Spring 2020 (Deactivations ONLY)
Archaeology Pop Culture
Archaeology often captures the popular imagination through fantastic and farfetched portrayals of lost civilizations, aliens, and spectacular treasures. While these depictions of archaeology and the past may not be accurate, the story being told is nonetheless significant and reflects something about the culture that produced it. This course explores how these films, televisions shows, books, and video games tell stories about the past, what stories are being told, and what these representations imply about the relationship between archaeology and modern society. We will critically analyze popular representations of archaeology, comparing how competing visions of science and population science, fact and fiction, operate in the public sphere. By the end of the semester, you'll be able to: explain what archaeologists do and why; understand how archaeology and popular culture interact, how archaeology is portrayed in popular media, and how the public impacts archaeological research; to foster critical thinking skills and evaluate how science is communicated to the public; understand the relationship between the archaeological study of the past and the politics of the present.
Course not offered every year
Cultural Diversity in the US
Full Time Lecturer
Full Time Lecturer
This freshman seminar will introduce many students to broad themes in anthropology through an examination of a familiar cultural theme. This course will fulfill a distribution elective within anthropology and for the archaeology concentration.
Pop archaeology portrays a particular American culture but does not often question its own position, source, or social impact. This course will critique the portrayal of adventure and research in its social context. The use of popular cultural forms in addressing race, class, and ethnicity in archaeological thinking will create students aware of their own position and of the role of popular culture in enforcing dominant cultural norms in the science of the past.
You will write three 1000 word reviews that explore how one or several themes drawn from the assigned readings (for that week, and also from previous weeks if you wish) play out in a particular film or TV episode that is on our required viewing list. Your papers should include some critical analysis and your own thoughts on the subject. We will assign particular films/TV programs to individual students at the beginning of the semester, and your papers will be due in class on the week in which we discuss that film/program.
There will be a midterm and final (Finals Week). The exams will not be cumulative, and consist of multiple choice, short answers, and essay prompts. Study guides will be provided ahead of time for each exam.
Students must post a response question on CANVAS for each reading by 9 AM the day of every class session. One-line questions will not be accepted for credit, but rather each question must contain at least three sentences.