Reed College

Materiality of ISIS: Media Performance as Thing-Politics

In 2015, ISIS posted a (now iconic) video on YouTube, showing the deliberate destruction of ancient sculpture in the Mosul Museum and at the archaeological site of Nineveh in Iraqi Kurdistan. Many users of social media had a visceral reaction to the video and quickly shared it both to inform others of ISIS’s barbaric acts and to declare their own cosmopolitan, humanitarian, and civilized condemnation of these uncivilized acts against antiquities. Professor Ömür Harmanşah will discuss the Islamic State’s destruction of archaeological sites and museum antiquities from the perspective of political ecology and new materialism.

Ömür Harmanşah is Associate Professor of Art History, in the School of Art and Art History at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Born and raised in Turkey, Professor Harmanşah specializes in the art, architecture, and archaeology of the ancient Near East, with emphasis on Anatolia, Syria, and Mesopotamia. His research focuses on cities, the production of architectural and urban space, critical studies of place and landscape, image-making practices in the urban and rural environments, and political ecology. Since 2010, Harmanşah has been directing Yalburt Yaylasi Archaeological Landscape Research Project, a diachronic regional survey project addressing questions of place and landscape in Konya Province of west-central Turkey. He is also affiliated with the archaeological project at Yassıhöyük-Gordion (Turkey). He is currently working on a new monograph on the landscapes, landscape archaeology, and political ecology in the Middle East.

Free and open to the public. Sponsored by the art department.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 4:45pm to 6:30pm

Psychology, Psy auditorium (Psy 105)
3203 Southeast Woodstock Boulevard, Portland, Oregon 97202-8199

Event Type



Faculty & Staff, Students, General Public



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