Symposium: Signs and Wonders—The Photographs of John Beasley Greene

Special Event


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Giza. Sphynx, 1853–54

John Beasley Greene. Bibliothèque nationale de France. 

This public symposium examines the context and legacy of John Beasley Greene’s 19th-century photographs of Egypt and Algeria. Employing the exhibition Signs and Wonders: The Photographs of John Beasley Greene as a jumping-off point, this symposium brings together scholars and artists from a range of disciplines to examine photography, archaeology, orientalism, and postcolonialism, and how the 19th century still resonates today.

1:00 p.m. | Presentations

Corey Keller, Curator of Photography, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Elizabeth Siegel, Curator of Photography, The Art Institute of Chicago

Session 1: Picturing Archaeology: 19th-Century Disciplines and the Shaping of Culture
Robin Kelsey, Dean of Arts and Humanities, Faculty of Arts and Sciences; Shirley Carter Burden Professor of Photography, History of Photography and American Art, Harvard University
Christina Riggs, Chair in the History of Visual Culture, Department of History, Durham University; Fellow, All Souls College, University of Oxford

Session 2: Orientalism and Postcolonialism: Understanding Greene Today
Ali Behdad, Professor and John Charles Hillis Chair in Literature, UCLA
Hannah Feldman, Associate Professor of Art History and core faculty in Comparative Literary Studies and Middle Eastern and North African Studies, Northwestern University

Coffee Break

Session 3: Greene and the Contemporary Moment
Basma Alsharif, artist

Group Discussion, moderated by Douglas Nickel, Andrea V. Rosenthal Professor of Modern Art, Department of the History of Art and Architecture, Brown University

5:00 p.m. | Reception

6:00 p.m. | Exhibition Viewing

This symposium is free and open to the public. Registration is required, and space is limited. Registration opens January 1.


Ter Pms 660c Lockup Medium

This event is sponsored by the Terra Foundation for American Art. 


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