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Dr Elizabeth Key Fowden

Dr Elizabeth Key Fowden

Gerda Henkel Stiftung Senior Researcher, FAMES

Senior Research Associate, Impact of the Ancient City,

Faculty of Classics

Subject groups/Research projects

Arabic & Persian Studies:

Research Interests

Eastern Mediterranean and West Asia, material cultures and religious transitions, late antiquity to the early modern period. 

Sparked by an early interest in Renaissance Italy, Elizabeth Fowden studied Classics, specializing in late antique history and material culture in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East. Her PhD thesis, supervised by Peter Brown at Princeton University and later published as The Barbarian Plain: Saint Sergius between Rome and Iran (Berkeley 1999), examines religious, political and architectural crosspollination in late antique and early Islamic Syria. The after-life of artistic forms and religious ideas freed from their original contexts is a dominant theme throughout her teaching and research. In her current book project, The Parthenon Mosque, Fowden applies her interest in Islamic re-formulation of the Classical and Christian inheritance to the early modern conjunction of Greek, European and Ottoman views of Athens’ most celebrated building. 

From 2016-2021, Fowden is Senior Research Associate on the ERC-funded project 'Impact of the Ancient City' with Andrew Wallace-Hadrill (PI), Classics, and Amira Bennison (Advisory Board), FAMES.

Key Publications

Schreine und Banner : Paläomuslime und ihr materielles Erbe’, in A. Neuwirth, N. Schmidt and N. K. Schmid, Denkraum Spätantike. Szenarien der Reflexion von Antike im Umfeld des Koran (Wiesbaden 2016)

‘Rural converters among the Arabs’, in A. Papaconstantinou, N. McLynn and D. Schwartz, (edd.), Conversion in late antiquity: Christianity, Islam and beyond (Farnham 2015)

‘The lamp and the wine flask: Early Muslim interest in Christian monasticism’, in A. Akasoy, J.E. Montgomery and P. Pormann (edd.), Islamic crosspollinations: Interactions in the Medieval Middle East (Cambridge 2007) 1-28 
Studies on Hellenism, Christianity and the Umayyads (with Garth Fowden), (Athens 2004)

The Barbarian Plain: Saint Sergius between Rome and Iran (Berkeley, 1999)

See more here (link to list of publications)