Fall 2019 Course Offerings

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APY 105LEC: Introduction to Anthropology

Reg.# 19168
Monday/Wednesday/Friday 12:00-12:50pm
Alumni 97
Instructor: Rebecca Biermann Gurbuz

This class is a general introduction to the field of anthropology, the study of humanity. It is designed to pique your interest in the broad diversity of human behavior and lifestyles across the world and throughout time. This course will take a look at our four major subfields - archaeology, linguistic anthropology, physical anthropology, and cultural anthropology - and include discussions on our "youngest" subfield, applied anthropology. The goal of this class is to understand the wide range of issues covered by the fields of anthropology, the ways in which these issues are studied by specialists in the field, and the practical effects of the questions covered by anthropological study.

APY 106LEC: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

Reg.# 19169
Monday/Wednesday/Friday 11:00-11:50am
170 Fillmore Academic Center
Instructor: Dr. Meghana Joshi

What is culture and how does it affect our understanding of the world and the ways we behave? How do cultural anthropologists approach the study of human societies and what methods do they use to do research? These are some of the questions that we will examine in this class. The course introduces students to ethnographic methods and theories of cultural anthropology. The aim is to enhance our knowledge of our own culture and of other cultures around the world. All majors are welcome.

APY 107LEC: Introduction to Biological Anthropology

Reg. #19170
Tuesday/Thursday 3:30—4:50pm
355 Fillmore Academic Center
Instructor: Dr. Noreen von Cramon-Taubadel

For centuries preceding modern times, our uniqueness as a species was taken as a sign of special creation; we were not seen to be a part of nature. But as knowledge of human evolution, our closeness to other primates, and our adaptations to specific environments emerged, we have taken our place in the animal kingdom. Here, we learn how those insights developed, and about current methods of understanding human origins and the natural forces that have shaped us.

APY 108LEC: Introduction to Archaeology

Reg. #20000
Tuesday/Thursday 12:30-1:50pm
205 Natural Sciences Complex
Instructor: Dr. Douglas Perrelli

Archaeology is the study of the human past through its material remains.  So much evidence of human activity on earth exists outside the realm of written records that archaeology is of primary importance in reconstructing past human life ways.  Bridging the gap between the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities, archaeologists integrate many types of evidence in order to shed light on the origins of our species, Homo sapiens sapiens and development through time of so many different cultural manifestations.  Introduction to Archaeology provides an overview of the methods, theories and models used by archaeologists to better understand past human societies, from the formulation of a research question, through the processes of survey and excavation, to the analysis of data, and the interpretation of the results. 

APY 168LEC: Myth & Religion in the Ancient World

Reg. #18786
Monday/Wednesday/Friday 12:00—12:50pm
170 Fillmore Academic Center
Instructor: Dr. Kalliopi Nikolopoulou 

In this course, we will investigate mythic and religious traditions of ancient Greece and Rome. Our study of myth and religion will, however, be comparative in emphasis. We will thus have a twofold goal: (1) to encounter the Greco-Roman traditions themselves and (2) through our comparative investigations, to attempt to identify the mythic and religious traditions which the Greeks and especially the more conservative Romans inherited from their Indo-European ancestors. We will also turn our full gaze upon comparative materials, but even as we are engaged in discovering the mythic and religious traditions of the ancient Indic, Iranian Celtic, Germanic and Hittite cultures, we will continue to encounter new materials and motifs from Greece and Rome.

APY 275LEC: Culture, Health and Illness

Reg. #22022
Monday/Wednesday/Friday 1:00-1:50pm
215 Natural Sciences Complex
Instructor: Dr. Meghana Joshi

People in all societies experience illness, but their understandings of the causes of disease and approaches for restoring health differ greatly. This course examines the social and cultural dimensions of health, illness, and healing. Through a variety of case studies, we will learn about the ways medical anthropologists study explanations of disease, experiences of suffering, and the social organization of health care.  Western medicine, also called “biomedicine,” will also be an object of our analysis. We will discuss how the delivery of biomedical health care involves particular understandings of the body and appropriate social relationships. Emphasis will also be placed on how the stories that individuals and institutions circulate about human agency in suffering shape people’s convictions about how to care, and for whom to care. The course aims to teach students to think about health, disease, and medicine in national, cross-cultural and global terms.

APY 312LEC: Culture and Reproduction

Reg. #23593
Monday/Wednesday/Friday 10:00-10:50pm
354 Fillmore Academic Center
Instructor: Dr. Meghana Joshi

Involves a cross-cultural and cross-national survey of human reproduction. Patterns of fertility regulation, pregnancy, birth, and early infant care.

APY 319LEC: Environmental Anthropology

Reg. #23619
Tuesday/Thursday 9:30-10:50am
354 Fillmore Academic Center
Instructor: Dr. Jaume Franquesa

Environmental anthropology examines how people interact with, respond to, and bring about changes in the environment. Thus, some of the questions this course engages with include: How is nature understood across different cultures? How can sociocultural analysis contribute to our understanding of climate change? How are inequality and environmental change related?

APY 326LEC: Near East and Mideast Prehistory

Reg. #20003
Monday/Wednesday/Friday 3:00-3:50pm
106 Clemens

Archaeology of the prehistoric Near and Middle East from the peopling of the region through the emergence of the first villages and the domestication of plants and animals to the emergence of city-states in the 3rd millennium BC.

