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HSTCMP 290 A: Topics in Comparative/Global History

Summer Term: 
Meeting Time: 
MTWTh 12:00pm - 2:10pm
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Arna Elezovic's profile picture
Arna Elezovic

Syllabus Description:


Photograph from film "Indiana Jones" at sunset excavating at a site.


Mondays - Thursdays, 1200 p.m. to 210 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time.

Class meets on Zoom at Meeting ID: 950 1178 1031. 

Office hours are on Wednesdays after class from 210 - 310  p.m. and by appointment, same link as our Zoom classroom.

Week 1 - Introductions and overview
Week 2 - Italy, including Pompeii and Rome
Week 3 - Greece, including Troy, Athens, Knossos, Vergina
Week 4 - Egypt, including Napoleon's conquest, King Tut's tomb
Week 5 - Mesopotamia (Iraq), including Nineveh, Nimrud
Last classes - Virtual museums and student final project presentations

COURSE 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. The goal of the course is to differentiate between romanticized archaeological stories and the actuality of European imperial projects, such as the acquisition of material objects for European museums.

ASSIGNMENTS:  Short weekly reading responses, one essay (or two essays if earning writing credit), one collaborative quiz or exam, and a brief presentation in place of a final exam. 

READINGS (Choose at least one book from the list to read thoroughly; read more if you can):

  • 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
  • Margalit Fox, The Riddle of the Labyrinth The Quest to Crack an Ancient Code

Other Readings:

Paul Bahn (ed.), The History of Archaeology: an Introduction (Optional but a good overview of the history of archaeology)

Primary source readings will be scanned from Brian Fagan (ed.), Eyewitness to Discovery: First Person Accounts of More than Fifty of the World’s Greatest Archaeological Discoveries. PDFs on the course website will be required readings but will be short.

REMOTE LEARNING STYLE: This course will be mostly synchronous at the scheduled time. Activities will be a mix of lectures, whole class discussions and breakout room discussions. We can consider asynchronous options, such as once a week discussion boards, pre-recorded lectures, etc. in place of real-time meeting. Please note:  if you want to take this class but could only participate asynchronously (example: there's a time difference of several hours), please email me at

THE INSTRUCTOR:  Arna Elezovic has a PhD from the UW History Department. She studies mostly modern Europe, the history of archaeology, the late Ottoman Empire, and Bronze Age Greece. She has taught introductory and intermediate interdisciplinary writing courses, and her own comparative history multiple times. She came to graduate school after a long stint as a compliance analyst. Email Arna at with any questions about the course. 





Catalog Description: 
Examines special topics in history.
GE Requirements: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Last updated: 
April 12, 2021 - 11:24pm