Writing Signs: The Fatimid Public Text
by Irene Bierman, UCLA Department of Art History
Published: Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Bierman explores the complex relationship between alphabet and language and how they are socially defined through time and space. Focusing on Cairo's Fatimid dynasty (969-1171), Writing Signs examines inscriptions on architecture and textiles and offers insights into aspects of Fatimid society, from religion to the economy, and the tremendous changes the dynasty experienced over its 200-year history.
By studying how architectural inscriptions affect the meaning of buildings, and how public writing can be used to communicate ideology, Writing Signs not only sheds new light on a complex period of Muslim history, but also offers a pioneering methodology for the study of public writing in other societies.