The University of Chicago Course Catalog

The University of Chicago Course Catalog

ANTH 20004. Trash: An Introduction to Archaeological Thought.

Archaeology is the study of human experience through its material traces. These traces enter into the archaeological record through acts of discard and abandonment – they are a form of trash. This course treats archaeology not as a historical discipline but as a methodological practice nested within the philosophical inquiry that is anthropology. … We will also examine contemporary human practices of waste, recycling, and demolition that provide insights into behavior, beliefs, and the larger structural conditions of life.

Instructor(s): S. Dawdy

To move from big questions and compelling projects to full-blown unit plans and syllabi, we often begin by studying university course catalogs. The University of Chicago is especially strong, and we’ve included a selection of our favorites in a PDF here. These courses are situated in an academic discipline, but are connected to contemporary questions and present many opportunities for doing “real-world” work. What would it look like to teach a course on pirates, utopias or plagues? How can we connect academic inquiry to the real questions we have about how the world works?

After using the course catalog to identify big ideas, we begin researching syllabi on specific topics – like cartography – to start a collection of readings and resources that would be helpful in designing our own class.

The University of Chicago class catalog:

A PDF of selected University of Chicago course descriptions we find especially inspiring:

The Open Syllabus Explorer: