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Cities, Ceremonial and Power in the Maghrib. Prof Amira Bennison

This long-term project traces the evolution of a particular ‘language of power’ in the Maghrib with a focus on Morocco and Islamic Iberia and western Algeria where relevant. It will explore how dynasties in these regions represented themselves to their subjects in order to trace the evolution of a western Islamic pattern of legitimation from the eighth century CE to the early modern era. The areas covered will include urban planning and palace construction; public ceremonies and rites; and military progresses across the landscape. Its main contention is that these regions naturally partook of a wider Islamic language of power but that the precise way in which dynasties applied these notions and the genealogies they gave them had a distinct Maghribi colour, rooted in the historical and social specificities of the region.