New Book | Oriental Interiors

Posted in books by Editor on September 23, 2016

From Bloomsbury:

John Potvin, ed., Oriental Interiors: Design, Identity, Space (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015), 296 pages, hardback ISBN: 978-1472596642, $115 /  paperback ISBN: 978-1472596635, $30.

9781472596659Since the publication of Edward Said’s groundbreaking work Orientalism 35 years ago, numerous studies have explored the West’s fraught and enduring fascination with the so-called Orient. Focusing their critical attention on the literary and pictorial arts, these studies have, to date, largely neglected the world of interior design. Oriental Interiors is the first book to fully explore the formation and perception of eastern-inspired interiors from an orientalist perspective.

Orientalist spaces in the West have taken numerous forms since the 18th century to the present day, and the fifteen chapters in this collection reflect that diversity, dealing with subjects as varied and engaging as harems, Turkish baths on RMS Titanic, Parisian bachelor quarters, potted palms, and contemporary yoga studios. It explores how furnishings, surface treatments, ornament and music, for example, are deployed to enhance the exoticism and pleasures of oriental spaces, looking across a range of international locations. Organized into three parts, each introduced by the editor, the essays are grouped by theme to highlight critical paths into the intersections between orientalist studies, spatial theory, design studies, visual culture and gender studies, making this essential reading for students and researchers alike.

John Potvin is Associate Professor in the Department of Art History at Concordia University, Montreal, where he teaches on the intersections of art, interior design and fashion. He is the author of Bachelors of a Different Sort: Queer Aesthetics, Material Culture and the Modern Interior in Britain (Manchester University Press, 2014), Giorgio Armani: Empire of the Senses (Ashgate, 2013), and Material and Visual Cultures Beyond Male Bonding (Ashgate, 2008). He is also editor of The Places and Spaces of Fashion (Routledge, 2009) and co-editor of Material Cultures, 1740–1920: The Meanings and Pleasures of Collecting (Ashgate, 2010) and Fashion, Interior Design and the Contours of Modern Identity (Ashgate, 2010).

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Introduction: Inside Orientalism: Hybrid Spaces and Modern Interior Design, John Potvin

Section I: Modes of Display and Representation
Introduction to Section I
1  The Emptiness of Western Aesthetics Versus the Aesthetics of Eastern Intimacy: A Reading of Interior Spaces and (Colonial) Literary Impressionism in E. M. Forster’s A Passage to India, Victor Vargas (Cogswell Polytechnic)
2  The Exhibitionary Re-production of ‘Islamic’ Architecture, Solmaz Mohammadzadeh Kive (University of Colorado)
3  Promoting the Colonial Empire through French Interior Design, Laura Sextro (University of Dayton)
4  Orientalism and David Hockney’s Male-positive Imaginative Geographies, Dennis S. Gouws (Springfield College and the Australian Institute of Male Health and Studies)
5  The Excessive Trompe l’Oeil: The Saturated Interior in Tears of the Black Tiger, Mark Taylor (University of Newcastle) and Michael J. Ostwald (University of Newcastle)

Section II: Gendered and Sexual Identities
Introduction to Section II
6  On Oriental Interiors in Eighteenth-Century British Women Writers’ Novels, Marianna D’Ezio (Luspio University for International Studies of Rome)
7  Bachelor Quarters: The Spaces of Japonisme in Nineteenth-Century Paris, Christopher Reed (Pennsylvania State University)
8  Coming Out of the China Closet?: Performance, Identity and Sexuality in the House Beautiful, Anne Anderson (Exeter University and Kingston University)
9  Orientalism, Collecting and Shame: Inside Rolf de Maré’s Hildesborg Estate, John Potvin (Concordia University)

Section III: Spaces and Markets of Consumption
Introduction to Section III
10  Paradise in the Parlour: Potted Palms in Western Interiors, 1850–1914, Penny Sparke (Kingston University)
11  Traveling in Time and Space: The Cinematic Landscape of the Empress Theatre, Camille Bédard (McGill University)
12  Oriental Spaces at Sea: From the Titanic to the Empress of Britain, Anne Massey (Middlesex University)
13  Posturing for Authenticity: Embodying Otherness in Contemporary Interiors of Modern Yoga, Lauren Bird (Queen’s University)






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