Graduate Courses

Browse our current semester course offerings.

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Fall 2023 Course Offerings

APY 514SEM: Museum Management

Reg. #21815
Monday, 12:30-3:10p
261 Academic Center (Paley Library)
Dr. Edith Gonzalez

This course is designed to provide a foundation in museum management - in both its operations and administrative mechanics and the hierarchies and power structures that shape critical museum discourse. Museums are undergoing tremendous transformations, especially in terms of the use, care, and representation of their collections and in respect to reaching increasingly diverse audiences. What was founded as a place of expert research, selective social access, and local/national significance is evolving into a place of both greater reach and frequent cultural and political frictions. The goal of this course is to give you a sense of the tensions between the museum’s traditional operations and obligations and the needs to adjust these principles to demands for museums as equitable platforms of knowledge exchange. Through lectures, guest speakers, group work, and discussions this course provides foundational knowledge on principles of museum management and applies it to important museum management case studies.

APY 521EM: Language, Culture and Power

Reg. #23246
Monday, 4:00-6:40p
261 Academic Center (Paley Library)
Dr. Deborah Reed-Danahay

This seminar introduces students to the field of anthropological linguistics. The relationship between language, culture, and power will be the major focus. We will explore the importance of language and speech in ethnographic research, including topics such as the ethnography of speaking, sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, gender, and issues in the study of dominant and minority languages.

APY 546SEM : Comparative Human Life History

Reg. #23335
Wednesday, 12:30-3:10p
351 Academic Center
Dr. Stephanie Poindexter

To balance the demands of living in ecologically variable environments, humans have evolved a collection of traits to minimize their risk of mortality and to maximize their ability to acquire food. Modern human life-history traits gradually appeared throughout our evolutionary history. In this course, we will look to our closest cousins to understand how human life-history traits evolved. To build a strong base in life-history theory, students will learn about each human life stage, including birth, infancy, childhood, juvenility, adolescents, adulthood, and old age. Topics in human life history evolution provide a unique perspective on human development, birth, and the physical measures used to characterize global human health.

APY 575SEM: Beyond the Human

Reg. #21814
Tuesday, 3:30-6:10p
261 Academic Center (Paley Library)
Dr. Ana Mariella Bacigalupo

Topic: Beyond the Human: Seeing the World Through a Different Lens

APY 578SEM: Ethnomedicine

Reg. #23338
Friday, 11:00a-1:40p
261 Academic Center (Paley Library)
Dr. Frederick Klaits

This course presents an advanced survey of current anthropological literature on understandings and practices related to health and illness. We will focus on questions of how somatic and discursive representations help to create various social realities. Such social realities range from the workings of occult power to addiction and eating disorder therapies, the distribution of pharmaceuticals, and the regulation of migration. Throughout, we will consider the sources and consequences of people’s convictions that others ought to be cared for in particular ways.

APY 587SEM: Archeology Topics

Reg. #23418
Thursday, 2:30-5:10p
261 Academic Center (Paley Library)
Dr. Albert Fulton

Topic: Indigenous Paleoecology

This course explores the manner in which Indigenous peoples of eastern North America interacted with and were in turn influenced by the ecological systems within which they lived, from the end of the last Ice Age through the Contact period, approximately 12,000 – 200 years before present. During this period of time known as the Holocene epoch, the ecosystems of eastern North America responded in complex ways to multiple environmental modulators including climate perturbations, species migrations and extinctions, natural disturbance agents such as fire and storms, and human land-use impacts related to changing settlement systems and the adoption of novel subsistence economies. Human societies were in turn influenced by the regional diversity of and temporal variability in environmental contexts, which provided multiple dynamic pathways for cultural innovation and adaptation across space and time. By developing greater awareness of critical interactions among Indigenous Americans, the natural environment, and past climate change, we can develop more nuanced perspectives on how best to respond to current and future climatic and ecological transformations affecting all of humanity.

This course will appeal to advanced undergraduate and graduate students with interests in environmental science, physical geography, archaeology, Indigenous studies, biogeography, paleontology, paleoecology, historical ecology, environmental history, and human-environment interactions. Students seeking interdisciplinary perspectives on addressing paleoenvironmental reconstruction in their own research will especially benefit from this course.

APY 614SEM: Hominin Behavior

Reg. #23355
Wednesday, 4:30-7:10p
158 Spaulding Quad
Dr. Stephen Lycett

There can be few greater challenges to science than studying the behavior of a long‐dead animal. This is especially the case with studying hominin behavior. Yet, this challenge must be met if we are to understand our behavioral origins and heritage. Today, only one species of hominin exists: Homo sapiens.

An absence of closely related hominin taxa leaves us with a limited range of potential models that we might look to for inspiration. For instance, do chimpanzees provide clues or should we look to modern hunter‐gatherers? Does psychology provide an answer? Do we need to look to evolutionary theory? Can experiments be of assistance in a fundamentally historical science? With stone tools and the debris of their manufacture comprising much of our basic primary data, what hope is there for a rigorous science of hominin behavior?

