Winter '99 Course Guide

Courses in Biological Anthropology (Division 318)

Winter Term, 1999 (January 6-April 29, 1999)

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


Bio. Anthro. 161. Introduction to Biological Anthropology.

Instructor(s): Andrew Merriwether (andym@umich.edu)

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

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~andym/161SylWin99.html

Biological anthropology is a subfield of anthropology 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 fossil record for human evolution. Special emphasis will be placed on how all these issues relate to both social and biological concepts of race. Grading will be based on two one-hour exams. No special background knowledge is required or assumed.

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

Bio. Anthro. 361. Biology, Society, and Culture.

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

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

R&E Theme Semester

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

What is the relationship between race and biological evolution, biological evolution and culture, and culture and race? What is culture and how did it evolve? How did culture shape human evolution? Did extinct fossil races like Neandertals have culture? Was there a Human Revolution? What is the impact of technology on human biology, now and in the past? How is the human symbolic system used to construct racial groups in cultures around the world? Are these races real biological entities? Do they have any intrinsic differences in intelligence, as some recent publications suggest? What is the relationship between racial groups, health, and diseases such as sickle-cell anemia and AIDS? Anthropology is a comparative and holistic science that has such multidisciplinary issues at its core. This course examines these and related questions as critical to an understanding of the evolutionary basis of culture and the biological attributes and implications of cultural constructs like race. One three-hour lecture and one-hour discussion per week. Grades will be based on two essays and a take-home exam.

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

Bio. Anthro. 362. Problems of Race.

Instructor(s): C. Loring Brace (clbrace@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Sophomore standing. (3). (NS). (BS).

R&E Theme Semester

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

The subject matter covered in this course is different from but complementary to that covered in Anthropology 347 which is more concerned with race relations. Anthropology 362, on the other hand, addresses itself to two main problem areas where race is concerned: (1) the common concept of race has an inadequate foundation in biology and must be dispensed with before we can make sense out of the very real aspects of human biological variation. This portion of the course treats the dimensions of human biological differences that can be traced according to selective force distributions and their changes through time. These will be contrasted with the biological traits that show regional clustering but which have no adaptive value and cannot therefore be hierarchically arranged. (2) If the common concept of race has an inadequate biological base, how did we get stuck with our generally held assumptions when it would appear that they owe more to folklore than to biology? This portion of the course deals principally with the history of the race concept. All the material covered by the course will be dealt with in lecture. Supplementary readings will be suggested from time to time, along with specific sections in the assigned texts. Texts: C.L. Brace, The Stages of Human Evolution. Lecture outlines (syllabus) and C.L. Brace, Race is a Four Letter Word will be available at Kinko's copying.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: 2 Waitlist Code: 3, 4

Bio. Anthro. 365. Human Evolution.

Instructor(s): Milford Wolpoff (wolpoff@umich.edu)

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

Theme Semester

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

Human evolution has been a biological process with both social and physical aspects. Through lectures, discussion section, laboratory, and reading, the interrelated process of behavioral and physical change is outlined for humans and their ancestors. 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, births requiring midwifery, and the development of complex social interactions. An early adaptive shift sets the stage for the subsequent evolution of intelligence, technology, and the changes in physical form that are the consequence of the unique feedback system involving cultural and biological change. The "Eve" theory and other ideas about the origin of modern humanity and human races, and their development and relationships, are discussed in this context. Class participation and discussion are emphasized, and there is a required discussion/laboratory section for elaboration of lecture topics and supervised hands-on experience with primate skeletal material and replicas of human fossils. Student evaluations are based on two examinations, laboratory quizzes, and a laboratory exam. High school biology is assumed.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: 3 Waitlist Code: 3

Bio. Anthro. 399. Honors in Biological Anthropology and Anthropology/Zoology.

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 or other qualified person. 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. 471. Undergraduate Reading and Research in Anthropology.

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.

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. Readings emphasize original scientific articles. It is anticipated that students will have taken at least one prior course in evolution and human/primate behavior. Grading will be based on class participation and a research paper.

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

Bio. Anthro. 568. Primate Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.

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

Prerequisites & Distribution: Biol. Anthro. 368. (3). (Excl). (BS).

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

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This is an advanced course examining the ecology and behavior of the nonhuman primates. We will employ evolutionary theory to describe and interpret patterns of behavioral diversity as shown by primates living in the wild. Topics include: the evolution of sociality, feeding ecology, reproductive strategies, competition, and cooperation. Grades will be based on midterms and a paper. There is a limited enrollment.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: 2 Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

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