For anyone studying the ancien régime society of eighteenth-century France, the Archives Nationales in Paris provide an invaluable but not unproblematic perspective. Fastidiously classified and organised, the archives help the uninitiated to navigate and make sense of foreign world. Yet they also impose a sense of order on to a society that was made up of a patchwork of corporations, customs and loyalties that were often resistant to the centralizing and rationalizing aspirations of reformist ministers in the service of the monarchy.
As a Ph.D. student in Ancient History at the University of Chicago, I am trained to use primary documentation of ancient texts as a main source for research. My dissertation, however, goes beyond traditional methods. I research how Crete’s archaeological heritage and ancient past affected political and intellectual discourse regarding Crete’s 1913 official unification (enosis) with Greece. Particular attention is placed on whether modern conceptualizations of Crete's ancient past affected the process of unification and vice versa.