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
Advertisements

UPCOMING CONCERT: April 24-25, Fortunat Frölich’s “About Love | عن الحب”

Join us for a free performance of Fortunat Frölich’s “About Love عن الحب” conducted by Thomas Kim (Chairperson and Assistant Professor of Music, FAAH) and Fortunat Frölich (choR inteR kultuR), and sung by Rima Kcheich (Instructor of Music, FAAH). The performances will take place on April 24 + 25, at 7:30 pm, in the AUB Assembly Hall.

17807608_10212765697002088_6803706134477446186_o

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/

16299599_10154800925941397_600287934101098083_o


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/

16252332_10154797610356397_6078512391516636985_o.jpg

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

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?

Unknown

CONFERENCE: Books in Motion, May 5-7, 2016

“Books in Motion: Exploring Concepts of Mobility in Cross-Cultural Studies of the Book” is a three day conference that explores new perspectives in the study of the book. The conference considers the varied inter-disciplinary approaches to studies of mobility in relation to books, specifically the ways in which these objects traverse spatial, temporal, cultural, and material boundaries. The conference brings together international and regional scholars from the interconnected fields of book history, art history, literary studies, digital humanities, and cultural studies whose research explores the material dimensions, circulation, and collection of books in Middle Eastern/Islamic, African, and Asian contexts. THE CONFERENCE INCLUDES:

  • TWO KEYNOTE LECTURES:
  • FIVE PANELS devoted to knowledge production, travel and exchange, material transformations, aesthetics and politics, and digital remediation.
  • ROUNDTABLE on contemporary art and book culture.
  • POSTER PRESENTATION by students from AUB’s English literature program.
  • BOOK EXHIBITION held at AUB’s Jafet library, curated by Hala Auji (FAAH, AUB) and Sonja Mejcher-Atassi (English, AUB), which features manuscripts, printed books, digital projects, and examples of book art related to the conference themes.

“Books in Motion” is organized by the Department of English and the Department of Fine Arts and Art History at the American University of Beirut.

For details about times, venues, panels and speakers, please visit: http://www.aub.edu.lb/fas/english/Documents/BOOKSinMOTION.pdf

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 2.56.43 PMThis event is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

It is supported by AUB’s Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies (CAMES), the Center for Arts and Humanities (CAH), and the Archives and Special Collections Department (ASC), University Libraries, and produced in collaboration with the Orient-Institut Beirut (OIB), Max Weber Foundation.Funding was generously provided by AUB’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ Office of the Dean, CAMES, & CAH, as well as the OIB.

The conference is part of the series of events commemorating the 150th anniversary of AUB.

For more information contact conference organizers: Sonja Mejcher-Atassism78@aub.edu.lb, Hala Auji, ha156@aub.edu.lb,  and James Hodappjh53@aub.edu.lb.

Upcoming Spring Concert: Ralph Vaughan Williams, conducted by Prof. Thomas Kim

Join the FAAH department for the upcoming annual spring concert presented on Monday and Tuesday, April 18 and 19, 2016 at 7:30 pm sharp in AUB’s Assembly Hall. See flyer for details.

Attachment-1

UPCOMING EVENT: Prof. Daniele Genadry Solo Exhibition at Sursok Museum

Daniele Genadry, Assistant Professor of Fine Arts at AUB, will be opening her exhibition “The Fall” at Sursok Museum on Thursday, February 11, 2016, from 6:00-9:00 pm.

The exhibition will be on view until April 18, 2016.

Follow the link for more information: http://sursock.museum/content/daniele-genadry-fall

UPCOMING EVENT: Prof. Sahar Assaf directing “Ab: Beit Byout” at Babel Theater

Ab: Beit Byoutthe launching production of Tahweel Ensemble Theater, is produced in collaboration with the Theater Initiative at AUB. The play is an adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning play August: Osage County by Tracy Letts and will open at Babel Theatre on Wednesday Nov 11 at 8:30pm. It is a tragicomedy set in the present time in Mount Lebanon and revolves around a dysfunctional family on the verge of total collapse. The three daughters of Wadad, a cancer patient, comes back home after the disappearance of their father. Once the entire family is gathered, all the old wounds and unresolved issues gradually unveil.
Ab: Beit Byout. Opening on Wed, Nov 11 at 8:30 pm
Ab: Beit Byout. Opening on Wed, Nov 11 at 8:30 pm
For more information, please see the embedded poster and/or the Facebook event page or the TV commercial.
Tickets are sold at all Antoine branches or online at https://www.antoineticketing.com/index.php?event_id=1386

About the Theater Initiative at AUB
The Theater Initiative at AUB is an interdisciplinary group of faculty, students and artists who promote courses in directing, acting, playwriting, theater history and the performing arts and facilitate plays,theatre research and theatrical projects at AUB, in the Middle East and internationally. One of the principal goals of the Theater Initiative is to place theatrical performance and study at the center of intellectual life at AUB and in the Middle East, bringing together people from all walks of life and students and faculty from literature, arts, architecture, social sciences, science, business, medicine and other disciplines.

FACULTY MEMBER NEWS: Joelle Khoury releases new musical composition

Lebanese pianist, composer, and Instructor of Music at AUB, Joelle Khoury, recently released a new musical composition entitled “Arabian Fantasy in Blue” as part of Meininger Trio’s newest album “Mating Calls / Lockrufe,” published under the international label NAXOS.

Please visit the link for more details: http://www.klassik heute.de/4daction/www_medien_einzeln?id=21549

Matin Calls Album Cover art
Mating Calls /Lockrufe  album cover

FACULTY MEMBER NEWS: Prof. Sahar Assaf in NYC and Montreal

Prof. Sahar Assaf, Assistant Professor in Theater Arts, will be directing an English translation of Issa Mahfouz’s “The Dictator” at Wild Project in New York City from September 10-12, 2015. She will also be speaking, along with Professor Robert Myers (AUB English Department), as part of a panel on contemporary Beirut theater at McGill University, Montreal, on September 17, 2015. Another panel will also be held in NYC in collaboration between LAU and CUNY.

Unknown