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Interviews with Scholars of Art about their New Books
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Interviews with Scholars of Art about their New Books
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    W. David O. Taylor, "Glimpses of the New Creation: Worship and the Formative Power of the Arts" (Eerdmans, 2019)

    W. David O. Taylor, "Glimpses of the New Creation: Worship and the Formative Power of the Arts" (Eerdmans, 2019)

    Churches have long sought the arts as a vehicle to communicate divine transcendence and to form worshipers. In Glimpses of the New Creation: Worship and the Formative Power of the Arts (Eerdmans, 2019), W. David O. Taylor brings much needed clarity into conversations around the role of arts in Christian liturgy. 
    After framing the way our theological positions and ecclesiastical traditions carry with them a set of presuppositions and implications about the arts and worship, Taylor then devotes a chapter each to the "singular powers" of various artistic disciplines: musical arts, visual arts, poetic arts, kinetic arts, and more. Throughout, readers gain much needed precision and nuance that can guide them through a wide array of conversations about the arts across the Christian tradition. David Taylor is Associate Professor of Theology and Culture at Fuller Theological Seminary, and you can follow him on Twitter (@wdavidotaylor), Instagram (@davidtaylor_theologian), or visit his website. 
    Ryan David Shelton (@ryoldfashioned) is a social historian of British and American Protestantism and a PhD researcher at Queen’s University Belfast.
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    • 41 Min.
    Helen Zughaib and Elia Zughaib, "Stories My Father Told Me: Memories of a Childhood in Syria and Lebanon" (Cune Press, 2020)

    Helen Zughaib and Elia Zughaib, "Stories My Father Told Me: Memories of a Childhood in Syria and Lebanon" (Cune Press, 2020)

    Family stories are the texture of the human fabric. From every land, from every time, they bring the past to life for young ears.
    In the beginning of the twentieth century, when there were no borders in the Middle East (it was then called la grande Syrie), Elia Zughaib grew up first in Damascus, then in the mountains of Lebanon. In a rural culture, animals and humans work in tandem. Children play in the surrounding fields and streams. Traditional celebrations mark the seasons of the year. When history intervened and Lebanon became a battleground between England and France, his family left their home and applied for asylum in America. The migration began.
    The achievement of Helen Zughaib is to bring these memories to life through art. The book’s 25 paintings appear facing Elia’s stories. He serves as the hakawati, the traditional storyteller. The stories in Stories My Father Told Me: Memories of a Childhood in Syria and Lebanon (Cune Press, 2020) are simply told, but they are not simple. Their power is enormous. Helen’s voice is as powerful as his: geometrical shapes, stunning patterns, fierce colors, and people, people, people, young and old. They are delivering milk, planting olive trees, building bonfires for Eid Al Salib, going to a wedding, drying figs, watching the show box, and learning lessons: about charity and compassion and about blind charity. The good, the glad, the sad, and the wise all inhabit these pages.
    Helen Zughaib’s gouaches are in public and private collections: the White House, the Library of Congress, World Bank, American Embassy in Baghad. She has been a cultural envoy for the U.S. State Department, conducting art workshops in Saudi Arabia and Palestine. Her work has been exhibited internationally and has been presented to heads of state by President Obama and the former Secretary of State Hillary Cinton.
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    • 58 Min.
    Shannan Clark, "The Making of the American Creative Class: New York's Culture Workers and 20th-Century Consumer Capitalism" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    Shannan Clark, "The Making of the American Creative Class: New York's Culture Workers and 20th-Century Consumer Capitalism" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    During the middle decades of the twentieth century, the production of America’s consumer culture was centralized in New York to an extent unparalleled in the history of the United States. Every day tens of thousands of writers, editors, artists, performers, technicians, and secretaries made advertisements, produced media content, and designed the shape and feel of the consumer economy. While this centre of creativity has often been portrayed as a smoothly running machine, within these offices many white-collar workers challenged the managers and executives who directed their labours.
    Shannan Clark. author of The Making of the American Creative Class: New York's Culture Workers and 20th-Century Consumer Capitalism (Oxford UP, 2020), speaks with Pierre d’Alancaisez about the origins of the creative class, their labour union struggles and successes, the role of the Works Projects Administration, and institutions like the Design Laboratory and Consumer Union which foretell the experiences of today’s culture workers.
    Pierre d’Alancaisez is a contemprary art curator, cultural strategist, researcher. Sometime scientist, financial services professional.
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    • 1 Std. 2 Min.
    M. I. Devine, "Warhol's Mother's Pantry: Art, America, and the Mom in Pop" (Mad Creek Books, 2020)

