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Spring 2017 Course Offerings

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APY 105LEC: Introduction to Anthropology

Reg.# 21025
Monday/Wednesday/Friday 1:00—1:50pm
Baldy 110
Instructor Dr. Donald Pollock

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. In order to survey such a wide range of issues, the class is structured in a standard lecture format, with small group exercises and class discussions.

APY 106LEC: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

Monday/Wednesday/Friday 10:00—10:50am
Baldy 101
Instructor Dr. Jaume Franquesa

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 Physical Anthropology

Reg. #21027
Tuesday/Thursday 3:30—4:50pm
Capen 262
Instructor Dr. Stephen Lycett

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. #21028
Tuesday/Thursday 12:30—1:50pm
Cooke 121
Instructor Dr. Timothy Chevral

This course is designed to provide the student with a general introduction to the field of archaeology, including the methods and techniques that archaeologists use to identify and investigate archaeological sites. The course will focus on some of the key issues in archaeology, from human evolution and origins of agriculture, to the beginning of the modern age, including examples from the Old World and the New World. Students will learn how archaeologists use material culture to construct interpretations of human behavior in the past.

APY 168LEC: Myth & Religion in the Ancient World

Reg. #21198
Monday/Wednesday/Friday 1:00—1:50 pm
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 248LEC: Human Genetics

Reg. #21052
Monday/Wednesday/Friday 12:00—12:50 pm
Fillmore Academic Center 170
Instructor Dr. Christine Duggleby

Examines contemporary human genetics relevant to families and society, including genetic diseases, family planning and demography, genetic counseling and prenatal diagnosis, genetic engineering, and genetics and the law. Provides students with sufficient understanding of contemporary human genetics to intelligently address these issues.

APY 250LEC: Topics: Prayer and Altered States

Reg. #24050
Tuesday/Thursday 12:30—1:50pm
Clemens 708
Instructor Dr. Marla Segol

What is prayer and how does it work?  How is it related to meditation and song?  This course explores the phenomenology of prayer, meditation and religious music, their ritual function, and their effects on the brain, on personality, and community.  We focus on Jewish sources, placing them in historical context and comparing them to those of other religions such as Hinduism and Christianity.

APY 323LEC: Anthropology and Education

Reg. #23382
Monday/Wednesday 3:30—4:50pm
O’Brian 109
Instructor Dr. Deborah Reed-Danahay

This course takes a global perspective on human teaching and learning in a variety of cultural contexts. We explore ethnographic methods in educational research and anthropological approaches to education in its widest sense, both in and out of schools. Such forms of socialization as apprenticeship and initiation will be discussed alongside of the formal educational institutions of North American and European nations. This course will also address the educational issues facing immigrants and minority populations in contemporary societies. Readings and discussion will emphasize research and practice. We will work with various qualitative methods, including autoethnography, and will also explore depictions of teachers and students in both ethnographic and feature films. There are no prerequisites.

APY 325SEM: Contemporary Afro-Caribbean Religion

Reg.# 24658
Tuesday/Thursday, 5:00—6:20pm
Instructor Craig Centrie
Cross-list: AMS 325SEM

Familiarizes students with the rich cultural syncretisms of Afro-Caribbean culture from a Latin American perspective, challenges the miasma of mysticism surrounding the religions as viewed by developed nations, and provides students with the basic skills necessary to conduct field research from an anthropological perspective.

APY 330LEC: Prehistory of Europe

Reg. #23481
Tuesday/Thursday 2:00—3:20pm
Clemens 19
Instructor TBD

Examines European prehistory from the Paleolithic period through the formation of the earliest states in Europe.

APY 345LEC: Comparative Primate Anatomy

Reg.# 23385
Monday 3:30—6:10pm
Instructor Dr. Joyce Sirianni
Co-requisite: APY 346: Primate Dissections

All students must register for APY 345 lecture and a APY 346 lab section. There are 5 sections of APY 346 - please be sure to select "View All" in the blue box above the course listing to see all five sections of the lab. If you are having trouble enrolling in a section, try another section. Then contact Brittany Kenyon (, Director, Comparative Primate Anatomy Laboratory, to assist you in enrolling for your preferred section (if space permits).

Students are required to register for 1 lab section

APY 346LAB: Dissections in Comparative Primate Anatomy

Location: All labs take place in Spaulding Quad, Room 155
Co-requsite: APY 345: Comparative Primate Anatomy

Instructor Dr. Joyce Sirianni

LAB A      Monday, 9:00am—12:50pm      (Reg.#21064)

LAB B      Tuesday, 1:00pm—4:50pm       (Reg.#21065)

LAB C      Wednesday, 1:00pm—4:50pm  (Reg.#21067)

LAB D      Thursday, 1:00pm—4:50pm     (Reg.#21068)

LAB E       Friday, 2:00pm—5:50pm          (Reg.#21069)

The lecture studies descriptive and functional primate anatomy, with relevance to the origin and adaptation of groups within the order of primates. The laboratory component covers basic primate gross anatomy learned by dissecting and making comparative observations of various species of primates.

