Spring 2019 Courses

Cultural Anthropology

ANTH 1001 Cultural Anthropology | MWF 11:15–12:10 | DC SS
Cultural anthropology is the study of the cultural similarities and differences among peoples all over the world. In this class, you will learn how to understand those who have different perspectives and behaviors than you do. You will leave the class with a broader knowledge of cultures around the world, a deeper understanding of your own culture, and the skills and tools to make better sense of the world around you, from events happening in your own neighborhood to affairs occurring on the other side of the world.

Biological Anthropology


ANTH 1003 Biological Anthropology | TR 11–12:20 | NS SS 
Why do humans have such big brains? When did we start walking on two legs? Why do some people choose not to reproduce? Why do we rely so heavily on cultural learning? When did people first develop art and music? This course examines the evolution of the human species and how we differ from other animals. We will compare humans to other primates to determine what characteristics people have in common with apes and monkeys. We will examine fossils that inform us about the evolution of the species that preceded us. This course will consider the interactions of genes and environments that contribute to variation in the physical appearance and behavior of modern humans in different geo- graphical locations. We will engage philosophical questions about the usefulness of evolutionary theory for explaining variation among species in the natural world. This course prepares students to interpret and critique quantitative data.

Old World Prehistory

ANTH 2017 Old World Prehistory | Online | HP SS 
This course provides an introduction to key developments in human prehistory as evidenced by archaeological evidence from the Old World (Africa, Asia, India, Europe) from around 6 million to 3,000 years ago. Central issues include the evolution and dispersal of modernhumans, the transition to agriculture, and the emergence of complex societies. The latter two themes are examined from a cross-cultural perspective, drawing explicitly on case studies from the Indus Valley, east Africa, China, the Near East, and southern Europe.

 Humans & Nature: Living in the Anthropocene

ANTH 2040 Humans & Nature: Living in the Anthropocene | MWF 11:15–12:10 | NS SE
We are living in an age of increasing technology and consumption combined with increasingly fewer resources. In this course we will discuss the origins and environmental impacts of anthropogenic activities such as agriculture, animal husbandry, urbanism, mining, and technological development. We will focus on current social and environmental issues that emphasize the links between raw materials, waste, and products used in day-to-day life.

Anthropology of Media

ANTH 2072 Anthropology of Media | TR 11–12:20 | DC SS
How do different forms of media produce knowledge about cultures? How do media circulate across social and cultural contexts? This course focuses on how to analyze media through their artifacts, practices, and processes to reveal key insights about contemporary social life around the world. We will also examine popular discourses about “the media” and consider the parallel projects of representation and mediation by anthropologist and media producers.

Ohio Valley Prehistory


ANTH 3023 Ohio Valley Prehistory | MWF 10:10–11:05 | HP SE
Who were the first people to live in the Ohio River valley? Who built the monumental mounds and earthworks of this region? Who were the first people to explore the longest cave in the world? This course will examine the prehistory and history of Native Americans in the Ohio River valley and the ethical issues associated with their sociopolitical identity and human rights. It will highlight the important contributions of Native Americans living in the Ohio Valley to art, agricul- ture, engineering, and science. This course provides an important background on Native Ameri- cans for anyone interested in learning more about their rich cultural heritage.

Origins of Civilizations

ANTH 3026 Origins of Civilization | Online | HP SE

The origins of complex community organization in both the New and Old Worlds are examined. The effects of trade, warfare, large scale irrigation systems, and the influence of population growth will be assessed. Examples of these developmental trends will draw principally from ancient Mesoamerica and the Near East, though discussion groups will examine other primary centers of complex societal advancement. 

Identities and Material Culture

ANTH 3027 Identities and Material Culture | TR 9:30–10:50 | DC HP
Explore how the material world is implicated in the production and assertion of identity. Investigate how material culture is used to express identity in both modern and ancient contexts. Consider your own en- gagement with the material world, and interpret past and present uses of material culture in contexts rang- ing from museums to archaeological sites to public memorials to personal objects. This course considers both theoretical and applied approaches to material culture.

