This article analyzes the representation of al-Andalus and North Africa in medieval Islamic maps from the eleventh to the fifteenth centuries. In contrast to other maps of the Mediterranean, which display a veneer of harmony and balance, the image of the Maghrib is by deliberate design one of conflict and confusion; of love and hate; of male vs. female; of desire vs rejection. This paper interprets and explains the reasons behind the unusual depiction of Andalus and the Maghrib by medieval Islamic cartographers. In addition, this article develops a new methodology of interpreting medieval Islamic maps employing a deconstruction of the forms through an analysis of different levels of gaze. The analysis unfolds into the use of erotic and nostalgic Hispano-Arabic poetry as a lens of interpretation for Islamic maps.
This is the publisher's version of the work. This publication appears in Gettysburg College's institutional repository by permission of the copyright owner for personal use, not for redistribution.
Pinto, Karen. “Passion and Conflict: Medieval Islamic Views of the West.” Mapping Medieval Geographies: Geographical Encounters in the Latin West and Beyond, 300-1600. Ed. Keith D. Lilley. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013. 201-224.
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Original version is available from the publisher at: http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/history/european-history-1000-1450/mapping-medieval-geographies-geographical-encounters-latin-west-and-beyond-3001600?format=HB