This course introduces students to the subfields of anthropology and demonstrates the benefits of a holistic approach to understanding globalization, multiculturalism, and cultural diversity. The concepts of evolution, human prehistory, language, and culture are explored as well as the diversity of human cultural patterns, including variations in marriage, kinship, and religion. SB Credit.
An introduction to the discipline of cultural anthropology, the branch of anthropology that examines the rules and behaviors of contemporary human cultures. The course will demonstrate the importance of a holistic approach to understanding human diversity, and compare and contrast the various developments cultures use to tackle the universal problems of human living. SB Credit.
This course examines the major archaeological discoveries of the last two centuries that have led to significant insight about the nature of human organization. Not only will some of the broader cultural patterns in human prehistory be explored such as the origins of writing, religion, art, calendar systems, agriculture, and cities, but we will also learn about several remarkable archaeological sites and phenomena, including Stonehenge, the pyramids of Egypt, upper Paleolithic cave paintings, Machu Picchu and many other impressive achievements of the past.
Comprehensive overview of the prehistory, history, and modern day cultural diversity of Native Americans throughout North America. Historical and technological developments of different native groups are explored including changes as a result of European contact and the more recent attempts to revitalize Native American culture.
Overview of the methods archaeologists use to study prehistoric cultures and an introduction to the study of human culture over the past two million years.
This course is an introduction to human sexuality from a biocultural perspective with emphases on sexual diversity and pluralism and psychosexual evolution. It traces the evolution of human sociosexual behavior, including human sexual physiology, preproductive strategies; contemporary courtship, mating and marital patterns; gender differences in the brain and behavior; and sexual and social emotions. It compares the sexuality of humans to non-humans, especially to that of other primates. It also discusses human sexuality from the perspective of different cultures throughout the world. Among other topics, the course will address the psychobiocultural dimensions and implications of attraction, fidelity sex techniques, gender, incest, homosexuality and transexuality and sexually transmitted diseases.
Human activity in its linguistic, cultural, and social contexts; interrelationships between culture and natural language; and the influences of language and culture on thought and behavior.
This course is a survey of the history of ethnographic cinema. Students in this class will learn this history by viewing important ethnographic films and by discussing and critiquing the visual representation of culture and society in anthropology.
This discussion-based course explores the anthropology of Asia, with a different topical focus each semester. These foci include diverse subjects of anthropological study (marriage, class mobility, labor, masculinity, politics, medicine, freedom). Over the course of the semester, students will pay special attention to how these subjects are shaped by the circulation of social movements and globalizing forces like production and consumption, global media, and human rights discourses. In so doing, this course will raise questions about the relationships between theory, epistemology and method as they pertain to the anthropology of Asia, and to anthropology more generally.
This course is a flexible listing designed to cover specific topics in anthropology not already offered through an existing course. It is similar to ANT 450 Problems in Anthropology, but allows students with less exposure to ANT or the particular issues addressed an opportunity to learn more at a more introductory level.
At the time of European contact, chroniclers who visited South America wrote in awe of its diversity of peoples and cultures, its sheer richness of natural resources, its wealth, monuments, and urban centers, and its technological achievements. Indeed, South America witnessed the development of social complexity early in prehistory, a prehistory that includes the rise and fall of state-level societies, kingdoms, and empires—all without the use of writing and such inventions as the wheel. In this class, we will examine how the history of South America is situated within the history of humankind as a whole. We will survey the region’s cultural history, beginning with the peopling of South America in the Pleistocene epoch and ending with the impact of European colonization on native peoples in the Andes, Amazonian, and the Caribbean. We will learn about the role that archaeology is uniquely capable of playing in bringing to light the continent’s fascinating past and learn about the material culture and biological/environmental factors that make the region singular in comparison to other culture-areas of the world.
This is a collaborative project between the University of Alabama (UA) and Aristotle University–Thessaloniki (AUTh). For two weeks each summer students will participate in ongoing excavations at the world-famous Vergina site, home of Philip II of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great.
This course covers the basics of ancient Maya writing and art. It explores myths, history, and tales of life at the courts of lords and nobles, who wrote and spoke in “divine glyphs”. The course begins with an overview of Maya glyphs and its historical and cultural contexts. After a section on the fundamentals of the script, each week will combine a discussion of the grammar of Hieroglyphic Mayan with lectures on a range of topics from tags and texts on drinking cups to parallels between Pre-Columbian, Colonial, and present-day Maya literatures. The lectures will be accompanied by practical exercises and quizzes. The course does not require any prior knowledge of Mayan languages or glyphs. No training in drawing or epigraphy is necessary.
In this course students and the supervising archaeologists work together as a research team on an archaeological excavation. Students learn basic excavation techniques and skills: how to identify, map, measure, recover, record, and process archaeological data. At the conclusion of the course, students will have excavation experience and insights into the archaeological research process.
