Next VizCult: Tom McDonough, Binghamton University

“The Artist as Typographer”

Wednesday, November 7, 5:15 pm

FA 218

Ron Terada, Concrete Language, 2006. Pigment ink print, 44 x 55″. Courtesy Catriona Jeffries.

Recent years have seen a proliferation of younger artists whose work employs typography – printed characters, or even the very institution of printing. We have been accustomed to the predominance of language in art at least since the rise of Conceptual practices in the early 1970s, but the current turn represents something different: it takes up not language per se, but language’s material realization and the particular histories carried within its forms. In artists and collectives such as Dexter Sinister, Shannon Ebner, Matt Keegan, and Adam Pendleton, typography has become a central element of aesthetic practice.

Tom McDonough is Associate Professor and Chair of the Art History Department at Binghamton University.

Call for papers, Crossing the Boundaries XXI: Dis/Place



April 26-27th, 2013

Binghamton University


A multidisciplinary, multivocal academic conference with a global geographic and broad temporal reach, presented by the Art History Graduate Student Union

Keynote Speakers:

Ariella Azoulay, Brown University

Julia Walker, Binghamton University


DIS/PLACE: To remove or shift from its place; to put out of the proper or usual place; to remove from a position, dignity, or office; to remove, banish; to oust (something) from its place and occupy it instead; to take the place of, supplant, ‘replace.’

The Art History Graduate Student Union at Binghamton University invites submissions from any historical or disciplinary approach that consider the subject of the placement and/or displacement (of knowledge, people, groups, and objects) for the 21st Annual Crossing the Boundaries Conference.  Propelled by a longstanding commitment to bring forth exceptional critical research, this year’s conference aims to investigate shifts and transformations in global societies, while aspiring to position them in a historical perspective. Specifically, we aim to consider how technologies, migration, archiving and visibility are not only utilized by and incorporated into apparatuses of power, but also how they have been (re)presented, understood and conceptualized from pre-modern eras to the present day. Current civic and international disputes warrant an investigation of historical gatherings, modes of circulation and dissemination vis-à-vis the politics and mechanism of the visual (whether of the photographic image, technologies of surveillance, portraiture and so forth) and their possible appropriation into practices of governance.

Potential topics might include (but are not limited to):

  • Production of visual knowledge and meaning
  • Civil history of zones of conflict and their presentation in media
  • Revolutions and visual media
  • Archiving machineries and procedures
  • Photographic and visual technologies of surveillance
  • Political economies
  • Mechanisms of visual representations
  • Cultural traditions and historical change
  • Migration of knowledge and peoples
  • Discourses of identities and differences
  • Museum practices and recontextualization
  • Consumption and dissemination of representations
  • Political positions and their emergence in art
  • Cultural exchange
  • Representations of social and political memory

The wide scope of this theme reflects our interest in creating a multi-disciplinary, geographically and historically unbounded forum for critical examination of the roles images have played in shaping both the past and the present.

**We additionally welcome submissions from artists whose work encompasses similar themes and concerns.

Proposals for individual papers (20 minutes maximum) should be no more than 400 words in length and may be sent by email, with a current graduate level CV to (Attn: Proposal). Those wishing to submit hard copies of the proposal and CV should forward them to: Art History (Attn: Crossing the Boundaries), Binghamton University, P.O. Box 6000, Binghamton, NY  13902-6000. We also welcome proposals for integrated panels. Panel organizers should describe the theme of the panel and send abstracts with names and affiliations of all participants along with current CVs. A panel should consist of no more than three papers, each twenty minutes in length.  Deadline for submissions is February 8, 2013.
For more information, please visit the conference website at

Faculty and Graduate Student Activities: Nancy Um and Hala Auji in Denver

Nasif al-Yaziji. Kitab fasl al-khitab fi usul lughat al-i’rab [A Discourse on the Rules of Grammar]. Bayrut: al-Matba’a al-Amirkaniyya, 1836.

Doctoral student Hala Auji and Associate Professor Nancy Um will present papers at the 46th Annual Meeting of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) in Denver, CO on November 17th. Chaired by Professor Um, the panel is titled Unstable Objects: Shifting Genealogies of Art, Artists, and Images in the Middle East.

Auji’s paper title is “Arabic Books in Flux: The Early Publications of the American Syria Mission (1836-1860),” and Um’s title is The So-Called “Indian Wedding Chair”: Unresolved Narratives of Dispersal in a Cosmopolitan Woodworking Tradition.”

Congratulations to Auji, who received a Grabar Travel Grant from the Historians of Islamic Art Association to fund her participation at this conference!

For the full conference program, click here.

Graduate Student Activities: Na’ama Klorman-Eraqi in Washington, D.C.

