Edinburgh Research Explorer

Dr Glaire Anderson

Senior Lecturer in Islamic Art

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Willingness to take PhD students: Yes

Early/medieval Islamic art, architecture, visual culture, material culture

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor in Philosophy, MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Glaire D. Anderson is an historian of Islamic arts and architecture during the age of the caliphs (650-1250), with a focus on Umayyad Córdoba and the western Mediterranean in the ninth and tenth centuries.

She is author of The Islamic Villa in Early Medieval Iberia: Aristocratic Estates and Court Culture in Umayyad Córdoba (Ashgate, 2013), and 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). 

Anderson 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 and she has served on the Historians of Islamic Art Association (HIAA) Executive Board.

Her second monograph, A Caliphal Daedalus, focuses on the ninth-century Cordoban polymath 'Abbas Ibn Firnas and early Islamic science and visual culture.



  • 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
  • Córdoba and Constantinople: Exchange and Competition Between the Umayyad and Byzantine Courts, together with Niels Gaul, A.G. Leventis Professor of Byzantine Studies (HCA)


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.

Research outputs

  1. The Islamic West, 700-1400: North Africa, Spain and Italy

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contribution

  2. Aristocratic residences and the majlis in Umayyad Córdoba

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

View all (19) »

Research activities & awards

  1. Studies in Iconography (Journal)

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPublication peer-review

  2. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (Journal)

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPublication peer-review

  3. Leeds International Medieval Congress

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

View all (7) »

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