Arts History Update for mid April 2015

9 Apr

Arts History Update for mid April 2015 by David Cummins

The Great War [World War I] that ended in 1918 brought to an end the Austria-Hungary Empire and the Ottoman Empire. As for the latter, a century on, we understand that transition better. Leila Tarazi Fawaz, A Land of Aching Hearts: The Middle East in the Great War (Harvard University Press 2014) Texas Tech Library D524.7.M53 F39 hardcover $22.50 e-book $19.25
“The Great War of 1914-1918 reshaped the political geography of the Middle East, destroying a centuries-old, multinational empire, while creating the nation-states of today’s Middle East. The political aftermath of the war has proven as heavily contested as the military battles that shaped the conflict. After a century of change, however, the social experience of the region’s inhabitants during those four trying years has faded into the background. This book illuminates the challenges of the civilians who endured and the soldiers who fought through four calamitous years. It is a story of resilience in the midst of hardship, courage in the face of death, and triumph in the cauldron of battle. In this telling, the First World War is not just a global event, but a personal story running across regions and along fronts. From soldiers encountering new worlds on distant battlefields to civilians staving off hunger at home and refugees escaping persecution abroad, the war profoundly upended the social identities and historical memories of the region. For these reasons, and due to the political settlement that followed, World War I stands as the defining moment that shaped the direction of the Middle East for the next 100 years. This social history testifies to the resourcefulness of the people of the region, in particular those of Greater Syria, investigates their experiences, and serves as a foundation for understanding the Great War’s enduring legacy”-

and Eugene Rogan, The Fall of the Ottomans: The Great War in the Middle East (Basic Books 2015) In 1914 the Ottoman Empire was depleted of men and resources after years of war against Balkan nationalist and Italian forces. But in the aftermath of the assassination in Sarajevo, the powers of Europe were sliding inexorably toward war, and not even the Middle East could escape the vast and enduring consequences of one of the most destructive conflicts in human history. The Great War spelled the end of the Ottomans, unleashing powerful forces that would forever change the face of the Middle East.

In The Fall of the Ottomans, award-winning historian Eugene Rogan brings the First World War and its immediate aftermath in the Middle East to vivid life, uncovering the often ignored story of the region’s crucial role in the conflict. Bolstered by German money, arms, and military advisors, the Ottomans took on the Russian, British, and French forces, and tried to provoke Jihad against the Allies in their Muslim colonies. Unlike the static killing fields of the Western Front, the war in the Middle East was fast-moving and unpredictable, with the Turks inflicting decisive defeats on the Entente in Gallipoli, Mesopotamia, and Gaza before the tide of battle turned in the Allies’ favor. The great cities of Baghdad, Jerusalem, and, finally, Damascus fell to invading armies before the Ottomans agreed to an armistice in 1918.

The postwar settlement led to the partition of Ottoman lands between the victorious powers, and laid the groundwork for the ongoing conflicts that continue to plague the modern Arab world. A sweeping narrative of battles and political intrigue from Gallipoli to Arabia, The Fall of the Ottomansis essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the Great War and the making of the modern Middle East.
hardcover $27.64 e-book $16.19

Karnig Panian, Goodbye, Antoura: A Memoir of the Armenian Genocide (Stanford University Press 2015) $18.63 e-book $12.50 When World War I began, Karnig Panian was only five years old, living among his fellow Armenians in the Anatolian village of Gurin. Four years later, American aid workers found him at an orphanage in Antoura, Lebanon. He was among nearly 1,000 Armenian and 400 Kurdish children who had been abandoned by the Turkish administrators, left to survive at the orphanage without adult care.

This memoir offers the extraordinary story of what he endured in those years—as his people were deported from their Armenian community, as his family died in a refugee camp in the deserts of Syria, as he survived hunger and mistreatment in the orphanage. The Antoura orphanage was another project of the Armenian genocide: its administrators, some benign and some cruel, sought to transform the children into Turks by changing their Armenian names, forcing them to speak Turkish, and erasing their history.

