School of Social Sciences Brown Bag Lecture Series ~ Alexis Boutin, Anthropology

Join us for another School of Social Sciences Brown Bag lecture on Monday, October 25th at 12 pm with Alexis Boutin, Professor of Anthropology, who will be discussing her recent research, Making Sense of the COVID-19 Pandemic: How can General Education Archeology Curriculum Help?

Archaeology, like many disciplines that study the past, often justifies its existence by invoking the trope that we must learn about the past in order to create a better future. The COVID-19 pandemic is itself an event that will enter the historical record. Thus, the universality of this public health crisis is a unique opportunity to assess the relevance of university-level archaeology curricula. During Fall 2020 and Spring 2021, we studied an SSU upper division general education course on the archaeology of complex societies, which focuses on the emergence of urban, state-based societies and the different forms in which complex social institutions (e.g., class systems, trade and exchange, colonialism) have appeared temporally and regionally, as well as how they function in our 21st century American society. Students read an article about archaeological approaches to pandemics, then reflected on how it connects to what they learned in the course and to their own experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. The responses were subjected to content analysis through thematic coding, utilizing both deductive and inductive approaches. General education courses on the archaeology of complex societies are offered in many Anthropology departments, so we anticipate that the findings of this project will be met with widespread interest.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the fall 2021 Brown Bag Series will take place via Zoom. Please join us:

The School of Social Sciences Brown Bag Series is always free, open to faculty, staff, students, and the public, and provides a congenial interdisciplinary forum for the discussion of recent research by School of Social Sciences faculty. 

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