Anthropology, in the largest sense of the discipline, is the study of what it is to be human. In attempting to understand the diversity of thought and behavior that is characteristic of humans, we better understand ourselves, our potentials and our limitations.
Sociology emerged in the late nineteenth century as an attempt to understand and explain the unprecedented changes in social organization and human relations resulting from modernization. This course provides a general overview of the sociological concepts, theories, and empirical research that concern the problems of modernity and contemporary American society. The naive, popular view of
To understand our present physical and social condition, we must understand our evolutionary past. This course is an introduction the fundamentals that contribute to our understanding of human evolution--evolutionary biology, genetics, primatology, paleaontology, physical anthropology, geology and archaeology. You will learn about the methods involved in reconstructing ancient human anatomy,
What does it mean to be a human being and what makes us unique? The study of the past can shed light on the adaptability and variability of the human race as we expanded throughout the globe. In this course we will use archaeological data to understand the earliest cultures and how they gave rise to the myriad of human lifeways existing in the world today.
This course focuses on sex and gender in prehistory and in archaeological theory. This course seeks to reconstruct the lives and roles of women, men, and children in a range of ancient societies, examining the ways that gendered differences have been portrayed in the past and the present and considering how we can approach the study of social identities and relations of power. We will examine how women contributed to subsistence, technological innovation, symbolic and ritual activity, and how they shared in or were denied social, political, and religious authority and power.
We all come from Africa, yet most of us know little about our origins and little about subsequent cultural developments on the continent and surrounding islands. Those developments include not only a wide-ranging variety of subsistence strategies, but also the origins of numerous and diverse independent complex states across the continent. This course provides an introduction to the prehistory, culture history, and contemporary cultures of sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar. It also includes the study of various cultural practices and theoretical issues that have continued to fascinate an
The course will begin by examining why the Pacific Islands were the “final frontier” of the human occupation of the globe. The focus will then shift to the vast array of normal cultural strategies employed among Pacific Islanders regarding subsistence activities, social, political and economic organization, cosmological beliefs, and celebratory practices. Anthropologists also use the information they acquire to reflect upon theoretical arguments concerning cultural organization and human practices.
This is not a traditional course about Native Americans in North America. In this course, we will move beyond categorizing Native peoples, their cultural beliefs and practices, and historical experiences according to familiar anthropological categories (e.g., “prehistory” and “band, tribe, chiefdom, state”). Instead, you are encouraged to question conventional assumptions and stereotypes about and depictions of indigenous peoples and cultures of North America.
This course examines how and why society prescribes different gender expectations to men and women. In turn, we will discuss how those expectations affect the experiences, attitudes, and opportunities of men and women in society. Students will gain the conceptual and theoretical tools to analyze the personal, interactional, and institutional consequences of different social constructions of gender.
This course provides an introduction to sociological perspectives in the study of sport. It focuses on sport as a cultural and social institution and explores the ways in which sports shape individuals’ identities and are shaped by broader cultural, political and economic forces. Students will examine the intersections of race, class, gender and disability as they analyze the links between sports and the body, fandom, education, violence, the media, exploitation, and resistance.