Spring 2009 Office Hours: 11:30-1:00 Tuesdays and Thursday and by appointment
Office: Cavanaugh 413B (274-9847)
This course examines archaeological scholarship on European colonization and the post-colonial material world. Course materials focus on material life and the diversity of sociocultural experiences in North America since 1492. The class examines how historical archaeologists have interpreted life in the world of global capitalism and colonization over the last half millennium and how archaeological insights can be used to understand and critique our own world. We are particularly interested in the relationship between systems of difference (such as racism) and the political implications of such research among archaeologists working with contemporary constituencies. The distinctive analytical techniques of historical archaeology will be studied, including documentary research, artifact analysis methods, and field excavation techniques. The course will probe the interdisciplinary nature of historical archaeology, assess the social significance of archaeological knowledge, and scrutinize cultural, class, and gendered influences on archaeological interpretation.
Exercises and Assignments
|Course grading will be derived from one journal
article review (15%), one exam (15%), four analysis exercises (15% each), one class presentation
and written review (5%), and attendance (5% of the course grade).
The final exam will be an open-book open-notes essay exam. The Final Exam will be an open-notes open-book exam done in class during the Final Exam period. The web page will include a list of possible essay questions that will be posted prior to the final exam. The final will be cumulative. Exams will include material from readings as well as lectures.
There are four exercises. Three of the exercises analyze material culture from historic archaeological sites. One exercise, the contemporary garbage analysis, will be conducted in two stages. In this exercise you will analyze a contemporary garbage collection made by another student in the class. You will each record the refuse your household discards over seven days, then this record will be distributed anonymously to another student in class for analysis. Your refuse record (i.e., a sheet recording everything your household threw away over seven consecutive days) is due on February 10. Your analysis of another student’s refuse sample will be due on March 10. The second exercise (due February 3) compares two eighteenth-century probate inventories recorded a decade apart for the same tavern in Annapolis, Maryland. The third (due March 31) analyzes a nineteenth-century African-American bottle assemblage. The fourth (due April 14) interprets food consumption at a turn-of-the-twentieth century Western site; this exercise is posted on Oncourse in the resources tab and is not an online web page. Each exercise counts for 15% of the course grade. These are your major assignments for the semester, so please schedule ahead sufficient time to do your best work on them, and do not consider skipping one without accepting a serious drop in your final course grade.
The journal article review will critically evaluate an archaeological essay chosen from a selection of papers listed in this syllabus. You will review the paper's basic questions and research methods, assess its persuasiveness, evaluate its contribution to historical interpretation, and suggest directions for further questions. The articles are relatively brief, and all relate to issues examined in class. The review should be three or more typed double-spaced pages in length. The review is due February 24.
|The class presentation and review (5% course grade) will summarize a course reading that all students will read prior to class. You will be responsible for leading discussion and preparing an outline of the reading. Your presentations should be structured summaries of a reading that systematically outline the strengths and weaknesses of the piece and indicate issues that you found particularly interesting or problematic. You must turn in an outline of the reading to receive full credit. The outline should serve as the basic "map" for your classroom presentation. It must indicate: 1) the reading’s basic research question(s); 2) its data and methodology; 3) its conclusions; and 4) your assessment of the paper. Do not come to class and simply leaf through your margin notes; this will result in a considerably lower grade than a focused presentation. Your outlines should be about a typed, double-spaced page or more. You are not required to provide the outline to all students in the class, who will already have read the week’s assignment, but you can do this if it helps your presentation. You should feel free to discuss your reading with me beforehand if you have questions about it or find it unexpectedly perplexing. A list of readings will be distributed during the first week of class, and you may sign up for any reading on a first-come first-serve basis by seeing me or emailing requests that will be honored in the order I receive the emails. Anybody who does not sign up for a reading by January 21 will have one of the remaining readings assigned to them at random. Forgetting the day on which your reading will be discussed in class is an insufficient excuse for not completing the assignment.|
|Above: This picture of a cabbage patch was taken in 1922; the construction on the left is foundation being laid for the Riley Hospital. North Street is in the foreground and the houses to the right are along Barnhill Street (courtesy IUPUI University Library Special Collections and Archives)|
Participation in class discussion and attendance at lecture are key to comprehension. All students who attend class and miss three or fewer class meetings will receive the full five points toward attendance. If you miss four class meetings one point will be deducted from your attendance score (i.e., you would receive four attendance points); miss five days and two points will be deducted from the final score, and so on. Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each class meeting on a course roster that circulates through class. If you come in late, you must ensure that you sign this roster at the end of class; at the end of the semester I will not negotiate over the days you actually attended but forgot to sign the attendance roster. I will not allow students to sign the roster if they arrive halfway through the class meeting; please discuss any delays outside your control with me (e.g., caught in traffic jam, but not an errant alarm clock). An excused absence is a documented illness (i.e., a physician's note, not simply sniffles in the next class or sounding really crappy on the phone), a religious holiday recognized in the calendars of some reasonably well-documented faith, or an absence for participation in an Athletic Department-excused event. I will be reasonably forgiving about things over which you have no control, like flat tires and sick children. I will negotiate these things on a case-by-case basis, but please let me know immediately via email and do not plan to barter over these absences at semester's end.
