Graduate Courses

Browse our current semester course offerings.

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Spring 2022 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 508SEM: Qualitative Research Methods

Reg. #21852
Wednesday, 9:30-12:10pm
261 Academic Center (Paley Library)
Dr. Meghana Joshi

This seminar prepares graduate students to design and implement research projects in sociocultural anthropology from start to finish. The first part of the course will address research design, especially the relationship between theoretical questions, methodologies and methods. We will focus on formulating research questions and preparing grant proposals, including discussion of the central components of a successful proposal, methods of tailoring your proposal, and explanation of the review process including the bases of evaluation. This section of the course will facilitate in the preparation of a draft research proposal by each student, copies of which will be circulated to seminar members, and “reviewed” by your peers with suggestions for revision noted. The second part of the course will examine selected topics concerning research methodologies and methods. These topics include the epistemological, political, and ethical aspects of research methodologies; an exploration of various field methods (including participant observation, interviewing, online and multi sited ethnography), interpersonal relations with the host community; and the “realities” of field experience (“what it’s like”). Requirements for this section may include discrete assignments (some small scale “learn by doing” exercises including interviewing and observation) and the completion of a revised and polished research proposal.

APY 514SEM : Museum Management

Reg. #23674
Monday, 9:30am-12:10pm
206 Anderson Gallery
Hannah Quaintance

Museum and collection management and research is motivated by two things: a love of objects, and a fascination with the ways in which they speak about the past and present. The care of artifacts cannot stop at identification, physical conservation and exhibition. Research about museum and collection objects must be seen as part of a larger task: an exploration of the social and cultural significance of objects in relation to each other and to the people who made, used, and kept them as well as who collected them. Conservation must include preservation of the information accompanying an object, information beyond provenance, or artifact type. Finally, curatorial research entails a critical awareness of our own culturally-bound responses to artifacts.

This course prepares students for research in the museum environment, and for the challenge of developing meaning and value for those collections in the context of the Cravens Collection housed since March 2010 in the Anderson Gallery of the UB College of Arts and Sciences, where depending health guidelines some individual (non-mandatory) sessions will be held. Each class integrates presentations, group work and discussion, case studies, and independent research. In addition, the instructor will facilitate visits from guest lecturers. At the end of the course, the students will work together to curate their own virtual exhibition of objects from the Cravens Collection and will write up short narratives about the objects they have studied during the course.

APY 546LEC: Dental Anthropology

Reg. #20998
Tuesday, 4:00-6:40pm
158 Spaulding Quad
Dr. Joyce Sirianni

This seminar covers topics such as embryological development and growth of primate jaws and teeth; basic craniofacial anatomy; theories of dental evolution; basic dental anatomy; nonhuman and human dental variation; forensic odontology, and dental pathologies. Students will be required to make presentations on various dental topics, e.g., dental adaptations to diet, evolutionary trends in hominid tooth size, ethnic differences in tooth morphology and size.

APY 547SEM: Behavioral Research Methods

Reg. #23618
Wednesday, 12:30-3:10pm
352 Academic Center
Dr. Stephanie Poindexter

Behavioral Research Methods provides students with first-hand experience in all of the steps involved in observational research. They will develop a research question, select appropriate observation methods, collect data and summarize their findings in a written report and formal scientific presentation. This course involves frequent visits to the Buffalo zoo (pandemic-dependent).

APY 561LEC: Human Paleontology

Reg. #22014
Thursday, 3:30-6:10pm
158 Spaulding Quad
Dr. Nicholas Holowka

Humans have evolved over the course of several million years since our common ancestor with chimpanzees, and in that time many different species of ancient human have walked the earth. In this course we will take a deep dive into the fossil record to learn about these species, and the series of remarkable adaptations in our lineage that resulted in modern humans. In so doing, you will learn about the ancient environments our ancestors inhabited, their diet and anatomy, and the evolutionary processes that led to our unique form bipedal walking and running, as well as our enormous and complex brains. This course will consist of lectures and group discussions, as well as in-class activities where you will examine castes of ancient human fossils.

APY 572SEM: Archaeology of the Southwest

Reg. #23745
Monday, 5:00-7:40pm
113 Baldy Hall
Dr. David Witt

Topic - Chaco, Hohokom, and the Archaeology of the Southwest

This seminar will discuss the cultural development of the American Southwest, specifically the Hohokam, Ancestral Pueblo, and neighboring peoples, exploring demographic changes, subsistence and trade, urbanization, and political organization from the post-Archaic Basketmaker II period up to Contact and European colonization. In addition to standard culture history, the class will investigate these topics through an historiographic approach of the discipline of archaeology, where students will learn how the theories and methods archaeologists employ influence interpretations of archaeological evidence. 

Meets New World requirement for archaeology students.

APY 573LEC: Primate Evolutionary Biology

Reg. #19674
Dr. Joyce Sirianni

Students must attend Monday evening class from 4:00-6:40pm., 170 Academic Center.

This course focuses on studying the differences and similarities in the anatomy of living primates in order to understand the biological relationships of various primate species and the selective adaptations which led to differences in their anatomy. Knowledge of how living primates are adaptive to diverse environments is useful in interpreting the evolutionary history of primate species. By establishing behavioral and morphological correlates paleontologists may better understand how fossil primates may have utilized their environment. Basic to this course is the comparison of the gross anatomy of three closely related primates, e.g. monkeys, apes and humans.

APY 594SEM: Functional Morphology

Reg. #23646
Wednesday, 3:30-6:10pm
158 Spaulding Quad
Dr. Nicholas Holowka

This course provides an overview of the different techniques used to understand the relationship between anatomical form and function.  We will explore the ways that skeletal morphology reflects adaptations for behaviors such as locomotion and chewing. You will become familiar with the various methods associated with empirical investigations of function, including kinematics, electromyography, and respirometry. We will also discuss important concepts such as allometric scaling, bone functional adaptation, and muscle physiology. This course will be taught primarily in the context of hominins and other primates, but we will discuss functional morphology in other animals as well.

APY 629SEM: Morphometrics

Reg. #24983
Friday, 11:00am-1:40pm
158 Spaulding Quad
Dr. Noreen von Cramon-Taubadel

Morphometrics is the quantitative analysis of shape and size variation, and represents a widely used set of techniques in biology, anthropology, and archaeology. During this course you will learn about the history of morphometics, which is rooted in biology, engineering, and, to a large part, anthropology. You will learn the basics of the geometry underlying morphometrics, as well as the software programs available to conduct morphometric analyses in 2- and 3- dimensions. The course will comprise a mixture of lectures, discussions, and hands-on practical assignments.

APY 654LEC: Graduate Survey of Social Anthropology

Reg. #17430
Tuesday, 12:30-3:10pm
261 Academic Center (Paley Library)
Dr. Frederick Klaits

This graduate seminar is designed to provide an overview of current trends in cultural anthropological theory. We will be exploring current debates on such themes as value, violence, sovereignty, biopower, care, language ideology, modernity, and religion.