College of Letters & Science

Jennifer Pruitt

Jennifer Pruitt
Office Hours
Thursdays, 11:00-1:00 and by appointment

Jennifer Pruitt

Assistant Professor
Ph.D. Harvard University, 2009
M.A. Harvard University, 2005
B.A. Smith College, 1997
Research Interests
I specialize in medieval Islamic architecture, with a particular focus on Fatimid Egypt (909-1171). My current book project investigates the architecture of the Fatimids, centering its discussion around a medieval enigma – the patronage of the “mad” caliph, al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah (r. 996-1021). I am particularly interested in what architecture meant to the multi-confessional populations (Muslims, Christians, Jews) of the medieval Islamic world; how architecture was used as a form of political legitimacy in a period of rival caliphs; and how we might talk about destruction as a productive aspect of architectural patronage.

My other interests include artistic production in the wake of the Arab Spring; the re-imagining of the “medieval” in contemporary arts in the Middle East; and architectural patronage in the Arabian Gulf.

“Method in Madness: Reconsidering Church Destructions in the Fatimid Era,” Muqarnas 30 (2013) 119-139.

“Miracle at Muqattam: Moving a Mountain to Build a Church in the Early Fatimid Caliphate (969-995),”Sacred Precincts: Non-Muslim Religious Sites 
in Islamic Territories, edited by Mohammad Gharipour and Stephen Caffey, Boston: Brill (forthcoming).

AH 305: Islamic Art and Architecture
AH 413: Art in the Age of the Caliphs
AH 440: Art and Power in the Arab World
AH 515/815: Cross-Cultural Encounters in Islamic Art