    M. I. Devine, "Warhol's Mother's Pantry: Art, America, and the Mom in Pop" (Mad Creek Books, 2020)

    In Warhol's Mother's Pantry: Art America and the Mom in Pop (Mad Creek Press, 2020), M.I. Devine introduces readers to a collection of 21st-century multi-genre essays inspired by Andy Warhol's mother, Julia, that provide a literary and cultural history of new pop humanism. "Here are Leonard Cohen’s last songs and Molly Bloom’s last words; Vampire Weekend’s Rostam and Philip Larkin too; Stevie Smith, John Donne, and Kendrick Lamar; sonnets and selfies; early cinema and post–9/11 film, pop hooks, and pop art." Devine's series of essays examines his histories and relationships with pop culture and art. 
    Rebekah Buchanan is an Associate Professor of English and Director of English Education at Western Illinois University. Her research focuses on feminism, activism, and literacy practices in youth culture, specifically through zines and music.
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    • 50 Min.
    James Elkins and Erna Fiorentini, "Visual Worlds: Looking, Images, Visual Disciplines" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    James Elkins and Erna Fiorentini, "Visual Worlds: Looking, Images, Visual Disciplines" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    In Visual Worlds: Looking, Images, Visual Disciplines (Oxford University Press, 2020), James Elkins and Erna Fiorentini provide a full introduction to the visual world across all the fields that theorize it. In contrast with typical visual culture texts, their book looks beyond the arts, taking a comparative approach that considers a number of fields, including art history and theory but also epistemology, ontology, vision science, neurology, cognitive psychology, law, advertising, medicine, warfare, and more. Intended for first-year university students from diverse backgrounds, Visual Worlds presents a broad array of examples and covers a wide range of topics in short, thematic chapters which offer instructors great flexibility. By focusing on different modes of looking, the book shows students how seeing can change depending on the object that is seen and on its interpretation by an individual.
    Allison Leigh is Assistant Professor of Art History and the SLEMCO/LEQSF Regents Endowed Professor in Art & Architecture at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Her research explores masculinity in European and Russian art of the eighteenth through the early twentieth centuries.
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    • 1 Std. 11 Min.
    Aaron Tugendhaft, "The Idols of ISIS: From Assyria to the Internet" (U Chicago Press, 2020)

    Aaron Tugendhaft, "The Idols of ISIS: From Assyria to the Internet" (U Chicago Press, 2020)

    In 2015, the Islamic State released a video of men smashing sculptures in Iraq’s Mosul Museum as part of a mission to cleanse the world of idolatry. The Idols of ISIS: From Assyria to the Internet (University of Chicago Press, 2020) unpacks three key facets of that event: the status and power of images, the political importance of museums, and the efficacy of videos in furthering an ideological agenda through the internet.
    Beginning with the Islamic State’s claim that the smashed objects were idols of the “age of ignorance,” Aaron Tugendhaft questions whether there can be any political life without idolatry. He then explores the various roles Mesopotamian sculpture has played in European imperial competition, the development of artistic modernism, and the formation of Iraqi national identity, showing how this history reverberates in the choice of the Mosul Museum as performance stage.
    Finally, he compares the Islamic State’s production of images to the ways in which images circulated in ancient Assyria and asks how digitization has transformed politics in the age of social media. An elegant and accessibly written introduction to the complexities of such events, The Idols of ISIS is ideal for students and readers seeking a richer cultural perspective than the media usually provides.
    Marci Mazzarotto is an Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator of Digital Communication at Georgian Court University in New Jersey. Her research interests center on the interdisciplinary intersection of academic theory and artistic practice often with a focus on film and television studies.
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    • 1 Std. 9 Min.

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