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ARCHLGY 95: Monumental Pasts: Cultural Heritage and Politics (ANTHRO 95C)

What is heritage? Who decides what and how pasts matter? Our pasts loom monumental in multiple senses. At the intersection of archaeology and anthropology, the emerging discipline of heritage is often described as the politics of the past. What people choose to take from their histories varies and is often contested. Heritage shapes and is shaped by power. This course introduces contemporary themes and debates in cultural heritage. Together we'll develop a critical stance toward dominant perspectives to understand how pasts are used, erased, reclaimed, and mobilized in the present, for the future. In doing so we'll think through concepts such as materiality, intangibility, monumentality, value, memory, identity, community, nationalism, and universality. Our case studies will range from contemporary debates over Jim Crow era monuments in the USA, to UNESCO World Heritage List politics, and the development of community identities. We will also reflect on heritage at a personal scale and its relationship to belonging. Course materials will include readings and media from around the globe. Students will participate through seminar discussions, proposing and presenting topics of their choice, regular journal entries, and a choice of final project¿podcast, paper, or exhibition plan.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-ED, WAY-SI
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