If you miss either of the exams, any assignment, or your reading presentation, you are responsible to contact me as soon as possible in class, during office hours, or via email. Make-up mid-term exams will be essays. Anyone who misses the final will receive no credit for the exam without a significant excuse. I cannot re-schedule the final for the convenience of holiday travel schedules, so please plan ahead.
Exercises or review essays turned in late will be penalized a letter grade each day they are late. Because it is essential that I have all garbage samples in my hands on time to make copies and re-distribute these for your written analyses, you absolutely must complete your garbage refuse sample by the due date of Tuesday February 10.
You can leave email me assignments to my IUPUI address; please do not email exercises in Oncourse. You also can leave printed copies in my mailbox in Cavanaugh 413. If you cannot complete an assignment on time, please see me anyway: I will negotiate a late penalty, but you cannot mathematically afford to completely miss any exercise or the review and expect to do well. Please do not wait until the last week of the semester to negotiate these extensions.
|The syllabus includes deadlines for all assignments and test dates: it is your responsibility to know when assignments are due and tests are scheduled. If there are any errors to the syllabus or weather-induced schedule changes, they will be placed on this syllabus, announced in class, and posted on Oncourse. There will not be any extra credit material. If you do not complete coursework by semester's end you will receive no credit for unfinished work unless you have a legitimate reason for tardiness that we have previously discussed. You can monitor your grades over the semester on Oncourse. I do not use Oncourse for class functions outside of the gradebook. You may log into Oncourse as a guest, but you cannot access your grades unless you have a university password.||
|Above: 1912 postcard close-up of the Indianapolis Casket Company, which sat at 521 West North Street. The company moved to the site in 1909 and remained there until its purchase by the Indiana University Foundation in 1984; it was demolished the following year. The site is today parking lot 73 east of Mary Cable and south of Sigma Theta Tau (thumbnail right).|
Graduate students are expected to complete all course requirements as outlined in the syllabus. In addition you will be required to complete a paper that is a minimum of 15 pages in length. You will be required to meet with me to discuss the topic prior to beginning the paper, and I will expect to meet with you each at least once during the preparation of the paper to read a draft at least three weeks before the paper is due.
All work in the course is conducted in accordance with the University’s academic misconduct policy. Cheating includes dishonesty of any kind with respect to exams or assignments. Plagiarism is the offering of someone else’s work as your own: this includes taking un-cited material from books, web pages, or other students, turning in the same or substantially similar work as other students, sneaking a peek at the neighbor's exam, or failing to properly cite other research. If you are suspected of any form of academic misconduct you will be called in for a meeting at which you will be informed of the accusation and given adequate opportunity to respond. A report will be submitted to the Dean of Students, who will decide on further disciplinary action. Please consult the University Bulletin’s academic misconduct policy or me if you have any questions.
Be absolutely certain to keep a copy of any emailed assignments you send to me should the email disappear or not arrive at my end, and save every single assignment in two places until grades have been assigned: Don't just save it on your laptop or one thumb drive, since they can crash, get lost, or be purloined by somebody who undervalues your commitment to education, and do not delete assignments instantly after their due date until their grades have been posted to Oncourse. Even if you miss a due date, contact me so that you can complete a partial credit makeup. Even if it is embarrassing to acknowledge that you simply forgot an assignment due date or your boss unexpectedly demanded a long shift when you planned to do the assignment, please come see me and I will do my very best to resolve it in some way that doesn't mean you receive no credit at all.
The Office of Adaptive Educational Services (AES) ensures that students with disabilities receive appropriate accommodations from the University and their professors. Students must register with the AES office in order to receive such services.
Portable electronic devices, such as cell phones, pagers, two-ways, and PDA’s, must be turned off before entering the classroom. You can use a laptop in class for note-taking but should silence it; do not surf the web in class. You must let me know in advance if you carry around such devices for familial reasons (e.g., pregnancy monitoring, disabled family, or contact with kids--not to stay in touch with a significant other who just likes to hear your voice, buddies planning the rest of their day, and so on). Anyone whose electronic device disturbs class will be given a verbal warning on first offense and will be asked to meet with me after class if they continue to disturb the group.
