Anthropology Course Guide

This Course Guide (below) contains detailed information on all Anthropology courses, and links to the catalogue with Course Outlines where available. See Bear Tracks (subject: ANTHR) for specific time and location information organized by term. The University of Alberta Calendar is the only authoritative source of the rules and regulations that apply to students. Graduate students can contact Heather Cook and undergraduate students can contact Gayeung Doan for more information.

Please see the Course Catalouge schedule or Beartracks for specific time and date courses are offered.  

The below course guide provides descriptions of individual courses supplied by the instructors. Please note: course descriptions and assigned textbooks for specific courses vary by instructor, and also may change from year to year.  Syllabi for past years are available on the department website but should be used for general reference only.

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Fall 2017  Courses Offered

Undergraduate Courses (100 to 400 Level Courses)

ANTHR 101 Introductory Anthropology

Introduction to past and present anthropological approaches through the study of human diversity.  Prerequisites: None

Kateryna Pashkovska:

Mathew Levitt:

ANTHR 150 Race and Racism

Christine Kennedy:  This course provides an anthropological perspective on the concept of race and the subject of racism. We will explore how the race concept has been developed and used to explain human variation. We will further discuss racism in modern societies and how anthropology has responded to this challenge. Prerequisite: None

Francois Larose:

ANTHR 206 Introduction to Archaeology

Robert Losey:  This course is a general introduction to the methods and theoretical approaches of archaeology, using both lectures and lab/practicals. It will cover the goals and objectives of the discipline, the methods used in data collection and analysis, and the procedures used to interpret those data. The course will emphasize the themes of reconstructing prehistoric lifeways and explaining cultural change. The course is not a general survey of human prehistory or the results of investigations, but rather the consideration of the complexities of archaeological inquiry. No prerequisite

ANTHR 207 Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology

Kathleen Lowrey:  This course introduces students to the history and present prospects of the field of socio-cultural anthropology.  By the end of the course students should have a good understanding of the historical development of the discipline, be confidently and knowledgeably able to follow its current intellectual debates and controversies, and have an emergent sense of which subfields of the discipline most interest them.   This class can thus serve as a terminal introduction to socio-cultural anthropology, or the basis for a greater engagement with it.

ANTHR 208 Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology

Andie Palmer:  This course provides an introduction to the tools and techniques of linguistic anthropology, and allows students to refine their observational skills and abilities to analyze the cultural conventions of human communication. Critical understandings of how individuals’ differing perceptions of the same phenomena are influenced by language and culture will be developed through preliminary training in phonology, and explorations of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. Key readings in linguistic anthropology should foster an understanding of issues of language ideology, language and power, language and gender, the ethnography of speaking, artistry in speech, language endangerment, and child language acquisition. Students will conduct a small research project based on their own observational fieldwork as part of the course.

Selected Readings available online Textbooks (proposed):

Living Language: An Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology, by Laura Ahern. Wiley-Blackwell, 2017.

Western Apache Language and Culture: Essays in Linguistic Anthropology, by Keith Basso. University of Arizona Press, 1990. 

ANTHR 209 Introduction to Biological Anthropology

Lesley Harrington:  This course explores the question of who humans are as a species. We will examine the biological principles that underpin human physical variation and change through time. Our evolutionary history will be mapped by surveying current fossil and genetic evidence for human ancestors, and the emergence of human culture. We will consider how humans relate to other living primates, and the social strategies that unite us. The laboratory component focuses on the skeletal anatomy of modern humans and primates, and allows for hands-on examination of fossil casts. No prerequisite

ANTHR 219 World Prehistory

Joseph Werner:  World Prehistory explores the long-term biological and cultural history of humans as understood from the fossil and archaeological record. The content of the course begins nearly 5 million years ago with the earliest human ancestors in Africa and the origins and early evolution of culture during the Pliocene and Pleistocene. From there, topics include the origins of food production and the development of pastoralism and/or agriculture in different regions of the world. The course then turns to the emergence of the world’s earliest cities and state-level societies, including their use of monumental architecture, divine rule, and various forms of social control. World Prehistory is intended for those with no background in archaeology and is designed to present a global overview of archeological periods and cultures as well as a brief review of some of the key techniques and theories of the discipline. No prerequisite.

ANTHR 256 Alberta Archaeology

John W. Ives:  What was the late Ice Age world that First Nations ancestors initially encountered actually like? What was the first product to be used from the oil sands? When did the great communal bison hunts begin in Alberta? When does the archaeological record reveal traces of First Nations ceremonial activity in Alberta? Why are the Kootenay Plains called by that name? What is a serpent side-plate? If you would like to know the answers to these questions, these and many other topics will be covered in this treatment of the province’s archaeological record. We will review the archaeological sequence for Alberta, from the earliest traces of First Nations presence through to the Fur Trade era, looking at environments and important sites in the Plains, Boreal Forest, Parkland and Eastern Slopes regions. We will also discuss current issues in Alberta archaeology, among them regulatory processes, needs for consultation with First Nations, and balanced approaches to the formation of Alberta’s cultural landscapes.

ANTHR 302 History of Anthropological Theory (Formerly ANTHR 415)

Brent Hammer:  The History of Anthropological Theory investigates major trends in social and cultural anthropology and explores how the discipline has developed globally. Topics covered will include evolutionist anthropology and the comparative method, historical particularism, functionalism, including the globalization of anthropology as a discipline, structuralism, symbolic and interpretive anthropology, Marxist and historical anthropology, practice theory, postmodern anthropology, and globalization theory. Course prerequisites: ANTHR 207 or 208, or consent of Department.

