CLAS 287 or HIST 287
4 Credits - FDR HU
3 weeks in Greece
Professor Michael Laughy and Professor Matthew Gildner
This interdisciplinary course investigates the relationship between the production of archaeological knowledge and the memory, history, and identity of modern nation-states. This principle questions driving our exploration of this interdisciplinary topic are: Why do nations and nationalisms need tangible traces of the past? How is the material heritage of the distant past deployed by nations, and subgroups within a nation, to champion, erase, or refashion the past to serve the present? In what ways do the present hopes, aspirations, and anxieties of a people govern and shape the understanding and teaching of a people's distant past? How are ancient objects and monuments used for profits? This course is designed to be interdisciplinary, and draw students drawn from wide-ranging backgrounds, interests, and departments, including Classics, History, English, Journalism and Mass Communications, Politics, Religion, Economics, Art and Art History, and Sociology/Anthropology.
In Spring 2014, we will examine the case of Greece. With a rich heritage steeped in classical antiquity, Greece provides the most salient example of how the ancient past remains not just relevant, but absolutely central to modern constructions of nationalism. Classes, which will convene every weekday morning, will consist of a mix between lecture and discussion of the daily readings. In the afternoon, Professors Laughy and Gildner will lead excursions to archaeological sites and museums in Athens that complement the readings. An overnight trip to the Macedonian tombs at Vergina and a day trip to Sounion are also planned. Weekends are open for the students to explore Athens on their own, or for optional group trips outside of Athens led by Professors Laughy and Gildner, depending on student interest.
Estimated Total Cost: $3,500-$4,000 inclusive of airfare, ground transportation, room and board.
Note: None of the activities on the trip require unusual, rigorous physical effort for completion of the required course components. It will involve much walking, however.