Institute of Archaeology


Archaeologies of the Modern World

This course introduces students to the key themes and theoretical concepts of the archaeological study of the modern world.

The course takes a world archaeological perspective on themes such as climate change, the Anthropocene, globalisation and capitalism to encourage archaeological thinking on matters of contemporary social, environmental, economic and political concern.

Aims and Objectives of the course

This course aims to introduce students to the fundamental concepts, methods and most notable results of archaeological studies of the modern world, drawing on a wide corpus of literature and case studies from around the world. The combination of theoretical and practical approaches will provide a good grounding in the subject for students interested in historical archaeology, material culture studies, human geography and cognate subjects. 

Learning Outcomes

  • Critical appreciation of the material and social aspects of the modern world, and the factors and forces that affect them.
  • Appreciation of the material and social dynamics of processes such as climate change, migration, industrialization and deindustrialization.
  • Appreciation of the unique theoretical and methodological elements of archaeological research focusing on the modern world, and the history and development of these practices
  • Ability to carry out independent research on the material cultures of the modern world, including critical recognition of the impacts and contexts of such work.

Teaching Methods

This course will be taught through seminar discussions based on pre-circulated readings of relevant and up-to-date theoretical and applied research texts. 

A short review of an article or book chapter to be submitted in week 5 of course, with formative feedback delivered through Moodle. This does not form part of the formal assessment. 

Course information

  • Code: ARCL0180 (formerly ARCLG355)
  • Credits: 15
  • Coordinator: Gabriel Moshenska 
  • Prerequisite: This course does not have a prerequisite.
  • Handbook: open

For registered students

  • Moodle page: open
  • Reading list:


  • Not Running in 2019/20