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Cynthia Colburn
Pepperdine University (Malibu, CA 90263-0002)
Exotic Imports in the Social and Political Development of Prepalatial Crete (ca. 3000-1900 BC)

An NEH Summer Stipend will support my current book project, Exotica and the Politics of Performance in Prepalatial Crete. This study brings to the fore the critical role of exotic imports in the social and political development of Prepalatial Crete (ca. 3000-1900 B.C.). Specifically, I will explore the use and display of exotic imports as emblems in the hands of an emergent elite to effect social and political distancing within Prepalatial society through the emulation of Eastern rulers. As many of these imports functioned as bodily adornment, they were highly visible and may have taken on a performative role, especially during ceremonies and rituals. Such performances were likely used by emergent elites to display and reinforce their nascent and perhaps tenuous social power. An NEH Summer Stipend will provide me with the resources to conduct research at libraries, sites, and museums in Athens and Crete, Greece, and move toward the completion of this project.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Art History and Criticism

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2011 – 10/31/2011