The Class

From Atlantis to prehistoric extra terrestrials. From the mummy’s curse to psychic archaeology. The public imagination is filled with images of archaeology that range from the incredibly absurd to the downright disturbing. The purpose of ANP364: Pseudoarchaeology is to survey and explore the way  these ideas emerge and evolve in popular culture and public consciousness. More importantly, the class will explore why these ideas emerge and take root in popular culture and public consciousness.  In many ways, the underlying goal of this class is not only to deconstruct archaeological hoaxes and pseudo mysteries, but to explore how we can truly understand the past through science and rational inquiry.


This class adheres to the philosophy of open courseware and open access.  As such, all course materials are open and accessible to the public.  This includes all assignments (blog entries/responses, digital assignments.).  As such, students should think of themselves as not just taking a class, but as contributing to the pool of scholarship on pseudoarchaeology.  This also means that students need to think about how you want to license your work (aka. how you would like other people to be able to use your work).

When students post to the course website, they will be able to choose a specific Creative Commons license.  Each license (there are 6 to choose from) gives the author a simple, standardized way to grant copyright permissions to their creative work.

Be sure to review the Creative Commons licenses – think about which one works best for you.

It is very important to note any student (at any time during the semester) can opt not to have their class materials (blog posts, research article, etc.) be open access.  Just talk to Ethan, and he’ll make it happen.  Its equally important to note that any student who chooses to do this will not be penalized at all.


We won’t be using D2L that much during class.  All of your assignments are done online, so there is nothing to “hand in” on D2L.  Also, all of the course announcements & discussions that you might normally find on D2L happen on the course blog — which is why you will always need to keep you eye on the blog (you might want to think about subscribing to the course RSS feed).  The only real thing that we’ll be using D2L for is the class gradebook.  You’ll be able to use it to see your grades (if you see something amiss with your grades, be sure to email Ethan ASAP)


Blogs & blogging is a big part of this class.  Students are going to be using a blog (this site, in fact) to do some of your class assignments (check out the Assignments section of the site for more info on that).  Also, the course blog is going to be the primary way how your professor a will be communicating with you (outside of class).  All class announcements, info, etc. will be posted on the blog.  This means you’ll always need to keep your eye on the blog.


This class (casually) takes advantage of Twitter to to extend the class conversation beyond the walls of the classroom and to connect students with each other (as well as the professor).  All you need to do is go to, sign up for an account (if you don’t already have one), and then follow (Ethan – your professor). The class will be using the #anp364fs15 hashtag.


There is no required textbook for this class.  Instead, electronic readings (downloadable PDFs, websites, etc) will be assigned throughout the semester. Many of the online readings will be available through the MSU Library Electronic Resources System. Refer to the Schedule for reading assignments.

It is extremely important to remember that all readings are mandatory for the class, and must be completed. Reading assignments will be included on the semester exams.


Due dates are not negotiable. All assignments are to be submitted on their specific due date (refer to weekly schedule for exact due dates) If you know ahead of time that you are going to be away from a computer with an assignment is due, it is your responsibility to submit it before the due date if you don’t want to be penalized.

Only under extreme (and documented) circumstances will students be allowed to submit assignments after the due date without being penalized. Students who do not submit any of their assignments will be docked 15% for each 24 hour period for which it is late.


Students seeking a grief absence should be directed to the Grief Absence Request Form found on the RO home page ( under ‘Student Services – Grief Absence Request Form’ OR to StuInfo ( under ‘Academics – Enrollment Information and Services – Grief Absence Request Form.’ Students will be asked to supply information on the nature of the loss, the date they became aware, and the expected period of absence. Once completed, the information is routed to the Assoc. Dean of the student’s college and must be received prior to the student leaving campus. The student will receive a confidential message confirming the submission and reminding them that supporting documentation must be provided and who to send it to. In addition, the appropriate dean’s office will be notified that a request has been submitted. Once the appropriate administrator has either approved or denied the request, the student will again receive a confidential message notifying them of the decision of the dean’s office. If approved, instructors will be notified by the appropriate dean’s office of the period of absence. Instructors are expected to arrange for students to make up the missed work.


In accordance with Michigan State University’s policies on “Protection of Scholarship and Grades” and “Integrity of Scholarship and Grades,” students are expected to honor principles of truth and honesty in their academic work. Academic integrity means, amongst other things, not plagiarizing. Plagiarism includes submitting someone else’s work (words, ideas, etc.) as their own now will the knowingly permit another student to copy and submit their work. Additional discussion of academic integrity is available on the Ombudsman’s website:


Article 2.3.5 of the Academic Freedom Report (AFR) for students at Michigan State University states: “The student’s behavior in the classroom shall be conducive to the teaching and learning process for all concerned.” Article 2.3.10 of the AFR states that “The student has a right to scholarly relationships with faculty based on mutual trust and civility.” General Student Regulation 5.02 states: “No student shall . . . interfere with the functions and services of the University (for example, but not limited to, classes . . .) such that the function or service is obstructed or disrupted.

Students whose conduct adversely affects the learning environment in this classroom may be subject to disciplinary action through the Student Faculty Judiciary process.”


Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services and activities. Requests for accommodations by persons with disabilities may be made by contacting the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities at 517-884-RCPD or on the web at Once your eligibility for an accommodation has been determined, you will be issued a verified individual services accommodation (“VISA”) form. Please present this form to me at the start of the term and/or two weeks prior to the accommodation date (test, project, etc). Requests received after this date will be honored whenever possible.

Leave a Reply