Slavs And Tatars: The Transliterative Tease

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Slavs And Tatars: The Transliterative Tease
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Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts says
Slavs and Tatars: The Transliterative Tease

The Transliterative Tease is the first of four performance-lectures given between January and April 2016 by the collective Slavs and Tatars, presented by the University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts in collaboration with Blaffer Art Museum‘s exhibition Mirrors for Princes.

Founded in 2006, Slavs and Tatars describes itself as “a faction of polemics and intimacies devoted to an area east of the former Berlin Wall and west of the Great Wall of China” known as Eurasia. Through the lens of phonetic, semantic, and theological slippage, their lecture The Transliterative Tease explores the potential for transliteration – the conversion of scripts – as a strategy equally of resistance and research into notions such as identity politics, colonialism, and faith.

The Transliterative Tease focuses on the Turkic languages of the former Soviet Union, as well as the eastern and western frontiers of the Turkic sphere, namely Anatolia and Xinjiang/Uighuristan. Lenin believed that the revolution of the east begins with the Latinization of the alphabets of all Muslims of the USSR. The march of alphabets has always accompanied that of empires – Arabic with the rise of Islam, Latin with that of Roman Catholicism, and Cyrillic with the Orthodox Church and subsequently communism. The Transliterative Tease attempts not to emancipate peoples or nations but rather the sounds rolling off our tongues.

The lecture will be immediately followed by the opening reception for the exhibition Mirrors for Princes at Blaffer Art Museum.

The Transliterative Tease is part of the INTERSECTIONS initiative. INTERSECTIONS is a program of the University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, which aims to increase knowledge about Muslim cultures through the arts while focusing on the complexity and diversity within Houston’s local Muslim population, with an emphasis on the University of Houston’s own student body and seeks to build bridges between visiting artists and UH students. The lectures question commonly held assumptions about history, politics, linguistics and identity. For a full listing of the series visit

INTERSECTIONS is made possible in part by the Association of Performing Arts Presenters; Building Bridges: Campus Community Engagement Grants Program, a component of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

LOCATION: University of Houston, Fine Arts Building, Dudley Recital Hall, 4173 Elgin
ADMISSION: Free, reservations required here:
PARKING: Entrance 16 off Cullen Blvd, lot 16B
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By: Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts

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