WWAC talk examines impact of Islamic State’s propaganda videos

BRATTLEBORO — What does Game of Thrones have to do with the Islamic State?

The Windham World Affairs Council will seek an answer on Friday, Oct. 25, when it hosts Clare Morgana Gillis, Ph.D., Brattleboro resident and WWAC board member, for her talk on “Beheading in the age of its technological reproducibility."

The free talk takes place at 7:30 p.m. in the parlor of Centre Congregational Church, 193 Main St., with coffee and snacks at 7 p.m.

Gillis will examine the propaganda of the Islamic State - sometimes known as ISIS or Daesh - its afterlife in news and in the popular imagination, and in particular its videos showing the beheading of its prisoners.

She will consider the effect of those images on human rights issues surrounding thousands of captured Isis foreign fighters now held in Kurdish jails in eastern Syria.

Western countries have refused to take responsibility for their citizens, in some cases stripping them of citizenship. Now, as the U.S. abandons its Kurdish allies, an ongoing Turkish military operation inside Syria has led to mass prison breaks and fears of a resurgence of the Islamic State.

Gillis earned a doctorate in history with a specialty in early medieval Europe at Harvard. She then worked as a foreign correspondent, covering protests and conflicts in countries such as Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Turkey, and Mali for various publications including The Atlantic, USA Today, and Foreign Policy.

Since returning to the U.S. in 2015, she has taught locally at Marlboro and Dartmouth Colleges.

To learn more about this program and the WWAC, visit www.windhamworldaffairscouncil.org.

Subscribe to the newsletter for weekly updates