First VizCult of the year: Marilynn Desmond, Binghamton University

“Trojan Time and the Place of Troy in the Angevin Court of Robert of Anjou”
Wednesday, September 14, 5:15 pm
FA 218

The second redaction of the Histoire ancienne jusqu’à César—a French text of universal history preserved in British Library Royal 20 D 1—was commissioned in the 1330’s by Robert of Anjou, king of Naples from 1309-1343.  Since this manuscript marks an entirely new departure—both in its textual and its visual program—from earlier manuscripts of the Histoire ancienne, its iconography can be specifically read in relation to Robert of Anjou, a king known for his patronage of the arts and specifically for his interest in acquiring luxury manuscripts that script a vision of his royal and potentially imperial roles. The visual program in Royal 20 D 1 enables a complex set of identifications between the contemporary Angevin kingdom and the ancient world, since Royal 20 D 1 uses the story of the siege and fall of Troy to illustrate Robert of Anjou’s imperial ambitions in the Eastern Mediterranean, particularly his territorial designs on Constantinople.

Marilynn Desmond is Distinguished Professor of English, General Literature and Rhetoric and Director of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (CEMERS) at Binghamton University.

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Art History department welcomes two new faculty members

Welcome to Kevin Hatch and Julia Walker!

Kevin Hatch received his MA from the University of Delaware in 2001 and his PhD from Princeton University in 2008, both in art history. He returned to Binghamton University in 2011, after previously serving as visiting assistant professor for the 2008-2009 academic year. Professor Hatch’s teaching and research traverses the twentieth century, with particular attention paid to the intersections of art, cinema, and new media in the postwar period. His book Looking for Bruce Conner investigates Conner’s enormously influential but insufficiently understood work while exploring his position on the geographical, cultural, and critical margins. Hatch’s current book project, tentatively titled Rapture/Rupture: Art, Criticism, and the New-Media Sublime, investigates new media practices originating in the 1990s that trouble the outwardly stable categories of cinema and visual art. His research has been supported by a number of sources including the Henry Luce Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies.

Julia Walker received her MA (2004) and PhD (2009) in Art History from the University of Pennsylvania. She served as a visiting assistant professor at Binghamton in 2008-2009 before returning to the department in 2011. Professor Walker’s research addresses the vexed relationship between architecture and memory in postwar Europe, focusing particularly on Berlin’s rapid transformation after the fall of the Wall. Her dissertation revealed the nostalgic romanticism underlying the apparently hyper-modern reconstruction of the German capital’s government district. She is currently at work on a book manuscript titled Notes from the Underground: Excavating Germany’s Twentieth-Century Graffiti, which juxtaposes different registers of visual culture (from preserved Gestapo prison walls to recent official memorials) to show how graffiti works as a counter-discourse to received narratives of German history. Her work has been supported by the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst and the Society of Architectural Historians.