The movement of people and objects has always stood at the heart of endeavors to understand the course and processes of human history. In the Mediterranean, evidence of such movements is particularly abundant, and issues like migration, colonialism and exchange have played prominent roles in archaeological, historical and anthropological discussions.
This course explores Mediterranean migration past and present through the lens of material culture by zooming in on the material surroundings of migrants and their host societies and by tracing the connections that they forged across the Mediterranean seas. It is therefore as much about things - ‘stuff’ - as it is about people past and present and the local entanglements and interregional networks built through migrations. The course is thus about what people did and about the things they used to construct their daily lives in contexts shaped by migration and connectivities Mediterranean-wide. By investigating transregional and transcultural practices by Mediterranean peoples from Classical Antiquity to the present day on a comparative basis, and examining themes like materiality, migration, connectivity, trade, colonialism, hybridity and insularity, we will explore how 'things' have mediated both ancient and modern experiences of Mediterranean peoples and helped to shape long-term collective memories of migration, displacement and localization.
The course is organized along two parallel tracks. One takes its lead from contemporary migration studies, anthropology and archaeological theory and is dedicated to exploring key concepts and approaches to migration and networks in both modern and ancient settings. The other track follows archaeological evidence and other relevant information like ancient texts to identify particular contexts of migration and network formation. The unifying theme of the course is material culture, both past and present.
The course is run as weekly seminar on Wednesdays (3.00-5.20 pm in Rhode Island Hall, 008). The syllabus and reading materials can be accessed via Canvas. The course blog is an integral part of the course.