Syllabus

Anthropology 4AH3

Archaeology & Heritage: Ethics, Politics & Practice

 Course Outline & Aims:

This course examines the interface between heritage and ethics, politics and social systems, and the ways that archaeology and its practitioners are deeply entangled in western value systems and epistemologies. Using history to contextualize contemporary practice, we will consider the ways that archaeologists engage with current issues, debates and controversies within the discipline and beyond.

After outlining the primary themes in contemporary archaeology, including who practices archaeology, how, and why, we will critically analyse topics including access and inclusivity of heritage, indigenous archaeology, the commodification of heritage, the dissemination of archaeological data and knowledge, and the sustainability of our discipline.

This course will evaluate case studies from around the world, with special focus on Canada and North America. It will utilize a range of publication types, including academic monographs and journals, news articles, blogs, videos, and social media to access the diversity of contemporary discourses (Note: there is no textbook for this course; the resources we will use are available online, for free).

By the end of the course, you will:

  • Understand the intersections of archaeology, heritage, politics, ethics and society, and the ways that they shape practice and practitioners
  • Be able to critically and reflexively assess and apply best practice in archaeology and heritage management, reflecting your knowledge of the context of academic-, CRM- and museum-based approaches to the past
  • Demonstrate strong literacy and digital literacy skills, by evaluating and applying a range of media for communications, recognizing the diversity of audiences, styles, and formats available, and the corresponding impact that they have (includes academic papers, popular communications, digital/social media, etc.)

Assessment will be based on group and independent work, including a seminar presentation, discussion, debates, a blog on heritage in Hamilton, and a final project, in which, as a group, we will develop a platform for discussing contemporary issues in Canadian archaeology.

Course Schedule

Date Seminar Topic
January 7th Archaeology & Heritage in Perspective: Class Overview
January 14th The Politics of Becoming an Archaeologist: Demographics, Authority & Multi-Vocality
January 21st Archaeology as Social Science: Epistemologies & Image in 21stC
January 28th What Makes Archaeology Public? Defining Research, Value & Impact
February 4th Is this Ethical? Heritage, Power and the Research Process
February 11th There’s an Audience for That: Publication, Dissemination, Access
February 18th MIDTERM RECESS
February 25th Heritage Isn’t For Everyone: Audience, Access and Diversity
March 3rd Field trip Assignment: Heritage in Hamilton Blog
March 10th Archaeology as Activism: Impact & Contemporary Archaeology
March 17th Democratising Archaeology: Post-Colonialism & Indigenous Archaeologies
March 24th Selling the Past: Consumers, Tourism, &the Antiquities Trade
March 31st The Future is Digital? Social Media, Web-Platforms & Ethics
April 7th On Sustainability: Is Archaeology a Renewable Resource?
April 15th No Seminar

 

READING LIST:

JANUARY 14TH      THE POLITICS OF BECOMING AN ARCHAEOLOGIST: DEMOGRAPHICS, AUTHORITY & MULTI-VOCALITY

Hamilton, S., (2014). Under-Representation in Contemporary Archaeology. Papers from the Institute of Archaeology 24(1). DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/pia.469

Articles from Special Issue of SAA Archaeological Record (2002, Volume 2 Issue 4) ‘Gender and Ethnic Equity in Archaeology’ (p. 18-37). URL: http://www.saa.org/Portals/0/SAA/Publications/thesaaarchrec/sep02.pdf

 Micro Seminar 1: Gender & Archaeological Practitioners: Perceptions, Equality & Career Progression

Micro Seminar 2: Does Class Affect Who Becomes an Archaeologist? The Politics of Unpaid Labour

Micro Seminar 3: Current Discussions of Diversity, Authority & Visibility in Academia

 

JANUARY 21ST      ARCHAEOLOGY AS SOCIAL SCIENCE? EPISTEMOLOGIES & IMAGE IN THE 21ST Century

Jones, A. (2001). Chapter 1: The Archaeology of Two Cultures. In Archaeological Theory and Scientific Practice, pp 1-22. Cambridge University Press. (Available as E-Book through McMaster Libraries)

Thomas, J. (1991). Science versus anti-science. Archaeological Review from Cambridge. 10(1):27-36. (PDF on A2L)

Berrett, D. (2010). Anthropology without Science. Inside Higher Ed. URL:https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/11/30/anthroscience

Wade, N. Anthropology a Science? Statement deepens a rift. New York Times. URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/10/science/10anthropology.html?_r=0

Micro Seminar 1: Science as the way of knowing: Archaeology, Science & Archaeological Sciences

Micro Seminar 2: Alternative Ways of Knowing: Case Studies in Africa

 

JANUARY 28TH      WHAT MAKES ARCHAEOLOGY PUBLIC? DEFINING RESEARCH, VALUE & IMPACT

Atalay, S. (2012). Chapter 2: Origins of Community-Based Participatory Research. In Community-Based Archaeology: Research with, by, and for Indigenous and Local Communities, pp. 33-52. University of California Press. (Available as E-book through McMaster Libraries)

Cooper, D.E. (2015). Chapter 8: Truthfulness and ‘inclusion’ in archaeology. In G. Scarre and C. Scarre (eds.) Ethics of Archaeology. Cambridge University Press. (Available as E-Book through McMaster Libraries)

Faulkner, Neil (2000). “Archaeology from below.” Public Archaeology 1(1): 21-33. DOI: 10.1179/pua.2000.1.1.21

 Micro Seminar 1: Community or Public Archaeology Case Studies – What can we learn?