ANTHR 310 The Anthropology of Gender

Joseph Hill:  This course explores anthropological approaches to understanding sex and gender as they are understood in different societies and how gender intersects with culture, class, globalization, race and ethnicity. Gender concerns the social and cultural ideas and practices associated with biological sex distinction, or the contrast between men and women, masculinity and femininity, in any particular cultural context. Gender is paradoxical: members of society often experience gender oppositions as absolutely natural—perhaps even the most fundamental part of a person—yet what it makes someone a man or a woman not only differs from society to society but is hard to pin down in any cultural context. The topics examined in this course include the history of feminism and the study of sex and gender in anthropology; the mutual influence between cultural and scientific/medical concepts of sex and gender; the relationships between gender and colonialism, capitalism, globalization, ethnicity, and the state; gender metaphors that serve to describe domains other than sex; the construction of gendered identities and subjectivities; and gender identities and practices beyond heteronormative binaries. Students will learn to approach gender not as a specialization in anthropology but as a crucial dimension of any phenomenon we may want to understand and of any problem we may want to address. Prerequisites: ANTHR 110 or 207 or 209 or consent of Department.

Textbook: Mascia-Lees, Frances E. 2010. Gender & Difference in a Globalizing World: Twenty-First Century Anthropology. Long Grove, IL: Waveland.

ANTHR 318 Political Anthropology

Marko Zivkovic:  Communism and After:  Athnography of a Strange WorldWhat enabled Czeslaw Milosz to write The Captive Mind, where he tried to explain “how the human mind functioned in the people’s democracies,” was that the “system invented by Moscow” seemed “infinitely strange” to him. This course will take the “strangeness” of the social form that molded lives of hundreds of millions in the 20th century as an occasion for engaging in the time-honored anthropological endeavor to make the strange familiar. While most ethnographies covered in the course will (due to general inaccessibility of Communist countries to Western anthropologists) be about “post-socialism,” we will extend the ethnographic approach to the study of the “Real Socialism” as it existed previous to 1989 by treating available sources (film, literature, essays, diaries, etc.) as a grist for anthropological mills. This attempt to understand “what was Socialism and what came after” would thus mostly focus on the practices of everyday life and view grand phenomena of state control, socialist economy, ideology, and Cold War dynamics primarily from the standpoint of the proverbial “little man.”  Grades will be based on class attendance and activity (20%), the short assignment (30%), and the final paper (50%). Prerequisite: ANTHR 207 or consent of department. 

ANTHR 320 Anthropology of Religion

Kate Kingsbury:  This course explores theoretical and methodological issues in the study of religions across the globe. We will examine phenomena such as magic, taboo, shamanism and witchcraft, as well as appraising the role of ritual, trance, sacrifice, divination and fetish-usage in religious ontologies. Additionally, we will draw from recent developments in the anthropology of religion to understand the role of women in religions, the importance of youth in regenerating religious practices and beliefs, as well as the salience of material culture in the performance of piety.
Prerequisite: ANTHR 207 (or ANTHE 207) or consent of Department.

Textbook:  David Hicks, editor, Ritual and belief: readings in the anthropology
of religion
. (Third edition) 2010. AltaMira Press. Additional article readings to be assigned.

ANTHR 322 Anthropological Perspectives on Discursive Practices

Joseph Hill:  How does language make us who we are? How are relationships and meanings created and negotiated through concrete instances of linguistic exchange, or discourse? How does language use contribute to creating, maintaining, and undermining distinctions such as class, gender, race, ethnicity, and nationality? When people of different linguistic backgrounds inhabit the same communities, does linguistic diversity melt away or does it persist? This course brings together perspectives from disciplines such as anthropology, sociolinguistics, ethnomusicology, and folklore studies. The topics we will discuss include narratives in their cultural context; inter-ethnic communication; language in work, school, and institutions; code switching and other inter-linguistic practices; and electronic communication. Prerequisite: ANTHR 208 or consent of Department.

ANTHR 350 Kinship and Social Structure

 Kathleen Lowrey:  Long central to the empirical practice and theoretical corpus of anthropology, during the 1990s and early 2000s the study of kinship seemed headed toward the margins of the discipline.  In recent years there has been a renewal of interest in kinship studies.  To understand why this is so, we will track past, present, and emergent methods and frameworks for analyzing society, marriage, family, gender, personhood, the body and subjectivity.

The aim of the course is for students to become confidently and knowledgeably able to participate in debates about the past and present direction of the discipline of anthropology.  You will be obliged to read substantial quantities of difficult material in order to achieve this aim.  Much of it is notoriously dry and almost all of it will require lecture-format explication on my part and engaged classroom discussion on your part to be made comprehensible.  The reward for our joint efforts will be a rich (and increasingly rare) understanding of what kinds of empirical materials and theoretical concerns got the discipline of anthropology going and how they are and are not different from the sorts of empirical materials and theoretical concerns that generate most of the discipline’s energy today.  

