Archaeology is undoubtedly most famous for its exploration and discovery of “wonderful things” from the deep past in “exotic” places: Tutankhamun’s tomb! Lost Maya cities! Archaeologists are also keen sift through and ask questions of ancient garbage: What do these tools at Stonehenge suggest about Neolithic and Bronze Age social networks? These discoveries and questions are important for understanding where we came from. However, more and more archaeologists are turning their attention, their theory, and their methods to the recent past and contemporary worlds. This course explores a body of work that advances these efforts in American urban places and considers debates that make the more recent American urban world its object. The course then asks students to assess and evaluate various aspects of American urban life through exposure to a broad range of archaeological case studies.