Leaders, Lecturers & Tour Managers

Dr Susan Scollay

ASA Academic Adviser – Arts and Culture of the Islamic World

Susan Scollay is an art historian and curator with extensive international experience, having studied and lived in the United Kingdom, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States of America. She is widely travelled in the Islamic world and since 1984 has done most of her research work in Turkey, allowing her to base herself in Istanbul on a regular basis and regard the vibrant city as her ‘second home’.  In 2012 she completed her Ph.D. at La Trobe University, Melbourne, writing a cultural history of the lost 15th-century Ottoman palace at Edirne/Adrianople. Susan was specialist guest co-curator of the manuscript exhibition, Love and Devotion: From Persia and Beyond at the State Library of Victoria, Melbourne, from March to July, 2012 and again at the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, November 2012 to April 2013. She also edited the exhibition publication, now in its second printing. She is a contributing editor to the prestigious, London-based journal, HALI: Carpet, Textile and Islamic Art, and has numerous other publications. Susan is currently an elected Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society and a member of the International Association of Historians of Islamic Art. She is a regular lecturer and consultant to museums in Australia and overseas and, for more than a decade, has led special interest study tours to Turkey, Central Asia and Eastern Europe.

  • Fellow, Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland.
  • Member, International Association for Historians of Islamic Art.
  • Member, Cultural Collections, Interpretation and Programming Advisory Committee, National Trust of Australia, Victoria, 2018– present.
  • Fellow, State Library of Victoria, 2012–13.
  • Committee member and board of management, The Asian Arts Society of Australia, 2007–2014.
  • ‘ “In Search of an Inland Sea”: The Camel in Australia’, Al Jamal/The Camel, ed. David Alexander. Riyadh and London: The King Abdulaziz Library, Riyadh, forthcoming.
  • ‘ ʿIlm and the “Architecture of Happiness”: The Ottoman Imperial Palace at Edirne/Adrianople, 1451–1877’, in ʿIlm: Science, Religion and Art in Islam, ed. Samer Akkach. Adelaide: University of Adelaide Press, Australia, 2019.  
  • ‘Presenting and re-presenting Ottoman imperial gardens in manuscript illustrations: the case of the Oxford Dilsūznāmah dated AH 860/AD 1455–1456, Edirne’, in Travellers in Ottoman Lands: The Botanical Legacy, ed. Ines Aščerić-Todd et al. Oxford: Archaeopress Publishing. 2018.
  • ‘The Khamsa of Nizami’, The La Trobe Journal, No. 100. Melbourne: State Library of Victoria Foundation, 2017.
  • ‘Treasure Ships Art in Australia’. Review of the exhibition ‘Treasure Ships: Art in the Age of Spices’, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, in HALI 185, London. 2015.   
  • Introduction to E.G. FitzGerald’s Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Oxford: Bodleian Library Publishing, 2015.
  • ‘Persian Cultural Crossroads’, conference proceedings, special issue of The La Trobe Journal, No. 91. Melbourne: State Library of Victoria Foundation, 2013.
  • Love and Devotion: From Persia and Beyond, ed. Susan Scollay. Melbourne: Macmillan Art Publishing in association with the State Library of Victoria, Melbourne and the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, 2012; reprinted with new covers, Oxford: The Bodleian Library, 2012.
  • Kismet, Hasret and Horses,’ What Josephine Saw: Twentieth Century Visions of Nomadic and Rural Anatolia, ed. Kimberly Hart. Istanbul: Koç University Press, 2012.
  • Fluid Borders: Ways of Seeing Oriental Rugs. Melbourne: The Johnston Collection Museum, Melbourne, Australia, 2010.
  • ‘The Fabrication of Culture and Identity,’ Threading the Commonwealth: Textile Tradition, Culture, Trade and Politics, ed. Suzanne Davies. Melbourne: Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology Press, 2006.
Past Tours

Susan first joined ASA in 2013 and has lectured on the following ASA tours:

  • Inside Great Collections of Istanbul, Budapest, Vienna & London: Textiles, Design & Art (2015)
  • Ottoman Palaces and Poetry: Istanbul, Edirne, Bursa and Beyond (2013)