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Mika M. Natif Faculty Member

Mika Natif is Associate Professor in the Art History program. She is a scholar of pre-Modern Islamic Art and Architecture, specializing in the intercultural exchanges between Islam and Early Christian, Byzantine, and European art and cultures. Her research explores how trans-cultural connections and global exchanges fostered the diverse and syncretic visual languages of Islamic Art, especially that of the Mughals. Focusing on the artistic traditions in India, Central Asia, Iran, and the Mediterranean, she is particularly intrigued by the long-distance connections that Muslim societies forged with the European sphere in the pre-Modern era. Natif’s work is grounded in the art historical methodology of close engagement with visual material as well as archival work and textual analysis of primary sources in Persian and Arabic. Her research on image-making in Islamic art has led Natif to explore topics related to body, love, and sexuality. These issues of gender and sexuality are the subject of her next book project, tentatively titled Women at the Mughal Courts: Patrons, artists, and subjects (1556-1658). Natif's publications and teaching place emphasis on trans-cultural connections, issues around image making and tension between religious and political authorities, and gender and sexuality in Persianate visual and literary traditions. She recently published her book titled Mughal Occidentalism: Artistic Encounters Between Europe and Asia at the Courts of India, 1580-1630 (Leiden: Brill, 2018), https://brill.com/view/title/38485 Also see Eros and Sexuality in Islamic Art (Surrey: Ashgate Publications, 2013). Co-authored and co-edited with Francesca Leoni. https://www.routledge.com/Eros-and-Sexuality-in-Islamic-Art-1st-Edition/Leoni-Natif/p/book/9781409464389

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