Exhibition: ‘Cultural Exchange’ at Boston’s MFA

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on October 27, 2010

From the MFA website:

Luxuries from Japan: Cultural Exchange in the 17th and 18th Centuries
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 30 September 2009 — 17 January 2011

"Dutchman on a Barrel," Japanese, Edo period, ca. 1675-1699, 14 inches high

More than 400 years ago, Japan forged strong trading partnerships with China and the West, and Japan’s lacquer and porcelains were among the most sought-after luxuries in the world. Although Japan largely closed itself to the West around 1640 to preserve domestic stability, Chinese and Dutch merchants were allowed to trade goods through a network that extended down the Asian coast to Islamic ports, around Africa, and then to Europe.

The Japanese frequently created items specifically tailored to aristocratic European tastes for ornamentation in royal palaces and stately homes—exquisite blue-and-white and enameled porcelains, as well as sumptuous mother-of-pearl inlaid lacquers. However, Japan also imported luxuries. Practitioners of chanoyu (popularly known as the tea ceremony), for example, treasured ceramics and textiles from China, Korea, Vietnam, and Southeast Asia. Presenting works from several private collections and from the Museum’s own holdings, Luxuries from Japan explores these dynamic intercultural exchanges that shaped the creation of Japanese works of art
during the seventeenth and eighteenth century.

Call for Essays: Objects in a Global Context

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on October 27, 2010

Wanted: two additional proposals for a collection of essays tentatively titled Objects of Inquiry and Exchange: Eighteenth-Century Thing Theory in a Global Context. If interested, please submit your proposal by January 15, 2011:

Whereas the temporal expanse of the “long” eighteenth-century has been repeatedly emphasized, its spatial inclusiveness and thematic coincidences beyond British (or British colonial) boundaries are still insufficiently addressed. This volume invites papers that may fill in this informational gap: they will focus on how the increased production and circulation of things during the century has encouraged processes of cultural, scientific, and commercial exchange that justify the period’s consideration from a more globalizing perspective. The main goal of the volume is to cover geographical and cultural areas insufficiently mapped out in eighteenth-century studies (the Near and Far Orient, South-Eastern Europe, the Russian and Ottoman Empires, the Nordic countries, Black Africa, and Latin America) by exploring them through the material and narrative circulation of emblematic or familiar objects that represent them literally and culturally.  The possible topics include (but are not limited to):

  • objects in intimate spaces and the emergence of domesticity;
  • (im)proper objects and the public sphere;
  • exotic things in travelogues and scientific investigation;
  • automatons, fossils, totems and the scientific inquiry;
  • collectibles, souvenirs, gifts and the epoch’s emerging interest in antiquarianism and the culture of the museum;
  • gigantic and monstrous objects and the gothic imagination;
  • anthropomorphized objects;
  • it-narratives as forms of picaresque fiction and anti-luxury discourse;
  • persons as things: the reifying mechanism of the satire;
  • desirable things and associated practices (advertising, fashion, shoplifting);
  • the traffic in china, fabrics, spices, and perfumes and the emerging interest in Orientalism;
  • things as fetishes and objects of exchange;
  • curious, magical, and ritual objects;
  • the role of commodities in bringing geographically alien spaces together.

Ideally, the collection will highlight patterns of similar or divergent trends, behaviors, or themes that will reconfigure our understanding of the East/West (and North/South, for that matter) dichotomy by tracing down paths of commercial and intercultural exchange. Our goal is to provide a more accurate representation of the relationship between literature and material culture during the century from a comparative perspective that aims to elucidate whether synchronicity is a matter of influence or coincidence. Consequently, our call for papers encourages submissions from scholars involved in interdisciplinary and comparative research, both domestically and abroad.

Please send abstracts of 300-500 words and a brief bio to Ileana Baird at ifp4a@virginia.edu and Christina Ionescu at cionescu@mta.ca by January 15, 2010. The deadline for manuscript submission will be June 30, 2011.

Call for Papers: Icons and Iconoclasm

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on October 27, 2010

Icons and Iconoclasm
Inaugural issue of Jefferson Journal of Science and Culture

Proposals due by 29 October 2010

The Jefferson Scholars Foundation and the Jefferson Fellows at the University of Virginia recently hosted the second biennial Forum for Interdisciplinary Dialogue. Scholars from across the United States and the World presented their research at the two-day event. On the heels of the success of this conference, the Jefferson Scholars Foundation is proud to launch a new peer-reviewed academic journal entitled the Jefferson Journal of Science and Culture. The journal is a twice-annual publication intended to present high-quality manuscripts on interdisciplinary topics.  Each journal will also have a theme.  The theme for the first journal will correspond to the conference — Icons and Iconoclasm. We invite scholars in all fields to submit papers exploring the many roles, uses and interpretations of icons, as well as criticisms of their iconic status. Scholars are invited to interpret the terms “image,” “icon,” and “iconoclasm” in different ways. Some topics may include:

  • iconic ideas (scholarly theories, religious beliefs and practices, culture)
  • mechanics of icons (construction, transmission, perception, and reception/destruction)
  • iconic images (scientific models, branding, maps, artwork)
  • iconic figures (historical, religious, literary, political)

Please read the submission guidelines on this website and email your manuscript to jeffersonjournaluva@gmail.com by Friday, October 29, 2010.

%d bloggers like this: