"Imagined Pasts: Arthur Evans, the Balkans, and the Discovery of a Lost 'European' Civilization on Crete"
My dissertation employs the career of British archaeologist Arthur Evans as the fulcrum to examine the "imagined pasts" of the Balkans, Greece, and Europe and seeks to connect Evans's life-long involvement in the history and politics of the Balkans with his more widely known expertise in the Bronze Age Aegean. Previous studies of Evans have focused, for understandable reasons, on his "discovery" of the Minoans, which he himself termed "that earliest of European civilizations." Using Evans's own archived travel journals and publications, British travel literature about the Balkans, archival sources in Croatian on the development of Southern Slav efforts at unification during the First World War, this study posits that Evans contributed to the creation of the idea of a distinctive Western European way of life in his depictions and stereotypes about the Slavic Balkans and in his conceptualization of ancient Minoans. This study seeks to understand Evans's role in imagining the Minoans on Crete as part of the genealogy of Western Europe's ancient past and his legacy in how current popular academic journalism continues to treat the Balkans as beyond the borders of Europe.