Upcoming Lecture: Prof. Tony Cutler (Penn State), Sep. 26 at 5:00 pm

The FAAH department invites you to a free public lecture by Prof. Anthony Cutler (Professor of Art History, Penn State University) entitled “Dissolving the Fourth Wall” on Tuesday, September 26, 2017, at 5:00 pm in College Hall, Auditorium B1 (AUB).

See the flyer below for more details.Dissolving-the-Fourth-Wall-Poster

 

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Upcoming Conference: The “Southern Question,” Nov. 3-4, 2017

Join the FAAH department for the upcoming ARTmargins conference “The Southern Question” on from November 3-4, 2017 between 11:00 am – 6:00 pm. Detailed conference program to follow.

Participants include: Karen Benezra, Nadia Bou-Ali, Lorenzo Chiesa, Octavian Esanu, Joshua D. Gonsalves, Angela Harutyunyan, Jiang Hongsheng, Sven Spieker.

The idea of the “South,” not only as a geographical or geopolitical designation, but also as a critical framework for art, has gained traction in recent years. To paraphrase the terms of the most recent Documenta exhibition, what might it mean to historicize the art and artistic networks of the colonial and post-colonial world as neither merely “places on a map” nor “states of mind” but from the point of view of their mutual implication in the concrete societies from which they emerge?

The “Southern Question” in our title alludes to two seemingly incongruous critical frameworks for approaching the potentially political role of art and intellectual production: while one evokes the movement towards political solidarity and economic autonomy uniting the emerging nation-states of the global south as part of the Cold War Non-Aligned Movement, the other takes as its analytical framework the intertwined material and ideological conditions of determinate national social formations. Seeking inspiration in Gramsci’s treatment of the Southern Question it aims to explore the potentials and limitations of the category of class for mass political organization.

Invoking the “Southern Question” is an invitation to consider the usefulness of the “South” as a category for the criticism, theory, and history of art. As hitherto marginalized art and social contexts become the common fare of particularized canons and global art markets, how shall we define the “marginal” in critical-methodological terms? What kinds of critical and artistic work might help us to seize the current moment of the disorganization and re-organization of capitalist hegemony? Bracketing inherited divisions within and between the fields of Marxism and post-colonial studies, we invite participants to help define the critical and methodological questions implied by the term “South.”

Download this conference flyer.

Image Courtesy: Joshua D. Gonsalves
Image Courtesy: Joshua D. Gonsalves

Jabre Lecture Series: Amanda Beech, March 30

Join us on Thursday, March 30 at 6:00 pm in College Hall, B1 for a public lecture entitled “Decisive Constructions: Art After the Crises of the Image” by Amanda Beech, Dean of Critical Studies at CalArts, which is part of the AUB Art Galleries and the Department of Fine Arts and Art History’s  Jabre Lecture Series in Art History and Curating .

Amanda Beech will be visiting AUB from March 25th-April 7th, 2017, as a URB Visiting Scholar, co-hosted by the Department of Fine Arts and Art History and the Department of Philosophy. 

See the PDF flyer for more details about the Jabre lecture: Beech Poster

Also join us on Friday, March 31 at 5:00-7:00 pm in College Hall, Auditorium B1 for a public screening of Beech’s video works Final Machine, 2013 and Sanity Assassin, 2010, which will be followed by a conversation with Ray Brassier (AUB, Philosophy) and Angela Harutyunyan (AUB, FAAH). Visit the following for more information about this event: https://www.facebook.com/events/680007578872779/

 

Two upcoming Islamic Print Culture Events: Feb 21 + Feb 22

Please join us for two upcoming CAH/FAAH events that deal with Arabic print culture:

Tuesday, Feb 21: Book Discussion: Print Cultures in the 19th Century Islamic World

Time + Location: 5:00-6:30 PM, Building 37 (Center for the Arts + Humanities, AUB)

Discussants: Jan van der Putten (University of Hamburg) + Hala Auji (AUB)

Moderator: Bilal Orfali (AUB)

This event will be a public discussion of Hala Auji’s recent monograph on 19th century Arabic book culture, Printing Arab Modernity: Book Culture and the American Press in 19th Century Beirut (Brill: 2016), which is located in the interstices of art history, book and print culture, and studies of Arab modernity and Ottoman historiographies. Printing Arab Modernity examines the American Protestant mission’s Arabic publications printed in Beirut for Ottoman readers during a period dominated by Islamic and Christian manuscript practices. This book also explores the growing significance of the visual dimensions of print for such audiences, specifically how print reflected a push-pull dynamic between the continuity of scribal customs and an experimentation with new technologies. This was indicative of a moment when local intellectuals were formulating a visual language that negotiated their varied communal concerns, political motivations, and intellectual conceptions of a modern society.

