Excavating America: Historical Archaeology of the Modern World
Fall 2015 not offered
ARCP 225, AMST 285
This course covers the archaeology of approximately the last 500 years in the Americas, by its nature covering sites for which at least some historical documentation exists. In this course, we will focus on understanding how material remains can be used as a rich source of history in and of themselves and how archaeological data work in conjunction with historical sources to produce a rich interdisciplinary narrative of the past.
The period covered by historical archaeology in the Americas has been a time of upheaval, most notably from settler colonialism, the forced diaspora of enslaved Africans to work on plantations, and from the move into industrialization that changed conditions of life and labor for many. We will address all of these changes, paying particular attention to how archaeology informs our understanding of resistance and hybridity in colonial contexts, the contribution of archaeology to understanding processes of racialization, and the commitment of historical archaeologists to furthering social justice in the present through their work on the past.
Sites and topics studied will include those relating to Spanish settlement in California and the Caribbean; Native sites that intersected with periods of settler colonialism; British plantations in the Chesapeake; domestic sites of enslaved Africans and free black communities; early merchant and industrializing cities, including New York City and Lowell, Mass.; the archaeology of trash and sewerage; forensic archaeology and the African Burial Ground in New York City; sites of institutional confinement; and the heritage value of modern ruins.
The course will also introduce students to archaeology through a half-day trip to the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and via a hands-on lab session in the Cross Street Archaeology Lab.
|Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion
|Grading Mode: Graded
|Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (AMST)(ARCP)(SISP-Anth Conc)
Readings will be from a selection of articles and book chapters including material by: Brighton, Crossland, Edensor, Epperson, Deagan, Dawdy, King, LaRoche, Liebmann, Lightfoot, McBride, Mrozowski, Orser, Rathje, Reno, Rodríguez-Alegría, Silliman, Singleton, Voss, and Wall.
|Examinations and Assignments:
Two short papers, midterm, final take-home exam
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments:
We will have one field trip as part of the course to the Mashantucket Pequot Museum (http://www.pequotmuseum.org/), where we will visit archaeological sites and laboratories, along with the museum itself. This field trip will cost approximately $35.
This course is a gateway course for the Archaeology Program.
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