This post is for Hamline students interested in registering for my fall class ANTH 3130: Excavating Hamline History.
This class is a unique opportunity to participate both on an archaeological excavation and in an interdisciplinary and collaborative project. It’s an interdisciplinary class because of the students. Each of you is asked to contribute to the overall project goals based on either your major studies or other areas of interest and expertise that you have. Your contribution may be in a research area – where you apply your research skills to questions about the site, or the artifacts, or the historical background. The first time I taught this course we excavated Hamline University’s original Hall of Science, a three story brick building constructed in 1887. I had a chemistry major that analyzed the chemical composition of the building’s bricks, a history major that collected oral history accounts from alumni and faculty, an economics major that analyzed 125 year-old bills and receipts from the building’s construction, and an archaeology student who analyzed the distribution of glass artifacts recovered in our excavations.
Other students contributed by presenting and interpreting our project in various media including designing a web site, filming a video, writing a play, printing posters, and putting together an exhibit. We also had an education major that brought over Hancock 6th graders so they could experience archaeology first hand. Our philosophy major examined the ethics of archaeology. And our environmental studies major looked at the intersection of environmental protection and cultural resource management laws.
The point is, you can pursue just about any idea you want. What you need is an ability to collaborate on other people’s projects and an enthusiasm for interdisciplinary archaeology. If this sounds interesting then write a brief comment to this post outlining what ways you could contribute to this fall’s class. Also tell me a little bit about yourself (including your major and year). Finally, I would like to know why you are interested in joining the class and what you hope to gain from your participation. You may want to look at my old blog for posts tagged as “Hamline History” to get a better idea of what this class is all about.
If you take this class be prepared for a challenge, some fun, and a non-traditional educational experience.