Anthropology (2022 - 2024)
Culture, Power, Society
ANTH-UA 1 Grant, Zhang. 4 points.
What does it mean to think anthropologically? Considers historically foundational practices of anthropological thought; its core method, fieldwork; and its most influential product, the ethnography, in order to think practically and creatively about what constitutes cultures, societies, translation, and difference. A central goal is to advance the concept of culture, with its attendant solidarities, hierarchies, and exclusions, in order to better understand continually changing systems of collective identifications.
ANTH-UA 2 Includes laboratory. Antón, Bailey, Higham, Williams. 4 points.
The study of human evolution is a multidisciplinary endeavor involving a synthesis of concepts, techniques, and research findings from a variety of different scientific fields, including evolutionary biology, paleontology, primatology, comparative anatomy, genetics, molecular biology, geology, and archaeology. Provides a detailed survey of the evidence used to reconstruct the evolutionary history of our own species.
Introduction to Archaeology
ANTH-UA 3 Includes laboratory. Crabtree, Iovita, Pargeter. 4 points.
Introduces contemporary archaeology, its theories and practices, and early societies and cultures. Examines current methodological and theoretical viewpoints of archaeological scholarship within the discipline of anthropology. Focuses on key transformations in cultural evolution, such as the origins of modern humans, the emergence of food production, and the development of complex societies, urbanism, and early states. Explores gender roles, landscapes and settlements, technologies, art, cognitive systems, urbanism, and state formation.
Language, Culture, and Society
ANTH-UA 17 Prerequisite: Culture, Power, Society (ANTH-UA 1). Das. 4 points.
Introduces students to linguistic anthropology, the study of human language and its use across diverse cultural and social contexts. Explores topics such as language acquisition and socialization, ethnopoetics, pidgins and creoles, multilingualism, folklore, humor and racism, linguistic nationalism, literacy and media, and multilingualism. Different methods of linguistic analysis used to examine communicative events across ethnographic contexts, focusing on North America, the Pacific, and South Asia.
History of Anthropology
ANTH-UA 45 Prerequisite: Culture, Power, Society (ANTH-UA 1) or permission of the instructor. Myers. 4 points.
Explores the development of some of the discipline's defining themes such as the culture concept, understandings of human commonalities and diversity, and participant observation research methods. Considers some of the key persons and institutions associated with these ideas. Focuses primarily on British and American sociocultural anthropology over the 20th century.
Special Courses (Including Honors)
Students must consult departmental policies on honors, internships, and independent study in the anthropology program section of this Bulletin.
Special Seminar in Anthropology I, II
ANTH-UA 800, 801 Open only to honors majors, or majors in cultural or linguistic anthropology who have the permission of the director of undergraduate studies. 4 points per term.
Honors Research I, II
ANTH-UA 950, 951 Open only to honors majors who have the permission of the director of undergraduate studies and who have secured the support of a faculty mentor to supervise the student's honors research and serve as the primary thesis reader. 2 points per term.
ANTH-UA 980, 981 Open only to majors who have the permission of the director of undergraduate studies, who will act as the departmental supervisor. Between 1-4 points per term.
ANTH-UA 997, 998 Prerequisite: permission of the director of undergraduate studies. 2 or 4 points per term; 6 or 8 points may be appropriate in exceptional cases.
Courses in Sociocultural and Linguistic Anthropology
Courses in these two subdisciplines are grouped in five areas of concentration. These are informal tracks students may use to develop expertise in a particular part of the discipline. The courses in each area complement one another, allowing students to study related topics from a variety of perspectives and develop a more coherent understanding of the field. The five areas are: 1. culture, symbols, and representation: media, art, language, heritage, and symbolic systems; 2. politics and society: politics, law, race, gender, sexuality, violence, economy, and the state; 3. science and medicine: medical anthropology, global health, and science studies; 4. religion, secularism, and the body; and 5. cultures of the world: ethnographic studies of world regions.
Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion
ANTH-UA 11 Identical to RELST-UA 1. 4 points.
See description under religious studies.
Language, Power, and Identity
ANTH-UA 16 Identical to LING-UA 8. Das. 4 points.
Examines how speakers enact their gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, and socioeconomic class identities through everyday conversations, narratives, performances, literacy activities, and public debates. Explores how identification strategies and beliefs about language reinforce or contest normative power structures. Considers bilingual education, accent discrimination, racial slurs, census labels, standard language, code-switching, linguistic nationalism, xenophobia, censorship, and hate speech cases in different areas of the world.
ANTH-UA 29 Identical to RELST-UA 642. Zito. 4 points.
