Spring 2021 Course Offerings

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APY 105LEC: Introduction to Anthropology

Reg.# 21282
Remote, recorded and real time
Instructor: Staff

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.# 18095
Remote, recorded not real time
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. #18032
In person
Tuesday/Thursday 3:55-5:10pm
Knox 20
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. #18033
Remote, recorded not real time
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. #18129
Remote, recorded not real time
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 275LEC: Culture, Health and Illness

Reg. #22090
Remote, real time 
Real time meetings: Monday/Wednesday/Friday 11:30am-12:20pm
Instructor: Dr. Frederick Klaits

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. #23759
Remote, real time 
Real time meetings: Monday/Wednesday/Friday 11:30am-12:20pm
Instructor: Dr. Meghana Joshi

In this class, we focus on how reproduction is shaped by cultural meanings while simultaneously entangled in religious, economic and political discussions. Course material includes an analysis of ethnographic fieldwork on topics that include the increasing medicalization of pregnancy and childbirth, the role of technology in assisting reproductive bodies, and performance and ‘gifting’ in reproduction and men and reproduction. Through the use of an anthropological perspective, we will learn more about “intimate” life processes in both local and cross-cultural contexts. Specific case studies include examples from North America, South and Southeast Asia and Latin America.

We begin from the premise that human reproductive events (conception, contraception, abortion, childbirth, infertility treatment, infant care, etc.) are not given by our biological nature, but are informed by cultural beliefs and shaped by social, medical and political institutions. Through cross-cultural case studies, we will examine how reproductive meanings and experiences are affected, in particular, by health-related beliefs and medical technologies, and by national and international population policies that are often directed at controlling the bodies of women. We will explore how reproductive practices provide sites for gender formation, the reproduction of social inequalities, international “development” agendas, and state regulation of reproductive populations.

APY 321SEM: Music and American Nightlife

APY 321 Course Flyer.

Note: There are 2 sections of APY 321 during Spring 2021. Students may reigster for both.

Reg. #23997
Remote, real time and recorded
Real time meetings: Tuesday/Thursday 9:35-10:50am
Instructor: Dr. Colter Harper

Where does popular music happen? Who patronizes and works in these locations? How is culture performed in the resulting social spaces? This course examines sites of music making between 1920-1970, with a focus on intersections between race, place, and popular music in U.S. cities. Studies by cross-disciplinary scholars such George Lipsitz, bell hooks, and Henri Lefebvre will introduce critical frameworks for discussing and examining nightlife as contested social practices. For example, how was slumming in black and tan cabarets regulated and what does this say about racial politics, debates on morality, and the music industry of the Prohibition Era? Students will learn to engage with a variety of historical texts including commercial recordings, photo archives, oral histories, and contemporary newspapers in engaging with ethnographic narratives of clubs and other nightlife spaces. The course will draw from case studies that traverse jazz, blues, rock, and funk and be structured into 5 parts: 1920s and Prohibition, 1930s and Great Depression, 1940s and World War II, 1950s and Urban Redevelopment, 1960s and Civil Rights.

This course meets the Area Studies 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 321SEM: The Human Machine - Muscles, Bones & Evolution

APY 321 The Human Machine Flyer.

Note: There are 2 sections of APY 321 during Spring 2021. Students may register for both.

Reg. #23786
Remote, real time and recorded
Real time meetings: Monday/Wednesday/Friday 10:20-11:10am
Instructor: Dr. Nicholas Holowka

This course explores the functional anatomy of the human musculoskeletal system from an evolutionary perspective. The human body is capable of moving in a unique combination of ways, including running extraordinary distances, throwing with incredible speed and accuracy, and climbing sheer rock faces. We will investigate the human machine piece-by-piece to find out how the bones and muscles of our bodies have evolved to allow this remarkable variety of movements. This course incorporates a range of topics, including anatomy, evolutionary biology, physiology, kinesiology, and basic biomechanics, and we will use these tools to understand how the human body works. Classes will consist of lectures and digital lab activities designed to help you fully engage with the course material.

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. 

This course may be used as a Medical Anthropology minor elective. Note: This course does not automatically populate in HUB as a Medical Anthropology course. Please email the Undergraduate Coordinator to request the course be used to fulfill this requirement. 

APY 345LEC: Comparative Human Anatomy

Reg. #20758
Remote, recorded not real time
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 four sections of the lab. 

