Upcoming Events

Bonham-Carter Lecture

Wednesday, June 13, 2018 -
18:00 to 20:00
The British Academy, 10 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AH

What can antiquity, history, and heritage contribute to rebuilding lives and livelihoods shattered by decades of war and terror in the Middle East?

The AHRC GCRF-funded Nahrein Network (2017-21), based at University College London, the Ashmolean Museum Oxford, and the University of Kurdistan Hewler (Erbil), aims to provide viable answers to this pressing question through collaborative research and reflective practice. Its partners include the Universities of Baghdad and Mosul, Basrah Museum, and UNESCO Iraq, as well as BISI, the Council for British Research in the Levant, the British Institute at Ankara, and the Iran Heritage Fund. 

In this talk, Professor Eleanor Robson will outline the five major aims of the Network, from better understanding the current situation to delivering real improvements in the prospects of people in Iraq. Professor Robson will also explain the operation of its Visiting Scholars scheme and the Grants Fund programmes, which are open to applicants until 2020, and will also reflect on the challenges of working at the intersection of aid and research and ask how the intellectual heritage of the ancient Near East can be reclaimed as local as well as international property. 

Eleanor Robson is a Professor of Ancient Middle Eastern History at University College London, with a particular focus on Iraq. Eleanor's research has three main focal points: 

  • the social and political contexts of knowledge production in the cuneiform culture of ancient Iraq, five to two thousand years ago; 
  • the construction of knowledge about ancient Iraq in Europe, the Americas, and the Middle East over the past two centuries; 
  • and use of open, standards-based online resources for democratising access to knowledge about the ancient Middle East. 

With Dr. Saad Eskander (University of Kurdistan Hewler) and Dr. Paul Collins (Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford) she runs the AHRC-funded Nahrein Network: New Ancient History Research for Education in Iraq and its Neighbours. Working with multiple academic and non-academic partners, it aims to significantly develop the capacity of Middle Eastern universities, museums, archives and cultural heritage sites to foster cultural and economic growth in the region.

Available Seats: 

Remember Baghdad Screening

Wednesday, May 2, 2018 -
18:30 to 20:30
The Ultimate Picture Palace, Jeune St, Cowley Road, Oxford OX4 1BN

Remember Baghdad

Iraq's last Jews tell the story of their country

directed by Fiona Murphy 

On the hundredth anniversary of the British invasion in 1917, Remember Baghdad is the untold story of Iraq, an unmissable insight into how the country developed from a completely new perspective - through the eyes of the Jews who lived there for 2,600 years until only a generation ago. With vivid home movies and archive news footage, eight characters tell their remarkable stories, of fun that was had, and the fear that followed as Iraq laid foundations for decades of unrest. Amid the country's instability today the film follows one Iraqi Jew on a journey home, back to Baghdad. 

The story begins with a happy period for the Jews. In 1917 a third of the citizens of Baghdad are Jewish. The descendants of the scholars who wrote the Babylonian Talmud are now westernising fast. In 1947 the first Miss Baghdad is Jewish. Jews are parliamentarians. They attend fancy parties and picnics on the Tigris with the elite. After the creation of Israel, they are no longer safe. A mass exodus takes place, though many thousands stay behind, loyal to the country they love. Finally, after 1967, Saddam Hussein mobilizes a mass movement against them and they must flee. 

The film's characters tell their story with poignant regret and clarity. 

You can view the trailer here.

Book your ticket here

A Q&A hosted by the British Institute for the Study of Iraq will follow the screening. The panel features Professor Eugene Rogan (Professor of Modern Middle Eastern History, University of Oxford) and Avi Shlaim (Emeritus Professor of International Relations, University of Oxford).