ANTH S-1140 Icons: A Material History of Harvard

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7-week session | CRN 32787

This course explores how material culture creates and supports the frameworks within which people live. To this end, we investigate the history and perception of Harvard University through material icons: tangible and embodied symbols of the school. From the veritas shield to sweatshirts, printing type to the John Harvard statue, objects, places, people, images, and songs created the institution we know as Harvard while expressing broader historical trends. Topics include gender, power, consumerism, and identity. Video tours, place-based exercises, and online discussions foster experiential learning. While exploring the hidden histories of this iconic university, students gain critical thinking skills and new perspectives on American cultures, histories, and identities.

Course information
Class meetings

Mondays, Wednesdays, 6:30-9:30 pm

Required on campus weekend

  • Friday, July 20, 5-8 pm
  • Saturday, July 21, 9 am-5 pm
  • Sunday, July 22, 9 am-1 pm
  • Harvard Hall 202

Start date

Monday, June 25


4 credits

Course tuition


Enrollment status

  • Limited to 35 students
    Registration Closed
  • Notes

    This course is taught via live web conference using Zoom. Not open to Secondary School Program students. Harvard College students see additional information. Along with the web-conference meetings, this course includes an intensive—and mandatory—weekend residency. Students must be present for the entire on-campus weekend session to earn credit for the course. The course begins via web conference during the first week of the Summer School term, and continues to meet through the week ending August 10. Please see the course website or syllabus for the specific weekly course meeting dates. Tuition does not include hotel accommodations, transportation, or meals for the on-campus weekend session. See Visiting Campus and Finding Housing for information about visiting Cambridge. International Students see important visa information.



    Christina J. Hodge, PhD.

    Associate of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University and Academic Curator and Collections Manager, Stanford University Archaeology Collections