50th Anniversary Lecture by Dr. Barbara A. Porter

The ACOR Video Lecture Series provides accessible discussions of new research into the past and present of Jordan and the broader Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean worlds. This video, adapted from the February 2018 public lecture delivered by ACOR Director Dr. Barbara A. Porter, highlights achievements  and memories from ACOR’s 50 years and looks forward to new opportunities in scholarship and cultural heritage in Jordan. 

About the Lecture:

To inaugurate the ACOR lecture series for our 50th anniversary year, the Director Barbara Porter will reflect on past projects, current accomplishments, and future plans. ACOR’s mission has evolved since its inception in spring 1968 but retains as its core mission the intention to advance knowledge of Jordan past and present. The ACOR Library plays a major role in knowledge transfer and the current ACOR Archive Project allows ACOR to share images of Jordan. Many people have been involved in ACOR’s past and acknowledging the role of key figures will be a focus of this talk. Barbara Porter became the fifth long-term director of ACOR in April 2006 when she succeeded Pierre Bikai (1991–2006). Before them ACOR was directed by Jim Sauer (1975–1981), David McCreery (1981–1988), and Bert de Vries (1988—1991), all of whom followed the period of 1968 to 1975 when the center was led by annual professors, who played important roles in establishing ACOR in Jordan and solidifying the ties with Jordan’s Department of Antiquities.

About the Lecturer:

Barbara A. Porter has been the Director of the American Center of Oriental Research in Amman since 2006. She received her A.B. from Bryn Mawr College and her M.A., M. Phil., and Ph.D. from Columbia University. Her dissertation specialized on cylinder seals from Syria. Part of her childhood was spent in Lebanon, where her interest in the archaeology of the region was fostered. From 1978 to 1986 she was on the curatorial staff of The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Egyptian Art and Ancient Near Eastern Art) and in the 1990s taught at New York University. She led several archaeological tours from Algeria to Iran (including Jordan) in the ten years before moving to Amman. Her first year as ACOR Director centered around organizing the 10th International Conference on the History and Archaeology of Jordan, and she looks forward to the next one (ICHAJ 14) in Florence, Italy in January 2019.

Read more, in this recent article about Barbara Porter and ACOR’s work in Petra.

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