ANTHR 390 Human Osteology

Pamela Mayne Correia:  This essential anatomy course is the foundational course for the senior level instruction in biological anthropology.  Human Osteology challenges the student to learn more than the basic bone identification, but pushes the student to look at human variation within one population and to learn to identify whole bones from small fragments of that bone.  An introduction into development, growth, and disease will be presented as well as instruction in the muscle and ligaments associated with bony features.  Students will be required to participate in an intensive laboratory component with bell-ringer exams.  The specific course objectives include: the ability to identify each bone element in the adult skeleton; the ability to identify all teeth in both the adult and child;  a competency in identifying unique features on fragmentary bone;  ability to side bone specimens Prerequisite: ANTHR 209 or consent of Department.

ANTHR 401 Ethnographic Methods

Gregory Forth:  A review of methods and techniques used in anthropological field research and their relative merits in different field settings and in the solution of different sorts of problems. Critical attention is given to such basic issues as where the ‘data’ of social and cultural anthropology come from; personal and social factors facilitating or limiting access to field settings, relationships, and therefore potential information; and how anthropological books and papers get written. The course also deals with the historical development of ethnographic research and the connection between particular methods and styles of fieldwork and particular theoretical and philosophical positions. As the course title should suggest, the main focus is ‘ethnography’, in the sense of research aimed at generating reliable information about society and culture while living in, or with, a community. Course prerequisite: Anthropology 207 or consent of the department.

 

ANTHR 407 Paleopathology

A detailed survey of disease processes in antiquity as expressed in skeletal and preserved tissues. Prerequisite: ANTHR 390 or consent of Department. Offered in alternate years.

Sandra Garvie-Lok:

ANTHR 471 Readings in Anthropology

Individual research project conducted under the direction of a Department faculty member. Prerequisite: consent of Department.

ANTHR 472 Independent Research

Individual research project involving significant laboratory work conducted under the direction of a Department faculty member. Prerequisite: consent of Department.

ANTHR 476 Palaeodietary Reconstruction

Survey of methods used to reconstruct past human diets, with an emphasis on those that involve the study of human remains. Prerequisite: ANTHR 206 or 209 or consent of Department. Offered in alternate years.

Sandra Garvie-Lok:

ANTHR 485 Topics in Social, Cultural and/or Linguistic Anthropology

 Marko Zivkovic:  Tropes and Narratives in Anthropology, A1Metaphors, metonyms, synechdoches and ironies move and position subjects along culturally conditioned dimensions of “quality space,” and these tropes, in turn, are embedded in stories people tell themselves (and others) about themselves. Anthropology has a long-standing interest in what people do with words, in verbal art as performance, and in how narratives structure our experience. This course will explore the relevance of rhetoric (the art of persuasion) for anthropology, the social life of tropes and stories, and such issues as orality and literacy, genre and intertextuality, structural vs. performative approaches to narrative analysis, and sensitivity to figurative language and storytelling in ethnographic writing. In addition to the final paper (10-12 pages for undergraduates; 15+ for graduate students) there will be one short assignment (5 pages max). Grades will be based on class attendance and activity (20%), the short assignment (30%), and the final paper (50%). Prerequisite: ANTHR 207 or consent of department. 


ANTHR 486 Seminar in Archaeology and/or Biological Anthropology

Andrzej Weber:  Hunter- Gatherers, A1This course is a review of the anthropology and archaeology of hunting and gathering cultures, or “foragers”. Foragers rely on a mix of collecting, hunting, and fishing but frequently integrate also domesticated foods, animal and plant alike and other commercial goods. Foraging, not just human but animal in general, is the most ancient lifestyle the origins of which have very long roots reaching back to beginnings of more complex life forms on Earth. For almost 99% of its history humans have been foragers. The course covers theory, methods, history, and case studies, both ethnographic and archaeological with a particular focus on diversity in hunter–gatherer adaptations. The class offers a unique opportunity to learn more about the nature of humanity from the general anthropological perspective. Prerequisite: ANTHR 206: Introduction to Archaeology.

John W. Ives:  Migration and Archaeology, A2 Once a mainstay in archaeological explanation, then an anathema, migration has resurfaced in recent years as a significant area of enquiry.  The principal focus of the seminar will be to examine current theoretical and methodological approaches to the material culture consequences of prehistoric migration, using linguistic, human genetic, natural historical and other sources of pertinent information. The specific objectives of the course are to: 1) apprehend migration as a subject of broad social science enquiry; 2) explore the history of migration as a concept applied in archaeology and anthropology; 3) grasp the human biological implications of migration, but to see clearly the multitude of ways in which migration is a profoundly social and cultural phenomenon; 4) examine a series of case studies concerning migration in prehistory, valuing interdisciplinary approaches along with archaeological data; 5) provide a context and opportunity for students to explore a term project on specific past migration or facet of migration research of particular interest to them. Prerequisites: ANTHR 206 or consent of Department. While we will deal with migrations in history and prehistory from an archaeological perspective, interdisciplinary approaches to migration from advanced undergraduate and graduate students in other program areas will be most welcome in the seminar.

ANTHR 491 Stone Tools

John W. Ives:  A methodological and theoretical introduction to archaeological analysis of stone tools designed to equip students with one of the fundamental skill sets any practitioner of the discipline should have. The course will cover the early hominid onset of stone tool use and its links to human evolution, principal traditions of stone tool manufacture and use in world prehistory, and methods for analysis of stone tool assemblages ranging from geochemistry sourcing studies to aggregate analysis of debitage. There will be a strong focus on hands-on activities in this course, including a stress on the ability to identify diagnostic features of specific stone tools, opportunities to conduct independent research concerning archaeological collections, and chances to work with highly skilled flint knappers in acquiring stone tool manufacturing skills. Prerequisites: ANTHR 206 or consent of Department. Offered in alternate years.

