The “Calculated Frightfulness” of ISIS: Threats to Middle Eastern Cultural Heritage in Historical Perspective
University of Michigan Museum of Art
Global Heritage at Risk <br> University of Michigan Museum Studies Program <br> Fall 2015 Lecture Series
Global Heritage at Risk
University of Michigan Museum Studies Program
Fall 2015 Lecture Series
The so-called “Islamic State” (also known as ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh) proclaimed itself a caliphate in June 2014. Like any new state whose continued existence may be in doubt, this group has advanced its ideology through varied relationships to tangible material heritage. This talk will contextualize the horrifying destruction of monuments and looting of sites and museums within regional histories of “calculated frightfulness” (as one historian characterized a strategy of the ancient Assyrian empire), iconoclasm, and other episodes of looting. It will also examine western responses to these actions, from government silence, to mobilization of archaeologists, and uneven media coverage.
Co-sponsored by the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, Center for Middle East and North African Studies, and Department of Near Eastern Studies