14 Nov Monumental Mausolea: Building Projects and Slave Labor from Antiquity to the World Cup
Sarah Bond (Classics, University of Iowa)
Monday, November 14, 2016 / 5:00 PM
Sarah Bond, Assistant Professor of Classics at the University of Iowa, will examine the use of slave labor in monumental building through a broad historical lens. The use of contracted and slave labor for large building projects has roots going back to antiquity. The Pyramids at Giza, the Baths of Caracalla, the Great Wall of China, and, now, the sports arenas being erected for the Qatar World Cup in 2022 have all relied upon thousands of workers in order to build these monumental structures. Despite the hands of thousands contributing to the creation of these landmark buildings, the lives of the contracted workers, slaves, and freed-persons who labored and often died while working on them have been largely invisible. This lecture examines the politics of celebrating a building such as the Colosseum or the White House while disregarding the contributions and sacrifices of the slaves that made these works possible. It also asks: what new landscapes of memory, commemoration, and public appreciation can be created when we notify the public of the extensive input of slaves?
Sponsored by the IHC’s Slavery, Captivity, and the Meaning of Freedom RFG, the Dept. of Classics, the Public History Program, and the IHC’s Ancient Borderlands RFG.