'The Politics of Architectural Destruction' International Conference

'The Politics of Architectural Destruction': International Conference

National University of Ireland Maynooth, 23 May 2011

Whether inflicted intentionally or collaterally, whether wrought by invading forces or internal factions, and whether wrought upon civic, domestic, or sacred buildings, architectural destruction and the destruction of built environments has always been an important, highly charged aspect of political, religious, ethnic, ideological, and other forms of conflict. And yet, until recently, little systematic analysis has been devoted to the meaning of architectural destruction in the context of conflict.

How has architectural destruction been used as a deliberate technique of war, conquest, or armed liberation? What have been the long-term cultural and social implications of architectural destruction for populations subject to it? What is the relationship between the destruction of symbolic structures and the creation of new ones by the forces responsible for destroying earlier structures? How have processes of architectural appropriation or modification related to episodes of destruction?

On 23 May 2011, the Department of History and the Centre for the Study of Historic Irish Houses and Estates (CSHIHE) at the National University of Ireland Maynooth will host the first international, interdisciplinary conference to treat these important global issues in a synthetic manner.  Bringing Irish researchers together with a network of international experts, ‘The politics of architectural destruction’ conference will approach the above questions from the broadest possible historical perspective. It aims to promote thoughtful, wide-ranging analysis of architectural destruction as an aspect of historical and contemporary conflict. With this goal in mind, speakers will consider architectural destruction in contexts as ancient as the expansion of the Assyrian empire and as contemporary as the Northern Ireland conflict—and across geographical regions.  And, to promote the most thoughtful analysis possible, the speakers will include scholars with wide-ranging expertise in archaeology; architecture and historic preservation; cultural geography; the history of art, architecture, and design; history; and urban studies.

The co-organisers of ‘The Politics of Architectural Destruction’ conference are Dr Terence Dooley, Director of the CSHIHE, and Dr JoAnne Mancini, Department of History, National University of Ireland Maynooth (email: JoAnne.Mancini@nuim.ie).  

Please note that this conference was originally scheduled for April 2010 but was cancelled due to the flight restrictions caused by volcanic ash emissions from Iceland.