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Featured Anthropology Courses

Fall 2021

ANTHRCUL 101, Introduction to Anthropology
Lec 001, MWF 11-12pm
Lec 002, TuTh 10:00 - 11:30am
In Person

This course introduces students to anthropology and its four subdisciplines (archaeological, biological, cultural, and linguistic anthropology), providing a glimpse of the field’s history, present status, and importance. We’ll look at the con-cepts and methods that typify the discipline and frame anthropology’s comprehensive, holistic worldview. The course looks especially at cultural and ethnic diversity, and the interactions leading to structures of dominance, inequality, and resistance. It teaches students ways of learning and thinking about the world’s many designs for living in time and space. We’ll cover topics like the nature of culture, race and ethnicity; hu-man genetics, biological evolution, and the fossil record; primate (monkey and ape) behavior; the emergence of agriculture, cities, and states; language and culture; systems of marriage, kinship, and family; sex-gender divisions; economics, politics, and religion in global perspective; theories of development, power and social change; technoscience and emerging media; world systems, global assemblages, and contemporary cultural predicaments. Fulfills SS & RE requirements.

Maureen Devlin TTh11:30-1pm Online, Lab Required
This course answers (to the current degreepos-sible) a fundamental question: how didhumans evolve? Over four units, you willlearn about how natural selection and themechanics of ge-netic inheritance work;what we know about the behavior andbiology of our closest living relatives,monkeys and apes; what the fossil recordtells us about where (and who!) we camefrom; and finally, the biological bases of ourspecies’ current behavior and health. Noprerequisites are necessary. This course isappropriate for students with a wide varietyof science backgrounds, including thosewho have little or no science training.

Fulfills BS and Natural Science requirements.

Melissa Burch, TTh 1-2:30pm, In Person
We live in a society that relies heavily on policing, surveillance, imprisonment, and other methods of control to address a range of social, political, and economic problems. This reliance has devastating impacts for those directly targeted, as well as their families and communities and plays a major role in reproducing inequal-ities based on race, gender, and social position. Using the United States as a primary case study, this course draws from anthropology’s best contributions to the topic, as well as a range of critical theoretical perspectives in order to closely examine the processes, systems, and institutions through which certain groups of people come to be seen as criminal, criminalized and punished. Simultaneously, the course charts and analyzes the possibilities and politics of change. Fulfills SS and RE requirements.

Raven Garvey, TuTh 10 - 11:30AM In Person
Cutting-edge science meets ancient artifacts as archaeologists unlock the mysteries of the human past. This course uses examples from around the world to demonstrate how we study “prehistory”—the time before written records, from our early ancestors to the development of major civilizations. We’ll talk about techniques used to collect archaeological data, what these data can and cannot tell us about the past (both of which are sometimes surprising!), and how we interpret what prehistoric lives were like. Sections are designed to explore lecture topics in more detail, and to supplement them with hands-on interactions with artifacts. Fulfills SS requirement. Required course for minor in anthropological archaeology.


Laura MacLatchy MW 10:00-11:30am In Person, Lab Required
Humans are not just bipeds, but natural-born runners, a trait that distinguishes us from our primate relatives. In this class, through studying anatomy and evolution together, you will learn about how and why the human body works the way it does. This course will cover the anatom-ical basis for many human behaviors including running and walking, breathing and talking, and even how our hands can grasp everyday objects.The focus of this course will be on the musculoskeletal anatomy of humans and our closest living and fossil relatives and will also reconstruct the behavior of extinct relatives such as Australopithecus and earlier Homo species. Fulfills BS and Natural Science requirements.

John Kingston TTh 10:00-11:30am In Person
Why and how have humans evolved over the past seven million years? What were the adap-tive forces that our ancestors faced, and how has this shaped who we are today? This course will focus on some of the key evolutionary stages in our species evolution, drawing from fields as diverse as anthropology, evolutionary biology, behavioral ecology, paleontology, geology, climatology, and psychology. We will discuss the impact of changing climate and habitats on humans and our ancestors, and how these changes resulted in shifting foraging strategies, tools, and diet. This course seeks to understand how humans are tied to the Earth’s constantly shifting climates, geography, and ecology. Fulfills BS and Natural Science requirements.

ANTHRCUL374 -  Language and Culture Alaina Lemon, TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM In Person
While languages and cultures have each been described as tight systems of meaningful coherence that reinforce each other, communication in social life is more slippery than that, rife with contradictions and conflicts. People, for instance, may justify hierarchies by referring to linguistic or cultural standards even when doctors or CEOs themselves speak “ungrammatically.” This course surveys research and reflection on language as a part of "culture," drawing on literature in anthropology, linguistics, and related fields. Included are scholars who see culture as primarily cognitive (and relative) ways of ‘knowing’, such as how people conceive of categories like space and time, or how they classify people and things. However, language is no innocent medium, it does not passively disclose facts about a preexisting social, cultural, and cognitive world, but rather helps to actively constitute, even transform our worlds. Fulfills SS requirements.

Brian Stewart, TuTh 1 - 2:30PM In Person
This course explores humanity’s most ancient roots. From the very earliest toolmakers to people physically and behaviorally identical to ourselves, the emergence of human culture is charted using archaeological evidence. After a firm theoretical, chronological, and climatic introduction, we begin in Africa some 3 million years ago when powerful evolutionary forces promoted new ways of living, thinking, and in-teracting. We then track the dynamic biological and behavioral changes that culminated in the emergence of our own species, Homo sapiens, and trace our unprecedented spread to every habitable corner of the Earth. Fulfills SS requirement. Meets minor requirement in anthropological archaeology (choose between ANTHRARC 385 or ANTHRARC 386).