(7 resources)

Welcome and Introductions
Robertson, Jennifer - University of Michigan
2011-10-22 9:17:00
Ann Arbor, MI - University of Michigan - Museum of Art Stern Auditorium
Duration: 00:11:28

Introduction to the Department of the History of Art's 2011 Freer Symposium Barbarians, Monsters, Hybrids and Mutants: Asian Inventions of Human "Others"

When and under what circumstances do people invent the concept of “the other”? This question has been posed and responded to many times over in a largely modern, colonial, Eurocentric context. However, the invention of “others” is not simply a European prerogative: it is a practice common to cultures and societies throughout the world, past and present. This timely symposium proposes to examine these issues in a visually rich, historically grounded and contextualized collection of talks and discussions that focus critical analytic attention on the manifold Asian imagination and invention of “others.” We seek to highlight and examine the robust and visually potent technologies of “othering” deployed in Asia by Asians past and present while addressing the multiple contexts, regional variations, and sets of interests, involved. In this way, we can focus both multi-media representations of "others" and on how and why these variable constructions were mobilized around complex cross- and intra-cultural negotiations over time.

Welcome by Matt Biro, Professor of History of Art and Chair, Department of History of Art, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts

Introduction by Professor Jennifer Robertson, Professor of Anthropology and Women's Studies, Dept of Anthropology, Professor of History of Art, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and Professor of Art and Design, School of Art and Design
http://lecb.physics.lsa.umich.edu/CWIS/browser.php?ResourceI...
Glimpses at the Asian Borderlands: Pre-modern Japanese Representations of India and the Muslim World
Rambelli, Fabio - University of California, Santa Barbara
2011-10-22 9:30:00
Ann Arbor, MI - University of Michigan - Museum of Art Stern Auditorium
Duration: 00:58:30

An account of textual and visual representations of India and the Muslim world circulating in Japan during the Edo period (1603-1867). At that time, the Buddhist worldview that formed Japanese classical geopolitics is given more concrete representations while at the same time being challenged by both Western notions such as "Asia" and Chinese "China vs. the barbarians (ka-i)" ethnocentrism. In the process, India is removed from the center of classical geopolitics and turned into a remote land. Professor Rambelli argues that the othering of India contributed to reducing the interest of the Japanese in remote peoples outside the sphere of East Asian civilization; a trend particularly evident in Japanese representations of the Islamic world.
http://lecb.physics.lsa.umich.edu/CWIS/browser.php?ResourceI...
Discussion: Glimpses at the Asian Borderlands: Pre-modern Japanese Representations of India and the Muslim World
Sears, Elizabeth - University of Michigan
2011-10-22 10:28:00
Ann Arbor, MI - University of Michigan - Museum of Art Stern Auditorium
Duration: 00:27:36

Elizabeth L Sears is the George H Forsyth Jr Collegiate Professor of the History of Art and Professor of History of Art, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
http://lecb.physics.lsa.umich.edu/CWIS/browser.php?ResourceI...
Foreign Devils, Benign Monsters: Westerners (and Other Foreigners) in Thai Buddhist Cosmographies
Peleggi, Maurizio - National University of Singapore
2011-10-22 11:00:00
Ann Arbor, MI - University of Michigan - Museum of Art Stern Auditorium
Duration: 01:09:47

Images of Europeans, as well as Middle Easterners and Chinese, appear frequently in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Thai illuminated manuscripts and temple murals. Their representation is not surprising in view of the establishment of communities of foreign traders in Thailand’s royal capital since the 1600s. But more than the standard iconography of these figures of the Other, it is the context in which they appear— Buddhist cosmographies and narratives—that calls for examination. For what reason are Dutch and English sailors depicted navigating the cosmic ocean, and French and Arab horsemen riding in the army of Mara, the Buddha’s enemy? This talk proposes that in a visual culture whose raison d’étre was the propagation of Buddhist ethical precepts and metaphysical tenets, the representation of strangers, while reflecting the historical realities of early-modern world encounters, partook of a cultural strategy of naturalization, and hence neutralization, of these “human Others” as an unthreatening presence in the Thai universe.

