Monthly Archives: December 2015

Draper Student Maria Slautina on Attending the Fifth Biennial French Graduate Conference “Authority and Authorship” at Johns Hopkins University

Processed with VSCOcam with a1 preset

In October I attended the Fifth Biennial French Graduate Conference “Authority and Authorship” at Johns Hopkins University. My background in medieval French literature and authorship lead me to an interest in global medievalism, and as a result, in global comparative literature. It can be very illuminating to explore how people with different backgrounds and histories deal with the same problems. In the paper I presented, I looked into how Russian author Andrei Makine and Japanese author Akira Mizubayashi resolve problems of authority while writing in French, a foreign language for both. I wanted to understand what lead them each to chose French as their adopted language, and how this choice then influenced their voice as authors.

Though this research fits within the field of literature, it’s also close to the art history project that I have been developing during my studies at Draper. I’m exploring the notion of creativity in the context of contemporary societies in flux. How much relevance is there today for the idea of national arts, music and literature? How do we define an artist who is born in one country, grows up in another, and is creatively active in a third? How does the act of moving abroad or traveling between different places influence creativity? Finally, what does travel do to previously conventional perspectives? Do people start to create because of the experience of migration, perhaps as a way to deal with discomfort or anxiety? Or are they inspired by new acquaintances? How do the new forms of creativity influence actual art spaces and museums?

At the conference I was pleased to find myself in a thriving community of young scholars from around the world. Canadian, French, Australian and American graduate students and researchers came together for fascinating discussions about authorship, translation and the figure of the author in a wide range of disciplines.

APPLICATIONS OPEN – Rumi Forum Fellowship Program 2016

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 12.16.32 PM.pngScreen Shot 2015-12-14 at 12.16.43 PM.pngScreen Shot 2015-12-14 at 12.17.05 PM.pngScreen Shot 2015-12-14 at 12.17.22 PM.png

Professor Alan Itkin awarded a Center for the Humanities Grant-in-Aid

Draper is thrilled to announce that our own Professor Alan Itkin was recently awarded a Center for the Humanities Grant-in-Aid to support the publication of his book, Underworlds of Memory: W.G. Sebald’s Epic Journeys Through the Past.

Professor Itkin’s book explores the afterlife of classical epic poetry in the works of the late twentieth-century German writer W. G. Sebald and the German-Jewish post-Holocaust writers who influenced him.  The book argues that classical epics are self-reflexive monuments of cultural memory, that is they help to commemorate a culture’s common history while asking their audience to reflect on this shared form of memory and the role literature plays in it.  Its central thesis is that Sebald uses epic tropes to frame his literary works as “modern epics,” that is as similar self-reflexive monuments of cultural memory, but ones suited to the traumatic and complex events of the modern era.


Italy Restoration and Preservation Summer Field School

The San Gemini Preservation Studies Program, now in its 18th year, is now accepting students for their 2016 summer program. They are dedicated to the preservation of cultural heritage and offer students the opportunity to study and travel in Italy.

Session One (May 30 – June 24)

Building Restoration – Touching the Stones*

Restoration of Traditional Masonry Buildings in Italy

Sketching and Analyzing Historic Buildings

Archaeological Ceramics Restoration

Analysis of Archaeological Ceramics in Italy

Restoration of Archaeological Ceramics

Book Bindings Restoration 

The Craft of Making and Restoration Book Bindings

Introduction to the History and Craft of Book Bindings

Session Two (July 11 – August 5)

Paper Restoration 

Restoration and Conservation of Paper Media

Paper Restoration Workshop

Traditional Painting Restoration

Traditional Materials, Methods of Painting and Art Restoration Issues

Traditional Painting Workshop

Preservation Theory and Practice in Italy

Restoration Theory, Ethics and Issues

*Field Projects:

Restoration of the façade of the church of San Carlo (13th century)

Analysis of medieval buildings in San Gemini as part of an urban study of the city

Intersession Programs (June 25 – July 8):

Intersession Field Trip – Italy (June 26 – July 5)

A ten day trip visiting Siena, Florence and Rome: places of cultural interest, the urban and historical development of each town, and specialized visits to places of interest to restorers.

Intersession Trip – Athens (check-in Saturday, June 27 – check-out Friday, July 8)

A twelve day visit of Athens: an exploration of the history of preservation and conservation issues facing the city led by some of the top Athenian experts in their field.

Intersession Program – The History of Food in Italy (June 27 – July 8)

A two week course giving an overview of the evolution of the food system in Italy. The course will include morning lec­tures and an experimental cooking workshop.

To find out more about our program and review the syllabi, please visit our WEBSITE.

Our courses are open to students from various disciplines, both undergraduate and graduate. All lessons are taught in English.

CFP: Twenty-First Annual James A. Barnes Graduate Student Conference

The James A. Barnes Club, Temple University’s graduate student history organization, is pleased to announce the Twenty-First AnnualBarnes Club Graduate Student History Conference.

The Barnes Club Conference will be held Friday evening March 18 and Saturday March 19, 2016, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM at Temple’s Center City Campus in downtown Philadelphia.  The Barnes Club Conference is one of the largest and most prestigious graduate student conferences in the region, drawing participants from across the nation and around the world. This year, the James A. Barnes Club is proud to announce N.D.B. Connolly, Visiting Associate Professor of History, Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University and author of A World More Concrete: Real Estate and the Remaking of Jim Crow South Florida as conference keynote speaker.

Proposals from graduate students for individual papers or panels are welcome on any topic, time period, or approach to history.  We welcome proposals that foreground public history. Panels will include two or three paper presentations, running roughly twenty minutes each, with comment and questions to follow.

At the conclusion of the conference, cash prizes will be awarded to the best papers in multiple scholarly categories. Of particular note is the Russell F. Weigley – U.S. Army Heritage Center Foundation Award, a substantial stipend offered through the U.S. Army Heritage Center to the best paper in military history presented at the conference.

Please submit a 150-300 word abstract that outlines your original research and a current C.V. to no later thanJanuary 22, 2016.

The registration fee is $45 for presenters and attendees.  A continental breakfast, lunch, and pre- and post-conference receptions are included.

Contact Info:

Michael Diaz, Barnes Conference Planning Committe