Although the subject of this book centers on the Arab Nahda period in Ottoman Beirut, the book discussion considers a wider, globally comparative perspective by exploring print-related developments during this period in the Global South, specifically Southeast Asia. The conversation between Dr. Jan van der Putten and Auji will provide a new perspective from which we can consider the history of book culture during transitional periods such as the 19th century, and to explore how notions of modernity varied or overlapped in different regions, which also saw encounters between Islamic communities and Christian missionary groups.

https://www.facebook.com/events/694961847341501/

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Wednesday, Feb 22: Manuscript Cultures and the Start of an Indigenous Printing Industry in Maritime Southeast Asia

Time + Location: 6:00-7:30 PM, Building 37 (Center for the Arts + Humanities, AUB)

Speaker: Dr. Jan van der Putten (University of Hamburg)

The development of manuscript cultures in insular Southeast Asia may be viewed as the vernacularisation of Indian and Arabic traditions. These traditions brought the scripts which over time developed into localised scripts, and prompted the creation of written traditions and book culture in a region that continued to be predominantly oral in its orientation. The region is vast and characterised by an enormous linguistic and cultural diversity of communities which in the premodern era were connected through religious and mercantile networks.

In this talk I will concisely introduce some of the most conspicuous manuscript traditions of the region and try to sketch the position of an indigenous book production starting in the second half of the 19th century. This budding printing industry developed in the shadow of the British and Dutch colonial authorities and was propelled by the relations Muslim communities maintained with the Middle East.

About the Speaker:
Jan van der Putten is Professor Austronesistik in the Department of Southeast Asia (Asien-Afrika-Institut) at the University of Hamburg where he teaches on Southeast Asian literatures and cultures. Traditional Malay writing is one of his main research areas and he is a member of the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures at the University of Hamburg supervising a research project about the Changing Practices of the 19th-century Malay Manuscript Economy. He also ventures into other types and periods of Malay-language cultural traditions where he explores the meaning of traditional and popular Malay texts and how these texts are disseminated among peoples and exchanged between cultures. 

Recent publications include ‘Dirty Dancing’ and Malay anxieties: the changing context of Malay Ronggeng in the first half of the twentieth century’, ‘Going Against the Tide: The Politics of language Standardisation in Indonesia’, ‘Malaiische Erotika: Biedere Sexualethik in obszönen Versen’, and Translation in Asia. Theories, Practices, Histories (co-edited with Ronit Ricci, 2011).

http://www.facebook.com/events/316230898772084/

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Events Organized by:
Hala Auji, 2016-17 CAH Faculty Fellow & Assistant Professor of Islamic Art, Fine Arts and Art History, AUB, ha156@aub.edu.lb

NEW GRADUATE PROGRAM: MA in Art History and Curating, accepting applications for Fall 2017

The Department of Fine Arts and Art History is pleased to announce the launch of the MA in Art History and Curating. Applications are currently being accepted for Fall 2017.

You can view the program’s curriculum here: curriculum_ma_arthistorycurating

Visit the department website to learn more about us: https://www.aub.edu.lb/fas/faah/Academics/Pages/ma-art-curating.aspx

To apply, visit: https://graduateadmissions.aub.edu.lb/

AUB Graduate Application Deadlines for Fall 2017-18: Feb. 10, 2017 + Apr. 3, 2017

ma_arthistorycurating

Workshop: Art of the Arabic Periodical (Nov 28-29, co-hosted by FAAH/CAH)

Hala Auji, FAAH assistant professor of Islamic art & a faculty fellow at AUB’s Center for the Arts and Humanities (CAH), is organizing a two-day workshop on the Ottoman periodical, “Art of the Arabic Periodical: Exploring Questions of Materiality, Readership & Language in 19th Century Ottoman Journals.” The workshop sessions will be held at AUB in Building 37 (CAH) from Nov 28-29.

