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Cornell University    
  Feb 21, 2018
Courses of Study 2017-2018
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ANTHR 3232 - Politics of the Past

(crosslisted) ARKEO 3232  
(GHB) (HA-AS)      
Fall. 4 credits. Student option grading.

Co-meets with ANTHR 6232 /ARKEO 6232 .

N. Russell.

Archaeology has never operated in a vacuum. This course examines the political context of the study of the past, and the uses to which accounts of the past have been put in the present. Archaeology is often implicated in nationalist claims to territory, or claims of ethnic, racial, or religious superiority. Museum exhibits and other presentations to the public always have an agenda, consciously or otherwise. Archaeologists are increasingly required to interact with descendent communities, often in the context of postcolonial tensions. The antiquities trade and the protection of archaeological sites connects archaeologists to commercial and law enforcement sectors. We will also consider the internal politics of the practice of archaeology in various settings, including the implications of the funding sources that support archaeological work. This course is open to students of archaeology, socio-cultural anthropology, history, and other disciplines with an interest in the past.

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