SCA Special Event: Breaking Iconoclasm: Destroying and Rebuilding Past and Present Heritage


Wednesday, December 2, 2015, 4:00pm to 8:00pm


Fong Auditorium, Boylston Hall

A roundtable discussion exploring interdisciplinary approaches to iconoclasm. Taking the recent events in Syria and Iraq as a starting point, a roundtable of specialists from a wide range of disciplines and backgrounds (including archaeology, museum studies, digital humanities, history, and journalism) will discuss the various origins and expressions of iconoclasm from multiple perspectives and within varying historical contexts. The event will be open to the public and we plan for substantial audience engagement in the discussion.

Session 1: Destruction and reconstruction

4:00-4:15     Breaking iconoclasm: introductory remarks (Bastien Varoutsikos, CNRS)

4:15-4:30     Cultural Heritage during Armed Conflict: Intentional destruction in Syria and                         Iraq and the International Response  (LeeAnn Barnes Gordon, ASOR)

4:30-4:45     Iconoclasm: the Classic Phases from Breaking Images to the Museum (James                         Simpson, English, Harvard University)

4:45-5:00     Ancient Egyptian iconoclasm and modern 3D visualization (Peter Der                                        Manuelian, Semitic Museum/NELC/Anthropology, Harvard University)

5:00-5:15     Exhibiting images: the role of museum in protecting cultural heritage (Joseph                       Greene, Semitic Museum, Harvard University)

5:15-5:45     Discussion

5:45-6:15     Coffee break

Session 2 - Understanding iconoclasm, past and present. 

6:15- 6:30     Burn the Churches, Smash the Bells: Native American Iconoclasm in 17th-                             Century New Mexico (Matthew Liebmann, Anthropology, Harvard University)

6:30-6:45     Breaking object and objectivity? Facing past iconoclasm in present                                           scholarship (Eliza Gettel, Classics, Harvard University)

6:45-7:00     ISIS and the Media: Iconoclasm in the Era of Clickbait (Jason Felch,                                           investigative journalist)

7:00-7:15     Response (Clare Gillis, Marlboro College)

7:15-7:45     Discussion and Q&A

7:45-8:00    Concluding remarks (Bastien Varoutsikos)