The word anthropology means literally "the study of man." We are a complicated species, and anthropologists poke into every aspect of our human nature.
* a free alternative to expensive Introduction to Cultural Anthropology textbooks
* includes a full textbook and several original videos
* includes 10 "challenges" (assignments)
* a hub of original and found resources for teaching and learning anthropology
* a “connected course” of many faculty around the world sharing instructional materials
* an open course freely available to anyone online
* an emerging producer of original anthropological videos and other digital content
This online database of our African Ethnographic collection includes artifacts that were found throughout the continent of Africa, from The Gambia to Madagascar, from Algeria to South Africa. The database allows you to see all artifacts for a country by clicking on a map or list of country names, search by object type, culture, and keyword find out what items are currently on display, and learn about recently acquired artifacts. There are two ways to search the collection as a picture-only gallery, or as a catalog that describes each artifact's provenance (country, locale, culture), materials, dimensions, and year of acquisition.
Seminar focuses on core issues and approaches in anthropological theory and method. Studies theoretical frameworks for the analysis and integration of material from other subjects in cultural anthropology. Subject provides instruction and practice in writing and revision whereby students produce one paper that is appropriate for publication or as a proposal for funding. This course introduces students to some of the major social theories and debates that inspire and inform anthropological analysis. Over the course of the semester, we will investigate a range of theoretical propositions concerning such topics as agency, structure, subjectivity, history, social change, power, culture, and the politics of representation. Ultimately, all theories can be read as statements about human beings and the worlds they create and inhabit. We will approach each theoretical perspective or proposition on three levels: (1) in terms of its analytical or explanatory power for understanding human behavior and the social world; (2) in the context of the social and historical circumstances in which they were produced; and (3) as contributions to ongoing dialogues and debate.
This is a collection of mini lectures created by anthropologist and those in conversation with anthropology as supplimental material to assist college and university instructors who were made to shift their courses online because of COVID19.For more information, see here.To contribute, please create an OER author account and send your name and OER registered email to AnthropologyTeaching@gmail.com.
This is a collection of mini lectures created by anthropologists and those in conversation with anthropology as supplimental material to assist college and university instructors who were made to shift their courses online because of COVID19.For more information, see here.To contribute, please create an OER author account and send your name and OER registered email to AnthropologyTeaching@gmail.com.
Please use this video to introduce questions about the environment, dispossession, colonial landscape histories, human / animal relations, and / or Papua New Guinea.
This lecture could work as a way of talking about anthropology and its relevance beyond academia, or as a companion to any of the articles included here: On Movement is a critique of PTSD as the dominant framework for thinking about how the violence of war transforms US soldiers; Queer Theory and the Possibilities of Critique is an article about how to think about US war-making as coestensive with assemblages of heteronormativity, looking at the case of how heteronormative love is transformed into a technology of suicide prefention for post-9/11 US soldiers; Slow Research is a call to do Global Health differently.
This class examines how anthropology and speculative fiction (SF) each explore ideas about culture and society, technology, morality, and life in "other" worlds. We investigate this convergence of interest through analysis of SF in print, film, and other media. Concepts include traditional and contemporary anthropological topics, including first contact; gift exchange; gender, marriage, and kinship; law, morality, and cultural relativism; religion; race and embodiment; politics, violence, and war; medicine, healing, and consciousness; technology and environment. Thematic questions addressed in the class include: what is an alien? What is "the human"? Could SF be possible without anthropology?
" This course explores a range of contemporary scholarship oriented to the study of 'cybercultures,' with a focus on research inspired by ethnographic and more broadly anthropological perspectives. Taking anthropology as a resource for cultural critique, the course will be organized through a set of readings chosen to illustrate central topics concerning the cultural and material practices that comprise digital technologies. We'll examine social histories of automata and automation; the trope of the 'cyber' and its origins in the emergence of cybernetics during the last century; cybergeographies and politics; robots, agents and humanlike machines; bioinformatics and artificial life; online sociality and the cyborg imaginary; ubiquitous and mobile computing; ethnographies of research and development; and geeks, gamers and hacktivists. We'll close by considering the implications for all of these topics of emerging reconceptualizations of sociomaterial relations, informed by feminist science and technology studies."
This class examines the ways humans experience the realm of sound and how perceptions and technologies of sound emerge from cultural, economic, and historical worlds. In addition to learning about how environmental, linguistic, and musical sounds are construed cross-culturally, students learn about the rise of telephony, architectural acoustics, and sound recording, as well as about the globalized travel of these technologies. Questions of ownership, property, authorship, and copyright in the age of digital file sharing are also addressed. A major concern will be with how the sound/noise boundary has been imagined, created, and modeled across diverse sociocultural and scientific contexts. Auditory examples--sound art, environmental recordings, music--will be provided and invited throughout the term.
Issues of war and peace from an anthropological perspective. Topics include: the warlike nature of humans, if humans are by nature warlike, the evolution of war in cross-cultural perspective, the socialization of warriors and the construction of enemies, and the recent emergence of anti-war movements. Readings focus on sociobiological and other theories of war; anthropologists' claims to have studied societies that do not have war; ethnic hatred and civil war in Rwanda, Bosnia, and Northern Ireland; military culture in the U.S. and elsewhere; peace movements; and studies of military conversion.
