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    Jul 24, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin [Archived Bulletin]

ANTH 3042 - Archaeology of Now

Goals: Archaeologists are traditionally understood to study our ancient human past. This course takes a different view of the discipline. Here we will use the methods and theories of archaeology to examine our contemporary world. That is, this class will investigate the archaeology of now. We will take archaeology’s concern for things, context, and people to gain a unique perspective on our world and our lives. Our class will examine archaeology’s contributions of everything from death investigations to graffiti studies, tracking our material culture from space junk floating around our planet to micro plastics floating throughout our oceans. We will also consider ethical and practical issues about archaeology and heritage in the context of massive and global challenges faced by humanity. We will consider the meaning of our Anthropocene legacy where “preservation” is unavoidable and whether archaeology can be a force for social good.

Content: This course is designed to give students the archaeological tools they can use to better understand our 21st Century world. We will use lectures, readings, discussion, and exercises to introduce these tools and develop their use. As students in this class, you will regularly engage in field and lab exercises, learning how to observe, document, and analyze our contemporary archaeological record, including work with waste studies, ethnoarchaeological observations, and counter-mapping.

Taught: Alternate years, spring semester

Credits: 4