Graduate Courses

Browse our current semester course offerings.

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Spring 2021 Course Offerings

APY 501SEM: Teaching and Research Resources

Dr. Joyce Sirianni

Pedagogical aspects of instruction, including use of films, laboratories and field experience, bibliographic and archival materials, cross-cultural files and data banks.

APY 508SEM: Qualitative Research Methods

Reg. #23760
Online, real time
Real time meeting: Monday 12:40-3:20pm
Dr. Meghana Joshi

This course will provide students with hands-on training in qualitative, ethnographic methods of research. Students will learn field techniques such as participant observation, interviewing, documentation, and use of media. Students will also learn how to design a research project, write a research proposal, and apply to the human subjects review board for project approval. The course will address research ethics, interpretation and representation of data, and the use of effective writing techniques. It will provide a critical evaluation of the nature of ethnographic research, including the rethinking of site, voice, and ethnographic authority.

APY 514SEM: Museum Management

Reg. #19084
Hybrid (Remote and In Person)
Real time meeting: Monday 9:10-11:50am
Dr. Peter Biehl

Please note the in person course meetings will take place in the Anderson Gallery (1 Martha Jackson Place) near UB South Campus.

Museum and collection management and research is motivated by two things: a love of objects, and a fascination with the ways in which they speak about the past and 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 who collected them. Conservation must include preservation of the information accompanying an object, information beyond provenance, or artifact 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 536SEM: Contemporary Europe

Reg. #24003
Remote, real time
Real time meeting: Tuesday, 5:30-8:10pm
Dr. Deborah Reed-Danahay

Europe has become a major area of investigation for cultural anthropologists since the 1980s.  By taking this course, students will deepen their knowledge of anthropological approaches to the study of Europe and Europe’s global engagements.  The course will cover various topics in the history of the anthropology of Europe, anthropological approaches to the study of the EU, and migration to and from Europe.  This course will be of interest not only to students with research interests in Europe, but to others who want a deeper understanding of Europe and its historical and contemporary relationships with the rest of the world.  ​

APY 545LEC: Dental Anthropology

Reg. #24003
Remote, recorded not real time
Dr. Joyce Sirianni

This seminar covers topics such as Embryological Development and Growth of Primate Jaws and Teeth; Basic Craniofacial Anatomy; Theories of Dental Evolution; Basic Dental Anatomy; Nonhuman and Human Dental Variation; Forensic Odontology, and Dental Pathologies.  

APY 546SEM: Physical Anthropology Topics

APY 546 Methods in Behavioral Research flyer.

Topic: Methods in Behavioral Research

Reg. #20984
Remote, real time and recorded
Real time meeting: Thursday 9:35-10:50am
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.

APY 561LEC: Human Paleontology

APY 561 Human Paleontology Flyer.

Reg. #23957
Remote, real time
Real time meeting: Monday, 12:40-3:20pm
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 461.

APY 572SEM: Special Topics - Gender Archaeology

Reg. #18194
Remote, real time and recorded
Real time meeting: Tuesday/Thursday 11:10am-12:25pm
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.

APY 573LEC: Primate Evolutionary Biology

Reg. #20759
Real time meeting: Fridays, 10:20am-1:00pm
Dr. Joyce Sirianni

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.

APY 610SEM: Method and Theory in Archaeology

Reg. #18049
Remote, real time and recorded
Real time meetings: Wednesday 10:20am-1:00pm
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 theoretical approaches that seek to explain culture change or culture transformations, including neo-evolutionary, functionalist and ecological approaches, neo-Marxist and materialist perspectives; and multivariate interaction theories such as world systems theory. After this, we will examine contemporary theories that have roots in various disciplines, involving not only “cultural change” but cultural reproduction. These include neo-idealist, interpretive and neohistorical/contextual approaches; cognitive approaches, hermaneutics, practice, agency, and phenomenological theories, gender theory and postcolonial theories of identity, among others.

APY 654SEM: Graduate Survey in Social Anthropology

Reg. #18050
Remote, real time
Real time meetings: Wednesday, 2:20-5:00pm
Dr. Frederick Klaits

This graduate seminar is designed to provide an overview of current trends in cultural anthropological theory. We will be exploring current debates on such themes as value, violence, sovereignty, biopower, care, language ideology, modernity, and religion.