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ANP264: Great Discoveries in Archaeology

ANP264: Great Discoveries in Archaeology looks at the history of archaeological discoveries around the world and how those discoveries have helped us to understand our shared past and cultural heritage. The course focuses on a series of key archaeological discoveries that over time have captured the public’s imagination. By exploring and scrutinizing these exciting discoveries, students address pivotal archaeological questions about our shared cultural heritage and gain a better understanding of the nature of archaeological inquiry (how and what archaeologists do what they do).

Spring 2013

ANP 363: Rise of Civilizations

ANP363: Rise of Civilizations is a survey course designed to introduce students to the archaeological evidence for the appearance and development of early civilizations. Emphasis will be placed on exploring the nature of complex societies and the comparative evolution of ancient states.

Spring 2013

ANP 455: Archaeology of Ancient Egypt

This course will introduce students to one of the most fascinating societies in human history: ancient Egypt. The class will challenge students to explore the origins and fluorescence of the rich cultures of Egypt, ranging from the earliest foundations of the Egyptian state in the 5th century B.C. to the splendors of Roman Egypt under the rule of Cleopatra. By exploring case studies that highlight the extraordinary archaeological heritage of ancient Egypt, the course will focus students’ attentions on key anthropological concepts, such as kinship, ritual, political economy, mortuary practices, and cultural contact. In addition, the class will explore the foundations and development of Egyptian archaeology as a discipline, as well as the ways in with the interest and obsession with ancient Egypt has manifested in popular culture.

Spring 2011

Summer 2011 Online

Summer 2012 Online

Fall 2012

ANP 491: Temples, Tombs, and Spaceships - Exploring Archaeology, Pseudoarchaeology, and Pop Culture

ANP 491 Course Wiki | Course Website

From Indiana Jones to Lara Croft. From Atlantis to prehistoric extra terrestrials. From the mummy’s curse to psychic archaeology. The public consciousness is filled with images of archaeology, archaeologist, and the human past that range from the incredibly absurd to the downright disturbing.

The purpose of this class is to survey and explore the ways in which these ideas emerge and evolve in popular culture and public consciousness. The ultimate goal is not only to explore the often outlandish things that the public believes about archaeology, archaeologists, and the human past, but why they believe thusly. While a wide range of examples will be drawn from popular culture, special emphasis will be placed on those blatantly pseudo-scientific ideas that attempt to masquerade under the guise of scholarly archaeology. In this regard, the goal of the class is not only to deconstruct archaeological hoaxes and pseudo mysteries, but to explore how we can truly understand the past through science and rational inquiry.

HST419: Ancient Egypt & Popular Culture

HST419 Course Wiki | Course Website

Since Napoleon first invaded Egypt in 1799, the western world has been incredibly fascinated with all things ancient Egyptian. During 19th Century Victorian Britain, the craze had reached such a level that many well to do households were decorated with all kinds of ancient Egyptian objects. Affluent individuals often participated in fashionable social gatherings where the evening revolved around the unwrapping of a mummy. Ultimately, however, all of these activities were aided and encouraged by a world system in which colonialism still reigned supreme. Egypt was considered a resource from which European powers could indiscriminately remove whatever they wished.

Despite the fact that outright colonialism diminished in the 20th century, the infatuation with ancient Egypt only increased. The advent and widespread use of new types of media, such as radio and film, only served to drive “Egyptomania” into a far more popular realm. People’s fascination, sparked by events such as the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun by Howard Carter in 1922, only increased when they went to the theatres to see movies such as The Mummy (1932).

Now in the 21st century, our fascination with a culture than began in the Nile Valley over 6000 years ago has not diminished. The power of Egyptomania is seen in the sheer number of movies, television shows, cartoons, and books that in some way draw on ancient Egyptian culture.

What is it about ancient Egypt that we find so captivating?

HST110h: Pages & Panels - The History of the Modern Comic Book

HST110h Course Wiki | Course Website

In 1837, Swiss illustrator & writer Rodolphe Töpffer published an illustrated comedic account entitled Histoire de M. Vieux Bois. The work was translated and re-released in 1842 in the United States as The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck. Containing 30 pages, each of which had between one and six illustrations with associated text, the work is widely considered to be the first comic book. The rest, as they say, is history. More than 150 years later, comic books (and their associated intellectual property) are a multi billion dollar industry, and more than worthy of mainstream attention and scholarly study. The History of the Modern Comic Book is designed to provide students with an opportunity to explore the development and current state of comic books. The course will take a socio-historical approach to the subject, exploring not only the lineage of genres & trends, but the impact that the industry & medium has had on society and vice versa. While the historical foundations of the medium will be briefly explored, the course will focus on the period following the Silver Age.

HST250: History of the Digital Age

HST250 Course Wiki | Course Website

Computers are ubiquitous. Whether we are in our cars, our planes, our houses, our hospitals, or our classrooms, computers are now part of the infrastructure of everyday life. How and why did this come about? In order to explore this question, the course will be broken into three separate, though integrated themes. First, the historical foundations (going back to the mid 19th century) of modern computing technology explored. Second, the technological and functional underpinnings of computers and computer systems will be investigating. Thirdly, the social dimensions of computing and computing technology, information technology, and communication technology will be critically examined. The approach of the of the course will be be far more than a simple look at the historical progression of hardware and software. Instead, the class will focus acutely on the people and institutions surrounding and facilitating the development of computers and computing technology.