Northwestern Events Calendar


When What You Research Becomes Breaking News - Erin Thompson in conversation with Jessica Winegar and Beka Bryer

When: Wednesday, March 9, 2022
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM CT

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: Free; public welcome

Contact: Jill Mannor   (847) 467-3970

Group: Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities

Category: Academic, Global & Civic Engagement


As an expert in art crime, monuments, and repatriation, Dr. Erin Thompson will discuss how scholars working on topics that become the subject of public controversy can develop strategies to effectively weigh into these debates and weather the storm of public outrage. 

Erin Thompson is Associate Professor of Art Crime at CUNY's John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Known as the "Art Crime Prof," Thompson studies the black market for looted antiquities, art forgery, museum theft, the ethics of digital reproductions of cultural heritage, art made by detainees at Guantánamo Bay, and a variety of other overlaps between art and crime.

Her book, Smashing Statues: The Rise and Fall of America’s Public Monuments (Norton, February 2022), traces the turbulent history and abundant ironies of our monuments. She has written and spoken about the science of public art, the history of protests, the legal barriers to removal of controversial art, and examples of innovative approaches to the problem in venues including Art in America, Hyperallergic, Smithsonian Magazine, bitch, and the New York Times.

Thompson will be in conversation with Jessica Winegar (Director of the Kaplan Humanities Institute and Professor in Anthropology) and Rebekah Bryer, doctoral candidate in the Interdisciplinary PhD in Theatre and Drama Program.


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