Book launch for Jeffrey West Kirkwood and Leif Weatherby’s new volume at the NYU Center for the Humanities

The event will feature a conversation between Jeffrey West Kirkwood (Binghamton), Leif Weatherby (NYU), John Durham Peters (Yale), and Lisa Gitelman (NYU).
January 29, 2019 at 6PM
NYU Center for the Humanities
20 Cooper Square
New York, NY
Advance registration is suggested


Nancy Um at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton

Nancy Um will present the paper “Qasimi Yemen, A View from the Red Sea Coast,” at the conference, Yemeni Manuscript Collections and Zaydi Studies, on Friday, December 7, 2018. More information and the conference program can be found here:

Upcoming Data Salon – Nancy Um presents “Data and the Future of the Humanities: Cases from Digital Art History”


This data salon will be held in LN-1302C (Zurack Hi-Technology Collaboration Center) at 12 pm on Monday Nov. 19. Lunch will be provided.

Description: Researchers in the humanities are actively exploring new technologies and innovative computational methods to reinvigorate long-standing approaches to the study of literature, art, culture, and society. Brought together under the umbrella of the digital humanities, these initiatives have opened up a new set of analytical pathways for scholars across history, art history, literature, philosophy, and other disciplines. They have also brought humanities scholars into direct communication with those in otherwise distant disciplines, such as computer science, geography, and mathematics. In this talk, we will explore the goals and methods of the digital humanities, using cases from art history as springboards. We will also highlight the ways in which the core practices of the digital humanities intersect, but also diverge from the goals and outlook of other domains in data science.

Jeffrey Kirkwood’s new book with the University of Minnesota Press’s Posthumanities series

Jeffrey West Kirkwood and Leif Weatherby have edited and written an extensive introduction to the first ever English translation of Ernst Kapp’s 1877 magnum opus Elements of a Philosophy of Technology: On the Evolutionary History of Culture. The book was the first to propose a philosophy of technology and is an important precursor to media theoretical, cybernetic, and psychoanalytic discourses.

Nancy Um and Hala Auji present at HIAA 2018

On October 27, 2018, Nancy Um (Professor and Chair, Art History) will present a paper entitled, “Yemeni Manuscripts Online: Close and Distant Readings of a Zaydi Corpus through the Portal of a Screen,” at the Historians of Islamic Art Association 2018 Biennial Symposium, held at Yale University. Binghamton alumna Hala Auji (PhD, 2013) will also present at the conference on October 26. Her paper is entitled, “Facing Pages: Author Portraits in Nineteenth-Century Arabic Publications.”
More information can be found at the conference website:

Julia Walker at IASH

Julia Walker will be speaking at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH) on Wednesday, October 17 at 12:00 in LN 1106. Her paper is titled “’Form is nothing but emptiness, emptiness nothing but form’: Brigitte D’Ortschy and Frank Lloyd Wright in Germany, America, and Japan.” All are welcome to attend.

This paper examines the understudied German architect and planner Brigitte D’Ortschy. Born in Berlin, D’Ortschy spent much of her architectural career in Munich, first at the Technische Universität and later as a founding member of the Bavarian Committee for Urban and Regional Planning. Yet in between, she came in contact with Frank Lloyd Wright, in whom she would find a resonant intelligence—one who privileged the mental and spiritual in architecture and one who contemplated the powerful effects of silence, space, and absence. Her interactions with Wright, I aim to show, laid the groundwork for her later pursuit: becoming a Zen master of the Sanbo Kyodan school in Japan. Through analysis of D’Ortschy’s essays, letters, talks, and photographic archives, this paper reveals her intensive engagement with Wright’s ideas, from his theory of “organic architecture” to his thinking about the importance of flow and continuity in architectural space. I hope to show that D’Ortschy’s developing interest in Zen and Japan, aided by Wright’s philosophy, led her to view architecture as yet another form of the ideal “emptiness” she sought in spiritual contemplation.

Nancy Um in the Sydney Asian Art Series

Case with nine bottles, ca. 1680–1700. Batavia (box) and Japan (bottles). Calamander wood, underglaze painted porcelain, silver, velvet. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, NG-444. Image in the public domain.

On Wednesday, October 17, 2018, Nancy Um will speak in the Sydney Asian Art series, hosted by The Power Institute. Her talk is entitled, “Boxes Fit for Kings: Aromatic Gifts around the Late-Seventeenth- and Early-Eighteenth-Century Indian Ocean.