Adult Programs

Cairo Under Wraps Lecture Series ( 5 Pack)

Fragment of fine linen tabby with silk and gold tapestry decoration, perhaps the end of a turban cloth. Made in Egypt in the Fatimid period, 12th century.

Coinciding with the opening of our newest exhibition, Cairo Under Wraps: Early Islamic Textiles, join experts for a series of informative and engaging lectures.

Single Lectures

General Public $20
ROM Member / ICT $18
Students $15

From Cradle to Grave: Fabrics in the Lives of Women in Medieval Cairo
Delia Cortese, Middlesex University
This lecture charts the varied ways in which social interaction with textiles and their production informed the fabric of life of women in medieval Cairo during the Fatimid dynasty that ruled Egypt from 969 to 1171.
Register for this lecture only

Looking for Women in Medieval Cairo: Imagined Histories and Historical Realities
Delia Cortese, Middlesex University
This lecture takes us on a virtual journey in search for women in medieval Cairo Cairo in the Fatimid period from 969 to 1171. Dr. Cortese unpacks anecdotes, literary conventions, historical accounts and forged stories to shed light on women’s participation – whether real or perceived- to the political, economic, social and cultural life of the time and place they lived in.
Register for this lecture only  Pre-registration is required.  Tickets will not be available for sale at the door.

Note: This lecture will be held at the Ismaili Centre Toronto, 49 Wynford Drive, Toronto.  Paid parking will be available.

In Quest of Paradise: Accommodating Death in Islam
Lisa Golombek, Royal Ontario Museum
The concept of Paradise figures prominently in the sacred book of Islam, the Koran. Certain rituals developed to ensure that the deceased would achieve this goal. We explore the Muslim attitude toward burial in relation to artifacts associated with burial- the shroud, the grave, and the mausoleum.

Cairo at the Heart of the Grand Tour: Medieval Travellers from Spain to China
Alice Hunsberger, American Federation of Arts

Spanning the globe from Spain to China, the medieval Islamic world offered a large landscape in many ways socially, morally and culturally cohesive, while also remarkably varied from region to region.  The religious command for all Muslims to travel to Mecca for the Hajj pilgrimage combined with the Prophet Muhammad’s directive that Muslims seek knowledge everywhere, “even unto China”, to make long-distance travel into a societal norm for all and a personal goal for many. Travelers crisscrossed kingdoms and empires, following their internal maps of what was valuable, noteworthy or necessary. Fulfilling another Islamic value, to spread knowledge, many travelers wrote about their journeys and have given us their chronicles of the great and the ordinary, the fabulous and the depraved. Some are joyous, some scientific, but all move along with eyes wide open to record the wonders of the world, both manmade and God-given.  Great cities were growing up and growing more, some on ancient sites and some as grand examples of new city planning with architectural and social innovations. Travelers made sure to include Cairo on their itineraries. Come join one of the leading authors on medieval travel, as she explores the pathways of these journeys, with an illustrated lecture on Cairo as beacon, inspiration and resplendent goal of intercontinental travelers a millennium ago.
Pre-registration is required.  Tickets will not be available for sale at the door.

Note: This lecture will be held at the Ismaili Centre Toronto, 49 Wynford Drive, Toronto.  Paid parking will be available.

Power Textiles from Islamic Lands
Louise Mackie, Cleveland Museum of Art
Luxury textiles were indispensible symbols of status, wealth and power at imperial courts across the vast Islamic lands from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean. The industry flourished under the auspices of sultans, the foremost consumers, and textile designers and weavers excelled at creating vibrant yet harmonious patterns that corresponded with the fashions of ruling dynasties, cultures and periods. Textile‐literate consumers demanded unadulterated quality with lustrous silk thread, rich colors, and well‐made durable fabrics, which will be illustrated with spectacular examples.
Register for this lecture only


Presented in Partnership by the Royal Ontario Museum and His Highness Prince Aga Khan Shia Imami Ismaili Council for Canada.










Royal Ontario Museum
Signy and Cléophée Eaton Theatre

NOTE: Lectures on October 25 and November 19 will be held at the Ismaili Centre of Toronto, 49 Wynford Drive, Toronto.  All other lectures will be held at the ROM.


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