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Imperial Exposure: Early Photography and Royal Portraits across Asia

Freer Gallery of Art
Meyer Auditorium
Monday, December 5–Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Speaker Bios

Ali Behdad is the John Charles Hillis Professor of Literature and chair of the English Department at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has published widely on a broad range of topics, including Orientalism, travel literature, nationalism and immigration in the United States, and the history of photography in the Middle East. He is the author of Belated Travelers: Orientalism in the Age of Colonial Dissolution (1994) and A Forgetful Nation: On Immigration and Cultural Identity in the US (2005). He is currently completing a book manuscript on Orientalist photography.

John Clark, CIHA, FAHA, is professor of Asian art history and an Australian Research Council (ARC) Professorial Fellow at the University of Sydney. Among his recent books are Asian Modernities: Chinese and Thai Art of the 1980s and 1990s (Sydney: Power Publications, 2010) and Modernities of Chinese Art (Leiden: Brill, 2010). He wrote “The Southeast Asian Modern” in the anthology Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art, edited by Nora Taylor and forthcoming from Cornell University Press; and “Okakura Tenshin and Aesthetic Nationalism” in Japanese Art of the Modern Age, edited by Thomas Rimer and forthcoming from the University of Hawai’i Press.

Deepali Dewan is an art historian of South Asian visual culture. She holds a PhD from University of Minnesota and a BA (Honors) from McGill University, Montreal. She is currently curator at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, and teaches in the Department of Art at the University of Toronto with an affiliation with the Centre for South Asian Studies. Her research encompasses nineteenth- and twentieth-century visual culture of South Asia and the South Asian Diaspora, with particular emphasis on the impact of colonialism, nationalism, and modernity on knowledge production. For the last decade, her research has focused on the history and theory of photography in India. She coauthored a book on nineteenth-century photographer Raja Deen Dayal, which is forthcoming from the Alkazi Collection of Photography and Mapin. In addition, she edited Bollywood Cinema Showcards: Indian Film Art from the 1950s to the 1980s (2011) and authored Embellished Reality: Indian Painted Photographs (forthcoming). Dewan is part of the Toronto Photography Seminar, a multidisciplinary group that has received a number of grants to organize conferences, guest-edit volumes, and invite speakers on the topic of photographic history. She has received fellowships from the Social Science Research Council, the American Institute of Indian Studies, the College Art Association, and the MacArthur Program/Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change.

Holly Edwards holds degrees from Princeton University, University of Michigan, and New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts. She is senior lecturer in the Art Department at Williams College, where she offers courses on the art and architecture of the Islamic world. Her research interests presently center on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, ranging from American Orientalism to Afghan photography. Her publications encompass a broader array of topics: commemorative architecture in the Indus Valley, architectural epigraphy, and contemporary painting. She has curated two major exhibitions, Noble Dreams, Wicked Pleasures: American Orientalism 1870–1930 (catalogue printed by Princeton University Press, 2000) at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute; and, with Mark Reinhardt and Erina Duganne, Beautiful Suffering: Photography and the Traffic in Pain (University of Chicago Press, 2007) at the Williams College Museum of Art.

Maki Fukuoka is assistant professor of Japanese humanities at the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Michigan. Fukuoka focuses on visual culture of nineteenth-century Japan with a particular emphasis on photographic representations and technology. She is interested in tradition and modernity in Japan and how their conflicting and often confusing relationships are represented or articulated visually. In this light, her purview extends to the formulation of Japanese art history as well as relationships between exhibition practices and the dissemination of knowledge in modern Japan. Her book The Premise of Fidelity: Science, Visuality, and Representing the Real in Nineteenth-Century Japan will be published by Stanford University Press in spring 2012. She is currently working on a new project called Shaping a Likeness that explores the roles and uses of portrait photographs in early Meiji Japan.

Luke Gartlan is a lecturer in the School of Art History at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. He guest-edited special issues on photography in nineteenth-century Japan for the journal History of Photography (May 2009) and on photography in East Asia for Photo Researcher (April 2011). His articles have appeared in Visual Resources, Early Popular Visual Culture,the La Trobe Journal, and History of Photography, and in exhibition catalogues for the National Gallery of Victoria and the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography. He has been awarded fellowships by the Austrian government, the Australian Academy of the Humanities, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and the Research School of the Humanities and the Arts at the Australian National University. With the support of an Arts and Humanities Research Council Early Career Fellowship, he is currently completing a monograph provisionally titled A Career of Japan: Baron Raimund von Stillfried and the Business of Yokohama Photography.

Yi Gu is assistant professor at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on modern Chinese art and photography history. She has presented on such topics as the Chinese nomenclature of photography, imperial patronage of photography, and landscape photography and changing visuality. She organized the panel “Photographic Practices, Visual Transgression, and National Identity in Meiji Japan and Early Republican China” at the Association for Asian Studies annual conference in 2009. She is currently working on a book manuscript, Scientising Vision in China: Photography, Outdoor Sketching, and the Reinvention of Landscape Perception.  

Christine Kim, assistant professor at Georgetown University, is a historian of Korea, specializing in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Her broad research interests include the interplay between culture and politics in the formation of national identity. She is presently completing a book on the significance of the Chosŏn monarchy (1392–1910) in twentieth-century Korea and commencing work on a new project examining the history of national treasures.

