Testing the Canon of Ancient Near Eastern Art and Archaeology (Hardcover)

Testing the Canon of Ancient Near Eastern Art and Archaeology By Amy Gansell (Editor), Ann Shafer (Editor) Cover Image
By Amy Gansell (Editor), Ann Shafer (Editor)
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Testing the Canon of Ancient Near Eastern Art and Archaeology invites readers to reconsider the contents and agendas of the art historical and world-culture canons by looking at one of their most historically enduring components: the art and archaeology of the ancient Near East. Ann Shafer, Amy Rebecca Gansell, and other top researchers in the field examine and critique the formation and historical transformation of the ancient Near Eastern canon of art, architecture, and material culture. Contributors flesh out the current boundaries of regional and typological sub-canons, analyze the technologies of canon production (such as museum practices and classroom pedagogies), and voice first-hand heritage perspectives. Each chapter, thereby, critically engages with the historiography behind our approach to the Near East and proposes alternative constructs. Collectively, the essays confront and critique the ancient Near Eastern canon's present configuration and re-imagine its future role in the canon of world art as a whole.

This expansive collection of essays covers the Near East's many regions, eras, and types of visual and archaeological materials, offering specific and actionable proposals for its study. Testing the Canon of Ancient Near Eastern Art and Archaeology stands as a vital benchmark and offers a collective path forward for the study and appreciation of Near Eastern cultural heritage. This book acts as a model for similar inquiries across global art historical and archaeological fields and disciplines.

About the Author

Amy Gansell is an Associate Professor of Art History in the Department of Art and Design at St. John's University, where she teaches the first-year global art history survey, as well as courses on ancient and non-Western art, cultural heritage, and museum administration. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in the History of Art and Architecture from Harvard University, after which she served in a full-time capacity as the Associate Coordinator for Iraqi Cultural Heritage for the U.S. Department of State, and subsequently held a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Emory University's Bill and Carol Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry. Gansell has received grants from the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and The American Academic Research Institute in Iraq (TAARI), and her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including the American Journal of Archaeology, Cambridge Archaeological Journal, and the Journal of Archaeological Science. She is co-editor of CyberResearch on the Ancient Near East and Neighboring Regions (Brill, 2018) and presently writing a monograph (Oxford University Press) on the aesthetic presence of Neo-Assyrian queens at Nimrud. Her broad, interdisciplinary research interests include art, architecture, archaeology, ethnography, historiography, and the frontiers of the digital humanities. Ann Shafer is an art historian and architect, and is a specialist in Late Assyrian landscape and palace culture. She received her M.A. in Near Eastern Archaeology from the University of Chicago, her M.Arch. from the Rhode Island School of Design, and her Ph.D. in the History of Art and Architecture from Harvard University. Shafer lived and worked for a number of years in the Middle East, and writes on architectural ornament and spatial experience throughout the region, linking the historic and the contemporary. Shafer is also a specialist in artisanal craft, and has worked alongside craftsmen in parts of the Middle East and North Africa on a number of projects. She has also written on various related topics, including traditional design training and the use of artisanal design in sacred space. A key element in her design work is social activism, including the development of design-training programs for women. She is currently teaching in New York and Providence, Rhode Island.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780190673161
ISBN-10: 0190673168
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication Date: February 3rd, 2020
Pages: 468
Language: English