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The Construction of Value in the Ancient World

by eric — last modified October 19, 2009 04:42 PM

A Cotsen Advanced Seminar, November 13-15 2009

The Cotsen Institute of Archaeology is proud to sponsor the Advanced Seminar on The Construction of Value in the Ancient World. This symposium seeks to bring together an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural group of scholars in the Humanities and Social Sciences (anthropologists, archaeologists, art historians, economic historians, historians, linguists, philologists, sociologists) to investigate the meaning and construction of value in the ancient world. The concept of value lies at the intersection of individual and collective tastes, desires, sentiments, and attitudes that inform the ways people select, or give priority to, one thing over another. How did past societies, and how do we in the present, place value on anything? What, for example, is it that we value in particular places or monuments, objects, materials, human bodies, or in art? To what extent are taste, trade, and desire regulated by social and political mechanisms, however complex or specific?

The structure of the symposium will be loosely based on five over-arching but closely related themes, which will serve as a focus for discussion: place-value, body-value, object-value, number-value, art-value. Running through each of these categories of value are issues of memory, nostalgia, identity, biography, ideology, style, symbolism, exchange.

The seminar will take place over three days (Friday, November 13 through Sunday, November 15) on the campus of UCLA. Faculty, students, research associates and friends of archaeology who wish to take part for all or part of the seminar need to register for the event. Please note that registration, which is free of charge, ensures that there is adequate space for those wishing to attend. To register, please email Shauna Mecartea (shaunam@ioa.ucla.edu) and Sara Tobin (ioaadmin@ioa.ucla.edu).

Attached is a preliminary schedule of papers to be given. Those who register will receive an updated schedule closer to the event. We look forward to seeing you in November.

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