Students are required to register for 1 lab section (see below)

APY 346LAB: Dissections in Primate Anatomy

Location: All labs are remote, real time and recorded. Real time meetings are listed below:

LAB A      
Monday, 10:20-11:50am        (Reg.#18052)

LAB B      Tuesday, 12:45—2:15pm        (Reg.#18053)

LAB C      Wednesday, 12:40—2:10pm   (Reg.#18054)

LAB E      Friday, 3:00pm—4:30pm        (Reg.#18056)

APY 356SEM: Cultural Evolution

Reg. #20914
In person
Wednesday 3:00-5:40pm
158 Spaulding Quad
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 357LEC: Primate Diversity

APY 357 Primate Diversity Flyer.

[Previous course #: APY 245]

Reg. #22004
Remote, real time and recorded
Real time meetings: Thursdays, 12:45-2:00pm
Instructor: Dr. Stephanie Poindexter

From the tropical jungles of Uganda to the snowy mountains of Japan primates have diverse adaptions to help them survive in the wild. In this class we will discuss primate diversity, sociality, cognition, feeding ecology, and conservation. As we learn about our primate relatives, we will also see just how unique humans are among primates.

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 401SEM: Theory in Anthropology

Reg. #18445
Remote, real time 
Real time meetings: Tuesday/Thursday 12:45-2:00pm
Instructor: Dr. Vasiliki Neofotistos

This course explores the main theoretical frameworks that have informed anthropology from the late nineteenth century to nowadays. Lectures will combine with seminar-style discussions based on the students’ reading of key texts. In addition to exploring specific paradigms and key authors’ contributions, the course also explores the nature of theory in the social sciences and, more specifically, of anthropological theory.

APY 402SEM: Contemporary Europe

Reg. #22092
Remote, recorded not real time
Instructor: Dr. Deborah Reed-Danahay

This course meets the Area Studies requirement. 

Class Notes:  This course will be taught asynchronously through a variety of online delivery methods - including recorded lectures, discussion board participation, and online assignments.

This course introduces students to anthropological approaches to the study of contemporary European societies and cultures. Through readings (books and articles) and films, students will learn about the everyday lives of people in various European locations.  The course will also focus on anthropological studies of the European Union and the topic of migration to and within Europe.  In addition to this, we will examine how the Covid pandemic has affected European counties, their citizens, and immigrants.

APY 414SEM: Museum Management

Reg. #19083
Hybrid: remote and in person
Monday, 9:10-11:50am
206 Anderson Gallery

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. 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: Methods in Behavioral Research

APY 420 Methods in Behavioral Research Flyer.

Reg. #23785
Remote, real time and recorded
Real time meetings: Thursday 9:35-10:50am
Instructor: Dr. Stephanie Poindexter

Behavioral Research Methods provides students with first-hand experience in all of the steps involved to conduct scientific research: developing a research question, selecting appropriate observation methods, collecting data, and summarizing their findings in a written report and formal scientific presentation. This is a writing intensive course, and students will be expected to submit various sections of their research report throughout the course.

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 434SEM: Gender Archaeology

Reg. #23789
Remote, real time and recorded
Real time meetings: Tuesday/Thursday 11:10am-12:25pm
Instructor: Dr. Timothy Chevral

This course examines both the problems and potential of gender in archaeological research and explores and critically evaluates recent efforts to incorporate questions about the social construction of female, male and a variety of other gender categories, the sexual division of labor, and recent research in cultural and biological anthropology. Within gender archaeology, the roles and agency of “muted groups” within a society are often included, so we will additionally examine how childhood, old age, and outgroups or 'others' can be addressed in prehistoric and historical archaeology. Throughout, we will underscore how modern and historic mainstream sociopolitical 'norms and values' have influenced archaeological research.

We deal simultaneously with two kinds of issues:  1) what we know and what we don't know, what we can and what we can't learn, and 2) how archaeologists develop and use their array of methods and theories to understand these topics to explicitly (rather than implicitly) consider these social categories; students will be encouraged to address these ideas in their own areas of interest.

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 461LEC: Human Paleontology

APY 461 Human Paleontology Flyer.

Reg. #23758
Remote, real time 
Real time meetings: Monday 12:40-3:20pm
Instructor: Dr. Nicholas Holowka

This course provides an in depth survey of the human fossil record, including the anatomy and behavior of the many fascinating ancient human species that have walked the earth since our last common ancestor with chimpanzees. We will examine the remarkable adaptations in the human lineage, the ancient environments our ancestors inhabited, the foods they ate and the tools they used, and the evolutionary processes that led to our unique form bipedal walking, as well as our enormous and complex brains. This course will consist of lectures and group discussions, as well as in-class worksheet-based activities where you will learn about human fossils. This course is dual-listed with APY 561.

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 494SEM: Senior Seminar

Reg. #23788
Remote, real time 
Real time meetings: Tuesday 2:20-5:00pm
Instructor: Dr. Noreen von Cramon-Taubadel

Topic: Current Issues in Evolutionary Anthropology

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.