Still from The Guardian’s audio slideshow about Faisal’s barbershop in London. Click to visit the original piece.

The intersection of the senses and the arts is the theme for the next Evolving Directions lecture, scheduled for this Friday, March 8, from 1:30-3:00pm in Memorial, Rm. 126. Please mark your calendars to attend this very special presentation by Prof. Henry Drewal and Faisal Abdu’allah on their teaching and research on the senses and the arts.  The Evolving Directions in Academic Research and Resources lectures are sponsored by ASHIND (Area Studies, Social Sciences and Humanities Interdisciplinary Group).

Prof. Henry Drewal of the UW-Madison Art History Department, and Faisal Abdu’allah, the Spring 2013 Interdisciplinary Artist in Residence at the Arts Institute will be talking about this exciting field of study and their joint course, “FauHaus: Bodies, Minds, Senses, and the Arts.”  Their description of FauHaus illustrates the course’s methods for engaging students in the intersection of art, culture, and the senses: “This art laboratory is composed of student practitioners from visual arts, performance, art history, and visual culture. Referencing the legendary Bauhaus—a space where multiple disciplines were encouraged to flourish side by side—FauHaus (F for Faisal, H for Henry, Haus for UW-Madison) is grounded in Drewal’s theory of ‘sensiotics,’ which considers the crucial role of the senses in understanding arts and culture.  FauHaus explores the sensory and cognitive engagements of the human body-mind.”

At a Glance:

  • What: Evolving Directions talk with Prof Henry Drewal and Faisal Abdu’allah
  • When: Friday, March 8, 2013, 1:30-3:00pm
  • Where: Memorial, Rm 126.

Henry Drewal, Evjue-Bascom Professor of Art History, teaches African and African Diaspora art history.  He is also a faculty member in the Afro-American Studies Department.  He is an internationally renowned scholar and curator as well as a dynamic speaker (  Recent publications in the UW-Madison collections include  Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria (New York: Museum for African Art, 2009) and Beads, Body and Soul: Art and Light in the Yoruba Universe (Los Angeles: Fowler Museum of Cultural History, 1998).  Drewal also curated the “Mami Wata: Arts for Water Spirits in Africa and Its Diasporas,” exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art in 2009.

Faisal Abdu’Allah is “an internationally acclaimed artist whose iconographic images of power, race, masculinity, violence, and faith challenge the values and ideologies we attach to those images and interrogate the historic and cultural contexts in which they originate. Trained as a printmaker at the Royal College of Art and as a professional barber, Faisal Abdu’Allah’s work evolved out of the interface of photography, printed media, film, installation, and performance.  His debut 1993 exhibition  ‘I Wanna Kill Sam…’ quickly established his interest in confrontation and displacement through provocative installation pieces. He is a Senior Lecturer in Fine Arts at the University of East London and still occasionally cuts hair at his barber shop/studio in Harlesden, London, called Faisal’s.”