ANTH5028: Historical Archaeology

3 Credits

In this course, we will explore the theories and methods of historical archaeology – such as material culture studies, landscape perspectives, archival, and oral historical interpretation - as a means of intervening in contemporary discussions of diversity in the United States. Historical archaeology can be a very effective means to challenge some of the standard American narratives about our diverse past. Our aim is to move beyond either a simplistic ethnic pluralism or the superficial “melting pot” progressive history and instead grapple with the materiality of settler colonialism, white supremacy, and capitalism. In learning about this field, we will consider what has distinguished historical archaeology from American archaeology more broadly, and how those differences are parlayed into specific research strengths. This includes several themes: colonialism; the modern world and globalizing economies; intersectional identities (race and ethnicity, class, sex and gender, religion, age, ability/disability) and social movements; public memory and commemoration; landscapes and social space; citizenship and subjectivity. Although historical archaeology until recently has been restrictively defined as addressing the European-colonized New World, the discipline in the past twenty years has significantly broadened its scope and impact on the practice of archaeology as a whole. Throughout the course we will discuss these developments, and what directions archaeology may take in the future as a result. Course work includes both reading/discussion and learning methods through practical exercises, and handling of archaeological material.

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All Instructors

A- Average (3.718)Most Common: A (46%)

This total also includes data from semesters with unknown instructors.

13 students
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  • 4.62


  • 4.55


  • 4.54


  • 4.47



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