The Orion
Lecture Series in Fine Arts

Through the generous support of the Orion Fund in Fine Arts, the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Victoria, is pleased to present:

Ruba Kana’an

Assistant Professor of Islamic Art & Architecture

“What can Islamic Law teach us
about Islamic art and architecture

Q&A facilitated by AHVS PhD candidate Zahra Kazani

4:00 – 5:30 pm (PST)
Thursday, February 25, 2021 


Free & open to the public via Zoom

Presented by UVic’s Department of Art History & Visual Studies

Co-sponsored by UVic’s Faculty of Law and the Middle East & Islamic Studies Consortium of BC

For more information on this lecture please email: 


Exploring the intersections between art, artists, art production & law

A noted historian of Islamic art, Dr. Ruba Kana’an is an assistant professor of Islamic art and architecture at the University of Toronto Mississauga and was the 2018-2019 Barakat Senior Fellow in Islamic Art, University of Oxford.

Dr. Kana’an’s primary research focuses on the Intersections between art, artists, art production and law in historical and contemporary contexts. She uses archival, textual and field-based research in her work, and has conducted research in Jordan, Palestine, Turkey, Yemen, Oman, East Africa, Egypt and Syria. In theoretical terms, her research engages with Bruno Latour’s object-networks and Henri Lefebvre’s production of space, among other frameworks. Her publications address questions about the formation and meanings of mosque architecture, metalwork and civic space in pre-modern Muslim societies.

Spanning worlds

Dr. Kana’an’s professional experience spans the worlds of academia, architectural practice, museums and community-based art education. Before joining the Department of Visual Studies at UTM, she taught various aspects of Islamic art and architecture at the graduate and undergraduate levels in both the UK and Canada. In 2007, she pioneered the online teaching of Islamic art at Oxford University by developing and teaching Oxford’s first accredited online course in Islamic Art and Architecture.

Between 2011 and 2017, she worked at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, was a founding member of the AKM’s leadership team and worked closely with the museum’s Islamic art collection in the areas of museum management, research, education for all levels of learners, scholarly programs, publications and community engagement and programming.

“I am passionate about teaching and learning,” she says, “and believe that the arts provides students opportunities to explore many different world views and think critically about contemporary and historical questions concerning the diverse and changing contexts in which art is produced, consumed and imagined.”


Blacas ewer, made in Mosul in 1232. Brass inlaid with silver. British Museum: 1866, 1229.61

About the Orion Fund

Established through the generous gift of an anonymous donor, the Orion Fund in Fine Arts is designed to bring distinguished visitors from other parts of Canada—and the world—to the University of Victoria’s Faculty of Fine Arts, and to make their talents and achievements available to faculty, students, staff and the wider Greater Victoria community who might otherwise not be able to experience their work.

The Orion Fund also exists to encourage institutions outside Canada to invite regular faculty members from our Faculty of Fine Arts to be visiting  artists/scholars at their institutions; and to make it possible for Fine Arts faculty members to travel outside Canada to participate in the academic life of foreign institutions and establish connections and relationships with them in order to encourage and foster future exchanges.

Free and open to the public  |  Seating is limited (500 Zoom connections) |  Visit our online events calendar at