ANTHR 499 Honors Seminar and Research Project

Robert Losey:  The Honours Seminar fosters in-depth research on a selected topic in Anthropology. The first aim of this course in the Fall semester is for students to develop their honors paper projects from initial ideas to a well-thought out proposal with an annotated tentative bibliography. The second aim of the course in the first semester is to provide a more advanced understanding of academic scholarship through a thorough examination of research ethics and field research practices and protocols. We will also discuss grant proposal writing, public presentations, and graduate school application processes. The overarching goals of the seminar are:

1.     to learn how to design and implement a research project;

2.     to understand the ethical issues in conducting research;

3.     to understand how theoretical perspectives shape the research process;

4.     to understand various methodologies, and the strengths and limitations of various methods;

5.     to build writing and oral presentation skills;

6.     to build critical analysis skills, including providing constructive feedback to colleagues.

Prerequisites: admitted to the Honours program, in final year of undergraduate studies


Graduate Courses (500 and 600 Level Courses)

ANTHR 500 MA Thesis Prospectus

Preparation of a research proposal leading to the MA thesis. The prospectus will state the proposed research problem, and demonstrate the theoretical and methodological knowledge required to complete the research. Closed to web registration. Department consent required.

ANTHR 501 MA Colloquium

Readings, presentations, and discussions of staff research, recent advances and current issues in the four fields of anthropology. Limited to new MA students

Gregory Forth:  

ANTHR 571 Advanced Readings in Anthropology

Individual research project conducted under the direction of a Department faculty member. Closed to web registration. Department consent required.

ANTHR 572 Independent Research

Individual research project involving significant laboratory or field work conducted under the supervision of a Department faculty member. Closed to web registration. Department consent required.

ANTHR 576 Advanced Palaeodietary Reconstruction

Advanced survey of methods used to reconstruct past human diets, with an emphasis on those that involve the study of human remains. Offered in alternate years.

Sandra Garvie-Lok:  

ANTHR 584 Topics in Archaeology and/or Biological Anthropology

Sandra Garvie- Lok: Paleopathology, A1

ANTHR 585 Topics in Social, Cultural and/or Linguistic Anthropology

 Marko Zivkovic:  Tropes and Narratives in Anthropology, A1Metaphors, metonyms, synechdoches and ironies move and position subjects along culturally conditioned dimensions of “quality space,” and these tropes, in turn, are embedded in stories people tell themselves (and others) about themselves. Anthropology has a long-standing interest in what people do with words, in verbal art as performance, and in how narratives structure our experience. This course will explore the relevance of rhetoric (the art of persuasion) for anthropology, the social life of tropes and stories, and such issues as orality and literacy, genre and intertextuality, structural vs. performative approaches to narrative analysis, and sensitivity to figurative language and storytelling in ethnographic writing. In addition to the final paper (10-12 pages for undergraduates; 15+ for graduate students) there will be one short assignment (5 pages max). Grades will be based on class attendance and activity (20%), the short assignment (30%), and the final paper (50%). Prerequisite: ANTHR 207 or consent of department. 

ANTHR 586 Seminar in Archaeology and/or Biological Anthropology

Andrzej Weber:  Hunter- Gatherers, A1This course is a review of the anthropology and archaeology of hunting and gathering cultures, or “foragers”. Foragers rely on a mix of collecting, hunting, and fishing but frequently integrate also domesticated foods, animal and plant alike and other commercial goods. Foraging, not just human but animal in general, is the most ancient lifestyle the origins of which have very long roots reaching back to beginnings of more complex life forms on Earth. For almost 99% of its history humans have been foragers. The course covers theory, methods, history, and case studies, both ethnographic and archaeological with a particular focus on diversity in hunter–gatherer adaptations. The class offers a unique opportunity to learn more about the nature of humanity from the general anthropological perspective. Prerequisite: ANTHR 206: Introduction to Archaeology.

John W. Ives:  Migration and Archaeology, A2 Once a mainstay in archaeological explanation, then an anathema, migration has resurfaced in recent years as a significant area of enquiry.  The principal focus of the seminar will be to examine current theoretical and methodological approaches to the material culture consequences of prehistoric migration, using linguistic, human genetic, natural historical and other sources of pertinent information. The specific objectives of the course are to: 1) apprehend migration as a subject of broad social science enquiry; 2) explore the history of migration as a concept applied in archaeology and anthropology; 3) grasp the human biological implications of migration, but to see clearly the multitude of ways in which migration is a profoundly social and cultural phenomenon; 4) examine a series of case studies concerning migration in prehistory, valuing interdisciplinary approaches along with archaeological data; 5) provide a context and opportunity for students to explore a term project on specific past migration or facet of migration research of particular interest to them. Prerequisites: ANTHR 206 or consent of Department. While we will deal with migrations in history and prehistory from an archaeological perspective, interdisciplinary approaches to migration from advanced undergraduate and graduate students in other program areas will be most welcome in the seminar.

