Anthropology

Courses in Biological Anthropology (Division 318)

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

Biological anthropology is a subfield dealing with human biology and evolution. This course presents a survey of the major topics in the subfield: evolution and human genetics, human adaptation and other aspects of human variation, and the human fossil record for human evolution. Grading will be based on two one-hour exams. No special background knowledge is required or assumed. (Caspari)

297. Topics in Biological Anthropology. (3). (NS). (BS). May be repeated for a total of 12 credits.
Section 201 Primate Behavior/Human Behavior
will consider the relevance of natural selection to the behavior of humans and nonhuman primates. Modern evolutionary theory will be introduced, along with some basic information on the behavior of nonhuman primates. Topics in social evolution (such as mating systems, behavioral sex differences, homosexual behavior, etc.) will then be discussed. In some areas, there are interesting parallels between human and nonhuman primate behavior, and in other areas, there are interesting discontinuities. Both of these can be important in understanding human behavior. There are no prerequisites. Grades will be based on midterm and final exams, as well as on participation in discussions. One textbook, Sex, Evolution and Behavior by Daly and Wilson, will be required. Selected readings will also be available in a required course pack. The format for this class will include both lecture and discussion. Cost:2 WL:1 (Peters)

Section 202 Nutritional Anthropology. Nutritional Anthropology is a comprehensive course covering many aspects of diet and nutrition. It begins with the basics of digestion, absorption, and metabolism and then proceeds to a discussion of how the Recommended Daily Allowances are determined. After covering these topics the course will examine the relationship of diet, nutrition, and health by examining first, the implications of diet and nutrition on growth and development and second, the relationship of diet and disease. Since different cultural practices and behaviors can have an important impact on the diet and nutrition of an individual or population this aspect of diet and nutrition will also be examined. The last section of the course will focus on the reconstruction of the diet and nutritional status of past populations including the fossils. This course will be primarily lecture with some discussion; grades will be determined by two non-cumulative exams. Cost:2 WL:3 (Brandt)

Courses in Cultural Anthropology (Division 319)

Introductory Courses

296. Topics in Archaeology. (3). (SS). May be repeated for a total of 12 credits.
Section 201 Culture, Anthropology, and Ancient Europe.
This course presents the concepts of cultural anthropology and the subject matter of ancient Europe. No background is necessary; lecture presentation, grading by one exam and one 3-5 page paper. Material covered includes: (1) key concepts from modern cultural anthropology, archaeology, and related fields (history, geology, sociology, and linguistics); (2) the prehistory and early history of Europe, including art and artifacts, the environmental context, economic, technological and social developments, and archaeological attempts to reconstruct culture and society; and (3) topics of special interest these include cave art, prehistoric "Goddess" cults, Stonehenge and megaliths, the "Indo-Europeans," Minoan and Mycenean societies and the Trojan War, the Etruscans, the origins of Rome, and the Celts. For each topic the basic archaeological and non-archaeological data will be presented, and we will critically review the range of interpretations proposed. A final topic is the relation between science, politics, and archaeological pictures of the past. Cost:1 WL:4 (Robb)

Section 202 Early States in Egypt and Mesopotamia. We have much to learn about modern state societies by understanding their simpler predecessors. In this course we will apply an anthropological perspective to the first development of states anywhere in the world: Mesopotamia (ca. 3300 BC) and Egypt (ca. 3100 BC). We will briefly review theories of early state origins, analyze archaeological and historical evidence for the origins and subsequent development of states in Mesopotamia and Egypt, and finally discuss their collapse. We will develop a comparative understanding of crucial elements of these early civilizations, including but not limited to ideology, art, writing, urbanism, exchange, and specialized economies. The course requirements are a short essay, a term paper, and midterm and final exams. There are no prerequisites for this course. Cost:2 WL:1 (Emberling)

Section 203 Humans and their Environments from Prehistory to Present. This course explores how people in the past interacted with their environment, and the methods that archaeologists use to reconstruct and understand ancient natural and cultural systems. Assigned readings will examine how natural different human lifestyles were, and survey some of the social, economic, and ideological strategies prehistoric men and women used to structure their relationships with their surroundings. Lectures and discussion will focus on the nature of different levels of human impact on prehistoric and historic ecosystems in North America, and the implications these relationships hold for modern ecology. Grades will be based on two short essay exams, written assignments, and a short class presentation. The course is designed for students without prior courses in anthropology, archaeology, or ecology. Cost:1 WL:1 (Dunavan)

