Politics and the press: archaeology between the world wars
Time: 10:00 - 13:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HPC68
Duration: 2 sessions (over 2 weeks)
What is the course about?
This short course introduces students to popular aspects of archaeology in the years between the World Wars. The discoveries of the tomb of the teenage pharaoh Tutankhamun in Egypt and the Royal Cemetery at Ur in Iraq will provide the basis for understanding the close connection and dependence of archaeology on imperialism and colonialism in the early twentieth century. We will explore ‘Tutmania’ and other phenomena of popular fascination with the past by looking at archaeology in the press, fashion, cinema and other aspects of popular culture.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- (Post-)colonial archaeology in the interwar period
- Youth culture in the interwar period
- Archaeology in popular culture
- The tomb of Tutankhamun in Egypt
- The Royal Cemetery at Ur in Iraq.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
At the end of the course students can expect to have an overview of two archaeological discoveries. They will be able to read primary sources from the interwar period (newspaper and magazine articles) and understand the fascination the past carries for the present. They will be able to understand the close connection between archaeology and imperial/colonial politics in the period covered.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
A basic knowledge of the history of the early twentieth century is an advantage, although newcomers are most welcome.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The course will be taught via online platforms and will consist of a mixture of lecture, Q & A, pair/group and class discussion using primary and secondary sources.
The tutor will provide you with all the reading and online materials you will need via Google Classroom.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
A list of recommended reading material and recommended websites will be provided, but this is optional. You might want to take notes so have pen and paper with you.
General recommended reading:
Billie Melman. Empires of Antiquities. Modernity and the Rediscovery of the Ancient Near East, 1914–1950. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020.
Riggs, Christina. Photographing Tutankhamun: Archaeology, Ancient Egypt, and the Archive. London: Bloomsbury, 2019.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Have a look at our history and politics courses for other areas to explore and discover.
Hélène Maloigne is a historian and archaeologist who received her PhD from UCL in 2020. She has 10 years' experience working as an archaeologist in Turkey and the Middle East. She has been teaching archaeology and history at UCL from 2017 and at City Lit since 2020. Her research focuses on archaeology's engagement with the public, through popular media, and how interpretations of the past influence modern and contemporary society.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.