This fun course focuses on the rise and fall of the ancient civilizations of Latin America. The two major goals are to expose undergraduates to an anthropological perspective and to a comparative perspective. The geographic focus is on two key regions:(1) South America (Peru and Bolivia); and (2) Mesoamerica (Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras). The South American societies to be studied include the Chavin, Moche, Chimu, Wari, Tiwanaku, and Inca. The Mesoamerican societies to be studied include the Olmec, Zapotec, Maya, and Aztec.
What is the story behind our food? How has the way our food is grown and raised changed? This class explores the origins of the food we eat from the earliest farmers to the local food movement. We will discuss the history of food production and contemporary issues facing local food producers from an anthropological perspective.Topics include: heirloom seeds and heritage animals, the relationship between food producers and consumers, and knowledge sharing among local food producers. Students will learn from archaeological and historical case studies, as well as the stories of contemporary farmers.
Archaeology is the only discipline that studies change in human lifeways over very long periods of time, usually hundreds or thousands of years. This course is designed to introduce students to early complex societies, progressing from the origins of agriculture through the ancient states and empires in the Old and New Worlds. We will be covering spectacular archaeological sites and discoveries such as Tutankhamen’s tomb and Machu Picchu. We will also be covering less-known sites and discoveries such that nevertheless provide important information regarding our development as a species and the deep cultural histories of different parts of the world. Through course lectures, readings, and assignments, students will gain a better understanding of what factors contributed to social changes in the past, and be able to more successfully reflect on the social issues of the present and the future.
This course traces the evolution of culture and society in Israel, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, and Iran, from the earliest evidence for humans in the region (over 1,000,000 years ago) until the rise of Mesopotamian civilization (around 2500 B.C.) Topics include the origins of agriculture and animal domestication, the establishment of village and town life, and the rise of cities in the Tigris-Euphrates lowlands.
In Museum Anthropology, we explore the complex and often contested role that anthropologists working in museums play in representing, researching, and collecting material culture from Indigenous communities. We trace the history of anthropology museums from colonial collecting institutions to active collaborators with communities from which museum collections originated. Students learn about contemporary issues of representation, repatriation, information sharing, and collaboration through discussions of case studies, museum visits, and a final project creating a digital catalog of objects from the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology ethnographic collections.
Independent reading and research under the direction of a faculty member. Ordinarily available only to students with background in anthropology.