Khamseen Terms Style Guide

Categorized as Production Guides, Resources

Michelle Al-Ferzly

Thank you for your willingness to contribute to Khamseen’s Glossary. We are thrilled to have you on board this exciting new endeavor!

As a free and open-access online scholarly resource, the Glossary offers multimedia definitions of important terms for the study of Islamic art, architecture, and visual culture. Our collectively crafted and visually dynamic short-form presentations of key terms, we believe, will offer a unique offering in the field.

Our team has put together the following guidelines to help you craft a 3- to 6-minute recorded presentation on a term of your choice. Before you get started, and if you have not worked with Team Khamseen before, you may wish to consult Khamseen’s Audio and Video Recording Guide for tips on the technical aspects of recording your presentation.

With input from our team members and former contributors, Khamseen has begun to assemble a preliminary list of glossary terms, available here. You may either select one of the listed terms or propose one of your own, as we seek to cover both ‘canonical’ terms as well as those that help expand and diversify our disciplinary lexicon.

In general, your presentation should offer a brief definition of a term of your choosing by providing an explanation of the term’s etymology, origins, uses, and potential synonyms. Moreover, and whenever possible and applicable, we encourage you to feature examples drawn from a wide temporal and geographic spectrum as illustrations of the term.

To assist you in your own efforts, and to launch our Glossary initiative, three members of Team Khamseen have prepared term presentations for your consultation:

  • Christiane Gruber on “Masjid
  • Yasemin Gencer on “Mihrab
  • Mira Xenia Schwerda on “Minaret

Additionally, here are a few tips and issues to consider as you craft your contribution:

  • The title of the presentation should be the transliterated term along with its English translation in parenthesis: e.g., Masjid (Mosque).
  • Thank you for following the IJMES transliteration style. However, please do not include any diacritics as we are hoping to reach the widest audience possible (on this topic, see Carl Ernst’s article “It’s Not Just Academic”).
  • At the end of your presentation, please include a slide with related Glossary terms as well as a slide listing 3-5 key bibliographic references; the latter also will be provided online in the “Bibliography” section under your video. The bibliographic entries should be cited following The Chicago Manual of Style.
  • Remember to only include images for which you have acquired permissions of use, fall under the Creative Commons (CC) license, or are Open Access, like the MET’s images. You may also use images that fall under the Fair Use Clause of U.S. Copyright Law.
  • Images of objects or buildings should include full source information, as well as date and place of production.
  • Please include minimal text in your slides to keep them visually unencumbered.
  • To improve accessibility, we ask you to consider reducing the pace of your speaking to help listeners follow more easily (our team will help by providing closed captions).
  • At the close of the presentation, please include a concluding slide recapping major points presented.

Like Khamseen’s topic presentations, each term definition will be featured on its own webpage. If there is a particular Khamseen presentation—such as another Glossary term or short-form presentation—that relates to the term that you are covering, we will be happy to include it on your webpage and provide a link to it.

As with the short-form presentations, we also ask that you provide a high-resolution image for the Glossary term. This image will be used as a key visual on your term webpage.

Finally, we ask our first-time Khamseen contributors to provide a brief bio and a headshot. These will be featured under your Glossary term webpage as well as included in our list of Khamseen Contributors. New contributors should also sign and return the image permissions disclaimer form, which we will send you.

Thank you once again for your invaluable contribution(s) to Khamseen. We look forward to working with you!


Michelle Al-Ferzly, “Khamseen Terms Style Guide,” Khamseen: Islamic Art History Online, published 9 July 2021.