Randy H. Sooknanan


Journalist, Historian & Educator

Biography

Randy studied Journalism and has worked in news media, corporate video and publishing in North America, Asia and Europe. However, throughout his life, he has always been a devoted art and literature enthusiast and an avid historian with a love for classical antiquity in particular. So later, he studied Italian Renaissance Art and completed a Master of Museology degree in the UK. His research and dissertation work pertained to cultural-resource management, digital practice, visitor engagement and interpretation at Heritage Tourism Destinations. He is continuing his post-graduate studies with a Classical Mediterranean Archaeology MA/Ph.D while on faculty teaching Art History and Material Culture at a University level.Randy is motivated by the overall principle that museums and heritage programs are culturally and socially beneficial to the diversity of the communities they serve. Today, his passion remains to effectively communicate, inform and educate while progressing the experience and interpretation of arts, culture, and heritage for the benefit of institutional practice as well as for visitors and students alike.

BOOKS

A Museum Studies Approach to Digital Practice at Heritage Tourism Destinations

by Randy H. SooknananIn past decades, an efficacious utilization of Digital has amalgamated with arts and history learning to change critical pedagogy experiences for visitors and consumers of culture in the arena of museology. While in more recent years, smartphones have allowed visiting museums, galleries, or heritage sites a new and supplementary way to fill any informational voids. This is especially so in traditional museum settings, where Digital has become innate. However, mobile technologies could still produce a more substantial contribution to filling in the learning gaps commonly found in the cultural heritage tourism sector. We can ponder how museologists, researchers, and designers can bridge the divide between the natural physical world and virtual spaces at significant outdoor heritage locations.

ART STORIA | Arts & Artifacts

by Randy H. Sooknanan (Author, Editor), Denise K. McTighe (Author, Editor), Elvira V. Resta (Author), Ani Margaryan (Author), Sorubi Ravindran (Author) & Chris Porteous (Editor)In this edition, ART STORIA introduces Arts & Artifacts, a collection of carefully curated ideas and articles put together by writers and researchers across the globe.The content here surveys artworks and archaeological artifacts often overlooked from the past, spanning over centuries of art history, whilst fostering an interesting discourse and productive analytical dialogue to ultimately offer the reader new perspectives.

HISTORICAL TEXTS

The Iliad

by Homer, Translated by Samuel Butler, Foreword by Randy H. Sooknanan, Edited by Denise K. McTighe, Cover Art by Charles-Antoine CoypelLove and friendship, fate and free will, and honor are the main themes of Homer's The Iliad. All three themes follow Achilles and the other main characters of the epic poem. We see how Achilles' friendship with Patroclus and his hunger for honor guides much of the epic, which leads to both his and Hector's demises.


The Odyssey

by Homer, Translated by Samuel Butler, Edited with Foreword by Randy H. Sooknanan, Cover Art by John William WaterhouseThe Odyssey is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is one of the oldest extant works of literature still read by contemporary audiences. As with the Iliad, the poem is divided into 24 books. It follows the Greek hero Odysseus, king of Ithaca, and his journey home after the Trojan War.

The Voyage of the Argo:
The Argonautica

by Apollonius Rhodius, Translated by R.C. Seaton, Annotated by Randy Sooknanan, Edited by Randy H. Sooknanan & Denise K. McTighe, Cover Art by Jacopo da SellaioThe Voyage of the Argo aka The Argonautica is a Greek epic poem written by Apollonius Rhodius in the 3rd century BC. The only surviving Hellenistic epic, the Argonautica tells the myth of the voyage of Jason and the Argonauts to retrieve the Golden Fleece from remote Colchis.


Meditations

by Marcus Aurelius, Translated by George W. Chrystal, Edited with Foreword by Randy H. Sooknanan, Cover Art by Peter ArnellMeditations is a series of personal writings by Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor from 161 to 180 AD, recording his private notes to himself and ideas on Stoic philosophy. Marcus Aurelius wrote the 12 books of the Meditations in Koine Greek as a source for his own guidance and self-improvement.

The Symposium

by Plato, Translated by Benjamin Jowett, Introduction by Randy H. Sooknanan, Cover Art by Anselm FeuerbachThe Symposium is a philosophical text by Plato dated c. 385–370 BC. It depicts a friendly contest of extemporaneous speeches given by a group of notable men attending a banquet. The men include the philosopher Socrates, the general and political figure Alcibiades, and the comic playwright Aristophanes.


The Republic

by Plato, Introduction by Randy H. Sooknanan, Cover Art by Hans Werner SchmidtThe Republic is a Socratic dialogue, authored by Plato around 375 BC, concerning justice, the order, and character of the just city-state, and the just man. It is Plato's best-known work and has proven to be one of the world's most influential works of philosophy and political theory, both intellectually and historically.

The Last Days of Socrates

by Plato, Translated by Benjamin Jowett & Henry Cary, Annotated by Randy Sooknanan, Edited by Randy H. Sooknanan & Denise K. McTighe, Cover Art by Jacques-Louis DavidThis edition includes all four Socratic dialogues of the Euthyphro, The Apology, Crito, and Phaedo. The Last Days of Socrates is a series of four dialogues by Plato which describe the trial and death of Socrates at 403 B.C. The trial of Socrates for heresy and the corruption of youth gives Plato the opportunity to develop and present his own philosophy of the responsibility of the individual for his actions and their effect on their community as well as his belief in the immortality of the soul.

