Symposium on Orientalism and Ephemera

AHVA sessional professor Abbas Akhavan and MFA Graduate Babak Golkar participates in this symposium that is free and open to the public.

The symposium is sponsored by Centre A (Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art) and the Centre for the Comparative Study of Muslim Societies and Cultures (Simon Fraser University). The Centre for the Comparative Study of Muslim Societies and Cultures, Department of History, Simon Fraser University.

10am Keynote Speaker Dr. Steven Caton “From Rudolph Valentino to Special Forces: The Creation, Transformation, and Circulation of the ‘Shaykh’ in American Culture”.

Dr. Steven Caton is Professor of Anthropology at Harvard University and Director of its Centre for Middle Eastern Studies. A specialist on anthropological poetics and orientalism, he is the author of Peaks of Yemen I Summon: Poetry as Cultural Practice in a North Yemen Tribe (University of California Press, 1990), Lawrence of Arabia: A Film’s Anthropology (University of California Press, 1999), and Yemen Chronicles: An Anthropology of War and Mediation (Hill and Wang, 2005).

1:30pm Dr. Silvia Naef “Orientalizing Orientalism? Visual Arts from the Middle East in the Global Context”

Dr. Silvia Naef is Professor of Arabic Studies at the University of Geneva and General Secretary of the European Association of Arabists and Islamicists. A historian of the visual culture of the Middle East and the
Muslim world, she has edited and written numerous monographs, including Images and Aniconism in Islam: From the Qur’an to the Caricature Debate (C.H. Beck, 2007) and The Other Shi’ites: From the Mediterranean to Central Asia (Peter Lang, 2007).

2:30-4:30pm Symposium of Artists
Dr. Laura Marks, Chair (SFU)
Babak Golkar, Abbas Akhavan, Jayce Salloum, Fabiola Nabil Naguib

8pm Exhibition opening: Orientalism and Ephemera / l’orientalisme au quotidien
Centre A, 2 West Hastings Street, Vancouver

Opening: Friday, March 14, 8pm
Twenty-nine national and international artists + archival material.
Curated by Jamelie Hassan, organized and sponsored by Centre A.

Jamelie Hassan is an artist and cultural activist whose work is found in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of Ontario. She is a 2001 recipient of the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts.

Film screening
Every Saturday during the exhibition, 3 to 5pm. Film schedule to be announced on the Centre A website:
Ancillary event Workshop on Arabian Nights: Translations and Transformations April 22, 2008 (Simon Fraser University)
For further information: or