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HSTCMP 290 A: Topics in Comparative/Global History

Summer Term: 
Meeting Time: 
MW 12:40pm - 2:50pm
CLK 219
Arna Elezovic's profile picture
Arna Elezovic

Syllabus Description:



Tomb robbers, adventurers, spies, and gentlemen (and some women) travelers played a central but problematic role in developing the modern discipline of archaeology. This course will use the lives of such travelers, their archaeological discoveries, and well-known artifacts as case studies to explore the themes of the “rediscovery” of the ancient world and concurrent imperialism around the Mediterranean from 1700s to the 20th century.

Learning objectives:  We will analyze primary sources, such as accounts from archaeologists and travelers, and then specific archaeological sites in Egypt, Greece, Iraq, Italy, and Turkey. Lastly, we will examine some of the more famous archaeological artifacts, from the Parthenon in Athens to the Tomb of King Tut. Readings from secondary sources and lectures will provide context for each case study. The course aims to assist you in developing critical and analytical thinking skills. The end goal is to allow you to differentiate between romanticized archaeological stories and the actuality of imperial projects, such as the acquisition of material objects for European museums.

Course overview:  This course is thematic and organized geographically, instead of chronologically. The general course structure is:

Weeks 1 & 2 - Italy, including Pompeii and Rome
Weeks 2 & 3 - Greece, including Troy, Athens, Knossos, Vergina
Weeks 4 & 5 - Egypt, including Napoleon's conquest, King Tut's tomb
Weeks 7 & 8 - Mesopotamia (Iraq), including Nineveh, Nimrud
Week 9 - Student Presentations

Assignments:  Short weekly reading responses, two essays, one exam, and one presentation in place of a final exam. 

Required Texts: 

  • Mary Beard, The Parthenon
  • Agatha Christie, Come Tell Me How You Live: An Archaeological Memoir
  • David Damrosch, The Buried Book: The Loss and Rediscovery of the Great Epic of Gilgamesh
  • Paul Bahn (ed.), The History of Archaeology: an Introduction (Recommended)

Other Readings:  Other required readings will be offered on the course website.

All books and readings will be available at the University Bookstore, UW Library, UW Course Reserves, and/or on the course website.

Course meeting times:  Monday and Wednesday 12:40 to 2:50 in CLARK 219.

The instructor, Arna Elezovic, is a PhD candidate in the UW History Department. She came to graduate school after a long stint as a compliance analyst. Now, she studies mostly modern Europe from 1789 to the 1920-30s. Email Arna at with any questions about the course.

Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday 11:30 to 12:30 in Smith 204E or by appointment.    

As a Word document: Syllabus for Indiana Jones - 8-2-19.docx

The website and syllabus are subject to change at the instructor's discretion

Catalog Description: 
Examines special topics in history.
GE Requirements: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Last updated: 
August 2, 2019 - 9:21pm