This Webinar is co-chaired by Lynn Meskell and Claudia Liuzza

Speaker 1:
Zerrin Ozlem Biner, University of Kent in the United Kingdom
Heritage as State of Exception: Ruination, Restoration and (Dis)possession in the Old city of Mardin

Speaker 2
Sardar Saadi, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Heritage as Witness: War, Destruction, and Displacement in the Old City of Sur, Diyarbakir


Zerrin Ozlem Biner

Dr. Zerrin Ozlem Biner is a Lecturer in Social Anthropology at School of Anthropology and Conservation at University of Kent.  She holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge. Prior to coming to Kent, Dr Biner held post-doctoral fellowships at Zentrum Moderne Orient, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology and University of Cambridge. Biner’s research focuses on themes about state, citizenship, violence, forced displacement, heritage, memory, justice and reconciliation processes in the conflict and post-conflict settings of the Middle East. Biner has engaged ethnographically with the political, social and psychic effects of the protracted conflict in the Kurdish region of Turkey through the perspective of Kurds, Arabs and Syriacs/ Assyrians, as well as diasporic communities residing in Sweden and Germany. She is the author of “States of Dispossession: Violence and Precarious Coexistence in Southeast Turkey” and co-editor of “Reverberations: Violence across Time and Space” a volume that offers new methodologies and concepts for the study of violence with an anthropological focus on relationality between human beings and nonhuman entities.

Sardar Saadi 

Sardar Saadi is an awardee of the postdoctoral fellowship program of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). He holds his postdoctoral fellowship tenure between 2020 and 2022 at the Rural Sociology Group of the Department of Social Sciences at Wageningen University. He recently graduated from his doctoral program in Sociocultural Anthropology at the University of Toronto. His PhD research examines urban dynamics of the Kurdish struggle for self-determination in Diyarbakir, Kurdistan. Saadi’s research interests include Kurdish culture and politics, self-determination, sovereignty, social justice, urban and political anthropology, and welfare politics. He is the host and producer of a podcast called The Kurdish Edition.


The series UNESCO, World Heritage, and Human Rights is co-organized by Prof. Lynn Meskell at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Claudia Liuzza fellow at the DUCIGS/Rethinking Diplomacy Program (RDP), and Prof. Ana Vrdoljak at the University of Technology Sydney. The series is part of the Our World Heritage, a yearlong global initiative to discuss and reflect on the challenges of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention on the occasion of the upcoming  50th anniversary.