See below for more details:

periodicalsworkshop_flyer

 

View workshop program here (PDF): program_arabicperiodicalsworkshop_nov2016

Samo Tomšič (Humboldt University Berlin): “Rethinking Alienation”

Guest Lecture: “Rethinking Alienation” by Samo Tomšič (Humboldt University Berlin),  moderated by Sami Khatib (American University of Beirut)

Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016| 5:30-7pm| Art History Reading Group| West Hall 310| AUB

The Art History Reading Group is delighted to announce the guest lecture of Samo Tomšič, author of “The Capitalist Unconscious (London: Verso, 2015). A major, comprehensive study of the connection between their work, “The Capitalist Unconscious” resituates Marx in the broader context of Lacan’s teaching and insists on the capacity of psychoanalysis to reaffirm dialectical and materialist thought. Lacan’s unorthodox reading of Marx refigured such crucial concepts as alienation, jouissance and the Freudian ‘labour theory of the unconscious’. Tracing these developments, Tomšič maintains that psychoanalysis, structuralism and the critique of political economy participate in the same movement of thought; his book shows how to follow this movement through to some of its most important conclusions.

More on https://www.versobooks.com/books/2014-the-capitalist-unconscious

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Upcoming Lecture: Alexander Keefe (NYU’s Colloquium for Unpopular Culture)

WHEN THE THEATRE WENT EAST: LA MONTE YOUNG, TERRY RILEY AND MARIAN ZAZEELA IN INDIA, 1971

June 28, 20162:00pm | Center for Arts and Humanities, Building 37 | AUB

Alexander Keefe seminar talk at AUB will focus on La Monte Young’s relationship with India, Indian music and especially Pandit Pran Nath, whom the composer accepted as his spiritual and musical guru in 1970. For Young, “guruji” presented a powerful model for emulation: both improviser and composer, singer and yogi, disciple and master. In him, Young heard a sound that stretched back through the ancient Vedas into prehistory and cosomogony. He also heard the future: for himself and his music.

Keefe starts with John Cage’s early engagement with Indian aesthetics and first visit to India in 1964 with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Cage kept Indian music at a distance, borrowing philosophical ideas from books while avoiding direct contact. La Monte Young, who first visited India with Marian Zazeela and Terry Riley in 1971, could not present a sharper contrast, or one more indicative of the generational chasm separating the two composers. Cage’s India had been one of concert halls, cocktail parties and Corbusiers; Young’s was one of small-town temples, cave-dwelling ascetics, daily practice and spiritual pilgrimage. His formal initiation as disciple carried with it obligations, not only to a living guru, but to a hallowed chain of past masters, as well as to imagined futures — and eternities.

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Tania Mouraud, Initiation Room No. 2, 1971  – From left to right Tania Mouraud, Terry Riley, Ann Riley, Pandit Pran Nath, La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela

Alexander Keefe is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has appeared in BidounEast of Borneo and Artforum, among others. Keefe did graduate work in Sanskrit and Indian studies at Harvard University and later taught as an assistant professor at Ohio University. A 2010 grantee of the Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program, he has also received a Fulbright for research in India and currently holds the Inaugural Alan Erasmus Fellowship in Unpopular Culture at NYU’s Colloquium for Unpopular Culture.

For more information, please contact Angela Harutyunyan at ah140@aub.edu.lb or Sahar Assaf at sa159@aub.edu.lb 

CONFERENCE: Do Not Resuscitate

Join us for (last) conference of Spring 2016, in which Angela Harutyunyan, Associate Professor of Art History, is serving as a panel organizer and discussant (with Sami Khatib), and Octavian Esanu, Assistant Professor of Art History, is presenting a paper:

DO NOT RESUSCITATE: CRITIQUE AND THE UNTRANSLATABILITY OF HISTORY

Organized by the Center for Arts and Humanities (Mellon Grant) at AUB
For the full three-day program, which begins on Thursday, May 12 at 2:00 pm, visit: http://www.aub.edu.lb/cah/Pages/conference.aspx

