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Cultural Heritage: Why Does It Matter?
Peter Lamarque, Harry Munt, Rory Olcayto, and Helen Walasek

  • Sunday 19 June 2016, 1.00PM to 2.30pm
  • Free admission
    Booking required
  • Ron Cooke Hub, University of York (map|getting to campus)
  • Wheelchair accessible

Event details

University of York

Experts will explore why the destruction of cultural heritage is important psychologically, historically and architecturally. A panel discussion with: 

  • Jane Grenville, Honorary Research Fellow, Department of Archaeology, University of York (Chair)
  • Peter Lamarque, Department of Philosophy, University of York
  • Harry Munt, Department of History, University of York
  • Rory Olcayto, Director, Open House London
  • Helen Walasek, author of Bosnia and the Destruction of Cultural Heritage

About the speakers

Peter Lamarque has been Professor of Philosophy at York since 2000. Before that he was Ferens Professor of Philosophy and Head of the Philosophy Department at the University of Hull (1995-2000). He went to Hull from the University of Stirling where he had taught in the Philosophy Department from 1972 to 1995, first as Lecturer (1972-1993) then as Senior Lecturer (1993-95).

He has held visiting positions at the Institute of Philosophy, University of Tsukuba, Japan (1983-84), Cornell University as Visiting Associate Professor (1985, 1987, 1993), the Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University as Visiting Fellow (1994), and the Programme of the Theory of Literature, University of Lisbon, as Visiting Professor (2009). 

Dr Harry Munt is a Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of York. His research is predominantly focused on the history of the early Islamic Arabian Peninsula, Islamic holy cities and pilgrimage, and Arabic history-writing in the medieval period.

His published articles to date explore various themes connected to these areas, including the origins of Arabic local history-writing, the early history of the pilgrimage to Mecca (the hajj), the economic history of the Arabian Peninsula in the early Islamic centuries and the interaction between Muslim ruling classes and their non-Muslim subjects.

His first book, The Holy City of Medina: Sacred Space in Early Islamic Arabia, is the only detailed study of the emergence of Medina (in modern Saudi Arabia) as a holy city over the course of the first three Islamic centuries (the 7th to 9th centuries CE). Harry’s current research is on the enormously popular phenomenon of Arabic and Persian local history-writing in the medieval Islamic world.

Rory Olcayto is an award-winning journalist and critic, and Director of Open House London. Before his career in journalism, Rory studied architecture at the University of Strathclyde, worked in practice in Glasgow, Liege and Istanbul, and as a designer in the videogames industry. He also led a first-year design studio at Strathclyde University for two years and today is a guest critic at a number of UK and Irish universities.

Rory is a regular commentator on radio and television, and in national newspapers, and regularly speaks at industry events. He has been a British Construction Industry (BCI) Awards judge since 2009, a Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Awards judge and in 2015, was a member of the Stirling Prize jury.

Helen Walasek is the author of Bosnia and the Destruction of Cultural Heritage (2015), the first comprehensive account of the subject. She was Deputy Director of Bosnia-Herzegovina Heritage Rescue (BHHR) and an Associate of the Bosnian Institute, London. As well as her many working visits to Bosnia during and after the 1992–1995 war, she has been an Expert Consultant for the Council of Europe and an advisor to the Swedish NGO Cultural Heritage without Borders (CHwB). 
In 2000 and 2001, with the archaeologist Richard Carlton, she made the first on-site assessment of destroyed historic monuments across Bosnia-Herzegovina for which there was still little accurate information at the time. Helen has a degree in Fine Arts and a Diploma in Museum Studies from University of Leicester and has lectured widely on heritage in conflict. 


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