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Gertrude Bell and Iraq - A Life and Legacy

Thursday & Friday, 12 & 13 September 2013, 9.30am to 5.30pm/9.30am to 4.00pm
Venue: The British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AH

Exactly 90 years after the foundation of the Iraq Museum and a decade on from the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq, this was an appropriate moment to examine the life and legacy of Gertrude Lowthian Bell (1868-1926), the renowned scholar, explorer, writer, archaeologist and British civil servant. This was the first major international conference to examine Bell’s extensive work in Iraq. It focused on her role in shaping British policy in the Middle East, especially the establishment of the Iraqi monarchy and state, her interests in Iraq’s past (she was instrumental in the foundation of the Iraq Museum in 1923), and reflect on her legacy for modern Iraq and neighbouring regions.

This conference was organised by the British Institute for the Study of Iraq (Gertrude Bell Memorial) and the British Academy, in collaboration with the Gertrude Bell Archive at Newcastle University. 

The conference opened with a Panel Discussion on Britain and the Occupations of Iraq, held at the Royal Society on Wednesday 11 September 2013. Download a copy of the Gertrude Bell programme (covering both the panel discussion and the conference).


Links to audio recordings of the conference sessions (via BISI website):
12 September, Session I: Gertrude Bell & the Ottoman Empire
12 September, Session II: Gertrude Bell & the Making of the Iraqi State (pt 1)
12 September, Session II: Gertrude Bell & the Making of the Iraqi State (pt 2)
13 September, Session III: Gertrude Bell - A Woman in a Man's World
13 September, Session IV: Gertrude Bell & Archaeology
13 September, Session V: Gertrude Bell & Iraqi Heritage

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