Monday, August 22, 2016

Michelle Foa awarded a William L. Duren ’26 Professorship

Associate Professor Michelle Foa has been awarded a William L. Duren ’26 Professorship for the 2016-2017 academic year.  She will teach a new interdisciplinary seminar called “The Meaning of Materials” in the spring semester.

Professor Foa is returning from a year’s sabbatical leave, during which she carried out research for her current book on Edgar Degas.  Her research trips over the past year included meeting with curators and studying the collections and archives of the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Harvard’s Fogg Museum in Cambridge, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France and the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, and the municipal archives in Nancy, France.  Prof. Foa was also a faculty member in Tulane’s 4-week Summer in Paris program.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Anton Schweizer authors book on Japanese “lacquered architecture”

Anton Schweizer, Professor of Practice and Director of Asian Studies at Tulane University, has authored a new book, Ōsaki Hachiman: Architecture, Materiality, and Samurai Power in Seventeenth-Century Japan.  Ōsaki Hachiman (1607), a Shintō shrine located in Sendai, Japan, is one of only a handful of surviving buildings from the Momoyama period (1568-1615). The shrine is a rare example of “lacquered architecture”—an architectural type characterized by a shiny, black coat made of refined tree sap and evocative of transitory splendor and cyclical renewal.

The building’s sponsor, the warlord Date Masamune, was one of the last independent feudal lords of his time and remains famous for dispatching a diplomatic mission to Mexico, Spain, and Rome. Although his ambitions to become a ruler of Northern Japan were frustrated, his shrine stands as a lasting testament to the political struggles he faced, his global aspirations, and the cultural cloak by which he sought to advance these objectives.

Ōsaki Hachiman: Architecture, Materiality, and Samurai Power in Seventeenth-Century Japan (Berlin: Dietrich Reimer, 2016) is available from the following booksellers:

(in the US) Michael Shamansky, Bookseller

(in Europe) Reimer