Shannon Steiner at the Frick Symposium on the History of Art

On Friday, October 30, Visiting Assistant Professor Shannon Steiner will present her paper “Supernatural Perfection: Alchemy and the Conspicuous Virtuosity of Byzantine Enamel” at the Frick Symposium in the History of Art. The panel will begin at 3pm. EDT on Zoom. More information at

Nancy Um on the New Books Network

Nancy Um spoke with Ahmed AlMaazmi and Jenny Peruski about her book, Shipped but Not Sold: Material Culture and the Social Protocols of Trade during Yemen’s Age of Coffee (University of Hawaii Press, 2017), for the Indian Ocean series of the New Books Network. Listen here:

Dissertation defense: Hyeok Cho

Lee Bul, Mon grand récit—Weep into stones …, 2005.


Dissertation defense
Hyeok Cho, PhD candidate
“Can the Subaltern Artist Speak? Postmodernist Theory, Feminist Practice, and the Art of Lee Bul
Committee members: John Tagg (advisor), Kevin Hatch, Tom McDonough, Sonja Kim (Asian and Asian American Studies; outside examiner)
Thursday, May 7 at 9:00 a.m. by Zoom
This defense is open to the public, however a password is required to attend. The password will circulate in a separate email to department faculty and graduate students, but may also be requested directly from John Tagg or Hyeok Cho.

Nancy Um in Manuscript Studies

Nancy Um’s new article, “Yemeni Manuscripts Online: Digitization in an Age of War and Loss,” has been published in Manuscript Studies: A Journal of the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies 5.1 (Spring 2020): 1-44. It is available on Project Muse (free until June 30): The article’s digital component is available at:
Abstract: In 2013, a corpus of manuscripts from Yemen became openly accessible to the public through the Princeton University Digital Library portal. Numbering around 250 codices, most were digitized and cataloged from three private collections held in Yemen, under the auspices of the Yemeni Manuscript Digitization Initiative (YMDI), a scholarly network that was underpinned by institutional support from the Princeton University Library and Freie Universität Berlin. This article delves into the YMDI project, as a significant case study, with the goal of considering how this group of digital surrogates functions as an online collection, rather than viewing the Princeton portal as a transparent access point for these manuscripts or examining any of the YMDI volumes or their contents individually. Mass digitization projects are often sketched as efforts of “salvage,” focusing on issues of both preservation and accessibility. By contrast, here, it is asserted that the meaning and significance of these manuscripts have not been sustained through the act of digitization, but rather transformed, particularly amidst Yemen’s current unstable political situation. It is hoped that this article will provide a critical backdrop to the YMDI collection, by situating the cultural act of digitization historically, thereby helping users to understand these collections more substantively and inspiring us to think critically about how and why we digitize historic manuscripts in a precarious contemporary world.

Dissertation defense: Rotem Rozental

The Department of Art History is pleased to announce that on Friday May 3, 2019, at 10:30 a.m.

in the Art History Commons, FA 218, Rotem Rozental (BA, Tel Aviv University, 2007; MA, Tel Aviv University, 2012) and candidate for the doctoral degree in art history will defend her dissertation PHOTOGRAPHIC ARCHIVES, NATIONALISM AND THE FOUNDATION OF THE JEWISH STATE, 1903–1948 before a committee composed of Professors John Tagg (Chair), Kevin Hatch, Tom McDonough, Pamela Smart and Randy Friedman (Department of Judaic Studies and the Center for Israel Studies), Outside Examiner.


Dissertation defenses in the Department of Art History are important moments in our academic life and are by definition public events, open to all. We look forward to a lively, instructive and informative discussion and invite you all to attend.

Jason Joonsoo Park presents at the IFA/Frick Symposium on the History of Art

On Friday, April 5, PhD candidate Jason Joonsoo Park presented his paper “Preserving the Environment: Alan Sonfist’s Time Landscape” at the IFA/Frick Symposium on the History of Art. Every year, the department receives an invitation to send a speaker to the annual symposium, held jointly at the Frick Collection and the Institute of Fine Arts in New York. Fourteen graduate programs in Art History in the region send a nominee to the event. The symposium offers each participant the opportunity to represent his or her graduate program at a prestigious event, gain valuable experience in constructing and delivering a major paper, and meet students, faculty, and museum professionals from leading regional institutions.

Nancy Um participates in the CUNY Digital Humanities Research Institute

Photo from Wikipedia Commons

Post content: In June 2018, Nancy Um will join 15 other participants in the CUNY Digital Humanities Research Institute, a ten-day residential workshop supported by the NEH and focused on expanding communities of digital humanities practice. More information on the CUNY DHRI can be found here: