Glaire Anderson


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Students are welcome to contact me with proposals. Besides my core areas of expertise in the medieval Islamic west, current areas of interest include global encounters, collections and display, science and visual culture, and digital humanities

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Personal profile


Glaire D. Anderson is an historian of Islamic visual culture during the age of the caliphs (650-1250), with a focus on early Islamic Iberia and the western Mediterranean.

An advocate for the power of Islamic visual culture to reveal a more diverse and interconnected global history, she is dedicated to making Islamic visual culture and history widely accessible through the education, GLAM (galleries, libraries, achives, and museums), and gaming industries. She founded and directs the Digital Lab for Islamic Visual Culture & Collections, which explores new visualization and mixed reality technologies to create immersive experiences of premodern Islamic spaces and objects. 

Her research has focused on court architecture and luxury objects, gender and patronage,  global connections between Islamic and non-Islamic societies, and digital tools for Islamic art history.  Anderson's first book explored the suburban villas of Córdoba during the reign of the Umayyad dynasty (756-1031 CE). Her second monograph considers science and visual culture through the career of a ninth-century Cordoban polymath celebrated today for an experiment in early human flight. 

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



  • The Arts in the Age of the Great Caliphs
  • Stars, Robots, and Talismans: Science, Magic, and Medieval Islamic Visual Culture


  • Around 900: The Early Islamic West in a Global Context 

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.

Education/Academic qualification

History, Theory & Criticism of Architecture/ Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture, Doctor in Philosophy, MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

External positions

Editorial Board, Amsterdam University Press (Late Antique and Early Medieval Iberia Series)

2016 → …


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