Teaching With and For the Recent Past: Applying Contemporary Archaeology Pedagogically

Author(s): Rebecca S Graff

Year: 2015


From abandoned council flats to the World Trade Center site, scholars are attempting to understand the material remains of the very recent past by using the methodology of archaeological "excavation." These archaeologies of the contemporary past make familiar items unfamiliar as they explore material residues of late capitalist, post-industrial societies and beyond, participating in what Holtorf calls the merging of "archaeology in the modern world with the archaeology of the modern world." The classroom is a key interface between archaeology as it is theorized and practiced and as it is perceived by society, and it is common pedagogical practice to assign a version of Rathje’s "Le Projet du Garbàge" to introductory archaeology students before delving into more traditional case studies. Drawing from current coursework and research in the Chicago area, this paper asks how a more intentional rather than incidental focus on contemporary archaeology might serve to educate future publics.

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Teaching With and For the Recent Past: Applying Contemporary Archaeology Pedagogically. Rebecca S Graff. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 433743)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 303