Courses in Biological Anthropology (Division 318)

161. Introduction to Biological Anthropology. (4). (NS).

Biological anthropology is a subfield of anthropology dealing with human biology and evolution. This course presents a survey of the major topics in the field. The course is divided into four major parts: (1) human genetics and evolutionary theory; (2) primate behavior and evolution; (3) the human fossil record; and (4) ecological, biological, and demographic variability in modern populations. No special background knowledge is required or assumed. (Hill)

365. Human Evolution. Sophomore standing. (3). (NS).

Human evolution has been a biological process with both social and physical aspects. Through lectures and readings, the interrelated process of behavioral and physical change is outlined for the human line. Emphasis is placed on evolutionary mechanisms, and context is provided through an understanding of the pre-human primates. The human story begins with origins and the appearance of unique human features such as bipedality, the loss of cutting canines, the appearance of continual sexual receptivity, and the development of complex social interactions. An early ecological shift sets the stage for the subsequent evolution of intelligence, technology and the changes in physical form that are the consequences of the unique feedback system involving cultural and biological change. The "Eve theory" and other explanations for modern humans are compared, and the origin of races and their development and relationships are discussed in this context. Class participation and discussion are emphasized. Student evaluations are based on a midterm and final examination. (Wolpoff)

368/Psychology 368. Primate Social Behavior I. (4). (NS).

An introductory course that will familiarize students with the primate order and its major divisions, and provide detailed knowledge of several of the widely studied species of prosimians, monkeys and apes. The major focus of the course will be the evolutionary significance of behavior in the wild, the special attention is therefore given to primate ecology and long-term field studies. Social organization, behavioral development, kinship systems, sexual behavior, aggression and competition, and similar topics are then described and analyzed from the perspective of modern evolutionary theory. This course can be taken on its own, but it also serves as an introduction to Anthropology 369, PRIMATE SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS. Two lectures hours, one film, and one discussion weekly. One midterm and one final exam. (Wrangham)

371. Techniques in Biological Anthropology. Permission of instructor. May not be included in a concentration plan in anthropology. (1-3). (Excl). May be elected for a total of 6 credits.

Individual work in preparing specimens used in physical anthropology laboratories (skeletons, fresh specimens, casts, fossil materials, etc.). Individual work in the use of (1) anthropometric techniques for evaluation of human nutritional status inferred from measurements of body size and body components such as body fat and body muscle and (2) human variability in lung function and skin color. (Frisancho)

398. Honors in Biological Anthropology. Senior standing and permission of instructor. (3). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT). May be elected for credit twice.

Seniors who choose to enter the Honors program undertake a senior project under the supervision of a member of the faculty. Most often this takes the form of an original paper of greater scope than is possible in an ordinary term paper, and it gives the student experience in conducting and writing up his or her own research. Students who are interested in joining the senior Honors program should consult with the department's Honors adviser for biological anthropology, Frank Livingstone. Previous participation in the college Honors program is not a prerequisite for joining the senior Honors program. (Livingstone)

461. Genetic Basis of Human Evolution. Anthro. 161 or the equivalent, and junior standing; or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

The application of genetic theory and data to the interpretation of the course of human evolution. The data include variation both among human populations and among humans and their close primate relatives. Reconciliation of the genetic data with various views of the fossil record will also be considered. Lectures and course pack. Grade based on midterm and final exam. (Livingstone)

469. Topics in Biological Anthropology. Permission of instructor. (2-4). (Excl).

SECTION 001 BEHAVIORAL BIOLOGY OF WOMEN. This section is jointly offered with Psychology 502.001. (Smuts)

SECTION 002 MODERN HUNTER-GATHERER. This course will cover studies of foraging populations over the past 25 years. Particular attention is given to the way local ecology constrains foraging behavior. Topics examined are subsistence, diet, settlement pattern, sharing, activity patterns, demography, marriage and residence patterns and others. Discussions focus heavily on variation between individuals and age/sex categories as well as cross cultural differences. Some background in anthropology and biology is required. (Hill)

