Stone Age to Cyber Age

Cameron Gokee
Day/Time Taught: 
MWF 1:00 – 1:50
Course Number: 

This course introduces some of the ways in which archaeologists and social anthropologists think about culture and society through the material objects that people make, use, display, discard, and recycle. We will begin by looking at the use of technology today by people in different cultures and social settings as they provide themselves with food and shelter, share and manipulate ideas, and create communities both local and global. We will then explore how these key themes—economy, politics, identity, and ideology—run through the complex relations between technology and human thought and society over the past two million years. Focusing on several technologies well-known to archaeologists such as stone tools, clothing, pottery, and architecture, we will ask how and what do artifacts, as remnants of past technology, tell us about the social lives of the diverse people who invented, shared, used, and abandoned them?

Instructor Bio: 

Cameron Gokee (PhD, University of Michigan) is an anthropological archaeologist interested in how societies past and present engage with the material world—including tools, cultural media, buildings, and landscapes. Over the past decade, he has worked at a number of archaeological sites in West Africa to study medieval states, especially the Empire of Mali, and the impacts of globalization on rural villages over the past two thousand years. He also collaborates on a project that explores the “contemporary archaeology” of material culture and camp sites made and used by undocumented migrants today crossing from Mexico into southern Arizona. In his First Year Seminar courses, Cameron strives to bring the excitement of “the field” to campus through inquiry-based and experiential learning that gets students first asking critical questions about relations among people, things, and places, and then moving to address these questions through hands-on activities, field trips, and in-class deba

Contact FYS

The First Year Seminar is part of the General Education Program located in Anne Belk Hall, Room 250.

Phone: 828-262-2028

Our mailing address:
First Year Seminar
ASU Box 32065
Appalachian State University
Boone, NC 28608

Director of First Year Seminar:
Rick Klima

QEP Global Learning