Graduate Courses

Browse our current semester course offerings.

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Spring 2024 Course Offerings

APY 554SEM: Anthropology of Race, Sex and Gender

Reg. #22900
Wednesday, 3:30-6:10pm
261 Academic Center (Paley Library)
Dr. Oscar Gil

Course description coming soon.

APY 561EM: Human Paleontology

Reg. #22906
Thrusday, 5:00-7:40pm
158 Spaulding Quad
Dr. Nicholas Holowka

Humans have evolved over the course of several million years since our common ancestor with chimpanzees, and in that time many different species of ancient human have walked the earth. In this course we will take a deep dive into the fossil record to learn about these species, and the series of remarkable adaptations in our lineage that resulted in modern humans. In so doing, you will learn about the ancient environments our ancestors inhabited, their diet and anatomy, and the evolutionary processes that led to our unique form bipedal walking and running, as well as our enormous and complex brains. This course will consist of lectures and group discussions, as well as in-class activities where you will examine castes of ancient human fossils. This course is dual-listed with APY 461.

APY 572SEM : Research Using Museum Collections

Reg. #22891
Monday/Wednesday 3:00-4:20pm
354 Academic Center
Instructor: Dr. Lacey Carpenter

Archaeological collections housed in museum represent a vast and varied dataset for researchers. As museums undertake efforts to document and digitize collections, it has raised new challenges for museums professionals and researchers in their efforts to care for and learn from these artifacts and belongings. Collections may or may not be well-provenienced, making it difficult to use them for study or educational purposes. However, the development of new technologies has provided fresh avenues for working with all kinds of collections. In this course, students will learn about the history of collecting and have an opportunity to research the origins of UB's anthropology collections. Throughout the semester, students will explore a variety of non-destructive methods for generating new information from existing collections. Students will also gain experience with methods aimed at increasing accessibility of the collections for future researchers. As part of the course, students will work in small groups to design and complete a research project using UB's anthropology collections employing one or more of the methods covered in the course.

APY 573LEC: Primate Evolutionary Biology

Reg. #17828
Dr. Nicholas Holowka

Primate specialization and taxonomy, fossil history, anatomy and behavior in the primate order, odontology and human origins.  Lecture course with some laboratory work. Students must attend Monday evening lecture, 5:00-7:40pm.

APY 587SEM: Stuff - Materiality and Inequality

Reg. #22896
Tuesday, 3:30-6:10pm
354 Academic Center
Instructor: Dr. Colin Quinn

This course on the archaeology of inequality examines the relationship between material culture and systemic inequality. The rampant wealth disparities in the modern world prompt anthropological archaeologists to ask whether inequality is an inescapable component of all societies. Drawing upon the strengths of archaeology - long-term perspectives and the material record - this course traces the development of, and interplay between, material culture and social hierarchy. We will explore a wide range of topics, such as how elites justify their monopolization of power and resources, alternatives to hierarchy in large-scale communities, differential authorities that are not reliant upon accumulation of material wealth, and the role of ritual in negotiating (in)equities. Students will learn different techniques that archaeologists use to identify, quantify, and understand inequalities in past societies.

APY 610SEM: Method & Theory in Archaeology

Reg. #21547
Tuesday, 12:30-3:10pm
261 Academic Center (Paley Library)
Dr. Timothy Chevral

This seminar introduces the critical theoretical issues that are central to Anglo-American archaeology. Using current and classic texts, we will spend the first few meetings developing an understanding of archaeology as a discipline; the various ways practitioners have perceived themselves over time and the historical development of archaeological theory, highlighting significant changes in the direction and nature of archaeological research during the 20th century.

Next, we will look at the traditional theoretical approaches that seek to explain culture change, including neoevolutionary, functionalist and ecological approaches, neo-Marxist/materialist perspectives, and multivariate processual theories. After this, we will examine contemporary theories that have roots in various disciplines, involving not only “cultural change” but cultural reproduction and transformations. These include neo-idealist, interpretive and neo-historical/contextual approaches; cognitive approaches, Post-Structuralist ideas like practice, agency, and phenomenology ,and postcolonial theories of identity.

