UCSB Graduate Center for Literary Studies Symposium

Event Date: 

Monday, May 16, 2022 - 9:00am to 2:00pm

Event Location: 

  • Zoom

Event Price: 

Free and open to the public

Event Contact: 

To attend, please register at this link Link opens an external site.

New Approaches to Modern Iranian Art 1950-1979

A Symposium at the Graduate Center for Literary Studies, UC Santa Barbara

In recent years, the historical trajectories and global entanglements of Iranian art before the Islamic Revolution have become subject to increasing debate and conversation, resulting, among other things, in a series of high-profile exhibitions. With this in mind, we are organizing a one-day symposium at the University of California, Santa Barbara that aims to involve emerging scholars of pre-1979 Iranian art in a discussion about their research. The organizers aim to provide a platform for these scholars to dialogue critically with each other and the invited audience about innovative approaches and methodologies for the study of Iranian art during the period in question. Organized by Mohammadreza Mirzaei and Sven Spieker.

Click here to download the symposium flyer Link opens in a PDF reader.


8.00AM - 8.15AM PST
     Introductory Remarks: Mohammadreza Mirzaei, Sven Spieker

8.15AM - 9.30AM PST
     Panel 1: “Methods and Contexts for the Study of Iranian Modernism”
Panel Moderator: Mohammadreza Mirzaei


Katrin Nahidi (Berlin), “How Can We Study Modernist Iranian art? A Methodological Reflection”

Combiz Moussavi Aghdam (Tehran), “The College of Decorative Arts and the Question of ‘Iranian Modernism’”

9.30AM-11.15AM PST
2: “Representation and Iranian Modernism”
Panel Moderator: Sven Spieker


Elizabeth Rauh (Cairo), “Groundwork: Marcos Grigorian’s Sublimely Ordinary Art Experiments”

Mohammadreza Mirzaei (Santa Barbara), “Bahman Mohassess’ Return to Figuration in the 1960s”

Maryam Athari (Chicago), “Corporeal Dialectics: Creative Practices of Nima Yushij and Bahman Mohassess”

15-Minute Break

11.30AM - 1.15PM PST
     Panel 3: “Iranian Modern Art and the Issue of Identity”
Panel Moderator: Maryam Athari


Keivan Moussavi Aghdam (Berlin), “Zarrinkelk, CIDCA and National Identity”

Hamed Yousefi (Chicago), “Parviz Tanavoli and the Mystery of Man”

Leili Adibfar (Chicago), “Of Existence, Embodiment, and Oil: Behjat Sadr’s Paintings and the Question of the Local and  the Global in Writing the Art History of Modern Iran”

1.15PM-1.30PM PST
     Concluding Remarks