APY 367LEC: Mesoamerican Archaeology

Reg. #23479
Tuesday/Thursday 9:30—10:50am
Fillmore Academic Center 354
Instructor Dr. Warren Barbour

Art, iconography, architecture and archaeology of ancient Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize; religious, political and economic development from its beginning, around 2000 BC to its decapitation by the Spaniards in 1521.

APY 369LEC: Peoples and Cultures of Sub-Saharan Africa

Monday/Wednesday/Friday 10:00—10:50am
Clemens 06
Instructor Dr. Phillips Stevens

Explores cultures of hunting, pastoral, and agricultural societies, including history, social structure, political and economic systems, religion, and aesthetics. Also considers the impact of colonialism, industrialization, urbanism, and political independence upon African societies and cultures.

APY 393LEC: Anthropology of Religion

Reg. #23751
Monday/Wednesday/Friday 1:00—1:50pm
Baldy 108
Instructor Dr. Phillips Stevens

Religion has existed in all cultures of the world, and at all stages of recorded history—indeed, it seems as old as humanity; and it is an extremely powerful motivator of behavior.  For these reasons alone its study is essential to anthropology.  This course considers religion as a dynamic system which can't be fully understood without reference to its interrelationships with other cultural systems, as well as to the biology of the human practitioner. Specific topics include: the nature of belief and the concept of "supernatural"; types of supernatural agencies; types of religious practitioners; theories of religion; myth; ritual; divination; sacrifice; totemism; taboo; magic and sorcery; witchcraft; shamanism; religious altered states of consciousness: spirit possession, ecstasy, and simple trance; supernaturally-caused illness and religious-based healing; religion in cultural change; new religions, cults, and “the occult” today; and others. The course will be illustrated throughout with films, slides, videos, religious objects, etc.

APY 401LEC: Theory in Anthropology

Reg. #23338
Tuesday/Thursday 12:30—1:50pm
Baldy 108
Instructor Dr. Donald Pollock

Reviews the growth of anthropology as a scientific discipline. Analyzes in detail major anthropological approaches and theories.

APY 414SEM: Museum Management

Reg. #23484
Monday 9:30am—12:10pm
Anderson Gallery
Instructor Dr. Peter Biehl

Museum and collection management and research are motivated by two things: a love of objects, and a fascination with the ways in which they speak about the past and the 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 those who collected them. Conservation must include preservation of the information accompanying an object, information beyond provenance, or object 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 the course 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 curate together their own public exhibition of objects from the Cravens Collection, and will write up short narratives about the objects they have studied during the course. The narratives will then be included in an exhibition catalogue.

APY 494SEM: Senior Seminar: Death and Dying

Reg. #23474
Tuesday/Thursday 11:00—12:20pm
Fillmore 354
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.

APY 494SEM: Senior Seminar: Cultural Evolution

Reg. #22850
Wednesday 3:00-5:40pm
Fillmore 354
Instructor Dr. Stephen Lycett

Humans pass on and receive information, consciously and unconsciously, via social interaction. Some of this information manifests itself in the form of cultural traditions; for examples, artifacts spread over time and space or the languages we speak. Using a framework of social transmission theory, many anthropologists have increasingly turned to evolutionary theory and methodology to study cultural traditions in material artifacts, languages or other products of cultural transmission processes. This course enables students to explore the main theoretical and methodological aspects of using social transmission theory and cultural evolutionary principles to address human behavioral patterns. Case studies will be presented, which will highlight the broad range of data to which such approaches may be applied. We will consider a range of case studies from a diversity of chronological periods and geographic settings (including contemporary settings). We will also critically consider the concept of “culture,” its presence (or otherwise) in animals other than humans, and what this may mean for the study of cultural phenomena. By the end of the course, students will have an understanding of both the theoretical and practical (methodological) tools involved in this type of work, and be able to conceive of how to apply them to their own work, across various aspects of anthropological research.

APY 494SEM: Senior Seminar: Topics in Evolutionary Anthropology

Reg. #23473
Thursday 3:00-5:40pm
Fillmore Academic Center 354
Instructor Dr. Noreen von Cramon-Taubadel

This course offers an insight into some of the “big questions” facing evolutionary anthropologists today. Some of these questions have arisen relatively recently as a result of new fossil discoveries, while others are more long-standing but have been difficult to address for a variety of ethical, methodological and empirical reasons. We will tackle topics and debates across many different aspects of evolutionary anthropology including questions in human evolution, primatology, and modern human biology. 

APY 495SEM: Supervised Teaching

Reg. #21055

Saturday 12:00—2:40pm

Spaulding Quad 158

Instructor Dr. Joyce Sirianni

Requires permission of instructor.

APY 496TUT: Internship

Credits: 1-6
Pre-requisites: permission of instructor
Grading: Graded (A-F)

Students wishing to complete an internship with a host agency may register for this course with the agreement of the agency supervisor and the faculty advisor.

APY 499TUT: Individual Study and Research

Credits: 1-8
Pre-requisites: permission of instructor
Grading: Graded (A-F)

Individually designed program of reading, research, or skills development in close association with an instructor.

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