SHOKI GOODARZI, Lecturer, Ph.D. University of California at Berkeley
As an ancient art historian my courses have focused on the development of the arts in the ancient cultures of the Near East and Mediterranean, including Egypt, Greece, Iran, Iraq, and Central Asia among others. I received my master’s degree in Classical art and archaeology specializing in the Roman and Aegean world from Indiana University in Bloomington, and my Ph.D in ancient Near Eastern art and archaeology from UC Berkeley. Upon graduation, I began working as a curator at The Metropolitan Museum of Art until I joined SUNY Stony Brook’s Art Department in the spring of 2002. In addition to my curatorial experience, I have also been an active archaeologist in Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia, for the past 20 years. Most recently, I worked as the field director of a 4th century BC archaeological site in southern Uzbekistan.
The combination of the two fields of the ancient Near East and the Classical World have driven my interest in cross cultural relationships and influences across time periods and regions, which I enthusiastically bring into the classroom. I first began to explore cross-cultural relations in ancient societies in my dissertation, and now whether I teach Mesopotamian or Roman art, I approach the study as a vehicle of influences, transference of ideas, and interconnections linking ancient cultures across time. This approach has been a natural endeavor enabling me to combine my unique scholarly and professional background, while speaking to the University’s diverse student body.
In most recent years, I have also developed a passion for understanding the stimulus behind the creation of an active contemporary art movement in the Middle East by both artists living at “home” and “abroad”. Here, the cultural interconnections stemming from “globalization” have raised new sets of unexplored research questions. Issues such as identity and race, post-colonial theory, diasporic experience, and gender studies are only a few of the fields that I have tapped into in order to fully explore the complexity of the art produced by artists from this vast and multi cultured region. These questions are currently being dealt with in a new graduate course that professor Barbara Frank and I have developed this semester on the art of Contemporary Middle East and Africa, which we hope will be able to address and begin a discourse on these rapidly changing regions.
If you are ever on the 4th floor of Staller Center for the arts, drop by and pay a visit and as the Turks say “Hosh Geldiniz” (welcome)!