Archaeology of Colonialism

Course Number: 
Kent Lightfoot

The purpose of this seminar is to consider the theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches employed in the study of the archaeology of colonialism. The course will consider some of the major perspectives and dimensions of colonialism that are being considered in archaeological research. We will examine some of the earlier approaches employed in colonialism research, such as acculturation research and direct historic approaches, which will be followed by other approaches that focus on world systems perspectives; information systems; frontiers; structure, agency and the event; creolization; cultural pluralism and hybridization; consumption and other material culture studies; and practice-oriented approaches. We will also consider some of the issues involved in using multiple lines of evidence. In the final part of the course, seminar participants will present oral versions of their research papers.

Wheeler Hall 201
T 10-12

Weekly reading assignments on the above topics will provide the baseline for seminar discussions. All students are expected to read assigned articles and to participate in seminar discussions. Grades will be based on seminar participation, oral paper presentation, and a research paper. The last two weeks are scheduled for oral presentations of research papers. The research paper will focus on one or more research issues involving colonialism from some region of the globe or a specific study area (hopefully pertaining to your dissertation). The area and theoretical issues are open. You may also use this opportunity to write a field statement in the archaeology of colonialism. The paper should be typed, double spaced, and 20 to 30 pages in length. You will need to identify your research issues, study area(s), methodological approaches, and data base. Of course, you may choose to examine critically a particular theoretical/methodological approach in some detail that is not linked to a particular region of the world.


Consent of instructor.