An introduction to human evolution, biological variation, and adaptation, from the deep past to the present, with a special focus on the biocultural foundations of human nature. Students will become familiar with cutting edge evidence from the fossil record and molecular biology about our origins and prehistory, and how humans today respond to our widely varying physical and social environments.
Historical and contemporary perspectives on human biological diversity, including the concepts of race, ethnicity, adaptation, and some of the social implications of these views.
Focuses on the relationships among human ecology, population growth, health and disease, and adaptation in modern and prehistoric societies. Explores the origins of infectious diseases, emphasizing the principles of epidemiology and evolution of pathogens.
This course is an introductory survey of the world's living non-human primates. The focus is on the taxonomy, anatomy, behavior, ecology and cognition of our closest living relatives. It is intended both as a starting point for further coursework in primate behavior and as a survey course for non-science students.
An introduction to the ancient civilizations of Mesoamerica and South America. Explores the development of economic and political institutions as well as hieroglyphic texts, art styles, and religious rites.
This course offers students a broad understanding of Complementary/Alternative (CAM) & Integrative Medicine (IM), including a basic appreciation of the multiple existing modalities and healthcare philosophies that draw together diverse healing traditions and perspectives on the person in innovative forms of clinical practice. We will not only learn the various existing definitions of “integration” in healthcare, but we will also examine the ways in which IM is being researched in medicine and beyond, and the implications of such research for both mainstream and alternative clinical practice. The course focuses especially on CAM/IM in the US, but also includes perspectives on CAM/IM as it has developed in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Students will thus develop an anthropological perspective on the socio-cultural, political, and economic context of multiple forms of CAM/IM.
Origin and development of pre-Columbian and early historic cultures of the Southeast. Offered according to demand.
Scientific study of natural language, phonology, grammar, lexicon, meaning and the role of linguistics in anthropological research.
Explores the gendered, ethnic, cultural, and class dimensions that underlie the patterning of disease and illness worldwide, with attention to the long-term health effects of racism, sexism and poverty. Topics include reproductive and sexual health, obesity, body image, HIV/AIDS, mental illness, homelessness, and more.
An examination of how culture influences individual thought, emotion, and behavior, and how culture is shaped by individual psychology. Topics include: models of culture; culture and visual perception; culture and personality; culture and mental health; as well as other topics.
Ancient Maya civilizations in Mexico and Central America from the earliest inhabitants until the Spanish Conquest.
Students in this course will learn to use the concepts and methods of ethnography of communication by developing and carrying out a research project on language and social interaction. You will learn how social interaction is organized, how to document and study it, and how to address such evidence to to anthropological and applied problems. The goal for the course will be for each student to produce a report based on their research and for the work to be of sufficient substance, quality, and intellectual and/or applied significance, that it would be an ideal submission for the UA Undergraduate Research & Creativity Conference in the following semester. Students will finish the course with a critical and sophisticated understanding of how social interaction works in a variety of contexts.
A cross-cultural overview of medical systems, and the health, illness, and healing experiences within them. Patients and healers will be studied through the lens of etiology, help seeking, diagnosis and treatment. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.
A review of selected aspects of the customs, social systems, and cultures of societies in east and central Europe. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.
A review of selected aspects of Latin American social systems and cultures. Topics include social structure, ethnicity, economics, material culture, gender roles, religion, sports, and political systems. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.
Survey of the anthropological literature on religion, including such topics as myth, ritual, magic, witchcraft, totemism, shamanism, and trance states. Offered according to demand. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.
Ethnography is a hallmark of anthropology. It is at once a theoretical approach, set of methods, and style of writing. This course highlights ethnographic theory, methods for collecting ethnographic material, and techniques for writing about culture by reading exemplary texts, discussing key concepts, and practicing various methods. Each student will develop an ethnographic project that involves fieldwork, data analysis, and writing. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.
This course is an overview of Cultural Resource Management archaeology, including the historical background and development of the field, the legal and regulatory framework to CRM archaeology, the methodologies and techniques employed, and how the legislative requirements are implemented at the federal, state, and local levels. Students will learn how to craft and submit proposals, develop and manage budgets, design and implement fieldwork, conduct and supervise data analysis, and how to author and submit reports. Upon completion of this course, students will be prepared for entering a career in CRM archaeology.
This course covers the basic background and skills necessary to manage and analyze spatial datasets using GIS (Geographic Information Systems). We will emphasize the GIS concepts and techniques that are most useful to archaeologists, and we will be working with real archaeological data for all labs and projects. Topics include data acquisition, spatial queries, working with rasters, catchments, cost‐surface analysis and visualization analysis. The course includes a weekly guided lab on ESRI ArcGIS software.
Examination of the origins and developments of pre-Columbian and early historic cultures of eastern North America.
