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Carol Solomon Receives Fulbright Award

Carol Solomon, visiting associate professor of art history, Independent College Programs, has been selected for a 2012-13 Fulbright Award in the Middle East and North Africa Regional Research Program. Over the course of several months, beginning in January 2013, she will undertake research in Tunisia and Morocco on contemporary art and issues of transcultural identity, globalization, displacement, exile and diaspora.

Solomon’s research will build on previous work, including the 2010 Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery exhibition Mapping Identity, which focused more globally on artists who move between cultures, both past and present, and across borders, at the intersection of history, place and memory. The Fulbright Award will allow Solomon, who has taught such courses as “Art and Cultural Identity” and “Contemporary Art of the Arab World, Iran and Turkey” at Haverford, to narrow the geographical scope of her research to the North African countries of the Maghreb, specifically Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia. While several North African artists have attained international stature, Solomon says, the countries of the Maghreb have been overshadowed by an emphasis on Egypt and the Middle East among scholars of contemporary art of the Arab and Islamic world.

Research travel in Morocco and Tunisia during this historic transitional period in the aftermath of the Arab Spring will complement a brief visit to Algeria in December 2010, when Solomon was an invited speaker at the conference “The Place of Contemporary Art in Emerging Countries” at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Algiers. The Fulbright Award will provide an opportunity for comparative study and exposure to the actual practice of contemporary art in these countries and open the door to the construction of new narratives unencumbered by the traditional Western-centered perspective.

Solomon’s research will be conducted in the form of interviews with artists, critics, academics and collectors; visits to museums and galleries, private collections, artist studios and collectives, libraries, and other archives. Aspects of her research will be presented in Tunisia at the University of Tunis and in Morocco at Sidi Mohammed Abdellah University in Fez and at the Moroccan American Commission for Educational and Cultural Exchange in Rabat.

-Eils Lotozo

The ramp from Magill Library with Ryan Gym and Sharpless Hall in the background.

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