Human Osteology

ANTH 3043C Human Osteology | TR 9:30–10:50 
A detailed examination of human skeletal anatomy, including the biology and structure of bone tissue, bone growth and remodeling, identificationof anatomical elements, reconstruction of life histories and analysis of human skeletal variation. Includes hands-on laboratory practice with the concepts and methods used in the analysisof skeletal material consistent with recovery in archaeological and forensic contexts. The skills and knowledge gained from this course are relevant to a broad range of scientific study that encompasses paleoanthropology, paleopathology, forensic anthropology, bioarchaeology, human variation, functional morphology and biomechanics.

Constructed Languages

ANTH 3075 Constructed Languages | MWF 1:25–2:20 | DC SS
What do languages like Esperanto, Newspeak, Quenya, Klingon, Na’vi, and Dothraki tell us about the nature of human language and the relation between language and culture? Through the experience of creating an original constructed language, or ‘conlang,’ students will learn methods of linguistic description and analysis and draw on concepts of cultural and linguistic relativity to identify the beliefs, attitudes, and values underlying conlanging as a social and linguistic practice. Using films and texts on conlangs and conlanging, and the experience of creating their own language, students will attempt to answer the question: why do people invent languages?

Formation Processes of the Archaeological Record

ANTH 4019 Formation Processes of the Archaeological Record | M 2:30–5:30 
Approaches for understanding the origins and the inferential potential of the archaeological record, and the cultural and environmental factors that affect it, are presented. Students will be introduced to frameworks drawn from geology, geoarchaeology, ethnoarchaeology, experimental archaeology, and anthropology for interpreting the archaeological record. Case studies are drawn from anthropogenic phenomena worldwide.

Spatial Archaeology

ANTH 4028 Spatial Archaeology | TR 3:30–4:50 
The manipulation and use of physical space and settlement by past societies. The construction, maintenance, and distribution of vernacular architecture, both domestic and public, will be studied. The course will focus on archaeologically retrieved data, though recent historical and contemporary engineered landscapes will be examined both cross-culturally and within geographically varied environmental settings. A writing component will complement this course.

Human Evolutionary Genetics & Genomics

ANTH 4046 Human Evolutionary Genetics & Genomics | MWF 12:20–1:15
Explore how genomic data is used to investigate topics in anthropological genomics including: population structure, migration, archaic admixture, localized adaptation, colonization of the Americas and the Pacific, and the impact of the Neolithic revolution. Learn methods for generating and analyzing genomic data, and identify when and how to apply these to specific questions in the fields of human and primate genomics. Students in this course will develop skills in data analyses and in critical thinking.

Ethnographic Methods

ANTH 4071 Ethnographic Methods | W 2:30–5:30
Introduction to ethnographic research including an overview and examination of research ethics, principles of research design, qualitative research methods, and experience in skills such as interviewing, observation and record-keeping.

Anthropology & Development

ANTH 4074 Anthropology & Development | TR 12:30–1:50
This course examines international development from an anthropological perspective, discussing development theory and discourse in the context of its historical roots and contemporary manifestations. Topics include the relationship between gender and development, major development institutions like the World Bank, the role of biotechnology in development, and alternative development.

Beauty, Race & Gender in the Marketplace

ANTH 4078 Beauty, Race & Gender in the Marketplace | TR 2-3:20 
A cross-cultural, ethnographic examination of the articulation of beauty, race, and gender in the marketplace that will explore the political, cultural, and economic stakes of aesthetic industries, including pageants, aesthetic surgery, cosmetics, fashion, and reality television, in multicultural and multiracial societies, and beauty's relationship to liberalism, nationalism, business, and justice.

Evolutionary Theory

ANTH 5049 Evolutionary Theory | TR 2:00–3:20
A seminar examination of scientific theory, formation of evolutionary thought from Darwin through the Modern Synthesis, adaptationist programmes, punctuated equilibrium and evolutionary-developmental biology. Readings focus on evolutionary texts and recent scientific articles. Brief lectures and seminar discussions cover general theory and critiques in biological anthropology.