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Undergraduate Course Catalog
201. Introduction to Anthropology. (3-0). Multiple instructors, 3 Credits. An introduction to the discipline of anthropology through the examination of its four sub-fields: archaeology, physical anthropology, socio-cultural anthropology and linguistics. Course content and assignments may vary from one instructor to the next.
202. Introduction to Archaeology. (3-0) Multiple instructors, 3 Credits. An introduction to the study of the human past through the retrieval, analysis and interpretation of its’ material remains. Course content and assignments may vary from one instructor to the next.
204. Peoples and Cultures of the Ancient World. (3-0). Multiple instructors, 3 Credits. A study of the development of human societies and world prehistory; the evolution of civilization and the emergence of modern cultural diversity. Course content and assignments may vary from one instructor to the next.
205. Peoples and Cultures of the World. (3-0). Multiple instructors, 3 Credits. A survey of human cultures from around the world using case studies to exemplify contrasting types of cultures and societies. Course content and assignments may vary from one instructor to the next.
210. Social and Cultural Anthropology. (3-0). Multiple instructors, 3 Credits. A discussion of the evolution of culture; their similarities, differences, and the effects of material and non-material culture on their economic, social and political organization. Course content and assignments may vary from one instructor to the next.
225. Introduction to Biological Anthropology. (3-3). Multiple instructors, 3 Credits. A study of human biology including an examination of evolutionary processes acting on human populations, human genetics, non-human primate anatomy, as well as the classification and ecology of primates, the primate paleontological record, and human variation and adaptation. Course content and assignments may vary from one instructor to the next.
226. Introduction to Biological Anthropology Lab. (1-0). Multiple instructors, 1 Credits. A study of human biology; providing visual exposure to measure, compare, and observe trends which have occurred throughout the Cenozoic era and introducing research methods and skills employed in the discipline of physical anthropology. Course content and assignments may vary from one instructor to the next.
229. Introduction to Folklore. (3-0). Dr. Tom Green, 3 Credits. Study of folklore through selected examples of traditional cultures, their beliefs, customs and art forms such as: tales, folksongs, proverbs, riddles and material culture.
300. Cultural Change and Development. (3-0). 3 Credits. Examining examples of anthropological strategies concerning the study of cultural change, and the implication of these strategies for the development of Western and non-Western societies.
302. Archaeology of North America. (3-0). Credits 3. North American archaeology is an extremely diverse topic covering a broad time frame. Archaeological research in North American is divided into 11 cultural regions; research in any of these regions may focus on cultural developments from over 12,000 years ago to only a little over 100 years ago. Given this diversity, it is impossible to cover all aspects of North American archaeology in a single course. As such, this course will present some of the current topics in North American archaeology. Prerequisite: ANTH 201, 202, 205 or 210.
305. Fundamentals of Anthropological Writing. (1-0). Multiple instructors, 1 Credit. Basic types of writing expected of anthropology students; emphasis on the subject matter of an upper-division anthropology course in which the student is currently enrolled. Prerequisites: Junior or senior classification and co-enrollment in another upper-division anthropology course (the “companion course”). Course content and assignments may vary from one instructor to the next.
316. Introduction to Nautical Archaeology. (3-0). Dr. C. Wayne Smith, 3 Credits. This course is intended to give a thorough introduction to the history and theoretical basics of nautical archaeology as a discipline, to study the history of seafaring and to examine the role of vessels in commerce, war and long-distance trade. We will discuss ships in the Egyptian desert, horses walking on water and aspects of Viking-age expansion. Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification.
324. Music in World Cultures. (3-0). 3 Credits. Examines music from an ethno-musicological perspective focus¬ing on musical performance and the complex interrelationship of music to culture, society, and daily life; surveys music from a variety of cultures through a series of case studies. Prerequisite: MUSC 102 or approval of instructor. Cross-listed with MUSC 324.
330. Field Research in Anthropology. Multiple instructors, Credits 1 to 9. Training for students in formulating and solving anthropological problems through field research; problem oriented field research under supervision. Prerequisites: 6 hours of anthropology; approval of instructor.
335. Cultures of Central Asia. (3-0). Dr. Cynthia Werner, Credit 3. Central Asia is situated in a key geo-strategic position between China, Russia, Iran, India and Turkey. In addition, Central Asia has valuable natural resources, including oil and gas. Historically, the region is best known for the infamous Mongol ruler Genghis Khan and the legendary Silk Road trade route. In more recent years, Central Asia is best known for the seemingly inexplicable development of Islamic-based terrorism, especially in Afghanistan. Geographically, this course covers the peoples and cultures of post-Soviet Central Asia (Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan), Afghanistan, western China (Xinjiang province), and Mongolia. Course topics include colonialism and post-colonialism in Central Asia; ethnicity and nationalism; religious beliefs and practices; ethnic conflict; gender relations; nomadic pastoralism; and the impacts of urbanization, modernization, and globalization. Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification. Cross-listed with ASIA 335.
