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.
Although Harvey has come and gone, many in our community continue to struggle with uncertain physical, temporal, and emotional spaces. Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you recover and heal.
Registration is on going for fall courses, either online, by email, or by phone. We look forward to sharing the rest of this interesting and challenging fall with you.
The following courses are fully subscribed and have been closed.
Lois Stark: The Telling Image
Houston Collects: Contemporary Cool in River Oaks
Romantic Rarities with Brian Connelly
Wednesdays, October 18, November 1 and 15, 6:30-8:00 P.M.
Private home, check with registrar for availability
Inside the Middle East
October 26, November 2, 9, and 16
The Station Museum of Contemporary Art
1502 Alabama at LaBranch
Fall 2017 Study Tour
Newport: History Preserved
Thursday, October 26–Monday, October 30, 2017
Spring 2018 Study Tour
Mexico City: Past, Present, Future
Tuesday, April 3–Monday, April 9, 2018
Waiting list only, check with registrar
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.