Beirut's Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR)

"War and Toys: Seeing Conflict From a Childlike Perspective " A lecture by Brian McCarty(Co-Sponsored with FAAH and Architecture and Design Departments)

Date: 3 December 2014
Time: 5:00-7:00 pm
 Building 37 (Behind the old Lee Observatory), conference A

         Brian McCarty is an artist and photographer known for his unique work with toys. McCarty's approach is based upon integrating toy characters into real-life situations through the use of forced perspective in carefully crafted scenes. Preferring to work in-camera and without compositing, McCarty creates his photographs by sometimes traveling to exotic locations, including active war zones. Although grounded in >reality, because of his use of implied narratives mixed with wit and whimsy, McCarty's work is often associated with the Art-Toy, Lowbrow, and Pop Surrealist movements. He has made collaborative work with several renowned artists including Mark Ryden, Ron English, Tim Biskup, Amanda Visell, and Gary Baseman. Born in Memphis and currently based in Los Angeles, Brian earned his BFA In 1996 from Parsons School of Design in NYC. Since, McCarty's photographs have earned notable praise from such places as The New York Times, CNN, Wired, La Repubblica, ABC World News, and the Huffington Post. His work has been exhibited internationally at venues including the V&A Museum of Childhood, Centro Per L'Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, and the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum. He has lectured at the Carter Presidential Library, St. Lawrence University, TEDxSantaMonica, and The New School. In addition to time spent working in-house at Mattel Toys, McCarty has created commissioned projects for clients including Disney, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Hasbro, Kid Robot, and MTV. Brian is in Lebanon to continue work on a long-term photo essay titled "War-Toys." The goal of the project is to gather and articulate children's accounts of war using principles of play and art therapy. In practice, boys and girls who have been affected by war become art directors for Brian's photographs of locally found toys, placed and posed on location. Brian is collaborating with Lebanese, Syrian, Iraqi, and Palestinian children under the care of local and international NGOs. Previously, Brian worked with UNRWA in Gaza and the West Bank in 2012 around what would be called "Operation Pillar of Defense" by the Israelis and "Operation Stones of Baked Clay" by Hamas.


"Rock Stardom and Listening " A lecture by David Shumway

Date: 8 December 2014
Time: 5:30
 Building 37 (Behind the old Lee Observatory), conference A

        David R. Shumway is Professor of English, and Literary and Cultural Studies at Carnegie Mellon University where he has taught courses in film, literature, and cultural studies since 1985.  He is founding Director of the Humanities Center at Carnegie Mellon, and is Treasurer of the Pennsylvania Humanities Council.  He served as the first president of the Cultural Studies Association, and he was president of the Midwest Modern Language Association.  He has written Michel Foucault (1989), Creating American Civilization: A Genealogy of American Literature as an Academic Discipline (1994), Modern Love: Romance, Intimacy, and the Marriage Crisis (2003), John Sayles, for the Illinois Contemporary Film Directors Series (2012), and Rock Star: The Making of Musical Icons from Elvis to Springsteen, published in 2014 by Johns Hopkins University Press.  He has co-edited Knowledges: Critical and Historical Studies in Disciplinarity (1993), Making and Selling Culture (1996), and Disciplining English (2002). He is working on a book on realism across media.

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