ANTHR 600 PhD Thesis Prospectus

Preparation of a research proposal leading to the PhD thesis. The prospectus states the proposed research problem, and demonstrates the theoretical and methodological knowledge required to complete the research. Closed to web registration. Department consent required.

ANTHR 601 PhD Colloquium

Readings, presentations, and discussions of staff research, recent advances and current issues in the four fields of anthropology. Limited to new PhD students. Optional for students with credit in ANTHR 501

Gregory Forth:


Winter 2018  Courses Offered

Undergraduate Courses (100 to 400 Level Courses)

ANTHR 101 Introductory Anthropology

Kathleen Lowrey:  Approaches to the study of anthropology through the consideration of human biological, cultural and linguistic diversity, past and present. Prerequisites: None

Sara Komarnisky:

ANTHR 110 Gender, Age, and Culture

Joseph Hill:  In any given community, two important factors in a person’s social roles and attributes are their gender and age. Yet different communities not only understand these roles and attributes differently, but they define and divide gender and age categories differently. This course studies gender and age distinctions in a cross-cultural perspective, asking what it means to be a man, woman, and other, and a child, adult, or elder in any given society.

ANTHR 150 Race and Racism

The challenge of racism in modern societies and the response of anthropology, including the history of how the ‘race’ concept has been used to explain human variation.

Francois Larose:

ANTHR 206 Introduction to Archaeology

Introduction to the nature, purposes, theory and methods of anthropological archaeology. Emphasis on principles of reconstruction of past societies from archaeological evidence and the explanation of cultural evolution.

Andrew Lints:

ANTHR 207 Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology

Gregory Forth:  A review of the aims, methods, and theoretical approaches of social and cultural anthropology. As this course is a prerequisite for several senior anthropology courses, attention will be given to the main topical concerns of the discipline, including kinship and marriage, political and economic organization, and religion and cosmology. A focus throughout will be cultural variation and ways anthropologists have attempted to explain this. At the same time, attention will also be given to cultural continuity and widespread or universal patterns in human social life and culture. As the instructor’s specific research interests lie largely in areas of kinship, religion, symbolism, and cognition, it may be expected that somewhat more attention will be given to these than to some other topics. Although the texts will draw on ethnographic materials from various parts of the world, from time to time further ethnographic examples will be taken from the instructor’s own field research in Southeast Asia.

ANTHR 208 Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology

Joseph Hill:  Linguistic Anthropology is the subfield of anthropology that studies how language and communication work in human societies. This course explores several questions: What do we mean when we say “language” or “a language”? How does language make us who we are and the world what it is? How does language “mean” and “do” things? How can language marginalize, empower, differentiate, inspire, advocate, and so on? This course combines discussions of readings from linguistic anthropologists, sociolinguistics, and theorists of language with assignments requiring students to transcribe and analyze actual speech. Students will learn to apply an anthropological approach to thinking about and analyzing language. They will learn to approach it not merely as a system of sounds for communicating but as a central part of the experience of self and other, social context, political struggle, and any human undertaking.

ANTHR 209 Introduction to Biological Anthropology

Lesley Harrington:  This course explores the question of who humans are as a species. We will examine the biological principles that underpin human physical variation and change through time. Our evolutionary history will be mapped by surveying current fossil and genetic evidence for human ancestors, and the emergence of human culture. We will consider how humans relate to other living primates, and the social strategies that unite us. The laboratory component focuses on the skeletal anatomy of modern humans and primates, and allows for hands-on examination of fossil casts. No prerequisite

ANTHR 287 Topics in Asian Anthropology

Jean DeBernardi:  The Anthropology of Asian Food- The course will explore historical and contemporary food practices focusing on East and Southeast Asia. Topics covered will include food and ritual, both archaic and contemporary; food and identity; the use of food as medicine; Chinese wine and tea culture; Japanese tea and coffee culture; the globalization and hybridization of Asian food culture.  At the same time, the course will introduce students to concepts and research methods used in the interdisciplinary study of food culture. 

ANTHR 304 History of Biological Anthropology (Formerly ANTHR 498)

A survey of the development of theory and method in biological anthropology. Prerequisites: ANTHR 209 or consent of Department. Offered in alternate years. Not open to students with credit in ANTHR 498.

Sandra Garvie- Lok:

ANTHR 332 Anthropology of Science

Kathleen Lowrey:  This course approaches science via witchcraft. This method and perspective has a storied history in the discipline of anthropology because it raises important general questions about knowledge, culture, and reality. It has the advantage of considering these questions through a less familiar lens, so that we notice what we don’t know about science rather than relying upon all the things we think we do. 

ANTHR 386 Topics in Archaeological or Biological Anthropology

Sandra Garvie- Lok:

ANTHR 391 Hominid Evolution

 A survey of the fossil evidence for human evolution. Prerequisite: ANTHR 209 or consent of Department.

Victoria Van der Haas: 

ANTHR 393 Health and Healing

Brent Hammer:  Medical anthropology is one of the fastest growing and largest of the sub-specialties, spanning theoretical and applied approaches to human illness, wellness and healingsystems, and offering expanding opportunities for employment. This course provides an overview of the field of medical anthropology, including biological, cultural and political economic aspects of wellness, illness, healing, curing, and medicine. Topics covered will include ethnomedical systems, symbolism in healing, gender, ethnicity and the social determinants of health, cultural construction of illness states and critiques of medical practices.  Course prerequisites: ANTHR 101 or consent of Department (ANTHR 207 is recommended)

ANTHR 471 Readings in Anthropology

Individual research project conducted under the direction of a Department faculty member. Prerequisite: consent of Department.