Panian’s memoir is a full-throated story of loss, resistance, and survival, but told without bitterness or sentimentality. His story shows us how even young children recognize injustice and can organize against it, how they can form a sense of identity that they will fight to maintain. He paints a painfully rich and detailed picture of the lives and agency of Armenian orphans during the darkest days of World War I. Ultimately, Karnig Panian survived the Armenian genocide and the deprivations that followed. Goodbye, Antoura assures us of how humanity, once denied, can be again reclaimed. and Ronald Grigor Suny, “They Can Live in the Desert But Nowhere Else”: A History of the Armenian Genocide (Princeton University Press 2015) $24.92 e-book $19.25 Starting in early 1915, the Ottoman Turks began deporting and killing hundreds of thousands of Armenians in the first major genocide of the twentieth century. By the end of the First World War, the number of Armenians in what would become Turkey had been reduced by ninety percent—more than a million people. A century later, the Armenian Genocide remains controversial but relatively unknown, overshadowed by later slaughters and the chasm separating Turkish and Armenian versions of events. In this definitive narrative history, Ronald Suny cuts through nationalist myths, propaganda, and denial to provide an unmatched account of when, how, and why the atrocities of 1915–16 were committed.
As it lost territory during the war, the Ottoman Empire was becoming a more homogenous Turkic-Muslim state, but it still contained large non-Muslim communities, including the Christian Armenians. The Young Turk leaders of the empire believed that the Armenians were internal enemies secretly allied to Russia and plotting to win an independent state. Suny shows that the great majority of Armenians were in truth loyal subjects who wanted to remain in the empire. But the Young Turks, steeped in imperial anxiety and anti-Armenian bias, became convinced that the survival of the state depended on the elimination of the Armenians. Suny is the first to explore the psychological factors as well as the international and domestic events that helped lead to genocide.
Drawing on archival documents and eyewitness accounts, this is an unforgettable chronicle of a cataclysm that set a tragic pattern for a century of genocide and crimes against humanity.
Leonard Barkan, Michelangelo: A Life On Paper (Princeton University Press 2010) $49.50 publisher $31 hardcover $22.59 like new condition ABE Books Michelangelo is best known for great artistic achievements such as the Sistine ceiling, the David, the Pietà, and the dome of St. Peter’s. Yet throughout his seventy-five year career, he was engaged in another artistic act that until now has been largely overlooked: he not only filled hundreds of sheets of paper with exquisite drawings, sketches, and doodles, but also, on fully a third of these sheets, composed his own words. Here we can read the artist’s marginal notes to his most enduring masterpieces; workaday memos to assistants and pupils; poetry and letters; and achingly personal expressions of ambition and despair surely meant for nobody’s eyes but his own. Michelangelo: A Life on Paper is the first book to examine this intriguing interplay of words and images, providing insight into his life and work as never before.
This sumptuous volume brings together more than two hundred stunning, museum-quality reproductions of Michelangelo’s most private papers, many in color. Accompanying them is Leonard Barkan’s vivid narrative, which explains the important role the written word played in the artist’s monumental public output. What emerges is a wealth of startling juxtapositions: perfectly inscribed sonnets and tantalizing fragments, such as “Have patience, love me, sufficient consolation”; careful notations listing money spent for chickens, oxen, and funeral rites for the artist’s father; a beautiful drawing of a Madonna and child next to a mock love poem that begins, “You have a face sweeter than boiled grape juice, and a snail seems to have passed over it.” Magnificently illustrated and superbly detailed, this book provides a rare and intimate look at how Michelangelo’s artistic genius expressed itself in words as well as pictures.

Audit a Fall semester course? Perhaps …. Seminar in 20th Century Music MUHL 4300-003 meets on Tuesdays 9:30 – 10:50 am weekly in Music Building Room 214 beginning August 25 2015 by Dr. Christopher J. Smith

or Frank Zappa, bandleader, songwriter, film composer, and political activist MUHL 4300-005 meets on Tuesdays 12:30 -1:50 pm weekly in Music Building Room 209 beginning August 25, 2015 by Dr. Christopher J. Smith.