340. Folklore and the Supernatural. (3-0). Dr. Tom Green, 3 Credits. Introduction to the traditional expressions of the super¬natural such as superstition, belief tale and divination classified as folklore genres and their relationships to the cultures in which they develop; theories drawn from anthropology, folklore and related social sciences. Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification.
350. Archaeology of the Old World. (3-0).Dr. Ted Goebel, 3 Credits. A review of Old World prehistory, with a focus on Europe and Asia, from 1.6 million years ago to the emergence of civilization in China and southeast Asia, about 3000 years ago. Topics covered include initial dispersal of hominins out of Africa, colonization of Europe, Neanderthal adaptation, settlement of northern Asia, emergence of modern humans in Siberia, China, and Japan, evolution of Upper Paleolithic technologies late in the Pleistocene, Mesolithic transition circa 10,000 years ago, emergence of agriculture in China and southeast Asia, and rise of Bronze Age societies in China and inner Asia.
353. Archaeology of Ancient Greece. (3-0). Dr. Deborah Carlson, 3 Credits. Archaeology of ancient Greece from the Stone Age until the ascent of Rome in the Hellenistic Period; remains of ancient Greek art (sculpture, mosaic, painting), architecture (temples, homes, civic structures), religion (figurines, votive offerings), and social history (coins, inscriptions). Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification. Cross-listed with CLAS 353.
354. Archaeology of Ancient Italy. (3-0). Dr. Deborah Carlson, 3 Credits. This course covers the archaeology of ancient Italy from the Stone Age until the collapse of the Roman Empire in the fourth century. The remains of ancient Etruscan and Roman art (sculpture, mosaic, painting), architecture (temples, homes, civic structures), religion (figurines, votive offerings), and social history (coins, inscriptions) will be discussed. Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification. Cross-listed with CLAS 354.
401. Ice Age Humans in North America. (3-0). Dr. Ted Goebel, 3 Credits. Archaeological, environmental and geological evidence related to the timing of human entry into the Americas and megafaunal extinctions at the end of the Pleistocene. Prerequisite: ANTH 202 or equivalent.
403. Anthropology of Religion. (3-0). 3 Credits. Anthropological approach to religion and to the relationship between religion, economics, politics and social structure with particular reference to non-Western, pre-industrial societies. Cross-listed with RELS 403.
404. Women and Culture. (3-0). Dr. Neha Vora, 3 Credits. This course provides an introduction to the study of women and gender within the discipline of anthropology. In the first section of the course, we will examine the relationship between culture and biology. In the next few sections of the course, we will examine the cultural construction of gender and gender roles in a variety of settings. In the final section of the course, we will consider gender and gender roles within the context of global and local political economies. In particular, we will focus on critical issues, such as gender-based violence, gender and poverty, gender and development, and gender and nationalism. Throughout the semester, we will examine women‟s experiences from various regions: Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, East Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, Melanesia, Africa, the Middle East, and North America. Cross-listed with WGST 404.
405. Introduction to the Primates. (3-0). Sharon Gursky-Doyen, 3 Credits. The course, an Introduction to Primate Behavior and Conservation, will provide you with a survey of the primates from an ecological and evolutionary perspective. Since it is an advanced course, you will be expected to have a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the readings as well as the material presented in the class lectures. You will also be held responsible for the information provided in a series of selected videos on primate behavior and evolution. Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification.
409. Science, Pseudoscience and Critical Thinking in Anthropology. (3-0). Dr. Darryl de Ruiter, 3 Credits. This course is an advanced level class aimed at closely scrutinizing some of the fantastic claims that have been made regarding the fields of biological anthropology and archaeology. This includes claims ranging from bigfoot and aquatic apes, all the way to alien astronauts and paranormal phenomena. The goal of the course is to learn how to critically analyze research that is purported to be scientifically based, but which does not adhere to the rules of the scientific method. The class will be based on both lectures and classroom discussion. We will be reading numerous claims for pseudoscientific phenomena, as well as criticisms of those claims. We will then discuss the relative evidence in favor of a claim, the manner in which it is presented, and any evidence arguing against the claim. We will also be watching several documentaries, some of which are good, and some of which are bad; the aim being to learn how to distinguish between the good and the bad. These are not obscure or fringe documentaries, as all have received national prominence, regardless of how weak the arguments they might have presented was. By nature this course will be controversial. We will be discussing some of our most cherished beliefs, taught to us since childhood, regarding such things as religion and creation, and how they stand up to close scientific scrutiny. This course is intended to disturb the way that you think, but in the end I want you to understand why you believe what you believe. The most important thing you will come away with is the mental tools necessary to evaluate fantastic claims, and to make up your own mind based on the quality of the evidence presented to you.
