The Ottoman Empire and the Western Powers: politics, archaeology and the public imagination
Time: 18:00 - 19:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HWH47
Duration: 8 sessions (over 8 weeks)
What is the course about?
This course will provide students with an introduction to archaeology in the Ottoman Empire from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. A short overview of the political history of the Ottoman Empire will provide the background to exploring the importance of the remote past in the construction of empire and nation in the Ottoman and Western public imagination. We will look at both Ottoman and Western museums and their role in collecting the past and the importance of the Classical, Egyptian and Biblical heritage in presenting archaeology to a wider readership.
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?
- The Ottoman Empire and the Western Powers, 1750–1923
- The Classical and Biblical past in the public imagination
- Travel, exploration and archaeology in the Middle East
- Collecting the past: museums and archaeology in the Ottoman Empire and the West
- Imperial competition: French, American, Ottoman and German projects.
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 the development of archaeology in the Ottoman Empire. They will be able to understand the close connection between archaeology and imperial politics in the period covered and will have gained an overview of how archaeology and the ancient past have influenced the building of nations and the dissolution of empires.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an ‘introductory’ course and does not assume any previous study or reading although you will need a good grasp of English to keep up with the course. You will gain more from the course, in terms of enjoyment and learning, if you are able and willing to do some supplementary reading. As with most of our history and current affairs courses, an open mind and a willingness to listen to and think about views with which you do not always agree are more important than specific levels of skills.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The course will be taught via online platforms (Zoom/Google Meet) and will consist of a mixture of lecture, Q & A, pair/group and class discussion using primary and secondary sources.
Please note that supplementary reading is not a course requirement, but you will get more out of the course if you do some extra reading.
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:
Díaz-Andreu, Margarita. A History of Archaeological Tourism: Pursuing Leisure and Knowledge from the Eighteenth Century to World War II. Springer International Publishing, 2019.
Finkel, Caroline. Osman’s Dream: The Story of the Ottoman Empire 1300-1923. John Murray, 2006.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Please check the City Lit website for courses which may be of interest.
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.