East and West

Mary Roberts – East of West: Edward Said, Melancholy Time, and the Orientalist Interior

Thursday, March 22, 2018–6:00 PM
Villa Aurelia
Largo di Porta S. Pancrazio, 1
Rome, Italy
Mary Roberts - East of West: Edward Said, Melancholy Time, and the Orientalist Interior

This event is part of the series New Work in the Arts & Humanities: East and West.

Horological inventions such as the marine chronometer (the technological breakthrough enabling accurate global navigation), and the transplantation of metropolitan time marking practices to colonial outposts were a fulcrum of the empire building of European nation states in the nineteenth century. Western progress and its counterpoint, the non-west as a repository of premodernity, were part of the telos of modern colonialism and orientalism. As Edward Said put it in the opening paragraph to his seminal book Orientalism, the Orient of European invention is defeated by time: “its time was over.”

The recent global turn in our discipline resituates European orientalism within a broader, more politically contested cultural geography. It’s a move east of west. How is the temporal logic of modernity differentially articulated across this expanded cultural geography of the visual? Analysing the interiors of two nineteenth-century British orientalist artist-collectors in the imperial capitals of Istanbul and London, and the Islamic and European art displayed there, discloses their entanglements within British, Ottoman, and Sicilian orientalism. In doing so, this lecture reveals the ways the aesthetics of these spaces were inflected by the heterochronicity of Ottoman and European modernity. Focusing on the temporal logic of these sites enables us to elaborate the transcultural and transhistorical complexities of art’s time.

Mary Roberts is John Schaeffer Professor of Art History at the University of Sydney in Australia. She is the author of Istanbul Exchanges: Ottomans, Orientalists, and Nineteenth-Century Visual Culture (Oakland: University of California Press, 2015), which maps patterns of transcultural exchange between Europe and the Ottoman Empire in the nineteenth century. Istanbul Exchanges won the 2016 Art Association of Australia and New Zealand prize for best book and was translated into Turkish that same year. Roberts also wrote Intimate Outsiders: The Harem in Ottoman and Orientalist Art and Travel Literature (Durham: Duke University Press, 2007). Her current book project, Artists as Collectors of Islamic Art, extends her inquiry into the temporality of modernity forged through visual exchange across cultures.

The event will be held in English. You can watch this event at https://livestream.com/aarome.

Mary Roberts’s lecture, along with the exhibition Yto Barrada, The Dye Garden, opening on May 10, and the international symposium, Islamic Art and Architecture in Italy: Between Tradition and Innovation on May 17-18, are the culminating events of the East and West thematic program at the AAR for 2017-18.

Ayad Akhtar – The Mythos of Money: An Artist’s Observations of Finance’s Rise to Predominancy in the Twenty-First Century

Wednesday, February 7, 2018–6:30 PM
AAR Lecture Room
Via Angelo Masina, 5
Rome, Italy
Ayad Akhtar – The Mythos of Money: An Artist’s Observations of Finance’s Rise to Predominancy in the Twenty-First Century

A scene from the Lincoln Center Theater production of Junk by Ayad Akhtar (photograph © T. Charles Erickson Photography)

This event is part of the series New Work in the Arts & Humanities: East and West.

In this talk, the Pulitzer Prize–winning writer Ayad Akhtar will discuss generational transformations in the social body at the hands of finance. He will explore the implications (and causes) as the results of shifts in contemporary mythopoesis. Akhtar’s latest play, Junk, which recently concluded its acclaimed run at Lincoln Center in New York, explored the emergence of the United States as a republic of consumers fanned by the greed-driven and unregulated hostile takeovers in the heyday of the junk bond on Wall Street in the 1980s.

Akhtar was born in New York City and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is a novelist and author of American Dervish, published in over twenty languages worldwide. His play Disgraced won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, ran on Broadway at the Lyceum Theatre, and was nominated for the 2015 Tony Award for Best Play. His plays The Who & The What and The Invisible Hand received Off-Broadway runs and are currently being produced around the world, garnering nominations for the Evening Standard and Olivier Awards in London this past year. His most recent play Junk received its world premiere at La Jolla Playhouse in 2016, winning the Craig Noel Award for Best New Play. As a screenwriter, he was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay for The War Within. He is also the recipient of an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, two Obie Awards, a Jeff Award, and the Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award. Akhtar has received fellowships from MacDowell, Djerassi, the Sundance Institute, Ucross, and Yaddo, where he serves as a Board Director. He is also a Board Trustee at PEN/America and New York Theatre Workshop.

Ayad Akhtar is Writer in Residence at the American Academy in Rome.

The event will be held in English. You can watch it live at https://livestream.com/aarome.

