From Ancient to Modern: The Current State of Research on Iraq

Fri Oct 01 2021 at 10:00 am to Sat Oct 02 2021 at 04:00 pm

Freer Gallery of Art - The National Museum of Asian Art, Smithsonian Institution | Washington

The Academic Research Institute in Iraq (TARII)
Publisher/HostThe Academic Research Institute in Iraq (TARII)
From Ancient to Modern: The Current State of Research on Iraq The Academic Research Institute in Iraq (TARII)'s biennial research conference on the current state of research in and on Iraq
About this Event

The Academic Research Institute in Iraq (TARII) is pleased to announce the first biennial TARII research conference in Washington, DC. In an effort to show the scope of research being conducted in and on Iraq, the conference will gather scholars to present their research from broad subject areas – from ancient to modern.

TARII is a consortium of universities, museums, and other scholarly institutions dedicated to furthering research in and on Iraq and to fostering mutual understanding and respect between American and Iraqi peoples.

Due to continued health concerns, the conference will now include a virtual component in October 2021 and a conference at the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. in 2022. We will welcome additional research papers for the 2022 conference component in Washington, D.C.

Visiting Scholars Opportunity

TARII invited applications from residents of Iraq to present at the TARII Conference in any scholarly area – from ancient to modern Iraq. The Visiting Scholars will travel to Washington, D.C. for one week to present at the conference and partake in several cultural activities. Full funding will be provided by the US Embassy in Baghdad.


Although the conference has been moved to 2022 in consideration of the global pandemic, TARII continues to develop the conference agenda. We are pleased to welcome a diverse group of scholars to present their research and moderate the discussions.

This is a draft list, considering the now advanced timing, and is not in a particular order at this time. They may present virtually in 2021 or in-person next year, at their discretion.
  • Michael Brill, Princeton University: The Last Jews of Babylon: Profiling Iraq's Jewish Community
  • Matthieu Rey, French Institute of South Africa: Does Saddam Hussein Matter?
  • Melisande Genat, Standford University: State Justice and Tribal Law in the Sinjar Region in Iraq (1932-1958)
  • Samuel Helfont, Naval War College: Ba'thist Iraq at the End of History
  • Katharyn Hanson, Smithsonian Institution: The Nimrud Rescue Project
  • Darren Ashby, University of Pennsylvania: The Iraq Heritage Stabilization Program: 2018-2020
  • Jason Ur, Harvard University: The Erbil Plain Archaeological Survey, Kurdistan Region of Iraq
  • Holly Pittman, Pennsylvania University Museum: Returning to Lagash: New excavations building on previous campaigns
  • Badir Albadran, University of Basrah: The limits of Holocene Marine Transgression into Southern Mesopotamia
  • Glenn Schwartz, Johns Hopkins University: Excavations at Kurd Qaburstan: Recent Results at a Second Millennium BC Urban Site on the Erbil Plain
  • Tracy Spurrier, University of Toronto: Introducing Hama: The Discovery of a Lost Neo-Assyrian Queen Laid to Rest amongst a Curious Cache of Bronze Coffins in the Nimrud Tombs
  • Tiffany Floyd, Columbia University: A Sculptor of Sumer, Modern Mythologies and Narrative Space-Time in Mohammed Ghani Hikmat's Relief Practice
  • Huma Gupta, Massachusetts Institute of Technology: From Sumer to Shakriya: The Antediluvian Legacy of Ṣarīfa Architecture in Iraq
  • Elizabeth Rauh, University of Illinois: Wet Pressure Points: The Southern al-Ahwar Marshes as Fluid Site, Substance, and Process in Contemporary Iraqi Printmaking
  • Alyaa Naser, University of Baghdad: Theater of Violence: A Reality and Its Double in Hassabballah Plays
  • Hadeel Abdelhamid, La Trobe University: Gendering the Poetics of Dissidence in Iraqi Theater about War, 1980s
  • Ramyar Jamal, American University in Iraq, Sulemaniyah: The Gendered Impacts of the Concept of Masculinity on Iraqi Kurdish Men
  • Alissa Walter, Seattle Pacific University: Gender Norms, Sex Work, and the Law in Sanctions-Era Iraq
  • Ahmed Yaseen Mjhool, University of Kufa: Designing and Implementing Open Online Courses Platform at University of Kufa
  • Rasha Abdulridha Saeed, University of Baghdad: Religious Expressions as Situation Bound Rituals in Iraqi Computer Mediated Communication

TARII will also welcome several moderators, including:

Abdulameer Al-Hamdani

Elizabeth Bishop

Nada Shabout

Nadje Al-Ali


The 2020 TARII Research Conference is co-sponsored by The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art. The conference will be held in the Freer Gallery of Art, Meyer Auditorium.

Event Photos

Event Venue

Freer Gallery of Art - The National Museum of Asian Art, Smithsonian Institution, 1050 Independence Avenue Southwest, Washington, United States


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