Melissa Rosario (Visiting Assistant Professor)
Resisting Racism, Extraction, and Dispossession in the Americas
Crosslisting: LAST 217
In this course, we examine land based social movements as responses to the legacies of empire and colonialism. We begin with an overview of the ideologies of economic and political “progress” that justified the dispossession of indigenous and racialized groups in the Americas. Then we will turn away from the logic of imperial domination to consider alternative forms of knowledge and practice that posit new relationships between nature and society. Of special focus will be a range of ethnographies of land-based movements including the Zapatistas, Garifuna, and MST (Movimento Sem Terra) as well as feminist, indigenous, and anti-racist theories informed by the forms of resistance and decolonization that we have studied.
Sarah Newman (Visiting Assistant Professor)
Crosslisting: ARCP 112
Every day, we make conscious and unconscious decisions that define what we consider clean or dirty, good or bad, valuable or expendable. As the familiar saying goes, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” At an individual and societal level, our ways of wasting affect both the world we inhabit and our place within it. This course draws on readings in archaeology, anthropology, history, psychology, material culture studies, and environmental science to explore one of humanity’s most prodigious products and greatest legacies: trash. We will study conceptions of waste from different times, places, and perspectives, as well as the impact of refuse on our everyday behavior, systems of ethics and meaning, and interactions with the environment.
The Pre-Columbian World: 100 Objects
Crosslisting: ARCP 227, ARHA 227
From cities of gold and frightful gods to apocalyptic calendars and ritual human sacrifice, the ancient Americas are both sensational and sensationalized. This course delves deeper into the Pre-Columbian world by examining 100 objects made and left behind by indigenous Americans. We will explore cultures and histories in North, Central, and South America from the peopling of the New World over 10,000 years ago to the arrival of Europeans at the end of the fifteenth century. Organizational themes include: the domestication of plants and animals, notions of rulership and authority, modes of communication, and religious ideologies.