir Banister Fletcher’s Global History of Architecture. Twenty-first Edition, e Murray Fraser (London and New York: Royal Institute of British Architecture, University of London and Bloomsbury Visual Arts, 2020), I, 531–57.
  • “The martyred sultan: Tuman Bay II in André Thevet’s Les vrais pourtraits et vies des hommes illustrés (1584).” Word & Image 33.1 (2017), 1-17.
  • “Samarra and ‘Abbasid ornament.” In G. Neçipoğlu and F. B. Flood, eds, The Companion to Islamic Art and Architecture, Blackwell Companions to Art History (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2017), I, 177-96.
  • “An Ayyubid in Mamluk guise: The portrait of Saladin in Paolo Giovio’s, Elogia virorum bellica virtute illustrium (1575).” Mamluk Studies Review 18 (2014-15 [2016]), 187-217. http://mamluk.uchicago.edu/MSR_XVIII_2014-15_Milwright.pdf
  • “Glass and glassworking in Damascus during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.” Journal of Glass Studies 56 (2014), 201-17.
  • “An Arabic description of the activities of antiquities dealers in Late Ottoman Damascus.” Palestine Exploration Quarterly 143.1 (2011), 8-18.
  • (with Evanthia Baboula) “Damascene “trench art”: A note on Mamluk Revival metalwork in early twentieth-Century Syria.” Levant 46.3 (2014), 382-98.
  • “Trade and the Syrian hajj between the 12th and the early 20th centuries: Historical and archaeological perspectives.” In V. Porter and L. Saif, eds, The Hajj: Collected Essays, Research Publications 193 (London: British Museum Press, 2013), 28-35.
  • “Wood and woodworking in Late Ottoman Damascus: An analysis of the Qamus al-Sina‘at al-Šamiyya.” Bulletin d’Etudes Orientales 61 (2012), 547-68.
  • “Metalworking in Damascus at the end of the Ottoman period: An analysis of the Qamus al-Sina‘at al-Shamiyya.” In: V. Porter and M. Rosser-Owen (eds), Metalwork and Material Culture in the Islamic World: Art, Crafts and Text. Essays presented to James W. Allan (London: I B Tauris, 2012), 265-80.
  • “On the date of Paul Kahle’s Egyptian shadow puppets.” Muqarnas 28 (2011), 43-68.
  • ‘”Imprisonment and humiliation: A comparative examination of the representations of Saddam Hussein and Sultan Bayezid I.” International Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies 5.1 (2011), 113-30.
  • (with Evanthia Baboula) “Bayezid’s cage: A re-examination of a venerable academic controversy.” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, ser. 3, 21.3 (2011), 239-60. 
  • “Archaeology and material culture.” In: C. Robinson, ed., The New Cambridge History of Islam. Volume 1 (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 664-82.
  • “Islamic art and architecture.” in: R. Irwin, ed., The New Cambridge History of Islam. Volume 4 (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 682-742.
  • “The pottery of Ayyubid Jerusalem.” In: R. Hillenbrand and S. Auld, eds., Ayyubid Jerusalem: The Holy City in Context, 1187-1250, London: Altajir Trust (2009), 408-17. 
  • (with Evanthia Baboula) “Water on the ground: Water systems in two Ottoman Greek port cities.” In: S. Blair and J. Bloom, eds., Rivers of Paradise: Water in Islamic Art and Culture. New Haven and London: Yale University Press (2009), 213-38. 
  • “Written sources and the study of pottery in Ottoman Bilad al-Sham.” Al-Rafidan 30 (2009), 37-52.
  • “Imported pottery in Ottoman Bilad al-Sham.” Turcica 40 (2008), 121-52.
  • “Turquoise and black: Notes on an underglaze-painted stonepaste ware of the Mamluk period.” Palestine Exploration Quarterly, 140.3 (2008), 123-34.
  • “So despicable a vessel: Representations of Tamerlane in printed books of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.” Muqarnas, 23 (2006), 317-44.
  • “Reynald of Châtillon and Red Sea expedition of 1182-1183.” In: M. Yazigi and N. Christie, eds., Noble Ideals and Bloody Realities: Warfare in the Middle Ages, Leiden: E. J. Brill (2006), 230-55.
  • “Southern and Central Jordan in the Ayyubid period: Archaeological and historical perspectives.” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, ser.3, 16.1 (2006), 1-27. 
  • “‘Waves of the sea’: Responses to marble in written sources (9th-15th century).” In: B. O’Kane, ed., The Iconography of Islamic Art. Studies in Honour of Professor Robert Hillenbrand. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press (2005), 211-21.
  • “Modest luxuries: Decorated lead-glazed pottery in the south of Bilad al-Sham (thirteenth-fourteenth century).” Muqarnas 20 (2003), 85-111.
  • “The balsam of Matariyya: An exploration of a Medieval panacea.” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 66, no.2 (2003), 193-209.
  • “Fixtures and fittings: The role of decoration in Abbasid palace design.” In C. Robinson, ed., A Medieval Islamic City reconsidered: An interdisciplinary Approach to Samarra, Oxford Studies in Islamic Art 14. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2001), 79-109.
  • “Balsam in the Mediaeval Mediterranean: A case study of information and commodity exchange.” Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology 14.1 (2001), 3-23.
  • “Pottery in written sources of the Ayyubid-Mamluk period (c.567-923/1171-1517).” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 62.3 (1999), 504-18.

Selected media clips

Faces of UVic Research 

Interview about the WWI sketchbooks by J.M.

Recorded Lectures and Talks

Excerpt of a talk given in Doha in 2008

Talk given at Shangri La, Honolulu in 2012

https://gatewaytoart.uvic.ca/2022/04/12/blue-and-white/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYCmwJRnjco

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFtmWMYo0lU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVQg6LTAn-g

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lgb0D5ffqKs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WA9lg0fveR0