Job title: Senior Lecturer in Islamic Art, History of Art


Office address: Room 0.46, Higgitt Gallery, Hunter Building

Contact time: Anderson is on research sabbatical during Fall term 2021

Research outputs: Dr Glaire Anderson on Edinburgh Research Explorer

​Glaire D. Anderson is an historian of medieval Islamic visual culture during the age of the caliphs (650-1250), with a focus on the early Islamic west. Her research has focused on the early Islamic West, gender and patronage,  global connections between Islamic and non-Islamic societies, and digital tools for Islamic art history.

She is the founder of the Digital Lab for Islamic Visual Culture & Collections. The mission of the Lab is to transform approaches to research and teaching in Islamic Visual Culture (encompassing architecture, art, and material culture) by engaging with broader digital initiatives in art history, the humanities, and the sciences. The Lab is particularly focused on digital visualization and mixed reality technologies for teaching and learning Islamic visual culture, but welcomes diverse approaches that apply digital initiatives from other fields.   

Anderson is an award-winning author of The Islamic Villa in Early Medieval Iberia: Aristocratic Estates and Court Culture in Umayyad Córdoba (Ashgate, 2013) and numerous articles and essays. She is currently revising a second monograph that focuses on the ninth-century Cordoban polymath 'Abbas Ibn Firnas - celebrated for an early experiment in human flight - and medieval Islamic science and visual culture. She is also co-editor of The Aghlabids and Their Neighbors (Brill, 2018) and Revisiting al-Andalus: Perspectives on the Material Culture of Islamic Iberia and Beyond (Brill, 2007). 

She received her PhD from the History, Theory & Criticism of Architecture/Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at MIT. Her work has been recognised by the American Council of Learned Societies, the College Art Association, the Society of Architectural Historians, and the Association for Spanish & Portuguese Historical Studies, among others. She has served on the Historians of Islamic Art Association (HIAA) Executive Board and currently serves as an International Associate on the Board of Directors of the International Center of Medieval Art (ICMA).


​Anderson's courses explore Islamic architecture and visual culture during the caliphal age (roughly 650-1250 CE), the Islamic West in a global context, digital Islamic art history, and science and Islamic visual culture.

As well as teaching on programmes at Edinburgh College of Art, Anderson teaches on the MSc in Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine Studies in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology.

Anderson's research has focused on Córdoba and the early Islamic West, gender and patronage,  global connections between Islamic and non-Islamic societies, and digital tools for Islamic art history. Current interests include diversifying gaming and digital cultural heritage, mixed reality technologies to create immersive experiences of spaces and objects for teaching and entertainment, and Islamic visual culture of the Philippines.


Current PhD students

PhD Supervision Topics

Accepting applications.

  • Islamic visual culture (architecture, objects, material culture)
  • Digital Islamic art history & heritage
  • Premodern global encounters/exchange
  • Islamic visual culture, Philippines and Southeast Asia