Dr Amanda Phillips

Marie Curie Fellow of the Gerda Henkel Stiftung

Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies

Dr Amanda Phillips, Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman & Modern Greek Studies

Contact details

Arts Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT


My main interests centre on the production of luxury and semi-luxury goods in the Ottoman Empire, and the social and economic contexts of their consumption. My focus is mostly on the years between 1600 and 1800, and on objects made for market and specifically on those intended for use in the home.


  • DPhil, Oriental Studies, University of Oxford (2011)
  • MA (with honors), University of Massachusetts
  • BA (with honors), University of Chicago


I am a historian of Islamic art, trained at the Khalili Research Centre for the Art and Material Culture of the Middle East—part of the Oriental Institute at Oxford; my previous appointment was at the Museum of Islamic Art in Berlin, where I worked on the plans for the 2019 re-installation of the permanent collection. 

My research focuses primarily on the consumption of luxury goods in the Ottoman Empire and on Islamic visual and material culture, widely conceived. In 2012, I gave public lectures in Berlin, Lyon, and Washington, DC and in Honolulu, where I was a scholar-in-residence at Doris Duke’s Shangri La estate. My essay about the social and economic context of silk textiles in the Ottoman Empire won the 2012 Margaret B. Ševčenko prize in Islamic Art and Culture, awarded by the Historians of Islamic Art Association. 


My current research concerns three related subject areas: 

  • the history of the production and use of silk textiles in the Ottoman Empire and its neighbours (Italy, Iran and Egypt);
  • the consumption of luxury goods in the major cities of the Middle East between 1600 and 1800, with special attention to objects used in the home;
  • and the visual and material cultures of the Ottoman lands, with a focus on the semiotics of objects, decoration, and style.

Other activities

Public Talks

  • Musée Gadagne, Lyon, for Le ‘Luxe de Commerce-le Commerce de Luxe’, (November 2012)
  • Textile Museum, Washington, DC for ‘The Sultan’s Garden: The Blossoming of Ottoman Art’, (October 2012).
  • Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Honolulu, ‘Enthusiasm, Demand, Market: Ottoman Textiles c. 1730’ (July 2012).
  • Berlin Museum of Islamic Art, ‘The Hapsburg Envoy’s Rose-covered Cushion: The Consumption and Production of Ottoman Velvets, 1600-1750’, (April 2012).



  • Co-editor with Refqa Abu Remaileh, New Voices, New Visions: Young Scholars in British Middle East Studies, (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009).
  • Everyday Luxury: Art and Objects in Ottoman Istanbul, 1600-1800 (in conjunction with the Berlin Museum of Islamic Art, the State Museums of Berlin, and the Max Planck/Kunsthistorisches Institut, Bönen: Verlag-Kettler, forthcoming 2014).


  • “Ottoman Silk Furnishing Fabrics In The Doris Duke Foundation For Islamic Art: Fashion And Production, 1600-1750,” Shangri La Working Papers in Islamic Art, no. 4, December 2012, (Honolulu: Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art), 1-31. [available online]
  • “The Historiography of Ottoman Velvets, 2011-1572: Scholars, Consumers, Producers”, Journal of Art  Historiography (Special Edition on Islamic Art), 6, June 2012. [available online]
  • “A Material Culture: Ottoman Velvets and their Owners, 1600-1750,” Muqarnas: An Annual on the Visual Cultures of the Islamic World, 31, forthcoming 2014.

Book Chapters

  • “Ali Pasha and his Stuff: Material Culture and Its Uses in the Capital and in the Provinces c 1700”, in Ottoman Consumption Studies, Global and Local: In Memory of Donald Quataert, eds Suriaya Faroqhi and Anne Gerritsen, forthcoming 2013 (Leiden: Brill).

Conference Proceedings

  • “Little-Known Ottoman Block-printed Textiles in the Oxford Ashmolean Museum”, 13th Annual International Congress of Turkish Art, eds Geza David and Ibolya Gerelyes 2010 (Budapest: National Museum of Hungary), 593-608.

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