MIDEAST 295 - First Year Seminar in Middle East Studies
Fall 2022, Section 001 - Fake! Fraudulent Production in the Visual Arts, Literature, and Historical Documents
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Middle East Studies (MIDEAST)
Department: LSA Middle East Studies
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Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Enrollment restricted to first-year students, including those with sophomore standing.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


Criminals, tricksters, frauds, hoaxes: why create something and pretend that it is something that it is not? From antiquity until today some craftsmen, artists, and writers have dedicated their efforts to creating objects and texts that masqueraded as something they were not, usually something of greater financial value or potentially more influential in its cultural and political setting. We will explore the gamut of fakery, including fraudulent antiquities from various civilizations, including ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, forged examples of later (including contemporary) visual art, bogus literary works, scientific deceptions, and spurious historical documents. We will consider the motivations behind such mischief and, without getting too technical, examine the methods and practices employed by the fakers. Although questionable interpretations of genuine archaeological remains are also common, we will concentrate on material explicitly created in order to deceive. No prior knowledge of illicit fabrication is required.

Course Requirements:

Several short essays, term project, classroom presentation of project

Intended Audience:

First Year students with an interest in art history, literature, and history

Class Format:

Two 90-minute meetings weekly


MIDEAST 295 - First Year Seminar in Middle East Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
6Enrollment Management
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
003 (SEM)
 In Person
6Enrollment Management
MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM

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