Required Courses

There are five core required courses offered on a rotating basis and taken in the first and second year:

ANTH 60201 Orientations to Biological Anthropology

Course Description:
This course will review, engage and analyze major themes, perspectives, and methodologies in biological anthropology and illustrate their connectivity and integration into a broader anthropological approach. The seminar will contain a heavy reading load of historical and current theoretical and practical applications of evolutionary, ecological, physiological, endocrinological, molecular and morphological approaches in the study of humans and other primates, past and present.

ANTH 60202 Orientations to Anthropological Archaeology

Designed in coordination with the other core areas of anthropology, this course prepares you to situate works you encounter within the sweep of anthropologically-oriented archaeological theory and method in the twenty-first century. You will encounter the principal analytic paradigms of the discipline, examining both big picture questions and dominant thematic foci of the field. You are further expected to consider how you might incorporate material from the course into your own planned doctoral work, and to explore integrative bridges between anthropological subdisciplines.

ANTH 60203 Orientations to Sociocultural Anthropology

Designed in coordination with the other core areas of anthropology, this course prepares you to situate works you encounter within the sweep of sociocultural anthropological theory and method in the twenty-first century. You will encounter the principal analytic paradigms of the discipline and will become conversant with both big questions and dominant thematic foci of the field. You are further expected to consider how you might incorporate material from the course into your own planned doctoral work. Shared activities and readings across our graduate courses emphasize the integrative nature of our inquiry.

ANTH 60204 Orientations to Linguistic Anthropology

This course orients you to the theory and practice of anthropological inquiry focused on the constitution of subjects through language use. To what ends do social beings engage in communication and what are obligatory properties of its organization? The seminar examines how language and cultural structure and change afford sometimes opposing limitations and possibilities for linguistically mediated life. We explore the dialectic between creative agency and semiotic systems as material fields in the collective fashioning of meaning and difference through speech, ritual, mass media, and verbal art. You are expected to incorporate concepts from the course into your own planned doctoral work and to explore integrative bridges between anthropological subdisciplines.

ANTH 63500 Research Design in Anthropology

This course is geared towards understanding, developing, assessing, and applying the necessary skills and tools to undertake advanced research in anthropology. Core areas covered include research project development, design and implementation, connecting theory to practice, institutional review boards (human and animal subjects), ethics, grant writing and evaluating, field and lab work, qualitative vs/and quantitative approaches, and related topics. In addition to short written assignments and classroom presentations, students will be required to develop a research proposal and a companion grant proposal over the course of the term in dialogue with the topics covered.

Electives for Fall 2024

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ANTH 60313 Analytical Methods in Anthropology

This course provides grounding in some of the methods of qualitative analysis present in the field of anthropology. The focus of the course is on developing skills that students can use to do systematic analysis of anthropological data. The perspective guiding the course is that anthropology is an empirical, scientific approach for describing social and cultural aspects of human life, and that qualitative data can be analyzed in systematic and rigorous ways. The course will explore a range of approaches and will cover analytic skills that cut across traditions, including theme identification, code definition, and pattern recognition. Advanced topics covered will include content analysis, text analysis, and schema analysis. Students will learn techniques and protocols in data arrangement and visualization that are appropriate for different analytical methods. It is a hands-on class where students will be able to work on data provided to them as well as on their own. Collaboration will be integral to the course success.

ANTH 60700 Learning How to Ask: Preparing for Fieldwork

This course will give students the opportunity to develop a research proposal and prepare for anthropological fieldwork, regardless of subfield. The class will meet for three weeks at the beginning of the semester and two weeks following Spring Break. The first section will focus on developing a research proposal, seeking approval from the Institutional Review Board, and submitting the proposal for funding. The second part will concentrate on logistical preparation for the field and examining fieldwork ethics and expectations. Students should begin the course with a concrete idea for a research project that they develop in consultation with their advisor.

ANTH 60805 GLOBES: Global Change and Civilization

All human populations, from the simplest to the most complex, interact with their natural environment. Humans alter the environment, and are in turn altered by it through biological or cultural adaptations. Global environmental changes helped to create and shape our species and modern industrial societies are capable of altering the environment on scales that have never been seen before, creating many questions about the future of human-environmental coexistence. This course explores the ways that humans are altering the global environment and the ways that global environmental changes alter humans in return. Four major topics are examined: global climate change, alterations of global nutrient cycles, biodiversity and habitat loss, and ecosystem reconstruction. Students will complete the course with an understanding of the metrics and physical science associated with each type of change, their ecological implications, and the ways in which environmental changes continually reshape human biology and culture.This course is for graduate students and upper-division undergraduates. This course meets a core requirement for GLOBES students.

