Iraq's Antiquities, Then and Now

This course explores the rich libraries, splendid palaces, and innovative public monuments that emerged in ancient Iraq between 3,300 BCE and 500 BCE. The royal jewels from the cemetery at Ur, the Law Code of Hammurabi, and the palatial sculptures from Nineveh feature among the case studies. The course also critiques international claims to these and other Iraqi antiquities, with a focus on their excavation by European empires and American universities; their acquisition by “encyclopedic” museums; and the digital colonialism of current replication schemes. We conclude by looking at the work of Iraqi-American artist Michael Rakowitz, who has recreated many antiquities to protest their varied display and ongoing destruction. Students leave the course understanding how Iraq's ancient art and architecture have been used to negotiate power from antiquity to the present day.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: None. Prior coursework in Art History, Classical Civilization, or Middle Eastern Studies recommended.

Instructor: Cassibry

Distribution Requirements: ARS - Visual Arts, Music, Theater, Film and Video

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered