4 Dec 2018 5:00pm - 7:00pm Room SG1 & SG2, Alison Richard Building, Cambridge, CB3 9DT


Geographies of Knowledge in Ancient and Modern Iraq: the Nahrein Network and the Intellectual Infrastructure of Heritage is the second lecture in the annual series from gloknos. It will be delivered by Prof Eleanor Robson (University College London).

Where is knowledge generated? How does that knowledge replicate and spread? Where is it consumed? Who owns knowledge, and who may access it? Under what circumstances, and in what places, does it flourish or die out? How are its transmission and reception influenced by social and political factors? In 2007–11 I ran a large research project here in Cambridge, seeking answers to those questions for the world’s first large empires, Assyria and Babylonia in the first millennium BC. Since moving to UCL five years ago, I have increasingly turned my attention to the same questions about the production and consumption of knowledge about the ancient Middle East. In this talk I will introduce the work of the AHRC GCRF-funded Nahrein Network (2017-2021), which is developing sustainable solutions to the systemic exclusion of Iraqis and their neighbours from Middle Eastern history and heritage.

Eleanor Robson is Professor of Ancient Middle Eastern History and Head of History at University College London. She is equally interested in the social and political history of the cuneiform cultures of ancient Iraq, 5000–2000 years ago, and the construction of knowledge about ancient Iraq in over the past two centuries. Her next book, Ancient Knowledge Networks: A Social Geography of Cuneiform Scholarship in First-Millennium Assyria and Babylonia, will appear with UCL Press in 2019. With UK and Iraqi colleagues she runs the AHRC/GCRF-funded ‘Nahrein Network,’ which fosters the sustainable development of history, heritage and the humanities in Iraq and its neighbours.

Attendance at this lecture is free but spaces are limited, so please email to reserve your seat. Please be aware that we will take an audio recording of this event, which may include any questions and responses delivered by the audience.

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gloknos is initially funded for 5 years by the European Research Council through a Consolidator Grant awarded to Dr Inanna Hamati-Ataya for her project ARTEFACT (2017-2022). ARTEFACT is funded by the European Research Council under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (ERC grant agreement no. 724451). For information about gloknos or ARTEFACT please contact the administrator in the first instance.


gloknos Annual Lecture Series 2018/1919 October 2018

Prof David Edgerton (King’s College London) – Turning the Global History of ‘Technology’ Upside Down: The Supremacy of Uruguay

4 December 2018

Prof Eleanor Robson (University College London) – Geographies of Knowledge in Ancient and Modern Iraq: The Nahrein Network and the Intellectual Infrastructure of Heritage

23 January 2019

Dr Sujit Sivasundaram (University of Cambridge) – In the Bay of Bengal: Modelling Empire, Globe and Self

In conjunction with the Centre for South Asian Studies Seminar Series

28 February 2019

Dr Erica Charters (University of Oxford) – Knowledge and War: Paper Technologies in Early Modern Empires

8 March 2019

Prof Rebecca Earle (University of Warwick) – The Political Economy of Nutrition in the Eighteenth Century

2 May 2019

Dr Johan Östling (University of Lund) – Circulating Public Knowledge: Towards a New History of the Postwar Humanities

14 June 2019

Dr Sonja Brentjes (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science Berlin) – Heavens and Earth: An Empirical Approach to Knowledge Across Cultures 

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