Graduate Courses

Graduate Courses in Anthropology University of Louisville

Core Courses

608 Social and Cultural Theory

An examination of how social theorists and cultural theorists construct accounts of human existence that both complement and diverge from one another. Emphasized: how contemporary theory draws on earlier theory.

609, 610, 611 Research Design *Pick one

Archaeology:This course is intended to provide graduate students with training in the basic practices and procedures in research and writing in archaeology. The course will cover a number of aspects of professional activity and performance in archaeology including grant proposals, publications and oral presentations. Particular emphasis will be placed on a number of analytical methods that students will likely utilize in their thesis research. Additionally, the course will cover ethics and historic preservation/heritage issues.
Biological Anthropology:
While anthropological genetics has apparently moved past the issue of the origin of modern humans, new theory and data has re-opened the issue. The simple 'Out of Africa' model, which was based primarily on uni-parentally inherited data, is seemingly not robust to new data from the rest of the human genome. Many researchers are generating data that is more compatible with a model that incorporates an element of admixture between multiple archaic populations. This course will review methods, models, and theory from seminal papers and new research in an effort to come to a better understanding of this exciting issue.
Socio-Cultural Anthropology:
This seminar is designed to engage students in the process of developing a substantive research project. Focus will be on integrating the literature, theoretical and methodological approaches, and data collection strategies.

612 Seminar: Contemporary Issues in Anthropology

This core course will be team taught and will cover the contemporary theoretical and methodological issues in archaeology, biological and cultural anthropology. It will elaborate the core questions that continue to unite the field as a particular mode of inquiry and production of knowledge.

Topical Courses

 

507 Space, Place and Culture

How is culture distributed spatially? How are specific spaces and places constructed, connected, and interpreted through cultural practices? This course examines anthropological approaches to these questions.

522 Ecology, Politics, and Culture

This course examines the relations between ecology, economic system, culture, ideology and power relations. The focus moves back and forth between theoretical synthesis and case studies. The case studies are both ethnographic and historical. A few of the themes treated in detail: the role of religious ritual in regulating certain environments; the mutual influences of ecology and political economy in the making of "the Third World; "the local and global politics of national parks; combined and uneven development. Stress is laid on political ecology as a complex, shifting, analytical framework. Questions of sustainability weave in and out of the proceedings. Also emphasized: the story of ecological analysis over the last seventy years is a story about changing relations between anthropology and other social sciences.

526 Archaeology as Practice

This course focuses on the analytical techniques that archaeologists use to study the past. Students will learn the practice of archaeology emphasizing modern methods of survey, excavation and analysis used to investigate the past. By the end of the course, students will have learned how to construct their own research plan, collect and analyze their data and draw inferences about the past.

528 Animals and Humans

This course explores the complex and often contradictory ways that humans interact with animals. We cover a range of topics emerging from a multidisciplinary perspective including the origins of hunting and domestication: modern animal economies; cross-cultural attitudes toward animals; symbolic representations of animals in art, literature, religion and folklore; animals as companions; and the status of animals, both wild and domestic, in contemporary society. Students will gain a broad, cross-cultural perspective on the relationship humans have with the rest of the animal kingdom, focused mainly on other mammals.

529 Zoo Archaeology

The course will provide basic instruction in the identification of animal remains commonly recovered from archaeological sites. It will follow a taphonomic approach to zooarchaeology with an emphasis on understanding and interpreting the formation of archaeological faunal assemblages. The course examines approaches to using bone data to construct and investigate archaeological questions. Students will engage in hands-on identification and interpretation of animal remains commonly found in archaeological sites.

530 Human Impacts on Past Environments

This course is about the archaeological and paleoecological record of past human impacts on the Earth. We will explore a number of concepts regarding socionatural systems including land degradation, perception, resilience and sustainability. The course will provide a background for understanding the ways archaeologists and paleoecolgists reconstruct past environments and recognize human impacts. We will examine a number of global case studies and discuss the possible lessons for current and future decision-making in human land use.

531 The Anthropology of Water

This course focuses on the political ecology of water from prehistory to the present. Emphasis is placed on the organization, practices, and meanings associated with the human control and use of water including technology and ecological adaptation. The course integrates the archaeological and historical record with contemporary examples of water management systems from different parts of the world. It also explores environmental, social, economic, and political implications of water as a commodity. Emphasis will be on privatization, globalization and health; water scarcity as a source of domestic and international conflict; the environmental implications of water supply projects and their social and economic consequences. Water management policy and the implications of changing climate on regional water availability and sustainable use will also be considered.

