Courses and Curriculum

Anthropology (ANT) Courses: Click for Descriptions

Introduces the discipline of anthropology by examining the diversity of human cultures that have been described by anthropologists over the last 100 years. The principles of anthropology are explained with examples drawn from non-Western culture. Comparisons are drawn with our own. Fulfills one of the Foundation - Social and Behavioral Sciences. Fulfills Cultures - Global Perspectives. Offered fall and winter semesters.


Examines the dynamic interplay between human biology and culture through the study of human evolution. Grounded in the mechanisms of evolution, the class examines the emergence of our species and our relationship to nonhuman primates, among other topics. Fulfills Foundation -Life Sciences. Offered fall and winter semesters.

Explores the interaction between language, communication, and culture, employing cross-cultural analysis to reveal cultural models and to understand how linguistic variation is linked to gender, age, region, ethnicity, and class. Several practical activities are used to apply analyses to anthropological problems. Fulfills one of the Foundations - Social and Behavioral Sciences. Fulfills Cultures - U.S. Diversity. Offered fall semester.

Considers the major historical development and theoretical trends in anthropology since 1860. The approach is both topical and historical. Connections with developments in related disciplines are noted. Offered fall and winter semesters. Prerequisite: ANT 204 or ANT 206.

This course examines the consequences of decisions made by our ancestors, the successes and failures of past civilizations, so that we may better understand our own behavior. Development of world civilizations is explored using historic, archaeological, and other perspectives that inform us about the past. Fulfills Foundations - Historical Analysis. Fulfills Cultures - Global Perspectives. Offered fall and winter semesters.

Introduction to the methods and techniques of archaeology, including the methods of excavation, analysis, dating techniques, and data presentation. Course has fieldwork opportunities and draws on examples from local and worldwide research. Fulfills one of the Foundations - Social and Behavioral Sciences. Offered fall and winter semesters.

Overview of research methods used in biological anthropology, emphasizing living humans. It includes a discussion of current theoretical arguments within the field of physical anthropology and the techniques used to examine them. The course will introduce students to the process of research design, data analysis, and interpretation. Offered fall semester. Prerequisite: ANT 206.

Training in the application of research methods under field conditions to problems in major areas of anthropology; supervised instruction in anthropological laboratory techniques, including data collection and storage, analysis, and interpretation. Offered spring/summer semester. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

Of varying focus, the course makes use of the history, culture, and society of a host country in order to highlight disciplinary perspectives in context. To be taught in that country (or countries) as part of an approved study abroad program. By permit only. Credit may vary.

A multifaceted examination of North American Indians and a comparison of that culture with the Americans'. Focus on origin, early history, and present disposition of American Indian populations. Fulfills Cultures - U.S. Diversity. Part of the Identity Issue. Offered fall and winter semesters. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

The course explores skeletal biology, growth and development, identification, and assessment of pathological and traumatic conditions. The course focuses on standard forms of data acquisition in traditional physical anthropology and for forensic anthropological applications; including bone identification, aging, sexing, stature, siding, biological affinity, pathology, taphonomy, trauma, and collection of metrics. Offered winter semester. Prerequisite: ANT 206.

This course is an overview of the behavior of nonhuman primates within an ecological framework. Topics include a survey of living primates, constraints of body size on locomotion and diet, conservation, communication, conflict resolution, and the role of the environment in diet, on reproductive strategies and in social interaction. Offered fall semester of odd numbered years.

Bioarchaeology is the study of human remains from archaeological settings. Its study encompasses the ethical treatment of human remains, reconstruction of patterns of subsistence, disease, activity, status, ethnicity, diet and demography from the human skeleton to better understand the way that people chose to live in the past. Offered fall semester of even-numbered years. Prerequisite: ANT 206.

A cross-cultural study of contemporary religions. Examines the diversity of religious meanings through the lived experiences of cultures, traditions, and sects around the world. Exposes students to anthropological interpretations of religion through a range of methods, including ethnography. Themes include symbolisms, ritual, death, shamanism, healing, magic, pilgrimage, and interfaith movements. Fulfills Cultures - Global Perspectives. Part of the Identity Issue. Offered fall and winter semesters. Prerequisite: Junior standing

Survey and comparison of global linguistic diversity focusing on ways different cultures and languages represent, organize and express, through knowledge and emotion in life, political relations, rituals, and personal experience. Survey includes case studies from around the world with emphasis on languages and dialects other than standard English. Offered winter semester of even-numbered years. Prerequisite: ANT 207 or permission of instructor.

Introduces students to the anthropological study of disease ecology and medical systems cross-culturally. Explores the impact of disease, ecology, and sociocultural behavior throughout human evolution. Investigates the efficacy and nature of non-Western curing procedures and the cultural and psychodynamic features of illness. Part of the Health Issue. Offered fall and winter semesters. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

A survey of prehistoric developments from Alaska to Central America, including the Mesoamerican civilizations. Offered winter semester of even-numbered years. Prerequisite: ANT 220 or ANT 215 or instruction permission.

Current topics and methodology will be examined within one anthropological subdiscipline from the perspective of a particular geographic area. Focus will be on the fundamental question: What does anthropology contribute in terms of our understanding of people and cultures? Offered on demand, with each offering devoted to the study of a particular area. Students may repeat provided each repeat is for a different area.

