Inauguration of The Françoise Forster-Hahn Graduate Travel Award

Francoise Foster-Hahn

The UCR History of Art Department is proud to inaugurate a new graduate student research travel grant, The Françoise Forster-Hahn Graduate Travel Award, which will be presented annually beginning in 2021. The award is sponsored by Emeritus Distinguished Professor and Distinguished Professor of Teaching Françoise Forster-Hahn, who retired from UCR in 2013 after 35 years of teaching and research in the History of Art Department. Forster-Hahn is an internationally lauded scholar of German art from the 18th-20th centuries. She was a foundational contributor to graduate studies in the department and a gracious mentor of students. The department is indebted to Françoise for her guiding intellect and her continuing, generous support of our program and students.

Department of the History of Art & the Asian Studies Program present:
Northeast Asia Council Distinguished Speaker Lecture

King Sejong the Great and the Cultural History of Weather, Religion, and Wealth in Early Chosŏn Korea

Join us on Friday, February 26, 2021 at 3:00pm (PST) — via Zoom
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JunhAhnTalkJuhn Ahn Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Buddhist and Korean Studies, Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Michigan

King Sejong (r. 1418-1450), whose much adored image is prominently displayed on Korea’s green-colored banknote and in the middle of Gwanghwamun Square, is often, if not always, remembered and celebrated for his role in the creation of the Korean alphabet, his passion for science, and his love for the common people. This image of the much beloved king, which developed under unique historical circumstances, obscures more than it reveals. Nationalistic efforts to paint King Sejong as an ideal Confucian monarch germinated during the colonial period and later gained steam after the fall of Korea’s first president Syngman Rhee in 1960. But, needless to say, King Sejong was more than just a caring benevolent Confucian monarch. Like many others who occupied the Chosŏn throne, Sejong was a complex figure who sought creative and politically expedient ways to address concerns that continued to trouble the relatively young Chosŏn dynasty. Extreme weather conditions, sharp population growth, shifting geopolitical winds, radical environmental transformations, and resistance to the state’s encroachment on private enterprise proved to be the greatest sources of concern. As Sejong and his predecessors knew well, these concerns could not be addressed without first addressing the so-called Buddhist problem. This talk will take a close look at the growing concerns about weather, religion, and wealth in Early Chosŏn Korea and shed new light on this oft-neglected aspect of Sejong and his reign.








Department of the History of Art – 2021 Work in Progress Series

GOOD TO THINK WITH: Rembrandt’s Aristotle with a Bust of Homer

Join us on Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 5:15 pm (PST) — via Zoom
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Dr. Jeanette Kohl
Professor of Art History, UC Riverside

In this work-in-progress talk, art historian Jeanette Kohl will discuss the historical and ‘phenomenological’ significance of bust portraits as powerful objects of individual remembrance and intimate dialogue. She will do this through the lens of a painting: Rembrandt’s “Aristotle with a Bust of Homer,” one of the most celebrated works in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. An introductory chapter from her upcoming book “The Life of Busts. Sculpted Portraits in Fifteenth-Century Italy,” the study also presents a novel interpretation of Rembrandt’s enigmatic painting.







Art, Identity, and Social Exchange: Maya-Teotihuacan Interactions at Plaza of the Columns, Mexico

Join us on Monday, November 9, 2020 at 5:30 pm (PST) — via Zoom
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SugiyamaWorkInProgress2020Nawa Sugiyama, Ph.D.
Department of Anthropology, University of California, Riverside

Professor Sugiyama received her Ph.D. in Anthropology at Harvard University in 2014 and continued as a Peter Buck Post-doctoral Fellow at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. In 2016, she began her appointment as Assistant Professor at George Mason University and transferred to the Anthropology Department at University of California-Riverside in 2019 where she established the Archaeological Research Laboratory. She is co-director of the Project Plaza of the Columns Complex at the UNESCO world heritage site of Teotihuacan, Mexico, where she is leading the excavation of a principal palatial structure in the ancient metropolis. She specializes in topics pertaining to the construction of ritualized landscapes, human-animal interaction, inter-regional exchange, and the processes and consequences of urbanization.







African Cities and Writing New Histories, A Conversation

Join us on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 5:30 pm (PDT) — via Zoom
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Ademide Adelusi-Adeluy, Ph.D.
Department of History, University of California, Riverside

Ademide Adelusi-Adeluyi is a historian of Lagos, Nigeria. Her research combines an interest in interdisciplinary questions around the use, design and even destruction of West African cities in the nineteenth century. She received her PhD in History from NYU in 2016. Her recent work explores how colonial maps can be used to perform spatial analysis of indigenous city cultures, and how mapping applications can be leveraged to produce public histories of these sites. She teaches classes on Africa, urban history, digital storytelling and historical cartography at UC Riverside, where she is an assistant professor of History.

Prita Meier, Ph.D.
Department of Art History, New York University

Prita Meier is associate professor of African art and architectural history at New York University. Her scholarship centers on the spatial and aesthetic politics of coastal cities, ports, and border territories and she is the author of the book Swahili Port Cities: Architecture of Elsewhere. Her current research focuses on the material technologies and image cultures of travel and transportation. Most recently she has published articles on photography’s role as a material artifact of mobility and she has also written about the cultural life of Africa’s postcolonial engineering megaprojects.






Statement of Support and Solidarity by the History of Art Department

We the History of Art Department band together in solidarity with our students and protesters locally, nationally, and globally in condemnation of antiblackness and systemic racism. We raise our voices in outrage against racist injustice in all forms that Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color face in this country today, from police violence to the disparities in healthcare made evident by COVID-19. We mourn the needless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Nina Pop, Ahmaud Arbery, Sean Reed, Tony McDade, and too many others that have paid the price of the long national shame of racism. We will not stand for it. We must change.

At UC Riverside, we have long promoted our campus as a place of inclusion, diversity, free- thinking, and social betterment. In the past weeks students have raised their voices and called for our support. We must ensure that our actions match our ideals. We now call upon our leadership, and all parts of the campus including our own department, to directly engage this vital moment to empower a university shaped at every level by the ethos of Black Lives Matter. This means an escalating commitment to understanding the day-to-day realities of Black students, staff, and faculty.

We in Art History will take this time to be sure that our practices support these core values. We will care for those around us. We want our students to know that we support them. We encourage them to reach out to us for counsel and understanding. Our commitments as teachers, scholars, and human beings guide us.

–The Members of the History of Art Department