Conflict Culture

at the intersection of culture, conflict, and heritage

About Us

The National Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992. The Dalada Maligawa Temple in 1998. The Bamiyan Buddhas in 2001. The Al-Askari Shrine in 2006. The libraries of Timbuktu in 2012. The Umayyad Mosque of Aleppo in 2013. The ruins of Nimrud in 2014. The ancient city of Palmyra in 2015.

We know that cultural heritage is targeted during conflict, but we know very little about why belligerents do so or what kinds of culture they target. Moreover, we do not know very much about how people experience or react to cultural loss. We have a tendency to view cultural destruction as unfortunate collateral damage. This misses the problem: from the point of view of perpetrators who intend to do civilians harm, mass death, forced resettlement, and cultural erasure are part of the same violent process of ethnic cleansing and genocide. In 2014, the University of Pennsylvania Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science launched a project to study “conflict culture”—the heritage of communities attacked during periods of war or violence. Now joined by researchers from around the world, the Conflict Culture Research Network supports rigorous, interdisciplinary research that examines how conflict impacts the culture of communities experiencing violence.

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With Affiliated Researchers From

University of Pennsylvania Museum

Smithsonian Institution

American Association for the Advancement of Science

University of Maryland

Graduate Institute of Geneva

American University

Brock University

Colorado Mesa University

Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation

DePaul University

Emory University

University of Gothenburg School of Global Studies

Heidelberg Center for Cultural Heritage

Syracuse University

University of Illinois, Chicago

U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield

Vorderasiatisches Museum

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The CCRN is an expanding community of archaeologists, political scientists, anthropologists, historians, lawyers, and policy-makers, who share an interest in understanding cultural loss during conflict. New collaborators are always welcome, and the CCRN is open to developing creative future projects.
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