ANTHR 472 Independent Research

Individual research project involving significant laboratory work conducted under the direction of a Department faculty member. Prerequisite: consent of Department.

ANTHR 487 Seminar in Social and Cultural Anthropology

Mark Nuttall:  The Circumpolar North and Global Change, B1Over the last two decades or so, the Arctic has emerged as a region of dramatic environmental change. This vast part of the planet, once seen as pristine and remote, is now understood and represented increasingly as a vulnerable and fragile place, its biodiversity and peoples at risk from environmental change, contaminants, resource development and rapid social and cultural change. The aims of this course are to provide a general introduction to contemporary issues in the circumpolar North, and to explore specific issues with a focus on peoples, environment and politics. We will be examining some of the most critical issues facing the peoples and environments of the Arctic today, including sustainable livelihoods, natural resource use, environmental, social, cultural and political changes; local-regional-global interconnections; governance; and international co-operation.  The course will encourage students to relate anthropological ideas, perspectives and information to a range of contemporary social cultural, political and environmental issues in the modern Arctic regions.  

Joseph Hill:  Living with Spirits, Witches, and Other Non-Humans, B2-   Anthropologists are increasingly focusing on the question of how people become capable of acting, speaking, thinking, and experiencing in certain ways. We often call this the question of “agency” and “subjectivity.” Usually, our assumption—which traces back to the founders of social science—has been that the only actors, speakers, thinkers, and experiencers worth talking about are humans. Most people in the world would probably disagree with social scientists on this point. What if we take seriously people’s claims that their social reality is populated by other sorts of agents as well, such as spirits, witches, saints, ancestors, god(s), animals, and even features of the landscape? In this course, we will examine the necessity of taking such claims seriously as well as the limitations and pitfalls of anthropological methods and description in handling such things. We will read accounts from anthropologists who, sometimes against their inclinations, felt compelled to expand their understanding of “social reality” beyond the human realm.

ANTHR 490 Human Osteoarchaeology

Lesley Harrington:  This course expands upon the knowledge base developed in ANTHR 209 and ANTHR 390 to explore life histories of past human populations. In addition to learning how the components of an osteobiography are conducted, we will examine current theoretical issues in bioarchaeology. The course will involve seminar discussions, and lab based activities aimed at developing skills in osteological analysis. Prerequisite: ANTHR 390 or permission of instructor

ANTHR 494 Forensic Anthropology

Pamela Mayne Correia:  As an applied science, Forensic Anthropology is a specialization within biological anthropology.  In this course we will explore human skeletal individualization and its application to human death investigation.  Standard methods used in bioarchaeology are examined for how they apply in the modern forensic context, and how court requirements impact on their application. Students will explore mass disaster, genocide, accidental, and traumatic death investigation.  The specific course objectives include:  to review and solidify your knowledge about standard methods used to create an osteobiography within a forensic context; to research a topic important to the discipline and to critically assess that information in paper format; to present your results of this critical assessment in poster form to your colleagues; and to contribute to the classroom experience, by participating in the formal presentation of information to discuss to your colleagues. Prerequisite: ANTHR 390 or 490 or consent of Department.


ANTHR 499 Honors Seminar and Research Project

Robert Losey:  The Honours Seminar fosters in-depth research on a selected topic in Anthropology. The first aim of this course in the Fall semester is for students to develop their honors paper projects from initial ideas to a well-thought out proposal with an annotated tentative bibliography. The second aim of the course in the first semester is to provide a more advanced understanding of academic scholarship through a thorough examination of research ethics and field research practices and protocols. We will also discuss grant proposal writing, public presentations, and graduate school application processes. The overarching goals of the seminar are:

1.     to learn how to design and implement a research project;

2.     to understand the ethical issues in conducting research;

3.     to understand how theoretical perspectives shape the research process;

4.     to understand various methodologies, and the strengths and limitations of various methods;

5.     to build writing and oral presentation skills;

6.     to build critical analysis skills, including providing constructive feedback to colleagues.

Prerequisites: admitted to the Honours program, in final year of undergraduate studies


Graduate Courses (500 and 600 Level Courses)

ANTHR 500 MA Thesis Prospectus

Preparation of a research proposal leading to the MA thesis. The prospectus will state the proposed research problem, and demonstrate the theoretical and methodological knowledge required to complete the research. Closed to web registration. Department consent required.

ANTHR 511 Ethnographic Field Methods

Gregory Forth:  The course will concern the range of research methods usually falling under the general heading of ethnography. Regarding social or cultural anthropology as an empirical enterprise that generates information from basic field procedures, attention will be given to both practical and methodological (epistemological) problems encountered in various research settings, and methods and techniques employed in the resolution of these. All stages of research will be reviewed, from initial research design and crafting proposals, to gaining access to social settings and activities, to establishing field relations, to the writing up of results. The main focus of the course is ‘ethnography’, in the sense of research aimed at producing reliable information about human social life and culture while living in, or with, a community (however defined). Although original to anthropology, in recent decades ‘ethnography’ has been adopted by numerous other disciplines and, partly as a result, is now often applied to any qualitative research into social organization or behaviour. Early in the course we shall therefore survey various senses of ‘ethnography’ and determine how in particular the term applies to fieldwork in social and cultural anthropology and how it may be extended to encompass research methods in other disciplines.


