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Summer, 2013 | Anthropology
This course is a survey of the fossil evidence for human evolution. The course includes discussion of the genetics of human variation and evolution, the study of living nonhuman primates, and the fossil record and its interpretation. An evolutionary perspective is used in an attempt to understand modern humans from the naturalistic point of view.
This course covers the basic concepts and theoretical principles of sociocultural anthropology. Course material is presented from Asia, Africa, Melanesia, Latin America, and North America.
Archaeology plays a critical and unique role in understanding the human past. Through study of the methods and theories of archaeology, and a survey of important firsts in the human past, this course introduces students to the way archaeologists use material culture to reconstruct and understand human behavior. Chronologically-ordered case studies from around the globe are used to look at social, ecological, and cultural issues facing humans from the earliest times to the present. Students gain practice reconstructing the past through hands-on participation in two 1-hour labs focusing on lithics and animal bones. By the end of the course, students are expected to be able to think critically about how the past is presented, and why, and the importance of the past as it relates to the present and future.
This course will introduce the cultural diversity and unity of the peoples of the Middle East. The emphasis is on historical and ethnological relationships, social and political structure, religious pluralism, and contemporary youth issues. We will explore the lived experiences of the peoples in the modern nation-states of Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian Territories, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the countries of the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq, and Iran. We will access this material through short stories, poetry, biographies, essays, videos, blogs, and political and anthropological reports.
An examination of the Inca empire in Peru, and the Maya and Aztec empires in Mexico through the inquiry into the roots, development, form, and evolutionary history of pre-Colombian civilization in each region from its earliest times to the rise of the classic kingdoms. Examples of respective artistic accomplishments are presented and discussed.
Religions are on the move. Globalization has meant that larger numbers of people are finding new places to live, and in the process, setting up churches, mosques, temples, or other ways to worship in new cities and town. Muslims move to Europe and North America; new Protestant and Catholic churches appear throughout Africa and South America; Chinese communities blossom everywhere. As they do, so they raise new questions: How do global migrations lead to adaptations of religious traditions? How do states manage new degrees of religious diversity, and in some cases, new levels of religious demands? How do transnational religious structures fit with national politics? We explore these issues by looking outward from our base in Paris. France has the highest percentage of Muslims of any country in Western Europe or North America. It has fast-growing arrays of evangelical churches and Buddhist temples; and it is a nation of both Catholic heritage and secularist politics. How do all these ideas and people mix? We will visit some of Paris' religious institutions and learn from both religious figures and French scholars. We also study religion and politics in a comparative way, focusing on the issues mentioned above, and looking at case studies from Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Application deadline for acceptance into class is February 15, 2012.
This course gives students an opportunity to really know encyclopedic museums, to know what motivated patrons commissioning art and artists creating it, the relationship of art to religion, cosmology, and craftwork, and why governments sponsor such public symbols of the state. The Louvre and the other major encyclopedic museums of Paris are themselves works of art, and they reflect the ways that states use architecture to express their ideals of legitimate power through the command of knowledge and aesthetics. The course further introduces students to the ethical issues surrounding the display of objects as aesthetic commodities, with only brief reference to their history, provenience and provenance in small print labels and notes. Application deadline for acceptance into class is February 15, 2012.
Anthropologists have various tools to aid them in investigating the evolution of human behavior and human social systems, one of the most primary and basic of which is the study of nonhuman primates. The goal of this course is to provide an overview of nonhuman primate behavior and social systems, including aspects of primate biology, evolutionary theory, and socioecological theory. May not be counted toward the requirements for the major or minor in Psychology.
Introduction to archaeological fieldwork. Includes a variety of techniques employed by archaeologists, the underlying purpose of excavations, and the manner in which they are used to explore past societies. Field mapping and testing an archaeolgocial site near Cahokia Mounds links this project to ongoing excavations with other institutions and relates it to the "Redefining Cahokia" project. This class meets on campus and at Cahokia Mounds.
America as "a nation of immigrants" most commonly celebrates pathways of Western European heritage. However, modern American culture also reflects a long, diverse, and extensive process of immigration from East Asia. This multidisciplinary course provides a unique opportunity to traverse key pathways that shaped Asian and Native Hawaiian identities by considering the social trends, historical material, and sites that were fundamental in this shaping process. The experiences of Asian immigrants bear special relationship to Native Hawaiians in that America's colonization of Hawaii propelled Hawaiians into yet another minority status. Our readings will include narratives that relate Asian American and Native Hawaiian experiences and demonstrate how the intersection of race and ethnicity continue to influence both. We will begin with a look at St. Louis's Asian communities and will go on to visit San Francisco's Angel Island, the U.S. entry point for most Asian immigrants; Manzanar, a camp in California that interred over 10,000 Japanese, most of them American; and then visit commemorative sites in Honolulu, including the Arizona Memorial, America's historical and educational rendering of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and events leading to World War II; and heritage sites on the Big island that offer glimpses of pre-contact Hawaii. Course dates are May 29 to June 20, 2013; all travel-related expenses (i.e., transportation, housing & meals) are included in course registration fees. This course involves AN INTENSIVE TRAVEL & READING LOAD; STUDENTS SHOULD EXPECT TO DEVOTE THE BULK OF THE THREE WEEKS to the unique form of immersive learning that characterizes the On Location program. For course registration, please contact the American Culture Studies office at 314-935-5216 or email@example.com.
Designed to give undergraduates research experience in various subdisciplines of anthropology. May be taken more than once for credit. Prerequisite: permission of faculty member under whom the research will be done.