Art History, Music and Religious Studies Professors Win Top Awards

December 2, 2015 - Heghnar Watenpaugh, an associate professor of art history, received the Omer Lutfi Barkan Article Prize from the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association in November.

The award was given for her article “Preserving the Medieval City of Ani: Cultural Heritage Between Contest and Reconciliation” published in the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians in December 2014.

Ani is a cultural heritage site in eastern Turkey famous for its many medieval Armenia churches. It is in line to be declared a world heritage site by UNESCO.

“Ani is one of the most beautiful and poignant sites in the world,” said Watenpaugh. “We live at a time when cultural heritage in the Middle East is increasingly threatened and caught up in political struggles. Therefore, learning about such sites and the complexities of their conservation and interpretation is more vital than ever. Ani is also a politically sensitive site due to the tragic history of the ethnic Armenian population in Turkey.”

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Between 1915 and the early 1920s the Ottoman government killed or exiled most of its Armenian population. Many Armenian religious and cultural sites were destroyed, appropriated for other uses, or left to decay.

The prize committee wrote of her article: “Moving beyond a narrative of conflicted memories and irreconcilable pasts, Watenpaugh highlights the uneasy entanglement of official memory, world heritage, tourism and trauma. As such, her work presents an important contribution to the literature on the politics of memory in Ottoman/Turkish studies."

“This is the first time this prize has been awarded to an article on a Turkish-Armenian topic,” Watenpaugh said. “I am grateful for the award, I am heartened by the academic community’s support of my research, and I hope that this calls attention to sites like Ani.”

Music professors take top awards

Two music professors won major awards at the American Musicological Society annual meeting in November.

Carol Hess received the Robert M. Stevenson Award for outstanding scholarship in Iberian music, for her book Representing the Good Neighbor: Music, Difference, and the Pan American Dream. The 2013 book examines the reception of Latin American art music in the United States during the Pan American movement of the 1930s and 1940s.

Jessie Ann Owens won the Noah Greenberg Award, a grant-in-aid for assisting collaboration between scholars and performers by fostering historical performing practices. The award will go toward creating a world premiere recording of composer Cipriano de Rore's I madrigali a cinque voci. Cipriano de Rore was one of the most prominent composers of madrigals in the middle of the 16th century. 

Owens is leading a conference at UC Davis Jan. 13 – 14 to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the birth of the Flemish composer. The conference, Il divino Cipriano: New Perspectives on the Music of Cipriano de Rore, will include performances by the Orlando Consort and the UC Davis Early Music Ensemble.

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Religious studies professor honored by Psychoanalytic Association

Naomi Janowitz, professor of religious studies, has been selected as one of the recipients of the Edith Sabshin Teaching Award given by the American Psychoanalytic Association. The Edith Sabshin Teaching Award recognizes members of the American Psychoanalytic Association who have made outstanding contributions as educators.

Janowitz will receive her award in January at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychoanalytic Association's meeting in New York.

— Jeffrey Day, content strategist in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science

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