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The introduction of writing enables new forms of literature, but these can be invisible in works that survive as manuscripts. Through looking at inscriptions of poetry on garbage and as graffiti, we can glimpse how literature spread along with writing.
This study uses these lesser-studied sources, including inscriptions on pottery, architecture, and especially wooden tablets known as mokkan, to uncover how poetry, and literature more broadly, was used, shared and thrown away in early Japan. Through looking at these disposable and informal sources, we explore the development of early Japanese literature, and even propose parallels to similar developments in other societies across space and time.
In this book, Volodymyr Koloda and Serhiy Gorbanenko discuss the important role of agriculture in the socio-economic development of the Khazar Khaganate and its influence on neighboring peoples. Drawing on the methods of the natural sciences (such as palaeobotany, archeozoology, soil science, palaeoclimatology), the volume focuses on how agriculture became the basis of the economy of the Khazarian populace. Comparative analysis suggests a significant influence of the agricultural traditions of the Saltiv population on the neighboring tribes of the Eastern Slavs, such as Severians mentioned in the annals (the Romny culture of Left-Bank Ukraine) and Slavs on the Don (the Borshevo culture).
Narrative, Place, and the Śaiva Imaginary in Early Medieval North India
In Mapping the Pāśupata Landscape: Narrative, Place, and the Śaiva Imaginary in Early Medieval North India, Elizabeth A. Cecil explores the sacred geography of the earliest community of Śiva devotees called the Pāśupatas. This book brings the narrative cartography of the Skandapurāṇa into conversation with physical landscapes, inscriptions, monuments, and icons in order to examine the ways in which Pāśupatas were emplaced in regional landscapes and to emphasize the use of material culture as media through which notions of belonging and identity were expressed. By exploring the ties between the formation of early Pāśupata communities and the locales in which they were embedded, this study reflects critically upon the ways in which community building was coincident with place-making in Early Medieval India.
The History, Architecture, and Legacy of Catholic Sacred Structures in Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei Province
China’s Old Churches, by Alan Sweeten, surveys the history of Catholicism in China (1600 to the present) as reflected by the location, style, and details of sacred structures in three crucial areas of north China. Closely examined are the most famous and important churches in the urban settings of Beijing and Tianjin, as well as lesser-known ones in rural Hebei Province.
Missionaries built Western-looking churches to make a broad religious statement important to themselves and Chinese worshippers. Non-Catholics, however, tended to see churches as sociopolitically foreign and culturally invasive. The physical-visual impact of church buildings is significant. Today, restored old churches and new sacred structures are still mostly of Western style, but often include a sacred grotto dedicated to Our Lady of China--a growing number of Catholics supporting Marian-centered activities.
Politics, Art, Spirituality in the Kingdom of Vaspurakan
Volume Editors: and
This book is dedicated to an outstanding architectural monument of medieval Armenia – the church of the Holy Cross, built in the tenth century on the island of Ałt‘amar on Lake Van, and a UNESCO world heritage site. This jewel of architecture has been researched mainly from an art historical perspective. The current multi-author volume offers diverse studies aimed at placing the construction of the church in its proper historical, political, religious, and spiritual context. It explores the intellectual climate in the Kingdom of Vaspurakan during the reign of its founder, King Gagik Arcruni, the Kingdom’s relations with Byzantium and the Abbasids, analyzes local historiography, biblical exegesis, hagiography, veneration of the True Cross, and royal ideology. Novel interpretations of architectural features and sculptural decorations close the volume.
Le livre est consacré à l'un des plus importants monuments architecturaux de l'Arménie médiévale, l'église de la Sainte-Croix construite au Xe siècle sur l'île d’Ałt‘amar sur le lac de Van. Elle est inscrite sur la liste du patrimoine mondial de l'UNESCO. Ce joyau de l'architecture arménienne a été étudié principalement dans la perspective de l’histoire de l’art. Le présent volume multi-auteurs propose une diversité d’approches qui placent la construction de cette église dans le contexte historique, politique, religieux et spirituel. Il étudie l’ambiance intellectuelle du Royaume du Vaspurakan durant le règne de son fondateur, le roi Gagik Arcruni, les relations du Royaume avec Byzance et les Abbassides, il analyse l’historiographie locale, l’exégèse biblique, l’hagiographie, le culte de la Vraie Croix et l’idéologie royale. De nouvelles interprétations des particularités architecturales et des décors sculptés achèvent le volume.
Contributors are Krikor Bélédian, Jean-Claude Cheynet, Patrick Donabédian, Bernard Flusin, Tim Greenwood, Gohar Grigoryan, Armen Kazaryan, Davit Kertmenjyan, Sergio La Porta, Jean-Pierre Mahé, Zaroui Pogossian, Robert Thomson (†), Alison Vacca, Edda Vardanyan.
Over Two Centuries of Cooperation and Competition
Volume Editors: and
This publication is the result of a three-year research project between eminent Russian and Japanese historians. It offers an an in-depth analysis of the history of relations between Russia and Japan from the 18th century until the present day. The format of the publication as a parallel history presents views and interpretations from Russian and Japanese perspectives that showcase the differences and the similarities in their joint history. The fourteen core sections, organized along chronological lines, provide assessments on the complex and sensitive issues of bilateral Russo-Japanese relations, including the territory problem as well as economic exchange.
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In Engaging the Other: “Japan and Its Alter-Egos”, 1550-1850 Ronald P. Toby examines new discourses of identity and difference in early modern Japan, a discourse catalyzed by the “Iberian irruption,” the appearance of Portuguese and other new, radical others in the sixteenth century. The encounter with peoples and countries unimagined in earlier discourse provoked an identity crisis, a paradigm shift from a view of the world as comprising only “three countries” (sangoku), i.e., Japan, China and India, to a world of “myriad countries” (bankoku) and peoples. In order to understand the new radical alterities, the Japanese were forced to establish new parameters of difference from familiar, proximate others, i.e., China, Korea and Ryukyu. Toby examines their articulation in literature, visual and performing arts, law, and customs.
Women, Rites, and Ritual Objects in Premodern Japan, edited by Karen M. Gerhart, is a multidisciplinary examination of rituals featuring women, in which significant attention is paid to objects produced for and utilized in these rites as a lens through which larger cultural concerns, such as gender politics, the female body, and the materiality of the ritual objects, are explored. The ten chapters encounter women, rites, and ritual objects in many new and interactive ways and constitute a pioneering attempt to combine ritual and gendered analysis with the study of objects.
Contributors include: Anna Andreeva, Monica Bethe, Patricia Fister, Sherry Fowler, Karen M. Gerhart, Hank Glassman, Naoko Gunji, Elizabeth Morrissey, Chari Pradel, Barbara Ruch, Elizabeth Self.

