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 three one-hour exams. No special background knowledge is required or assumed. Cost:2 WL:4 (Brandt)

Courses in Cultural Anthropology (Division 319)

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

Introductory Courses

282. Introduction to Prehistoric Archaeology. (2). (SS).

This course is an introduction to the scientific description and explanation of human cultural evolution. We move beyond the Hollywood image of "Indiana Jones" by examining archaeological methods and theories. How do archaeologists know where to dig and how is a site dug? What is found? How old are the remains? How do archaeologists infer from these remains what life was like in past societies? In the second half of the course we will trace the evolution of human cultures from the earliest stone tools to the emergence of socially-stratified societies. The course is designed for non-concentrators and concentrators; no prerequisites are required. Course material will be presented in lectures, films, discussions, and a field trip to an ongoing archaeological excavation of a prehistoric site in southeastern Michigan. There will be two exams and several short writing assignments. Cost:2 WL:1 (Miracle)

296. Topics in Archaeology. (3). (SS). May be repeated for a total of 12 credits.
Section 202 Sickness and Health in Prehistory.
This course examines sickness and health from earliest prehistory to modern times, with a focus on what and how we learn from the perspective of anthropological archaeology. "Sickness" is defined broadly to include injury and violence as well as disease. After an introduction to anthropological approaches to societies, health, and disease, we will look specifically at archaeology and human osteology (the study of human bone) and use these techniques to examine patterns of health and sickness in different kinds of societies throughout prehistory. We will also examine medicinal and healing practices, the ethics of studying human remains and the ways in which archaeological studies of health and sickness are useful for present day problems. There are no prerequisites for this class and no special background is expected. Grades are based on two exams, a short paper, and class participation. (Gold)

Section 203 Technology and Social Change in Ancient Europe. How did the introduction of farming and pottery to Europe affect societies during the Neolithic? What role did the adoption of metallurgy play in the formation of the Minoan and Mycenaean states? Did iron weaponry have something to do with the collapse of Bronze Age States? This course introduces the student to anthropological approaches to the archaeology of ancient European societies. The goal is to present the basic European archaeological sequence and discuss how technological developments have affected the trajectory of socio-political and socio-economic systems in Europe from the Pleistocene to proto-Classical times. No experience necessary. Material will be presented in a lecture format, and for one hour each week there will be a student-led discussion. Grades will be based upon occasional quizzes (25%), discussion (15%), a short paper (30%), and a final exam (30%). Cost:2 WL:1 (Parkinson)

298. Topics in Cultural Anthropology. (3). (SS). May be repeated for a total of 12 credits.
Section 201 Culture, Emotion, and the Child.
Most cultures hold that children's emotional life is not the same as the adults around them. Rather, children need to be guided to become emotionally competent members of their culture. This course is about how cultures manage the sentimental education of children. Through readings, film, lectures, and discussions the course will explore ideas about how children's emotional lives change and how adults foster emotional competence within a cultural context. Midterm paper and final paper. Cost:2 WL:1 (Heffernan)

Section 202 Social Change in Russia. This course looks at processes of social change and economic development in Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia. We will consider how notions of modernity, evolution, progress, and difference have shaped state-sponsored development programs. Topics to be covered include: anthropology and imperialism, Stalinist modernization programs, Soviet anthropology's "civilizing" mission in Siberia, and post-Soviet development. Course requirements: class participation, short (1-2 page) response papers, and a final 5-7 page paper. Prerequisites: none. This course requires no previous background in anthropology. Cost:1 WL:4 (Lyon)

Section 203 Native American Lives: A Survey of Native American Autobiographies of the 19th and 20th Centuries. This course will examine the importance of Native American autobiographical writing by focusing on what these texts reveal about Native American cultures as a whole in the 19th and 20th centuries. In reading these texts we will go beyond the point of view of the typical reader and examine autobiographies from the point of view of the anthropologist and historian. In examining over thirty full and partial autobiographical accounts ranging from the Navaho to the Eskimo, to individuals of mixed descent, we will investigate how these narratives give us vital clues about cultures and cultural interaction during the time of their writing. Issues to be addressed include, but are not limited to: gender, race, politics, religion, and social organization, as well as broader issues of historical and cultural importance to the Native American peoples during this time period and in these texts. Course requirements include a 10-page paper and a final exam. Cost:2 WL:4 (Norder)

299. Topics in Linguistic Anthropology. (3). (SS). May be repeated for a total of 12 credits.
Section 201 Language and Identity.
To what extent does language shape people, how they think and who they are? How can people use language and shape it to their benefit? In this course we will explore these complex relationships between language and identity from the perspectives of linguistic anthropology. Some of the topics covered will include: language, culture, and thought; relativism vs. language universals; variability and standard languages; bilingualism and inter-ethnic relations; literacy and nationbuilding; and the relationship of other symbolic systems (like clothing and art) to identity. Throughout this course, students will be introduced to various methodologies used by linguistic anthropologists to understand linguistic and cultural diversity. Lectures and discussions of reading will be supplemented by in-class individual and group activities. Grades will be based on short homework assignments, quizzes, class participation, and a final paper based on a class project. Cost:1 WL:1 (Bilaniuk)

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: Latino 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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