Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

W.M. Watt Annual Lecture 2018 - Dr Linda Komaroff

For the fourth annual W.M. Watt Lecture at the University of Edinburgh, we are delighted to host Dr Linda Komaroff, Curator of Islamic Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

In the lecture, Dr Komaroff will talk about the upcoming pan-Islamic LACMA exhibition, Dining with the Sultan, which will span the eighth century onwards and include some 125 works of art representing a rich variety of media from three continents. She will discuss how food culture, in the form of feasting, was a fundamental activity at the great Islamic courts. The lecture will also explore new research within the field of Islamic art: how the contents of food vessels and their use dictated their ultimate appearance.

Whilst the focus remains on Islamic art, Dr Komaroff has diligently curated the exhibition so that it caters for all, bridging the East and West, past and present, through the universal lens of fine dining.

About IMES and W.M. Watt

Arabic has been taught at the University of Edinburgh for over 260 years, and today Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies (based in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures) is globally recognised as a leading centre in the field.

From his appointment as Lecturer in Arabic in 1947, until his retirement as Professor in 1979, William Montgomery Watt made an outstanding contribution both to Islamic scholarship and to the development of IMES.

His 'Free Will and Predestination in Early Islam' (1949) was the first of more than twenty books on Islamic subjects.

The inaugural Watt Lecture was launched in November 2015 to mark the 50th anniversary of Watt's Inaugural Lecture as the first Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies in Scotland. Previous speakers include Professor Nur Masalha (2017), Professor Maribel Fierro (2016), and Professor Carole Hillenbrand (2015).

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Related links

Read an interview with Dr Linda Komaroff on LACMA's website

Dining with the Sultan

W.M. Watt Annual Lecture 2018 - Dr Linda Komaroff

'Dining with the Sultan: Reflections on the Fine Art of Feasting at the Islamic Courts'. A lecture by Dr Linda Komaroff (Curator of Islamic Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art).

Lecture theatre (G.03)
50 George Square