Explores the relationship between cultures of religious practices and the human body: the body as medium both for ritual and religious experience; the body as locus for virtue and sin; the split between mind and body. Looks at the body in various situations—gendered, sexualized, covered, naked, suffering, disabled, altered, missing—and interrogates notions of representations and ideals, from the religious ban on representing the human body to divine anthropomorphism.
Anthropology of Religion
ANTH-UA 30 Myers, Oliphant, Zito. 4 points.
Examines the cultural nature of basic beliefs and values manifested in both simple and complex societies. Discussion of time and space, causality, myth, prophecy and divination, witchcraft and magic, and mysticism.
Conversations in Everyday Life
ANTH-UA 32 Das. 4 points.
We spend a great deal of our time talking: whether face-to-face, on the phone, texting, or via another communicative technology, our feelings and ideas are constantly being exchanged. Investigates how conversation shapes our lives in culturally and linguistically diverse urban communities and presents theories and methods for analyzing the roles that talk plays in medical, work, and school settings, where miscommunication frequently occurs.
ANTH-UA 35 4 points.
Analyzes cultural practices and belief systems surrounding illness, suffering, and healing in medical systems around the globe. Healing specialists may be trained in both indigenous and cosmopolitan medicine; patients and healers both confront the structures of health resources and problems of improving health care.
Global Biocultures: Anthropological Perspectives on Health
ANTH-UA 36 Hansen, Rapp. 4 points.
Surveys the mutual shaping of culture and biology in diverse contexts around the world. Starts with sociocultural theories of biocultural process and ends with ethnographies of disability, drugs, food, place, pain, and biotechnology. Examines the relationship between larger political economic structures and individual subjectivities.
Anthropology of Indigenous Australia
ANTH-UA 37 Myers. 4 points.
Considers a range of Aboriginal Australian forms of social being and pays significant attention to the changing relationship between Indigenous people and the settler nation of Australia. Explores how Aboriginal people have struggled to reproduce themselves and their traditions in their own terms, asserting their right to forms of cultural autonomy and self-determination.
Indigenous Australian Art: An Analytical Survey
ANTH-UA 38 Myers. 4 points.
Focuses on regional and historical variations of Aboriginal art in the context of the history of a settler nation, while considering the issues of its circulation and evaluation within contemporary discourses of value. Topics include the cosmological dimensions of the art, its political implications, its relationship to cultural identity, and its aesthetic frameworks.
ANTH-UA 48 Myers. 4 points.
Considers the relationships between the formal properties of signs and their place in social life. A major issue is how to situate meaning in relation to actors and their everyday lives. Classical anthropological approaches to the study of symbols and meaning are examined in the light of recent work in semiotics, literary criticism, Marxist theory, structuralism, phenomenology, philosophy of language, and post-structuralist critique.
The Social Life of Museums
ANTH-UA 82 Anderson. 4 points.
Museums as objects of ethnographic inquiry and social institutions embedded in a broader field of cultural heritage. How principles of classification, practices of collection and exhibition, use of media and technology, and archiving influence the formation, presentation, and representation of knowledge. Interrogates the role of museums as significant social actors in anthropological debates on power, materiality, value, representation, culture, nationalism, circulation, aesthetics, science, history, and “new” technologies.
Contemporary Issues in the Caribbean
ANTH-UA 102 Dávila, Khan. 4 points.
Provides an anthropological perspective on Anglophone, Hispanophone, Francophone, and Dutch Antilles societies. Reviews how colonial history has structured the racial, class, gender, ethnic, and national identities of Caribbean peoples and how these structures have in turn been shaped by the cultures and subjectivities of local communities. Contemporary topics include tourism, sexuality, the arts, health care, transnationalism, and diasporas.
Anthropology of Latin America
ANTH-UA 103 Dávila. 4 points.
Surveys society and culture, with emphasis on class, ethnicity, and nationhood. Examines some of the fundamental characteristics of Ibero-American civilization both in its historical development and in its transformations across a variety of regional and class contexts. Discusses the complex interrelationships between country and city and between "popular" and "elite" culture by examining ethnographic case material and a few general interpretative works.
State and Society in South Asia
ANTH-UA 104 Ganti. 4 points.
Introduces the cultures and societies of the Indian subcontinent. Focuses not only on the history and ethnography of South Asia, but also on the major concepts and debates in the anthropological study of the region. Topics include caste, kinship, gender, religion, material culture, nationalism, ethnic conflict, popular culture, globalization, and the South Asian diaspora.
Populism, Religion, and Crisis in Europe
ANTH-UA 111 Identical to RELST-UA 111. Oliphant. 4 points.