535 Nutritional Anthropology

This course provides students with a broad overview of topics in nutritional anthropology; an area of study that is highly multidisciplinary. Students will learn to critically think about the impact of culture concerning the current understanding of nutrition in a biocultural context. The course will range over nutritional aspects of human evolution, federal perspectives on nutrition, aspects of nutritional epidemiology, food and ethnicity, food and self, and obesity as culture bound syndrome.

540 Human Adaptation

This course explores and discusses biological strategies of human adaptation to different environments. The central goal is to understand how at multiple levels (anatomy, physiology, genetics, and behavior) human populations respond to their surroundings.

562 Special Topics in Cultural Anthropology

An examination of one or more specific areas of social-cultural anthropology. Details announced each semester.

563 Special Topics in Biological Anthropology

An examination of one or more specific areas of biological anthropology. Details announced each semester.

564 Special Topics in Archaeology

An examination of specific areas of archaeology.

578 Lithic Technology

This course provides an introduction to the study of stone tool technology. Topics to be covered include broad examination of major changes in stone tool technology during the course of human prehistory (~3.3 million - 10,000 years ago), analytical approaches commonly employed by archaeologists to interpret the lithic record, and experiential learning through knapping and lab exercises. In addition to the hands-on exercises, the course material is supported by films, and readings from the textbooks, and journal articles. Students are required to submit a literature based term paper focusing on ethnographic or archaeological case studies that incorporate lithic datasets.

579 Ceramic Analysis

Pottery is abundant in many archaeological sites, and the study of pottery has a long history in archaeology. Analysis and interpretation of ceramics has been used by archaeologists to accomplish varied ends: to establish a time scale, to document interconnections between different areas, sites or groups of people,and to suggest what activities were carried out at particular sites. Archaeologists also use ceramics as a basis to understand the organization of ceramic production itself as an important activity. The varied means that archaeologists use to bridge the gap between the recovery of ceramics and their interpretation is the focus of this course.

601 Special Topics in Anthropology

Outlines vary as to area of expertise of instructor; objectives aim at the maximum of staff utilization and meeting program needs within the University which call for studies in anthropology as that discipline interrelates with other special knowledge.

607 Emergence of Culture

This course is intended to explore key issues in the emergence of the unifying theme of anthropology: culture. Place firmly in an evolutionary framework, students will engage in a critical understanding of the origins of human culture. The course serves as a companion to another one on the concept of culture in anthropology. The objective is to provide grounding in the fundamental questions of who we are as a species and how we became that way.

622 Anthropology of Violence

Seminar on anthropological approaches to the study of violence and human suffering, including political, structural, domestic, and criminal violence. Case studies come from many different regions of the world.

624 Black Cultural Traditions

Black cultural traditions provides an interdisciplinary approach to the production of African-based traditions in the African Diaspora. This course explores social and cultural implication of African-based literary, visual and performing arts in Africa and the African Diaspora.

625 Globalization, Transnationalism, and Anthropology

This course examines how globalization has impacted anthropology and the ways in which anthropologists conduct their research, and most importantly, how anthropologists have contributed to the study of globalization and transnationalism. Readings for this course focus on ethnographic studies.

626 Community Food Security

This course examines the relationship between access to food and social justice. Topics examined include hunger, the US agro-food system, and community development. As part of the course, students will carry out fieldwork with a locally-based organization or agency engaged in improving food access

627 Political Economy and Culture

This course is devoted to understanding how anthropologists have used concepts and methods derived from political economy to understand markets, the organization of production, and power relations.

640 Linguistic Anthropology

Cross-listed with LING 640. This course provides an introduction to the field of linguistic anthropology. Topics include: the semiotic properties of human language; principles of linguistic and cultural categorization; language use in social interaction; markers of social identity and relationship; registers of social conduct; the textual organization of discourse; the role of discourse in the formulation of norms, and the institutionalization of modes of conduct.

650 Human Evolution in Health and Disease

The adaptations making us human were established a long time ago and may not fit us as well at our present time. This course explores and analyzes how human biology and evolution was and is shaped by life styles, health and disease.

651 Seminar in Biological Anthropology

This is a seminar course that discusses current issues and debates in biological anthropology. Students will discuss selected papers that have made fundamental contributions to our comprehension of the human evolutionary process. Emphasis will be focused on critical thinking.

653 Human Molecular Evolutionary Genetics

An introduction to population genetics theory and a review of the peopling of the world as conceptualized using both molecular and anthropometric data.

670 Independent Study (Reading)

3 hours

671 Independent Study (Research)

3 hours

672 Thesis (6 credit hours)

Students opting for Plan A will design a program of reading on the thesis topic.

673 Internship (6 credit hours)

Students opting for Plan B will design a program of work and write a research paper on a related topic.