The Sixth Biennial Hamad bin Khalifa Symposium on Islamic Art and Culture took place November 7-9, 2015 in Doha, Qatar. Titled By the Pen and What They Write: Writing in Islamic Art and Culture, the symposium featured original presentations by leading art historians, curators, conservators and writers on the role of writing in Islamic art, covering topics such as early Islamic inscriptions, calligraphy and the relationship between text and image.
The Hamad Bin Khalifa Symposium on Islamic Art is chaired by Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom who have shared the Hamad Bin Khalifa Endowed Chair of Islamic Art at Virginia Commonwealth University since its establishment in 2006. Symposium sponsors include Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar (VCUQatar), Qatar Foundation, Hamad bin Khalifa University in Doha and Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts. Since 2007, the papers delivered at each Symposium have been published by Yale University Press, including Rivers of Paradise: Water in Islamic Art and Culture (2009), And Diverse Are Their Hues: Color in Islamic Art and Culture (2011), God Is Beautiful and Loves Beauty: The Object in Islamic Art and Culture (2013) and God Is the Light of the Heavens and the Earth: Light in Islamic Art and Culture (2015).