ANTHR 571 Advanced Readings in Anthropology

Individual research project conducted under the direction of a Department faculty member. Closed to web registration. Department consent required.

ANTHR 572 Independent Research

Individual research project involving significant laboratory or field work conducted under the supervision of a Department faculty member. Closed to web registration. Department consent required.

ANTHR 584 Topics in Archaeology and/or Biological Anthropology

Pamela Mayne Correia:  Forensic Anthropology, B2As an applied science, Forensic Anthropology is a specialization within biological anthropology.  In this course we will explore human skeletal individualization and its application to human death investigation.  Standard methods used in bioarchaeology are examined for how they apply in the modern forensic context, and how court requirements impact on their application. Students will explore mass disaster, genocide, accidental, and traumatic death investigation.  The specific course objectives include:  to review and solidify your knowledge about standard methods used to create an osteobiography within a forensic context; to research a topic important to the discipline and to critically assess that information in paper format; to present your results of this critical assessment in poster form to your colleagues; and to contribute to the classroom experience, by participating in the formal presentation of information to discuss to your colleagues. Prerequisite: ANTHR 390 or 490 or consent of Department.

Lesley Harrington:  Human Osteoarchaeology, B3This course expands upon the knowledge base developed in ANTHR 209 and ANTHR 390 to explore life histories of past human populations. In addition to learning how the components of an osteobiography are conducted, we will examine current theoretical issues in bioarchaeology. The course will involve seminar discussions, and lab based activities aimed at developing skills in osteological analysis. Prerequisite: ANTHR 390 or permission of instructor

ANTHR 587 Seminar in Social and Cultural Anthropology

Mark Nuttall:  The Circumpolar North and Global Change, B1Over the last two decades or so, the Arctic has emerged as a region of dramatic environmental change. This vast part of the planet, once seen as pristine and remote, is now understood and represented increasingly as a vulnerable and fragile place, its biodiversity and peoples at risk from environmental change, contaminants, resource development and rapid social and cultural change. The aims of this course are to provide a general introduction to contemporary issues in the circumpolar North, and to explore specific issues with a focus on peoples, environment and politics. We will be examining some of the most critical issues facing the peoples and environments of the Arctic today, including sustainable livelihoods, natural resource use, environmental, social, cultural and political changes; local-regional-global interconnections; governance; and international co-operation.  The course will encourage students to relate anthropological ideas, perspectives and information to a range of contemporary social cultural, political and environmental issues in the modern Arctic regions.  

Joseph Hill:  Living with Spirits, Witches, and Other Non-Humans, B3-   Anthropologists are increasingly focusing on the question of how people become capable of acting, speaking, thinking, and experiencing in certain ways. We often call this the question of “agency” and “subjectivity.” Usually, our assumption—which traces back to the founders of social science—has been that the only actors, speakers, thinkers, and experiencers worth talking about are humans. Most people in the world would probably disagree with social scientists on this point. What if we take seriously people’s claims that their social reality is populated by other sorts of agents as well, such as spirits, witches, saints, ancestors, god(s), animals, and even features of the landscape? In this course, we will examine the necessity of taking such claims seriously as well as the limitations and pitfalls of anthropological methods and description in handling such things. We will read accounts from anthropologists who, sometimes against their inclinations, felt compelled to expand their understanding of “social reality” beyond the human realm.

ANTHR 598 Landscape and Culture

Andie Palmer:  This course is one in a series of seminars on landscape and culture offered by the Department of Anthropology.  Topics include place-naming practices; place-associated discourse; displacement, diaspora and place-making practices; the social production of space; phenomenology of space and place through the writings of Lefebvre, Tilley, Feld, Ingold and others; and the collaborative production of travelers' maps as intercultural texts. We will explore how and why particular places are imbued with social meaning by, for, and between different cultural and linguistic groups through ethnographies that consider space and place. For example, what counts as a named "place" in the Sahaptin language is not the river, but particular rapids, lips and cascades of waterfalls, and dipnetting rocks (such as atíim, "sound of the falls") that are the named features (Hunn and Selam 1990: 157). These names do not appear on official maps, but each of these examples is anchored to a story about experience on the land.  Such ethnographic works consider the constitution and recognition of named features of the landscape, how these places figure into the wider territory used and occupied by community members, how these places map to the oral historical record, and disputes over official recognition of placenames, and everyday place-naming practices. Open to graduate students in all disciplines, in consultation with the instructor.

Selected Readings available online. Textbooks include:

Senses of Place, edited by Steven Feld and Keith Basso. Santa Fe: School of American Research Press, 1996.

The Anthropology of Space and Place: Locating Culture, edited by Setha M. Low and Denise Lawrence-Zúñinga. London: Blackwell Publishing, 2003.


ANTHR 600 PhD Thesis Prospectus

Preparation of a research proposal leading to the PhD thesis. The prospectus states the proposed research problem, and demonstrates the theoretical and methodological knowledge required to complete the research. Closed to web registration. Department consent required.