Faculty Respondent: Susan Siegfried, Professor of the History of Art and Women's Studies, Professor of History of Art and Professor of Women's Studies, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, U-M
http://lecb.physics.lsa.umich.edu/CWIS/browser.php?ResourceI...
The Camel Breeder, the Belly Dancer, and the Terrorist: Images of Muslims, Arabs and Palestinians in Contemporary Japanese Art and Visual Culture
Zohar, Ayelet - University of Haifa
2011-10-22 13:45:00
Ann Arbor, MI - University of Michigan - Museum of Art Stern Auditorium
Duration: 01:07:46

In his book Japan’s Orient (1995), Stefan Tanaka argued that Japan, as a culture that was a target of European Orientalist attitudes, developed its own Orientalist approach towards Asia from late nineteenth-century onwards. Moreover, the political climate in Japan during the early 2000s, especially vis-à-vis the Iraq war, indicates that the issues of Japanese conceptions of Asia continue to be informed by a Japanese Orientalism. This presentation focuses on the proliferation and dissemination of problematic images of Arabs in Japan, as part of the broader discourse on Japan’s position between Asia and “the West,” as illustrated by four different art projects. They are Noguchi Rika’s “In the Desert” (2007), a photographic project taken among the camel breeders outside Sharjah City in UAE; Miyashita Maki’s photographic project “Japanese Belly Dancer” (1999), in which she presents the consumption of feminine body beyond its specific cultural context; Yoshida Kimiko’s “Palestinian Bride” (2005), a photographic series executed for the Israel Museum in Jerusalem; and Aida Makoto’s “The Video of a Man Calling Himself Bin Laden Staying in Japan” (2005), a project that exploits Bin Laden’s mythological status as a tool for self-criticism and a fresh analysis of Japanese society.

Faculty respondent: Patricia Simmons, Professor of the History of Art and Women's Studies
http://lecb.physics.lsa.umich.edu/CWIS/browser.php?ResourceI...
In My Grandfather’s Darkroom: On Photographic Self-Exoticism in the Middle East
Behdad, Ali - University of California, Los Angeles
2011-10-22 14:56:00
Ann Arbor, MI - University of Michigan - Museum of Art Stern Auditorium
Duration: 01:18:34

Although it would be a great scholarly error to view early local photographic practices in the Middle East as merely derivative of their western counterparts, Professor Behdad argues in this talk that it would be equally erroneous to consider them either as oppositional practices working against Orientalist aesthetics or as pure articulations of the vernacular cultures in the region. Focusing on a broad range of photographic images from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, including some produced by my own grandfather, he discusses how middle and upper class men in the Middle East embraced photography to foreground their social status and patriarchal values, while they also engaged in what one might call “photo-exoticism,” a mode of representation that reduced people of the lower classes to (ethnographic) types. At a time when photographic processes were extremely expensive and difficult to execute, many Iranian and other Middle Eastern indigenous photographers produced a fairly large archive of exoticist and eroticized images that perpetuated Orientalist perceptions of the region.

Ali Behdad is John Charles Hillis Professor of Literature and chair of English at UCLA. He has published widely on a broad range of topics, including literature and travel, nationalism and immigration, and Orientalist photography. He is the author of Belated Travelers: Orientalism in the Age of Colonial Dissolution (Duke U Press, 1994) and A Forgetful Nation: On Immigration and Cultural Identity in the United States (Duke U Press, 2005), and the co-editor of A Companion to Comparative Literature (Blackwell, 2011). He is currently completing a manuscript tentatively titled Contact Visions: On Photography and Modernity in the Middle East, and a co-edited Volume, Photography's Orientalism (GRI, 2012).

Faculty respondent: Matt Biro, Professor of History of Art and Chair, Department of History of Art, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, U-M
http://lecb.physics.lsa.umich.edu/CWIS/browser.php?ResourceI...
Roundtable Discussion and Audience Q and A
Robertson, Jennifer - University of Michigan
2011-10-22 16:21:00
Ann Arbor, MI - University of Michigan - Museum of Art Stern Auditorium
Duration: 00:52:36

Panelists:

Ali Behdad, University of California Los Angeles

Celeste Brusati, Professor of History of Art and Women’s Studies

Kevin Carr, Associate Professor of History of Art and Associate Professor of Asian Languages and Cultures

Christiane Gruber, Associate Professor of Islamic Art

Tina Le, graduate student, History of Art

Maurizio Peleggi, National University of Singapore

Martin Powers, Sally Michelson Davidson Professor of Chinese Arts and Cultures at the University of Michigan

Fabio Rambelli, University of California, Santa Barbera

Margaret Root, Curator, Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, Professor of Classical and Near Eastern Art and Archaeology

Melanie Trede, Toyota Visiting Professor, U-M Center for Japanese Studies

Ayelet Zohar, University of Haifa, Israel



Moderated by Professor Jennifer Robertson, Professor of Anthropology and Women's Studies, Dept of Anthropology, Professor of History of Art, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and Professor of Art and Design, School of Art and Design
http://lecb.physics.lsa.umich.edu/CWIS/browser.php?ResourceI...