The destruction of a people’s heritage is not a new idea. The Persians razed Athens when they sacked it in 480 BCE; Romans destroyed Carthage with the intention of obliterating culture and the threat of reprisal; Nazis sought not only to remove a people but also their culture in the genocide of the Jews during the Second World War.
In 2017, we have the philosophical framework and the international ethical codes to understand these destructions of materials, not as secondary outcomes of war, but as the purposeful, sinister devices of a people attempting to change—and remove—history. John North Hopkins, our speaker, will focus on the deliberate destruction of the first-century Temple of Bel in Palmyra by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in 2015. As Isis and others hack at statues, explode buildings, and loot untouched archaeological sites, what can we learn about the purposes and practices of cultural destruction?
John North Hopkins joined the art history faculty at Rice University in 2011, specializing in Italic and early Roman art, architecture, and archaeology. He earned a MA in 2004 and a PhD in 2010, both degrees in art history at the University of Texas at Austin. Hopkins’s book, The Genesis of Roman Architecture, was published by Yale University Press in 2015. He has done fieldwork at the Theater of Pompey in Rome and the Basilica di San Severo in Classe, Ravenna.
Registration for fall 2018 is ongoing. You may register online, by mail, or by phone with a credit card.
The interest list for the fall and spring study tours is also now open. If you are interested in traveling with the Houston Seminar to Natchez in the fall of 2018 or Virginia in the spring of 2019, please call the registrar at 713.666.9000 to place your name on a list. Please see Terms and Conditions for "travel list" policy.
Please note a date in the Mid-term Elections course has changed from that published in the brochure. The course will meet the first two Mondays, October 29 and November 5 as planned, but will meet Tuesday, November 13 instead of Monday, November 12.
Also note Art Underground: Carlos Cruz-Diez at the Cistern is FULLY SUBSCRIBED. Please contact the registrar if you would like to be wait listed for this course.
Have a great summer. We look forward to seeing you this fall!
For additional information about any of our courses, to register offline, or to add your name to our mailing and/or email lists, please contact our adminstrator at registrar.houstonseminar.org or phone 713.666.9000.