Learning is the only thing the mind never exhausts, never fears, and never regrets. - Leonardo da Vinci
Department of Anthropology
ANTHROPOLOGY 08: THE RISE AND FALL OF ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS
Winter + Fall 2020
One of the most intriguing questions in the study of human societies is the origins of cities and states or the transformation from small kinship-based societies to large societies that are internally differentiated based on wealth, political power, and economic specialization. Most of our knowledge of early civilizations comes from archaeology. This course examines the explanations proposed by archaeologists for the development of the first cities and state societies through a comparative study of early civilizations in both the Old World and the Americas.
ANTHROPOLOGY 22: ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS OF MESOAMERICA
This course provides a broad overview of the builders of these civilizations—the peoples of Mesoamerica—focusing on cultures of the Olmec, Maya, Zapotec, Teotihuacan, and the Toltec. It is designed to provide students with a deeper understanding and appreciation of indigenous cultures of Pre-Columbian and colonial period Mesoamerica. Topics include the diversity of Mesoamerican peoples and ethnolinguistic groups; the origin of food production and foodways; the rise of cities and urbanism; cosmovision and religious traditions; how individuals of these diverse cultures were nested into groups defined by gender, lifecycle, ethnicity, city-state, and empire.
ANTHROPOLOGY 50.05: ENVIRONMENTAL ARCHAEOLOGY
Given our present moment geologically marked by human impact on the planet, this class explores how human history and prehistory have been defined by moments when political, cultural, economic, and ecological systems intersect or collide. We will seek to understand how various people’s everyday lives and realities have connected to large-scale processes, at times culminating in turning points such as catastrophe and societal collapse. Using archaeological sciences and anthropological analysis, alongside material records and data as well as ethnographic encounters and historical accounts, we will explore archaeological tools for approaching, contextualizing, and better understanding these entangled issues. Key topics will include climate change, food systems, plant and animal relations, water management, mining, fossil fuels, epidemics, garbage, war, and extinctions.
ANTHROPOLOGY 50.45: ARCHAEOLOGY OF EPIDEMICS
(Full description coming soon). Given our present moment, the words endemic and pandemic conjure immediate concerns over health and wellbeing, critical lifestyle changes, economic fallout, and a marked difference in how we are collectively conceptualizing the future. Yet, the impact on human lifeways triggered by epidemic crises is nothing new. In this class, we will explore the variety of effects on everyday lives and realities stemming from turning points brought on by epidemics and pandemics. We will explore how community bonds and material culture changed in times of crisis, and how peoples across the world, in different times and spaces, eventually found resilience in fundamentally changed worlds.
LESLEY UNIVERSITY ART + DESIGN
Art History and Integrated Studies
ART HISTORY 1700: DIGITAL CULTURE
How have digital and interactive technologies restructured our economic and cultural landscape? In what ways have digital technologies inserted themselves into our social fabric and transformed our political landscape? How have interactive technologies affected our cognitive processes and social skills? This course explores the ways in which digital technologies are fundamentally restructuring our social, political, and cultural experiences. Students will engage in theoretical discourse and will be challenged to think critically about these technologies impact culture and/or can be employed as a means of affecting change.
ART HISTORY 2105: HISTORY OF INTERFACE
What does an interface do and what is it intended to communicate? What does it represent? The telephone pictured above was intended for business or home use. The shape of the handle, the sound of the rotary dial as it turns, and the arrangement of the buttons were all designed to connect users to the machine. How have interfaces in the past addressed this connection between human understanding and machine functionality? What learnings can we apply to the interfaces of today, and beyond? This course examines the history of interface from the ancient past to present through a chronological study ofvarious tools and technologies created for human-computer interaction. Through illustrated lectures, readings, and discussion, students will understand the impact of the interface on modern society.
ART HISTORY 3240: THE ART AND ARCHAEOLOGY OF PANDEMICS
Summer 2020; 2021
Given our current global health and social crises, the words epidemic and pandemic conjure immediate concerns over health and well-being, critical lifestyle changes, and a marked difference in how we collectively conceive, confront, and represent the future. Yet, the impact on human civilization triggered by epidemic crises is nothing new. In this course, we will study the effects of epidemics and pandemics on different cultures throughout history. Towards this end, we will examine how art and design have served to forge community bonds; how visual culture has changed in times of crisis; and how communities across the world, in different times and spaces, eventually find resilience in fundamentally altered worlds. Case studies consider recent archaeological projects and art historical research that are causing scholars to reevaluate the ways in which diseases have prompted both cultural upheavals and artistic transformations. These case studies will include the Plagues of the Ancient Mediterranean World, the 14th century Black Death, the 16th-century Great Dying, the Influenza of 1918, AIDS, and the current COVID-19 crisis.
ART HISTORY 3365: PRE-COLUMBIAN ART AND ITS LEGACY
This course is designed as a general introduction to Pre-Columbian art and its impact on Western culture. As such, the course will introduce students to the dominant art forms in the New World and consider how the Columbian Exchange influenced artistic production in the Western world.More specifically, the course will examine how the arts of the Inka, Aztec, and Maya (among others) informed Western thought and image. This course is primarily structured as a historical overview of major works and styles of Pre-Columbian art, culminating in an investigation of the impact that Pre-Columbian art had on artists of the modern movement - including Pablo Picasso and Barnett Newman. Finally, the course will consider the current use of Pre-Columbian imagery by contemporary artists.
ARCHAEOLOGY 150: ARCHAEOLOGY OF ANCIENT CITIES
With over half the world’s population now living in cities, archaeological investigation into the origins and evolution of cities represents a central topic of social science research. This course is designed to familiarize students with archaeological perspectives on cities and urbanism, which emphasize spatial organization, material culture, and historical change over long periods of time. Students engage archaeological debates concerning the definitions of cities; their appearance and characteristics in different parts of the world; cross-cultural similarities and differences in urbanism; and reasons for urban decline and collapse.
