Lovers of the Rose: Islamic Affect and the Politics of Commemoration in Turkish Museal Display

Forskningsoutput: Kapitel i bok/rapport/Conference proceedingKapitel samlingsverkForskningPeer review


This chapter explores Hilye-i Şerif, the calligraphic description of the Prophet Muhammad—and its significance in current Turkish politics. With roots in Ottoman literature, art and Prophet devotion, this genre is currently witnessing a striking artistic innovativeness. Under the theme of Aşk-ı Nebi (Love for the Prophet), several public exhibitions have been organised within recent, state-run mevlid-festivals, commemorating the birth of the Prophet. Here, a recurring motif has been ‘the Rose of Muhammad’, symbolically compounding Muhammad’s human nature and prophethood. The calligraphic art hence is associated with devotional and mystic traditions. Bodily-masculine, floral-symbolic and textual-Quranic references creatively intersect in visual/devotional objects of memory, affect and desire.

Concomitantly, the revival of calligraphic art carries political overtones. The exhibitions of devotional art have been orchestrated in central memory-sites such as Hagia Sophia and the Topkapı Palace Museum—contributing to the current sacralization of Turkish memory institutions and public-urban space. With a theoretical point of departure in new museology, nationalism, and memory studies, this chapter discusses the revitalisation of Turkish devotional art exhibition as part and parcel of a memory-political claim of the Ottoman heritage under the auspices of the AKP government. Empirically, it explores the broader political aspects of the museal-devotional landscape of Istanbul and probes into the textual and symbolic detail of contemporary Hilye-i Şerif calligraphy.
Titel på värdpublikationNeo-Ottoman Imaginaries in Contemporary Turkey
RedaktörerCatharina Raudvere
FörlagPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (elektroniskt)978-3-031-08023-4
ISBN (tryckt)978-3-031-08022-7
StatusPublished - 2023


NamnModernity, Memory and Identity in South-East Europe
FörlagPalgrave Macmillan
ISSN (tryckt)2523-7985
ISSN (elektroniskt)2523-7993

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Statsvetenskap
  • Religionshistoria

Fria nyckelord

  • Turkey, museums, nationalism, Islam, Ottoman, calligraphy, hilye-i şerif


Utforska forskningsämnen för ”Lovers of the Rose: Islamic Affect and the Politics of Commemoration in Turkish Museal Display”. Tillsammans bildar de ett unikt fingeravtryck.

Citera det här