Populist rhetoric, rising xenophobia, anti-migrant hysteria, Islamophobia, and high unemployment have called many of the myths of “Europe” into question. Explores the historical and contemporary politics of religion, populism, and crisis in countries throughout the European Union.
Anthropology of Gender and Sexuality
ANTH-UA 112 Identical to SCA-UA 112. 4 points.
Challenges normative frameworks of sex and gender and considers how such identities as race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, immigration status, religion, and ability impact gender and sex roles. Interrogates social hierarchies, power, and privilege based on sex, gender, and sexuality. Topics: race and pornography, BDSM, asexuality, heteronormativity, transgender identities, queer coming-out narratives, down-low sexual practices, polyamory, sex work, and queer kinship.
Disability Worlds: Anthropological Perspectives
ANTH-UA 113 Ginsburg. 4 points.
Examines the genealogy of disability as a topic in anthropology and related disciplines in the social sciences and humanities, exploring the relationship of such work to disability studies and activism. Considers early key works, as well as recent ethnographies based in different parts of the world and first person accounts. Overall, we stress the significance of disability for theorizing human difference. Incorporates guest lectures, films, performance, and relevant off-site activities in New York City.
Culture, Power, and Visual Representation
ANTH-UA 122 Ganti, Ginsburg. 4 points.
Explores the history and development of anthropology’s relationship to visual practices, focusing on photography and film, both as a mode for representing culture and as a site of cultural practice. Examines the emergence of and contestations around the genre known as ethnographic film and its relationship to wider debates about documentary and non-fictional film practice. A central theme is the relationship between representation, power, and knowledge as manifested in cross-cultural representation.
Anthropology of Media
ANTH-UA 123 Ganti. 4 points.
Examines the social and political life of media and how it makes a difference in the daily lives of people as a practice—in production, reception, or circulation. Organized around the following key questions: What is media? What role does media play in producing or shaping our sense of reality? What is the relationship between media and culture? How is media implicated in social change? Provides an overview of the increasing theoretical attention paid to the mass media by anthropologists, and focuses on concrete ethnographic examples.
Anthropology of Art
ANTH-UA 125 Anderson, Myers. 4 points.
The starting point is to ask "What is art?" in comparative cultural perspective. Analyzes aesthetics in cross-cultural context; the notion of style; the relation between art, technology, and skill; the entanglement of primitivism and modernity; the role of class and taste in appreciating art; art and value in the marketplace; art and museum practice; tourist art and the value of authenticity; and colonial and postcolonial art.
Religion and Media
ANTH-UA 220 Identical to RELST-UA 645. Oliphant, Zito. 4 points.
Introduces, through an anthropological lens, the long-standing and complex connection between religious practices and various media. Analyzes how human hearing, vision, and the performing body have been used historically to express and maintain religious life through music, voice, images, words, and rituals. Also considers more recent electronic media such as radio, film, television, video, and the Internet.
Ethnicity and the Media
ANTH-UA 232 Identical to SCA-UA 232. 4 points.
See description under American studies.
ANTH-UA 315 Grant. 4 points.
Nations and nationalisms have been among the defining phenomena of the modern epoch, yet the terms of nationhood remain extraordinarily plastic. Encourages systematic reflection about the power of this plasticity and focuses on a close and critical engagement with an emergent canon of key writings.
Topical Seminar in Social and Cultural Anthropology I, II
ANTH-UA 320, 321 Anderson, Das, Dávila, Ganti, Ginsburg, Grant, Khan, Myers, Oliphant, Zito. 4 points per term.
Analyzes and assesses selected key issues in the discipline. See the department's website for specific topics each term.
Anthropology of Cities
ANTH-UA 322 Dávila, Grant. 4 points.
Cities and urbanization processes as key spaces for analyzing debates around citizenship, democracy, and national identity across the globe. We also examine cities as creative hubs where some major social transformations are taking place, such as the growth of neoliberalism and the evolution of creative industries and economies across the world. Topics include: Latin American cities, enclave urbanism, new types of segregation, and new imaginaries of class and “urban” identities in the region.
Race and Caste
ANTH-UA 323 Khan. 4 points.
Examines how historical, social, and cultural contexts shape the forms that identities take, looking in particular at ideas about race and racial identity. We work with two premises: (1) race must be understood in relation to such other identity categories as gender, class, sexuality, and ethnicity, and (2) race is expressed in both obvious and subtle ways; thus, racial identity is implicit as well as explicitly expressed. Utilizes nonfiction, fiction, and films.
