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Shireen EL Kassem

Shireen EL Kassem, M.A.
Department of Islamic Studies and Middle Eastern Languages, University of Bonn

PhD Project
Title: Mamluk textiles: changing patterns in Mamluk clothing and its impact in the Mediterranean

Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Bethany Walker, University of Bonn and Prof. Scott Redford, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London

Since October 2016:
PhD Student in the structured doctorate programme 'Bonn International Graduate Schools – Oriental and Asian Studies (BIGS-OAS)'; Doctoral Fellow at the Annemarie Schimmel Kolleg (October 2016–September 2017, Bonn).

School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Degree: M.A. in History of Art and Architecture of the Islamic Middle East. Topic of thesis: ‘Mamluk helmets reconsidered: a Study of Islamic Helmets before and during the Mamluk period’ (supervised by Prof. Doris Behrens-Abouseif).

School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Degree: Postgraduate Asian Art Course Diploma. Courses included: Indian, Chinese and Islamic arts.

Paris-Sorbonne University (Paris IV). Degree: BA in History of Art and Archaeology.

2007 - 2009:
Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris. Degree: Graduate Degree in clarinet studies.

2004 - 2007:
Conservatoire National de Région de Paris. Degree: Graduate Degree in music studies.

Professional experience
April 2015– October 2016:
The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, assistant curator.

Grants and Awards

  • 2016–2017: Fellowship at the Annemarie Schimmel Kolleg (Bonn)
  • 2012–2013: Scholarship- Postgraduate Asian Art Course Diploma (SOAS)

Presentations and Lectures (given)

  • The Royal Asiatic Society: ‘Mamluk helmets (1250–1517): new perspectives’, 21 June 2016, London.

Conferences and Courses (attended)

  • Webinar initiative in Islamic Material Culture (October 2016–January2017).
  • Courtauld Institute of Art: ‘Regionality: looking for the local in the arts of Islam’. Fifth Biennial Symposium of the Historians of Islamic art association, 20–22 October 2016, London.
  • Annemarie Schimmel Kolleg: ‘Environmental Methods in Mamluk and Islamic Studies’. Spring School, 14–18 March 2016, Bonn.
  • The Biennial Yarshater lecture series ‘In the Rays of Light of Imperial Favour’: The Visual Arts of Early Fifteenth-Century Timurid Herat’, by Dr. David Roxburgh, 15–20 January, 2015, SOAS, London.
  • Conferences ‘Reflections on Qurtūba in the 21st Century’, 22 May–19 June 2014, London.
  • The Aga Khan University: ‘Archaeology of Warfare in Muslim Cultures’. Courses included: Military Architecture and Arms and Armour. March 15–16 2014, London.
  • Islamic Art Symposium: ‘God if the Light of the Heavens and the Earth: Light in Islamic Art and Culture’. November 9–11 2013, Palermo.
  • Khalili Research Center- Oxford University: ‘The Umayyad Qusūr- New Perspectives’. October 25– 26 2013, Oxford.


  • Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society, London (since 19th of July, 2013).
  • Member of the Oriental Ceramic Society, London (May 2014- November 2015).
  • Member of the Historians of Islamic Art Association (since 20th of February, 2014).
  • Islamic Art Circle, London (since October 2012–September 2016).

Linguistic skills

  • Czech (native speaker)
  • English (fluent spoken and written)
  • French (fluent spoken and written)
  • Arabic (advanced)
  • Italian (intermediate)
  • German (beginner)