Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Larry Rothfield  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Born:

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Illinois Connection

Professor Rothfield has taught in Chicago sine 1985.

Biographical and Professional Information

Professor Rothfield is Associate Professor of English at the University of Chicago. He co-found the Cultural Policy Center, which brings together faculty whose research—whether in economics, law, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, political science, public policy, history, art history, or cultural studies—touches on or could help inform policies (regarding copyright regimes, government funding, censorship, heritage preservation, etc.) affecting the arts and humanities.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Vital Signs
ISBN: 0691029547

Princeton University Press. 1994


Vital Signs offers both a compelling reinterpretation of the nineteenth-century novel and a methodological challenge to literary historians. Rejecting theories that equate realism with representation, Lawrence Rothfield argues that literary history forms a subset of the history of discourses and their attendant practices. He shows how clinical medicine provided Balzac, Flaubert, Eliot, and others with narrative strategies, epistemological assumptions, and models of professional authority. He also traces the linkages between medicine's eventual decline in scientific and social status and realism's displacement by naturalism, detective fiction, and modernism.

Unsettling 'Sensation': Arts-Policy Lessons from the Brooklyn Museum of Art Controversy (Rutgers Series: The Public Life of the Arts)
ISBN: 0813529352

Rutgers University Press. 2001

In September 1999, Sensation, an exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, opened its doors, igniting a controversy still burning in the art world. This collection of cutting-edge art from the Saatchi collection in England, and the museum’s arrangements with Charles Saatchi to finance the show, so offended New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani that he attempted to shut the museum down by withholding city funds that are crucially needed by that institution. Only a legal ruling prevented him from doing so. Like the Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition before it, Sensation once again raises questions about public spending for “controversial” art, but with the added dimension of religious conflict and charges of commercialization.

The contributors to this volume use the Sensation exhibition as a stepping-stone to analyze larger questions such as the authority the government has to withhold funds, various interpretations of the First Amendment, how to respect divergent cultural and religious values

and the economic stake of museums and dealers in art. In their articles—written expressly for this volume, and spanning the disciplines of law, cultural studies, public policy, and art—the contributors consider issues at the center of arts policy. They propose various legal strategies, curatorial practices, and standards of doing business intended to serve the public interest in the arts.

The Rape of Mesopotamia: Behind the Looting of the Iraq Museum
ISBN: 0226729451

University of Chicago Press. 2009

On April 10, 2003, as the world watched a statue of Saddam Hussein come crashing down in the heart of Baghdad, a mob of looters attacked the Iraq National Museum. Despite the presence of an American tank unit, the pillaging went unchecked, and more than 15,000 artifacts—some of the oldest evidence of human culture—disappeared into the shadowy worldwide market in illicit antiquities. In the five years since that day, the losses have only mounted, with gangs digging up roughly half a million artifacts that had previously been unexcavated

the loss to our shared human heritage is incalculable.

With The Rape of Mesopotamia, Lawrence Rothfield answers the complicated question of how this wholesale thievery was allowed to occur. Drawing on extensive interviews with soldiers, bureaucrats, war planners, archaeologists, and collectors, Rothfield reconstructs the planning failures—originating at the highest levels of the U.S. government—that led to the invading forces’ utter indifference to the protection of Iraq’s cultural heritage from looters. Widespread incompetence and miscommunication on the part of the Pentagon, unchecked by the disappointingly weak advocacy efforts of worldwide preservation advocates, enabled a tragedy that continues even today, despite widespread public outrage.

Bringing his story up to the present, Rothfield argues forcefully that the international community has yet to learn the lessons of Iraq—and that what happened there is liable to be repeated in future conflicts. A powerful, infuriating chronicle of the disastrous conjunction of military adventure and cultural destruction, The Rape of Mesopotamia is essential reading for all concerned with the future of our past.


Awards

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