Mark your calendars for the 2011 History of Art Freer Symposium: "Barbarians, Monsters, Hybrids and Mutants: Asian Inventions of Human 'Others.'" The event takes place on Saturday, October 22, 2011, 9am-5pm at the U-M Museum of Art.

When and under what circumstances do people invent the concept of “the other”? This question has been posed and responded to many times over in a largely modern, colonial, Eurocentric context. However, the invention of “others” is not simply a European prerogative: it is a practice common to cultures and societies throughout the world, past and present. This timely symposium proposes to examine these issues in a visually rich, historically grounded and contextualized collection of talks and discussions that focus critical analytic attention on the manifold Asian imagination and invention of “others.” We seek to highlight and examine the robust and visually potent technologies of “othering” deployed in Asia by Asians past and present while addressing the multiple contexts, regional variations, and sets of interests, involved. In this way, we can focus both multi-media representations of "others" and on how and why these variable constructions were mobilized around complex cross- and intra-cultural negotiations over time.

Read about the speakers and paper abstracts.