Spring 2019 Course Offerings

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APY 104LEC: Great Sites and Lost Tribes

Reg.# 21398
Tuesday/Thursday 8:00-9:20am
107 Talbert

This class examines the romantic element in archaeology in the great sites of the world, such as Troy, Olduvai Gorge, Stonehenge, and so forth. Since the sites cannot be separated from their discoverers and excavators, we also consider the lives of many famous archaeologists including Schliemann, Garrod, Mellaart, Leakey, and Kenyon, to name a few. Comparisons are made to modern and historical fictional archaeologists.

APY 106LEC: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

Monday/Wednesday/Friday 9:00-9:50am
170 Fillmore Academic Center
Instructor Dr. Meghana Joshi

Commonly, people either ignore or exaggerate the importance of culture.  “Introduction to Cultural Anthropology” will explain the concept of culture—as a set of meanings, values, and practices—and put it into useful perspective.  We ignore culture when we presume that people act simply to maximize profit, convenience, or enjoyment.  An understanding of culture, then allows us to appreciate the complexity of social life and the ways in which it intersects with constructions of race, class, gender, sexuality and nationality.  This discussion of culture’s explanatory power constitutes the central part of the course.

We explore in this course cross-cultural perspectives and variance in meanings of what often remains unquestioned, for e.g. differences between men and women, sexual practices and identities, racial and class based experiences, ideas about illness and health to name just a few. We also look at what methods, ethics, and cast of mind, the anthropologist brings to the people studied, near and far. More important for most students would be a reflection on how a non-anthropologist could apply the same cultural sensibilities to the daily life of a plural-but-unequal society such as our own?  Politicians and pundits mostly treat culture as a fixed, genetic category, the way one used to think of race.   If it succeeds, this course will enable you to contribute nuance to debates on social diversity around you and at a distance.   

APY 107LEC: Introduction to Physical Anthropology

Reg. #19000
Tuesday/Thursday 3:30-4:50pm
322 Fillmore Academic Center
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. #19001
Tuesday/Thursday 11:00-12:20pm
101 Baldy
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. The many topics covered in the course include: excavation, interpretation, conservation, technology, cultural diffusion and evolution, the individual and culture groups, and cultural heritage. The course will include hands-on introduction to stone tools and other artifacts in class.

APY 168LEC: Myth and Religion in the Ancient World

Reg. #19118
Monday/Wednesday/Friday 12:00-12:50pm
121 Cooke
Instructor Dr. Roger Woodard

Provides an introduction to the mythology of the Greeks and Romans. In addition to considering the myths themselves, we study how they have been employed by ancient through contemporary cultures as reflected in areas ranging from religious and social practice to works of art and architecture. This course is the same as RSP 113 and APY 168 and course repeat rules will apply.

APY 313LEC: Anthropology and Film

Reg. #23083
Tuesday/Thursday 12:30--1:50pm   
354 Fillmore Academic Center
Instructor Dr. Vasiliki Neofotistos

Description to be posted soon!

APY 330LEC: Prehistory of Europe

Reg. #21761
Monday/Wednesday/Friday 3:00—3:50pm
108 Baldy
Instructor Jacob Brady

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 345LEC: Comparative Primate Anatomy

Reg. #23087
Monday 4:00--6:40pm
170 Fillmore Academic Center
Instructor Dr. Joyce Sirianni

Co-requisite: APY 346: Primate Dissections

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.

Important Class Note
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 one section, try another section. Then contact Brittany Kenyon (bkenyon@buffalo.edu), 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 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.#19027)

LAB B      Tuesday, 1:00pm—4:50pm       (Reg.#19028)

LAB C      Wednesday, 1:00pm—4:50pm  (Reg.#19029)

LAB D      Thursday, 1:00pm—4:50pm     (Reg.#19030)

LAB E       Friday, 2:00pm—5:50pm         (Reg.#19031)

The laboratory component covers basic primate gross anatomy learned by dissecting and making comparative observations of various species of primates.