563. Mechanisms of Human Adaptation. Senior standing or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

The course is addressed at evaluation the physiological responses and adaptations that enable humans to survive environmental extremes such as those found under stressful conditions of heat, cold, solar radiation, high altitude, undernutrition, overnutrition, and Westernization of dietary habits. Because this course is addressed to students of the several disciplines and to facilitate understanding of the mechanisms of human adaptation to environmental stress, the discussion of the major topics is preceded by sections outlining initial responses observed in laboratory animals. Emphasis is given to the short adaptive mechanisms that enable an organism to acclimate itself to a give environmental stress. Subsequently, the long-term adaptive mechanisms that enable humans to acclimatize themselves to natural, stressful environmental conditions are discussed. Throughout the course, emphasis is given to the effects of environmental stresses and the adaptive responses that an organism makes during its growth and development and their implications for understanding the origins of population differences in biological traits. Student evaluation includes two tests, a final exam, and a term paper. The method of instruction is lecture and some discussion. Requirements: Senior standing or permission of instructor. (Frisancho)

569/Psychology 569. Attachment: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

See Psychology 569. (Smuts)

Courses in Cultural Anthropology (Division 319)

Courses are arranged by groups: Introductory Courses, Ethnology-Regional Courses, Ethnology-Theory|slash|Method, Ethnology-Topical Courses, Linguistics, Archaeology, and Museum and Reading and Research Courses.

Introductory Courses

101. Introduction to Anthropology. Primarily for freshmen and sophomores. No credit granted to those who have completed 222 or 426. (4). (SS).

Exposure to anthropology's cross-cultural, comparative and holistic viewpoints, and to ethnography, the field's characteristic data-gathering procedure, are important in a liberal arts education. Anthropology 101, which surveys the field's four subdisciplines (biological, archeological, cultural, and linguistic anthropology) provides students (generally freshmen and sophomores) with a first glimpse of the field's overall context, history, present status, and importance. Anthropology 101 stresses unifying principles that link the subdisciplines and thereby create anthropology's comprehensive, holistic world view. Anthropology 101 teaches students various ways of learning and thinking about the world's many designs for living in time and space. It prepares them to integrate and interpret information, to evaluate conflicting claims about nature and diversity, and to think critically. As is proper for a distribution course, the principal aim of Anthropology 101 is to help students develop a coherent view of the essential concepts, structures, and intellectual methods which typify the discipline. This introductory course exposes and explores the structures of inquiry characteristic of anthropology, as well as surveying its content. (As such it is also recommended for anthropology concentrators.) Topics covered include: the nature of culture, human genetics, evolution, and the fossil record, the concept of race, primate (monkey and ape) behavior, language and culture, systems of marriage, kinship and family organization, sex-gender roles, economics, politics, and religion in global perspective, the cultural dimension of economic development and contemporary social change, and the emergence of a world system. Required readings include basic text(s) and three paperbacks. Students must register for the three weekly lectures (section 001) and a discussion-recitation section. Two objective exams (multiple choice and true or false questions) cover the two halves of the course. The second exam is given on the last day of class. There is no final exam and no term paper. Section leaders require quizzes and, perhaps a short paper.

222. The Comparative Study of Cultures. No credit granted to those who have completed 101 or 426. Students with credit for Anthro. 101 should elect Anthro. 327. (4). (SS).

The purpose of this course is to acquaint students with the great variety existing in human culture and society so that they can place their own particular way of life in proper perspective. Its subject matter is world ethnology with special emphasis on social organization and economy. Lectures and readings are organized according to complexity of society; the course begins with hunters and gatherers, progresses through various tribal and peasant societies, and concludes with contemporary industrial nations. The approach is comparative. Lectures are supplemented by weekly discussion sections augmented by a variety of readings, primarily ethnographic in nature, and by frequent showings of ethnographic films. Course requirements include a midterm examination, a final examination, and a paper applying principles learned in the course to some aspect of the student's own life. Both examinations primarily consist primarily of essay questions. This course is intended for non-concentrators. (Lockwood)

