PhD Candidate; Islamic Art, Diversity & Inclusion Committee Member; HAA, Travel Grant Committee Member; GSHAAA


İkbal’s dissertation investigates Safavid and Mughal discourses around the legitimacy of figural images roughly between 1540-1640, which she tackles in their widest resonances—from the question of Islamic iconoclasm, to orchestrations of the emperor’s body as an object of devotion, to the poetic metaphor of the idol for the beloved, and its pictorial representations. İkbal’s scrutiny of such diverse materials reveals that Safavid and Mughal artists and intellectuals formulated the painter’s agency and legitimacy through a subversive appropriation of Islamic juridical stances on the figural image, and within a competitive framework over a politicized global artistic landscape. Her master’s thesis, completed in 2016 at Boğaziçi University, focused on early modern Persianate manuscripts of Nizami Khamsas.

Research Interests:

  • Safavid and Mughal painting
  • History of arts of the book in early modern Muslim lands
  • Theories of art

Dissertation in Progress:
“The Moral Economy of Safavid and Mughal Manuscript and Album Painting, c. 1540-1640”

Diversity & Inclusion Committee Member, History of Art & Architecture Department
Travel Grant Committee Member, Graduate Student History of Art & Architecture Association

Student-Faculty Liaison, Graduate Student History of Art & Architecture Association

Senior Editor, SEQUITUR

Junior Editor, SEQUITUR