UC Berkeley History of Art Department

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  • International conference on art and ecology co-organized by Sugata Ray

    Ecologies, Aesthetics, and Histories of Art​ ​is conceived as an intellectual laboratory to address the ecological and aesthetic dimensions of human interaction with geographical, geological, botanical, zoological, astronomical, and climatic formations from the micro to a planetary scale. How was the interrelationship between the nonhuman and the human visually configured in geographically distinct, yet often interconnected, terrains in different moments of history? How did striated knowledge-systems, the agentive qualities of matter, and aesthetic practices shape such configurations, topographies, and spatial orders? To what extent were particular aesthetic practices related to the economies of religious systems or social arrangements? What are the conceptual interconnections, or conversely interstices, between theories of nature, ecology, environment, and aesthetics? While literary ecocriticism has become a field of intense debate over the last decades, the ecological turn in visual culture studies is still at its early stage. The conference thus aims to bring art history, a discipline that has for long been concerned with notions of landscape, nature, materiality, and aesthetic processes, into this emerging conversation. The conference aims to act as a crucial interpolation in the conversation between ecological and aesthetic studies, envisaged here in a historical and transcultural perspective from the earliest known human interaction with the natural environment to the present day.

    S​peakers: Dipesh Chakrabarty (University of Chicago); Adam Herring (Southern Methodist University); Timothy Ingold (University of Aberdeen); Lihong Liu (National Gallery of Art, Washington); Venugopal Maddipati (Ambedkar University); Michael Marder (The University of the Basque Country, Vitoria-Gasteiz); Sandy Prita Meier (University of Illinois); Spyros Papapetros (Princeton University); Felix Pirson (Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Istanbul); Margarete Pratschke (ETH Zürich); Peter Schneemann (Universität Bern); Mimi Yiengpruksawan (Yale University)

     

    Ecologies, Aesthetics, and Histories of Art
    Organized by Hannah Baader, Sugata Ray, and Gerhard Wolf​
    Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz Max-Planck-Institut, December 14-15, 2015
    Conference website
     

    TAGS: Sugata Ray, ecological history, aesthetics, Kunsthistorisches Institut

  • "(processing) -- Bay Area Artists and the Archive"

    Sugata Ray is one of the artists contributing to "(processing) Bay Area Artists and the Archive," an exhibition hosted by the Art Practice Department during the month of October. The opening reception is Wednesday, October 7 at 4:00 p.m. in the Worth Ryder Gallery.

    TAGS: Sugata Ray, archives, Art Practice

  • Fall Semester Begins!

    Students in History of Art 101, "Theories and Methods for a Global History of Art" meet their THREE new professors! This course is team-taught by Beate Fricke, Sugata Ray, and Lisa Trever.

    TAGS: Lisa Trever, Sugata Ray, Beate Fricke, Theory, Methods, team-teaching

  • Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby and Sugata Ray in Conversation in Berlin

    Body and Empire: A Conversation

    Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby
    Still Thinking about Olympia’s Maid

     Opening with Manet’s voyage to Brazil after the second French abolition of slavery, this talk focuses on the too often overlooked black woman in Manet’s Olympia (1863) and the model Laure who posed for this painting and others. Manet’s painting stages a creole scene that makes visible France’s long reliance on slavery, but also its Revolutionary redefinition of all blacks as paid workers after the second abolition of slavery in 1848. How does thinking about the entry of blacks, specifically black women, into France’s economy of wage labor differently illuminate Manet’s painting?

     

    Sugata Ray
    Of the "Effeminate" Buddha and the Making of an Indian Art History

    Internalizing colonial accusations of the “effeminacy” of the native male body, nineteenth-century Indian ideologues and reformers attempted to redeem the national body through a range of phallocentric body cultures. Anti-colonial art history, however, deliberately appropriated colonizing discourses of the effeminate native body to epistemologically challenge the hegemonic hyper-masculinity advocated by both the regulatory mechanisms of the British Empire and a larger nationalist body culture in colonial India. The ingenious invention of a discursive intimacy between yoga and an aesthetics of demasculinization led to the strategic resignification of the male body in early Indian sculpture as both a sign and the site of an imagined national life. Through a close analysis of art writing and photography, art pedagogy and colonial archaeology, visual practices and sartorial cultures, my talk will delineate the fin-de-siècle politics and aesthetics of demasculinization that had led to the establishment of anti-colonial Indian art history’s disciplinary and methodological concerns.

     

    Kunstgeschichte und ästhetische Praktiken

    An Initiative of the Kunsthistorisches Institut Florenz, Max-Planck-Institut at the Forum Transregionale Studien, BerlinWallotstraße 14, 14193 Berlin

     

     

    TAGS: undergraduate, Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby, graduate, Sugata Ray, Manet, Indian Art

  • Sugata Ray Wins Islamic Visual Culture Essay Prize

    Sugata Ray has been awarded the Historians of Islamic Art Association's 2014-15 Margaret Ševčenko Prize for his essay Shangri La: The Archive-Museum and the Spatial Topologies of Islamic Art History. The Ševčenko Prize, awarded annually for the best essay written on any aspect of Islamic visual culture, is named in memory of Margaret Bentley Ševčenko, the first and long-serving Managing Editor of Muqarnas, a journal devoted to the visual culture of the Islamic world and sponsored by the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at Harvard and at MIT.

    Ray's essay on the twentieth-century display of Islamic art in the United States was researched during his 2013 tenure as Scholar-in-Residence at the Shangri La, Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Honolulu. 

    TAGS: Sugata Ray, Islamic art

  • Spaces of Water: New Paradigms in Ecocritical Enquiry

    An international conference on global water systems and cultures of spatiality in India.

    Organizers: Sugata Ray, History of Art Department, University of California, Berkeley (in association with the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi and Venugopal Maddipati, School of Design, Ambedkar University, Delhi)
    Dates: July 24-25, 2014
    Venue: Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Teen Murti Bhawan, New Delhi, India 110011 (Details here)

    Concept note: The reciprocal relationship between global water systems and cultures of spatiality in constituting historical events across time and space has received little attention in ecohistories of India. Spaces of Water: New Paradigms in Ecocritical Enquiry is an attempt to address this opacity in environmental studies by bringing together leading scholars, artists, architects, and activists from India, Europe, and the United States to articulate new forms of ecocritical thinking that reads the cultural as both determining and being determined by the environmental. How does the environment shape, and is shaped by, the ontological domain of affective spatialities? Over two days, speakers will rethink the intersections between water systems and the phenomenology of spatial cultures in early modern, colonial, and contemporary India to explore the topographies of the concept-term waterscape in the wake of environmental histories and ecocriticism more broadly.

    TAGS: India, Sugata Ray, Ecohistory

  • Collecting South Asia, Archiving South Asia

    On February 18, 2014, the UC Berkeley Center for South Asia Studies is presenting a conference spearheaded by History of Art faculty member Sugata Ray on Collecting South Asia, Archiving South Asia at the BAM Theater. Sponsors of the event are the CSAS, the Arts Research Center, the Asian Art Museum, and our department.

    TAGS: South Asia, Sugata Ray