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ARCHLGY 96: The Secret Lives of Statues (ARTHIST 104A, CLASSICS 96)

Statues-human-shaped sculptures-populate the uncanny valley that separates inert matter from living entities. For humans, this 'other population' can engender profound emotional responses, embody potent ideas, and entangle the politics of the past and present. However, the same materiality that endows statues with these exceptional capacities also makes them vulnerable to humans intent on acquiring otherwise-expensive materials cheaply, committing sectarian violence by proxy, or obliterating the material manifestations of memories. In this course, we will study sixteen (groups of) statues thematically. To do this, we will draw on a wide variety of disciplines, including archaeology, art history, history, law, media studies, museum studies, and religious studies, to articulate why humans have revered and reviled statues, how the statues in our own lives are significant, and what the future might hold for statues.
Terms: Aut | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-SI
Instructors: Gisch, D. (PI)
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