Lori Khatchadourian's recently published book, Imperial Matter: Ancient Persia and the Archaeology of Empires (UC Press, 2016), develops an archaeological framework for understanding the endurance of imperial formations that centers on how things--from objects to built and natural landscapes--contribute to the making of political life under empire. Until now, the ancient Persian Empire and its northern province of Armenia have provided the empirical terrain for detailing that relationship. That is, underlying her research is a long-term project to bring archaeology and the past of Iran, the Caucasus, and wider Eurasia into the broad conversation on imperialism that has long linked the humanities and social sciences. Doing so requires an archaeological theory of empire that takes seriously the role of things in the making of imperial sovereigns and subjects. Khatchadourian's interest in these themes extends to the contemporary past and present in the Russian, Soviet, and post-Soviet Caucasus.
Featured faculty research: Lori Khatchadourian
April 25, 2016