Dr. Corisande Fenwick
Research Project: Building Islamic Ifrīqiya: Urban Aesthetics and the Economics of Architecture in the Aghlabid Period
The Aghlabid dynasty (800-909) of Ifrīqiya built some of the most spectacular buildings that survive from any period of North Africa’s history, and the most numerous. My project examines how and when this energetic, but often overlooked, ninth-century building programme transformed the appearance of North African towns and the role monumental construction played in the medieval economy. Building on my earlier work examining urban change in early medieval North Africa, while in Hamburg, I will complete a systematic analysis of building activity, construction techniques and building and decorative materials in ninth-century Ifrīqiya from both written and archaeological sources.
Corisande Fenwick is Associate Professor in Mediterranean Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology UCL. She is also Director of the British Institute for Libyan and Northern African Studies, one of eight British International Research Institutes sponsored by the British Academy. She received her PhD from Stanford University in 2013 and worked at Brown University and the University of Leicester before moving to UCL. Her current research focuses on empire and everyday life in the early Islamic world, particularly North Africa where she currently co-directs several collaborative excavation projects in Morocco and Tunisia. In 2022, she was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize in Archaeology.
Corisande is currently PI of the ERC-funded project EVERYDAY ISLAM- Becoming Muslim: Cultural Change, Everyday Life and State Formation in early Islamic North Africa (600-1000), Co-PI of the AHRC-DFG funded project ISLAMAFR: Conquest, Ecology and Economy in Islamic North Africa (with Moheddine Chaouali and Philipp von Rummel), Co-PI of the Society for Libyan Studies flagship project ‘Bulla Regia: Mobility, Identity and Community in Christian North Africa (with Moheddine Chaouali), Co-Director of the INSAP-UCL Medieval Volubilis Project (with Elizabeth Fentress and Hassan Limane) and Co-I of the AHRC funded OASCIV: The Making of Oasis Civilisation in the Moroccan Sahara (with David Mattingly, Youssef Bokbot and Martin Sterry). Prior to this, she was Co-PI of the British Council funded capacity-building project 'Training in Action' for members of the Tunisian and Libyan antiquities services. She co-ordinates the Islamic Archaeology Network and organises an annual Islamic Archaeology Day with SOAS which has become the main event for Islamic archaeologists in the UK and beyond.
Nikita, E., Alexander, M., Cox, S., Radini, A., Le Roux, P., Chaouali, M., and Fenwick, C. (2023) Isotopic evidence for human mobility in late antique Bulla Regia (Tunisia) Journal of Archaeological Sciences-Reports 47 (103816) doi: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2022.103816
Fenwick, C. (2022) ‘Conquest to Conversion: the archaeology of religious change in medieval North Africa’ Journal of Islamic Archaeology 9.2: 199–225. http://www.doi.org/10.1558/jia.25866
Fentress, E., Fenwick. C. and Limane, H. (2022) Urban life in early Islamic Morocco: new light from the excavations at Walīla (Roman Volubilis), Archaeology International 25,1: 111-31. doi: 10.14324/111.444.ai.2022.08
Fenwick, C., Dufton, A., Ardeleanu, S., Chaouali, M., Möller, H., Pagels, J., and von Rummel, P. (2022) ‘Urban transformation in the Central Medjerda Valley (north-west Tunisia) in late antiquity and the middle ages: a regional approach, Libyan Studies 53: 142-60 doi:10.1017/lis.2022.17
Fenwick, C. 2022. ‘How to Found an Islamic State: the Idrīsids and the rivals to the Abbasid Caliphate in the Far Islamic West’, In M.L.M van Berkel and L. Osti (eds.) The Islamic Historian at Work: Essays in Honour of Hugh N. Kennedy, Leiden: Brill: 91-116. doi.org/10.1163/9789004525245_006
Fenwick, C., Sterry, M., Mattingly, D.J., Rayne, L., Bokbot, Y, (2021) ‘A Medieval Boom in the Northwest Sahara: Evolving Oasis Landscapes in the Wadi Draa, Morocco (c.700-1500 AD)’, Journal of Islamic Archaeology 8, 2: 139–165.
Fenwick, C. 2020. Early Islamic North Africa: A New Perspective. London: Bloomsbury.
Walker, B., Insoll, T. and Fenwick, C. (eds.) 2020. The Oxford Handbook of Islamic Archaeology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Fenwick, C. 2020. ‘The Umayyads and North Africa: Imperial Rule and Frontier Society’ in A. Marsham (ed.) The Umayyad World. London: Routledge: 293-313.
Anderson, G., Fenwick, C. and M. Rosser-Owen (eds.), 2017. The Aghlabids & Their Neighbors: Art & Material Culture in Ninth-Century North Africa. Leiden: Brill
Fenwick, C. 2013. ‘From Africa to Ifrīqiya: settlement and society in early medieval North Africa (650-800)’, al-Masaq: Islam and the Medieval Mediterranean 25, 1: 9-33.