Contact Texas Tech University Registrar/Bursar’s Office for details on auditing in West Hall on campus or phone 806-742-3661.

Booklife by Publishers Weekly is a subset for writers to assist in the multi-step process of creating, publishing, marketing and managing one’s book or other publishable creation. Among other things the site includes a Services Directory so you can shop, for free, for the names of people to help you on

1. editing
2. art and design
3. production
4. distribution
5. web design
6. social media
7. promotion and public relations
8. agent
9. publishing
10. business matters

On April 1, 2015 Governor Jerry Brown traveled 93 miles east of Sacramento on US Highway 50 to Echo Summit mountain pass 7,382 feet high in the Sierra Nevada mountains at a spot that at this time of year would normally have five feet of snow pack, but he stood in a grassy meadow because the drought in California will be extended due to a record low snowfall in the Sierra. The governor announced new and more water restrictions and a required 25% reduction in water usage by state and local government agencies including schools and colleges. It’s sensible and needed and it helps to gain voluntary compliance by private companies and individuals when the state and local governments get out front and bite the bullet on substantial restrictions. The point at which he spoke is very close to Echo Lake and the South Lake Tahoe community.

About 150 years ago this pass, then called Johnson Pass, was sixty miles west of the Comstock Lode silver mines operational from 1859 near present day Virginia City Nevada in then western Utah Territory.


Can we talk about computer operating systems? Much media and advertising communications use scare tactics and make things sound startling or difficult, unless of course we purchase what the communicator wants us to purchase. Recent announcements that Microsoft stopped providing mainstream support for Microsoft Windows 7 Operating System, has caused some concern with Windows 7 OS users. Not to panic. Here’s the real story, a lot less concerning to most people.

Microsoft’s current operating system is Windows 8 and its next operating system Windows 10 is in Beta testing and its release is scheduled for late 2015. What about users of Windows 7 operating system? Mainstream support on it was stopped several months ago in January 2015 but that is of concern to only a few people because all that means is that no new features for devices using that operating system will be forthcoming and the Help Desk free calls for servicing is shut down. Windows 7 operating systems will continue to receive the all-important security fixes and extended support from Microsoft through 2019, five more years. It is true that in 2020 and afterward the use of the Windows 7 operating system devices will be risky unless we have purchased an add-on real time security system to keep the system and device clean. Calm yourself if you, like me, are a user of a Windows 7 operating system and you like its operations and don’t wish to be forced to adjust at some expense.

What is the new Windows 10 operating system? It’s designed to replace the miscalculation Microsoft made when it introduced Microsoft 8 that put a tablet and smart phone touchscreen interface on its PC and laptop operating system. Customers went frantic and complained so operating system patches were sent out to make that interface optional and one could use Windows 8 with a keyboard and mouse-operated cursor technique for operating it, or one could switch on the touchscreen interface and use it as one normally uses a tablet or smart phone.

The new Windows 10 will naturally provide optional ways for users to operate the device, but it has built an advanced system that will look one way when it is being used as a touchscreen device like a smart phone or tablet, and look another way when used as a PC or laptop. Further, while using in one interface, a window on the monitor/display can show the same page or another page in the other interface, so both interfaces can be operational simultaneously. For those people who have a convertible laptop or tablet the user has the choice to toggle on or off the two interfaces and techniques for operation. Microsoft thinks its customers will enjoy these options. Another feature is that all Microsoft applications are constructed so that the user of Windows 10 can toggle them on or off in either of the two interfaces.

