Friday, September 19, 2014

Call for Papers: U of Chicago Conference on New Approaches to the Study of Archaeological Looting an dIllicit Antiquities Trafficking

Archaeological Looting: New Approaches to an Ancient Problem
A two-day conference at the University of Chicago
27-28 February 2015
Joseph Regenstein Library, room 122

The Past for Sale: New Approaches to the Study of Archaeological Looting and the Illicit Trafficking of Antiquities is a three-year interdisciplinary project hosted by the University of Chicago. With major funding from the Neubauer Family Collegium for Culture and Society, the project brings together anthropologists, archaeologists, art historians, legal scholars, museum professionals, and social scientists in order to develop new ways of safeguarding archaeological sites, cultural heritage sites, and museums from looting and illicit collecting. Our aim is to advance both scholarly and policy goals.

Our opening conference will address the topic of new approaches to archaeological looting. The ultimate aim of The Past for Sale is to generate new policy and conservation tools for the safeguarding of cultural heritage sites, archaeological sites, and artworks and artifacts. Along the way, we seek to clarify the grounds of inquiry. This includes definitional and methodological work, as well as empirical data. We are pleased to announce that Dr. Neil Brodie, co-director of the Trafficking Culture research center at the University of Glasgow, will present the keynote address on Saturday, February 28, 2015. Dr. Brodie is an internationally respected expert on the illicit trafficking of art and antiquities.

Some of the questions on the agenda for this conference include:
  • Who loots, and why? What are the economic and social factors that incentivize
    this practice?
  • How is the illicit trafficking of art and antiquities organized?
  • What is the impact of looting on local communities? What can we learn from
    local-level efforts to stop cultural looting and trafficking?
  • What recent innovations (in policy, law, technology, advocacy, etc.) hold promise
    – or only false promise -- to curb looting?
    Papers will be allocated 20-minute presentation slots as part of panels, with half an hour at the end of each panel for discussion. It is hoped that the conference will give rise to an edited volume of essays.

    200-word abstracts, with paper title and author’s contact details, should be submitted to Fiona Rose-Greenland at by 1 November 2014. Replies will be sent by November 21, 2014. More information about The Past for Sale is available here:
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