ANTH 60890 Archaeology of Death

Our species is unique because it is the only species that deliberately buries its dead. Mortuary analysis (the study of burial patterns) is a powerful approach that archaeologists use for the study of prehistoric social organization and ideology. This course explores the significance of prehistoric human mortuary behavior, from the first evidence of deliberate burial by Neanderthals as an indicator of the evolution of symbolic thought, to the analysis of the sometimes spectacular burial patterns found in complex societies such as ancient Egypt and Megalithic Europe. We will also examine the theoretical and practical aspects of the archaeology of death, including the applications of various techniques ranging from statistics to ethnography, and the legal and ethical issues associated with the excavation and scientific study of human remains.

ANTH 63100 Human Osteology

This is a lab-intensive course that explores the methods used in physical anthropology for studying individual human skeletal remains, as well as those employed to establish biocultural connections at the population level. Forensic techniques utilized in individual identification will be developed in the first third of the course.

ANTH 63109 Physiology & Health in Social and Ecological Context

Research in the social and life sciences increasingly explores the ways in which social and ecological contexts shape the functioning of individuals' neurobiology and physiology, with ramifications for their health, behavior, and fitness. In both humans and other animals, these dynamics include social hierarchy, social network dynamics, differential diets and access to critical resources, and the quality of the lived environment. For humans, there are added dimensions of cultural systems and political economic, structural forces that shape these facets of daily life, affecting biological development and function across the life course, with implications for acute and chronic health. Related to those political economic and cultural forces, we are in an age of rapid anthropogenic depletion of the environment. Consequently, there are increasing and novel pressures placed on nonhuman animal populations, affecting their access to resources and typically having negative ramifications for their health and reproduction. Such ecological encroachment also heightens risks for human-nonhuman pathogen transmission, highlighting the need to understand health and physiological function from interspecies perspectives. Theoretically, this course will draw on frameworks such as life history theory, the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD), and niche construction theory that emphasize feedbacks between biological and social processes at the individual and population levels. We will focus on bio-social feedback at multiple levels of biological function, potentially including: endocrinology, immunology, epigenetics, genetics (gene X environment interaction), nutrition/energy allocation, and the microbiome. The course structure will include time allotted to workshopping students' own data analyses and/or grant writing, with the culminating project for the course being a draft of a journal article or grant submission.

ANTH 63313 Anthropology of Childhood and Education

Concepts of human growth vary extraordinarily across time and space. When children become full-fledged persons, when they can reason, when or whether they should be independent from their parents, and how all this happens are variable and illuminating. Education - either formal or informal - reflects and also constitutes a society's view of childhood. This course provides a selective cross-cultural survey of childhood and education, looking at stages from pregnancy and infancy to late adolescence. Students will devise and conduct projects of their own.

ANTH 63316 Ballads to Hip-Hop: Music, Migration, and American Latinos

Together with the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean have been among the most influential exporters of music globally since the early 20th century. This course traces these processes of musical production and consumption. Students will be introduced to important historical and stylistic musical developments as we survey various styles and genres with attention to their cultural significance - including the corrido (Mexican ballad), Caribbean-derived salsa, and cumbia, among others. Our approach, such that we are dealing with music-cultures, is at once anthropological and ethnomusicological. In order we achieve our aims, the course is organized along two axes: one chronological (so to speak), the other conceptual, neither complete. The chronological portion will allow us to survey various genres and ensembles of musical production. We dovetail this effort with a focus on important themes and concepts that aid in understanding the present and historical conditions of the terrain where performance, identity, race-ethnicity, gender, transnationalism, and commoditized publics intersect.

ANTH 63406 Food, Culture, Ethics, Planet

All humans eat, but the variations in what, how, and why we eat are dazzling. This course examines the many roles that food plays in a variety of cultures. We consider food choices and taboos, religious and symbolic meanings of food, dining and social interactions, obesity and thinness, and the political and industrial issues of fast food and the slow food movement. We address ethical issues and the relationship between food and sustainability. There will be practical and field studies associated with the course.

ANTH 63592 Indigenous Environments

The ancestors interrelated with the environments we live in today and will interact with in the future. This course explores indigenous cultures and perspectives on the importance of traditional knowledge and the environment. In this seminar-style course, we will learn about how indigenous groups in the Americas, both past and present, think about the world around us and how their cultural livelihoods are threatened by climate change and ongoing development. The goal is to provide students with a strong foundation in indigenous environmental issues. We will cover a range of topics that intersect with traditional ecological knowledge, land use and perceptions, reciprocity, sense of place, memory-making, and environmental justice.