APY 618SEM: Cultural Heritage

Reg. #22904
Tuesday, 9:30am-12:10pm
261 Academic Center (Paley Library)
Dr. Jaume Franquesa

Since the 1970s we have witnessed what has been aptly called heritage inflation. The expression points not only to the proliferation of initiatives oriented to promote cultural heritage, but also, crucially, to the widening of the temporal, geographical and thematic scope of those objects included into the category. This seminar takes up the growing presence of cultural heritage and the contradictions that surround it as material for anthropological and social analysis, problematizing conventional understandings of cultural heritage. Through a double engagement with varied theoretical approaches and ethnographic case studies, the students will develop an approach to cultural heritage as a multi-vocal, complex process.

APY 624LEC: Topics in Medical Anthropology

Reg. #21532
Thursday, 1:00-3:40pm
261 Academic Center (Paley Library)
Dr. Meghana Joshi

This course presents an advanced review of anthropological literature on beliefs, practices, and meanings of care, relationality, empathy, health, suffering and end of life. We focus on how predicaments of care shape experiences of the body as a site of both suffering and healing. We examine how distress, pain, and suffering is multifaceted, dispersed socially, and how healing lies not necessarily within the physical body, but in the social body. Specifically, this course interrogates mental illness categories, ethnographies of depression, biosocial masculinities, singlehood, childlessness and their relation to individual, social and political contexts.

Significantly, we are attentive to the unknown, inexplicable, and the un-translatable in ethnographic encounters. How can we get at this content methodologically and how can we analyze and write about it? Also, what are the politics of care and the slippages when Verstehen fails; what unintended consequences do we confront and make sense of? This course would be of interest to students interested in medical anthropology, healing/suffering, demography, gendered care and intimacies.

APY 654LEC: Graduate Survey of Social Anthropology

Reg. #16008
Wednesday, 12:30-3:10pm
261 Academic Center (Paley Library)
Dr. Deborah Reed-Danahay

This seminar will introduce you to current theoretical issues within social and cultural anthropology.  After gaining some historical perspectives on our discipline during the past 25-30 years, we will take stock of socio-cultural anthropology in the early 21st century.

APY 730SEM: Advanced Problems in Areal Archaeology

Reg. #22895
Monday, 9:00am-12:10pm
261 Academic Center (Paley Library)
Dr. Lacey Carpenter

Topic: New World Survey

In this course, students will examine the lifeways and deep cultural history of the peoples inhabiting North, Central, and South America. Multi-scalar approaches are a distinguishing feature of archaeology in the Americas. The integration of household studies with site-level and regional settlement pattern analyses provide an important theoretical and methodological framework within which to examine a diverse array of anthropological themes. Over the course of the semester, we will explore a variety of regions in the Americas through readings emphasizing analyses at macro and micro scales. Foundational readings will be provided.

In addition, students will select and present on recently published work to complement assigned readings and expand our knowledge about new developments in multi-scalar theoretical and methodological approaches to archaeology in the Americas. As part of the final project, students will conduct an original analysis of a multi-scalar dataset from a New World region of their choice. The final paper should integrate data from regional surveys with site and/or intra-site-level data. Students are encouraged to work with UB collections to gain hands-on experience with artifacts, maps, and field notes.

APY 735LAB: Adv. Archeol. Techniques & Methods - Cultural Resource Management

Reg. #22899
Monday, 12:00-2:40pm
261 Academic Center (Paley Library)
Dr. Douglas Perrelli

Students in this course will learn to use advanced archaeological techniques and methods to produce cultural resource management (CRM) reports in compliance with current New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) standards.  Other aspects of compliance-based archaeological research and contracting will be addressed including, local project types, proposal preparation, budgeting, research design, significance assessment and National Register eligibility criteria.  An array of field and lab techniques will be employed in the production of a report that meets or exceeds OPRHP standards. Techniques and methods may include historic map and documentary research, field survey and mapping, site testing and excavation and artifact processing and analysis.  Additional discussion topics will include legislative compliance, ethics, interactions between archaeologists and Native American groups, state and federal agencies, and the local community.  Case studies from western New York will be used to illustrate common problems and the potential for CRM archaeology to contribute to local and regional archaeological research and public outreach and education.