410. Anthropological Theory. (3-0). 3 Credits. A systematic examination of the basic principles of anthropology. Prerequisite: ANTH 210.
415. Anthropological Writing. (3-0). Multiple /instructors, 3 Credits. Reading and discussion of the classic genres of anthropological literature; instruction in writing styles and techniques appropriate to each genre, followed by guided writing assignments. Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification. Course content and assignments may vary from one instructor to the next.
419. Indians of Texas. (3-0). Dr. Alston Thoms, 3 Credits. Study of diverse native/immigrant Texas Indian lifeways/cultures from late pre-European to contemporary times; exploration of historical underpinnings, traditional cultures, especially land-use patterns; assessment of tribal relationships with colonial powers, U.S., and Texas governments as evidenced in ethnographic, ethnohistoric, and historical materials; application toward anthropological, archaeological, and human ecology research. Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification; ANTH 201; and ANTH 301 or 302 or 303 or HIST 258; or HIST 308 or approval of instructor.
421. Museums and Their Functions. (2-3). 3 Credits. Role of museums, those specializing in natural history and the extent to which they serve the community, state, nation, and the advancement of the sciences included in their programs; history, operations, methods and programs. Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification. Cross-listed with WFSC 421.
423. Bioarchaeology. (3-0). Dr. Lori Wright, 3 Credits. This writing intensive course will acquaint the advanced undergraduate student interested in archaeology and physical anthropology with the broad range of issues that can be examined with evidence gleaned from human skeletal remains. The course will focus on the role of human skeletal studies in reconstructing both the biological and cultural past of our species. Classes will be a combination of lecture and seminar formats, with some laboratory demonstrations.
424. Introduction to Human Evolutionary Ecology. (3-0). Dr. Sheela Athreya, 3 Credits. An introduction to the field of Human Evolutionary Ecology. Examines human behavioral adaptation through the application of evolutionary theory in an ecological context, emphasizes interdisciplinary, scientific methodologies.
425. Human Osteology. (2-3). Dr. Lori Wright, 3 Credits. Concepts and methods used by anthropologists to identify, describe and analyze human skeletal remains from forensic and archaeological contexts. Prerequisites: ANTH 225 or VIBS 305; junior or senior classification.
427. Human Variation. (3-0). Dr. Sheela Athreya, 3 Credits. The goal of this course is to explain the biological basis of human variation. Students will understand the factors that contribute to biological differences observed among individuals and populations, as well as the underlying environmental and evolutionary forces that shape those differences. The class focuses on the detailed anatomical and physiological differences of living populations, and also covers the history of human variation studies and the concept of “race” in physical anthropology. In addition, as an upper-level course, students will begin to develop their critical thinking and writing skills. Prerequisites: ANTH 225, BIOL 214 or 225; junior or senior classification.
430. Applied Anthropology. (3-0). Dr. Cynthia Werner, 3 Credits. Students who take this course will discover that cultural anthropology is applicable to today’s job markets in local communities. The methods used by anthropologists can be adapted to fit the needs of local community service organizations, medical institutions, educational institutions, international development agencies, etc. Each class meeting will involve a variety of activities including: lectures by the professor; class discussion of readings and course topics; and discussion of student paper projects. Prerequisites: ANTH 210; junior or senior classification.
439. Gender, Ethnicity and Class in Archaeological Research. (3-0). 3 Credits. The archaeological record is extraordinarily rich and varied, and yet for most of its history as a field of study, archaeology has failed to recognize gender, ethnicity or class as a viable research topic. This course examines archaeological research on these social groupings over the past two decades. We will explore the ways in which a consciousness of gender, ethnicity and class can offer a more in-depth understanding of the archaeological record and how the study of such social groups challenges traditional archaeological culture histories as well as impacts method and theory. Prerequisites: ANTH 202, ANTH 210, WGST 200 or WGST 207; junior or senior classification or approval of instructor. Cross-listed with WGST 439.
444. Classical Archaeology. (3-0). Dr. Deborah Carlson, 3 Credits. History of the discipline through the individuals, organizations, excavations, theoretical models and ethical issues that have shaped it. Prerequisites: Junior or senior classification; ANTH 353, ANTH 354, CLAS 353 or CLAS 354. Cross-listed with CLAS 444.
446. Ceramic Artifact Analysis. (2-3). 3 Credits. This course introduces the basic concepts and methods used in the analysis of archaeological pottery. The nuances of ceramic analysis can only be learned through practice. As such, this course consists primarily of lab exercises and write-ups designed to give practical experience with the various methods used to approach archaeological ceramic material. Students will be introduced to the fundamental aspects of ceramic production and technology, description, typology, classification, and compositional analysis. Students should leave this course with a sufficient understanding of pottery analysis to allow them to know what questions can and cannot be asked of a given ceramic assemblage, and how to approach such questions through analysis. Prerequisite: ANTH 202 and approval of instructor; junior or senior classification.