Ethnology-Regional Courses

315. Indians of North America. (4). (SS).

The course provides an introduction to Native North American peoples and involves a detailed discussion of several typical cultures and culture areas, with a special emphasis on modes of subsistence, economic and social organization, and religion. By focusing on native world views, an attempt is also made to gain a better understanding of the Native North American's own perceptions of and attitudes towards reality and human life. The course deals with the native cultures prior to the spread of Western domination and with several major post-contact cultural developments, aspects of Indian-White relations, and contemporary problems (including those of Michigan Indians). Required reading includes several ethnographic studies, a biography of a Native American man or woman, and some articles from a course pack. Student evaluation is based on two essay-type exams and a short research paper developed by the student in consultation with the instructor and/or the teaching assistant. While lectures and one weekly section conducted by the teaching assistant are the major methods of instruction, films, presentations by guest lecturers, and demonstrations of artifacts from the Museum of Anthropology play an important role in the course. (Kan)

402. Chinese Society and Cultures. Anthro. 101 or 222, or any China course. (3). (Excl).

This course deals with late traditional and contemporary China, with an emphasis on the peasantry. The focus is on continuities and changes over the past 200 years. The first part of the course deals with regional and cultural variations, including the cultures of some of China's minority peoples, and with the socio-economic organizations of traditional China. The next segment deals with popular interpretations and expressions of China's major religions, folk art and literature, and forms of rebellion. In the last segment we discuss the reorganization of Chinese society since 1949, dealing with contemporary family and community organization, social stratification, the successes and failures of different forms of "collectivization," and some of the current social problems in the Peoples Republic of China. This is a lecture course with in-class discussion, open to students with sophomore standing or above. The readings are drawn mainly from the ethnological/cultural anthropology literature, supplemented with materials from the fields of literature, sociology, history and economics. They are drawn from Western and Chinese scholarship with translations of Chinese primary sources provided in a course pack. There is a midterm (essay) and a final exam (essay). Undergraduates have the choice of writing two short critical papers or a longer research paper on a topic of their choosing. Graduate students are expected to write a research paper or a review of a significant segment of the scholarly literature on Chinese society and culture. (Diamond)

403(503). Japanese Society and Culture. Anthro. 101, 222, or any Japan course. (4). (Excl).

An examination of cultural patterns that distinguish Japan from its counterparts among the industrial nations of the West. Topics include: the family, patterns of education and socialization, the importance of groups and group membership, the place of the individual in society, and concepts of religion, morality, and aesthetics.

409. Peoples and Cultures of the Near East and North Africa. Junior standing. (3). (Excl).

This course provides a survey of the Near East culture area, from Morocco to Afghanistan, with the emphasis on Arabic-speaking, Islamic societies of the region. The rise of Islam is first looked at from an anthropological perspective, and three broad ways of life are then discussed: nomadic, peasant and urban. The conceptual and historical relations between these are examined with reference to the writings of Ibn Khaldun and to such events as the Wahhabi movement in Saudi Arabia. In the second half of the course some cultural themes are discussed that recur throughout the area: the rhetoric of honor and shame, the "modesty" of women and the values of Islam. An attempt is made to set nationalism and fundamentalism in their cultural context. This is a lecture course. Assessment will be based on two take-home exams, with an additional short term paper for graduate students. Readings are drawn from classics such as Doughty and Snouck-Hurgonje, as well as from recent anthropology. (Dresch)

414/CAAS 444. Introduction to Caribbean Societies and Cultures I. Junior standing. (3). (Excl).

This course provides an introduction to the peoples and cultures of the Caribbean. Topics covered include: the historical origins of the social structure and social organization of contemporary Caribbean states; family and kinship; religion, race, class, ethnicity and national identity; Caribbean immigration; politics and policies of socioeconomic change. The course is open to both anthropology concentrators and non-concentrators. Films and videos on the Caribbean will be shown when available. Requirements: FOUR 3-5 page typewritten papers, which ask students to synthesize READING and LECTURE materials; participation in CLASS discussions; regular class attendance. (Owusu)

419. Religion and Society in Native North America. One course in cultural anthropology or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

