Congratulations to doctoral student Hala Auji, who is one of only two recipients of a 2013 Professional-Development Fellowship in Art History from the College Art Association. The formal announcement of the fellowship winners will take place during the CAA convocation in New York City this week. Follow the link for more information and see below for CAA’s biography of Hala and her work.
Hala Auji is a PhD candidate in art history at Binghamton University, State University of New York, specializing in the Islamic world. Her dissertation is entitled “The Printed Word and the American Syria Mission: Exploring Books and the Nascent Press in the Arab World, 1820-1870.” Drawing on recent scholarship that repudiates traditional views of print’s uniform global impact, her study examines printed books as material objects whose social significances varied across cultural contexts and historic periods. Examining the dynamic design programs of the Protestant mission’s Arabic books printed during the early to mid 1800s for Ottoman Syria’s multi-confessional communities, Auji shows how these religious and secular works negotiated changing social concerns, intellectual attitudes, and notions of the book amongst local Arab Muslims and Christians.
Auji has presented her work at the annual IFA-Frick Symposium on the History of Art, the annual conference of the American Printing History Association, and the annual meeting of the Middle East Studies Association. Her research has been supported with a travel grant from the American Printing History Association, a Grabar Travel Award from the Historians of Islamic Art Association, and various awards and fellowships from Binghamton University. She has taught courses on Middle Eastern and Asian art, design and material culture, including their consumption by European audiences, for which she received a Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Teaching. Auji holds an MA in criticism and theory from Art Center College of Design, and a BFA in graphic design from the American University of Beirut.