Archaeological Pedagogy, Gentrification and the City: Community-Engaged Scholarship in San Francisco

Author(s): Kim Christensen

Year: 2017


The Bay Area, and San Francisco in particular, is experiencing rapid gentrification due to the influx of highly-paid workers employed by the tech economy centered in Silicon Valley. As the cost of living increases, long-time residents are being actively pushed out, and various community organizations have sprung up in response to highlight and address these issues of gentrification, displacement, and homelessness. In this paper, I explore the process and results of partnering with community groups including The Anti-Eviction Mapping Project during the fall of 2016 as part of teaching an introductory archaeology class for the UC Berkeley/UC Extension San Francisco Fall Program for Freshmen and the American Cultures Engaged Scholarship (ACES) program. While archaeological methods and interpretations can bring understanding to change over time, persistence, and historical context, how in particular can we contribute meaningful and useful information to community partners fighting contemporary displacement? How can an engaged pedagogy contribute to both student learning and social justice? While this is only the beginning of a longer-term research program, this paper appraises the benefits, pitfalls, and paths forward for engaging archaeological knowledge with teaching and learning and pressing local contemporary issues.

Cite this Record

Archaeological Pedagogy, Gentrification and the City: Community-Engaged Scholarship in San Francisco. Kim Christensen. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429754)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -125.464; min lat: 32.101 ; max long: -114.214; max lat: 42.033 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16235