Contemporary archaeology operates within a broad remit: its traditional focus on understanding a deep past is now supplemented by studies of more recent material cultures, and issues of heritage, representation and the politics of the past. All of these dimensions of study, dialogue and practice are conducted within theoretical frameworks that are conditioned by contemporary perspectives on the world. The purpose of this module is to explore the interrelated themes of contemporary archaeological theory and practice, and archaeology’s place in the modern world. It is about the production of archaeological pasts for academic and non-academic audiences, and how such pasts are consumed and contested. Students will gain an understanding of the links between archaeology and anthropology, philosophy, sociology and history (among others), and develop a critical understanding of current issues and debates within archaeology which can then be deployed across other modules and dissertation study.