Isabelle Kalinowski and Spyros Papapetros will be holding a lunch time workshop on Wednesday, December 4, at 12:15 pm. The workshop is entitled, “Semper Studies Now.”

Gottfried Semper is a seminal figure in the later nineteenth century’s great leap forward in thinking about object studies, history, design, textiles, style, and collecting. The title of this workshop suggests the centrality of Semper for questions fundamentally associated with Bard Graduate Center. Based first in Dresden, then moving to London in time for the 1851 Great Exposition (he was a political refugee on the run for his liberal views in post-1848 Germany), and later returning to Germany, Semper offers us access to crucial debates all across Europe. He remains, however, just over the horizon of most Anglophone scholars. Join two of the foremost Semper scholars working today Isabelle Kalinowski, visiting BGC to deliver Tuesday evening’s lecture, and Spyros Papapetros, BGC Research Fellow, for this workshop on the state of Semper Studies. They will offer the opportunity to explore the crucial role of Semper—and the questions about that role that remain to be asked—in the later nineteenth-century development of art and architectural history as well as museum studies.

Isabelle Kalinowski is Professor of German Studies at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, and Head of the Graduate Program (Translitterae) of PSL-University (Paris Sciences et Lettres). Her main interest is the history of German sociology and anthropology of religion and arts in the second half of the nineteenth century and in the first decades of the twentieth century. She focuses on the interpretations of the ritual dimensions of art and decorative art in the German-speaking area around 1900. Her last publication is an anthology of Carl Einstein’s writings on aesthetics (Carl Einstein, Vivantes figures, 2019). With a team of art historians, curators, and archeologists, she is currently preparing a French edition of Gottfried Semper’s Style.

Spyros Papapetros
is Associate Professor of Art and Architectural Theory and Historiography at the School of Architecture and an Associated Faculty member of the Department of Art and Archaeology, as well as a member of the executive committees for the Program in European Cultural Studies and the Program in Media and Modernity at Princeton University. His work addresses the intersections between art, architecture, historiography, psychoanalysis, as well as the histories of science, anthropology, and psychological aesthetics. He is the author of On the Animation of the Inorganic: Art, Architecture, and the Extension of Life (The University of Chicago Press, 2012), the co-editor of Retracing the Expanded Field: Encounters between Art and Architecture (The MIT Press, 2014), and the author of over eighty articles published in academic journals and edited anthologies. He is currently completing a second personal book project titled World Ornament: Adornment on a Global Scale examining the cosmic analogies of bodily and architectural adornment from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries and he is also preparing the first edition of Frederick Kiesler’s unpublished book project Magic Architecture: The Story of Human Housing with the collaboration of the Kiesler Foundation in Vienna.