Kelly McGannon's pre-dissertation research revolves around the protection of cultural heritage during armed conflict. It seeks to understand how U.S. foreign policy makers and military officials treated the subject of cultural heritage and what they considered worth protecting and preserving in war time.
More specifically, the project will explore the determinant criteria used by the Defense and State Departments to influence and guide armed conflict on foreign soil with respect to sites of cultural heritage. In doing so, the study will shed greater light on larger debates over arts and culture in the foreign policy sector, as well as codifications of cultural heritage by international and non-governmental organizations since WWII. At the same time, it will provide a historical perspective to current debates about the treatment of cultural heritage sites in the recent war in Iraq, including the trade of illicit antiquities.