Doctoral student Na’ama Klorman-Eraqi will be participating at the Feminist Art History Conference at the American University in Washington, D.C., November 9-11, presenting her paper, “If These Walls Could Talk – Media Politics in 1970s Britain.” For the conference program and further details, please follow the link.

Faculty Activities: Karen Barzman

Giorgio Vasari, detail, The Defeat of the Pisans at the Tower of Vicenzo, Salone del Cinquecento, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence.

Read about Associate Professor Karen-edis Barzman’s foray into early Federalist America in a seminar on gender and performativity (which also took her into local archives in western New York State) in “Finding ‘Women’s?’ History in Unexpected Places.  The Tale of the Publick Universal Friend,” currently online in The Journal of Women’s History:

Professor Barzman sends regards from more familiar territory – the archives and libraries of Venice, where she is completing research for a book on borderlands and the limits of identity in the Venetian territorial state (16th-18th centuries), with a focus on Dalmatia.

While abroad she is also conducting a graduate reading course this fall (via skype) titled “Gunpowder and Publicity:  Arts of War in the Early Modern State.” This course explores the impact of new technologies of war on architecture and urban planning in the early modern era, and the inclusion of these new technologies in the visual arts.   For those interested in early modern Europe, the focus is on gunpowder and the printing press (both, new in that context); for those interested in the Ottoman Empire or Mughal India, gunpowder (new in the 15th century) and illuminated manuscripts.  After reading a selection of texts (primary and secondary), students will work on one of the following:  the invention of gunpowder and artillery and the design of architecture to stand up to their combined force; the (re)fortification of cities for the same purpose and the planning of borderland fortresses and towns with the advent of this new technology;  ideal plans for “movable cities” (military encampments), including the design and arrangement of “soft architecture” transported from site to site; the emergence of professional military engineers;  the rise of topographical mapping for the strategic planning of warfare driven by firearms and/or cannon;  celebratory woodcuts and copperplate engraving representing the use of artillery and firearms in the defeat of adversaries of the state;  the evolution of palace frescoes or other forms of painting, including manuscript illumination, championing gun-powder in the expansion of empire and sovereign territory.  The chronological focus is the late 15th through 18th centuries.

Next VizCult: Jonathan Massey, Syracuse University (RESCHEDULED FOR FEBRUARY 13)

“Archive, Article, Atlas: Geospatial Histories of Architecture”

Wednesday, October 17, 5:15 pm

FA 218

The convergence of spatial history with digital methods for mapping and managing information is changing architectural research. What new questions can we ask and answer about time by framing analysis through space? Jonathan Massey reviews the tools, methods, and products of geospatial architectural history through three projects-in-progress: an archive, an article, and an atlas. The Marcel Breuer Digital Archive will support geospatial analysis of more than 30,000 archival objects relating to the leading Bauhaus and Brutalist architect. The article “Occupying Wall Street: Places and Spaces of Political Action” maps the changing nature of public and polities at the intersection of urban places and online spaces. Students, staff, and faculty at and beyond Syracuse University are initiating research for Upstate Modern, an online atlas of Upstate New York urban history. These three initiatives demonstrate some of the possibilities for researching and teaching architecture via geospatial history.

Jonathan Massey is the Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor for Teaching Excellence in the School of Architecture at Syracuse University.

Next Thursday: Barbara Abou-El-Haj to speak at University Museum

The Undergraduate Art History Association and Binghamton University Art Museum present:


Thursday, October 18, 4:30 p.m.

Binghamton University Art Museum Study Gallery, First Floor

Mosaics of San Vitale

Please join us as members of the Binghamton University Art History Department host a series of discussions about selected works from the Art Museum’s permanent collection.

These events are free and open to the public.

Tomorrow at CEMERS: D. Medina Lasansky


The Harpur College Dean’s Workshop


D. Medina Lasansky

Associate Professor of History of Architecture & Urbanism

Cornell University

The Modern Re-scripting of the Italian Medioevo: Architecture, Spectacle and Tourism

Wednesday October 10

3:00  LN 1106

 The Fascist regime physically and rhetorically re-scripted the Italian landscape. Local history, festivals, food, and entire towns were re-designed so as to underscore close connections to the medieval and Renaissance past.   This “editing” had obvious political implications.  Perhaps more disturbing, are the profound and lasting effects on the practices of history and tourism.  While less readily identifiable, the implications are equally insidious.


Graduate Student Activities: Wylie Schwartz at station923

Current exhibit at station923: Daren Kendall: Landscape to Barn as Apparatus to HandPhoto courtesy of station923.

In addition to her work as an art history doctoral student, Wylie Schwartz curates an alternative art space in Ithaca known as station923. The most recent installation (by artist Daren Kendall) draws attention to site by blurring the lines between architecture and artistic intervention. “Daren Kendall: Landscape to Barn as Apparatus to Hand” has been covered by the Ithaca Times (click here to read the complete article).

More information available at