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Who Owns the Past? Cultural Heritage, Archaeology, and Politics
ARCP 248
Spring 2019
Section: 01  

"Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past." - George Orwell, 1984

When Orwell wrote these words, there was no ISIS destroying non-Islamic monuments, no Saddam Hussein claiming to be a Babylonian king, and no cultural heritage news appearing on our Facebook feeds every day. Yet this statement is still as relevant as it was in Orwell's dystopia. Cultural heritage is an important part of state ideologies, national identities, and politics in the Middle East. The idea of controlling or owning the past is not new however; even ancient Near Eastern kings and rulers used their heritage or their conquests over older temples and monuments as a tool to claim political power.

In this course students will become familiar with the concept of cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible; learn about cultural heritage institutions and laws; and understand how these institutions protect heritage in different situations. By looking at past and modern case studies from Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Palestine, Israel, Syria, the U.S., and examples from other parts of the world, students will learn about the role of archaeology, colonialism, international politics, and indigenous cultures in creating, identifying, and protecting (or destroying) cultural heritage.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS ARCP
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ARCP-MN)(ARCP)
Past Enrollment Probability: 75% - 89%

Last Updated on OCT-18-2021
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