CFP: Local Responses to Cultural Heritage Preservation in the Age of UNESCO

“Whose Heritage is it Anyway?”: Local Responses to Cultural Heritage Preservation in the Age of UNESCO

UT Antiquities Action 2020 Annual Symposium
Keynote speaker: Yvonne Therese Holden, Director of Operations, Whitney Plantation

UT Antiquities Action invites the submission of abstracts for its 5th annual symposium, to be held on Saturday, the 4th of April, 2020 at the University of Texas at Austin. 

Heritage preservation has been dominated by European-focused approaches since the founding of the discipline of archaeology. A particularly apposite example is the preservation of the site of Palmyra, Syria, by French official Henri Seyrig. Like many projects of its time, the ‘preservation’ involved the eviction and relocation of the living village of Tadmur, which had continually occupied since the Roman era. The relocation included the destruction of the thousand-year-old mosque inside the Temple of Bel, which was resurrected as a Roman temple and the new centerpiece of a now ‘ancient’ site of heritage. Extremist groups have weaponized the perceived over-attachment of Western heritage projects to antiquity over local, living heritage. Examples include the Taliban’s destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas in 2001, which was carried out as an act of protest against the flow of Western heritage ‘aid’ even as a famine engulfed Afghanistan, ISIS’s filmic destruction at the museum in Mosul, Iraq or - coming full circle – their devastation of Seyrig’s recreated Palmyra. Similarly, the U.S. invasion of Iraq was justified partly by emphasizing the danger to a heritage ostensibly “shared by all humankind,” though in practice, little regard was paid to local, living heritage as the library, archives, and museum in Baghdad were burned and looted while American soldiers stood by. More recently, approaches such as UNESCO’s idea of ‘universal heritage’ have attempted to incorporate the values of local people, but fall short in that they often insert “locals and their heritage into predetermined schemes of global world heritage” (Meskill 2002). Meanwhile, more quietly but equally dramatically, in local communities around the world, tourism and gentrification are transforming vibrant local cultural and heritage landscapes under the umbrella of development. Against this background, it is urgent that a more inclusive and less problematic models of genuinely local heritage preservation be developed.

Our keynote speaker will be Yvonne Therese Holden, director of operations at the Whitney Plantation, a museum devoted to slavery in the southern United States. Rather than focusing on the plantation owners, the Whitney tells the story of the slaves who worked on the plantation by means of oral history, interpretive tours, and experiential encounters.

Papers may address, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • How have local people addressed the conservation of their heritage?
  • How have the application or misapplication of Eurocentric notions of heritage preservation helped or hindered heritage preservation in different areas around the world?
  • How viable is the notion of ‘universal heritage’ in today’s world?
  • Have notions of heritage preservation changed or adapted over time? Does this relate to a model of universal heritage?
  • How can archaeologists, community activists, or heritage experts take steps to prevent the misappropriation or propagandization of heritage?

We welcome submissions from faculty, undergraduate, or graduate students from any area. Papers must be original and previously unpublished. Please send an abstract (250-300 words), a paper title, and a CV to antiquitiesactionsymposium@gmail.com.

The deadline for submissions is Sunday, February 14, 2020. Selected speakers will be notified no later than February 20, 2020, and are expected to accept or decline the offer within a week of notification. Papers should be 20 minutes in length and will be followed by a question and answer session. Selected participants will need to provide a full draft of your paper by Monday, March 23, 2020.

UT Antiquities Action is a group of students, staff, and faculty at the University of Texas at Austin that seeks to raise awareness of a wide range of cultural heritage issues. This event is generously sponsored by the University of Texas at Austin’s Department of Middle Eastern Studies, The Department of Classics, The Mesoamerica Center, and the Department of Art and Art History. 

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(Photo: "Handwritten" by A. Birkan, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

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On December 21, 2020, which now seems like eons ago, Donald Trump issued the “Executive Order on Promoting Beautiful Federal Civic Architecture” (EOPBFCA). This understandably has been overshadowed in recent days by discussions of the Executive Order on Promoting Besiegement of Federal Civic Architecture (also EOPBFCA). Nevertheless, we should not forget to examine the original document (which, in draft form, was opposed by the SCS Board in February 2020), especially since the two occurrences are closely related — and not only in the sense that the latter action seems in direct violation of the first. The two are actually intellectual cousins.

The “Purpose” section sets the tone for all that follows:

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 01/15/2021 - 9:21am by .

Against the backdrop of the United States’ first non-peaceful transition of power, there is a much smaller-scale — and much more peaceful — transition happening: the changeover of the SCS Communications Committee chair and SCS blog Editor-in-Chief. Sarah Bond, after three years of visionary leadership and fantastic direction of the blog, has handed the reins over to me, as a veteran Committee member. I think I speak for the Committee and for the blog’s readership when I offer Sarah my profoundest gratitude and appreciation for her awe-inspiring work during her term. I’ll be standing on the shoulders and following in the footsteps of a giant.

View full article. | Posted in on Tue, 01/12/2021 - 7:47am by T. H. M. Gellar-Goad.

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies Postdoctoral Fellowship September 2021 – August 2022

For the third year in a row, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies (SNF CHS) at Simon Fraser University invites applications for a one-year Postdoctoral Fellowship focused on Hellenisms Past and Present, Local and Global. Our search committee welcomes applications that span disciplinary boundaries from candidates working on comparative approaches to the advertised fellowship theme. Applicants from all fields of the humanities and the social sciences are encouraged to apply.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Mon, 01/11/2021 - 3:02pm by Erik Shell.

