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The Archaeology of Globalization

This course is expected to run but has not yet been scheduled.

Course Description

Is globalization something truly new in human history? How can we compare cross-cultural interaction before the written word and after the age of the Internet? In the modern world, what is the difference between "artifact" and "art"? Learn to tackle these questions by thinking like an archaeologist about the material world around you. From the ancient world to contemporary popular culture, material culture, i.e.“stuff,” is key to understanding the movements of people, power, wealth, and ideas around the world.

In this course, you will learn about the foundations of archaeological thought, discussing basic methods and reading and practicing the interpretation of archaeological evidence. You will also learn about the larger field of anthropology and the theories it uses to discuss globalization and exchange in the contemporary world. You will apply these tools to case studies of global connection, from readings in world archaeology to field observation in contemporary Providence. Inside the classroom and museum visits, you will learn how to investigate objects from dorm rooms to museums to find stories of communication and change across time and space.

The course will emphasize exploring issues collaboratively and creatively through class discussion and debate, museum visits, written reflections, and hands-on work with material culture from museum collections and your everyday life in class and final projects. Ultimately, you will learn to critically question the “stuff” that surrounds you and consider where our time fits into deeper histories, equipped with college level ideas from anthropology and archaeology about material culture, power, and identity.

There are no formal prerequisites, but a high school course in global history would provide useful background knowledge.

*Please note: This course has a Material Fee of $50.00.