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Who are the Custodians of Cultural Heritage?
Robert Carter, Cornelius Holtorf, Ben Isakhan, and Emma Loosley

  • Sunday 19 June 2016, 3.00PM to 4.30pm
  • Free admission
    Booking required
  • Ron Cooke Hub, University of York (map|getting to campus)
  • Wheelchair accessible

Event details

University of York

An eminent panel of speakers will explore who owns and preserves cultural heritage.

A panel debate including:

  • Robert Carter, UCL Qatar
  • Cornelius Holtorf, Linnaeus University
  • Ben Isakhan, Deakin University, Australia
  • Emma Loosley, College of Humanities, University of Exeter
  • Terry O'Connor, Department of Archaeology, University of York (Chair)

Robert Carter is Professor of Arabian and Middle Eastern Archaeology, UCL Qatar. His main research concerns the origins of the Gulf towns, and his chief research project is the Origins of Doha and Qatar, a multidisciplinary project that combines archaeology, historical research, geographical information systems  (GIS) and oral histories to explore the development of Doha. 

His second major research project, the Shahrizor Prehistory Project, examines settlement and complexity in northern Iraq in the 5th to 6th millennia BC (Ubaid Period). Robert’s other research includes Neolithic seafaring in the Gulf (5th to 6th millennia BC); the formative role played by the pearl fishery in the shaping of the Gulf countries; and medieval urbanism and maritime trade in the Gulf. Since 1993 he has conducted fieldwork, artefact studies and consultancy in many parts of the Gulf, including Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ras al-Khaimah, Fujairah, as well as in Iran. 

Cornelius Holtorf is a Professor of Archaeology at Linnaeus University, Sweden. He read prehistoric archaeology, social anthropology and physical anthropology in Germany, England and Wales. In 1998 he gained his PhD and was subsequently employed in research and teaching at the University of Gothenburg (1998-9), the University of Cambridge (1999-2002), the Swedish National Heritage Board in Stockholm (2002-4) and the University of Lund (2005-8). He has worked at Linnaeus University since 2008 and is the Director of the Graduate School in Contract Archaeology. 

Ben Isakhan is Associate Professor of Politics and Policy Studies and Member of the Middle East Studies Forum in the Alfred Deakin Research Institute for Citizenship and Globalization at Deakin University, Australia. He is also Adjunct Senior Research Associate, Department of Politics at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa and an Associate of the Sydney Democracy Network at the University of Sydney, Australia. Ben is the author of Democracy in Iraq: History, Politics, Discourse (Ashgate, 2012) and the editor of six books including, most recently, The Legacy of Iraq: From the 2003 War to the 'Islamic State' (Edinburgh University Press & Oxford University Press, 2016 [2015]).

Ben has also published many articles in esteemed international journals and given keynote lectures and refereed conference papers across Iraq, Lebanon, the UAE, Qatar, Turkey, Jordan, the UK, the USA, Germany, Italy, New Zealand and Australia. He is regularly interviewed for radio, print and television.

Emma Loosley, is an Associate Professor at the University of Exeter, where she is working on a five-year European Research Council funded project entitled ‘Architecture and Asceticism: Cultural Interaction between Syria and Georgia in Late Antiquity’ exploring the purported Syrian evangelisation of Georgia in the 5th century and seeking to answer why the Georgians left the Oriental Orthodox fold to join with the Constantinopolitan Church in the early 7th century. 

Emma has worked for the Community of Al-Khalil at Deir Mar Musa al-Habashi in Syria and was a visiting lecturer at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and the Université Saint Esprit de Kaslik in Lebanon. She has also worked for the Abu Dhabi Ministry of Information. In January 2004 she took up a position teaching Oriental Christian and Islamic Art at the University of Manchester and in 2010 was appointed Senior Lecturer. During this time she was also a visiting lecturer at the Art University of Isfahan, Iran, the Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Georgia, the University of Tehran, the Teacher Training University of Tehran and the Amirkabir Polytechnic College, Tehran, Iran. She joined the University of Exeter in April 2013. 

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