ARCHAEOLOGY 250 THE AZTEC, MAYA, AND OLMEC: ARCHAEOLOGY OF MESOAMERICA
When Europeans first arrived to what is today Mexico and Central America, they encountered indigenous cities and bustling markets that rivaled or surpassed in size those of Europe at the time. This course provides a broad overview of the builders of these civilizations—the peoples of Mesoamerica—focusing on cultures such as the Aztec and Maya, as well as their predecessors and their contemporary descendants. It is designed to provide students with a deeper understanding and appreciation of indigenous cultures of Pre-Columbian and colonial period Mesoamerica. Topics include the diversity of Mesoamerican peoples and ethnolinguistic groups; origin of food production and foodways; the rise of cities and urbanism; cosmovision and religious traditions; how individuals of these diverse cultures were nested into groups defined by gender, lifecycle, ethnicity, city-state, and empire; the resilience of Native lifeways through the Conquest and Colonial periods; and the deep entanglements between the US and Mesoamerica, historically and in the present.
PHILLIPS ACADEMY ANDOVER
Summer Session Lower School Institute
"DIG THIS!" ARCHAEOLOGICAL FIELD SCHOOL
Summer 2018; 2019
Human beings have been using, reusing, breaking, and disposing of their things for thousands, even millions of years! We have been losing our stuff, breaking our stuff, giving our stuff away, and throwing our stuff away for as long as we have ever used material things. Archaeology is the science and art of finding and studying the things that we humans have used and ultimately lost or discarded in the past. Archaeology is one of the best tools we have for solving some of the great mysteries of how people lived a long time ago. In this class, we will learn how archaeologists work and see what they have discovered about our human ancestors from millions of years ago to about a hundred years ago. We will have a lot of fun with our projects, watch some cool movies and films about archaeology, and, the best part, actually dig in our very own excavation right here at Andover. You won’t just learn ABOUT archaeology, you will learn to BE an archeologist!
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
ANTHROPOLOGY 3410: ETHNOGRAPHIC FIELD METHODS
This course explores ethnographic field methods that are the cornerstone of the discipline (such as participant observation and immersive fieldwork) and introduces newer methods that have generated much debate over issues of ethics, legitimacy, and representation. This course will run as a workshop. All students are expected to come up with their own independent research topics, which they will investigate throughout the semester. We will also form working groups of 3 – 4 students to generate ongoing discussion, dialogue, feedback, and critiques for each student project. We will spend Monday sessions discussing readings. Wednesday sessions will be spent discussing your field progress.
I believe strongly in learning (fieldwork) by doing. The fieldwork exercises and the fieldnotes project are ways for you to practice ethnography, and to learn anthropological ways of collecting and analyzing data in context.
ANTHROPOLOGY 4500: LATIN AMERICA IN ETHNOGRAPHIC PERSPECTIVE
Summer 2016; Spring 2018; Summer 2019
More than an introduction, this course seeks to showcase the rich cultural diversity of Latin America, an area with many languages, cultures, and religions that are both familiar and strange. We’ll examine complex issues of indigeneity, race, human rights, heritage, and politics in contemporary Latin America and the Spanish Caribbean from the perspective of ethnography, history, and archaeology. Here your ability to understand Latin America will be evaluated on your ability to synthesize, summarize, critically assess, and compare the information in the assigned media.
Department of Anthropology
ANTHROPOLOGY 60A: ARCHAEOLOGICAL METHODS
As a practicum, Anthropology 60a will involve readings and lectures – but the core of the class is experiential, hands-on learning. You will “do” archaeology. With that in mind, this course is designed as an introduction and assumes no prior fieldwork or knowledge of the subject matter. Readings, class discussion, and lectures will prepare students to practice anthropology and critically think about the stories material remains tell us about past peoples and their lives. As part of this course, you and your team will have the opportunity to interpret and contextualize the archaeological materials you recover; as well as compile and present original research that documents your finds, synthesizes the knowledge you gained from your fieldwork, and offers recommendations for future activity at the site.
ANTHROPOLOGY 60B: ARCHAEOLOGICAL ANALYSIS
This course is an introduction to archaeological analysis. Meeting weekly in the Anthropology Laboratory, we will explore methodological issues from artifact recovery to eventual publication, conservation, and storage, as well as cultural heritage debates such as NAGPRA and questions about who narrates and owns the past. Emphasis will be placed on lab-based analysis, documentation, and organization of various types of artifacts (including ceramics, glass, lithics, metal, and various organics like wood and fibers), as well as the social and political implications of such analyses. We will consider the various techniques and theoretical approaches employed by archaeologists to interpret the material record, as well as how this material record is recorded. The class will discuss the broader ethics and regulations in archaeology and museum studies, exploring the many ethical quandaries that modern archaeologists must consider today.
WORKSHOPS AND SECTIONS
Independent courses taught with Non-Profits and at Universities as a Teaching Fellow
Primary Source, A Non-Profit Advancing Global and Cultural Learning in Schools
Teaching Ancient Mesoamerica: A Workshop for Primary School Educators (2020)
How did Ancient Civilizations Manage Social Difference? (2018)
Worlds of the Ancient Maya: An Introduction for Primary School Educators (2018)
Brandeis University, Department of Anthropology:
The Ancient Maya (ANTH168a, 2014)
Human Origins (ANTH5a, 2011 - 2016)
Power and Violence (ANTH156a, 2014)
Brandeis University, Department of Legal Studies
Science on Trial (LGLS 138b, 2018)
Civil Rights and Civil Liberties: Legislative Frameworks (LGLS 118a, 2019)