Centering the Margins: Knowledge Production in the Introductory Archaeology Course
Teaching introductory archaeology courses in US higher education typically falls short in two important ways: the courses do not represent the full picture of who contributes to reconstructing the past and do not portray the contemporary and future relevance of the archaeological past. In this paper, we use anti-colonial and decolonial theories to explain the urgency of revising the introductory archaeology curriculum for promoting equity in the discipline and beyond. We detail the pedagogical
... il the pedagogical theories we employed in revising an introductory archaeology course at a small liberal arts college in the US and the specific changes we made to course structure, content, and teaching strategies. To examine the impacts on enrolled students and on who chose to enroll in the revised archaeology curriculum, we analyze student reflection essays and enrollment demographics. We find that students developed more complex understandings of the benefits and harms of archaeological knowledge production and could articulate how to address archaeology's inequities. We also found that enrollment in archaeology courses at the college shifted to include greater proportions of students of color. These results support the notion that introductory archaeology courses should be substantially and continually revised.