298. Topics in Cultural Anthropology. (3). (SS). May be repeated for a total of 12 credits.
Section 201 Native Americans of Michigan.
Long before Europeans ever "discovered" the region that is now the State of Michigan, Native American cultures thrived here. This course is designed as a general introduction to the three main Native American cultures indigenous to Michigan: the Chippewa (Ojibwa), the Odawa (Ottawa), and the Potawatomi. It will be divided into three main parts: the culture of indigenous peoples before contact with Europeans; the history of interactions between Native people and people of European descent; and the contemporary issues that concern present-day Indian people in Michigan. There are no prerequisites for this course, and no previous knowledge of anthropology or Native American studies will be expected or necessary. Grades will be based on three kinds of assignments: quizzes, brief reflective essays (1 to 2 pages each), and a 6-page paper. The instruction method will include both lectures and supervision of students working on special projects in small groups. There will be no final exam. Cost:3 WL:4 (Jackson)

Section 202 Anthropological Approaches to Law. This course will introduce ways in which anthropologists have studied law in societies around the world and explore how ethnographic approached might be applied to the U.S. legal system. We will consider how anthropology can provide insight into our own ideas about law, whether in the U.S. or elsewhere. The readings will alternate between anthropological materials about law and studies of the U.S. legal system. In class, we will discuss how anthropologists' research on culture can be important for systems of law and consider how legal scholarship might influence anthropology. By the end of the course we will question how the U.S. legal system is a part of American culture and especially in maintaining social relations as they currently exist. The course will serve as an introduction to legal anthropology and also offer an introduction to important work on the subjects of race, gender, and class. The course supposes no previous familiarity with anthropology. (Pierce)

Section 203 Travel, Writing, and Identity. This course will examine travel and tourism as cultural practices and explore links between travel-writing and ethnography. First, we will consider the intimate relationship between travel and writing. How do the many genres of travel-writing (postcard, letter, diary, guidebook, travelogue, ethnography) reflect and shape travel experience? In these texts, how is "home" configured in relation to foreign lands? Second, we will ask how personal, group, and national identities are constituted through travel (Grand Tour, post-college backpacking in Europe, anthropological fieldwork). How does travel serve as a rite of passage: a period of self-realization, education, and sexual adventure? How are host countries impacted politically and economically by the presence of travelers? In order to focus theoretical material on a specific site, the final section will be a case-study of Greece for centuries a quintessential travel destination. Readings will include fiction, poetry, and travel-narrative, as well as ethnography and anthropological theory. Cost:2 WL:4 (Papailias)

Section 204 Soldiers-and-Fortune: The Anthropology of Warfare and Militarization. This introductory course offers an overview of anthropological approaches to warfare [Part One Units: (1) Primitive/Modern Models; (2) Biology of Human/Male Aggression; (3) Archaeology of War-making and State-building; (4) Language and Ethical Systems]. We consider militarization as a social and cultural as well as political and economic - process [Part Two Units: (1) Cultural History of Modern Warfare; (2) Contemporary Political Violence; (3) Peace and Conflict Studies; (4) Armed Insurrection & Low-Intensity Warfare]. Finally, we explore issues of gender and militarism [Units: (5) Gendered Armies & Civilians in Colonialism & Conquest; (6) Militarism, Motherhood & Masculinity]. Students will come to appreciate anthropology's contribution to analyzing and confronting problems of violence, domination and aggression. Readings draw on Latin America, the US, Europe and Africa but presume no prior knowledge of these areas nor of anthropology in general. FORMAT: discussion, exercises, films. Cost:2 WL:4 (Frazier)

Ethnology-Topical Courses

458. Topics in Cultural Anthropology. Permission of instructor. (2). (Excl). May be repeated once for a total of 6 credits.
Section 201 Crossing Borders: Latinos Migration to the United States.
This course ranges between anthropology and its neighboring disciplines in an attempt to understand what life is like for Latinos involved in migration to and from the United States. Focusing on people from Mexico and Central America, it examines their experiences in relation to issues such as the changing character of capitalism as an international system, the organizing role of networks and families, changing patterns of gender relations, the emergence of a second generation, and the cultural politics of class formation. The course combines the close reading of required texts with detailed classroom discussion. The final grade is based on contributions to discussion and on two papers that should expand on issues raised by the readings. (Rouse)


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