Séminaire “Opposition and Resistance”, Freie Universität, Berlin, le mercredi, 10h-12h, du 16/10/2013 au 12/02/2014

Opposition and Resistance

LV 13775 a+b

Internationales Modul: Berlin-Copenhagen Seminar (S + C)

Wednesdays 10-12 Uhr, Container, Hüttenweg 7

+ Colloquium in Berlin and Copenhagen


Course content and objectives

Archaeology has generally focused on the “winners” in history – those who hold political, economic, social and religious power. But just as in more recent, textually documented periods, there is every reason to assume the existence of resistance and opposition to existing power structures in the past. Lower classes and marginalized parts of society come into focus, and colonial interaction in antiquity as well as in pre-modern history are discussed in terms of resistance, negotiation, and creolization.

In recent years interests in agency and the micropolitics of power have begun to direct attention to ways in which opposition and resistance can be explored archaeologically. In this seminar we will examine some of the potential approaches to these issues, both theoretically and methodologically. Discussions of relevant literature will serve as a basis for each student’s individual research on a case study of her/his choosing, in which opposition or resistance can be approached with archaeological materials.

Please find the Plan of the Seminar Meetings here


Plan of the Seminar Meetings

Week 1 (16.10.)        Introduction

Week 2 (23.10.)        Readings and discussion: foundational literature

Walzer, Michael (1990 [1987]) Kritik und Gemeinsinn. Drei Wege der Gesellschaftskritik. Frankfurt a.M.: Fischer [originally published as Interpretation and Social Criticism, Harvard University Press]

• chapters II and III

Scott, James C. (1985) Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance. New Haven: Yale University Press.

• chapter 2

Scott, James C. (1990) Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts. New Haven: Yale University Press.

• chapters 1 & 2

Ortner, Sherry (1995) Resistance and the problem of ethnographic refusal. Comparative Studies in Society and History 37: 173-193.

Week 3 (30.10.)        Readings and discussion: agency, power, domination, forms of resistance

Lüdtke, Alf (1993) Eigen-Sinn. Fabrikalltag, Arbeitererfahrungen und Politik vom Kaiserreich bis in den Faschismus. Hamburg: Ergebnisse Verlag.

• chapter “Lohn, Pausen, Neckereien…” (pp. 120-160)

Miller, Daniel, Michael Rowlands, and Christopher Tilly, eds. (1989) Domination and Resistance. London: Unwin Hyman.

• Introduction (Miller, Rowlands and Tilley)

• The Limits of Dominance (Miller)

Weik, T.M. (2012) The Archaeology of Anti-Slavery Resistance.

• Chap. 3 “Resistance, Freedom, Networks, and Ethnogenesis in Theory and Practice (pp. 26-54)

Pauketat, Timothy and Susan Alt (2005) Agency in a postmold? Physicality and the archaeology of culture. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 12: 213-236.

Week 4 (06.11.)        Readings and discussion: sources and examples

Selz, Gebhard (2010) “The poor are the silent ones in the country”. On the loss of legitimacy. Challenging power in early Mesopotamia. In Who Was King? Who Was Not King? The Rulers and the Ruled in the Ancient Near East, edited by Petr Charvát and Petra Maříková Vlčková,  pp. 1-15. Prague: Institute of Archaeology of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.

Urbainczyk, T. (2008) Slave Revolts in Antiquity.

• Chap. 6 “Sympathy for the slaves: Diodorus Siculus” (pp. 81-90

• Chap. 8 “Slave revolts in the ancient historiography” (pp. 100-115)

Miller, Daniel, Michael Rowlands, and Christopher Tilly, eds. (1989) Domination and Resistance. London: Unwin Hyman.

• Factional Competition in Complex Society (Brumfiel)

Weik, T.M. (2012) The Archaeology of Anti-Slavery Resistance.

• Chap. 6 “Coalitions, Community-Building, and Conflict in Seminole Territory”

Moosbauer, G., S. Wilbers-Rost (2009) Kalkriese und die Varusschlacht. Multidisziplinäre Forschungen zu einem militärischen Konflikt. In 2000 Jahre Varusschlacht – Konflikt, pp. 56-67.

Erdal, Yılmaz and Ömür  Erdal (2012) Organized violence in Anatolia: A retrospective research on the injuries from the Neolithic to Early Bronze Age. International Journal of Paleopathology 2: 78-92.

Week 5 (13.11.)        Discussion of presentation topics

Week 6 (20.11.)        Readings and discussion: sources and examples

Pollock, Susan (2011) Imperial ideologies and hidden transcripts: a case from Akkadian period Mesopotamia.  In Ideologies in Archaeology, edited by R. Bernbeck and R. McGuire, pp. 130-150. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.

Webster, J. (2003) Art as resistance and negotiation. In Roman Imperialism and Provincial Art, S. Scott and J. Webster (eds.), pp. 24-52.

Loren, Diana (2001) Social skins: orthodoxies and practices of dressing in the early colonial lower Mississippi Valley. Journal of Social Archaeology 1:172-189.

Baker, Patricia (1997) Politics of dress. The dress reform laws of 1920-1930s Iran. In Languages of Dress in the Middle East, Nancy Lindisfarne-Tapper and Bruce Ingham (eds.), pp. 178-192.

Heinz, Marlies (2008) Die Repräsentation der Macht und die Macht der Repräsentation in Zeiten politischen Umbruchs. Rebellion in Mesopotamien. München: Wilhelm Fink.

• Section B: 4 case studies – choose one

Adams, Robert McCormick (2008) An interdisciplinary overview of a Mesopotamian city and its hinterlands. Cuneiform Digital Library Journal 2008: 1 (http://cdli.ucla.edu/?q=publications/journal)

Aldhouse-Green, M. (2006) Semiologies of subjugation: the ritualisation of war – prisoners in later European antiquity. In Warfare and Society.Archaeological and Social Anthropological Perspectives, Otto Ton, Henrik Thrane and Helle Vandgilde (eds.), pp. 281-318.

Week 7 (27.11.)                    Presentations

Week 8                                 Colloquium: Copenhagen students in Berlin

Weeks 9-14 (11.12.2013 – 29.01.2014)    Presentations

Week 15 (05.02.)                  Colloquium: Berlin students in Copenhagen

Week 16 (12.02.)                  Final discussion


Prof. Dr. Susan Pollock

Hüttenweg 7, Zi. 16

E- Mail: spollock@zedat.fu-berlin.de

Telefon: 8385 7026

Sprechstunden: Dienstags, 14-16 Uhrund n.V.


PD Dr. Sabine Reinhold

DAI-Eurasien Abt.,

Im Dol 2-6

E- Mail: sabine.reinhold@dainst.de

Telefon: 187711-327

Sprechstunden: n.V.

News vom 16.10.2013

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