Professor Doron Bauer has been named the inaugural Center for Spain in America Fellow in Residence at The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. He will spend the fall semester in Williamstown, MA working on his next project, “Cities Upon Cities: The Reconquista and the Colonization of the Aesthetic.” His project examines the Occidentalization-Christianization of Islamic cities in Iberia and Africa after the Christian conquest as manifested in changes to the cities’ public monuments, private spaces, urban fabric, and material culture. He will pursue a comparative approach to mapping and analyzing the various modalities of aesthetic colonization of conquered Islamic cities, examining the process of aesthetic colonization from medieval military conquest to the present. The city, with all its material manifestations, will serve as the primary unit of analysis. The project’s overarching goal is to explore the relation between identity and aesthetic regimes in multicultural societies and to inform discussions on the preservation of heritage in Iberia and beyond.
Above, a sixteenth-century engraving of the city of Ceuta on the north coast of Africa, from Georg Braun’s Civitates Orbis Terrarum, showing the conversion of former Islamic religious sites into Christian places of worship. The fall of Islamic Ceuta in 1415 marks the incursion of the Portuguese Empire into Africa. The Great Mosque, visible at center under the caption Templum Summum, was converted by the conquerors into a cathedral, while a nearby madrasa was fashioned into another church (under the caption S. Iacobi).