2Centre for Asian and Middle Eastern Architecture (CAMEA), University of Adelaide, , Australia
The mixed-methods research approach remains central to the writing of cultural histories. Within this framework, experts recommend employing interdisciplinary methodologies to incorporate historical evidence, new analytical themes, experimental techniques, and concepts. However, discussions on gender and the role of women remain clearly under-represented. In using the abundant images of women in Persian miniatures, this paper suggests how this valuable documentation could bolster social, behavioural, and gender studies, compensating for the scarcity of written documents about women in the official sources. By investigating the visual representations of women in architectural spaces and settings in pre-modern and medieval Persian painting, the study first seeks to discern the social, spatial and cultural implications of such imageries. Thereafter, it suggests how the socio-cultural associations of these paintings would contribute to shaping a better future, one re-envisioning gender’s changing role and socio-spatial settings within the broader span of human experience. The lack of acquaintance with the visual language of Persian miniatures and the absence of an analytical method remain obstacles for decoding the spatial settings in such images. The research introduces a visual analytical method which provides a tool to decode the ambiguous spatial arrangements, that advance the iconographical analysis and expedites the socio-historical studies.
Sareh Abooali completed her Bachelors Degree in Visual Arts and a Masters Degree in Islamic Art History. Sareh is currently a final year PhD candidate at the Centre for Asian and Middle Eastern Architecture (CAMEA) University of Adelaide (Australia). Her research interests include Islamic Art and Architecture, the Viewer and the Gaze, Multifocal Perspectives, Gender, and Persian Miniature Painting.