Active Courses Maybe Offered in the Future

Undergraduate Courses (100 to 400 Level Courses)

ANTHR 230 Anthropology of Science, Technology, and Environment

ANTHR 235 Anthropology of Disability

ANTHR 286 Topics in Regional Anthropology

ANTHR 303 History of Anthropological Archaeology (Formerly ANTHR 481)

ANTHR 311 North American Prehistory

ANTHR 312 Lower Paleolithic Prehistory

ANTHR 313 Middle and Upper Paleolithic Prehistory

ANTHR 321 Religions of China in Practice

ANTHR 324 Economic Anthropology

ANTHR 372 Anthropology of Food

ANTHR 385 Topics in Social Cultural Anthropology

ANTHR 396 Archaeological Field Training

John W. Ives:   Archaeological Field School-  Instruction in practical aspects of archaeological field and laboratory techniques. Initial lectures will cover the basic framework of northern Plains prehistory, familiarization with typical tool types, raw stone material, ceramics and faunal remains, as well as pertinent regional landforms, typical soil formation processes, and vegetation characteristics. Students will apply methods of intensive ground survey, and undertake assessment and excavation of sites under investigation. This will involve simulated site assessment and mitigation exercises conducted to regulatory standards, from research design to reporting, with duties to include maintaining accurate field notes, level records and profiles. Students will also be responsible for ensuring that artifacts they have collected or excavated are cleaned, accurately catalogued, and reported upon. Students will be expected to take part in basic occupational health and safety practices connected with access to site and survey locations. This course can be applied to the Canadian content requirement. Prerequisites: ANTHR 206 or equivalent, and consent of Department. Requires payment of tuition and additional student instructional support fees. Institute of Prairie Archaeology

ANTHR 397 Anthropological Field Training

Marko Zivkovic:  Field school for Ethnographic Sensibility in Belgrade, Serbia-  The FES is designed to train students in a range of ethnographic fieldwork techniques that focus on non-verbal aspects of social life in an unfamiliar culture. Students will hone their ethnographic sensibility through sensorium training methods developed in visual arts, acting, dance, performance, and music. Through a range of special exercises they will learn how to break their perceptual habits and develop acute receptivity to the nuances of the ways people move and interact, use things and spaces, and organize their time. Students will keep field journals and make final presentations on their fieldwork, accompanied by a written report. The course is aimed at anthropologists and other social scientists who want to develop their ethnographic sensibility with the particular focus on non-verbal, embodied patterns of everyday life, artists who want to explore the convergences between ethnographic and artistic training, and designers, architects, urban-planners and others interested in engaging with their practice in a culturally sensitive way. All activities will be closely supervised by experts in both the native culture and ethnographic fieldwork methods. Prerequisites: ANTHR 207 or equivalent, or consent of Department. Requires payment of tuition and additional student instructional support fees. Ethnosense Website

ANTHR 404 Mortuary Archaeology

ANTHR 417 Anthropology of Modernity

ANTHR 420 Anthropology and the Twentieth Century

ANTHR 424 Visual Anthropology

ANTHR 443 Juvenile Osteology

ANTHR 460 Nutritional Anthropology

ANTHR 464 Chemical Analysis of Bone

ANTHR 468 Fundamentals of Archaeological Mapping

ANTHR 469 Dental Anthropology

ANTHR 474 Northwest Coast Societies from an Anthropological Perspective

ANTHR 477 Northwest Coast Archaeology

ANTHR 480 Zooarchaeology

ANTHR 484 Topics in Archaeology and/or Biological Anthropology

ANTHR 495 Archaeological Methods


Graduate Courses (500 and 600 Level Courses)

ANTHR 504 Advanced Mortuary Archaeology

ANTHR 517 Anthropology of Modernity

ANTHR 520 Anthropology and the Twentieth Century

ANTHR 524 Visual Anthropology

ANTHR 543 Advanced Juvenile Osteology

ANTHR 560 Advanced Nutritional Anthropology

ANTHR 564 Advanced Chemical Analysis of Bone

ANTHR 568 Fundamentals of Archaeological Mapping

ANTHR 569 Dental Anthropology

ANTHR 573 Advanced Field Training

Marko Zivkovic:  Field school for Ethnographic Sensibility in Belgrade, Serbia-  The FES is designed to train students in a range of ethnographic fieldwork techniques that focus on non-verbal aspects of social life in an unfamiliar culture. Students will hone their ethnographic sensibility through sensorium training methods developed in visual arts, acting, dance, performance, and music. Through a range of special exercises they will learn how to break their perceptual habits and develop acute receptivity to the nuances of the ways people move and interact, use things and spaces, and organize their time. Students will keep field journals and make final presentations on their fieldwork, accompanied by a written report. The course is aimed at anthropologists and other social scientists who want to develop their ethnographic sensibility with the particular focus on non-verbal, embodied patterns of everyday life, artists who want to explore the convergences between ethnographic and artistic training, and designers, architects, urban-planners and others interested in engaging with their practice in a culturally sensitive way. All activities will be closely supervised by experts in both the native culture and ethnographic fieldwork methods. Prerequisites: ANTHR 207 or equivalent, or consent of Department. Requires payment of tuition and additional student instructional support fees. Ethnosense Website

ANTHR 577 Northwest Coast Archaeology

ANTHR 580 Advanced Zooarchaeology

ANTHR 587 Seminar in Social and Cultural Anthropology

ANTHR 591 Advanced Study of Stone Tools

ANTHR 593 Evolution and Social Life