April 3, 2019 – Matthew Feliz

Department of History of Art, Bryn Mawr College

The Drug of Reminding: Tracing the Limits of Memory in the Archival Practice of Ellie Ga

This talk will focus on the artistic practice of Ellie Ga, a contemporary artist working across a variety of media that includes installation, photography, performance, sculpture and video. From her residency at the Explorer’s Club in New York where she developed a lecture that detailed the things that had disappeared from the club’s archive to her tenure as an artist in residence on an arctic naval expedition, Ga has developed a research and travel-intensive approach that integrates a wide range of narrative genres and visual strategies, from travelogue to documentary, photographs to video and slide installations. Focusing primarily on her most recent body of work, a sustained engagement with the archaeological ruins and archival sites of the Pharos of Alexandria, this talk will address the ways in which Ga’s practice interrogates the aesthetic, discursive, geographical and scientific systems of knowledge that sustain our constructions of personal and shared history.

April 10, 2019 – Susan Dackerman

John and Jill Freidenrich Director
Cantor Arts Center
Stanford University

Firing Dürer’s Cannon

My talk will address Albrecht Dürer’s 1518 etching Landscape with Cannon as an exploration of religious reform, Ottoman aggression, and etching. In the year following the publication of Martin Luther’s 1517 Ninety-Five Theses, Dürer deployed the caustic print technique in one of his most enigmatic compositions to critique canon law in support of Luther.

April 17, 2019 – Lourdes Bernard

Visual Artist

Las Mujeres de Abril and the April 1965 U.S. Invasion of the Dominican Republic

This project began with a profound curiosity about my parents’ experience while living under Trujillo’s dictatorship and a desire to understand how Trujillo’s assassination, and the revolution that followed, became catalysts for our migration to NYC. Creating these images was a way to reclaim this history , and the collection of  65 images are formatted as a “family” album that embraces and documents the events that led to April 1965. The full size portraits depict Las Mujeres de Abril, a group of women who took up arms to fight for freedom becoming a significant part of the resistance during the American invasion of Santo Domingo.

April 18, 2019 – Thelma Thomas

The Bryn Mawr College Friends of the Library and the Center for Visual Culture

Lessons in Cloth from Late Antique Egypt: Worn, Embodied, and Remembered

Thelma Thomas
Associate Professor of Fine Arts
The Institute of Fine Arts
New York University

Thursday, April 18, 2019
Carpenter B-21
4:30 PM
Reception following lecture in Canaday 205

Support provided by the Friends of the Bryn Mawr College Library, LITS and its department of Special Collections, the Center for Visual Culture, the Program in Middle Eastern Studies, Jefferson University, 360° Program

In conjunction with the exhibition
Byzantine Textiles from Late
Antiquity to the Present
April 18-June 2, 2019
Canaday Library, Lobby and Special Collections Suite
Park Science Center, Science Crossroads

April 24, 2019 – David J. Roxburgh

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Professor of Islamic Art History
Department Chair, Harvard University

Art and Literature in Timurid Herat: Baysunghur’s Manuscripts

Baysunghur (d. 1433), son of ruler Shahrukh and grandson of Timur, has long been regarded as one of the most important princely bibliophiles of the Timurid dynasty, and yet his personal library of books has long deserved critical reevaluation. The lecture reexamines concepts of creative agency—the balance between patron and artists—, the physical and aesthetic reformation of the imperial book, and the effects of the total coordination of the elements of the book comprising binding, calligraphy, illumination, and painting. Why did near contemporaries and subsequent generations regard Baysunghur, and his books, as the benchmark of cultural achievement?

September 12, 2018 – Matthew Rarey

Assistant Professor of the Arts of Africa and the Black Atlantic, Oberlin College

“Questions of Value and Bondage at a Hotel in London, March 1865”

In March of 1865, Dante Gabriel Rossetti encountered a child in the doorway of a London hotel.  One year later, Rossetti presented that child as an androgynous, bejeweled, and servile rendering of blackness in his celebrated painting, “The Beloved”. This talk explores the implications of that encounter, and that rendering, for debates about the representation of enslavement and blackness in Rossetti’s own social circle, the wider Atlantic world in the 1860s, and among those who work with and against the troubled archive of Atlantic slavery.


September 26, 2018 – Natasha Bissonauth

Visiting Assistant Professor & Writing Fellow
Writing Program, Haverford College

“Chitra Ganesh’s Tales of Amnesia: Re-imagining Goddess Iconography through Queer Form”

In 2002, as a South Asian diasporic art scene was emerging in New York City, Chitra Ganesh revisited comic books from her childhood, a series titled, Amar Chitra Katha, that propagandizes hetero-patriarchal visions for Indian nationhood — largely through narratives of Hindu myth. The result was an artwork in the form of a zine titled Tales of Amnesia, a queer parody of Amar Chitra Katha‘s goddess iconography. Bissonauth contextualizes Tales of Amnesia‘s goddess imagery and the nationalist ideologies from which it unhinges in order to highlight how scenes of queer desire trouble diasporic attachment to home/nation. Moreover, broadening analysis beyond queer content, Bissonauth argues that attention to Ganesh’s storytelling form, namely her intertextual dialog and aberration of image and text relations, reveals how queer archival returns enact an aesthetic of opacity, dissonance, and irreverence that ultimately rethinks historical method and narrative processes, too often overdetermined within the visual culture of difference.


October 10, 2018 – Ken Lum

The Rules of the Game (of Art)”
Professor and Chair of the Fine Arts Department
University of Pennsylvania School of Design

Ken Lum will speak about what is for him the meaning of art, which he defines as living the life of the artist.  While such a definition may sound romantic, living the life of an artist means a life where everything is relevant, from beautiful experiences to painful ones.  It also means a life of profound misgivings about the art system in which art must operate.  Lum will speak about how his mixed feelings about art have led to extensive travel and major curatorial and writerly initiatives.

October 24, 2018 – Chanchal Dadlani

Associate Professor of Art History and ZSR Foundation Faculty Fellow, Wake Forest University

“Translating India: Mughal Art and French Knowledge Production in the Late Eighteenth Century”

The eighteenth century was a period of heightened contact between India and France, resulting in the circulation of images and ideas between the courts of the Mughals and that of Versailles. A set of objects from the collection of Jean-Baptiste Gentil, a French East India Company officer who lived in the subcontinent for 25 years, embodied these exchanges. In this talk, I explore how Gentil collaborated with Indian artists and translators to produce albums that mediated between the traditions of Mughal manuscript painting and the audiences of eighteenth-century Paris, ultimately revealing the impact of Mughal manuscript culture on eighteenth-century French knowledge production.