The course explores the role of religion in the lives of Native North Americans, past and present. Several North American Indian cultures and/or culture areas are explored in depth so as to answer the following question: does "religion" constitute a separate domain or is it thoroughly integrated with subsistence activities, sociopolitical organization, etc. Native beliefs about the world, human nature, time and space, relationship between mankind and other inhabitants of the universe; theories of illness and healing rituals; ideas about and ways of acquiring superhuman power; the role of the sacred in defining, maintaining, and legitimizing the sociopolitical order are among the various topics discussed. The emphasis in the course is on continuity and change in American Indian religions, hence, several new religious movements and cults that emerged in response to European conquest and colonization (e.g., the Ghost Dance) are also discussed. The course concludes with a discussion of the contemporary Indian people's reinterpretation of their spiritual heritage and their stuggle to construct new religious forms which both reflect and help them cope with their present experience. The course is designed for both undergraduates and graduates interested in the diverse religious traditions of Native North America and the ways in which anthropologists and other scholars have studied them. Method of instruction combines lectures and seminar-type discussions, with the latter predominating. Films, slides, and tape recordings are also used. Student evaluation is based primarily on a research paper developed in consultation with the instructor, as well as active participation in discussion and a short take home essay. Volunteers will be asked to present the result of their research during the last weeks of the term. Prerequisites: one course in cultural anthropology or permission of instructor. (Kan)

421. The Immigrant Community in North American Society. Anthro. 101, 222, or junior standing. (3). (Excl).

This course is jointly offered with University Course 251.002. (Lockwood)


330. Culture, Thought, and Meaning. (4). (HU).

This course is offered as an upper-division introduction to anthropology for students who have not had other anthropology courses, and as an introduction to Cultural Analysis for students who have had some (other sorts of) anthropology. It is recommended for concentrators and non-concentrators at all levels; graduate credit can be arranged. The course is concerned with the individual, and with culture as a system of meanings. Attention will be focused both on exotic cultures and on our own, in an effort to develop a truly cross-cultural perspective on how different people construct "reality." Especially emphasized will be the role of communication, and of "mind" including cultural ontologies, epistemologies, logics, aesthetics, and rhetorics. There are no prerequisites. Lectures will focus on: 1) the analysis of ethnographic text; 2) the critical reading of ethnographic reports; 3) the criteria for constructing ethnographic reports. Several sessions will also be devoted to the techniques of writing short essays, and special guidance will be given to those who wish to improve these techniques. Readings will (mostly) be about other cultures. Ample opportunity will be devoted to discussion of the lecture material and the readings. Grades will be based on six short papers (six pages each). (Carroll)

Ethnology-Topical Courses

337(450). Sorcery and Witchcraft: Anthropological Interpretations. One course in ethnology. (3). (Excl).

This course examines the principal theoretical interpretations and modes of explanation that have been employed in the anthropological study of witchcraft and sorcery, and in historical studies of Western Europe witchcraft that draw on anthropological models. The course begins with consideration of witchcraft/sorcery beliefs as a system of thought (and subjective reality), on one hand, and with the objective reality of public accusations and their consequences, on the other. Comparison of patterns of accusation (i.e., who accuses whom) in a selection of societies leads to examination of the relation between witchcraft/sorcery and gender systems, political power and social organization (respectively). Readings, lectures and discussions focus on the sociology of witchcraft/sorcery beliefs and practices, and on the locus of these within more comprehensive cosmological and symbolic systems. This lays the groundwork for investigation of continuity and change in these beliefs, and in the actions predicated upon them. The dramatic rise in witchcraft prosecutions and executions in Western Europe between 1500 and 1650 is examined in relation to anthropological studies of related phenomena in tribal societies. This class is designed primarily for undergraduates and should be of interest to non-concentrators and concentrators alike. Evaluation is based on class report and take-home examination. (Kelly)

431. American Kinship. Junior standing. (3). (Excl).

The notion of 'the person' in Euroamerican culture, and its prime constituents: 'adults'/'children'; 'male'/'female; etc. The "life-cycle" (as culturally construed) from conception to death. The ideology of 'kin ties' - where they derive from; what they are supposed to entail. 'The family' (as a cultural construct), nuclear and extended; 'distant kin'. Cultural dimensions of the 'household'. Living arrangements. Cultural aspects of the physical apportionment of living (and working) space. 'Motherhood'/ 'Fatherhood', 'childhood and 'adolescence'. Adoption. Siblingship. Marriage, courtship, sex. Kinship as an autonomous cultural (i.e., symbolic) domain (independent, to a large extent, of non-kinship considerations, such as economics). Kinship as an "idiom" in which other matters are expressed. Constants and variables in American kinship historically. Constants and variables in American kinship geographically, by ethnic group, and by class. Other sorts of relationships that are like kin relationships: 'friendship', etc. Conclusion: what a specifically anthropological approach can add to other sorts of studies of kinship. Preliminary oral reports and final written reports (every three weeks about 8-10 pages of well-edited essay each time) will constitute the basis for assigning final grades. (Carroll)

