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    UMass Amherst Summer Pre-College: Vampires & Revenants: the Archaeology of the Undead

    UMass Amherst Summer Pre-College: Vampires & Revenants: the Archaeology of the Undead


    • Listing Type: Summer Programs
    • Program Delivery: Online
    • Provided By: College
    • Session Start: July
    • Session Length: One Week
    • Entering Grade: 10th, 11th, 12th
    • Gender: Coed
    • Category: Academic
    • Sub-Categories: Forensic Science, STEM, Anthropology
    • Selective: No
    • Ages: 14, 15, 16, 17, 18
    • Minimum Cost: $500 - $1,499
    • Credit Awarded: Yes
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    Learn about Summer 2022 Pre-College opportunities at UMass Amherst. Our residential and online pre-college programs are designed to give you a preview of the UMass student experience, including college-level academics and being part of a learning community of high school students from all across the U.S. and the world. Our programs feature faculty-led courses, state-of-the-art facilities, and the #1 campus dining in the U.S., as ranked by the Princeton Review.


    The world is divided between the living and the dead, but how strong are the boundaries between them? And more importantly, what happens when those boundaries are breached? Different myths and legends exist around the world for vampires and revenants, the dead that rise from their graves, but how are these stories translated into material culture? This class will explore the archaeology of the undead across time and space, drawing connections between anthropologies of life, death, grief, and the material trappings of supernatural phenomena.

    The course begins with a discussion of anthropology and the function of archaeology within this humanistic science. We will then consider the vampire in contemporary popular culture, before diving into the past to untangle myth from history.

    After completing this course, students will understand how and why archaeologists study the living, the dead and the undead. They will be able to talk about research in archaeology and anthropology and critically evaluate the role that vampires and revenants play in world cultures and social organization.

    Course activities will include media and ethnographic text analysis, a self-directed field expedition to document cemetery iconography, and the creation of fictive osteobiographies, a new and groundbreaking anthropological approach to bioarchaeological storytelling.

    Schedule: Live Zoom sessions M/T/Th/F 1:00-3:00pm (EST); Wednesday will be asynchronous with a trip to your local cemetery. Additional asynchronous work may be assigned.

    Online courses will be delivered through live meetings and will include offline assignment and projects. Courses meet synchronously 3 - 5 times per week primarily using Zoom, but may use other communication tools. Courses will be managed through UMass Amherst's Moodle or Blackboard platforms.