Fall 2021 Course Offerings

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APY 105LEC: Introduction to Anthropology

Reg.# 16928
Remote, real time
Monday/Wednesday/Friday, 3:00-3:50p

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 the 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.# 16929
Remote, real time and recorded
Monday/Wednesday/Friday, 12:40-1:30p
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.

Course note: Students are assigned to either a Monday or Wednesday or Friday group section for real time course instructional activities.  

APY 107LEC: Introduction to Biological Anthropology

Reg. #16930
In person
Tuesday/Thursday, 9:35-10:55a
Instructor: Dr. Stephanie Poindexter

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. #16930
Remote, real time
Tuesday/Thursday, 2:20-3:35p
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. #16619
In person
Monday/Wednesday/Friday, 11:00-11:50a
Instructor: Dr. Roger Woodard

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 210LEC: Musics of the World

Registration #21740
In person
Monday/Wednesday/Friday, 10:20-11:10am
Instructor: Dr. Colter Harper

This course takes a global perspective in studying musical practice and meaning with the goal of better understanding how music functions as an integral part of all societies. The semester will be organized into nine sections that explore widely diverse musical traditions as they relate to topics such as place, ethnic identity, politics, industry, conflict, and technology. No formal musical training is required though students will be expected to develop critical listening skills.

This course meets the Area Studies requirement. Note: This course does not automatically populate in HUB as an area course. Please email the Undergraduate Coordinator to request the course be used to fulfill this requirement.

APY 275LEC: Culture, Health and Illness

Reg. #19063
Remote, real time and recorded
Monday/Wednesday/Friday, 1:50-2:40p
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.

Course note: Students are assigned to either a Monday or Wednesday or Friday group section for real time course instructional activities.

APY 313LEC: Anthropology and Film

Reg. #23769
Hybrid (in person and remote)
Remote: Tuesday, 11:10a-12:25p
In person: Thursday, 11:10a-12:25p

Instructor: Dr. Vasiliki Neofotistos

The course explores the multiple relationships between anthropology and film. We will explore how anthropologists have used and debated film as a mode of ethnographic representation, that is, as a way of constructing and communicating knowledge about the world. We will also explore how the medium of film has helped to shape anthropology, specifically the debates on ethnographic representation. Key issues include, but are not limited to, the representation of human realities and the ethical dilemmas involved in filming real people, “truth,” authority, reflexivity, and spectatorship.

Course note: Students are responsible for viewing the film(s) assigned each week outside of the desiganted class time. Films will be available for streaming via UB Libraries.

APY 323LEC: Anthropology and Education

Reg. #23770
In person
Monday/Wednesday, 3:00-4:20p
158 Spaulding Quad
Instructor: Dr. Deborah Reed-Danahay

The anthropological approach to education analyzes contemporary schooling as part of a larger investigation into teaching and learning in human society, and views education from a cross-cultural perspective. Comparative perspectives on U.S. and European education form the core of our focus in this class. After a general introduction to the course, we explore the ways in which schooling influences, and is influenced by, categories of identity such as ethnicity, “race,” social class, and gender. Students taking this class will be better equipped to understand and contribute to public debates about education regarding multiculturalism, immigration, social class, and gender. This course helps students see that education is inextricably linked to political struggles in society and thereby both constitutes and reflects diversity in society.

APY 330LEC: Prehistory of Europe

Reg. #23766
Hybrid (in person and remote)
In person: Monday/Wednesday, 12:40-1:30p
Instructor: Brent Whitford

Meets Area Studies requirement.

This course offers an overview of the archaeology of prehistoric Europe from the peopling of the region in the Lower Palaeolithic through the florescence of art and culture in the Upper Paleolithic, to the introduction of agriculture and the formation of complex societies in the Neolithic and Copper Age, to the beginning of early states and empires in the Bronze Age and Iron Age.

