Graduate Courses

Browse our current semester course offerings.

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Fall 2020 Course Offerings

APY 501SEM: Teaching and Research Resources

Dr. Joyce Sirianni

Pedagogical aspects of instruction, including use of films, laboratories and field experience, bibliographic and archival materials, cross-cultural files and data banks.

APY 521SEM: Language, Culture and Power

Reg. #23783
Online, real time
Real time meeting: Monday 5:20-8:00pm
Dr. Deborah Reed-Danahay

This seminar will introduce you to the field of anthropological linguistics. During the course of the semester we will explore together the ethnography of speaking, sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, gender, and issues in the study of dominant and minority languages. The relationship between language, culture, and power will be a focus. Ethno-linguistic genres including life history and autoethnography will be discussed, and examples from realms of education and politics will be used. Students will participate in class discussion of the material assigned and write response papers. Each member of the class will also prepare an annotated bibliography and make an oral presentation on a topic of their choice.

APY 546SEM: Physical Anthropology Topics

Please note two [2] sections of this course are available during Fall 2020:

Section 1: Comparative Human Life History
Reg. #24080
Tuesday/Thursday 12:45-2:00pm
102 OBrian Hall
Dr. Stephanie Poindexter
Dual-listed with APY 421SEM

To balance the demands of living in ecologically variable environments, humans have evolved a collection of traits to minimize their risk of mortality and to maximize their ability to acquire food. Modern human life-history traits gradually appeared throughout our evolutionary history. In this course, we will look to our closest cousins to understand how human life-history traits evolved. To build a strong base in life-history theory, students will learn about each human life stage, including birth, infancy, childhood, juvenility, adolescents, adulthood, and old age. Topics in human life history evolution provide a unique perspective on human development, birth, and the physical measures used to characterize global human health.

Section 2: Paleopathology
Reg. #21045
Online, real time
Real time meeting: Tuesday 3:55-6:35pm
Dr. Joyce Sirianni
Dual-listed with APY 420SEM

This seminar will address the topic of Human Paleopathology, i.e. the study of disease in ancient populations. After a brief introduction to the history of paleopathology, and to what constitutes pathology vs. pseudopathology, students will learn the distinctive features of various infectious diseases which effect bone, skeletal trauma, and dental disease.

APY 593SEM: Topic - Anthropology of Policy

Reg. #21052
Online, real time
Real time meeting: Monday 9:10am-11:50pm
Dr. Vasiliki Neofotistos

The basic premise of this course is that policy is a legitimate object of scholarly analysis. The course is thus concerned with the study of policy as a social, political, and cultural artifact and organizing principle of modern-day societies. We will investigate some of the underlying assumptions and beliefs that shape and guide policy formulation and debate. We will focus on issues at the heart of anthropological inquiry, such as power, institutions, discourse, and identity, and will explore policy issues and processes pertaining to cultural heritage, natural resources and the environment, health care, immigration and multiculturalism, development, and international conflict resolution and peace-making. We will also examine methodological, theoretical, and ethical considerations involved in studying policy.

APY 614LEC: Hominin Behavior

Reg. #22147
In classroom
Wednesday 4:10-6:50pm
158 Spaulding Quad
Dr. Stephen Lycett

There can be few greater challenges to science than studying the behavior of a long-dead animal. This is especially the case with studying hominin behavior. Yet, this challenge must be met if we are to understand our behavioral origins and heritage. Today, only one species of hominin exists: Homo sapiens. An absence of closely related hominin taxa leaves us with a limited range of potential models that we might look to for inspiration. For instance, do chimpanzees provide clues or should we look to modern hunter-gatherers? Does psychology provide an answer? Do we need to look to evolutionary theory? Can experiments be of assistance in a fundamentally historical sciences? With stone tools and the debris of their manufacture comprising much of our basic primary data, what hope is there for a rigorous science of hominin behavior?

This class is divided into two sections. The first section will provide an introduction to hominin evolution and the behavioral record, which will be useful to those new to the topic. Along the way some of the major questions will be encountered. The aim of the first section is to show something of what is at stake in terms of the importance of these issues for a full understanding of own behavioral heritage; and yet, something of the frustration that accompanies this field will also be demonstrated. The second part of the class attempts to challenge students to arrive at conclusions about how a scientific response to these questions and frustrations may be developed. A series of possible responses are introduced, and you will be challenged to probe the strengths and weaknesses of these various approaches. By the end of the course you will be asked to present your views (with justifications) for how a rigorous and scientific approach to our behavioral evolution may be undertaken.

APY 651SEM: Graduate Survey in Physical Anthropology

Reg. #18191
In class meetings: Wednesday 12:40-3:20pm
158 Spaulding Quad
Dr. Nicholas Holowka

This course is designed to provide a comprehensive introduction to the field of biological anthropology. Here we will review topics such as evolutionary theory, basic genetics, the evolution of the primates, human evolution, modern human diversity, the evolution of cognition and language, human social behavior, and the impacts of health and disease. The course will be taught via a mixture of lectures, class discussions and practical exercises.

APY 652LEC: Graduate Survey in Archaeology

Reg. #14569
Online, real time and recorded
Real time meetings: Tuesday 9:35am-12:15pm
Dr. Timothy Chevral

The four ‘important questions’ usually addressed in anthropological archaeology deal with modern human origins and development, or ‘what makes us human’, the transition from small scale foraging, collecting, and hunting societies to agricultural societies, then the eventual emergence and the institutionalization of more structurally complicated societies, and finally, the beginning and development of ‘civilization’. These notions are important – and what do they even mean – but often largely consider economy and political organization as if they are the only factors that determine the human condition. There are other complimentary issues to think about as well: the human relationship with the physical world of nature, places, and ‘things’, the supernatural and ideological world, the interpersonal and intergroup relationships of people to each other, near and distant, and the kind of social and natural forces that drive stasis or change through time.

This means that we will examine the development of unique ways of life in select parts of the Old World, think about them comparatively, and at the same time fit them into some basic current conceptual and theoretical discussions within archaeology, as a preview to the more intensive theoretical review that will come in your second semester, as well as the more specialized courses in specific areas, time periods, and topics.

APY 655SEM: Graduate Survey in Social Anthropology

Reg. #18638
Online, real time
Real time meetings: Tuesday 12:45-3:25pm
Dr. Jaume Franquesa

This course is designed to give first year graduate students a basic grounding in "classic" social theory as it was developed in that important modernist period between the mid-19th century and the end of the first World War, along with the subsequent development and refinement of social theory through this modernist lens, and the break with modernism in the late 1970's. Throughout, our emphasis will be on the ways in which social theoretical issues informing contemporary anthropology may be illuminated by foundational work in classic social theory, or where contemporary theoretical problems represent a more radical split with "classic" discourses.

APY 729SEM: Human Impacts on Ancient Environments

Reg. #23561
Online, real time and recorded
Real time meetings: Monday/Wednesday 11:30am-12:50pm
Dr. Timothy Chevral

This course meets the New World requirement.

This course examines the impact of human actions on past environments and cultures: negative, positive and neutral outcomes related to agricultural livelihood, ancient industries, and political or religious ritual manipulation of landscape. We will also learn how professionals concerned with documenting the past can play a larger role in the public’s understanding that present-day ecosystems are not the result of recent activities, but of centuries of millennia of human-environment interactions.