Conference - Erasing the Past: Da'esh and the Crisis of Antiquities Destruction (Wellesley College, 24 Sep '15)

Yael Rice's picture

Thursday, September 24, 2015 - 9:00am
Collins Cinema, Davis Museum, Wellesley College
106 Central St., Wellesley, Massachusetts

The ongoing crisis in Iraq and Syria poses unprecedented and conflicting challenges for scholars of antiquity. The Islamic State (Da’esh) uses dramatic images of the destruction of cultural artifacts as a focal element of its self-presentation. At the same time, ad hoc excavations and clandestine trade in antiquities are being used to fund the group's activities. Scholars and cultural heritage specialists must walk a fine line between educating the public about the scope of the devastation and preventing themselves from being used to amplify Da’esh’s propaganda.
On September 24, an international group of archaeologists, epigraphers, curators, lawyers, political scientists and journalists will convene at Wellesley College to address this unfolding tragedy. This conference will provide a cross-disciplinary forum where specialists working on particular facets of this crisis can meet, learn from one another and develop effective strategies. The panel will provide a platform for informing the public about the scope of this tragedy and educating one another about how best to advocate for threatened scholars, artifacts and cultural institutions. 

The panel for this event will feature: 
Prof. Morag Kersel
Department of Anthropology
DePaul University
Prof. Clemens Reichel
Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations
University of Toronto
Prof. Jytte Klausen
Department of Politics
Brandeis University
Prof. Patty Gerstenblith
College of Law
DePaul University
Dr. Salam al-Kuntar
Department of Anthropology
University of Pennsylvania
Prof. Jeremy Hutton
Department of Hebrew and Semitic Studies
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Prof. Stephennie Mulder
Department of Art and Art History
University of Texas at Austin
Charles E. Jones
Penn State University
Nina Burleigh
Newsweek Magazine
Hugh Eakin
New York Review of Books