Professor Finbarr Barry Flood
William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of the Humanities
Institute of Fine Arts and College of Arts and Sciences, New York University
London, 14 June 2017, 5:30 pm
London WC1H 0AB
Admission free; please register for this event through the Events section of the School of Advanced Study (SAS) here.
Among the most celebrated relics of the Prophet Muhammad was his sandal. Tracings made from the most famous sandal relic, kept in Damascus, were believed to circulate the blessings (baraka) of the Prophet. These indexes of the relic as outline were often copied in their turn, generating an enchained series that enabled the sandal and its blessings to travel well beyond the site of the relic’s enshrinement. This tradition continued into modernity, when new print technologies were applied to the reproduction of the sandal image. Such images raise significant questions about mediation and the ontology of the devotional image in modernity.