IMHICIHU   13380
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
congresos y reuniones científicas
The Need for a Comprehensive Sociology of Knowledge of Ancient Near Eastern Studies
Congreso; 64th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale and 12th Melammu Symposium «The Intellectual Heritage of the Ancient Near East»; 2018
Institución organizadora:
International Association of Assyriology
During the nineteenth century, the professional practice of ancient Near Eastern studies was implicitly or explicitly related in some way to the imperial activities of Great Britain, France and the German empire in the 'Middle East'?a geopolitical term in itself also charged with cultural connotations and situational perceptions. While nowadays much of the former imperial and colonial attitudes have been shaken off from ANE scholarship?especially since 1960s and 1970s, in the aftermath of the post-colonial processes in Southwest Asia and the rest of the so-called Third World?there are still conceptual remnants in the field of the previous Western appropriation of the Middle East as a cognitive map and its most ancient past, both in material and symbolic ways. In effect, the key issue in this situation is the importance played by ANE intellectual heritage as claimed especially by the modern Western tradition and how such a heritage has influenced trends in modern ANE studies. This paper calls for establishing a serious and comprehensive study of the conditions by which institutional knowledge about the ANE is manufactured as an international discourse (through universities, academic meetings, research projects, media and popular culture, etc.), touching upon issues of national memories, cultural heritage and religious identities, as well as past and current politics in the Middle East. Furthering such an approach may indeed contribute, firstly, to grasp a clearer understanding of the concept of ANE intellectual heritage in the modern West, and secondly, to provide current ANE scholarship with critical epistemologies, with a scholarly self-awareness precisely of how knowledge is produced and reproduced, where this knowledge is made and located, for what purposes, and which are the potential political implications?in the face of the current political situation in the Middle East?of such a research.