ANT 211: General Anthropology
Because the field of anthropology is so broad and can
encompass so many different aspects of the human condition (past and present)
it is somewhat impractical to attempt and cover everything in a single semester. Any such attempt
would sacrifice any hopes of synthesis and depth for topical breadth.
Therefore, in General Anthropology we explore 5 topics that
all (or the majority) of the different sub-fields of anthropology contribute to
in some way.
All are topics that are
somehow connected to concepts that are generally considered to be somehow
defining of what it means to be human:
(2) Language and Linguistics
(3) Sex and Reproduction
(4) Human Evolution
(5) Social Organization
ANT 215: Introduction to Biological Anthropology
anthropology is the study of the interaction between humans and culture using
the physical body as the source of data.
This spans the human experience from our primate roots to modern human
diversity. We will begin by exploring
the history of ideas related to the scientific method and evolution, as well as
our current understanding of evolutionary processes. Evolution both creates and requires genetic
variation. Building on this background
to evolutionary biology we will look at primate diversity, primate evolution
and primate behavior. From here we will
move on to explore human evolution: from early primates to modern Homo
sapiens. We will look at the fossil
evidence for human evolution and how we study aspects of early human behavior. The course concludes by considering
the adaptive significance of biological diversity in modern populations. By
viewing ourselves both in the context of populations around the world and in
terms of how modern humans have evolved we can gain a better understanding of
who we are and our place in the world. As we create new environments – both
intentionally and unintentionally – we shape the future course of not only our
evolution, but the evolution and extinction of other species.
ANT 293: Forensic Anthropology
course is designed to introduce students to the field of forensic sciences and
in particular the class focuses on the role of the forensic
anthropologist. The course will cover a
variety of subjects, including basic skeletal biology, osteology, field
recovery of human remains, time since death, facial reconstruction, and
recognition of gross trauma and pathology.
The class will include a laboratory portion in which they will learn
osteology and the “art” of age, sex, and race estimation of human skeletal
material. The class will not provide
in-depth coverage of ballistics, serology, hair analysis, or fingerprinting
except as related to forensic anthropological investigations.
ANT 301: Human Evolution
course is designed to introduce students to (1) the fundamentals of
evolutionary theory and (2) the application of this framework for our
understanding of human evolutionary history.
The course will begin by introducing students to the theory of
evolution, its historical background and its modern articulation. We will also
explore modern modifications to Darwinian evolution. From here we will begin to explore the
anatomical and phylogenetic context of human evolution by discussing the origin
and evolution of primates. Then we will
explore the origins of the first hominins and their place in the human family
tree. Finally, we will discuss the origins of the genus Homo, the
criteria used to differentiate these specimens and the emergence of the modern
human suite of anatomical and behavioral characteristics.
ANT 302: Human Osteology
lab course is designed to provide students with a hands-on experience with
biological anthropology. Students will
learn the fundamentals of hard and soft tissue anatomy, including basic
histology, anatomical terminology, orientation, and physiology. Students will also learn dental anatomy as
this is an important data source that primatologists use to reconstruct primate
natural history. Following this, the
students will learn how biological anthropologists examine human variation via
anthropometry, leading into the practical application of suck skills within the
field of forensic anthropology.
ANT 393: Mummy Studies
This course is designed as an introduction to the
study of mummies around the world. It
begins with an introduction to the theoretical foundations of mummies studies,
to the study of death and the mortuary context.
The course then ranges over all of the continents, examining where and
when mummies are found. This survey is
used as a vehicle to explore the contributions that biological anthropology can
make to mummy studies.