What makes an old building, artifact, or custom "historic"? Which historic things are worth preserving? This course explores the aesthetic, political, social, and environmental dimensions of cultural heritage. We will examine the narratives and values associated with heritage conservation at the local level as well as within national and global contexts. From Caltech's own campus and the Watts Towers, to the national parks, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and the culinary legacy of the Atlantic slave trade, our class will grapple with the theories, practices, and debates as they determine what gets preserved and which stories get told. Readings/screenings will be supplemented with field trips to heritage sites in Pasadena and Los Angeles.
The online version of the Caltech Catalog is provided as a convenience; however, the printed version is the only authoritative source of information about course offerings, option requirements, graduation requirements, and other important topics.