Upcoming visiting scholars
Christiane Gruber, University of Michigan, History of Art
Public talk: "Images of the Prophet Muhammad In and Out of Modernity: The Curious Case of a 2008 Mural in Tehran"
Thursday, February 6, 2014 @ 6:00pm
Elvehjem Building room L140
Reception to follow at the University Club, hosted by the Department of Art
In 2008, a five-story mural was painted onto the wall of an apartment building in the northern section of Tehran. The mural represents the Prophet Muhammad’s ascension into the heavens, as well as an inhabitant of Paradise offering a flower to a man in the lower right corner. While the composition is based on a fifteenth-century “Book of Ascension” manuscript, it nevertheless has been altered in two significant ways: first, a man painted in a hyper-realistic mode has been inserted into the composition and, second, the facial features of the Prophet have been removed. Tracing how the original painting has been pictorially augmented and edited for the public sphere, this talk offers some new ideas on how images are received and updated in modern Islamic artistic practices. It will do so by paying special attention to the mural’s symbolic position within Tehran’s mural arts program, Iran’s Shi‘i-Islamic political agenda, the cooptation of "traditional" Persian imagery, and oppositional responses to the Jyllands-Posten cartoon controversy of 2005.
Christiane Gruber's visit is co-sponsored by the Department of Art History and the Center for Visual Cultures.
Past visiting scholars
André Brock, University of Iowa, School of Library and Information Science and and the Project on Rhetoric of Inquiry, "The new ‘stop snitchin’: Sexism, technoculture, and Twitter: Twitter as a medium and catalyst for evocations of technoculturally oriented sexism and racism"
Patricia Loughran, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, English, "Provincializing Print Capitalism: The History of the Book and the Problem of Empire"
Lisa Gitelman, New York University, English and Media, Culture, and Communication, ""Amateurs and their Discontents, 1870-2000"
Rachael Z. DeLue, Princeton University, Art and Archeology, "Arthur Dove's Meteorology"
Peter Godfrey-Smith, City University of New York, Philosophy, "In the Beginning there was Information?"
Jake Kosek, University of California, Berkeley, Geography
Jacques Rancière, University of Paris VIII, Emeritus Professor of Aesthetics and Politics
Kathryn Sparling, Carlton College, Asian Languages and Literatures
Ara Wilson, Duke University, Women's Studies and Cultural Anthropology, "NGOs as Erotic Sites"