The University of Liverpool’s Heritage Theme is delighted to welcome Honorary Professor, Professor Lynn Meskell to present this year’s International Heritage Keynote Lecture: Engineering Internationalism: Colonialism, the Cold War and UNESCO’s victory in Nubia.
Lynn Meskell is Richard D. Green Professor of Anthropology in the School of Arts and Sciences, Professor in the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation, and curator in the Middle East and Asia sections at the Penn Museum at the University of Pennsylvania. She is currently also A.D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University (2019–2025).
Lynn’s lecture will be exploring some of the issues she sets out in her book, A Future in Ruins: UNESCO, World Heritage, and the Dream of Peace
Best known for its World Heritage program committed to "the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity," the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was founded in 1945 as an intergovernmental agency aimed at fostering peace, humanitarianism, and intercultural understanding. Its mission was inspired by leading European intellectuals such as Henri Bergson, Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, Thomas Mann, H. G. Wells, and Aldous and Julian Huxley. Often critiqued for its inherent Eurocentrism, UNESCO and its World Heritage program today remain embedded within modernist principles of "progress" and "development" and subscribe to the liberal principles of diplomacy and mutual tolerance. However, its mission to prevent conflict, destruction, and intolerance, while noble and much needed, increasingly falls short.
Drawing of the example of Nubia Lynn’s lecture will explore UNECO’s role in the region from the late 19th Century.
Lynn will then be joined by Heritage Theme Lead and Rathbone Chair of Ancient History and Classical Archaeology, Professor Lin Foxhall, at the University of Liverpool, who will Chair a panel discussion and audience Q&A looking at how this has informed contemporary debates on decolonisation.
This event will be streamed via Zoom. Guests will be able to ask questions to the panel through the Q&A facility on Zoom.