Kirsten Scheid

Chaire : sécable de l'Institut d'études de l'Islam et des sociétés du monde musulman
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An associate professor of anthropology at the American University of Beirut, K. Scheid studies imagination technologies, artistic materialities, affect, and social change. With a focus on art at cross-cultural encounters, she writes about the development and historiography of Lebanese and Palestinian art worlds. Her essays appear in Anthropology Now, ARTMargins, the International Journal of Middle East Studies, and Museum Anthropology. She has co-curated “The Jerusalem Show” (Jerusalem, 2018) and “The Arab Nude” (Beirut, 2016), and served as a consultant or participant in exhibitions and projects at the New Museum, the Tate Modern, and the MoMA.

She will take part of the Visting Professors Program designed by EHESS, on proposal of Alain Messaoudi (Université de Nantes)


Learning Politics with Art: Lessons from Art Curation under Occupation

Following Gell’s call to study art "as a system of action", I examine the actions that made an exhibition of Jerusalem at a Palestinian art foundation in 2018. This exhibition provided a "critical space" where actors could analyze the bundling of their lives into incomplete concepts, such as "Palestinian" or “Israeli Arab,” or artificially exclusive ideologies, such as “binationalist coexistence” or "nationalist resistance".

Dans le cadre du séminaire « Penser l’expérience palestinienne entre occupation, relégation et exil »

  • Le 10 mai de 15h à 17h - EHESS, Salle de réunion de l'IISMM, 1er étage, 96 Bd Raspail 75006 Paris

Self-Civilizing Missions – Deciphering the Sudden Obligation to Learn Art in 1930s Lebanon

Histories of art lessons have focused on colonial intentions to civilize and ignored the phantasmic experiences they afforded. Focusing on student experiences in 1930s Mandate Lebanon, I argue that working out ideas about art amounted to working out ideas about gender and civic bonds. I explore the material challenge of art that culminated in French authorities refusing requests to establish a national art academy.

Dans le cadre du séminaire « Histoires de l’art au Maghreb et au Moyen Orient, XIXe-XXIe siècle »

  • Le 17 mai de 15h à 17h - EHESS, Salle de séminaire de l'IISMM, 1er étage, 96 Bd Raspail 75006 Paris

Looking Over Our Shoulders: On the Practical Uses of Art to Condemn Anticipated Audiences 

Preparations for the exhibition “The Arab Nude: The Artist as Awakener” (Beirut, 2016) encountered numerous expectations of scandal. Yet no scandal happened; no objections ever materialized. Not only do Nudes have a long history of production in the Arab world, but they have an equally long history of producing social suspicion and cultural condemnation. I take this case of curating to reflect on how production of the Nude genre contributes inadvertently to reifying notions of tradition and modernity and ethnic identity politics.

Dans le cadre du séminaire « Histoires de l’art au Maghreb et au Moyen Orient, XIXe-XXIe siècle »

  • Le 24 mai de 15h à 17h - EHESS, Salle de séminaire de l'IISMM, 1er étage, 96 Bd Raspail 75006 Paris


Curating ‘Jerusalem Actual and Possible’ : The Political Lessons from a non-Euclidean City

Studying imagination shifts attention to the emergent and yet-possible. In 2018, I co-curated an exhibition that invited Jerusalem audiences to reimagine the city’s “possible” existence by building on ludic spatial-temporal moves that have distilled in contemporary Palestinian art. This paper explores the lessons artistic imaginings of a possible Jerusalem, one not confined to space-time coordinates we use to understand realpolitik, offer the exhibition’s participants and audiences. 

Dans le cadre du séminaire « Spatialités et temporalités palestiniennes », organisé par Cédric Parizot, Iremam, Aix en Provence

  • Le 28 mai de 10h30 à 12h - IREMAM, Maison méditerranéenne des sciences de l’homme (MMSH), Salle André Raymond, 5, rue du Château de l’Horloge, Aix-en-Provence