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Alternative Archaeologies, multiple Agencies, hidden Narratives

  • Eva Troelenberg
Wednesday 14 June 2017
GLASS-Islam Series | Eva Troelenberg
Pieterskerkhof 6
2311 SR Leiden

Dr. Eva Troelenberg (Max Planck Institute) will be visiting Leiden University as a GLASS-Islam visiting fellow. From 13 to 15 June 2017, she will give a public lecture, provide a masterclass, and participate in an interdisciplinary faculty roundtable. These activities will all focus on the topic of travelling objects and concepts between the Middle East and Europe. On 14 June 2017, from 15:00-17:00 hrs., Eva Troelenberg will provide a masterclass, entitled: "Alternative Archaeologies, multiple Agencies, hidden Narratives ".

Third year BA students, MA students and PhD students are encouraged to register at: lgi@leiden.edu.

About the masterclass

In response to the public lecture, which participating students are also encouraged to attend, the masterclass seeks to destabilize the notion of “Western” versus “local” or “indigenous” agencies – or of emic versus etic perspectives. As the case study presented in the public lecture critically demonstrates, “Western” exploration obviously considers the Muslim “other” as its ultimate counterpart, thus confirming the notion of an inherently asymmetric worldview. In fact, even today the nature of our methods and sources often still privilege these binaries. A “Grand Narrative,” which used to put the academic voice on one particular side of the equation still resonates within our institutions and textbooks.

This masterclass will take its cue from the recent turn to “alternative archaeologies” in order to scratch the surface of what is largely considered the “Grand Narrative:” Can there be an alternative reading, a reading against this narrative’s own grain? One that reveals different agencies and voices and leads to an expansion of the academic field and its canons of objects, sources, and methods? Again, refraining from binary categories, the purpose of this experiment is not so much to find an antithesis or an opposite of antiquarianism or established cultural heritage practices – but rather to expand the awareness of a potential social and cultural multivocality.

Eva Troelenberg will begin the masterclass with a very short impulse lecture. This will be followed by a discussion on recent literature (see below) concerning alternative archaeologies, focused on (but not exclusively limited to) the Middle East.

Preparations and readings

Students that wish to participate in the masterclass are encouraged to also attend the public lecture by Eva Troelenberg on 13 June 2017, from 15:00-17:00 hours in Gravensteen, room 0.11. In order to participate in the masterclass, students are required to read (at least two of) the following articles:

Anderson, Benjamin, 2015 “An alternative discourse”: Local interpreters of antiquities in the Ottoman Empire. Journal of Field Archaeology 40(4): 450-460.

Bilsel, Can, 2007 “Marbles Lost and Found: Carl Humann, Pergamon, and the Making of an Imperial Subject”. Centropa 7(2): 121-135.

Habu, Junko, Clare Fawcett and John M. Matsunaga (editors), 2008 Evaluating Multiple Narratives. Beyond Nationalist, Colonialist, Imperialist Archaeologies. Springer, New York.

Hamilakis, Yannis, 2006 Stories from Exile: Fragments from the cultural biography of the Parthenon (or “Elgin”) Marbles’. World Archaeology 31:303-320.

Hodder, Ian, 2008 Multivocality and Social Archaeology. In Evaluating Multiple Narratives. Beyond Nationalist, Colonialist, Imperialist Archaeologies, edited by Habu, Junko, Clare Fawcett and John M. Matsunaga, pp. 196-200, Springer, New York.

Trigger, Bruce G., 1984 Alternative Archaeologies: Nationalist, Colonialist, Imperialist. Man, New Series 19(3):355-370.

About Eva Troelenberg

Eva Troelenberg studied art history, history and communications at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and Venice International University. In 2007, she became a Research Assistant / Doctoral Candidate at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz. Between 2007 and 2009 she was a postgraduate Fellow of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. She completed her dissertation on the Munich Exhibition of Masterpieces of Muhammadan Art in 2010, and worked as a postdoctoral fellow of the Kunsthistorisches Institut project "Connecting Art Histories in the Museum. The Mediterranean and Asia 400-1650" (in cooperation with the State Museums in Berlin / Museum of Islamic Art). Since September 2011 she is the head of the Max Planck Research Group "Objects in the Contact Zone: The cross-cultural Life of Things" at Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz. She also did teaching assignments at LMU Munich, University of Vienna and at the Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe in a Global Context", University of Heidelberg, and was a visiting professor at University of Munich (2013, History of Islamic Arts) and Zürich University (2016/17, Modern and Contemporary Art History).

About the GLASS-Islam series

GLASS (Global Asia Scholar Series) is a joint initiative of two interdisciplinary research clusters at Leiden – Asian Modernities and Traditions (AMT) and Global Interactions (GI) – which invites leading or emerging international scholars whose work has been influential across disciplinary, regional, and national boundaries within Asia and beyond to speak at Leiden University. The GLASS-Islam series of events highlights Islamic studies and is organized in close cooperation with LUCIS.

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