What We Are Reading Today: World War I and American Art

Updated 27 August 2018

What We Are Reading Today: World War I and American Art

World War I had a profound impact on American art and culture. Nearly every major artist responded to events, whether as official war artists, impassioned observers, or participants on the battlefields.

It was the moment when American artists, designers, and illustrators began to consider the importance of their contributions to the wider world and to visually represent the United States’ emergent role in modern global politics.

World War I and American Art, edited by Robert Cozzolino, Anne Classen Knutson and David M. Lubin, provides an unprecedented consideration of the impact of the conflict on American artists and the myriad ways they reacted to it.

Artists took a leading role in chronicling the war, crafting images that influenced public opinion, supported mobilization efforts, and helped to shape how the appalling human toll was mourned and memorialized.

World War I and American Art features some 80 artists— including Ivan Albright, George Bellows, Marsden Hartley, Childe Hassam, Violet Oakley, Georgia O’Keeffe, Man Ray, John Singer Sargent, and Claggett Wilson— whose paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, posters, and ephemera span the diverse visual culture of the period to tell the story of a crucial turning point in the history of American art.

Taking readers from the home front to the battlefront, this landmark book will remain the definitive reference on a pivotal moment in American modern art for years to come.


What We Are Reading Today: The Rise of Coptic

Updated 25 January 2020

What We Are Reading Today: The Rise of Coptic

Author: Jean-Luc Fournet

Coptic emerged as the written form of the Egyptian language in the third century, when Greek was still the official language in Egypt.
By the time of the Arab conquest of Egypt in 641, Coptic had almost achieved official status, but only after an unusually prolonged period of stagnation. Jean-Luc Fournet traces this complex history, showing how the rise of Coptic took place amid profound cultural, religious, and political changes in late antiquity, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.
For some 300 years after its introduction into the written culture of Egypt, Coptic was limited to biblical translation and private and monastic correspondence, while Greek retained its monopoly on administrative, legal, and literary writing.  
This changed during the sixth century, when Coptic began to penetrate domains that were once closed to it, such as literature, liturgy, regulated transactions between individuals, and communications between the state and its subjects.