The Longevity of Rupture: 1967 in Art and Its Histories | AMCA | Association for Modern + Contemporary Art of the Arab World, Iran + Turkey

The Longevity of Rupture: 1967 in Art and Its Histories

June 1-2, 2012
Bathish Auditorium, West Hall,
American University of Beirut (AUB), Lebanon

Please click on playlist above to navigate to a specific paper

1967 Fall Exhibition booklet, Syria
Image: 1967 Fall Exhibition booklet, Syria (graphic design by Abdel Kader Arnaout)
Organized by the Association for the Study of Modern & Contemporary Art of the Arab World, Iran, and Turkey (AMCA) and held in collaboration with the Department of Fine Arts and Art History at the American University of Beirut

Free and open to the public

Conference sponsored in collaboration with the Department of Fine Arts and Art History at the American University of Beirut, supported by a generous donation from Rana Sadik and Samer Younis, and the Provost and Dean of FAS at AUB. Special thanks to Saleh Barakat.


Saleem Al-Bahloly is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. He is writing a dissertation about modern art in Baghdad during the 1950s and 1960s.

Bassam el Baroni is an independent curator and art critic from Alexandria, Egypt. He is the co-founder and director of Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum (ACAF).

Saleh Barakat is a leading expert in contemporary Arab art and founder of the Agial Art Gallery in Beirut, 1991. He has curated several pan-Arab exhibitions, including the IXth Francophone Summit in Beirut, the 2003 World Bank Summit in Dubai, and co-curated the first national pavilion for Lebanon at the 52nd Venice Biennale.

James Casey is a Ph.D. student in the History Department at Princeton University. His research interests focus on Syria and Lebanon under French Mandate, waqf, masculinity, modes of violence in the nineteenth and twentieth century Arab Middle East.

Clare Davies is a doctoral candidate and Erwin Panofsky Fellow at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Her dissertation focuses on art practice in Egypt prior to 1952. She lives in Cairo.

Angela Harutyunyan is Assistant Professor of Art History at the American University of Beirut. She publishes internationally on issues related to conceptual art practices in the former Soviet Union and cultural politics in the Middle East. She is the Associate Editor of Art Margins journal published with MIT Press.

Patrick Kane is Instructor of History in the Humanities Department at Clatsop Community College in Astoria, Oregon. He received his Ph.D. in Philosophy, Interpretation and Culture from the State University of New York at Binghamton.  He is author of The Politics of Art in Modern Egypt:  Aesthetics, Ideology, and Nation-building (IB Tauris – In Print, August 2012).

Elizabeth Suzanne Kassab is a Visiting Professor in the Humanities at Brown University. Her overall interest is the philosophy of culture, both Western and non-Western, with a particular focus on postcolonial debates on cultural malaise, authenticity and critique. Her latest book, Contemporary Arab Thought. Cultural Critique in Comparative Perspective, published by Columbia University Press in the fall of 2009, is an examination of critical thinking in Arab and postcolonial (mainly African and Latin American) debates on culture in the second half of the twentieth century.

Anneka Lenssen is a Ph.D. Candidate in History, Theory, and Criticism of Art and Architecture and the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at M.I.T.  She is completing a dissertation entitled, “The Shape of the Support: Painting in Syria’s Twentieth Century.” She is treasurer of AMCA.

Salwa Mikdadi is a curator and art historian whose work spans over thirty years in the field of Arab art and museums. Her publications and exhibitions focus on gender and politics, Palestinian art, Arab museums and art institutions. She is currently the Head of the Arts and Culture Program at the Emirates Foundation in Abu Dhabi. She is a founding member of AMCA.

Holiday Powers is a graduate student in art history at Cornell University (Ithaca, NY). Her research focuses on modern and contemporary art in Morocco and postcolonial theory. She is currently based in Casablanca.

Dina A Ramadan is Assistant Professor of Arabic at Bard College. She is a senior editor of the Arab Studies Journal and a founding member and secretary of AMCA. Her research has focused on the development of the category of modern art in early 20th century Egypt, and the intersection between the discourses on education and the role of artistic production.

Sarah A. Rogers received her doctorate from the Department of Architecture at M.I.T in 2008 with the dissertation, “Postwar Art and the Historical Roots of Beirut’s Cosmopolitanism.” She is currently editing a collection of essays on the Khalid Shoman Private Collection in Amman, Jordan. She is a founding member and President-Elect of AMCA.

Alexandra Dika Seggerman is a Ph.D. candidate in the History of Art department at Yale University. She is currently a U.S. Department of State ECA fellow at the American Research Center in Egypt, where she is conducting research for her dissertation, entitled, “Revolution and Renaissance in Modern Egyptian Art, 1880-1960.”

Nada Shabout is an Associate Professor of Art History and the Director of the Contemporary Arab and Muslim Cultural Studies Institute (CAMCSI) at the University of North Texas, and the Director of Research and a long-term advisor at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha. She is a founding member and President of AMCA.

Tammer El-Sheikh is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Art History and Communications Studies at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

Conference Schedule

Day 1: June 1

10:00-10:15 Coffee

Opening Remarks

Patrick McGreevy, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, American University of Beirut
Nada Shabout, AMCA President


Panel I

Genealogies of Rupture: 1967 and Modern Egyptian Art

Patrick Kane, “The 1967 War in Egyptian Artistic Discourse and Practice”

Alexandra Dika Seggerman, “Gazbia Sirry and the Fading Figure”

Discussant: Dina Ramadan

12:00-1:15 Lunch Break

Panel II

On Withdrawal and Its Horizons

Clare Davies and Angela Harutyunyan, “On Withdrawal and Its Horizons: An Introduction”

Tammer el-Sheikh, “Theatricality, Repetition and Withdrawal in Some Works by Hassan Khan”

Bassem el-Baroni, “The Trajectories of Edification in Art and its Institutions: The Case of Egypt”


Keynote Discussion
Elizabeth Kassab

Day 2: June 2
10:15-10:30 Coffee

Panel I

The Longer View: Beyond Narratives of Rupture

Saleem Al-Bahloly, “The Freedom Of Despair”

Anneka Lenssen, “The Plasticity of the Syrian Avant-Garde, 1964-1970”

Holiday Powers, “Re-Inserting 1967 into the History of the Casablanca School: Souffles and Palestinian Solidarity in Morocco”

James Casey, “Distant Origins of Collapse: Artistic Reflections on Decadence and (Re)locating the Naksa in a Post-Ottoman Landscape”

Discussants: Nada Shabout and Sarah Rogers

12:30-1:30 Lunch Break

Panel II

The Year in Art: An Overview

Saleh Barakat, “1967: A Selected Panorama”

Discussant: Salwa Mikdadi


Keynote Discussion
Elizabeth Kassab