A fascinating feature of elite society in the medieval Islamic world was the institution of "artiste slavery" in which wealthy aristocrats, princes and caliphs enjoyed the entertainments of highly-trained female musicians, singers and composers. These women, though slaves, enjoyed signficant social status and prestige in elite circles, carving out a niche for themselves collectively in the era's gender discourses. This paper explores the history of this phenomenon, in the process illustrating the problems artiste slavery represented for the feminine ideal of the day.
|Presenter:||Carl Davila (Faculty)|
|Time:||9:20 am (Session I)|