HISTART 497 - Upper-Level Seminar
Section: 002 People, Places, and Politics: Local Saint Cults in Cross-Cultural Perspective
Term: FA 2017
Subject: History of Art (HISTART)
Department: LSA History of Art
Advisory Prerequisites:
Previous coursework in the History of Art.
May be elected three times for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

The phenomenon of local saints (or "heroes") has occurred worldwide for thousands of years, ranging from ancient Egyptian celebrities to Indian kings to Moroccan marabouts, Greek heroes, Christian martyrs, and even football coaches in Ann Arbor, MI. These saints are place-bound memory touchstones and divine mediators for local populations; they, and their shrines, can also be mobilized as sources of legitimation for national leaders. And no matter where or when or connected to which religion these cults exist, they can share common patterns of locality, architecture, iconography, ritual, performance, and perceived benefits to the living. In this course, we will explore the world's earliest saint cults in the Egyptian Nile Valley beginning in 2200 BC, and compare them to the practice and politics of such cults worldwide, over time, and across religions and "religious" traditions. We will visit some local landmarks to discuss how they might be similar to ancient Egyptian practice; and during the last weeks of class, students will participate via Skype in excavations of the cult complex of the late 3rd millennium BC Idi at Abydos in southern Egypt, experiencing firsthand the archaeology of a local ancient Egyptian saint.

Course Requirements:

Attendance, Midterm and research paper

Intended Audience:

All are welcome

Class Format:

This course is scheduled according to student availability. Please contact instructor if you are interested in taking this course. (Janet Richards, jerichar@umich.edu).

HISTART 497 - Upper-Level Seminar
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
Th 1:00PM - 4:00PM
002 (SEM)
Th 2:00PM - 5:00PM
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