APY 349LEC: Human Genetics

Monday/Wednesday/Friday 12:00-12:50pm
101 Baldy

Over the course of the last 100 years, prevention and treatment have greatly reduced the amount of illness and death due to infectious diseases. This has had the effect of increasing the relative importance of genetic defects on the health and well-being of the human population. In addition to human costs incurred, genetic problems may impose extensive financial burdens on individuals and on society as a whole. Thus, what may seem to be an individual or family problem at first, may ultimately be the object of public policy. Such policies may be seen as totally beneficial (mandatory screenings of newborns for PKU) or potentially discriminatory (mid-1970’s sickle-cell legislation). Methods of human reproduction which may be utilized by families to avoid transmission of genetic disorders (artificial insemination, surrogate motherhood) also become a matter of public concern when their legal status is questioned. Rapid advances in genetic engineering have led to an increased potential for diagnosis and treatment of genetic diseases. People have expressed concern regarding the hazards and mortality of some aspects of genetic engineering. The purpose of this course is to provide students with sufficient understanding of contemporary human genetics to intelligently address such issues. 

APY 356SEM: Cultural Evolution

Tuesday/Thursday 3:30-4:50pm
354 Fillmore Academic Center
Instructor Dr. Stephen Lycett

Humans pass on and receive information, consciously and unconsciously, via social interactions. Some of this information manifests itself in the form of cultural traditions; for example, 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, language, 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. A large part of the class deals with evolutionary theory, and allows students to better understand evolutionary theory and its application. 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).

You 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. Students will come to see how contemporary applications of this approach differ from previous (and often theoretically erroneous) applications of evolutionary principles to the study of human behavior, which negatively taint evolutionary approaches to humanity to this day. The course will also help to dispel common misconceptions regarding the use of evolutionary theory to study culture, but be sensitively astute as to the reasons why these issues arise. 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 across various aspects of anthropological research.

APY 393LEC: Anthropology of Religion

Reg. #23080
Tuesday/Thursday 9:30-10:50am
354 Fillmore Academic Center
Instructor Dr. Frederick Klaits

What is “religion”? How do anthropologists understand and study religion? What role does religion play in social life? How are religious experiences and identities performed? How do religious traditions deal with themes of time and place? How does authority work in religious practice? Why do religions go global? These and other questions will guide our work in this course as we discuss the varieties of religious experience across cultures, the place of religion amidst other aspects of social life, and the status of religion as a conceptual category. 

APY 401LEC: Theory in Anthropology

Reg. #19509
Monday/Wednesday 2:00-3:20pm
354 Fillmore Academic Center
Instructor Dr. Meghana Joshi

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, sociocultural and institutional conditions from which anthropological theories emerged. In the process we will examine how major issues and debates enfolded 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 414SEM: Museum Management

Reg. #20384
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 420SEM: Topic - Complex Societies

Reg. #23118
Wednesday 9:30am--12:10pm
354 Fillmore Academic Center
Instructor Dr. Timothy Chevral

We will first define the meaning of the term “cultural complexity” and study it’s origins – in order to rule over others, a prospective leader first must convince his or her basically egalitarian peers to yield substantial power to an individual or small group. How and under what circumstances can this happen? We will next look at prestate societies commonly called chiefdoms, then the origins of “primary” or “pristine” states – those that arose from landscapes where no other states had ever existed. Some see this form of organization and way of life as an aberration that has cursed human existence since its origins. What do various archaeologists have to say about this? We will also study the collapse of such societies – a topic of considerable interest on its own, especially, perhaps, in light of the collapse of several empires and states in the last quarter century. Finally, we will examine the development of “secondary” states, which arise in connection with already extant states, and the ideas archaeologists have proposed to explain their internal development and their relationships to other, more mature neighboring polities.

APY 494SEM: Senior Seminar - Culture of Science

Reg. #21628
Tuesday 2:00-4:40pm
354 Millard Fillmore Academic Center
Instructor Dr. Donald Pollock

Topic: Culture of Science

We think of “science” as objective, value-free, and somehow independent of “culture,” yet science is conducted by people, in various settings, and inevitably is shaped or flavored by the cultures and social settings in which it is done. In this seminar we will look at the culture of science, including how scientific theories are shaped and influenced by cultural issues, how scientific research is guided by cultural and social agendas, and how “science” differs from culture to culture and country to country. The goal of the course is to arrive at a more sophisticated and nuanced view of what “science” is, and how it gets done and why, as a symbol and as social activity.

APY 495SEM: Supervised Teaching

Reg. #19021
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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