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Finger Print DNA, A Portrait of an Arab American Family by Gerri Ondrizek was on exhibit in Portland’s main government office building this winter.

Professors Explore Classical
and Contemporary Themes

In new work published and produced in the past several months, Reed professors take on a range of topics, from athletics in ancient Greece, to Incan royalty in Latin America, to forensic evidence in the modern national security state.

Nigel Nicholson, Walter Mintz Associate Professor of Classics, has released Athletes and Aristocracy in Early Classical Greece (Cambridge University Press, 2005), which focuses on the commemoration of athletic victories in the late archaic period.

David Garrett, associate professor of history and humanities, has published Shadows of Empire: The Indian Nobility of Cusco, 1750–1825 (Cambridge University Press, 2005). Focusing on the descendants of the former Inca nobility and their relation to the Spanish government and local Indian communities of the period, Garrett’s book explores the indigenous elite’s social, economic, cultural, and political positions in the Americas after the Spanish conquest.

Katja Garloff, associate professor of German and humanities, has released Words from Abroad: Trauma and Displacement in Postwar German Jewish Writers (Wayne State University Press, 2005). The book explores the response of German Jewish writers to geographic and cultural displacement after the Holocaust.

The work of Gerri Ondrizek, associate professor of art, has been on exhibit this winter in the Portland Building, which houses local government agencies. Ondrizek’s show, Finger Print DNA, A Portrait of an Arab American Family, has been supported by grants from the Regional Council on the Arts and the Oregon Arts Commission.

Ondrizek created a series of diaphanous fabric hangings which reproduce (at large scale) the DNA scans of several members of her husband’s Arab American family. The metal frame upon which the fabrics hang is modeled after a traditional rug loom.

“The art of rug making has been done for centuries in the Arab world,” explains Ondrizek, “and like the genetic material, the patterns are handed down through generations. The use of DNA fingerprints from an Arab American family is of particular interest at this time when Arab communities in this country and worldwide are closely watched and looked upon skeptically.”

For additional images of Finger Print DNA, view Ondrizeks's webpages.

To purchase recent books by Reed faculty, go to the Reed bookstore.