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  • Dr. James Noyes

    James is from Norfolk, in the East of England. He was educated at the University of Cambridge, where he was both an undergraduate and doctoral student at Christ’s College. Following his PhD, he taught at the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po) in France.

     

    He is Head of Policy and Strategy at the London think tank ResPublica. In addition to his policy work, he holds honorary fellowships at both the Centre for Religion, Conflict and the Public Domain at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and UCL Culture at University College London.

     

    James works on the relationship between culture, politics and society, particularly in the UK, France, USA and the Middle East. This focusses on how global trends affect local cultures and communities; how institutions shape social cohesion and civic society; and how governments and markets respond to complex patterns of collective and individual behaviour.

     

    He is the author of the first major book dedicated to a question which has dominated front page headlines: the destruction of cultural heritage during times of conflict. This book, The Politics of Iconoclasm, has been described by reviewers as “impressive”, a “fearless narrative”, and by the Times Literary Supplement as “making a crucial contribution to the body of recent landmark publications in the field”.

     

    In November 2016, James was invited to be the keynote speaker on the question of heritage destruction at the Global Mayors Conference in Florence, Italy. His ideas have also appeared in media outlets across the world, from BBC Radio 4 and Sky News in the UK to Vox and American Conservative in the USA and European broadsheets including Tages Anzeiger and Svenska Dagbladet.

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    THE BOOK

    The Politics of Iconoclasm

    Religion, Violence and the Culture of Image-Breaking in Christianity and Islam

    (London & New York: I.B. Tauris, 2016)

     

     

     

    Why do people destroy cultural heritage?

     

    This book tells the story of iconoclasm. It is a work of history spanning two continents and stretching over six centuries. From the cities of Saudi Arabia to the cathedrals of rural France, from the canals of Venice to the sniper alleys of Sarajevo, James Noyes describes a ancient tradition of cultural destruction and controversially connects it to the rise of modern politics.

     

    Here is what people are saying about The Politics of Iconoclasm:

     

     

    TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
    "Impressive… A crucial contribution to the body of recent landmark publications in the field."

     

     

    CARLOS EIRE (YALE UNIVERSITY)
    "A fearless narrative… An impressive display of ambition and erudition."

     

     

    TALAL ASAD (CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK)
    "Original and thought-provoking … A remarkably suggestive book."

     

     

    MARK JUERGENSMEYER (UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA)
    "This erudite, interesting, and highly readable book … will be much discussed: it will impress both historians and policy-makers."

     

     

    CHRISTOPHER COKER (LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS)
    "Powerful, profound and deeply disturbing."

     

     

    POLITICS, RELIGION AND IDEOLOGY (JOURNAL)
    "Eloquent and compelling… A testament to the potential of inter-disciplinary study."

     

  • MEDIA

    James Noyes' opinion has featured in media outlets across the world.

     

    This has included BBC Radio 4 and Sky News in the UK, Vox and American Conservative in the USA and European broadsheets like Tages Anzeiger and Svenska Dagbladet.

     

     

  • NEWS

    Dr. Noyes is regularly invited to speak at expert panels and conferences. Here are details of some events:

     

    November 2016: 

    Opening keynote speaker at the 2016 Global Mayors Conference in Florence, Italy, speaking on heritage destruction.

     

    June 2016: 

    Keynote speaker at the British Institute of Conservation annual conference, speaking on challenges facing the conservation sector.

     

    June 2016: 

    Invited expert panellist at UCL/Calvert Gallery conference, speaking on urban planning in the 21st century.

     

    March 2015: 

    Invited speaker at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, speaking about revolutions and heritage destruction.

     

     

    Photograph by Vianney Le Caer, 2015