Fall '99 Course Guide

Courses in Biological Anthropology (Division 318)

Fall Term, 1999 (September 8 December 22, 1999)

Take me to the Fall Term '99 Time Schedule for Biological Anthropology.


Bio. Anthro. 161. Introduction to Biological Anthropology.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Roberto Frisancho (arfrisan@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (4). (NS). (BS). Does not count toward anthropology concentration requirements.

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

The course explores the evolutionary basis for human variability. For this purpose, the course will deal with a review of principles of human evolution, fossil evidence, relationship among human and non-human primates in behavioral and morphological characteristics, human inter-population differences, and environmental factors that account for these differences. The course includes three midterm exams, lab and review session, and final exam.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

Bio. Anthro. 168. First Year Seminar in Primate Field Studies.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): John Mitani (mitani@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Only first-year students, including those with sophomore standing, may pre-register for First-Year Seminars. All others need permission of instructor. (3). (NS). (BS).

First-Year Seminar

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

A seminar designed for first-year students. Students will be introduced to science as a mode of inquiry by applying Darwin's theory of natural selection to the behavior of non-human primates. Emphasis will be given to long-term field studies of primates in the wild. One three-hour discussion/lecture. Class participation, weekly writing assignments, and a term paper required.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

Bio. Anthro. 360. Race and Human Evolution.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Rachel Caspari (rcaspari@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Junior standing. (4). (NS).

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course studies the relationship between the race concept and human evolution from historical and biological perspectives. Emphasis is placed on the connection between science and sociopolitical ideologies and policies, and on the origin of modern human diversity. Besides a basic review of human variation and its causes and an overview of Pleistocene, especially late Pleistocene human evolution, topics explored include the role of polygenism historically and in current scientific thought, biological determinism and scientific racism, the Holocaust and other examples of applied biology, the role of the race concept in conflicts over the place of Neandertals in human evolution and over the interpretation of their genetics, and current debates about the origin of modern humans. Throughout the course a focus will be maintained on the use of science to create and validate the race concept and the concomitant influence of sociopolitical concepts of race on scientific theories and scientific process.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 4

Bio. Anthro. 368/Psych. 437. Primate Social Behavior I.

Sections 002-011 meet the ECB Jr/Sr Writing Requirment

Instructor(s): John Mitani (mitani@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (4). (NS). (BS).

Upper-Level Writing

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

An introductory course that will familiarize students with the primate order. The major focus of the course will be the behavior of prosimians, monkeys, and apes in the wild. Special attention will be given to primate ecology and long-term field studies. Social organization, kinship systems, sexual behavior, vocal communication, competition, and other topics will be described and analyzed from the perspective of modern evolutionary theory. This course can be taken on its own, and serves as an introduction to Anthropology 369 (Primate Social Relationships) and 568 (Primate Behavioral Ecology). Three lecture hours, and one discussion weekly. Two midterms, a term paper, and a final exam.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 1

Bio. Anthro. 398. Honors in Biological Anthropology.

Instructor(s): arr.

Prerequisites & Distribution: Senior standing and permission of instructor. (3). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for credit twice.

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

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 departmental Honors advisor for biological anthropology. Previous participation in the college Honors program is not a prerequisite for joining the senior Honors program.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

Bio. Anthro. 467. Human Behavioral Ecology.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Beverly Strassmann (bis@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: A strong background in the natural sciences is assumed, including any two of the following courses: Anthropology 161, 368; Biology 162 (or 152, 154), 404, 494. (3). (Excl). (BS).

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course considers the anthropological significance of recent advances in natural selection theory. Particular topics include: cooperation, reciprocity, inclusive fitness, sexual selection, mating systems, and parental investment. Students will read the primary scientific literature to learn how anthropologists test evolutionary hypotheses in varied geographic and cultural contexts (for example, Ache hunter-gatherers of Paraguay, Dogon agriculturalists of Mali, Kipsigi pastoralists of Kenya, 19th-century Europeans, and contemporary North Americans). Natural selection theory will also be used to probe the field of human reproductive ecology, with emphasis on the demographic transition, historical demography, the evolution of menstruation, and female fecundity. In addition to exams, students will write a term paper in which they hone their ability to discriminate among alternative view points using both qualitative and quantitative data.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

Bio. Anthro. 471. Undergraduate Reading and Research in Anthropology.

Instructor(s): arr.

Prerequisites & Distribution: Permission of instructor. (1-3). (Excl). A maximum of three credits of independent reading may be included in a concentration plan in anthropology. (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for a total of six credits.

Credits: (1-3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

Laboratory training and work in the techniques used in various aspects of research in biological anthropology.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

Bio. Anthro. 562. Human Nature.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Beverly Strassmann (bis@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Biol. Anthro. 467 and permission of instructor. (2). (Excl).

Credits: (2).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This is an advanced seminar in evolutionary psychology. Topics include: human social relationships, morality, religion, and the emotions. Students will read provocative books, such as Robert Wright's The Moral Animal (or other books of current interest), as well as original scientific articles. Students will be encouraged to discuss the subject matter in relation to their own experiences. This is a fast paced course intended for students who have already read one of the following texts: The Selfish Gene (R. Dawkins), The Biology of Moral Systems (R.D. Alexander), Introduction to Behavioral Ecology (J.R. Krebs and N.B. Davies), or Sex, Evolution, and Behavior (M. Daly and M. Wilson). Related books may be substituted for the above. Grading will be based on class participation and an in-depth research paper.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 4

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