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Grant number like: AQ-50699-12

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University Of Houston (Houston, TX 77204-3067)
Casey Dué Hackney (Project Director: September 2011 to April 2014)

Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Education Programs

$20,881 (approved)
$20,798 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2012 – 12/31/2013

NEH Enduring Questions Course on "Who Owns the Past?"

The development of an undergraduate course on the question, Who owns the past?

This class combines the study of ancient objects with readings in ancient primary sources, modern journalistic accounts, and current debates surrounding cultural property. It aims to imbue students with a broad understanding of the issues at stake. They will think about why history matters, what purposes historical narratives and artifacts serve, who gets to interpret them, and why. While we will consider questions of museum ethics and policy, the heart of the class will be far reaching discussions about why we care about the past, when and how we seek to control it, and the influence historical narratives have on current conflicts. In addition to exploring why modern nations seek to own the past by laying claim to the world's antiquities, we will consider how the aesthetics and artistic movements of different time periods have been influenced by the discovery of antiquities. Finally, we will debate what role the study of antiquity should play in a modern education.