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Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology



Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology & the Ancient World
Brown University
Box 1837 / 60 George Street
Providence, RI 02912
Telephone: (401) 863-3188
Fax: (401) 863-9423

ARCH 1710 Architecture and Memory

Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World ~ Brown University ~ Fall 2011

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Course Description

Why did the Philadelphia police bomb a house in West Philadelphia in 1985 and let the whole neighborhood burn for hours? Why did a Hindu nationalist mob destroy a 16th century mosque in Ayodhya during a riot in 1992? Why is "Ground Zero" such a powerful and evocative place? Why did ancient Babylonian kings dig around to locate the foundations of ancient temples? Why do ruins always draw our interest and curiosity? What stories are told on the walls of ancient, medieval and modern structures?

Before the invention of the printing press, buildings and monuments were considered as the "book of humanity" upon which the stories of humanity had been inscribed. Buildings and monuments have been mediators of the past, with their powerful presence and often turbulent histories. Stories cling to their stones, which become visible residues of the human lives that shape them. Memories, imaginations and experiences, collectively shared or individual, give meaning to architectural spaces. This course explores the intersections of memory and architecture through various archaeological case studies from the ancient world. We will work on the hypothesis that memory is not simply a matter of the individual mind: it is always materially manifested and it is always part of our everyday lives.

Meets Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:30-11:50 am. in Rhode Island Hall Room 108

Instructor: Ömür Harmanşah
Assistant Professor of Archaeology and Egyptology and Ancient Western Asian Studies

Ömür's Office Hours: Tuesdays 1-3 pm at the Institute (Rhode Island Hall 102)

TA: Katherine Harrington
Graduate Student, Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World

Katherine's Office Hours: Wednesdays 3-4 pm and Thursdays 1-2 pm in the TA room in the basement of the Institute (Rhode Island Hall 014)

Books ordered at the Brown Bookstore

We will read portions of most of these books, and they all are recommended readings. A copy of each of these books is placed on Reserve at the Rock.

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