Professor Samer Akkach
✓ Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD — email supervisor to discuss availability.
Samer joined the University of Adelaide in 1993. He moved from Sydney where he received his Master of Architectural Design from the University of New South Wales in 1985, and his PhD from the University of Sydney in 1992.
Samer is an established scholar in two fields of study: architectural history and theory and Islamic studies. He has a cross-cultural background, interdisciplinary research interests, and a unique mix of expertise. The spectrum of his expertise include:
- History and theory of architecture and landscape in general, and of Islamic art, architecture and landscape in particular.
- Intellectual history of the Arab-Islamic and Ottoman traditions in the early modern period (16th - 19th centuries), with a special focus on the Enlightenment and transitions into modernity in both the European and the Arab-Ottoman worlds.
- Socio-urban history of Middle Eastern cities in general, and Damascus in particular, during the early modern period, with special focus on the rise of urban secularism.
- Islamic cosmology (pre- and post-Copernican traditions), philosophy (pre- and early modern), and mysticism (pre- and early modern).
- History of Arab-Islamic science in the post-copernican period.
Centre for Asian and Middle Eastern Architecture (CAMEA)
Samer is Founding Director of the Centre for Asian and Middle Eastern Architecture (CAMEA), which was founded in 1997. CAMEA's establishment coincided with major shifts in peoples’ attitudes towards the built environment caused by unsettling changes in three areas: environment, technology, and culture.
- Awareness of the long-term environmental consequences of modern urbanisation and industrialisation has highlighted the urgent need for new approaches to a sustainable future;
- Advanced communication technologies have called for new ways of perceiving and dealing with reality; and
- Intense cross-cultural interactions have generated a strong demand for broader and more culture-sensitive modes of architectural thinking.
CAMEA was founded to address the demand for new cross-cultural understanding of architecture in the context of these major global shifts. Despite the growing recognition of the importance of understanding cultural diversity, the foundations of most conventional approaches to the study of the constructed environments remain firmly seated in the European tradition. One of CAMEA’s long-term goals is to address the problems of Eurocentrism by opening up new horizons of thinking about our modern and pre-modern architecture, landscape, and urbanity. CAMEA's publications include:
S. Akkach et al (eds), Self, Place, and Imagination: Cross-Cultural Thinking in Architecture (Adelaide: CAMEA, 1999, 2nd printing 2000).
S. Akkach (ed.), De-Placing Difference: Architecture, Culture and Imaginative Geography (Adelaide: CAMEA, 2002, 2nd printing 2006).
P. Scriver (ed.), The Scaffolding of Empire (Adelaide: CAMEA, 2007).
CAMEA Fifth International Conference, July 20-23, 2016
'Ilm: Science, Religion, and Art in Islam
|2018||Akkach, S. (2018). Islamic Science and Cosmology in the Post-Copernican Period: Reflections on ʿAbd al-Ghanī al-Nābulusī’s Views. In L. Demiri, & S. Pagani (Eds.), Early Modern Trends in Islamic Theology: ʿAbd al-Ghanī al-Nābulusī and his Network of Scholarship. Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck.|
|2018||Akkach, S. (2018). Aural Geometry: Poetry, Music, and Architecture in the Arabic Tradition. In M. Frishkopf, & F. Spinetti (Eds.), Music, Sound and Architecture in Islam (pp. 166-197). Texas; USA: University of Texas Press.|
|2018||Parpia, S. (2018). The Imperial Mughal Hunt as a Pursuit of Knowledge. In S. Akkach (Ed.), 'Ilm: Science, Religion and Art in Islam.|
|2015||Akkach, S. (2015). Beautiful names of God. In K. Fleet, G. Krämer, D. Matringe, J. Nawas, & E. Rowson (Eds.), The Encyclopaedia of Islam - Three (Vol. 4, 3 ed., pp. 54-57). Leiden, Boston: Brill.|
|2014||Akkach, S. (2014). Modernity and design in the Arab world: Professional identity and social responsibility. In E. Kalantidou, & T. Fry (Eds.), Design in the Borderlands (1 ed., pp. 61-75). United Kingdom: Routledge.
