Idiosyncratic narratives : mudéjar architecture and its historiography in Spain

Özkan Altınöz, Meltem
The Iberian Peninsula has witnessed the emergence of an architectural style called Mudéjar, whose origin and practice is still subject to discussion. It appeared in the 11th century after the Christian Reconquista - reconquest (conquest over Muslims) in the Iberian Peninsula by the Catholic Kingdoms. Yet, as far back as the 8th century Islamic, Christian and Jewish tastes intermingled in the same location to influence what was to become known as the Mudéjar artistic style. The studies that define Mudéjar origins and character were mostly conducted by Spanish scholars. While a group of these scholars explain that Mudéjar origins have Islamic roots, another emphasizes its Christian aspects. However, recent researches have altered former classifications concentrating on geographical facts in addition to cultural varieties. With these enhancements of our knowledge, it is necessary to review the accumulation of earlier works on architectural history on Mudéjar to the 20th century. An evaluation will help us to identify the obscurities associated with Mudéjar and clarify the conceptual and terminological tools in histories related to it. The main focus of the dissertation is to investigate Mudéjar in Spanish architectural historiography. How this particular writing of history interacted with the political agenda and who actively shaped its discourse, are the topics that merit the subdivisions to make them clear. Using versatile methodologies, the study unearths the character of Spanish architectural historiography, which has occasionally confused Mudéjar identity or produced different narratives to account for Mudéjar existence. From the analytical investigation of the publications, a number of graphic illustrations are produced. These graphic illustrations and the analyses of survey books demonstrate that Mudéjar studies have a mainly regional character and were mostly undertaken by Spanish scholars until the 21th century. These works demonstrate a strong Hispanic and Spanishness condition, yet they also produced anachronisms in Spanish art and architectural history. Consequently, this thesis reveals the fact that there are a great number of publications that construct or reconstruct Hispanidad, Coexistence (Convivencia), Spanishness, and Iberianness notions, which by and large reveal idiosyncratic narratives with their Mudéjar formulations.


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Citation Formats
M. Özkan Altınöz, “Idiosyncratic narratives : mudéjar architecture and its historiography in Spain,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2013.