Reimagining Community: Race, Nation, and the Politics of Belonging
ANTH-UA 325 Dávila, Khan. 4 points.
Examines different notions of "community" through a variety of disciplinary lenses. Readings are drawn from anthropology, history, feminist studies, cultural studies, ethnic studies, and philosophy. We read these texts both as theoretical representations of "community" as well as historically embedded artifacts that are part of the larger machinery in the production of knowledge.
Human Rights and Culture
ANTH-UA 331 Merry. 4 points.
Topics include female genital cutting, honor killing, trafficking of persons, and indigenous peoples' rights to culture. Considers how the human rights system deals with tensions between global standards and local ways of life. Examines the meanings of rights and of culture in these debates and shows the implications of adopting an anthropological analysis of these situations.
Violence, Gender, and the Law
ANTH-UA 332 Merry. 4 points.
Explores the nature of violence as a concept that incorporates both physical harm and cultural meanings. Reviews law and violence in the context of non-state societies, colonialism, international law and human rights, and transitional justice. Focuses on gender-based violence, such as domestic violence, rape, sex trafficking, genocide, and wartime violence. Examines law as a system of ordering relations and controlling conflict in contexts as diverse as small bands and global institutions.
The Color of Race in the Americas: Post-Racial Mythologies
ANTH-UA 333 Khan. 4 points.
Examines race and color as fundamental social and ideological building blocks of the Americas, as well as the related issues of identity, similarity, and difference in social relations. Considers how race and color are embedded in the cultural landscape and how "mixed race" and "color continuums" do (or do not) democratize social hierarchies. Employs ethnographic and interdisciplinary approaches.
ANTH-UA 334 Grant. 4 points.
From New Age sweat lodges to Soviet Siberia, shamanic spirit mediums have been construed as everything from healers to magistrates to visionaries to political subversives. Explores anthropological literature on shamanism in Asia and the Americas and asks how we constitute and appropriate the exotic. By focusing on the core figure of the shaman, we also track a twentieth-century history of anthropological reasoning
Anthropology of Law
ANTH-UA 335 Merry. 4 points.
Anthropologists view law as basic to social life but highly variable in different cultural and historical contexts. Examines theoretical and methodological issues in legal anthropology, looking at some of the classics in the field as well as contemporary work concerning the cultural dimensions of law and their relationship to forms of discipline, power, and governmentality.
Belief and Social Life in China
ANTH-UA 351 Identical to RELST-UA 351. Zito. 4 points.
The Chinese word for "religion" means "teaching." Explores what Chinese people "taught" themselves about the person, society, and the natural world and thus how social life was constructed and maintained. Examines in historical perspective the classic texts of the Taoist and Confucian canon and their synthesis as well as Buddhism, especially Ch'an (Zen). Discusses the practices of filiality in Buddhism, Confucian orthodoxy, and folk religion.
After Religion? Rethinking Our Secular Age
ANTH-UA 352 Identical to RELST-UA 638. Offered every other year. Oliphant. 4 points.
By exploring some of the many different forms of the secular found around the world and over time, we question the power of the universal tale of modernization that sits at the foundation of the "secularization thesis." Explores what it means to live in a "secular age"—a framework which, although often invisible or implicit, establishes and limits much of what we experience, expect, and encounter in our daily lives.
ANTH-UA 400 Das, Dávila, Ganti, Khan. 4 points.
Addresses the ongoing reconstruction of world order and its accompanying disorder. Examines changes in how people earn their livelihoods; how cultures are transmitted and hybridized; how migrating populations maintain connections to their homelands; how group identities are constructed and asserted; and how social movements arise around newly politicized issues. Discusses changing roles of nation-states and the growing significance of transnational, diasporic, and globalized social relations and cultural forms.
The Social Life of Food
ANTH-UA 410 4 points.
Draws on ethnographic material from a wide range of cultures, as well as feature films and our own observations and interviews, to consider such topics as the material dimensions of food production, distribution, and consumption (e.g., food scarcity or abundance) and the cultural meanings and social distinctions encoded in food practices (e.g., how food is used cross-culturally as a marker of social identity and as a source of meaning).
Approaches to Latinx Studies
ANTH-UA 501 Identical to SCA-UA 501. Dávila. 4 points.
See description under Latino studies.
Popular Culture in Latin America
ANTH-UA 603 Maldonado-Salcedo. 4 points.
Popular culture as a window into the many worlds and histories embodied and circulated by national and imagined pueblos and as an arena for ideas of nationalism and identity to be created, maintained, and shared within everyday life. Considers issues of violence, nationalism, and inequality as well as identity and citizenship, and utilizes race, gender/sexuality, and class as conceptual frameworks. Also examines how popular culture migrates and shapes the Latinx experience and culture industries abroad.
