Jabre Lecture Series: Nancy Um, April 5

Join us on Wednesday, April 5 at 6:00 pm in Auditorium A, West Hall for a public lecture entitled “The Trouble with Mobility: The Complex History of the So-Called Indian Wedding Chair” by Nancy Um, Associate Professor of Islamic art at Binghamton University, 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 .

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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

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

Upcoming Lecture: Ahmet Ersoy (Boğaziçi University)

Ahmet Ersoy (Boğaziçi University)

Ottoman Print Culture and the Rise of the Image: Everyday Life and the Historical Past in Ottoman Illustrated Journals

Thurs., April 21, 2016 | 6:00 pm | College Hall, B1 | AUB

This lecture is part of a broader project that investigates photography in the Ottoman Empire with particular focus on the illustrated journals of the Abdülhamid era (1876-1909). The aim is to distinguish the status of photography in the Ottoman domain with reference to a broader and variegated environment of medial production, dissemination and reception. Rather than approaching the Ottoman photographic material as discrete objects of pure aesthetic and connoisseurial interest, or taking them as confirmatory evidence of all-pervading ideologies, the study follows and historicizes the traces of these images in the context of infinite, quotidian reproducibility, as they were produced, redeployed, collated with texts, and disseminated in the pages of the illustrated journals. It proposes to see these images as the product of changing medial practices and protocols that extended from the Hamidian archive and gift albums, to newspaper causerie, snapshots, postcards, illustrated textbooks and dime novels. The mechanically reproduced images in question demanded new systems of value and new rhetorical strategies in the course of their deployment, and, as they were spilled out in the Ottoman terrain, they signaled the rise of a changing experience of reading texts and images.

 Ahmet Ersoy is Associate Professor at the History Department at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul. His research involves the cultural history of the Late Ottoman Empire with a special focus on visuality and its links with rising discourses of locality and authenticity during a period of westernizing change. He is the author of Architecture and the Late Ottoman Historical Imaginary: Reconfiguring the Architectural Past in a Modernizing Empire (2015), and the co-editor, with Vangelis Kechriotis and Maciej Gorny, of Discourses of Collective Identity in Central and Southeastern Europe (1775-1945), vol. III (2010). His publications include “Ottoman Gothic: Evocations of the Medieval Past in Late Ottoman Architecture,” in Patrick J. Geary and Gábor Klaniczay (eds) Manufacturing Middle Ages: Entangled History of Medievalism in Nineteenth-Century Europe (2013), and “Architecture and the Search for Ottoman Origins in the Tanzimat Period,” in Muqarnas 24 (2007).

Event co-organized by CAMES and the Department of Fine Arts and Art History (FAAH), AUB. 

Please contact Hala Auji, ha156@aub.edu.lb for more information.

Jabre Lecture Series: Venetia Porter, British Museum

Dr. Venetia Porter, curator of Islamic and contemporary Middle Eastern art at the British Museum, will be delivering a public lecture entitled:

Disasters of War: The Inspiration of Goya

Thurs. April 14 | 5:00-6:30 pm | College Hall, Auditorium B1 | American University of Beirut

Artists of different worlds, Farideh Lashai from Iran, and the Chapman brothers from Britain found inspiration in Francisco Goya’s Los Desastres de la Guerra made between 1810 and 1820 depicting the atrocities of the long war between France and Spain. They engaged directly with Goya’s etchings creating new meanings. This lecture will discuss these two works, why Goya’s Disasters has proved so inspirational across time, and the multi-facetted ways in which war and its effects continue to be depicted by Lebanese and other artists of the Middle East.

Goya
Francisco Goya, Desastres de la guerra 1810-1820. Source: Trustees of the British Museum

Venetia Porter has been a curator at the British Museum since 1989, and works on the collections of Islamic and contemporary Middle Eastern art. Born in Beirut, she studied Arabic and Islamic art at the University of Oxford, and her Ph.D from the University of Durham, was on the history and architecture of medieval Yemen. Her research and publications have ranged across a variety of subjects from Arabic inscriptions to Middle Eastern art. She has curated two major exhibitions at the British Museum: Word into Art: Artists of the Modern Middle East, in 2006, which travelled to Dubai in 2008, and Hajj: journey to the heart of Islam (2012).

