HSAXO0425U HELGA. Collecting and collecting practices from antiquity till today

Volume 2024/2025

Forskningsområde knyttet til kurser på Saxo-Instituttet for Arkæologi-, Etnologi og Historiestuderende på 3. semester og Græsk- og Latinstuderende på 5. semester.


HELGA. Collecting and collecting practices from antiquity till today
In archaeology an assemblage is traditionally defined as static and temporally fixed as “a group of artifacts recurring together at a particular time and place”. What happens if we instead understand assemblages as part of a collecting process? Collecting has become a major focus of modern museum studies. These studies show that collecting represents an enormous potential for understanding the values, mentality and dynamics of a society. In this course we will discuss some of the challenges associated with introducing collecting as a way of understanding archaeological assemblages in classical antiquity. New museology studies and in particular their focus on material agency and network theory are very helpful as an offset for studying collecting in antiquity. However, the recent studies that deal with collecting in antiquity have mainly taken a logocentric approach. In contrast to these studies we will in this course discuss what the concept of collecting adds to our understanding of the material culture. We will consider definitions for collections and collecting and identify and discuss theoretical frameworks which may work for collecting antiquity as well as in the modern era.

The course is composed of lectures, discussions, and written and oral student assignments. During the course we will be visiting museums and talk to curators.

"Forskningsområde" indgår som en integreret del af:
- Metode 1: Feltarkæologi med forskningsområde (Arkæologistuderende)
- Kulturanalyse med forskningsområde (Etnologistuderende)
Blanketnavn: HELGA, 3.semester: Forskningsområde, efterår 2024

- Klassisk filologi: historie og metode med forskningsområde (Græsk- og Latinstuderende)
Blanketnavn: HELGA, 5.semester: Forskningsområde, efterår 2024

- Område 3: historieformidling med formidlingsteori og forskningsområde (Historiestuderende - se Historie, BA, lektionskatalog efterår 2024).
Blanketnavn: Historie, BA, 3.semester: Forskningsområde, efterår 2024

- Agut-Labordère, D. & M.J. Versluyz (eds.), Canonisation as Innovation. Leiden: Brill 2022.
- Appadurai, A (red.), The social Life of Things. Commodities in cultural perspective, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986.
- Baudrillard, J., The system of collecting, in: R. Cardinal & J. Elsner (eds.) The Cultures of Collecting, London: Reaktion Books, 1994, 7-24.
- Belk, R.W., Possessions and the Extended Self, Journal of Consumer Research, 15 (1988), 139-68.- Bounia, A., The Nature of Classical Collecting. Collectors and Collections, 100 BCE – 100 CE, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004.
- Byrne, S. et al. (eds.), Unpacking the Collection Networks of Material and Social Agency in the Museum, New York: Springer Verlag, 2011, 1-27.
- Dudley, S. (ed.), Museum Objects. Experiencing the properties of things, Abingdon Oxon: Routledge, 2012.
- Gathan, M W. & E. Troelenberg (eds.), Collecting and Empires. Turnhout: Brepols 2019.
- Hahn, H.P. & H. Weiss, Introduction, in: H.P. Hahn & H. Weiss (eds.), Mobility, Meaning and Transformations of Things: shifting contexts of material culture through time and space. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2014, 9-39.
- Kristeller, P.O., The Modern System of the Arts: A study in the History of Aesthetics, Journal of the History of Ideas 12.4 (1951), 496-527.
- Macdonald, S. Collecting Practices, in: S. Macdonald (ed.), A Companion to Museum Studies, Chichester: Blackwell, 2011, 81-97.
- Moormann, E. Some Observations on the Templum Pacis: A Summa of Flavian Politics, in: M. Heerink & E. Meijer (eds.), Flavian Responses to Nero’s Rome. Amsterdam 2022, 127-59.
- Morgan, J. & S. Macdonald, De-growing museum collections for new heritage futures, InternationalJournal of Heritage Studies, 24 (2018), 56-70.
- Olsen, B.J., Manker’s list Museum collections in the era of deaccessioning and disposal, Nordic Museology 1 (2018), 62-73.
- Pearce, S., Museum Objects, in: S. Pearce (ed.) Interpreting Objects and Collections, Abingdon Oxon: Routledge, 1994, 9-12.
- Pearce, S. On Collecting. An Investigation into Collecting in the European Tradition, Abingdon Oxon: Routledge, 1995.
- Pétursdóttir, Þ. & B. Olsen, Theory Adrift: the matter of archaeological theorizing, Journal of Social Archaeology 18.1 (2017), pp. 97-117.
- Pollock, S., The Violence of Collecting, American Anthropologist, April 2023, 1-13.
- Pomian, K., Collectors and Curiosities Paris and Venice, 1500-1800, Cambridge: Polity Press 1990.
- Porter,J.I., Is art modern? Kristeller’s “modern system of the arts” reconsidered, British Journal of Aesthetics 49.1 (2009), pp. 1-24.
- Prioux, É.  Petits musées en vers Épigrammes et discours sur les collections antiques, Paris: CHTS Editions 2008.
- Riggs, C., Unwrapping Ancient Egypt: The Shroud, the Secret and the Sacred, London: Bloomsbury, 2014.
- Rutledge, S., Ancient Rome as a Museum. Power, Identity, and the Culture of Collecting, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.
- Stirling, L., The Learned Collector. Mythological Statuettes and Classical Taste in Late Antique Gaul, Michigan: The University of Michigan Press, 2005.
- Thompson, E.L., Possession. The Curious History of Private Collectors from Antiquity to the Present, Yale: Yale University Press, 2016.  
- Wellington, M.G & D. Pegazzano (eds.), Museum Archetypes and Collecting in the Ancient World, Leiden: Brill, 2015.

Seminar / Lectures / exercises / excursions
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 88
  • Exam Preparation
  • 62
  • Total
  • 192
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Type of assessment
Type of assessment details
Portfoliobestemmelser: der afleveres to mindre skriftlige opgaver i løbet af semestret på baggrund af hvilken, de studerende får kollektiv feedback, som kan give anledning til justering af den endelige skriftlige opgave.
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