Research: Intersection of Politics, Aesthetics and New Media Technologies During Shiraz Arts Festival
Alexandria is a PhD student in the department of Art History. She studies early modern art and architecture, with a particular focus on Renaissance Italy and Safavid Iran. She is especially interested in the design of Italian and Islamic palatial complexes as architectural expressions of power. Her dissertation, “The Art of Diplomacy: Visual Exchange Between Italy and Iran, 1600-1650” examines diplomatic relations between the two countries in the first half of the seventeenth century. The research explores how Venice, Florence, and Rome each crafted individual relationships with Safavid Iran, as communicated and commemorated through visual and spatial mediums.
During the summer of 2018, with funding support from Iranian Studies, Alexandria will continue her research on the intersection of politics, aesthetics and new media technologies during Iran's Shiraz Arts Festival (1967-77). The festival brought together musicians, dancers, and performance artists from diverse nations onto the shared landscape of Iran’s ancient and Pre-Islamic past—Shiraz and Persepolis. Bridging the disciplines of Cold War communication and art history, this project explores the Shiraz Arts Festival in light of the developing nucleus of communication theorists in Tehran. The project ultimately shows how Iran’s developing new media and communication goals were played out on avant-garde and cross-cultural performance spaces.