Compares different adaptive strategies of cultures from around the world and seeks understanding of ethical and social values different groups have related to the environment. Attention is focused on how humans relied on cultural mechanisms in the past to adapt and change their physical and natural environment. Fulfills Cultures - Global Perspectives. Part of the Sustainability Issue. Offered fall and winter semesters. Prerequisites: Junior standing, fulfillment of general education Foundations - Writing, and either Historical Perspectives or U.S. Diversity.

The Middle East is recognized as the birthplace of several major cultural traditions. This course examines the evidence of archaeology that informs us on the origins and settlement of the Middle East from at least one million years ago to the seventh century A.D. from the perspective of cultural ecology. Offered winter semester of odd-numbered years. Prerequisite: ANT 215 or ANT 220 or MES 201 or prior approval of the instructor.

Examines gender as a fundamental organizing theme of culture. Also emphasizes the sociocultural basis for gender differences using a cross-cultural and comparative approach. Discusses how gender relations affect all other aspects of human life. Offered winter semester of even numbered years. Prerequisite: ANT 204 or ANT 206.

Examines how language reflects and constitutes social identity and hierarchy. Language variation, with respect to place, gender, sexuality, class, race, and ethnicity, is explored in U.S. and global contexts from multiple disciplinary perspectives. Students learn to critically analyze their own and others' unique speaking and writing practices and related identities. Fulfills Cultures - U.S. Diversity. Part of the Identity Issue. Offered fall semester. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

A series of courses providing an in-depth study of a problem in anthropology and the methods of investigating it. Various topics of cross-cultural interest, such as human evolution, peasant cultures, preliterate societies, kinship pattern, and culture and personality will be examined. Offered on sufficient demand.

Independent supervised readings in selected topics. A student may take only one reading course for one to three credits per semester. No more than six hours of 399 and 499 combined may count toward a major or three hours combined toward the minor. Offered every semester. Prerequisites: ANT 204 or ANT 206 and the written consent of the instructor before registration.

Students will examine and evaluate the practice of anthropological ethnography through hands-on exercises, collaborative workshops, discussions on conducting ethnographic field research, ethics, and applications of responsible ethnographic research. Through in-class simulations and assignments, students will develop skills in participant observation techniques, taking ethnographic field notes, conducting interviews, and recording and transcribing discourse. Offered winter semester. Prerequisite: ANT 204 or SOC 101 or CJ 101 or permission of the instructor.

This course surveys contemporary topics in anthropological theory. Included are an overview of current issues, topics and debates in archaeology, physical/biological, socio-cultural, and linguistic anthropology. Students will gain an understanding of recent trends in anthropology and the trajectory of the discipline. Connections with developments in related disciplines are noted. Offered fall semester. Prerequisites: ANT 210 and senior standing in anthropology.

The course engages students in contemporary anthropological practice. Students explore applied anthropology through anthropological theories, methods and practices for engaging communities and addressing "real world" problems. Topics may include the history of engaged anthropology, public and advocacy anthropology, action/participatory research, and the ethical issues of engagement and social change. Offered fall semester. Prerequisites: ANT 204 and junior standing.

This course overviews a wide range of processes and practices related to social movements, and anthropology's central role in expanding the definition of collective resistance beyond the scope of formalized protest (and strategic outcomes) to include and examine everyday forms and lived experience of resistance and dissent. Part of the Human Rights Issue. Offered winter semester. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

This course is an upper-division examination of contemporary issues being explored in the field of anthropology. Topics may include advanced theory, controversies in the discipline, methodological questions and changing approaches to anthropological research. Offered fall semester. Prerequisites: ANT 201 and one of the following ANT 204 or ANT 206 or ANT 215; and junior standing.

Students will explore historical, theoretical, and methodological developments from an anthropological perspective, focusing on trends in interpretation of material culture, cultural resources management, experimental archaeology, and the contribution of anthropology to understanding major social issues. Students will critically examine the practice and application of anthropological research from a historic perspective. Offered winter semester of even years. Prerequisites: Two upper-division anthropology courses.

Agency experience in the community relating practical training and independent study in a specialized area. Limited to 10 credits maximum. Offered every semester. Prerequisites: 15 hours of course preparation and permission of instructor. Graded credit/no credit.

Provides students with a broad and comprehensive perspective on the fundamental assumptions and issues in anthropology. Emphasis on the application of anthropological knowledge to solve social problems. Given the diverse dimensions of current trends in anthropology, students will work to establish their particular interests with the field. Offered winter semester.  Prerequisites: Senior standing in anthropology and ANT 405.

Original research conducted individually with faculty supervision, based on a formal proposal. Project is the culmination of undergraduate research incorporating anthropological theory, methodology, data collection, and analysis. Research will be presented in a public forum. Syllabus and guidelines for honors research available from faculty. Offered every semester. Prerequisites: Acceptance of formal written proposal and permission of faculty member.

Research conducted individually with faculty supervision. Attention given to written and oral presentation of research findings. A student may take only one independent study per term. No more than six hours of NAT399/499 may count toward a major or three hours of ANT399/499 toward the minor. Offered every semester. Prerequisites: Nine hours in the department and written permission of instructor before registration.

Provides advanced study of the practical and methodological aspects of research in archaeology. Students will learn how to develop independent projects and embed them in multistage regional research. Prerequisites: ANT 220 and one area course in archaeology (ANT 325, ANT 350, CLA 350).

Page last modified April 17, 2023