Micro Seminar 2: Public Engagement and Academia: Training, Research & Outreach

 

FEBRUARY 4TH      IS THIS ETHICAL? HERITAGE, POWER AND THE RESEARCH PROCESS

Ferris, N. and Welch, J.R. (2015). New Worlds: Ethics in Contemporary North American Archaeological Practice. In C. Gnecco, D. Lippert (eds.), Ethics and Archaeological Praxis, Ethical Archaeologies: The Politics of Social Justice 1. DOI 10.1007/978-1-4939-1646-7_7

Greenberg, R. (2015). Ethics in Action: A Viewpoint from Israel/Palestine. In A. González-Ruibal & G. Moshenska (eds) Ethics and the Archaeology of Violence. Ethical Archaeologies: The Politics of Social Justice 2. DOI 10.1007/978-1-4939-1643-6_2

Zorzin, N. (2015). Archaeology and Capitalism: Successful Relationship or Economic and Ethical Alienation? C. Gnecco, D. Lippert (eds.), Ethics and Archaeological Praxis, Ethical Archaeologies: The Politics of Social Justice 1. DOI 10.1007/978-1-4939-1646-7_9

Review McMaster policies on research ethics – particularly “Research Involving Human Participation” and “Policy on Research Ethics”: https://reo.mcmaster.ca/ and the Government of Canada’s Policy, particularly “Chapter 9: Research Involving the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples of Canada” (http://www.pre.ethics.gc.ca/eng/policy-politique/initiatives/tcps2-eptc2/chapter9-chapitre9/).

Micro Seminar 1: Canadian Policies on Research Ethics

Micro Seminar 2: A Survey of Archaeological Codes of Ethics: What can we learn?

Micro Seminar 3: A Global Archaeological Ethics? Diversity, Regulation & Practice

 

FEBRUARY 11TH    THERE’S AN AUDIENCE FOR THAT: PUBLICATION, DISSEMINATION & ACCESS

Allen, M. (2015). Ethics in the Publishing of Archaeology. In C. Gnecco, D. Lippert (eds.), Ethics and Archaeological Praxis, Ethical Archaeologies: The Politics of Social Justice 1. DOI 10.1007/978-1-4939-1646-7_12

Edwards, B. and A.T. Wilson (2015). Open Archaeology: Definitions, Challenges and Context. In Wilson, A.T. and Edwards, B. (eds.) Open Source Archaeology, pp. 1-5. De Gruyter Open. DOI: 10.1515/9783110440171

Harley, Diane, Acord, Sophia Krzys, Earl-Novell, Sarah, Lawrence, Shannon & King, C. Judson. (2010). Chapter 2: Archaeology Case Study. In Assessing the Future Landscape of Scholarly Communication: An Exploration of Faculty Values and Needs in Seven Disciplines. Center for Studies in Higher Education. UC Berkeley: Center for Studies in Higher Education. URL: http://escholarship.org/uc/item/15x7385g (Focus on pp. 30-58, but feel free to read the rest of the chapter)

Devine, E. (2015). Why peer review needs a good going over. The Guardian: Higher Education Network. URL: http://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/2015/oct/28/why-peer-review-needs-a-good-going-over

Micro Seminar 1: Open Archaeology – What role should open access publications and open data play in the future of archaeology?

Micro Seminar 2: Homo naledi case study: The Relationship between Social Media & Research

FEBRUARY 18TH     MIDTERM RECESS

FEBRUARY 25TH    HERITAGE ISN’T FOR EVERYONE: AUDIENCE, ACCESS AND DIVERSITY

Phillips, Tim, and Roberta Gilchrist (2012). “Inclusive, Accessible, Archaeology.” Oxford Handbooks Online. Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199237821.013.0035 (PDF on A2L)

Rix, J., Lowe, T. and the Heritage Forum (2010). Including people with learning difficulties in cultural and heritage sites. International Journal of Heritage Studies 16(3): 207-224. DOI: 10.1080/13527251003620743

Review projects at Historic England’s Inclusive Heritage platform. URL: https://www.historicengland.org.uk/research/inclusive-heritage/

Micro Seminar 1: Engaging Traditionally Ignored Audiences: Heritage for People with Disabilities

Micro Seminar 2: Diversity in Education: Heritage, Dignity, and Engagement

Micro Seminar 3: Who wants heritage? ‘High Culture’, Socioeconomic Contexts & Accessing the Past

MARCH 3RD           FIELD TRIP ASSIGNMENT: HERITAGE IN HAMILTON

MARCH 10TH         ARCHAEOLOGY AS ACTIVISM: IMPACT & CONTEMPORARY ARCHAEOLOGY

Zimmerman, L., Singleton, C. and Welch, J. (2010). Activism and creating a translational archaeology of homelessness. World Archaeology 42(3), 443-454.

