MONICA SMITH podcast on archaeological connection between cities and nations

Thursday January 14th, 7pm PST
AIA-LA Society

"Cities and Nations, What's the Connection? An Archaeological Perspective"

Monica Smith
Professor, Navin and Pratima Doshi Chair in Indian Studies, UCLA


The old-fashioned concept of “civilization" suggests that cities and political territories are mutually constituted and emerged at the same time in human history. But the two phenomena are actually quite different: cities are point specific locales that tend to be long lived, while nations and empires continually expand and contract their territories and often are short lived. Given these different configurations, how do cities and states mutually exploit each other to sustain themselves? An archaeological perspective, drawing from examples in India and Europe, places our own experiences of cities and states into perspective as an ongoing dynamic of lived urban spaces counterbalanced by national configurations and identities.