APY 341LEC: Primate Behavior & Ecology

Reg. #21397
In person
Tuesday/Thursday 12:45-2:00p
Instructor: Dr. Stephanie Poindexter

In this course, students will learn about the behavior of living primates through an evolutionary and ecological lens. Through lectures, discussion, and student participation, we will uncover the evolutionary implications of the primate diversity we see today and what we can learn about ourselves by studying primates. Topics covered include cultural transmission, reproductive strategies, sexual selection, cooperation, and cognition.

APY 348LEC: Forensic Anthropology Osteology

Reg. #13533
Remote, real time and recorded
Real time meetings: Monday, 4:00-6:40p
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. #20390
In person
Tuesday/Thursday 2:00-3:20p
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 358LEC: Evolutionary Medicine

Reg. #24149
In person
Monday/Wednesday/Friday, 1:50-2:40p
Instructor: Dr. Nicholas Holowka

This course provides an introduction to the principles of Evolutionary Medicine, and how these principles can be applied to combat growing public health crises in human society. Evolutionary Medicine is a rapidly growing multidisciplinary field that uses evolutionary biology to answer questions about modern human health and disease. Instead of focusing on cellular or molecular mechanisms, this field seeks to understand the larger ultimate reasons why people get sick: Why has evolution left us so vulnerable to diseases such as obesity, heart disease, cancer, back pain, anxiety and depression? In this course you will investigate these questions by applying evolutionary theory and principles of human evolution to understand the causes of modern diseases, and how we can better prevent and/or treat them. 

This course meets the Problem-Oriented/Theoretical requirement. Note: This course does not automatically populate in HUB as a problem-oriented/theoretical course. Please email the Undergraduate Coordinator to request the course be used to fulfill this requirement.

APY 393LEC: Anthropology of Religion

Reg. #23767
In person
Monday/Wednesday/Friday, 9:10-10:00a
Instructor: Dr. Frederick Klaits

This course examines males' diverse experiences as boys/men and public discourses about masculinities in different regions of the world. The aim is to expose students to the social and personal meanings, and shifts in meanings of “masculinities” and delve into how gendered social order influences men's actions and the way they perceive themselves, other men, women, and social situations. We will use an intersectionality perspective to explore variations in male experience by social class, race/ethnicity, age and sexual orientation. Hence men are not an unmarked category, neither are they representative of the universal against which all other forms of gendered lives can be compared.​

APY 401LEC: Theory in Anthropology

Reg. #23801
In person
Tuesday/Thursday, 9:35-10:50a
Instructor: Dr. Jaume Franquesa

This course reviews the history of sociocultural anthropology from the late 19th century to the beginning of the 21st century through engagement with major theoretical works that shaped the discipline. We will move chronologically and topically and pay attention to the historical conditions under which anthropological theories emerged. In the process, we will examine how major issues and debates unfolded over time and consider how different personalities, national traditions, and ideologies contributed to the making of the anthropological discipline.Throughout the course, students will learn to apply major theoretical concepts towards an examination of sociocultural problems from the past and the present.

APY 420SEM: Topic - Paleopathology

Reg. #19276
In person
Tuesday, 3:55-6:35pm
158 Spaulding Quad
Instructor: Dr. Joyce Sirianni

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 494SEM: Senior Seminar - Violence and the Nation-State

Reg. #23768
In person
Friday, 9:10-11:50a
Instructor: Dr. Vasiliki Neofotistos

How can we make sense of violence? What are the conditions that generate it? Does the state play a role in fomenting violence? How can we understand militarization and terrorism? These are some of the questions around which this senior seminar is woven with the aim of encouraging students to think critically about issues related to violence. We will begin by exploring violence as a social phenomenon that takes place not only in times of war but also in times of peace. Through readings on drug addiction and the US inner city, infant mortality in Brazil, and the death of elderly African Americans during the 1995 Chicago heat wave, we will consider violence as usual and daily routine that is embedded in the normative fabric of daily life and passes unnoticed. We will then examine the intricate connections among everyday violence, collective violence and the nation-state and explore the conditions that have made mass violence possible in countries around the world. The seminar will conclude by exploring the ways in which people experience social life in an increasingly violent world.