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Webinar: International Perspectives on Disaster Response
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International Perspectives on Disaster Response

Live Webinar
Thursday, April 9, 2020
2 - 3:15pm ET

Please note: the recording of this webinar is available for viewing. If you registered for the webinars in the advance of the live stream, you may email in order to receive a password to access the recording. 

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This webinar features viewpoints on preventing and responding to natural and human-caused disasters across various cultural contexts. Events in the Museu Nacional of Rio de Janeiro or at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris have given rise to concerns on the necessity of international support and networks to prepare for and respond to such high proportion disasters. Building up on  our conversation last July, this webinar will specifically focus on international case-studies to further share concepts and lessons learned in applying best practices to the subject. Join us to discover new methods, protocols, and resources available to arts organizations before, during, and in the aftermath of unforeseen situations.


Meet the Speakers
(listed alphabetically)


Lindsay Cook, Visiting Assistant Professor of Art, Vassar College

Lindsay Cook is Visiting Assistant Professor of Art at Vassar College, where she teaches medieval art and architecture of Europe and the Mediterranean. Her research focuses on Notre-Dame of Paris and the intersection of architectural and institutional history during the Middle Ages. Since the April 2019 fire that destroyed parts of the cathedral of Paris, she has become a vocal advocate for the careful conservation of the historic structure. In March 2020, Penn State University Press will publish Notre Dame Cathedral: Nine Centuries of History, her English translation of Dany Sandron and Andrew Tallon's recent book.


Alexander Kellner, Museu Nacional Brazil, Rio de Janeiro

Naturalized Brazilian, Alexander W. A. Kellner is a paleontologist and got his Ph.D. from Columbia University (New York), in a joint program with the American Museum of Natural History. Since 1997, he works at the Museu Nacional/UFRJ in Rio de Janeiro, the oldest scientific institution of Brazil, where he is currently the Director. He took part in numerous field activities, including Antarctica, has described 69 new species with over 970 publications, including 250 original studies. Member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, he received the Gran Cruz of the Ordem Nacional do Mérito Centífico, one of the highest scientific recognition of Brazil.


Freda Nkirote M'Mbogori, County Director, British Institute in Eastern Africa (BIEA)

Dr. M’Mbogori is the Country Director of the British Institute in Eastern Africa (BIEA) where she joined as the Assistant Director in 2015. Formerly, she was the Head of Cultural Heritage Department at the National Museums of Kenya. She is an archaeologist with a PhD from University of Paris, France; a Master’s degree from University of Bergen, Norway; a Bachelor’s degree from University of Nairobi; a Post graduate diploma in museum studies and conservation, from University College London. She is currently the President of Pan-African Archaeological Association and Related studies (PAA). Dr. M’Mbogori is also an author who has published books with Cambridge and Oxford University Press, book chapters, and professional papers in peer reviewed journals.

Fernanda Pitta, Senior Curator at Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo; Lecturer in the History of Art at the Escola da Cidade, in São Paulo; Moderator

Fernanda Pitta’s research interests focus primarily on 19th Century Brazilian art in a transnational context and Historiography of art. She also curates regularly modern and contemporary art and contributes to scholarly journals on Brazilian art and art historiography. Her latest curatorial project is We are many: experiments in collectivity, a survey of artistic practices related to the legacies of Joseph Beuys and Helio Oiticica. Pitta has a PhD in art history from the Universidade de São Paulo, with a dissertation titled "A Peaceful and Bucolic People: Customs and History in Almeida Júnior’s paintings," which is forthcoming as a book by Martins Fontes´ Press. In the Summer of 2017, she was a fellow at Clark Art Institute as part of the Summer Collaborative Working Group. Pitta was 2017-2018 International Awardee in the AAMC Foundation Engagement Program for International Curators, mentored by Dr. Anna Marley, American Art Curator at PAFA.


Corine Wegener, Director, Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative

Corine Wegener is Director of the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative, an outreach program dedicated to the protection of cultural heritage in disasters in the U.S. and internationally. An art historian, she was formerly associate curator of American and European Decorative Arts at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. A retired U.S. Army Reserve Arts, Monuments, and Archives Officer, Wegener continues to work with the military on training for protection of cultural property in armed conflict. She is founding past president and a board member of the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield, a member of ICOM’s Disaster Risk Management Committee, and a member of ICOM US.



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