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ARCHLGY 303: Memory, Materiality, and Archaeology (ANTHRO 303X)

This seminar will explore several themes related to memory and material culture - broadly conceived to include art, architecture, the built environment, and landscapes, through archaeological, historical, and ethnographic lenses. How can we understand the role of socially resonant individual and collective memories through materiality in the past? What is the materiality of memorialization and commemoration, and are they affected by political contestation and power? Additionally, how does material culture through anthropological interpretation aid or transform social memory in the present?This seminar does not attempt to be all-inclusive of the themes and topics generated by intersection of memory and materiality. Rather, the seminar is designed around an introduction to how humanists and social scientists (including sociocultural anthropologists and archaeologists) have approached social and collective memory, and seven specific theoretical or threads for which archaeologists offer unique insight. Some of the works we will read and discuss are established classics of archaeology and related disciplines, while others are more recent works. By putting certain works in conversation through our seminar, the aim is to push our understanding of the potential for thinking through materiality in exploring memory.
Last offered: Winter 2022
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