Foad Torshizi

Associate Professor
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black-and-white head shot of Foad Torshizi
MA, University of Minnesota
PHD, Columbia University

Foad Torshizi is an assistant professor of Art of the Islamic World at RISD. He holds degrees in Comparative Literature and Society and Middle Eastern and Asian Languages and Cultures (PhD and MPhil, Columbia University), Art History (MA, University of Minnesota) and Photography (MFA, Honar University of Tehran). Prior to joining the RISD faculty in 2017, he taught graduate students at Tehran University, advanced undergraduates and graduate students at the Università degli Studi di Milano in Italy as well as undergraduate students at Columbia University’s Core Curriculum.

Torshizi’s research interests are in the areas of global contemporary art, contemporary Iranian and Middle Eastern art, postcolonial theory, ethics of readership, theories of globalization and cosmopolitanism, comparative literature and politics of translation and interpretation. His research has been published in academic journals in both the US and Iran. Most recently, he published an article in Grey Room (MIT Press) titled “Loquacious Objects: Contemporary Iranian Art, Autotranslation, and the Readings of Benevolence.” Additionally, he has co-edited (with Joshua I. Cohen and Vazira Zamindar) a special issue of ARTMargins (MIT Press, June 2023) titled “Art History, Postcolonialism, and the Global Turn.”

Torshizi is currently working on a manuscript project tentatively titled The Clarity of Meaning: Contemporary Iranian Art and the Cosmopolitan Ethics of Reading in Art History. The manuscript examines the ways in which Western disciplinary forms, and more specifically art criticism, return home to circumscribe aesthetic diversity in Iran, demanding that the aesthetic economies of Iranian artifacts align with Euro-American understandings of meaning, value, aspiration and desire.

Courses

Fall 2024 Courses

THAD H180-01 - INTRODUCTION TO IRANIAN CINEMA
Level Undergraduate
Unit Theory + History of Art + Design
Subject Theory & History of Art & Design
Period Fall 2024
Credits 3
Format Lecture
Mode In-Person
Start date
End date

THAD H180-01

INTRODUCTION TO IRANIAN CINEMA

Level Undergraduate
Unit Theory + History of Art + Design
Subject Theory & History of Art & Design
Period Fall 2024
Credits 3
Format Lecture
Mode In-Person
Start and End 2024-09-04 to 2024-12-11
Times: T | 9:40 AM - 12:40 PM Instructor(s): Foad Torshizi Location(s): College Building, Room 442 Enrolled / Capacity: 25 Status: Closed

SECTION DESCRIPTION

From international film festivals to university campuses, from museums of modern art to neighborhood theaters, Iranian cinema has now emerged as the staple of a cultural currency that defies the logic of nativism and challenges the problems of globalization. Hamid Dabashi writes this in the introduction to his landmark study of Iranian cinema, Close Up: Iranian Cinema, Past, Present and Future (Verso, 2001). This course introduces you to the history of Iranian cinema, from the Iranian New Wave (1960s) to the present. It examines the ways in it occupies an important place on the scene of global cinema while it defies the logic of nativism. We will watch some of the most prominent movies by acclaimed Iranian filmmakers Dariush Mehrjui, Ebrahim Golestan, Nasser Taghvai, Amir Naderi, Sohrab Shahid-Saless, Forough Farrokhzad, Jafar Panahi, Masoud Kimiai, Abbas Kiarostami, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Bahram Beyzaie, Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, Marzieh Meshkini, Asghar Farhadi, Tahmineh Milani, Ebrahim Hatamikia, and Kamran Shirdel. We will also look at the works of diasporic artists, including Shirin Neshat, Marjane Satrapi, Ramin Bahrani, Mitra Farahani, Ana Lily Amirpour, and Granaz Moussavi.

Elective

THAD H229-01 - ART HISTORY, POSTCOLONIALISM, DECOLONIALITY
Level Undergraduate
Unit Theory + History of Art + Design
Subject Theory & History of Art & Design
Period Fall 2024
Credits 3
Format Seminar
Mode In-Person
Start date
End date

THAD H229-01

ART HISTORY, POSTCOLONIALISM, DECOLONIALITY

Level Undergraduate
Unit Theory + History of Art + Design
Subject Theory & History of Art & Design
Period Fall 2024
Credits 3
Format Seminar
Mode In-Person
Start and End 2024-09-04 to 2024-12-11
Times: W | 1:10 PM - 4:10 PM Instructor(s): Foad Torshizi Location(s): College Building, Room 301 Enrolled / Capacity: 15 Status: Open

SECTION DESCRIPTION

In recent years, the idea of decolonizing museums, academic institutions of art, and the narrative and curricular spaces of art history has gained increased urgency. But the concept and practice of decolonization have a much longer history than their recent (re)emergence in the art world. As a response to colonial and imperial orders of the world, decolonization set new boundaries for thought, knowledge, and for “being” itself. This seminar asks whether these boundaries have been effectively translated into the recent challenges that are posed against institutional practices of art and art history. It also asks about the ways in which postcolonialism, with a genealogy different from decolonization, is situated vis-à-vis the historical origins of decolonization in the writings of Aimé Césaire and Frantz Fanon and its resurgence in art history and museology. We will read texts by Aimé Césaire, Frantz Fanon, C. L. R. James, Aníbal Quijano, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Audre Lorde, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Edward W. Said, Geeta Kapur, and Walter Mignolo among others.

Elective

Image
black-and-white head shot of Foad Torshizi
MA, University of Minnesota
PHD, Columbia University