Conference | Orientality: Beyond Foreign Affairs

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on May 20, 2015


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From the conference website:

Orientality: Beyond Foreign Affairs
National Portrait Gallery, London, 2–3 June 2015

A biennial conference series developed by the Orientalist Museum, Doha

The inaugural conference Orientality: Cultural Orientalism and Mentality took place at Cambridge University in 2013. The subsequent conference is scheduled for the National Portrait Gallery, London, 2015. The only conference of its kind, Orientality gives international art and museum professionals an opportunity to come together and discuss the art, history, politics and future of the Orientalist art movement. The conference aims to develop understanding between east and west, and showcase the continued vibrancy of the Orientalist art movement in the 21st century.

The conference title orientality is a combination of two terms—orientalism and mentality. The term orientalism has been used in art history since the early nineteenth century in association with works of art on Middle Eastern and North African subjects pioneered by French artists. The term mentality is defined as “way of thinking of a person or a group,” and can be metaphorically translated as an “opinion,” formed and shaped, in our case, under various historical, political, social and cultural circumstances and environments, what allows the orientalism to be seen and interpreted in various ways by different societies. The theme of cultural orientalism and mentality captured the scholarly imaginations largely because we were able to articulate the dialog in both artistic and sociological terms, spanning the geographical area of orientalism and widening its historical borders.

We hope that our interpretation of orientality will influence many other disciplinary areas in the social sciences, humanities and beyond. Orientalism as a historical and cultural event has been uniting various aspects of cultural life for a number of centuries—literature, fine arts, architecture, music, philosophy—and generating an exotic image within our consciousness, one that had a right to its own existence.

Entry to the conference is free, and all are welcome. We do ask that you register your attendance ahead of time to ensure we have adequate seating available.

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T U E S D A Y ,  2  J U N E  2 0 1 5

8:30  Coffee and registration

9:30  Opening and welcome

9:45  Art and Nation Building
• The Somerset House Painting of 1604: How a Turkey Carpet Became a Symbol of British Imperialism, Gerald MacLean
• Design Reform at the British Embassy: James Wild’s Arabesque Hall in Qajar Tehran, Moya Carey
• Ottoman Photography and Late Nineteenth-Century Modernity, Zeynep Çelik

11:45  Lunch break

13:15  Diplomatic Gifts
• Across Religious Borders: Diplomatic Gifts at the Mamluk Court, Doris Behrens-Abouseif
• Pearls, Bezoar Stones, Carpets and Diplomatic Gifts: The Portuguese Luxury Trade in the North of the Indian Ocean and the Gulf, Jean Michel Massing
• Illustrated Manuscripts as Persian Diplomatic Gifts to the Russian Court, Firuza Melville

W E D N E S D A Y ,  3  J U N E  2 0 1 5

8:30  Coffee and registration

9:30  Opening and welcome

9:45  Art and Politics
• Bellini, Bronze and Bombards: Sultan Mehmed II’s Requests Reconsidered, Antonia Gatward Cevizli
• Collecting Arts for Imperial Needs: Acquisitions of Russian Military Men and Diplomats in Levant during the Russo-Turkish war of 1768–1774, Elena Borisovna Smilyanskaya
• The Von Celsing Family History and the Eighteenth-Century Collection of Ottoman Art at Biby, Anna-Sophia von Celsing
• Searching for the Meaning of the Rare Mughal Animal Carpet in David Wilkie’s Painting The Preaching of Knox before the Lords of the Congregation, 10th June 1559, Dorota Chudzicka

12:25  Lunch break

14:00  Oriental Encounters
• ‘Speak of Me as I Am’: A Portrait of a Moorish Ambassador to Queen Elizabeth I, Sophie Bostock
• Iconographies of the Levant, ca. 1800, Paolo Girardelli
• Mme Lucas-Robiquet’s Artistic Portrayal of Late Nineteenth-Century Algeria, Mary Healy


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