454. Symbolic Anthropology. Anthro. 101, 330, or junior standing. (3). (Excl).

This course outlines major anthropological approaches to symbolism while also trying to sharpen students' skills in the symbolic analysis of the world around them. It first examines the classic anthropological work on myth, ritual, and magic, and then considers texts that treat symbolic analysis as a necessary perspective on all fields of activity, including the apparently prosaic realms of politics and economics. Finally, it looks at recent work that deals with symbols as instruments of domination and vehicles of resistance. Throughout, selected readings and class discussions are used to show how these approaches can be used to make sense of like in the United States. Lectures are combined with class discussion and both are tied closely to the reading of required texts. Grades for undergraduates are based on a short midterm paper and a final exam. For graduate students, a research paper takes the place of the exam. (Rouse)

458. Topics in Cultural Anthropology. Permission of instructor. (3). (Excl). May be repeated once for a total of 6 credits.

SECTION 001 INEQUALITY IN TRIBAL SOCIETIES. What is the principal locus of the production of inequality in human society? This has been an important concern of humanistic social thought since the Enlightenment. All those who have examined the problem have had recourse to consideration of relatively egalitarian pre-modern societies in which forms of hierarchy associated with the nation state and industrialized world economy are absent. These ethnographic cases provide a critical testing ground for general social theories of inequality because the latter explicitly or implicitly "predict" the social and economic configuration of the most egalitarian societies. Both received wisdom and recent theory have emphasized the production and circulation of accumulatable forms of wealth as the source of inequality. Unequal accumulation and relations of dependence and indebtedness are seen to follow inevitably from the sheer presence of wealth (which should thus be absent in egalitarian societies). The Marxian position holds that all social inequalities are grounded in the dynamics of a particular mode of production and are either directly generated by this or built-up upon core relations of inequality that are so generated. There should then be a one-to-one relation between economic inequality and social inequality (i.e., differential prestige, privilege and moral evaluation). Recent elaboration of this perspective sees social inequality as rooted in the social relations of production entailed by bridewealth systems in which senior males gain control over the labor of wives and junior males by their control of matrimonial goods. The exchange of persons for persons is also replaced by an exchange of persons for goods so that accumulation of wealth becomes a precondition for the reproduction of kin relations. If the evolutionary road to inequality is paved with bridewealth as this perspective suggests then egalitarian societies should lack marriage payments, for these are seen as a central locus for the production of inequality. The course will examine these issues. It is open to advanced undergraduates and graduate students. Format is part lecture, part seminar. Substantial term paper required. Prerequisite: two courses in Ethnology. (Kelly)

SECTION 002. TELEVISION, SOCIETY, AND CULTURE. Television has been compared to a new religion, cultivating homogeneity, uniting adherents in a common set of images and symbols. Television executives have become "key gatekeepers" assuming roles played historically by political and religious leaders. TV has been labeled "narcoticizing" and faulted for diverting attention from serious social issues and replacing effective thought and action with passive absorption in portrayals. Television has been said to reinforce existing hierarchies and impede social reform. It also stimulates participation in a worldwide cash economy, and TV's worldwide spread has raised concerns about cultural imperialism. Ethnocentrism is common in the evaluation of television and its effects. Understanding of TV impact can be broadened through cross-cultural research about this medium, which, specific content and programming aside, must be recognized as one of the most powerful information disseminators, socializing agents and public-opinion molders in the contemporary world. This seminar will consider cross-cultural diversity in TV and will assess the medium's various social, cultural, and psychological effects. Students who will include seniors, concentrators and graduate students in American Culture or Anthropology, will each investigate an aspect of television. Students will be responsible for attending class, organizing and participating in discussions of particular readings, and presenting, orally to the class and in writing, a term paper based on research concerning some aspect of TV impact. (Kottak)