The Antiquities of Wisconsin, Increase A. Lapham's most important published work, includes 92 pages of text, illustrated with 61 wood engravings, and 55 lithographed plates and was the result of his research into the Indian effigy mounds found on Wisconsin's Landscape.
In this Science NetLinks lesson, students determine what artifacts are, how they are discovered, and what information can be learned from them. They also learn how artifacts are initially buried and then excavated. This lesson is one of a two-part series on archaeology.
Anthropology is the study of all humans in all times in all places. But it is so much more than that. “Anthropology requires strength, valor, and courage,” Nancy Scheper-Hughes noted. “Pierre Bourdieu called anthropology a combat sport, an extreme sport as well as a tough and rigorous discipline. … It teaches students not to be afraid of getting one’s hands dirty, to get down in the dirt, and to commit yourself, body and mind. Susan Sontag called anthropology a “heroic” profession.” What is the payoff for this heroic journey? You will find ideas that can carry you across rivers of doubt and over mountains of fear to find the the light and life of places forgotten. Real anthropology cannot be contained in a book. You have to go out and feel the world’s jagged edges, wipe its dust from your brow, and at times, leave your blood in its soil. In this unique book, Dr. Michael Wesch shares many of his own adventures of being an anthropologist and what the science of human beings can tell us about the art of being human. This special first draft edition is a loose framework for more and more complete future chapters and writings. It serves as a companion to anth101.com, a free and open resource for instructors of cultural anthropology.
This online database of our Asian Ethnographic collection includes artifacts that were found throughout the continent of Asia, from Russia to Indonesia, from Turkey to Japan. The database allows you to see all artifacts for a country by clicking on a map or list of country names, search by object type, culture, and keyword, find out what items are currently on display and learn about recently acquired artifacts. There are two ways to search the collection as a picture-only gallery, or as a catalog that describes each artifact's provenance (country, locale, culture), materials, dimensions, and year of acquisition.
Becoming Human is a fast-paced, irreverent introduction to evolutionary theory, especially human origins. The book is based on the Open2Study MOOC, 'Becoming Human,' created by Dr. Greg Downey and Open Universities Australia. The book discusses traces of evolution in our bodies, basic evolutionary theory from Darwin to the genomic revolution, sexual selection and reproduction, and how human brain development affects our evolution, including into the future. Copiously illustrated, with some interactive diagrams, videos of Dr. Downey presenting the material are also available through Open2Study.
Becoming Human is an interactive documentary experience that tells the story of human origins. Multimedia, research and scholarship are presented to promote greater understanding of the course of human evolution. This site includes classroom materials, subject-designed exercises, games and activities to help make connections between the concepts that are presented and student learning. PDF versions of the resources may be downloaded from the site.
Students learn about material culture in this Moveable Museum lesson plan by taking a firsthand look at how culture influences the kinds of things we do. The 12-page PDF guide has educator materials including background information, teacher strategies, assessment guidelines, and detailed notes about the curriculum standards addressed. The Becoming a Cultural Researcher activity worksheet has a series of questions that prompts students to reflect on the material culture of daily activities, customs, or ceremonies. There is a kid-friendly glossary of related terms.
How this course is intended to be used: This course is set up to be used as either fully online, face-to-face (f2f), or hybrid. Note that the course outcomes and some assessments have variations available for each type of course (e.g., Public Awareness Campaign, Dancing Skeletons Essay & Discussion)
Resources for this course:
OER resources: The majority of materials used in this course are OER and can be found via this page (under Course Modules).
Paid resources: Only one small textbook is suggested for the course, the ethnography Dancing Skeletons: Life and Death in West Africa by Katharine Dettwyler (ISBN-10: 088133748X). It's approximately $13.00 new and can be found for approximately $5.00 used. It's used for the Unit 3 assessment, Dancing Skeletons Essay & Discussion. We think that it's an integral part of the course, due to its focus on human biology and biocultural/environmental interactions. It also provides an excellent portrayal of an anthropologist's experience in the field. If you require additional or alternate textbooks, we have put together a list of texts available for around $30.
Explanation of approach: As you peruse the reading material in the course module pages you might find that they contain less detail than what you would see in a "normal" textbook. This is intentional. One thing we find incredible about higher education is that the student often reads the textbook only to go into class and have the professor lecture for two hours on the exact same material. Because of this repetition of the material, students often become exasperated and either stop reading the material or stop paying attention in class. We've also found that students in the introductory anthropology courses frequently struggle with picking out the basic concepts from among the myriad of material from the textbook. We think that students in introductory anthropology courses such as this one, most of whom are not going to be anthropology majors, should read the basic information outside of class. This allows the instructor to focus on providing more explanatory details and help students work through critical thinking about the material in class. Therefore, the readings in the course modules have the basic information. Through in-class activities, discussions, and homework assignments, the job of the instructor is to help students move deeper into and synthesize the material.