Most importantly, one of the brand new policies at Microsoft [Apple and Samsung have done this successfully before now] is to allow folks using a Windows 7 or Windows 8 operating system device, to upgrade for free to Windows 10 in the first year after it is released. One of the several benefits of upgrading will be that most if not all new Microsoft applications and capabilities that arise thereafter will not be usable on old operating systems but will be very usable on a Windows 10 operating system. If your hardware is still fully functional, it probably would make sense to take advantage of a free upgrade to Windows 10 even though the upgrade will take several hours to install. Remember that when I say “new applications” I’m referring to those that are synced with Microsoft as the installer. I’m not referring to free applications like Adobe PDF and Java Script. They are constructed by their makers to be available for download and installation on all presently used operating systems and you need not be afraid you would lose those even if you do not upgrade to Windows 10.

Hope this helps to inform and alleviate concerns you may have. See articles on this topic by Reid Goldsborough who is a Windows 7 operating system user see article—_Should_Windows_7_Users_Be_Worried_.html


Texas Tech University Libraries uses the Library of Congress Classification system e.g D524.7.M53 F39. There are other classification systems for identifying publications such as Dewey Decimal e.g. 843/.912 19 and OCLC Online Computer Library Center originally Ohio College Library Center 11625220 and ISBN International Standard Book Number 2-7073-0695-9. OCLC and its member institutions cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat the largest online public access catalog of library material in the world at If one finds a publication there and types in his or her zip code the page will advise if the publication is cataloged in a nearby library, and it will reference commercial publishers of the publication, so this search device is often used initially when doing research as it is efficient and saves time exploring.


Sharon Olds, poet, won the T.S. Eliot Prize and the Pulitzer Prize for her poetry collection Stag’s Leap: Poems (Alfred A. Knopf 2012) that contains intimate verses that chronicle the dissolution of a marriage of 32 years before and after the husband abruptly leaves his wife for another woman. Her books include Satan Says (1980), The Dead and the Living (1984), The Gold Cell (1987), The Matter of This World (1987), The Sign of Saturn (1991), The Father (1992), The Wellspring (1996), Blood, Tin, Straw (1999), The Unswept Room (2002), Strike Sparks (2004), and One Secret Thing (2008). Her poems have also appeared in more than 100 poetry anthologies. $19.58 hardcover $12.39 paperback $ 11.77 e-book at 114 pages Texas Tech Library PS 3565.L34 S73 Born in 1942 she is 72 years of age and former director of the Creative Writing Program at New York University in New York City.

Art on the Llano Estacado Art Sale & Exhibition opens on Friday June 5 with a ticketed $150 per person soiree and concludes on Saturday June 6 with a free public show and sale of the previous day’s unsold art in the Sculpture Court of Texas Tech Museum At the soiree Paul Milosevich will receive the 2015 Legacy Award. Here is the list of artists whose works will be offered for sale


If this Update began recalling war, let it end by recalling non-violence and peaceful change and improvement. On Saturday March 14, 2015 in Parliament Square in Central London England a nine foot bronze statue by sculptor Philip Jackson was unveiled. Mohandas K. Gandhi usually referred to by his sobriquet Mahatma meaning Great Soul [maha=great and atman=soul] depicted by his appearance as he visited London in 1931 for a constitutional conference. Prime Minister Cameron spoke at the unveiling and India’s finance minister participated

Gandhi arrived in London in 1888 at age nineteen to study law and after three years returned to India as a qualified barrister. He practiced law there and in South Africa where he learned the structures of government and their weaknesses including oppression of masses of people. He returned to India not to practice law again in the courts but to lead his people to freedom from oppression and independence from foreign rule, turning the politically unimaginable into the politically inevitable. He did it by force of character and willful public example without firing a shot.

The nine foot statuary stands on a substantial plinth so his place among the luminaries in this venue is monumental. They invite us to think and act large, not small. They invite us to stop our pettiness, particularly when we look at Gandhi and across the Square at Winston Churchill who said in 1931 while attending the same conference “He’s a seditious Middle Temple lawyer”. We need to reduce our snide and thoughtless speech lest some may remember it years later and find that it did not so much describe Gandhi as it discredited Churchill. Middle Temple is one of four Inns of Court that have the exclusive privilege to Call students to admission to the Bar as barristers in Her Majesty’s Courts.


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