Arts and Cultural Expression

The Amman Center organizes and hosts a variety of conferences, talks, summits, and workshops that address the fields of arts and culture in Jordan and the region. In collaboration with a wide range of local, regional and international institutions, the Amman Center works on issues ranging from language and archaeology to film and history. Over the summer months, the Center also hosts students and faculty from Columbia University as part of multiple programs on Arabic language and culture, environmental sustainability, and architecture.

Teaching and Curating Art During a Time of Pandemic

Museums and universities are among the institutions vastly affected by COVID-19. With the spread of the pandemic, most art institutions and academic departments have closed for the indefinite future. Online exhibitions, virtual art courses, and curating for an increasingly digital world have altered the traditional physical experience of art and museums. Likewise, virtual classrooms and online projects have replaced the traditional art education in universities and art departments. Moving forward, museums and universities are considering various platforms and mechanisms to continue to reach their audiences and students. 

This webinar brought together prominent curators and art historians to shed light on their experience of working during the pandemic, challenges faced and lessons learned, and how this situation may change the future of art museums and classrooms.

The Future of the Past: Addressing the Cultural Heritage Crisis in Iraq and Syria

In partnership with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the fourth regional joint cultural heritage workshop was hosted in Amman, bringing together museum specialists and conservators from Iraq, Libya, and Jordan, as well as colleagues from Europe, Australia, and North America.

The workshops are thinking groups on emergency response, conservation and documentation of monuments, heritage architecture, museum collections, and the preservation of archives. Museum staff were trained on how to use equipment to document their collections and how to produce high quality publications with minimal resources using these images. Participants also discussed emergency collection care, education, and staff training. Thousands of objects are now more thoroughly documented, with high quality images and attached metadata, thanks to the dedication of workshop participants.

During the workshop, a keynote lecture was delivered by Michel Al-Maqdissi, Researcher at the Department of Oriental Antiquities at the Louvre Museum. The multi-year initiative, supported by a grant from the President’s Global Innovation Fund, is spearheaded by Zainab Bahrani, Edith Porada Professor of Ancient Near Eastern Art and Archaeology at Columbia University.

A keynote lecture by Michel Al-Maqdissi, Research at the Louvre Museum

Book Talk Series

Our virtual series of book talks, in partnership with the Center for Palestine Studies and Middle East Institute at Columbia University, features Arab authors to showcase some of the breadth and diversity in Arab fiction writing. Authors delve into a riveting discussion of the sociocultural, literary, and personal factors that shape their storytelling.

"A Woman is No Man" - Diana Abu-Jaber in conversation with author, Etaf Rum
"The Watermelon Boys" Tasnim Qutait in conversation with Ruqaya Izzidien
Shahd Alshammari in conversation with author, Layla AlAmmar
"Between Beirut and the Moon" - AJ Naddaff in conversation with author, Naji Bakhti

Related News

September 17, 2018

Call for Applications: Fellowship Program for Emerging Displaced Scholars

Through the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Program in Higher Education and Scholarship in the Humanities, Columbia Global Centers | Amman has established a fellowship program starting on January 1, 2019 that offers 12-month fellowships for emerging displaced scholars interested in the humanities to continue and further develop their scholarly pursuits.

September 16, 2018

Call for Papers - Untangling Popular Power: Rhetoric, Faith, and Social Order in the Middle East - March 2-3, 2019

The Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life (IRCPL) at Columbia University in collaboration with the Columbia Global Centers | Amman and co-sponsored by our partners in Europe, are organizing a conference entitled - Untangling Popular Power: Rhetoric, Faith, and Social Order in the Middle East.

July 21, 2017

Film Professor from Columbia University holds courses in Amman

Believing in the power of cinema and the role it plays in people’s everyday lives, Richard Peña has been tracing film history all over the world and has been spreading knowledge about the industry. ...Peña, professor of Professional Practice at the School of The Arts at Columbia University in New York City, held courses over the week at the Columbia Global Centres in Amman named “On the Margins of American Cinemas”.

June 08, 2017

President’s Global Innovation Fund 2017

Provost John H. Coatsworth has announced the fifth round of grants from the President’s Global Innovation Fund (PGIF) on June 1, 2017. 11 projects received awards this year after being selected by a review committee of senior faculty drawn from both the Morningside and medical campuses.

October 11, 2016

British filmmaker examines water theft in Jordan

 Is water a human right or a commodity? This is the question British filmmaker Laila Khan set out to answer in her latest documentary, “Stolen Water”. Khan’s short documentary sheds light on water theft in Jordan and the measures that authorities are taking to curb violations on the water network. 

September 21, 2016

Exploring a Region in Transition as Change Sweeps the Middle East

Historic waves of migration, unprecedented digital activism, challenges to religious pluralism: amid all of these developments in the Middle East, Columbia Global Centers – Columbia University’s network of eight education and learning centers around the world – are exploring the implications of these changes on culture, health and safety, and politics in the region.

September 13, 2016

Redefining a University’s Role for a World in Crisis

NEW YORK, Sept. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- "With civil conflict, terrorist threats, and major health crises causing unprecedented disruption in communities all over the world, universities must step up to a new level of globalism in our outlook and in our activities," says Professor Safwan M. Masri, Executive Vice President for Global Centers and Global Development at Columbia University

June 21, 2015

Global Centers Connect with Alumni in Greece

Professor Safwan M. Masri and Ipek Cem Taha met with Columbia University alumni in Greece on June 21, at a lunch reception held in collaboration with the Columbia Alumni Club of Greece, which is led by Maria Karageorgeou and a dedicated team of alumni leaders. 

June 10, 2015

Columbia Experience Overseas Program

The Columbia Global Centers | Middle East continues to hold the Columbia Experience Overseas Program (CEO), in partnership with the Center for Career Education at Columbia University. CEO is a unique eight-week internship offered for the fifth time in Amman on June 10 - August 8, 2015. The program was organized in coordination with Jill Burya, Associate Director, Center for Career Education. 

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