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2017 IMES Annual Conference: Restless Matters

  • 14 Apr 2017
  • 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
  • GWU Elliott School of International Affairs

2017 IMES Annual Conference: Restless Matters

the Socio-Political Lives of Historical Sites and Objects in the Middle East

Date: Friday, April 14, 2017 

Time: 9:00am - 3:00pm (Breakfast at 8:30am) 

Location: Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E St. NW
Lindner Family Commons, room 602
Washington, District Of Columbia 20052

Register here.

Historical sites and objects are a focal point of socio-political contestation in the Middle East today. Whether it be the destruction and looting of the Egyptian Museum, Palmyra, or the Buddhas of Bamyan, or it be the renovation and rebuilding of Mecca, the Eyup Sultan complex, or heritage districts in Doha, Cairo or Beirut, the ways in which these historical sites and objects are intertwined with political projects and political-economic processes have drawn increasing scrutiny in recent years.

While popular discourses and news media accounts often portray these matters in terms of the actions of religious zealots, crass developers, or enlightened preservationists, this glosses over a far more textured socio-political terrain this conference seeks to explore. A day-long event that brings together an interdisciplinary group of scholars who focus on the Middle East and the region’s past and present connections to other parts of the world, this conference explores the myriad socio-political work historical sites and objects do.

*Please join us on April 13th as well for a pre-conference presentation by Azra Aksamija on her Memory Matrix project. 


Esra Akcan

Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture, Cornell University

Azra Aksamija

Associate Professor in the Art, Culture and Technology Program, MIT

Farah Al-Nakib

Director of the Center for Gulf Studies, American University of Kuwait

Amin Alsaden

PhD Candidate, Harvard University Graduate School of Design

Luna Khirfan

Associate Professor, University of Waterloo School of Planning

Michele Lamprakos

Assistant Professor, University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation

Amal Sachedina

Post-Doctoral Fellow, Institute for Middle East Studies, George Washington University

The 2017 IMES conference was developed in collaboration with the American University of Kuwait’s Gulf Studies Center, as part of a broader project focusing on “Mobilities and Materialities of the Middle East.”

Sponsored By:

The IMES Annual Conference is sponsored by the Institute for Middle East Studies and the US Department of Education's Title VI National Resource Center Grant Program. 

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