|2012||Akkach, S. (2012). 'Abd al-Ghanī al-Nābulusī. In K. Fleet, G. Krämer, D. Matringe, J. Nawas, & E. Rowson (Eds.), THE ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF ISLAM - THREE (Vol. 1, 3 ed., pp. 20-28). Leiden, Boston: Brill.|
|2011||Akkach, S. (2011). The Presence of absence: sacred design now (2). In A. Willis (Ed.), Design Philosophy Papers - Collection Six (1 ed., pp. 63-70). Australia: Team D/E/S Publications.|
|2005||Akkach, S. (2005). Design and the Question of Eurocentricity: a Personal Reflection. In Design Philosophy Papers: Collection Two (pp. 87-91). Leiden, Boston: Team D/E/S Publications.|
|2002||Akkach, S. (2002). On Culture. In De-placing difference: architecture, culture and imaginative geography (pp. 183-189). Adelaide, South Australia: Centre for Asian and Middle Eastern Architecture, the University of Adelaide.|
|2002||Akkach, S. (2002). Useful obsessions: Architecture as a cultural critique. In A. Salama, W. O'Reilly, & K. Noschis (Eds.), Architectural Education Today - Cross-cultural perspectives (pp. 31-41). Lausanne: Comportements.|
|2015||Akkach, S. (2015). Neo-Eurocentricity and History of Islamic Science. Poster session presented at the meeting of Rethinking Intellectual History 2015. University of Sydney, Australia.|
|2015||Akkach, S. (2015). The eye of reflection: Al-Nabulusi's spatial interpretation of Ibn 'Arabi's tomb. Poster session presented at the meeting of Muqarnas.|
|2014||Akkach, S. (2014). Islamic Cosmology in the Post-Copernican Period: Reflections on al-Nābulusī’s Views. Poster session presented at the meeting of Early Modern Trends in Islamic Theology: 'Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulusi and his Network of Scholarship. Centre for Islamic Theology, University of Tubingen, Germany.|
|2014||Akkach, S. (2014). Neo-Eurocentricity and Islamic Intellectual History in the Post-Copernican Period. Poster session presented at the meeting of The Islamic World in the 18th Century: Before Colonialism. The NYU Abu Dhabi Institute, UAE.|
|2013||Akkach, S. (2013). Damascene Diaries: Urban Secularity and Religious Tolerance. Poster session presented at the meeting of Australia and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies ANZAMEMS - Ninth Biennial Conference. Australia: Monash University.|
|2017||Powell, J. F. (2017). The Garden as Art: A New Space for the Garden in Contemporary Aesthetics. (PhD Thesis, University of Adelaide).|
Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Grants
2012-15: Islam and the Ethos of Science in the Post-Copernican Period
(Sole Chief Investigator, recieved ARC Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award (DORA)).
2009-11: Islam and Secular Urban Culture in Early Modern Middle East
(Sole Chief Investigator)
2006-09: Islam, Modernity and the Enlightenment: A New Perspective
(Sole Chief Investigator)
Awards and Achievements
2015-2016 Arab Centre for Research and Policy Studies' Prize for Research in Humanities and Social Science
2012-15 Australian Research Council's Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award (DORA).
2010-11 Visiting Professorship, Arab International University, Damascus.
2010 Honorary Fellowship, Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi’s Society, Oxford and Berkeley.
2010 Australian Institute of Architects' Neville Quarry Architectural Education Prize http://www.architecture.com.au/i-cms?page=13970
2009 Hamad bin Khalifa fellowship for Islamic Art.
2003 University of Adelaide’s Stephen Cole the Elder prize for excellence in teaching.
2002 Visiting Research Fellowship at MIT, The Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture.
2001 Society of Architectural Historians of North America’s Fellowship.
Representation II, Sem. 2
Final Project, Sem. 2
|Date||Role||Research Topic||Program||Degree Type||Student Load||Student Name|
|2016||Principal Supervisor||Role of Indian Trade Textile in The Spread of Islamic Art Styles to Indonesia||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Part Time||Mr James Bennett|
|2015||Principal Supervisor||The Creation of Social Capital in Urban Spaces||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Full Time||Miss Jade Michelle Riddle|
|2015||Principal Supervisor||Th Evolution of Arabesque system in Carpet Design During Safavid Dynasty and Its Effect to the Present||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Full Time||Ms Mansoureh Rajabitanha|
|2014||Principal Supervisor||Mighal Gardens: Realities and Representations||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Part Time||Ms Shaha Altaf Parpia|
|2013||Co-Supervisor||Ideological and Political Trends in Sufism in South Asia in the 1800's||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Part Time||Ms Unaza Khan|
|2013||Principal Supervisor||History and Theory of Persian Gardens||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Full Time||Mrs Zahra Ranjbari|
|Date||Role||Research Topic||Program||Degree Type||Student Load||Student Name|
|2014 - 2017||Principal Supervisor||The Garden as Art: A New Space for the Garden in Contemporary Aesthetics||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Full Time||Mr John Francis Powell|
|2013 - 2016||Principal Supervisor||The Rise of Modern Urbanity (tamaddun) in the Arab World Education, Journalism, and Enlightenment||Master of Philosophy||Master||Full Time||Mrs Kinda Alsamara|
|2012 - 2012||Principal Supervisor||Gardens of Damascus: Landscape and the Culture of Recreation in the Early Modern Period||Master of Landscape Architecture||Master||Full Time||Miss Georgina Hafteh|
|2007 - 2014||Principal Supervisor||BODY, SOUL, AND ARCHITECTURE
A Study of the Premodern Islamic and Western Traditions
|Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Part Time||Mr Faris Akbar Hajamaideen|
|2004 - 2013||Principal Supervisor||Maps and Meanings: Urban Cartography and Urban Design||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Part Time||Ms Julie Nichols|
|2003 - 2008||Co-Supervisor||'Indian Architecture' and the Production of a Postcolonial Discourse: A Study of Architecture + Design (1984-1992)||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Full Time||Mr Shaji Kannanchira Panicker|
|2002 - 2009||Principal Supervisor||Architecture and the Politics of Identity in Indonesia A Study of the Cultural History of Aceh||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Full Time||Miss Izziah Hasan|
|1997 - 2004||Principal Supervisor||Charters and the Ethics of Conservation A Cross-Cultural Perspective||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Part Time||Mr Barry Rowney|