This course is an introduction to the archaeology of North America, from initial colonization of the continent by hunter-gatherers, to the arrival of European explorers. We begin with an examination of the theories and debates concerning the arrival of humans in the New World. The remaining majority of the course will be an in-depth examination of prehistoric archaeological developments in the major culture areas of North America.
Honors readings for seniors and graduate students. Offered with permission of instructor only. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 hours.
The course views the art that societies past and present produce; it explores culture, creativity, and human beings' distinctive compulsion to make decorative objects.
An examination of contemporary issues and topics in the anthropology of religion.
A selective review of past and contemporary concepts, theories, and methodological approaches adopted by cultural anthropologists. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.
Using approaches developed in the discipline of anthropology and, more particularly, in the subfield of archaeology, an exploration of the different ways in which local cemeteries can yield information on cultural, societal, and historical matters. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.
This course is a survey of the method and theory of the discipline of historical archaeology. Focusing particularly on the historical archaeology of North America, this course reviews the development of the field, considers the related fields of colonial archaeology and the archaeology of the contemporary, and examines what distinguishes historical archaeology within the broader discipline.
Devoted to issues not covered in other courses. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 hours.
Introduction to independent anthropological research with a focus on constructing testable hypotheses, selecting variables, measuring attributes, recording data, making interpretations and writing and presenting results.
Examines the historical connections between anthropology and natural history museums in the United States. Explores the present operation of such museums and develops exhibits based on collection studies.
The Andes is a region of geographic and environmental extremes that witnessed the early rise of complex societies long before the Inca Empire. In this course, we examine the prehispanic cultures that resided in this region—from the peopling of South America to the aftermath of Spanish Conquest.
This laboratory class is designed to introduce archaeological laboratory methods, reasoning and interpretation through paleoethnobotanical identification and data analysis. We will be studying the major classes of plant remains likely to be encountered in archaeological sites, how to identify them, and how to organize the data to produce interpretable results. The course will emphasize the use of plant remains to answer archaeological questions, rather than study the plant remains for their own sake.
This class is a “hands-on” course in archaeological laboratory methods and most useful for anthropology majors/minors. Students will read about different kinds of analyses, and then put theory into practice by classifying and analyzing prehistoric artifacts. Students will learn how to build interpretations of the past by using artifact assemblages, how to discriminate between reliable and less reliable information, and collaborate in group activities.
Ceramics are the most ubiquitous and variable materials on many archaeological sites and, as such, they offer archaeologists a vast amount of information about the past. In this class, we approach ceramics from the perspective of research questions, and investigate how analytical techniques can help address them. The class also has a large practical component. Students will conduct analyses on collections and present their findings at the end of the class. This course is meant to provide a framework for developing hypotheses, methods and skills directly applicable to senior projects, MA theses, and Ph.D. dissertations.
Survey of the discoveries, methods, and theories that provide the background for modern research in macroevolution. Offered according to demand.
Detailed introduction to human osteology emphasizing the identification of fragmentary remains and the criteria for determination of age, sex, and race. Two hours- lecture, two hours- laboratory. Offered according to demand.
This course provides an introduction to evolutionary and biocultural approaches within anthropology to the central and peripheral nervous systems and their interconnections. Topics include the evolution of the brain; how culture and social structure shape the brain, its development, and its activity; and anthropological perspectives on connections among culture, behavior, brain, mind, and body.
An introduction to the biocultural and evolutionary bases of human adaptability. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.
An introduction to anthropological inquiries in nutrition—including food habits, food systems, dietary variability, and food movements—from a cross-cultural perspective. Writing proficiency within the discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.
Health culturally competent socialized adults and mature physical forms arise from a developmental process with evolutionary, biological, social and cultural dimensions. We survey child/human development from an anthropological perspective, considering interactons across levels of analysis from genes to culture.
Course investigates skeletal pathology and trauma. Topics included: 1. Understanding disease processes, 2. Distinguishing accidental and violent trauma on bone, 3. Recognizing the following conditions in skeletal remains: congential anomalies, circulatory disorders, joint diseases, infectious diseases, metabolic diseases, skeletal dysplasias, neoplastic conditions, diseases of the dentition and other conditions. Students will inventory, evaluate and analyze sets of human skeletal remains for pathology and trauma and complete final reports on those remains.
This course is an introduction to teaching anthropology at the primary and secondary levels. It is a service-learning course, which means that all students will serve as instructors in a local anthropology course offered in the Tuscaloosa area. This course will expose students to applied anthropology through teaching the anthropological perspective via an activity-based four-subfield curriculum in conjunction with local elementary schools, after-school programs, or similar community partners. These programs will be taught by teams, and each student will be responsible for attending weekly course meetings, developing curricular material and implementing it in a classroom setting, and co-teaching with other students.