Formations of Indigeneity
ANTH-UA 605 Myers. 4 points.
Through a case study of materials concerning Indigenous people in Australia and North America, investigates the consequences (cultural, sociological, policy) of a development that has taken place throughout the world. Many of the peoples in whom anthropologists are interested—those organized into small-scale, kinship-based societies—are encapsulated as Indigenous minorities within nation states dominated by other cultural traditions. Examines how the capacity and practices of these peoples to reproduce themselves and their traditions on their own terms has been limited, undermined, co-opted and, on occasion, reinforced.
Gods and Profits: Religion and Capitalism
ANTH-UA 636 Identical to RELST-UA 636. Offered every other year. De Vries, Oliphant. 4 points.
See description under religious studies.
Religion, Art, and the City
ANTH-UA 637 Identical to RELST-UA 637. Offered every other year. Oliphant. 4 points.
See description under religious studies.
Islam in the World
ANTH-UA 703 Identical to MEIS-UA 703. 4 points.
See description under Middle Eastern and Islamic studies.
Introduction to Native American Studies
ANTH-UA 747 Identical to HIST-UA 747. Required for the minor in Native American and Indigenous studies. Anderson, Ellis. 4 points.
Indigenous hidden histories and oral histories; comparative Indigeneities; questions of "discovery" and colonialism; the politics and representations of lands, massacres, and museums; and aspects of law, gender, and sexuality. Begins by recognizing and locating the history and continued presence of the Native American Lenape people here in Mannahatta, and ends with discussions about decolonizing research and Indigenous survival in the future. Uses both historical and ethnographic approaches, in North America and beyond.
Courses in Archaeology
Archaeological Evidence for Human Evolution
ANTH-UA 60 Prerequisite: Introduction to Archaeology (ANTH-UA 3) or equivalent course. Offered every other year. Lecture. Pargeter. 4 points.
Covers the critical period from about 3 million years to 12 thousand years ago that witnessed a three-fold increase in brain size, our expansion from portions of Africa to the entire subpolar world, and the emergence of fully “modern” Homo sapiens. Introduces the behavior, ecology, and technology of tool-using humans and their ancestors and tracks human cultural evolution to the present day.
Archaeology of Anglo-Saxon England
ANTH-UA 200 Crabtree. 2 points.
From the end of the Roman period (ca. 410 C.E.) to the Norman Conquest (1066 C.E.). Key questions include: who were the Anglo-Saxons? How did Britain change after it was no longer part of the Roman Empire? What can archaeology tell us about Anglo-Saxon settlement practices and burial patterns? How can we use archaeology to study the rebirth of towns and trade in later Anglo-Saxon England?
Animal Domestication: Horses, Donkeys, Dogs, and Cats
ANTH-UA 201 Crabtree. 2 points.
The transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture and herding is one of the most dramatic changes in human history, and archaeologists, anthropologists, and biologists have been interested in the process of animal domestication since the 19th century. Closely considers these animal domesticates that have played important roles in human history.
ANTH-UA 202 4 points.
The study of botanical remains from archaeological sites aimed at the reconstruction and interpretation of human-plant relationships in the past. Emphasizes the processes underlying the inclusion and preservation of botanical remains in the archaeological record, the main methodologies and laboratory protocols employed for their recovery and identification, and the principal assumptions and analytical elaborations deployed for their interpretation.
Prehistoric Hunters and Gatherers
ANTH-UA 210 Pargeter. 4 points.
Hunter-gatherer subsistence is not inherently linked to egalitarianism, generalized reciprocity, or settlement mobility; moreover, hunter-gatherer populations once believed to be deeply rooted in evolutionary time are now understood as historical consequences of globalization and colonial expansion. We examine variability in hunter-gatherer subsistence, mobility, social organization, belief systems, landscape use, and material culture, and ask to what extent studies from across the spectrum of hunter-gatherer behaviors can help us understand and explore human evolution.
Early Cities and States
ANTH-UA 211 4 points.
Considers two distinct processes: (1) the origins of food production and consequent development of domesticated plants and animals and (2) the trend toward increasing social, political, and economic complexity that culminates in early states. Several independent examples of each process from both the Old and New Worlds.
Topics in Archaeology
ANTH-UA 213, 214 Topics determine prerequisites. 4 points per term.
Explores selected key issues and problems in archaeological anthropology. See the department's website for specific topics each term.
