Anneka Lenssen, Sarah Rogers and Nada Shabout are celebrating the launch of their new edited volume Modern Art in the Arab World: Primary Documents (2018) with AKPIA@MIT. The event will take place on Thursday, May 24, 2018 6-8 PM in the Stella Room, and the roundtable discussion will be moderated by AKPIA students Sarah Rifky and Suheyla Takesh.
Modern Art in the Arab World: Primary Documents (2018)–an anthology of translated art writing by artists and intellectuals in the Arab world of the twentieth century–offers an unparalleled resource for the study of modernism. Many of the published texts are appearing for the first time in English, and include manifestos, essays, discussion transcripts, diary entries and letters. The book is the eighth volume in The Museum of Modern Art’s Primary Documents series, which offers access to essential documents for the study of global modernism. This edition, includes sixteen new entries, by the editors and other scholars, and a new essay by the historian and Arab-studies scholar Ussama Makdisi providing a historical overview of the region’s intertwined political and cultural developments in the twentieth century.
During this event, we will talk to the editors about how this project came about, the intricacies and challenges of the creating this archive, the challenges of organizing, selecting and contextualizing the material included in the book, and more broadly what bearings this project has on new histories of global modernism under construction.
Anneka Lenssen is Assistant Professor of Global Modern Art, at UC-Berkeley. She received her PhD in 2014 from the History, Theory, Criticism program and Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at MIT. Her current book project, Beautiful Agitation: Modern Painting in Syria and the Arab East, is a study of avant-garde painting and the making of Syria as a contested territory between 1920 and 1970.
Sarah Rogers is an independent scholar. She earned her PhD in 2008 from the History, Theory and Criticism program, where she wrote her dissertation “Post-war Art and the Historical Roots of Beirut’s Cosmopolitanism.” She is a founding member of the Association for Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab World, Iran and Turkey (AMCA) and is currently editing a collection of essays on the Khalid Shoman Private Collection.
Nada Shabout is a Professor of Art History and the Coordinator of the Contemporary Arab and Muslim Cultural Studies Initiative (CAMSCI) at the University of North Texas. She is author of Modern Arab Art: Formation of Arab Aesthetics (2007) and the founding president of the Association of Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab World, Iran and Turkey (AMCA), and has served as Consulting Director of Research at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha. She has curated a number of exhibition including the inaugural show Sajjil: A Century of Modern Art, at Mathaf, in Doha in 2010.