Ancestral Rites, Weights and Measures, and the Means of Protest
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Michael Loewe calls on literary and material evidence to examine three problems that arose in administering China’s early empires. Religious rites due to an emperor’s predecessors must both pay the correct services to his ancestors and demonstrate his right to succeed to the throne. In practical terms, tax collectors, merchants, farmers and townsmen required the establishment of a standard set of weights and measures that was universally operative and which they could trust. Those who saw reason to criticise the decisions taken by the emperor and his immediate advisors, whether on grounds of moral principles or political expediency, needed opportunities and the means of expressing their views, whether as remonstrants to the throne, by withdrawal from public life or as authors of private writings.

Editor:
In Arthur Upham Pope and A New Survey of Persian Art, fourteen scholars explore the legacy of Arthur Upham Pope (1881–1969) by tracing the formation of Persian art scholarship and connoisseurship during the twentieth century. Widely considered as a self-made scholar, curator, and entrepreneur, Pope was credited for establishing the basis of what we now categorize broadly as Persian art. His unrivalled professional achievement, together with his personal charisma, influenced the way in which many scholars and collectors worldwide came to understand the art, architecture and material culture of the Persian world. This ultimately resulted in the establishment of the aesthetic criteria for assessing the importance of cultural remains from modern-day Iran.

With contributions by Lindsay Allen, Sheila S. Blair, Jonathan M. Bloom, Talinn Grigor, Robert Hillenbrand, Yuka Kadoi, Sumru Belger Krody, Judith A. Lerner, Kimberly Masteller, Cornelia Montgomery, Bernard O’Kane, Keelan Overton, Laura Weinstein, and Donald Whitcomb.