Spring 2024 Course Offerings

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APY 105LEC: Introduction to Anthropology

Reg. #21794
Monday/Wednesday/Friday, 12:00-12:50pm
218 Natural Sciences Complex
Instructor: Dr. Irene Ketonen-Keating

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.

APY 106LEC: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

Reg. #16034
Monday/Wednesday/Friday, 1:00-1:50pm
109 Knox
Instructor: Dr. Óscar Gil-García

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. #15993
Tuesday/Thursday 3:30-4:50pm
422 Fronczak Hall
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. #15994
Monday/Wednesday/Friday 11:00-11:50am
218 Natural Sciences Complex
Instructor: Dr. Albert Fulton

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. #16067
Tuesday/Thursday, 12:30-1:50pm
228 Natural Sciences Complex
Instructor: Dr. Kalliopi Nikolopoulou

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. #18619
Monday/Wednesday/Friday 9:00-9:50am
228 Natural Sciences Complex
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 321SEM: Topics

Please note there are 2 sections of APY 321 for Spring 2024

Topic: Climate and Environmental Change in Human (Pre)History

Reg. #22889
Monday/Wednesday/Friday, 1:00-1:50pm
354 Academic Center
Instructor: Dr. Albert Fulton

This course explores the impacts of climate and environmental variability on past human societies from an interdisciplinary perspective, as interpreted from the archaeological, historical, and paleoenvironmental records. Multiple case studies will be examined from the perspective of paired climate-environmental change as a key impetus for past human cultural innovation. Implications of past societal responses for present and future climate-change scenarios will also be discussed.

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


Topic: Anthropological Demography

Reg. #22894
Tuesady/Thursday, 9:30-10:50am
354 Academic Center
Instructor: Dr. Meghana Joshi

This course explores demographic changes and population dynamics through an anthropological lens such that students develop an integrative understanding of cultural factors and demographic rates. Demographic phenomena are thus seen as social facts with socio-cultural explanations and enabling understanding relations between the Individual and collective and agency and structure. This course does not focus on demographic methodology rather on ways in which demographic behaviors and phenomenon, population dynamics, and social, economic, and political change are interrelated.

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

APY 330LEC: Prehistory of Europe

Reg. #22897
Tuesday/Thursday, 12:30-1:50pm
354 Academic Center
Instructor: Dr. Colin Quinn

Meets Area Studies requirement.

Examines European prehistory from the Paleolithic period through the formation of the earliest states in Europe.

APY 345LEC: Comparative Primate Anatomy

Reg. #17827
Monday, 5:00-7:40pm
170 Academic Center
Instructor: Dr. Nicholas Holowka

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 3 sections of APY 346 offered during Spring 2024.

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      
Tuesday, 1:00-4:50pm            (Reg.#16010)

LAB B      Wednesday, 1:00-4:50pm      (Reg.#16011)

LAB C      Thursday, 1:00-4:50pm          (Reg.#16012)

APY 354LEC: World Music

Reg. #23411
Remote, not real time
Instructor: Dr. Colter Harper

Introduces the student to music from all over the world, and expands concepts of music in the process. Students learn about different instruments from other cultures and how they influence the music they produce, and explore common features of Asian, European, African, American, and Oceanic music. Students also learn different ways of listening. Designed for non-majors. Requires no musical background. This course is the same as MUS 364 and course repeat rules will apply. Students should consult with their major department regarding any restrictions on their degree requirements.

APY 356SEM: Cultural Evolution

Reg. #18728
Wednesday, 4:30-7:10pm
354 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 401LEC: Theory in Anthropology

Reg. #21529
Tuesday/Thursday, 2:00-3:20pm
354 Academic Center
Instructor: Dr. Jaume Franquesa

Reviews the growth of anthropology as a scientific discipline. Analyzes in detail major anthropological approaches and theories.

APY 410SEM: Men and Masculinities

Reg. #20243
Tuesday/Thursday, 11:00am-12:20pm
354 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 420SEM: Research Using Museum Collections

Reg. #20262
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.

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 434SEM: Stuff - Materiality and Inequality

Reg. #22890
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.

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 461LEC: Human Paleontology

Reg. #22905
Thrusday, 5:00-7:40pm
158 Spaulding Quad
Instructor: 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 561.