Blau, S. (2015). Working as a Forensic Archaeologist and/or Anthropologist in Post-conflict Contexts: A Consideration of Professional Responsibilities to the Missing, the Dead, and their Relatives. In A. González-Ruibal, G. Moshenska (eds.), Ethics and the Archaeology of Violence, Ethical Archaeologies: The Politics of Social Justice 2, DOI 10.1007/978-1-4939-1643-6_13

Video: Jason de León – Decoding Stories of Border Crossing URL: http://library.fora.tv/2013/06/12/Jason_De_Len_Decoding_Stories_of_Border_Crossing

Micro Seminar 1: Case study 1 – Archaeologies of inequality, homelessness & poverty

Micro Seminar 2: Case study 2 – Archaeologies of/in conflict, Past & Present

MARCH 17TH       DEMOCRATISING ARCHAEOLOGY: POST-COLONIALISM & INDIGENOUS
ARCHAEOLOGIES

Deacon, Harriet and Rieks Smeets (2013). Authenticity, Value and Community Involvement in Heritage Management under the World Heritage and Intangible Heritage Conventions. Heritage & Society 6(2): 129-143. DOI: 10.1179/2159032X13Z.0000000009

McGhee, R. (2008). Aboriginalism and the Problems of Indigenous Archaeology. American Antiquity 73: 579-597.

Wilcox, M. (2010). Saving Indigenous Peoples From Ourselves: Separate But Equal Archaeology is not Scientific Archaeology. American Antiquity 75: 221-227. URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25766192

Micro Seminar 1: Indigenous Archaeology – Past, Present & Future

Micro Seminar 2: Post-colonial Archaeology – Past, Present & Future

 

MARCH 24TH          SELLING THE PAST: CONSUMERS, TOURISM, AND THE ANTIQUITIES TRADE

Ashworth, G. J. (2014). Heritage and Economic Development: Selling the Unsellable. Heritage & Society 7(1), 3-17. DOI: 10.1179/2159032X14Z.00000000015

Sanchez, J.A. (2015). Trading Archaeology Is Not Just a Matter of Antiquities: Archaeological Practice as a Commodity. C. Gnecco, D. Lippert (eds.), Ethics and Archaeological Praxis, Ethical Archaeologies: The Politics of Social Justice 1, DOI 10.1007/978-1-4939-1646-7_10

Lambert, M., Yates, D., (2015). Crime, Controversy and the Comments Section: Discussing archaeological looting, trafficking, and the illicit antiquities trade online, Internet Archaeology 39. http://dx.doi.org/10.11141/ia.39.6

Micro Seminar 1: Archaeo-Tourism: What role should archaeologists play in boosting tourism?

Micro Seminar 2: Archaeology’s Black Market: Looting, Trade and its impact on heritage

 

MARCH 31ST          THE FUTURE IS DIGITAL? SOCIAL MEDIA, WEB-PLATFORMS & ETHICS

Walker, D. (2014) ‘Antisocial media in archaeology?’ Archaeological Dialogues 21, 217–35. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1380203814000221

Perry, S. and Beale, N. (2015) ‘The social web and archaeology’s restructuring: impact, exploitation, disciplinary change’, Open Archaeology 1, 153–65. http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/opar-2015-0009

Richardson, L-J. 2014 ‘Understanding archaeological authority in a digital context’, Internet Archaeology 38. http://dx.doi.org/10.11141/ia.38.1

Micro Seminar 1: The Ethics of the Virtual Dead – How are the dead presented online and what is the impact?

Micro Seminar 2: Crowd-sourcing Archaeology: What is crowd-sourcing, and how is it being used in archaeology? What are the benefits and problems?

 

APRIL 7TH                ON SUSTAINABILITY: IS ARCHAEOLOGY A RENEWABLE RESOURCE?

Grenville, Jane (2007). Conservation as Psychology: Ontological Security and the Built Environment, International Journal of Heritage Studies, 13:6: 447-461. DOI: 10.1080/13527250701570614

Logan, William (2014). “Heritage Rights—Avoidance and Reinforcement.” Heritage & Society 7(2): 156-169. DOI: 10.1179/2159032X14Z.00000000032

Comer, Douglas C. (2014). Threats to the Archaeological Heritage in the Laissez-Faire World of Tourism: The Need for Global Standards as a Global Public Good. Public Archaeology 13(1-3): 123-134. DOI: 10.1179/1465518714Z.00000000060

Micro Seminar 1: What are we conserving and how? Managing Authenticity and Preservation

Micro Seminar 2: Sustainability & Diversity in the Digital Age

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