A century and a half of archaeological work in the Middle East has resulted in a wealth of evidence appropriate for tracing the prehistoric and historic traditions in this area of the world. This course offers an overview of the archaeology of the prehistoric and early historic Near and Middle East from the peopling of the region in the Palaeolithic through the emergence of city-states and imperial formations in the 3rd millennium BC., paying close attention to the questions and debates that underpin research in various times and places. At the same time, no such narrative is independent of the interests and agendas of the scholars who have worked to compose it, and we will emphasize a critical approach to the questions and perspectives that have structured research in the region. The course will also include a brief introduction to the history and scope of archaeology and an overview of archaeological method and theory and of current movements and themes in archaeology.

APY 348LEC: Forensic Anthropology Osteology

Reg. #15250
Monday 4:00--6:40pm
170 Fillmore Academic Center
Instructor: Dr. Joyce Sirianni

Covers fundamentals of human skeletal anatomy through lecture, demonstration, and laboratory work. Considers procedures and applications in contemporary and historical human biology and in archaeology, stressing both technical approach and theoretical application. This lecture and laboratory course demonstrates the fundamentals of human skeletal biology and anatomy. Stresses procedures and applications used in evaluating archaeological and contemporary human populations. Considers forensic applications.

APY 355SEM: Evolution of Hominin Behavior

Reg. #24400
Tuesday/Thursday 2:00-3:20pm
354 Fillmore Academic Center
Instructor: Dr. Stephen Lycett

The Palaeolithic covers the timeframe from when our ancestors first began to manufacture stone tools in Africa (around three million years ago) through the point at which the last glacial period ended (i.e. up to the beginning of the Holocene). It is a fundamental phase, in which matters of biological and cultural evolution led eventually to the appearance of our species. This course explores the evidence for changing patterns of hominin behavior during this phase of our evolution. We will consider the major sites and material evidence that is used in current debates. We will evaluate the factors that might shape patterns in the distribution and form of Palaeolithic data. Critical thought will also be given to the use of behavioral models drawn from primatology (e.g. chimpanzee behavior) as well as anthropology (e.g. ethnographically recorded hunter-foragers) in the study of fossil hominin behavior. Questions will also be asked of the potential requirement for multidisciplinary engagement with associated fields, such as psychology. Key sites and case studies will be discussed, tracking the dispersal of hominins across the globe and the appearance of key behavioral innovations. The course will also consider the (frequently heated) debates regarding the emergence of "behavioral modernity." Issues of cultural transmission and cultural evolution will also be covered.

APY 369LEC: People of Sub-Saharan Africa

Reg. #23595
Monday/Wednesday/Friday 11:00-11:50am
354 Fillmore Academic Center
Instructor: Dr. Frederick Klaits

Recent years have seen a surge in interest in Africa, which is now a popular destination for celebrities, entrepreneurs, tourists, and students.  Many have taken prominent public positions on issues such as genocide, disease, and famine.  In this course, we ask what additional dimensions become visible if we look behind the media headlines and the latest celebrity visits.   

We will approach this question by adopting a focus on processes of growing up, or coming of age, in Africa.  In telling stories about “coming of age,” people often reflect on the experiences that have shaped and transformed their understandings about their place in the world, as well as on the events and social circumstances that have made them who we are.  In this course, we will explore how people coming of age in the often disruptive circumstances of contemporary Africa try to find a place in the world, and how in so doing they reflect on the forces that shape their lives.  We will read a series of novels, anthropological works, and biographical accounts so as to understand how a range of historical transformations – including colonialism, modernization, warfare, and the spread of AIDS – have troubled the process of coming of age.  In so doing, we will consider how these large-scale social transformations have shaped local perceptions of youth, age, gender identity, and ancestry.​

APY 420SEM: Topics - Dental Anthropology

Reg. #22407
Tuesday 4:00-6:40pm
Spaulding 158
Instructor: Dr. Joyce Sirianni

Topic: Dental Anthropology - Interpreting oral health and behavior in past populations


APY 476LEC: Health Care in the U.S.

Reg. #23594
Tuesday/Thursday 12:30-1:50pm
354 Fillmore Academic Center
Instructor: Dr. Donald Pollock

Explores the culture and social organization of health-care systems in the United States, including mainstream allopathic medicine and nursing, as well as more 'alternative healing' modalities, such as faith healing, chiropractic, 'New Age' healing, and so forth. Gives students a specifically anthropological understanding of health care in American society. This anthropological perspective draws attention to the many diverse components of health care in the United States, from high-tech advanced medical science to faith healing.

APY 494SEM: Senior Seminar - Death and Dying

Reg. #23598
Tuesday/Thursday 11:00-12:20pm
354 Fillmore Academic Center
Instructor: Dr. Ana Mariella Bacigalupo

In this course we will explore the interrelated social, cultural, medical, and political underpinnings of death and the way different communities have responded to it. Nineteenth-century anthropologists speculated that the origin of religion was to be found in the puzzlement of early humans about what differentiates the living from the dead. Twentieth-century anthropologists interpreted death as a potential tear in the social fabric, requiring symbolic management for societal stability. We will explore the confusion about dying and death resulting from experiences of rebirth and medical technologies that maintain people’s lives through the body parts of cadavers. We will also analyze mourning, living in the wake, compassionate cannibalism, modern-day American care for the dying, and the politics of death.