ANTH055 - CULTURAL HERITAGE, POLITICS, AND WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Political upheaval in the Middle East has brought cultural heritage studies to the forefront. From playing a role in the making of national identity and economy of Middle Eastern countries to falling prey to armed conflicts, cultural heritage remains an important element of the political and social scene. This seminar will examine the relatedness of cultural heritage to questions of identity and politics in the Middle East, and the impact of recent wars on such heritage. The seminar will start by outlining the ancient and modern history of the Middle East, and reviewing the production of cultural heritage and its contemporary management in several Middle Eastern countries. It will then proceed to discuss the following major topics: Cultural diversity of modern Middle Eastern societies, the perception of cultural heritage in these societies, and the survival of long-living historical places, old traditions and material culture of all kinds. 1) Cultural diversity of modern Middle Eastern societies, the perception of cultural heritage in these societies, and the survival of long-living historicaplaces, old traditions and material culture of all kinds. 2) The influence of ancient cultures on common fixation and beliefs of modern identity in Middle Eastern societies (e.g. particular ethnic and religious grousee themselves as direct descendents of one or a number of ancient groups such as Phoenicians, Israelites, Assyrians). 3) The use of archeological and historical data to create narratives of the past that promote specific political ideologies in the modern Middle East and, in some cases fabricate novel cultural and political realities. 4) The damage done to Cultural Heritage by recent wars in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, and (i) how these wars are/were the makers of a new time that disrupted the living past through the destruction of cultural landscapes; and (ii) the involvement of cultural heritage institutions and archaeologists in rescuing cultural heritage in the event of war.
Section 401 - SEM
MW 0200PM-0330PM
AL KUNTAR, SALAM
UNIVERSITY MUSEUM 330