This talk is hosted by the AUB Art Galleries and co-organized by the Department of Fine Arts and Art History as part of the Jabre Lecture Series on Art History and Curating. The Jabre Lecture Series is made possible by a generous donation of Philippe Jabre.  The series aims to present talks by distinguished professionals, local and international, to promote discussion and consideration of the intersections between art history and curating.

For more information about this lecture, please email Hala Auji at ha156@aub.edu.lb

 

UPCOMING LECTURE: Dr. Nicola Barham “Esteemed Ornament”

Dr. Nicola Barham

“Esteemed Ornament: An Overlooked Roman Aesthetic Concept and the Ara Pacis Augustae”

Thursday, Feb.25, 12:00-1:30 PM, Building 37 (Center for the Arts and Humanities, AUB)

This talk identifies an overlooked classical conceptual paradigm, used to theorize visual culture in Ancient Rome. It contends that, alongside the Greek-derived ideal of the ‘great artist’, there existed a contemporaneous Roman paradigm that stood in tension with this, and conceptualized visual works, not in terms of their internal dynamics, wrought through an artist’s skill, but rather in relation to their external impact upon the environment in which they were exhibited and the patron who facilitated this. This value was expressed through the language of ‘ornament’. This talk analyses the identification of this concept with both figural and non-figural images, as well as with media ranging from civic architecture to painting, and from sculpture to gardens. Focusing in upon the Ara Pacis Augustae as a chief case in point, it demonstrates how reading this iconic monument with a respect for the ancient value of ornament produces fresh readings and new insights upon the Roman culture of commissioning, producing, and viewing visual aesthetic works.

Nicola

Nicola Barham is Research Associate in the Department of Ancient and Byzantine Art at the Art Institute of Chicago. She previously held the Andrew W. Mellon Chicago Object Study Initiative Research Fellowship at the Art Institute in 2014-15, and was Chester Dale Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery in Washington DC from 2013-14. Dr Barham received her PhD from the Department of Art History at the University of Chicago. Her work considers models of aesthetic value that are native to the ancient Greek and Roman worlds, and interrogates their implications for our histories of classical art.

UPCOMING LECTURE: Dr. Joseph Hammond, “Vasari on Portraits”

Dr. Joseph Hammond

“Vasari on Portraits: Aesthetics and Propaganda”

Thursday, Feb.18, 12:00 PM, Building 37 (Center for the Arts and Humanities, AUB)

In 1534 Giorgio Vasari sent a portrait to Alessandro de’ Medici claiming that it represented Alessandro as he truly was – a heroic, armour-clad prince defending the people. Vasari was looking for employment in the ducal court and soon found it. The presentation portrait, Vasari’s description of it, and its reception by the Medici all reveal something about the use and role of portraiture at this time.

Portraiture is often treated by historians as emblematic of the emergence of the individual, of likeness, and as a reflection of an increasingly secular society in the renaissance, but the portrait is both more complicated and more interesting than this simple outline would suggest.  It is clear from contemporary sources, Vasari among them, that portraiture was functional, used socially and diplomatically, to project and legitimise power within a complex network of relationships.

Giorgio Vasari included portraits at the beginning of every vita and went on to compile a portrait gallery on behalf of Cosimo I de’ Medici. His interest in the genre is explicit—yet he did not address the topic directly. Without exception, what interests Vasari is neither the aesthetics, medium, methods or artistry involved in producing portraiture. He sees it instead as a means of revealing and supporting this network of relationships. This talk will address Vasari’s understanding of portraiture, how it differs from our own, and what these differences tell us about efforts at self-representation in the Renaissance and today.

portrait

Joseph Hammond earned his doctorate in Art History from the University of St Andrews for his work on the patronage of the Carmelite Order in Venice. He has since worked internationally in the UK, Canada and USA, where his work has been supported by institutions such as the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, University of Toronto, the British School at Rome, and National Gallery of Art (Washington DC). His interest in historiography and the construction of history and collection has led him to work on a broad range of material from Hitchcock’s Psycho to Jacopo Bellini. His current project is on Venetian portraiture, c. 1350-1450, and explores portraiture’s complex relationship with likeness, identity, and the historiography of the Renaissance.