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2021 Jay I. Kislak Symposium

The Ethics of Collecting in the 21st Century

Virtual event
“Gilgamesh Dream Tablet”
“Gilgamesh Dream Tablet,” an Iraqi artifact illegally imported to the U.S. in the 2000s

Thursday, December 2 through Friday, December 3, 2021

Full schedule and registration information forthcoming.

In light of current debates about historic record (Who decides? What qualifies? Whose story does it tell?) this symposium will engage with colleagues working in archives and special collections to reflect on the urgent ethical challenges confronting our repositories around collection building past and present. Panels will focus on these topics:

  • Acquisitions and provenance
  • Description
  • Repatriation
  • Post-custodial/post-colonial archives and print collections

The keynote speaker will be Erin Thompson, Associate Professor of Fraud, Forensics, Art Law & Crime, Department of Art and Music, John Jay College, City University of New York. She is the author of Possession: The Curious History of Private Collectors (Yale 2016) and is currently completing Smashing Statues: The Rise and Fall of America’s Public Monuments (Norton 2021). 

Co-sponsored by the Wolf Humanities Center.

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