History shows that the field is subject to wild speculations. For instance, Neanderthals are sometimes portrayed as close brethren who would not evoke response if encountered on the New York subway (at least if dressed in a business suit, so the story goes). At other times they have been portrayed as fundamentally different in behavior and intelligence from our own species. Which is it?

APY 623LEC: Memory and Commemoration

Reg. #23689
Wednesday, 12;00-2:40p
261 Academic Center (Paley Library)
Dr. Meghana Joshi

This course explores theoretical approaches of and empirical knowledge about memory in relation to culture and society. A particularly strong emphasis will be laid on the close reading of foundational authors and their primary texts. The course focuses on memory and its failure: the contortions, transformations, inscriptions, and shifting genres that precede, follow, or accompany the universal experience of loss. How do individuals and collectivities confront, deal with, and absolve themselves from loss? The course takes up three major approaches to memory: psychoanalysis (S. Freud), social organization (M. Halbwachs), and associative temporalities (W.G. Sebald). It examines various genres in which the memory of loss is retained or displaced: memoires, comics, memorials, commemorative ritual, embodiment, and various forms of inscription.

Memory––the process of recalling something learned, experienced, or imagined in the past––employs narrative forms to organize experience into events. How is the past experienced and construed as meaningful story in the present? A better understanding of the memory of loss, and the social forms in which memory remains active in the present, can improve ethnographic sensibility in observing, interpreting, and analyzing various modes of expression by identifying narrative forms in practice and by comparing culturally specific forms of documentation.

APY 651LEC: Graduate Survey of Physical Anthropology

Reg. #15673
Monday, 12:00-2:40pm
158 Spaulding Quad
Dr. Noreen von Cramon-Taubadel

This course is designed to provide a comprehensive introduction to the field of biological anthropology. Here we will review topics such as evolutionary theory, basic genetics, the evolution of the primates, human evolution, modern human diversity, the evolution of cognition and language, human social behavior, and the impacts of health and disease. The course will be taught via a mixture of lectures, class discussions and practical exercises.

APY 652LEC: Graduate Survey of Archaeology

Reg. #12713
Thursday, 11:00a-1:40p
261 Academic Center (Paley Library)
Dr. Timothy Chevral

The four ‘important questions’ usually addressed in anthropological archaeology deal with modern human origins and development, or ‘what makes us human’, the transition from small scale foraging, collecting, and hunting societies to agricultural societies, then the eventual emergence and the institutionalization of more structurally and politically complicated societies, and finally, the beginning and development of ‘civilization’. These notions are important, but what do they even mean? They largely consider economy and political organization as if they are the only factors that determine the human condition. There are other complimentary issues to think about as well: the human relationship with the physical world of nature, places, and ‘things’, the supernatural and ideological world, the interpersonal and intergroup relationships of people to each other and to ancestors near and distant, and the kind of social and natural forces that drive stasis or change through time.

This means that we will examine the development of unique ways of life in select parts of the Old World, think about them comparatively, and at the same time fit them into some basic current conceptual and theoretical discussions within archaeology, as a preview to the more intensive theoretical review that will come in the second semester and beyond, as well as more specialized courses in specific areas, time periods, and topics.

APY 655LEC: Graduate Survey of Social Anthropology

Reg. #16004
Monday, 9:00-11:40a
261 Academic Center (Paley Library)
Dr. Vasiliki Neofotistos

This course is designed to give first year graduate students a basic grounding in "classic" social theory as it was developed in between the mid-19th and mid-20th centuries.  It is the first in a two-part survey of theory in socio-cultural anthropology.  The second half (APY654), taught in spring semester, covers subsequent developments. We will begin with Marx, Durkheim, Weber, and Mauss before moving on to anthropological works informed by a growing emphasis on ethnographic/participant-observation research.  We will then turn to different schools of thought that developed in Europe and the United States in the first half of the twentieth century.  The influences of related disciplines such as history and sociology, as well as nationalism and colonialism, on the emergence of the discipline of anthropology will also be discussed. Our emphasis will be on the ways in which an understanding of foundational work in social theory may illuminate contemporary approaches to theory and method both as continuations of and breaks with previous approaches.

APY 730LEC: Advanced Problems in Areal Archaeology

Reg. #23930
Wednesday, 9:00-11:40a
261 Academic Center (Paley Library)
Dr. Colin Quinn

Topic: Prehistory of Europe

This course explores the archaeology of Neolithic and Bronze Age Europe. We will explore key transformations in social, economic, political, and ideological organization; from the arrival of farming to the emergence of regional hierarchies with persistent inequalities. Students will learn about the different intellectual frameworks employed in European archaeology and how they have influenced how archaeologists have asked questions, analyzed data, and developed narratives of social change and continuity in different regions of the continent. We will address a variety of major topics in prehistoric Europe. These include: the spread of farming and changing relationships between people and landscapes; collective identities, ideologies, and actions in early villages and towns; the emergence of specialized craft and political economies associated with metal; and how to synthesize archaeological and archaeogenetic evidence of migration, kinship, and social change. The final assessment in the course will be an independent research paper that combines theory, method, and an archaeological dataset from Europe.