34th Biennial Conference of the Classical Association of South Africa

Order and Chaos

19 – 22 January 2022

University of Cape Town

FIRST CALL FOR PAPERS

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 01/11/2021 - 2:57pm by Erik Shell.

The Ausonius Institute (CNRS – Université Bordeaux Montaigne), under the patronage of the  Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres (AIBL, Paris), the International Association of Greek and Latin Epigraphy (AIEGL) and the Société Française d'études épigraphiques sur Rome et le monde romain is pleased to invite you to the 16th International Congress of Greek and Latin Epigraphy, which will take place in Bordeaux  from August 29 to September 2, 2022.

The aim of the conference is to reflect on the situation of epigraphy and the role of the epigrapher in the 21st century. The congress will, therefore, be organized around thematic, chronological or geographical reports, which will allow us to assess advances in our knowledge with regards to methodological, technical or ethical issues that occur in contemporary epigraphic studies. Particular attention will be paid to new epigraphic perspectives made possible by the development of digital humanities.

You can find more information on the conference website here: https://ciegl2022.sciencesconf.org/

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 12/28/2020 - 12:03pm by Erik Shell.
NEH Logo

December, 2020

Below is a list of the most recent NEH grantees and their Classically-themed projects. The NEH helps fund a number of SCS initiatives, and their support affects the field of Classics at a national and local level.

Grantees

  • Mark Fisher (Georgetown University) - "Thucydides and the Heroic Democracy"
  • Sinclair Bell (Northern Illinois University) - "Research and Preparation of a Book on the Representation of Africans in Ancient Roman Art"
  • William Seales (University of Kentucky Research Foundation) - "The Digital Restoration Initiative: A Cultural Heritage Imaging and Analysis LabSo"
  • Melissa Mueller (University of Massachusetts, Amherst) - "Sappho and Homer: A Reparative Reading"

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(Photo: "Logo of the United States National Endowment for the Humanities" by National Endowment for the Humanities, public domain, edited to fit thumbnail template)

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Mon, 12/28/2020 - 12:01pm by Erik Shell.

The Presidential Panel at the 2021 Annual Meeting will be held on Friday January 8, 5:30-7:30pm CST. Registered attendees can access the panel via the virtual annual meeting platform.

This panel responds to a shameful episode in the history of American classics: in 1909, the distinguished Black classicist and President of Wilberforce University, William Sanders Scarborough (1852-1926), chose not to attend the annual meeting of the American Philological Association (now the SCS) in Baltimore because the hotel where the conference banquet was to be held refused to serve him.  The speakers will contextualize Scarborough’s exclusion from the annual meeting within the history of Baltimore as well as the profession of Classical Studies and will address the aspirations and achievements of Scarborough himself and of the many Black writers and scholars of his period who engaged with classical antiquity, a rich legacy from which we have much to learn as we strive to make our profession truly inclusive and anti-racist.

1. Michele Valerie Ronnick (Wayne State University): "A Portrait of William Sanders Scarborough in 1909"

2. Andre Davis (University of Maryland Carey School of Law): "Ruminations on Place, Privilege, and Prejudice: Baltimore at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century"

View full article. | Posted in Presidential Letters on Tue, 12/22/2020 - 8:41pm by Helen Cullyer.

In memoriam Stellae Q. Decimae

Lucerna ardens extinguitur
 

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 12/21/2020 - 8:38am by John C. Franklin.

Our third interview in the Contingent Faculty Series is a digital sit-down between Salvador Bartera (SB) and Joshua Nudell (JN), Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics at Westminster College in Fulton, MO. Prof. Nudell holds a PhD in Ancient History from the University of Missouri. His research focuses on political culture and identity in Classical and early Hellenistic Greece, with particular focus on Ionia and the Greeks of Asia Minor. His monograph, Accustomed to Obedience?: A History of Classical Ionia, is under contract with the University of Michigan Press. Prof. Nudell is also interested in political rhetoric, imperialism, cultural memory, and the reception of the ancient world in games. His other passion involves food, both from a scholarly point of view and from a more ‘practical’, hands-on approach. His teaching experience includes small colleges, community colleges, and a large state university. He normally teaches courses in ancient history.

 

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 12/18/2020 - 9:37am by .

Ovatio for Dr. Fauci and Response

The Michigan Classical Caucus recently sent an ovatio to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the United States.

They recently posted the response they received from Dr. Fauci's office in a release to their members. The release follows:

Dear MCC Members,

Recently, two of your past presidents and the Secretary-Treasurer sent a message to Dr. Anthony Fauci on behalf of the Michigan Classical Caucus. Dr. Fauci, in case you did not know, received a Classical education at the Jesuit high school in Brooklyn: 4 years of Latin, 3 years of Greek. He went to the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts for his undergraduate degree/pre-med majoring in Classics: Greek philosophy focus. We felt that since he is not shy about praising his background, we should not be shy in thanking him.

We created an OVATIO for him and forwarded it to his office. We realize that he is extremely pre-occupied right now, but we wanted to let him know that people think highly of him for things besides this pandemic and how he trying to help us through it. (He still credits his background in philosophy as a help.)

We have received the following response from his staff:

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Thu, 12/17/2020 - 1:18pm by Erik Shell.

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