Archaeological Theory and Technique
ANTH-UA 215 Prerequisite: Introduction to Archaeology (ANTH-UA 3) or permission of the instructor. Crabtree, Iovita, Pargeter. 4 points.
Theoretical approaches to the economy, technology, and organization of hunter-gatherers; early agriculturalists; gender differences; and complex societies. Examines research design, sampling problems, chronometric methods, analysis of paleoenvironments, and typology in terms of modern understanding as well as historical perspective.
Surveys of Regional Prehistory II: Prehistoric Europe to the End of the Ice Age
ANTH-UA 216.002 Prerequisite: Introduction to Archaeology (ANTH-UA 3) or permission of the instructor. Iovita. 4 points.
Prehistories of selected culture areas. Emphasizes the theoretical and methodological foundations of archaeology within a culture area as reconstructed through archaeological methods. The choice of region varies by semester.
ANTH-UA 217 Crabtree. 4 points.
Between the end of the Ice Age (about 8000 B.C.E.) and the expansion of the Roman Empire, temperate Europe witnessed a series of social and economic transformations that represented a transition from a hunting and gathering way of life to urban chiefdoms. Along the way, these hunter-gatherers became agriculturalists and stock herders, learned to use metals, and developed complex social structures.
ANTH-UA 218 Prerequisite: Introduction to Archaeology (ANTH-UA 3). Pargeter. 4 points.
Africa plays a central role in our understanding of human evolution, the prehistory of our species, and the development of complex societies. Focuses not only on the material evidence from across the continent and its interpretation, but also on developing methods of inquiry and problem solving. Examines hominin origins, the study of Stone Age foragers of the first 2.5 million years of human prehistory, and more recent periods characterized by food production, metallurgy, sedentism, and the development of complex societies.
Discovering Archaeology in New York City
ANTH-UA 225 Offered every year. 4 points.
New York's archaeological record stretches back 10,000 years from Native American societies, to the colonial encounter, into the industrial era, and through to the present day, and reveals how the city became a nodal point of global trade in people, goods, and ideas. Topics include federal, state, and local laws that mandate when and how archaeology is conducted in advance of construction activities, and the extent to which Native American tribes and local communities are involved in this process.
Archaeology of Climate Change
ANTH-UA 226 Iovita. 4 points.
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing humankind today, and most of the public discourse on this topic focuses on the future. And yet, all of our experience with the natural world lies in the past. We delve into some issues that arise from contemplating climate change in a historical and human evolutionary perspective, starting with the question: what is humankind's natural environment?
Introduction to Bioarchaeology
ANTH-UA 327 4 points.
Students gain a basic understanding of human osteology and—through hands-on experience and lectures—learn the methods and theories that bioarchaeologists use to study human remains. This knowledge is then used to examine broader themes within bioarchaeology, drawing on case studies from across the globe.
Last Hunters, First Farmers
ANTH-UA 608 Crabtree. 4 points.
The transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture and animal husbandry is often called the Agricultural Revolution. This change in human subsistence strategies led to changes in many other aspects of human life, including settlement patterns, demography, social organization, and religious practices. It also provided the economic basis for the development of complex urban societies in many regions of the world. Examines the archaeological evidence for the transition from foraging to farming on a worldwide basis.
Migration, Mobility, and Dispersal in Prehistory
ANTH-UA 609 4 points.
What is our species’ natural range of residential mobility, and how do we compare with our closest relatives, both living and extinct? When did humans settle the different continents for the first time? How did different technologies, such as the wheel and long-distance watercraft, affect mobility and migration? What is the history of immigration, borders, and intolerance? What solutions for the future can we glean from our collective historical experience? Study of primary literature from the fields of archaeology, paleoanthropology, paleogenetics, and archaeolinguistics.
Fieldwork in Archaeology
ANTH-UA 830 Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Crabtree, Iovita, Pargeter. Offered in the summer. 4 points.
Students live and work at the selected prehistoric or historic site, usually in eastern or midwestern North America. Students are instructed in field technique and laboratory procedures. Further background provided through staff and guest lectures.
Courses in Biological Anthropology
Fossil Evidence for Human Evolution
ANTH-UA 50 Prerequisite: Human Evolution (ANTH-UA 2) or Life Science: Human Origins (CORE-UA 305) or permission of the instructor. Antón, Bailey, Williams. 4 points.
Traces the evolutionary history of the human lineage from its origin in the late Miocene of Africa up to the initial differentiation and diversification of anatomically modern humans. Explores debates about phylogenetic relationships, taxonomy, paleobiological interpretations, and models for the origin of human behavior.