SECTION 003 AFRO-AMERICAN CULTURE. The purpose of this course is to examine the Afro-American as one example of how humans live. Such an examination will place distinctive Black behavior within the social context of human behavior and its history. Because the focus of the course will be distinctive Black behavioral styles our attention will be directed toward the poor urban Afro-American. But that attention requires a discussion of American society and the history of human development. This lecture-seminar course will have one major library project and one project for each students and presentations of their findings. The course will suggest some solutions to some Afro-American dilemmas the underclass, urban gangs, addictions, unemployment, and single-parent families. Those solutions will require a serious examination of contemporary American society and the nature of modern man (humans). How did we become this and how can we change? (Williams)

SECTION 004. . BORN-AGAIN RELIGION AND CULTURE. For Fall Term, 1989, this section is offered jointly with RC Social Science 460.002. (Harding)


472/Ling. 409. Language and Culture. (3). (HU).

This course explores the relationship between language and culture as a set of mutually reinforcing constraints which form different types of coherence systems. Language is dealt with both as a set of grammatical forces as well as semantic imperatives which must be related to culture as a system of social principles, as webs of meaning, and as a framework of knowledge and philosophy. The realm of thought is analyzed as a human condition which produces creative and constrictive conditions on language and culture. (Burling)

473/Ling. 473. Ethnopoetics: Cross-Cultural Approaches to Verbal Art. Two courses in anthropology, linguistics or literature, or permission of instructor. (3; 2 in the half-term). (Excl).

How do we understand the verbal art of non-western peoples without imposing our pre-conceived folk ideas about form, performance, authorship, and textuality? If poetic form, devices and traditions vary from culture to culture, how can we even hope to understand them? And if we do manage to understand how another culture patterns its verbal art in performance, how do we translate and represent it without parodying the other culture? This course will consider some recent (and some not-so-recent) efforts by anthropologists, linguists, poets, folklorists, and literary theorists to address these questions at several levels: First, we want to develop a methodology which allows us to discover 'unsuspected devices and intentions' which form indigenous poetries and texts, "unsuspected" in that they draw upon aspects of language which our own traditions by-pass, and "unsuspected" in that they have often been collected and published without cognizance of those devices and intentions. This forces us to develop a view of language which is adequate to interpret 'oral literatures' as they shape and are shaped by the cultures of which they are a part. What relevance does such a view of language have for our culture's theories of verbal art, text, and performance? Finally, in what ways can it contribute to reshaping anthropology itself? (Mannheim)

474/Ling. 410. Nonstandard English. (3). (SS).

This course deals with those dialects of English that are often spoken by the disadvantaged and minority members of our society and that are sometimes called "non-standard. The most common pronunciation and grammatical characteristics of these dialects are described. Consideration is also given to the psychological and sociological implications of these forms of English for the individuals and the groups that speak and use them. The course is especially recommended for those who are in education or who are working toward a teaching certificate. The course has no prerequisites.

476/Ling. 417/German 417. Principles and Methods of Historical Linguistics. Ling. 411 or equivalent. (3). (Excl).

See Ling. 417. (Wiegand)


491. Prehistory of the Central Andes. Anthro. 101, 282, or junior standing. (3). (Excl).

This course discusses the prehistoric cultural sequence for Andean South America. We begin with the first well-documented humans at about 13,000 years ago, and end with the period of European contact in the 16th century A.D. The course's primary purpose is to describe and explain cultural evolution in this region over this long era. Following a general introduction to cultural evolutionary theory and Andean ecology, the course begins with a discussion of the historically-documented Inca empire as it existed at initial European contact in A.D. 1532. Then we go back to the oldest cultural materials and work upward in time to the Inca period. Some general background in anthropology is assumed, and Anthropology 101 or 282 are considered minimal prerequisites. Students will be evaluated on the basis of two take-home exams and a term paper. There is no textbook, but a course pack of relevant journal articles will be available. Primary instruction is by lecture, although discussion is encouraged. (Parsons)

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