Spring 2022 Course Offerings

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APY 106LEC: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

Reg.# 17469
Monday/Wednesday/Friday, 10:00-10:50am
Norton 112
Instructor: Dr. Stuart Rockefeller

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. #17414
Tuesday/Thursday 3:30-4:50pm
322 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. #17415
Monday/Wednesday/Friday, 1:00-1:50pm
Hochstetter 114
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. #17503
170 Academic Center
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 215LEC: Historic Archaeology

Reg. 23665
Tuesday/Thursday, 9:30-10:50am
Norton 214
Instructor: Dr. Edith Gonzalez

Historical archaeology studies material culture, in combination with written documents and oral history, to piece together a clearer and fuller understanding of our past. Students of this course will learn how to interpret artifacts and archival materials and how these can both conflict and complement one another in research of the past. The course is ¿New World¿ focused and students will analyze multiple data types and assess their usefulness in reconstructing historical change in the Americas and the Caribbean during the colonial age. Historical archaeology can contribute to our understanding of the history of identity - be it race, class, gender, or ethnicity - and how this history affects us today. The class will also evaluate the merit of pseudo-archaeological phenomena in television, film, and other media.

This course meets the Theoretical/Problem-Oriented requirement. Note: This course does not automatically populate in HUB as theoretical/problem course. Please email the Undergraduate Coordinator to request the course be used to fulfill this requirement. 

APY 275LEC: Culture, Health and Illness

Reg. #20720
Monday/Wednesday/Friday, 9:00-9:50am
170 Academic Center
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. #21851
Tuesday/Thursday, 11:00am-12:20pm
351 Academic Center
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

Note: There are 2 sections of APY 321 during Spring 2022. Students may register for both.

Reg. #22051
Tuesday/Thursday, 12:30-1:50pm
Capen 108
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 an area course. Please email the Undergraduate Coordinator to request the course be used to fulfill this requirement. 

APY 321SEM: People, Primates and Our Future

Note: There are 2 sections of APY 321 during Spring 2022. Students may register for both.

Reg. #23714
Monday/Wednesday/Friday 10:00-10:50am
351 Academic Center
Instructor: Dr. Stephanie Poindexter

This course introduces students to diverse attitudes towards primates and allows them to consider cross-cultural contrasts in the way primates are perceived and treated, and the problems of promoting primate conservation if these are ignored. We will examine the interface between humans and non-human primates by discussing crop damage, hunting, tourism, and the design and management of National Parks and wildlife reserves.

This course meets the Theoretical/Problem-Oriented requirement. Note: This course does not automatically populate in HUB as theoretical/problem course. Please email the Undergraduate Coordinator to request the course be used to fulfill this requirement. 

APY 345LEC: Comparative Primate Anatomy

Reg. #19673
Monday, 4:00-6:40pm
170 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 four sections of the lab. 

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

APY 346LAB: Dissections in Primate Anatomy

Location: Labs meet in Spaulding 155 at the times listed below:

LAB A      
Monday, 9:00am-12:50pm        (Reg.#17432)

LAB B      Tuesday, 1:00-4:50pm               (Reg.#17433)

LAB C      Wednesday, 1:00-4:50pm         (Reg.#17434)

LAB D      Thursday , 1:00-4:50pm            (Reg.#17435)

LAB E      Friday, 2:00pm—5:50pm          (Reg.#23614)

APY 347LEC: Understanding Human Variation

Reg. #23615
Tuesday/Thursday, 2:00-3:20pm
Talbert 106
Instructor: Dr. Noreen von Cramon-Taubadel

Modern humans are very unusual primates. We have low levels of genetic variation relative to other primates, yet are outwardly quite diverse in our external appearance. This diversity is structured geographically due to the fact that we live on almost every continent on earth. The history of population dispersals, migrations, gene flow, and natural selection have shaped our genetic and phenotypic variation. Here we will explore the empirical reality of modern human population genetic and phenotypic variation and set it in its evolutionary and historical context.

APY 356SEM: Cultural Evolution

Reg. #19792
Wednesday, 4:00-6:40pm
351 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 402SEM: Contemporary Europe

Reg. #20721
Hybrid Course
Real time meetings: Wednesday, 2:00-3:20pm, Talbert 112
Instructor: Dr. Deborah Reed-Danahay

This course meets the Area Studies requirement. 

Class Notes:  This course will be taught in the hybrid format. All enrolled students are expected to attend the Wednesday in-person meetings and participate in asynchronous instructional activities.

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 410SEM: Men and Masculinities

Reg. #23616
Tuesday/Thursday, 9:30-10:50am
351 Academic Center
Instructor: Dr. Meghana Joshi

This course asks what it means to be a man and/or masculine in the particular context of Euro-American societies. The overall aims of this course are to a. engage with material that directs our attention to the precarity of masculinity i.e. how masculinity is not fixed in its definitions or practices; b. highlight how masculinities derive meaning in relation to (other masculinities/women); and c. how structures (policies, law, representations in scientific literature, medicine and technology) play a key role in reproducing as well as changing and shifting dominant notions of masculinities.

This course meets the Senior Seminar requirement. This course does not automatically populate in HUB as a senior seminar course. Please email the Undergraduate Coordinator to request the course be used to fulfill this requirement.

APY 414SEM: Museum Management

Reg. #23754
Monday, 9:30am-12:10pm
206 Anderson Gallery
Instructor: Hannah Quaintance

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: Museum Ethnology

Reg. #23647
Tuesday/Thursday, 12:30-1:50pm
Clemens 21
Instructor: Dr. Edith Gonzalez

This course looks at anthropology museums and the history of ethnographic collecting by museums in the 19th-century as a "way into" an understanding of the history of the field of Anthropology itself.  This course combines "fieldwork," studying existing ethnological museum display and collections, with broader discussions of the rise of British social anthropological theory and American cultural anthropology as academic disciplines. Issues such as the relationship of museum collecting to colonialism, material cultural theory and its implications for ethnographic analysis, and the current role ethnographic museums play in the teaching of anthropology will also be addressed.

This course meets the Theoretical/Problem-Oriented requirement. Note: This course does not automatically populate in HUB as theoretical/problem course. Please email the Undergraduate Coordinator to request the course be used to fulfill this requirement. 

APY 421SEM: Archaeology of the Southwest

Reg. #23744
Monday, 5:00-7:40pm
Baldy 113
Instructor: Dr. David Witt

Topic: Chaco, Hohokom, and the Archaeology of the Southwest

This seminar will discuss the cultural development of the American Southwest, specifically the Hohokam, Ancestral Pueblo, and neighboring peoples, exploring demographic changes, subsistence and trade, urbanization, and political organization from the post-Archaic Basketmaker II period up to Contact and European colonization. In addition to standard culture history, the class will investigate these topics through an historiographic approach of the discipline of archaeology, where students will learn how the theories and methods archaeologists employ influence interpretations of archaeological evidence. 

This course meets the Area Studies requirement. Note: This course does not automatically populate in HUB as an area course. Please email the Undergraduate Coordinator to request the course be used to fulfill this requirement. 

APY 444SEM: Behavioral Research Methods

Reg. #23617
Wednesday, 12:30-3:10pm
352 Academic Center
Instructor: Dr. Stephanie Poindexter

Behavioral Research Methods provides students with first-hand experience in all of the steps involved in observational research. They will develop a research question, select appropriate observation methods, collect data and summarize their findings in a written report and formal scientific presentation. This course involves frequent visits to the Buffalo zoo (pandemic-dependent).

APY 461LEC: Human Paleontology

Reg. #21850
Thursday, 3:30-6:10pm
158 Spaulding Quad
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.