447. Lithic Artifact Analysis. (2-3). Dr. Ted Goebel, 3 Credits. This course contains a hands-on introduction to the study of prehistoric stone artifacts. Students practice flintknapping and learn skills in artifact typology, raw-material identification, debitage analysis, and analysis of flaked-stone and ground-stone tools. Geochemical sourcing studies and use-wear studies are also covered.
454. Archaeological Photography. (2-3). Dr. Wayne Smith, 3 Credits. How to better use cameras in the process of reporting archaeological sites and material culture by exploring old and new photographic technologies. Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification.
484. Anthropology Internship. (3-0). 3 Credits. Provides students with the opportunity to gain practical experience in a variety of settings including local, state or federal agencies, museums, non-profit organizations, non-governmental organizations, and private firms. Prerequisites: ANTH 202, 210 and 225 with a grade of B or higher.
485. Directed Studies. Credits 1 to 9. For individual research in anthropology on subjects not included in established courses. Prerequisites: Junior or senior classification and approval of instructor.
489. Special Topics in Anthropology. Credits 1 to 4. Selected topics in an identified area of anthropology; may be repeated for credit.
- 500, Dental Anthropology. Dr. Lori Wright, 3 credits. This course surveys the evolution, embryology, development and pathology of the human dentition. Seminar readings will be drawn from the broad array of biological anthropological research methods that focus on the teeth. Through a combination of lectures, laboratory exercises and seminars, we explore the variety of research topics that can be addressed using data gleaned from archaeological human teeth, including age, sex, childhood illness, ancestry, oral health, aesthetics, diet, activity, etc. Although the majority of readings will be based on human studies, the same methods discussed are applicable to fossil hominin and non-human primate dentitions. Additional primate readings may be substituted depending on enrollment. Prerequisites: ANTH 225 (Recommended ANTH 312, 423 or 425)
- 501, Visual and Material Culture of the Mediterranean, 1300-1700. Dr. Lilia Campana, 3 credits. This is a lecture-format course that explores the maritime art and archaeology of the Mediterranean during the Renaissance. “Mediterranean” is a powerful concept, elaborated by Fernand Braudel in his seminal study of The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II. It encompasses economic, social, cultural, and political dimensions. Visual and material culture of the Mediterranean world changed rapidly from the 14th to the 18th century, thanks to dramatic social and economic upheaval, radical technological advances, the expansion of global trade networks, contacts with other people, and significant shifts in political thinking. Social, political, cultural, and economic conditions shaped seeing and the production of objects for visual consumption. The course focuses on the understanding of social and cultural forms and processes, and the role of human creativity within them, with particular reference to artifacts of material and visual culture. The course offers students the chance to explore some of the most exciting issues in socio-cultural anthropology of the Mediterranean maritime culture. No prerequisites.
- 503, Quantitative Ethnographic Field Methods. Dr. Jeff Winking, 3 credits. While most research conducted by cultural anthropologists tends to rely on qualitative investigations of cultural and behavioral phenomena, many anthropologists (and other social scientists) include structured, quantitative ethnographic field methods in their research that allow for a more comparable, refutable and formalized process of hypothesis testing. While there are clearly benefits to this approach, there are also many challenges that accompany the imposing of structure and quantification to complex and nuanced cultural patterns. In this course, we will cover some of the quantitative ethnographic field methods that are commonly employed to formally test anthropological hypotheses. The final for the class will consist of an in-depth ethnographic exploration of Aggie culture and spirit that will involve various data collection techniques conducted by the entire class. Students will leave the class with an understanding of the process of research development and the quantitative methods used to carry out formal hypothesis testing in anthropological research. Furthermore, they will gain the experience of actually executing a small research agenda, including the obtaining of IRB certification, the creation of a research grant proposal, the collection and analysis of data, and the presentation of the results and conclusions. No prerequisites.
- 505, Medical Anthropology. Dr. Darrell Lynch, 3 credits. This is an introductory course in Medical Anthropology. There are no prerequisites, but experience with Anthropology 205 or 210 is recommended. The goals of this course are:
1. To enhance student awareness of the tremendous role culture plays in both the expression and patterning of
disease, as well as in the ways people explain and treat illness.
2. To provide an overview of the subject of medical anthropology, and to afford students the opportunity to research
and discuss those particular issues within the field which most interest them.
3. To give students an overall picture of current world health patterns and problems, and to discuss the role of
anthropologists in helping to understand and deal with these problems.
491. Research. Credits 1 to 3. Research conducted under the direction of a faculty member in Anthropology. May be repeated 2 times for credit. Prerequisites: Junior or senior classification and approval of instructor.