Making histories: nationalism, colonialism and the uses of the past on Cyprus

Michael, Angela Stella (2005) Making histories: nationalism, colonialism and the uses of the past on Cyprus. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This research was born out of a need for me to know, as a London-born Greek Cypriot, why the archaeology and history of my place of origin have no shades of grey. The history I learned at school – British school – was fluid, it was about how different actors felt, why they did things; we learnt role play and empathy. At home, and in Greek school, history was black and white, them vs us, Turks vs Greeks and this was the way it had been throughout history. I wanted to known and understand history, not have it ask me questions. I went to university to study archaeology, hoping that by studying the distant past I would find my answers, but I just found more questions.

The central research questions of this thesis are: what effect do political events have on state representations of the archaeological and historical record? How can these be analysed? What effect does politics have on archaeology as practiced in Cyprus? This research has addressed these questions by focusing on state uses of the past in Cyprus from 1878 until the present through the analysis of education, the mass media and tourism.

The central premise is that states are involved in the creation and maintenance of national and group identities and that by studying these, one is able to understand the uses to which academic areas of study have been put. My research provides an assessment of how the pasts of Cyprus have been used by the British colonial administration and the government of the Republic of Cyprus in attempts to create particular identities relating to colonialism and nationalism. In my analysis I have focused on the three moments that are repeatedly represented as being central to Greek Cypriot literature about the history of Cyprus: the late Bronze Age Mycenaean ‘colonisation’; the classical period; and the folk image. These have been assessed with reference to three media used by all states in the creation and maintenance of national identities: education, the mass media; and tourism.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
D History General and Old World > DE The Mediterranean Region. The Greco-Roman World
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Humanities > Archaeology
Supervisor's Name: Knapp, Prof. Bernard
Date of Award: 2005
Depositing User: Elaine Ballantyne
Unique ID: glathesis:2005-1260
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2009
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:36

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