The Egyptian Book of the Dead

by E. A. Wallis Budge, Edited by Randy H. Sooknanan & Denise K. McTighe, Cover Art: Book of the Dead of Hunefer (Hw-nfr) 19th DynastyThe Book of the Dead is an ancient Egyptian funerary text which was generally written on papyrus and used from the beginning of the New Kingdom to around 50 BCE. The original Egyptian name for the text, transliterated rw nw prt m hrw, is translated as Book of Coming Forth by Day or Book of Emerging Forth into the Light.

Tutankhamen and his Tomb

by G. Elliot Smith, Foreword by Randy H. Sooknanan, Edited by Denise K. McTigheThe Discovery of The TOMB of TUTANKHAMEN By The Earl of Carnarvon and Howard Carter. Howard Carter (1874–1939) was an English archaeologist and Egyptologist, here is account of the excavation offers a firsthand description of the remarkable events surrounding the 1922 discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb in Egypt's Valley of Kings and of the unique and priceless treasures that were found there.

The Art of War

by Sun Tzu, Foreword by Elvira V. Resta, Edited by Randy H. SooknananThe Art of War is an ancient Chinese military treatise dating from the Late Spring and Autumn Period. The work, which is attributed to the ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu, is composed of 13 chapters. Each one is devoted to an aspect of warfare and how it applies to military strategy and tactics.

The Prince

by Niccolò Machiavelli, Edited with Introduction by Randy H. Sooknanan, Cover Art by Paolo VeroneseThe Prince is sometimes claimed to be one of the first works of modern philosophy, especially modern political philosophy, in which the "effectual" truth is taken to be more important than any abstract ideal. It is also notable for being in direct conflict with the dominant Catholic and scholastic doctrines of the time, particularly those concerning politics and ethics.

HISTORICAL FOLK TALES

The Arabian NightsTranslated by Andrew Lang, Edited by Randy H. Sooknanan & Denise K. McTighe, Cover Art by Kay Rasmus Nielsen'The Arabian Nights' is the title which encompasses all of the Persian, Arabian and Indian folk tales which have made their way into western culture over hundreds of years. This collection was edited by Andrew Lang, and his selections were made with the purpose of making the tales more suitable and interesting to a general audience.

Stories of King Arthur and His Knightsby U. Waldo Cutler, Edited by Randy H. Sooknanan & Denise K. McTighe, Cover Art: "The Arming and Departure of the Knights" scene from a 1890s Holy Grail Tapestry by Unknown ArtistThis is reproduction of the original: Stories of King Arthur and His Knights by Cutler U. Waldo. The material for the Arthur stories came from many countries and from many different periods of history. Much of it is wholly fanciful, but the writers connected all the incidents directly or indirectly with the old Briton king of the fifth century, who was the model of knighthood, "without fear and without reproach."

The Story of Siegfriedby James Baldwin, Foreword by Randy H. Sooknanan, Edited by Denise K. McTighe, Cover Art by Peter von CorneliusThis version offers a clearer understanding and a wiser appreciation of the thoughts and feelings of our old northern ancestors. The story of Siegfried, the brave young man who rode through fire to awaken the lovely Brunhild from a long sleep, has been told many times and in many variations. James Baldwin's account, written well over 100 years ago, has taken bits and pieces from many different versions. The result is an adventure-packed retelling of tales taken from ancient Icelandic texts known as the Eddas.

NOVELS

Siddhartha: An Indian Taleby Herman Hesse, Edited by Randy H. Sooknanan & Denise K. McTighe, Cover Art by Dong LinSiddhartha: An Indian Tale is a 1922 novel by Hermann Hesse that deals with the spiritual journey of self-discovery of a man named Siddhartha during the time of the Gautama Buddha. Hesse's classic novel has delighted, inspired, and influenced generations of readers, writers, and thinkers. In this story of a wealthy Indian Brahmin who casts off a life of privilege to seek spiritual fulfillment, Hesse synthesizes disparate philosophies--Eastern religions, Jungian archetypes, Western individualism--into a unique vision of life as expressed through one man's search for true meaning.

ARTICLES

The Monarchs at Urbino:
Innovating Techniques & Renaissance Ideals

Piero della Francesca was one of the most innovative Old Masters of the Quattrocento. His diptych painting of ‘The Duke and Duchess of Urbino’ shows us why he was a leading pioneer in technique and humanist ideals during the early Italian Renaissance period.

Bertoldo & The Bronze Renaissance

Since the first smelting of metals, bronze sculpture has been part of our attempt to create artistic images of the world that surrounds us. The art form itself has had a turbulent history as the mode was nearly forgotten and then "rediscovered" on two separate occasions, once during the Renaissance period and then again during the Industrial Revolution in the mid-19th-century. However, it was first revitalized in the Italian Renaissance by the great Florentine sculptor Giovanni di Bertoldo...

Art from the Ashes:
The Alexander Mosaic

A detailed analysis of the Roman-era floor mosaic depicting the Battle of Issus between Alexander and Darius II. The artwork, dated circa 100 BC., was re-discovered and later excavated from the well-preserved volcanic ruins in Pompeii, Italy.

Islamic Art in Medieval Illuminated Manuscript Paintings

Islamic medieval illuminated manuscript paintings are masterpieces of art that were produced from Persian, Ottoman, and Mughal traditions. These works often presented cultural themes in the form of timeless stories about courage, love, and virtue, all completed in brilliant and vibrant miniature compositions. Their influence and style spread to other cultures located in India, Turkey, and Italy.

© Randy H. Sooknanan. All rights reserved.