2016 Faculty Book Celebration Takes Place February 11

  • February 11, 2016 • 11:30 AM – 6 PM
  • Umrath Hall

The Center for the Humanities, the Washington University Libraries, and the Assembly Series will present the 2016 Faculty Book Celebration on February 11. Christiane Gruber, Associate Professor, History of Art, at the University of Michigan, will deliver the keynote speech at 4:00 p.m. in Umrath Lounge.


Christiane Gruber

Gruber will give a talk entitled “The Praiseworthy One: Devotional Images of the Prophet Muhammad in Islamic Traditions.” She’ll discuss a number of paintings of the Prophet Muhammad produced in Persian and Turkish lands from the 14th century to the modern day. Ranging from veristic to abstract, these images represent Muhammad’s individual traits, primordial luminosity, and veiled essence. Their pictorial motifs reveal that artists engaged in abstract thought and turned to symbolic motifs in order to imagine Muhammad’s primordial origins and prophetic standing. Artists and viewers alike also were inspired by various mystical beliefs and practices, in the process seeking to express piety through both verbal and pictorial language. Within a variety of Islamic expressive cultures, paintings thus function as a powerful means (among many) for devotional engagement with Muhammad, the “praiseworthy” Prophet and Messenger of Islam.



Catherine Keane, Associate Professor of Classics and author of Juvenal and the Satiric Emotions (Oxford, 2015) 

Zhao Ma, Assistant Professor of Modern Chinese History and Culture and author of Runaway Wives, Urban Crimes and Survival Tactics in Wartime Beijing, 1937–1949 (Harvard University Press, 2015)


“The Book as Artifact” Panel Discussion
11:30 am–1 pm | Washington University, Umrath Hall, Umrath Lounge
Featuring Faculty Book Celebration speaker Christiane Gruber, Robert Hegel (East Asian Languages & Cultures) and Ken Botnick (Kranzberg Studio for the Illustrated Book); moderated by Nancy Berg (Jewish, Islamic and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures)

RSVPs appreciated to cenhum@artsci.wustl.edu