Dalrymple Lectures 2019: Lecture 1
SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED: ORIGIN MYTHS AND THE MAKING OF A PUBLIC
Professor Adam T. Smith, Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies
The idea of civilization, a concept with deep roots in the Scottish Enlightenment, has received renewed attention in our era of global environmental, economic, and social crisis. And yet its’ recent resurrection has done little to address the concept’s inherited limitations as an aesthetic with little analytic power. This lecture introduces an analytic sense of civilization centered not on what it is but what it does. In particular, I am interested in three binary socio-cultural procedures vital to the construction of a public: being and not being, recognition and othering, seeing and unseeing. Using the Early Bronze Age in the South Caucasus as a case study, this presentation introduces key features of the civilization machine, setting the scene both geographically and conceptually for the series.
in the Sir Charles Wilson Building, University of Glasgow, 1 University Avenue, Glasgow G12 8QQ
First published: 28 October 2019
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