Lindsay Harris – Matera Imagined/Matera Immaginata: Photography and a Southern Italian Town

Monday, October 16, 2017–6:30 PM
AAR Lecture Room
Via Angelo Masina, 5
Rome, Italy
Lindsay Harris - Matera Imagined/Matera Immaginata: Photography and a Southern Italian Town

This event is part of the series New Work in the Arts & Humanities: East and West.

In the twentieth century, the southern Italian town of Matera has evolved in the collective imagination from an ancient backwater at the edge of civilization to a cultural bellwether for the future of Europe. In the 1940s, following the publication of Italian author Carlo Levi’s best-selling memoir, Christ Stopped at Eboli, Matera became a symbol of southern Italian backwardness. Today, just over a generation later, Matera has emerged as a model of authenticity that will represent Europe as Capital of Culture in 2019. In conjunction with the Academy's fall exhibition, Matera Imagined/Matera Immaginata: Photography and a Southern Italian Town, this talk will explore Matera's recent evolution through photography.

Lindsay Harris is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities at the American Academy in Rome and curator of the exhibition Matera Imagined/Matera Immaginata: Photography and a Southern Italian Town, which is currently on show in the Gallery of the American Academy until 26 November 2017.

The event will be held in English. You can watch it live at https://livestream.com/aarome. On this occasion, the exhibition will be open from 5pm to 8pm.

EXHIBITION EVENTS

Inaugural Lecture
Dacia Maraini
12 October 2017
5:30pm, AAR Lecture Room

Exhibition Opening
12 October 2017
6:30pm-9pm, AAR Gallery

Lecture
Emmet Gowin
A Life in Photography
14 November 2017
6:30pm, AAR Lecture Room

Conversation
Mario Cresco with Roberta Valtorta
Photography and Matera
21 November 2017
6:30pm, AAR Lecture Room

GALLERY HOURS

Thursday-Sunday, 4pm-7pm
12 October- 26 November 2017

The exhibition will also be open on 16 October, 14 November and 21 November from 5pm to 8pm.

Dacia Maraini

Thursday, October 12, 2017–5:30 PM
AAR Lecture Room
Via Angelo Masina, 5
Rome, Italy
Dacia Maraini

This event is part of the series New Work in the Arts & Humanities: East and West.

Dacia Maraini's talk will open the exhibition Matera Imagined/Matera Immaginata: Photography and a Southern Italian.

The celebrated writer, critic, and theater producer Dacia Maraini will discuss her thoughts on writing, travel, Italy, and the South in the context of the Academy’s fall exhibition, Matera Imagined/Matera Immaginata: Photography and a Southern Italian Town. Daughter of Topazia Alliata, a Sicilian princess, and Fosco Maraini, a Tuscan ethnographer and photographer whose images of Matera are featured in the exhibition, Maraini for decades has used literature as a way to explore Italy and its culture with both profound intimacy and intellectual rigor. Her numerous, critically-acclaimed novels and plays have given voice and agency to women of all walks of life. Like her close friend Pier Paolo Pasolini, whose film, The Gospel According to Saint Matthew (1964), was shot in Matera, Maraini often empowers characters in her stories who struggle to find places for themselves in reality. An avid traveler and keen observer, Maraini will share her unique perspectives on southern Italy and its portrayal through the arts.

Seating on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors open at 5pm.

EXHIBITION EVENTS

Exhibition Opening
12 October 2017
6:30pm-9pm AAR Gallery

Curator Lecture
Lindsay Harris
Matera Imagined
16 October 2017
6:30pm, AAR Lecture Room

Lecture
Emmet Gowin
A Life in Photography
14 November 2017
6:30pm, AAR Lecture Room

Conversation
Mario Cresco with Roberta Valtorta
Photography and Matera
21 November 2017
6:30pm, AAR Lecture Room

GALLERY HOURS

Thursday-Sunday, 4pm-7pm
12 October- 26 November 2017

The exhibition will also be open on 16 October, 14 November and 21 November from 5pm to 8pm.

Nasser Rabbat & Nader Tehrani – Fluidity

Thursday, January 11, 2018–6:00 PM
AAR Lecture Room
Via Angelo Masina, 5
Rome, Italy
Fluidity: Nasser Rabbat and Nader Tehrani (moderated by John Ochsendorf)

In this conversation, noted scholar of architecture, Nasser Rabbat, and cutting-edge designer, Nader Tehrani, will discuss “fluidity” as a paradigm for understanding the built environment of the Mediterranean world. Moderated by John Ochsendorf (2008 Fellow), the conversation will highlight concepts of fluidity in Rabbat’s groundbreaking scholarship on Syrian architectural heritage and in the innovations of Tehrani’s designs.

