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Agent of Diplomacy: Archaeology as an Element of the Foreign Relations Toolkit

Agent of Diplomacy: Archaeology as an Element of the Foreign Relations Toolkit
Munk School of Global Affairs, room 208N (1 Devonshire Place)
Time: Feb 28th, 4:00 pm End: Feb 28th, 6:00 pm
Interest Categories: Sociology (FAS), Political Science, Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations (FAS), Humanities, Human Geography (UTSC), History (FAS), History & Philosophy of Science & Technology (FAS), Historical Studies (UTM), Historical and Cultural Studies (UTSC), before 400 BCE, Art (FAS), Architecture, Landscape, Design, Archaeology, Anthropology (UTSC), Anthropology (UTM), Anthropology (FAS), 400-1200, 400-1 BCE, 2000-, 1950-2000, 1900-1950, 1800-1900, 1500-1800, 1200-1500, 1-400 CE
Lecture by Dr. Morag Kersel (DePaul University, Chicago)

The Department of Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations, The Archaeology Centre and the Centre for the Study of the United States, and the Munk School of Global Affairs present: 

Dr. Morag Kersel, DePaul University, Chicago.

Agent of Diplomacy: Archaeology as an Element of the Foreign Relations Toolkit

Abstract: Archaeology and archaeologists are routinely deployed as “agents of the state”, acting as official and unofficial ambassadors on behalf of their countries of origin. As a result of coalition forces’ failure to protect cultural insti-tutions in Iraq, unwanted operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan and recent inactivity in protecting the cultural resources and people in places like Mali and Syria, it is essential for the US to present a kinder, gentler, caring face. What better way to reconfigure negative perceptions than through archaeology and the conservation and investigation of the common history of humankind? Archaeology and archaeologists can and do play a vital role in furthering diplomatic goals and agendas in countries and areas of the world where an apolitical, non-military appearance is very desirable. Through an examination of various programs at the U.S. Department of State this discussion will assesses the interplay between archaeology and cultural diplomacy in shaping U.S. cultural heritage policy and diplomatic relations in the international arena.

Professor Kersel is an archaeologist with a doctorate from the Department of Archaeology at the University of Cambridge and a master of Historic Preservation from the University of Georgia. Her research interests include the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age of the eastern Mediterranean and Levant, cultural heritage protection, the built environment, object biographies, museums, and archaeological tourism. Her work combines archaeological, archival and oral history research in order to understand the efficacy of cultural heritage law in protecting archaeological landscapes from looting. 


This event is free of charge and open to the public. For details please contact the Department of Near & Middle Eastern Civilization at (416) 978-3306. Find more event details here.



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