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 2022

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ANTH 63201 Nasty, Brutish and Short: The Archaeology of War

Organized violence between human communities is one of the unfortunate realities of human existence, and its causes and consequences have consequently been of great interest. Is war an inevitable outcome of human nature, or the result of specific social, historical, and environmental circumstances? Archaeology is uniquely positioned to provide concrete insights into the history of human violence through study of its direct material correlates?traumatic injuries on skeletons, fortified settlements, weaponry, and iconography. However, the archaeological record also documents the impacts of violence?reduced nutritional status and health, evidence for enslavement, cannibalism, and population decline?and can provide insights into why war occurred through examination of environment, population, and social conditions. In this course, we will explore what the archaeological record tells us about violence, human nature, and the veracity of claims for either a more violent or more peaceful past. We will examine theoretical models of war, anthropological studies of conflict, and archaeological case studies of both violent and peaceful times to understand the role that organized violence has played in human history and evolution.

ANTH 60801 Topics in BioAnthropology

Approximately 20% of the global population has obesity. This obesity epidemic is old news; however, rates of obesity are increasing every year, especially in the developing world and among children. In this class we will examine why this is happening, what the physical and mental health consequences are, and what some of the evolutionary roles of fat are that might contribute to humans being prone to obesity. We will also talk about changes in perceptions of obesity, stigma, and how social and cultural factors shape the obesity crisis.

ANTH 60331 Children, Youth and Violence

In this course, we will examine the particular social, cultural, and political positions occupied by children and youth in contexts of violence, and the practices in which they engage to survive. Children have inhabited a position in popular imagination as unmitigated victims of violence?as the refugees, the slaves, the kidnapped child soldiers?while youth have contrarily been portrayed as the willing perpetrators of violence: its rebels, gang members, and rioters. In this course we will investigate notions of child and youth autonomy, gendering, socialization, liminality and resistance through case studies ranging from the streets of Pakistan to the juvenile prisons of the US and the rebel camps of Sierra Leone.

ANTH 60300 The Commons: tangible, intangible and otherwise

What could environmental anthropology offer to our current debates about climate change, degrowth, and sustainability? The debate on the "commons" has returned to the focus of socio-environmental politics and theorizing in recent debates of the climate crisis. From late 1960s debates about overpopulation and environmental degradation to the present debates about economic degrowth and climate change mitigation, the "commons" has figured as a constant topic of debate and a key symbol for political organizing. The idea of the "commons" of collective management led to its renewal with the discourse on the Internet as a force for positive social change with the circulation of intangible goods of information and knowledge.

Most recently, we are back to square one in terms of our debate about the common in the "commons:" its urgency as an alternative for ecological collapse and corporate enclosures of intellectual property and natural resources. In this seminar, we will map out the field to discuss alternatives of the commons based on classic and contemporary references. Our goal will be to cover the literature and examine its contributions for addressing pressing issues of climate change and economic transformation. We welcome advanced undergraduates and graduate students working on climate change and sustainability issues to join the seminar.

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 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 63202 Gender and Archaeology

In this course, students will explore the potential for studying and reconstructing a prehistory of people through archaeology. We will consider the historical and theoretical foundations of creating an engendered past, the methodological and practical aspects of "doing" engendered archaeology, and the intersection between political feminism, archaeological knowledge production, and the politics of an engendered archaeology. Topics for consideration include feminist perspectives on science, anthropology, and archaeology; concepts of gender in prehistory and the present; women's and men's relations to craft production, state formation, and space; and the complex relationship between feminism, archaeology, and the politics of women and men in archaeology and the archaeological past. Under the broad theoretical, political and historical umbrella of feminism, archaeologists today are negotiating their own paths toward an engendered past from multiple directions, and this course will explore the diversity of these approaches toward creating a prehistory of people.

ANTH 63204 Barn Stories: Visual Research and Filmmaking

Visual Anthropology provides a powerful and engaging means of sharing historical and anthropological stories. This new course is based on the assumption that people think in terms of images, movement and sound and that film can be used to create powerful and important human narratives. This class is designed to train students in how to research, design, manage and produce short documentary film projects using both state of the art production equipment and accessible forms of media capture such as iPhones and GoPros. As a graduate/undergraduate elective, this course thematically focuses on understanding and documenting the historical, social, economic and personal stories centered on 19th through 20th century Indiana local barns, and placing these in a meaningful cultural and historical context. Students will work in teams of two to research an assigned farmstead, focusing on the barn as a material setting and documenting the past through the integration of historical research, oral history and digital video.Students will develop 2 minute videos for inclusion in a video book (as seen here that touches on local history as well as a longer 8 minute video that explores the life, history and social context of the barn. The result will be a collaborative effort that creates a body of work by the class exploring local history and linking Anthropology with filmmaking to tell stories.

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.