Evolution and Human Variation
ANTH-UA 51 Prerequisite: Human Evolution (ANTH-UA 2) or Life Science: Human Origins (CORE-UA 305) or permission of the instructor. Antón, Bailey. 4 points.
Human evolutionary history and our ability to adapt to such a broad range of environments result in the patterns of human variability we see today. New techniques allow us to explore the different levels of human variation. Focuses on new data and methodologies, including molecular genetic techniques, and the hypotheses and controversies generated by these new perspectives.
Evolution and Biology of Human Behavior
ANTH-UA 52 Antón, Bailey, Higham, Williams. 4 points.
Presents a synthetic approach to the biological, behavioral, and cultural origins of humans. Explores data and theories from paleoanthropology, archaeology, nonhuman primate behavioral studies, brain research, and sociobiology for their contributions to the study of human behavior.
Primate Behavioral Ecology
ANTH-UA 54 Prerequisite: either Human Evolution (ANTH-UA 2) or Life Science: Human Origins (CORE-UA 305) or permission of the instructor. Higham. 4 points.
Studies how and why primates have evolved to be so social and varied in their social and mating systems, and why they exhibit so many unusual characteristics. Topics considered: primate biology and taxonomy, evolutionary theory and the history and philosophy of primate studies, natural selection and social systems, sexual selection and mating systems, and intelligence and communication.
ANTH-UA 55 Prerequisite: Human Evolution (ANTH-UA 2) or Life Science: Human Origins (CORE-UA 305) or permission of the instructor. Antón. 4 points.
Examines the interactions of environmental, genetic, physiological, and cultural factors in the expression and distribution of human diseases. Develops pathology profiles for nonhuman primates; prehistoric human populations; and hunting and gathering, agricultural, and industrial groups, with emphasis on the expression of infectious disease in human history and newly (re)emerging diseases.
Comparative Biology of the Living Primates
ANTH-UA 56 Prerequisite: Human Evolution (ANTH-UA 2) or Life Science: Human Origins (CORE-UA 305) or permission of the instructor. Williams. 4 points.
The study of the primates, our closest living relatives, is fundamental to a sound understanding of human biology and evolution. Surveys the anatomy and behavior of the living primates from a structural, functional, and evolutionary perspective. Examines different anatomical systems and behaviors: external features, the cranium, dentition and dietary behavior, postcranial anatomy and locomotor behavior, sensory and nervous systems, and reproductive anatomy. Emphasizes the role of comparative anatomy in functional and behavioral studies, taxonomy, and phylogenetic analyses.
ANTH-UA 59 Prerequisite: Human Evolution (ANTH-UA 2) or Life Science: Human Origins (CORE-UA 305) or permission of the instructor. Higham. 4 points.
Key insights into the evolution of human communication can come from studying our most closely related extant relatives, our fellow members of the primate order. Topics include the difference between signals and cues, signal honesty, and concepts of signal information content and evolutionary signal design. Considers communication in different sensory modalities (olfactory, auditory and visual), multimodal communication, and theories and issues related to the evolution of language.
ANTH-UA 62 Recommended prerequisite: Human Evolution (ANTH-UA 2). Lecture. Offered every other year. Higham, Lawrence. 4 points.
Explores the sexual lives of primates through an evolutionary lens. From sexual-selection theory to sperm competition to endocrinology, we will take a comparative approach to examining just how fundamental sexuality is to many aspects of both non-human and human primate biology.
ANTH-UA 80 4 points.
Integrates evolutionary biology, genetics, immunology, ecology, and behavioral ecology with sociocultural anthropology, politics, and economics. General evolutionary theory and an introduction to Darwinian medicine frame an examination of viral, bacterial, parasitic, and prion-based diseases along with their hosts, vectors, and other organisms. Particular attention to how humans have purposely and inadvertently created both biological and cultural environments for the transmission of different diseases. Considers media representations and misrepresentations.
Introduction to Forensic Anthropology
ANTH-UA 326 Antón, Williams. 4 points.
Forensic anthropologists play critical roles in identifying victims of mass fatalities, in investigating homicides (both historic and modern), and in distinguishing cause of death. Students are introduced to the underlying theory and the applied techniques that forensic anthropologists use to recover and identify individuals and assess cause of death, both in the laboratory and the field.
Topical Seminar in Biological Anthropology I, II
ANTH-UA 511 Open to majors in anthropology with the permission of the instructor. Antón, Bailey, Higham, Williams. 4 points per term.
Explores selected key issues and problems in biological anthropology. See the department's website.
Graduate Courses Open to Undergraduates: Sociocultural and Linguistic Anthropology
These graduate courses are open to qualified anthropology majors with the permission of the instructor of the course.
