Graduate Courses

Graduate course descriptions.

Core Courses

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.

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.

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

Explores the flows of people, ideas, goods, and capital across political boundaries in the Western Hemispheres. Topics to be examined via ethnography, include migration, the arts, trade, and investment (may be cross-listed with LAS graduate courses).

This course lays out social and cultural commonalities and differences in Europe. There is an emphasis on treating the concept of Europe as problematical.

>An examination of the politics of development with a focus on anthropological critiques of development using Central Africa (DR-Congo, Rwanda and Burundi) as an intensive case study.

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.

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.

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.

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.

An examination of current issues regarding urbanization and development.

An examination of specific areas of socio-cultural anthropology.

An examination of specific areas of archaeology.

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.

Intensive examination of selected topics in social anthropology focusing on current theories and methodologies.

Intensive analysis of socio-cultural data of a particular region of the world (such as Africa, pre-Columbia, Contemporary America, or Latin America) and method and theory pertaining to that region.

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.

Seminar in the critical theory of identity and subjectivity with perspectives on race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, and regionalism. Traces the historical evolution of anthropological approaches to identity and subjectivity.

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.

The study of folklore provides an intensive examination of the history of folkloristics. This course explores methods of collection, interpretation, analysis, classification and categorization of folklore such as folk literature, folk custom and material culture.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

An overview of human nutrition in an anthropological and evolutionary context. This course will cultivate a perspective that eating food should be viewed as meeting nutritional requirements as well as a complex set of environmental exposures.

An overview of human nutrition in an anthropological and evolutionary context. This course will cultivate a perspective that eating food should be viewed as meeting nutritional requirements as well as a complex set of environmental exposures.

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

Using insights from studies of human evolution to better understand the emergence of human disease. The focus of the course will be on understanding the emergence of regionally adaptive complex traits and their impact on disease in the modern world.

This course will provide the theoretical background for analyzing molecular data and hands-on experience with molecular data. It will cover the most commonly generated kinds of data used in anthropological genetics and include a survey of relevant computer software.

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

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