Open to Gallatin first-year students only.
Modern nations and peoples frequently seek their origin in the peoples and civilizations that came before. They often gain from these predecessors—in some ways of thinking, their ancestors—a sense of historical and cultural identity, and use the past to bond a nation as a people and to shape that nation’s relationships to the landscape, to cultural traditions, and even to other peoples. Archaeology, including the excavation, preservation, and interpretation of monuments and artefacts, often plays an active part in the construction of these national pasts, contributing to national narratives that claim long, continuous cultural histories, that delineate territory, that present a golden age and the promise of its return, or that give the members of the national community cause to come together. This course investigates the ways in which the archaeological remains of civilizations past have been employed in the shaping of modern national identities. In class, our discussions may focus on Greece, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran. For their projects, students are invited to apply the questions and problems we encounter in class to a historical or geographical context of interest to them. Course readings may include Benedict Anderson, Anthony Smith, Stuart Hall, and Eric Hobsbawm.
First-Year Program: Research Seminars (FIRST-UG)