From Artifacts to People Facts at the Oriental Institute

Jan 01, 2010 | by
  • Description

The Rockefeller Archive Center's (RAC) holdings are vital to my dissertation titled, "From Artifacts to People Facts: The Archeological Origins of Middle East Area Studies," which traces the origins, content, and ramifications of interwar American academic interest in the Middle East, showing how that knowledge was utilized during the wartime and postwar expansion of the U.S. sphere of influence in the Middle East. This project is not about all of America's imaginative investment, but is rather about a relatively small group of scholars who had an outsized influence on America's relationship with the region as a whole. As U.S. interests expanded during and after World War II, this accumulated knowledge influenced governmental policies and actions, including the increased use of propaganda as a method of peddling influence through deception.