Yasser Tabbaa, Independent Scholar
Discussion with Laura Kurgan and Avinoam Shalem
Part of the Disrupting Unity and Discerning Ruptures: Focus Aleppo lecture series, Co-Sponsored by Department of Art History, Middle East Institute, GSAPP Historic Preservation Program and Center for Spatial Research.
Since receiving his PhD from New York University in 1982, Yasser Tabbaa has taught Islamic art and architecture for more than 30 years at several research universities in the US and the Middle East. Working at the juncture of architecture, social history, religion, and aesthetics, Tabbaa has written books and articles on Islamic architecture, ornament, and calligraphy, including Constructions of Power and Piety in Medieval Aleppo (Penn State Press, 1997) and The Transformation of Islamic Art during the Sunni Revival (U. Washington Press, 2001). He has also published several articles on Islamic gardens and poetics. His most recent book is Najaf: The Gate of Wisdom (UNESCO, 2014), and he is currently directing a similar project on the city and monuments of Samarra and preparing a book on Shiʿi shrine architecture.