Yuhang Li will conduct postdoctoral research at Yale during the 2011–12 academic year. She received her PhD from the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago in June 2011; her dissertation was titled “Gendered Materialization: An Investigation of Late Imperial Chinese Women’s Artistic and Literary Reproductions of Guanyin.” Before she joined the University of Chicago, she graduated with a BA from the Art History Department in the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China, and then received an MA from the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also worked at the Beijing Art Museum and the Field Museum of Natural History. She is currently cocurator, with Judith Zeitlin, of an exhibition of opera in the Chinese visual arts.

Hyung Il Pai received her PhD from Harvard University, majoring in anthropology and East Asian archaeology. She is an associate professor at the East Asian Department of Language and Cultural Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she has taught courses on Korean archaeology, history, anthropology, popular culture, and literature, and East Asian traditions and tourism. She is the author of Constructing Korean Origins: A Critical Review of Archaeology, Historiography and Racial Myth (Harvard University Asia Center, 2000) and coeditor of Nationalism and the Construction of Korean Identity (University of California, Berkeley, East Asia Center Monograph Series, 1998). She has also published in a wide range of international journals and contributed book chapters on diverse topics including Korean state formation, culture contact and change, archaeological heritage management, museum studies, photography, and cultural tourism in Korea and Japan. Her latest book, Re-inventing Antiquity and Patrimony: The Politics of Heritage Management in Korea and Japan, is forthcoming from the University of Washington Press (expected in 2012).

Maurizio Peleggi is associate professor of history at the National University of Singapore. He is the author of Thailand, the Worldly Kingdom (London: Reaktion, 2007), Lords of Things: The Fashioning of the Siamese Monarchy’s Modern Image (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2002), The Politics of Ruins and the Business of Nostalgia (Bangkok: White Lotus, 2002), and several journal articles and chapters in edited volumes on Thailand’s visual and material culture. In addition, he is the coeditor (with John Clark and T. K. Sabapathy) of Eye of the Beholder: Reception, Audience and Practice of Modern Asian Art (Sydney: Wild Peony Press, 2006).

Ying-chen Peng is a PhD candidate in the Department of Art History at the University of California, Los Angeles. She studies the art history of late imperial China, particularly the process whereby popular culture merged into court art and how gender difference was reflected in visual culture. Her dissertation, “This Imperial Body: The Cultural Enterprise of Empress Dowager Cixi (1835–1908),” looks at the empress dowager’s patronage and activities that increased the visibility of popular culture and feminine expressions in late Qing court art.

Claire Roberts is a historian of Chinese art and a curator. She is a research fellow at the College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University (ANU). She was a coordinate research scholar at the Harvard-Yenching Institute, Harvard University, in 2011; research fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard from 2009–2010; and senior curator of Asian arts at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, from 1988–2010. Roberts studied at the Beijing Foreign Languages Institute from 1978–79 and the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, from 1979–81. She has an MA from the University of Melbourne. Her PhD, completed at ANU, focused on the work of modern Chinese brush-and-ink painter Huang Binhong (1865–1955). Roberts has published widely on Asian art and curated numerous exhibitions. Her most recent publications are Friendship in Art: Fou Lei and Huang Binhong (2010), Other Histories: Guan Wei’s Fable for a Contemporary World (2008), and The Great Wall of China (2006). Her next book is forthcoming and titled Photography and China.

Mary Roberts is the John Schaeffer Associate Professor of British Art at the University of Sydney. She is the author of Intimate Outsiders: The Harem in Ottoman and Orientalist Art and Travel Literature (Duke, 2007) and has coedited four books: The Poetics and Politics of Place: Ottoman Istanbul and British Orientalism (Pera Museum and University of Washington Press, 2011), Edges of Empire: Orientalism and Visual Culture (Blackwells, 2005), Orientalism’s Interlocutors: Painting, Architecture, Photography (Duke, 2002), and Refracting Vision: Essays on the Writings of Michael Fried (Power Publications, 2000). She has received grants from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, the Australian Academy of the Humanities, and the Australian Research Council, and has been awarded residential fellowships at the Yale Center for British Art (2008), the Getty Research Institute (2008–2009), the Clark Art Institute and Oakley Center for the Humanities (2009–2010), and the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities at Northwestern University (2011–12). She is currently writing a book on the artistic exchanges between Ottoman and Orientalist artists in nineteenth-century Istanbul.

Roberta Wue is an assistant professor of art history at the University of California, Irvine. Her research investigates the visual culture of late Qing China, with a particular interest in the relationships between image makers, images, and their various audiences. She has published on painting, photography, and advertising in nineteenth-century China. Her current book project focuses on the nineteenth-century Shanghai art world and its interactions with a new urban audience through such channels as painting, illustrated books, portraiture, and the mass media. Her work on photography in China includes the 1997 Asia Society exhibition Picturing Hong Kong: Photography 1855–1910 and an essay on the nineteenth-century Chinese portrait sitter in Body and Face in Chinese Visual Culture (Cambridge, 2005).

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