FAAH-related panel + presentations on Thursday, May 12

17:00 | Panel 1 (Angela Harutyunyan and Sami Khatib):
The “Tradition of the Oppressed” and Its Discontents

DiscussantsNadia Bou Ali (AUB), Angela Harutyunyan (AUB), Sami Khatib (AUB)

Panel papers:
1 | Massimiliano Tomba (Padua University): The Task of the Historical Materialist
2 |  Jamila Mascat (University of Paris 1 Sorbonne): In Praise of Anachronism. Untimeliness, Contingency and Strategy
3 | Octavian Esanu (AUB): Neoliberal Aesthetics: Governability, Anesthesia and Contemporary Art

Abstract: Following Walter Benjamin’s concept of history, the past is never simply gone; it can never be historicized unless it is fully actualized, recalled – cited in a revolutionary way. However, the undead specters of an unhistoricizable past can only be passed on from below – transmitted through the “tradition of the oppressed,” a discontinuous tradition bound to a partisan experience of untold sufferings. It is only this anachronic, de-subjectified experience that can connect the present with lost struggles of the past. The tradition of the oppressed is both radically singular and universal, counter-temporal (messianic, revolutionary) and counter-spatial (spectral, u-topian). Drawing on Benjamin, the panel raises the question of an “aesthetics of the oppressed” beyond bourgeois (high culture) forms of representation. What happened when the oppressed, at least for a moment or over a limited period of time, overtook the means of production within the domain of bourgeois high culture? Is there an undead inheritance of these past defeated attempts that could inspire a materialist conception of aesthetics today?

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UPCOMING LECTURE: Vardan Azatyan (Yerevan State Academy of Fine Arts)

Vardan Azatyan, Associate Professor in art history at Yerevan State Academy of Fine Arts (Armenia), will be delivering a public lecture entitled:

Art History, the Ape of the Cold War: the Case of H. W. Janson

Tues, May 3, 2016 | 5-6:30 pm | Center for Arts and Humanities, Building 37 | AUB

By drawing on the work of Erwin Panofsky’s student, a Renaissance scholar and a Modernist critic Horst Woldemar Janson, I argue that the notion of the human that underlined “the history of art as a humanistic discipline” was marked by the antithesis between animality and divinity. To hold on to this notion of the human, humanistic art history imposed on itself an a priori ethical conviction of human dignity and granted the apolitical scholarship a political dimension, politics here perceived in moral-psychological terms. I discuss Janson’s art history against the backdrop of the rise of totalitarian regimes of the 1930s and the subsequent Cold War. To understand the mediated relationship between the humanistic art history and the Cold War in its specificity, I focus on one of the figures of this uneasy mediation, the ape. During the Second World War the ape stood for the infrahuman animality that signified totalitarian anxieties Janson aimed to neutralize by locating this figure in an uninterrupted historical narrative. The ape appeared as an embodiment of the main aesthetic dilemma of the Cold War, that of mimesis. In this context, Janson entered the controversy over abstraction with a defense of Abstract Expressionism, which he anchored in the tradition of Renaissance humanism. Janson’s influential History of Art was shaped during this process and represented the full realization of the project of legitimating Abstract Expressionism as a successor of the ideals of Classical Humanism in art.

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Vardan Azatyan is an art historian and translator. He is Associate Professor in art history at Yerevan State Academy of Fine Arts, Armenia. As a Visiting Professor he has lectured at Columbia University, and the Dutch Art Institute, Enschede, NL. He is the cofounder of AICA – Armenia. His recent publications include articles in ARTMargins, Oxford Art Journal, Human Affairs, and Springerin. He is the co-editor, with Malcolm Miles, of the volume Cultural Memory (University of Plymouth Press, 2010). His book Art History and Nationalism: Medieval Arts of Armenia and Georgia in 19th century Germany was published in 2012 in Armenian language. He is the translator of major works by George Berkeley and David Hume into Armenian. Azatyan is the President of The Johannissyan Research Institute in the Humanities in Yerevan.

For more information, please contact Angela Harutyunyan at ah140@aub.edu.lb