Yale workshops invite dialogue on the preservation of cultural heritage

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Yale’s Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage (IPCH) will join with partners to host a series of workshops and discussions in conjunction with the eighth Global Colloquium of University Presidents.

The workshops and events, which will take place April 6–15,  are open to members of the Yale community and the public.

“Culture in Crisis”

The ongoing destruction and loss of cultural heritage in North Africa, the Middle East, and throughout the world is the focal point of a workshop titled “Culture in Crisis” on Monday, April 11 at 10:45 a.m. The workshop will convene stakeholders and decision-makers to discuss ways to help inform the current situation, especially on such topics as looting, illicit trade, the destruction of sites and urban fabric, the humanitarian impact, and loss of local skills, crafts and indigenous knowledge. It will be co-hosted by IPCH and the Victoria & Albert Museum as a follow-up to the joint 2015 colloquium.

“We want people across Yale to lend their voices to the global response, but all of the participants are essential to this discussion — whether in New Haven, London, or those who face different conditions in their daily lives in Syria, Mali, Nigeria, Yemen, Libya, and Iraq,” said Stefan Simon, director of IPCH, who will co-host the workshop with Vernon Rapley, security director at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

Yale President Peter Salovey and the organizers encourage people across campus and the community to take the occasion of the colloquium to learn more and consider the roles they can play in moving the preservation of cultural heritage forward.

“The Role of Universities and Our Cultural Heritage”

A panel on April 12 will explore the question of what role universities with important collections can play in raising awareness and appreciation of the importance of cultural heritage in a world where the response to the deterioration and destruction of our cultural heritage often seems too little too late. Ian McClure, chair of the ​IPCH Conservation Lab and chief conservator of the Yale University Art Gallery, will lead the panel, titled “The Role of Universities and Our Cultural Heritage: Education and Training.”

Series of workshops

Beginning on Wednesday, April 6, Yale and its partners will host a series of satellite workshops open to the public. Highlights include:

  • Claire Bower, professor of linguistics at Yale, will moderate the Native American Language Project Panel: “Promoting the Preservation of North America’s Indigenous Languages” 5–6:30 p.m. on Monday, April 11.  Panelists will include language instructors currently working with Yale students in Cherokee, Choctaw, Mohawk and Salish.
  • Paul Messier, head of the IPCH Lens Media Lab, will lead a panel 8–9:30 p.m. on Monday, April 11. Titled “Cultural Diversity and Heritage Preservation,” the panel aims to formulate an expansive and inclusive concept of cultural heritage, and investigate the questions: What gets saved? Where? And who decides?

  • Lukasz Bratasz, head of the IPCH Sustainable Conservation Lab, will lead a workshop 9 a.m.–12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 12 that aims to address “Sustainable conservation of cultural heritage” —,investigating questions about universities as agents of sustainable conservation, planning for uncertainty, and decision-making frameworks.
  • Holly Rushmeier, professor of computer science and a member of IPCH’s Digitization Lab, will lead a panel 1:30–3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 12. Titled “Grand Challenges in Cultural Heritage Data and Information,”  the panel will focus on questions about human history, behavior, and enterprise that can, for the first time, be posed and answered using vast data processing and storage capabilities.

For more information

Information about the colloquium and public events can be found online here: http://ungc.yale.edu/. Readers are invited to explore the full calendar of events posted on the UNGC website. Follow the conversation about the preservation of cultural heritage by using the hashtag #unite4heritage. Members of the media wishing to cover UNGC and related events are asked to register with the Yale Office of Public Affairs and Communications.