Rabbat is the Aga Khan Professor and Director of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at MIT and the 2018 Louis Khan Scholar in Residence at the American Academy in Rome. Nader Tehrani is Dean of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at The Cooper Union, a principal of NADAAA, and the 2018 Resident in Design at the American Academy in Rome. Ochsendorf is Director of the American Academy in Rome and Class of 1942 Professor of Architecture at MIT.

The event will be held in English. You can watch it live at https://livestream.com/aarome.

This event is part of the series New Work in the Arts & Humanities: East and West. The 2017–18 Conversations/Conversazioni series is sponsored by the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation.​

Emmet Gowin – A Life in Photography

Tuesday, November 14, 2017–6:30 PM
AAR Lecture Room
Via Angelo Masina, 5
Rome, Italy
Emmet Gowin - A Life in Photography

This event is part of the series New Work in the Arts & Humanities: East and West.

In this lecture, the renowned American photographer Emmet Gowin will discuss his art in the context of the Academy’s fall exhibition, Matera Imagined/Matera Immaginata: Photography of a Southern Italian Town. Since the 1960s, when he first studied photography with Harry Callahan at the Rhode Island School of Design, Gowin has been celebrated for his intimate, deeply moving portraits of his wife and muse, Edith, and for his later landscapes and aerial photographs that highlight the impact of modernity on the natural world. Matera Imagined features the arresting landscape he took of Matera’s unique urban layout during a family trip to the town in 1980.

Gowin was born in Danville, Virginia in 1941 and earned his BFA in Graphic Design from the Richmond Professional Institute and his MFA in Photography from the Rhode Island School of Design. He has received many distinguished awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. His work is included in many museum collections including the National Gallery of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Maison Européene de la Photographie, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Tokyo Museum of Art.

The event will be held in English. On this occasion, the exhibition will be open from 5pm to 8pm.

EXHIBITION EVENTS

Inaugural Lecture
Dacia Maraini
12 October 2017
5:30pm, AAR Lecture Room

Exhibition Opening
12 October 2017
6:30pm-9pm, AAR Gallery

Curator Lecture
Lindsay Harris
Matera Imagined
16 October 2017
6:30pm, AAR Lecture Room

Conversation
Mario Cresco with Roberta Valtorta
Photography and Matera
21 November 2017
6:15pm, AAR Lecture Room

GALLERY HOURS

Thursday-Sunday, 4pm-7pm
12 October- 26 November 2017

The exhibition will also be open on 16 October, 14 November and 21 November from 5pm to 8pm.

The Political Power of Sacred Texts

Thursday, October 19, 2017 9:00 AM–6:00 PM
AAR Lecture Room
Via Angelo Masina, 5
Rome, Italy
The Political Power of Sacred Texts

This event is part of the series New Work in the Arts & Humanities: East and West.

Sacred texts, catalyzed through extremely different hermeneutical approaches, have had great political influence in both Eastern and Western cultures. This conference explores the interaction between canonical texts and the array of hermeneutical modes – from fundamentalism to contemporary philosophy – through which they are culturally activated. Do sacred texts and their specific normative content actually have political influence? Or are they just objects of use or abuse by players whose ideologies are informed by motivations independent of the sacred texts they advocate? What cultural contexts favor fundamentalist approaches, and where do open-perspective philosophical attitudes towards sacred texts develop? Is there any possibility for mutual illumination among advocates of these seemingly incommensurate positions? These issues will be discussed in a keynote address followed by a one-day conference. Scholars from different religious backgrounds will analyze test cases, showing how specific sacred texts have been used in diverse historical and cultural contexts as well as their contemporary political relevance. Scholars from philosophy and cultural studies will explore, from their perspectives, how these issues can be approached.

Please see the attachment below for the complete program of speakers.

This conference is sponsored by American Academy in Rome and the Pontifical Biblical Insititute.

The event will be held in English. You can watch this event livestreamed at https://livestream.com/aarome.

William Jordan – King Louis IX’s Other Converts

Tuesday, October 3, 2017–6:30 PM
AAR Lecture Room
Via Angelo Masina, 5
Rome, Italy
William Jordan – King Louis IX’s Other Converts

This event is part of the series New Work in the Arts & Humanities: East and West.

Modern biographies of Louis IX discuss at considerable length his efforts to convert the Jews to Christianity. Perhaps because he was a crusader king, however, scholars have paid little attention to any aspects of his relations with Muslims except those pertaining to war and diplomacy. Yet, as William Jordan will make plain in this lecture, the king’s interest and actions in promoting conversions of Muslims to the Catholic faith turn out to be well worth exploring.

William Jordan is Dayton-Stockton Professor of History and chairman of the History Department at Princeton University. He is the Lester K. Little Scholar of Medieval Studies at the American Academy in Rome in fall 2017.

The event will be held in English. You can watch it live at https://livestream.com/aarome.

Subscribe to East and West