The classroom is a safe speech situation in which it is your responsibility to treat other classmates fairly and with mutual respect, even if they have the audacity to disagree with you, champion an opinion that is inconsistent with your worldview, or simply bore you. Anyone who talks when someone else is talking, is hostile, or otherwise violates classroom etiquette (e.g., does other homework, reads the newspaper) will be considered to be in violation of this policy. Students who fail to adhere to these guidelines will be asked to meet with me.
All work in this course is intended to fulfill the University's Principles of Undergraduate Learning. The class focuses on critical, self-reflective thinking, integrates knowledge from a variety of disciplinary and sociocultural perspectives, examines social and cultural complexity, and probes the impact of knowledge on our everyday decision-making. Do let me know if the course does not satisfy any of the missions included in the Principles.
A basic requirement of this course is that you will participate in class and conscientiously complete writing and reading assignments. If you miss more than half our class meetings within the first four weeks of the semester without contacting me, you will be administratively withdrawn from this section. If you miss more than four classes in the first four weeks, you may be withdrawn. Administrative withdrawal may have academic, financial, and financial aid implications. Administrative withdrawal will take place after the full refund period, and if you are administratively withdrawn from the course you will not be eligible for a tuition refund. If you have questions about the administrative withdrawal policy at any point during the semester, please contact me.
Take out your calendars and record the following important dates. You are responsible for remembering all assignment and exam dates.
February 3: Probate exercise due
February 10: Refuse samples due
February 24: Article review due
March 10: Garbage analysis exercise due
March 31: Manufacture-deposition lag analysis due
April 14: Foodways assemblage exercise due; available on Oncourse
May 5: Final Exam 1:00-3:00
The course has three assigned texts that we will discuss in class, and each will contain exam material, so you should purchase them or share them with somebody. Please understand that it will be very difficult to do well in the class if you do not have sustained access to the books, so do not try to get through the semester without at least sharing them. They can be purchased inexpensively online; click on the title of either book below for used or new copies from a range of online retailers. Older editions of the Deetz volume can be found readily very cheaply, but this edition does contain one new chapter; if you have an older edition, you should borrow the more recent edition when we reach the new chapter. The books can also be found in the University Bookstore. All remaining readings can be accessed by clicking on the article's title in the syllabus or going to Oncourse.
Paul A. Shackel and Erve J. Chambers, (editors)
2004 Places in Mind: Public Archaeology as Applied Anthropology. Routledge, New York.
Orser, Charles E. (editor)
1996 Images of the Recent Past: Readings in Historical Archaeology. Altamira Press, Walnut Creek, California.
1996 In Small Things Forgotten: The Archeology of Early American Life. 2nd edition. Anchor Press, New York. The earlier edition is not significantly different from the 1996 revision.
What is historical archaeology?
What are capitalism and colonialism? Why are they important
in historical archaeology?
The history of collecting and the origins of anthropological archaeology
The relationship between texts and objects: middle-range
Searching for the great White patriot: nationalism and historic preservation
PROBATE EXERCISE DUE FEBRUARY 3
Ideology: Legitimizing Inequality in Material Culture and Archaeological Practice
REFUSE SAMPLE DUE FEBRUARY 10
The Georgian Revolution: an anthropological view of Anglo America
People without history?: the archaeology of "common people" and history's invisible masses
REVIEW ESSAY DUE FEBRUARY 24
The archaeology of "socioeconomic status":
material culture, income, and social subjectivity
Historic archaeological research: primary documents, maps, diaries, professional literature, oral history, music, and other sources of research insight
The things we find: classifying historic artifacts
Ceramic analysis: minimum vessel counts and mean ceramic dating
GARBAGE ANALYSIS EXERCISE DUE MARCH 10
How much did that plate cost?: ceramic indices
Ceramics and culture: beyond form and function
SPRING BREAK MARCH 16-20
Pipes: stem dating and stylistic analysis
Glass: form analysis and manufacture-deposition lag analysis
MANUFACTURE-DEPOSITION LAG ANALYSIS DUE MARCH 31
March 31-April 2
The field today: cultural resource management, academia, and other archaeological employment
Finding power in the ground: archaeologies of oppression, discipline, and domination
FOODWAYS ASSEMBLAGE EXERCISE DUE APRIL 14 Available on Oncourse
NO CLASS THURSDAY APRIL 16th
The Politics of Power and Archaeology
The archaeology of us: analyzing modern material culture
FINAL EXAM TUESDAY MAY 5 1:00-3:00
Last updated April 21, 2009
Photos of campus courtesy IUPUI University Library Special Collections and Archives