Alain George is Senior Lecturer in History of Art at the University of Edinburgh, and specialises in the arts of the Islamic world. Before coming to Edinburgh, he studied at the London School of Economics and the University of Oxford, where he completed his DPhil in 2006.
His research, for which he was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize in 2010, encompasses several intersecting themes. He has extensively published about early Qur’anic calligraphy (7th to 10th centuries), its development and principles. His research on manuscripts also extends to the earliest Arabic illustrated books (12th to 14th centuries), their relation to social life and literary performance.
At present, he is working on a book about the Great Mosque of Damascus, one of the great monuments of Islam, built less than a century after the death of the Prophet. He is seeking to retrace the background for its construction, its relation to the Christians in contemporary society and its complex meaning within the nascent empire of Islam.
Alain is also preparing two catalogues of Qur'an manuscripts and calligraphy, one for the Al-Sabah Collection in Kuwait, and the other for Dar El-Nimer in Beirut.
Alain George normally teaches the following courses:
Art and Architecture in Islam (622-1300), first-year lecture series delivered as part of the introductory course History of Art 1
Miniatures, Frescoes, Icons: the figural arts in the Islamic world (622-1500), third-year Honours course
Between Byzantium and China: The Rise of Islamic Art, fourth-year Honours course
Mosques, Palaces and Gardens in the Golden Age of Islam, MSc option course
He welcomes enquiries from prospective PhD students working on Islamic art, particularly Qur'anic manuscripts, calligraphy and Umayyad art and architecture.
Early Islamic Art and Architecture; Qur'an Manuscripts; Islamic Calligraphy and Book Painting