Vieria joins Scott Wolter in taking me up on my open offer to "fringe" researchers to participate in my class.
I'm still working on refining the syllabus. Things seem to be settling in nicely for covering three main topics this time around: giants, Ice Age civilization (i.e., the existence of a progenitor civilization or "mother culture"), and pre-Columbian transoceanic contact between the New World and the Old World. I've got Vieira penciled in for September (the month of giants) and Wolter for November. My draft syllabus has Fingerprints of the Gods as the book we'll be reading and critiquing (and blogging about) for the section of the class dealing with Ice Age civilization, but I think I'd like to change that up and go with a book that hasn't yet been thoroughly examined with a critical eye. A switch will be even more likely if I can find a book that fits the bill written by an author willing to participate in the class. Ideas? Let me know.
To undergraduates at South Carolina: this is going to be a good one! Although this is listed as an archaeology course (because it deals with evidence about what happened in the past), it is weighted heavily as an exercise in critical thinking and communication. We're going to use historic, anthropological, and scientific frameworks to assess and evaluate a variety of claims about the past that are not part of mainstream thinking. Where did these ideas and claims come from? What kind of evidence could prove a given claim to be false? How are the claims connected to social, political, and financial agendas? Is there is a worldwide conspiracy among academics to suppress knowledge about what really happened in the past? What can independently be shown to be wrong and what cannot? We will engage with and evaluate “fringe” claims about the past through readings, discussions, online research and writing, and guest appearances. Forbidden Archaeology (ANTH 291) will meet MWF at 9:40-10:30. I'll post the syllabus when I get it completed.