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Borders, border security, and border walls are prominent topics of contemporary national and international discussion. In the debate over President Trump’s promised “big beautiful wall,” both supporters and opponents have attempted to draw upon history to support their positions. Opponents have described the wall as a “medieval solution” to a twenty-first century problem, while the President has responded that walls, like wheels, may be old inventions but they remain effective. This talk will offer an archaeologist’s critique of both positions and will particularly explore the forms, functions, and results of border walls from the ancient Roman and Chinese worlds.

About the speaker

Darrell Rohl is assistant professor of history and archaeology at Calvin. His specialty is life and interaction at the edges of the Roman Empire, comparative borderland dynamics in world history, archaeological theory, and digital tools/methodologies within archaeology, history, and the wider humanities. 

This talk is part of monthly history colloquia series. These lectures are open to the Calvin community - students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends - and all are welcomed and encouraged to attend. Come early to enjoy refreshments and conversation, and feel free to ask questions or join the discussion at the end.

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April 2019
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