MODULE DESCRIPTION 2017-2018


SPRING SEMESTER 20 CREDITS



AAP220 ARCHAEOLOGY AND TEXT



CO-ORDINATOR: HUGH WILLMOTT
OTHER TUTORS:


MODULE OUTLINE

This module will critically examine the relationship between History and Archaeology by re-evaluating the role of artefacts and documents in the investigation of the historical past. By moving beyond the tendency to treat artefacts and documents simply as sources of information about the past, the course will examine the ways both may have operated as technologies, which by their application defined the possibilities of different forms of human life. Central to this study would be a concern with the ways forms of power operated through text, and the way texts transformed the way we think and act.


BROAD ACADEMIC AIMS AND PRINCIPLES OF THE UNIT

• introduce students to the history of the relationship between Archaeology and History;
• provide students with an introduction to the variety of forms taken by writing from origins to early modernity;
• demonstrate, through the use of case studies, the ways in which writing functioned both as a technology of power, as a means of liberation, and as an agent of transformation;
• make students aware of the transformations in the way in which texts and material culture have been drawn upon in the writing of history;
• provide students with opportunities to engage in practical work relating to the making/interpretation of texts.


MEASUREABLE LEARNING OUTCOMES

By the end of this module students should be able to demonstrate:
• understanding of the differences between the analysis of documentary evidence as reportage on historical conditions and the operation of written technologies as active in the constitution of those social conditions;
• understanding of the treatment of textual material as a form of material culture
• appreciation of the role of texts and material culture in the writing of history
• understanding of the role of texts in the transformation of humanity
• understanding of changes in perceptions of the power of texts over time
• the ability to think more critically about the role of writing in the ancient as well as in the modern world


PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT SKILLS ACQUIRED

Working with ideas - ability to think creatively, generate ideas in both alone and in group settings, explore new ideas and ways of doing things
Researching - ability to use the internet, library, and interaction with others to gain relevant information. Ability to assimilate ideas, make connections and relate relevance of research findings to practice
Working with different data-sets - ability to use the difference in data-sets to generate significant insights
Data collection and analysis - ability to acquire and analyse (using appropriate techniques and methods) relevant data and generate relevant arguments. Recognise the strengths/limitations of methods/techniques
Team working - ability to contribute effectively to group work, organise others, and effective use of communication skills
Written Communication Skills - communicating with clarity and explaining a complex subject clearly to be understood by others
Presentation Skills - communicating with clarity and delivering the conclusions of team-work


STUDENT ATTENDANCE AND INDEPENDENT STUDY

Type Hours
Lectures 17
Seminars 3
Practical 2
Independent Study (including preparation for assessments) 178


ASSESSMENT

Method % of marks Length / words
Mid Term Assignment 20% 1000
End of Term Assignment 40% 2000
Examinations 40% 1.5 hrs


EXAMPLE LECTURE/SEMINAR TITLES

OBJECTS & TEXTS:

  • ARCHAEOLOGY AND HISTORY - WHY DO WE BELIEVE THE TEXTS?
  • THE LITERACY THESIS - AND BEYOND
  • OBJECTS, TEXTS.... AND AGENCY

THE EFFECTS OF TEXTS:

  • WRITING ON THE BRAIN
  • OBJECTS, TEXTS…AND MAGIC
  • THE PRACTICES OF WRITING; OBJECTS, TEXTS…AND SCIENCE

WRITING IN HISTORY:

  • THE BEGINNING OF WRITING ... AND THE ALPHABET
  • TEXTS AND THE ROMAN EMPIRE
  • IMAGE AND TEXT IN THE MIDDLE AGES
  • WRITING AND (EARLY) MODERNITY