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Archaeology of the Contemporary

Instructor(s): Shannon Lee Dawdy
Spring 2022

This reading seminar focuses on the emerging field of the archaeology of the contemporary, which uses archaeological methods to study the material traces left by human actions within living memory. The contemporary world is notable for the vast amount of detritus it has and continues to produce: garbage, abandoned buildings, chemical toxicity, etc. With research objects as diverse as homelessness, migration, industrial ruinscapes, modern warscapes, IKEA furniture, and contemporary death practices, the subfield is characterized by an interest in issues of mobility, abandonment, and destruction but also of entirely banal features of everyday life such as diaper consumption, automobile culture, and blue jeans. This student-directed reading seminar is restricted to Anthropology doctoral students preparing exams, proposals, or MA theses with a related focus. Students will be expected to design a portion of the syllabus and lead discussions. The faculty member will act as facilitator.

ANTH 55972 | CCCT 55972