ANTH-GA 1228 Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Khan. 4 points.
Explores theoretical and methodological issues in the comparative study of diasporas. “Diaspora” describes the process by which immigrants and their descendants create home, community, and identity as they sustain cultural and social ties with their homeland (real or imagined), place of residence, and co-ethnics living elsewhere. Evaluates current debates and uses of diaspora.
Islam and the Americas
ANTH-GA 1246 Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Khan. 4 points.
Explores Muslims in North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the centuries of connections forged with Africa and Asia. We engage in cross-cultural comparison through analysis of key presumptions about this religious tradition and its practitioners, including the ways that “Muslim,” “Islam,” and “religion” are constructed as interpretive categories, the relationships between these categories and lived experience, and the ways that these constructions present symbolic, and other, distinctions between “New” and “Old” Worlds.
The Color of Race in America
ANTH-GA 3396 Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Khan. 4 points.
Examines race and color as fundamental building blocks of the Americas. Emphasizes ethnographic approaches, but also draws on interdisciplinary sources (non-fiction, film, and fiction). Key questions include: if race and color are social categories and not inherited essences, how and why do race and color remain powerful in our lives? Are race and color synonymous? What is the relationship of race and color to gender, class, sexuality, and citizenship?
Graduate Courses Open to Undergraduates: Archeological and Biological Anthropology
The following biological and archaeological graduate courses are open to qualified anthropology majors with the permission of the instructor of the course. In addition, most graduate topical seminars in these subdisciplines are also open to qualified anthropology majors with permission.
ANTH-GA 1212 Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Crabtree. 4 points.
Examines the ways in which faunal (animal) data have been used to reconstruct early hominin subsistence strategies, to trace the process of animal domestication, and to study trade, social status, and ethnicity in complex societies. Covers the identification of mammal, bird, reptile, and fish bones from archaeological sites, determination of age at death in mammals, bone measurements, taphonomy, animal domestication, and the use of faunal remains in the study of complex, urban societies.
ANTH-GA 1214 Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Antón. 4 points.
The study of disease in ancient bones. Provides in-depth survey of the various ways in which disease presents in the mammalian skeleton. Reviews major disease classes and how they influence bone; how to construct a differential diagnosis; and how diseased remains are used to interpret aspects of population history.
ANTH-GA 1240 Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Bailey. 4 points.
Covers the basics of dental anthropology and how to apply it to a variety of research areas. Dental anatomy, evolution, growth and development, pathology, variation in recent and fossil hominins and non-human primates, age estimation, forensic identification, and cultural modifications. In the labs students learn how to identify human teeth, how to distinguish deciduous and permanent teeth, how to score and interpret dental morphological traits, how to age from the dentition, and how to take dental measurements.
Primate Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation
ANTH-GA 1507 Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Higham. 4 points.
Serves as a broad introduction to the ecology, behavior, and conservation of nonhuman primates.
Comparative Morphology of the Primates
ANTH-GA 1515 Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Harrison. 4 points.
Surveys the anatomy of the living primates from a structural, functional, and evolutionary perspective. Examines different anatomical systems and behaviors: external features, the cranium, dentition and dietary behavior, postcranial anatomy and locomotor behavior, viscera, sensory and nervous systems, and reproductive anatomy. The role of comparative anatomy in functional and behavioral studies, taxonomy, and phylogenetic analyses is emphasized.
Human Osteology and Odontology
ANTH-GA 1516 Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Antón, Bailey, Williams. 4 points.
Surveys the various ways in which biological anthropologists employ human osteology, the study of bones and the skeleton. In addition to presenting a detailed review of the anatomy of the human skeleton and its associated musculature, examines a series of thematic issues and topics that emphasize the multidisciplinary nature of the study of skeletal morphology. Topics include bone biology and development, comparative osteology, biomechanics, bioarchaeology, forensic anthropology, and taphonomy.
Interpreting Human Skeletal Morphology
ANTH-GA 1520 Prerequisite: ANTH-GA 1516 and permission of the instructor. Antón, Bailey, Williams. 4 points.
Provides an intensive introduction to the methods and techniques used to reconstruct soft tissue anatomy and behavior from the human skeleton. Focuses on techniques and applications to all areas of skeletal biology, including bioarchaeology, paleoanthropology, forensics, and anthropology. Addresses bone biology, developmental processes, and soft tissue anatomy. Students learn (1) fundamentals of aging, sexing, and individuating human skeletal remains; (2) stature and weight estimation, geographic ancestry; and (3) recognizing and evaluating pre- and postmortem modification, including evidence of disease and activity.