These activities are meant to be used in connection with a full Biological AnthropologyCourse and full textbook. The instructor is expected to present the base material that students will need to complete each activity. This allows the instructor to mold the activities to their own approach. Students will need an assigned text to assist with these activities, identify bone and features, understand the proper use of Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium, significance of primate taxonomy, and specific information about various early human forms. These activities are presented in the sequence they might be used if teaching with Introduction to Physical Anthropology by Robert Jurmain et al.1 These activities do not need to be used in the order presented and are meant to allow an instructor to have lab activities for students that do not require the students to purchase a separate lab manual. The contents of this manuscript are available by means of Creative Commons. They may be used free of charge as long as this author and all other copyright holders are given credit for their work. Should you have any activities you wish to add to this manual, and make available under creative commons to other instructors, please notify this author
This interactive activity from NOVA invites you to do the work of scientists and use a database to classify actual fossil records of human ancestors and related species.
This case is based on Kate Chopin's short story "Desiree's Baby," a tragic tale of race and gender in antebellum Louisiana first published in 1893. Students read the story and then answer a series of questions about the genetics and evolution of skin color. The case was developed for a general biology course organized around the general theme of evolution. It could also be used in anthropology and biology courses for non-majors.
This case study highlights the epidemiological and socioeconomic factors associated with a disease which plagues thousands of people in Central and South America. The case follows the story of Adrian, a banana plantation worker in southwestern Costa Rica who develops a mysterious illness. Students learn about infectious diseases, pathogens, and vectors endemic to the region, and are asked to diagnose Adrian's illness and consider his dilemma with respect to treatment options. The case is appropriate for courses with a component on health care, pharmacology, microbiology, medical anthropology, ethnobotany, or epidemiology. Instructors can choose to focus more on the biological components of the case or more on the socioeconomic and ethical aspects, depending on course goals and subject area.
Decoding an ancient cave bear. A two-ton, thirteen-foot cave bear, extinct for ten thousand years, has just experienced a rebirth of sorts. From a tooth and a bone, scientists have recovered its entire genetic code.Eddy Rubin, director of the Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute, says finding genuine cave bear DNA was like looking for a needle in a haystack. The haystack were all the other organisms that were living in the bones and in the tooth of this ancient creature. And the needle was the little bit of the ancient creature's genome DNA, or genes.They used state-of-the-art computer technology to separate the bear genes from the clutter. Jurassic Park fans should note that they can't clone a new cave bear, nor can they recover DNA from creatures as old as the dinosaurs. But they do hope to reconstruct the genetic code of Neanderthals, our closest non-human relatives, to better understand how our own species evolved. This resource contains detailed text description of the research as well as likes for further inquiry.
In this course the conquest and colonization of the Americas is considered, with special attention to the struggles of native peoples in Guatemala, Canada, Brazil, Panama, and colonial New England. In two segments of the course-one devoted to the Jesuit missionization of the Huron in the 1630s, the other to struggles between the government of Panama and the Kuna between 1900 and 1925-students examine primary documents such as letters, reports, and court records, to draw their own conclusions. Attention focuses on how we know about and represent past eras and other peoples, as well as on the history of struggles between native Americans and Europeans.
The role of the family in human evolution, and as a symbol in our own social and political lives. Topics include: sex, marriage, and parenting; the labor market; class, race, and ethnicity; and the family's probable future. We begin by considering briefly the evolution of the family, its cross-cultural variability, and its history in the West. We next examine how the family is currently defined in the U.S., discussing different views about what families should look like. Class and ethnic variability and the effects of changing gender roles are discussed in this section. We next look at sexuality, traditional and non-traditional marriage, parenting, divorce, family violence, family economics, poverty, and family policy. Controversial issues dealt with include day care, welfare policy, and the "Family Values" debate.
Nancy Scheper-Hughes, a noted Anthropology Professor at UC Berkeley and author of numerous award-winning works joins UC Berkeley's Harry Kreisler. (59 min)
This 10-minute video lesson discusses chronometry and the relatively recent changes in our ability as a species to shine light on our deep past. [Cosmology and Astronomy playlist: Lesson 81 of 85]
This 13-minute video lesson discusses collective learning and how symbolic language drives collective learning and how this is one of the truly differentiating aspects of human beings relative to the rest of the animal kingdom. [Cosmology and Astronomy playlist: Lesson 82 of 85]
This 14-minute video lesson considers energy consumption required for tilling land. [Cosmology and Astronomy playlist: Lesson 84 of 85]
This 8-minute video lesson looks at Firestick Farming and how the indigenous Australians used fire to change their environment. [Cosmology and Astronomy playlist: Lesson 76 of 85]
This 12-minute video lesson provides an overview of evolution from from the extinction of the dinosaurs to humanity. [Cosmology and Astronomy playlist: Lesson 64 of 85]
This 13-minute video lesson ponders how we get calories from the land and the limits of human population density. [Cosmology and Astronomy playlist: Lesson 83 of 85]
Students examine the anthropological perspective of human culture, including such institutions as kinship, politics, and religion, and evaluate the interrelationship between culture, environment and biology. Students explore the effects of globalization on culture while developing critical thinking skills through the application of essential anthropological approaches, theories, and methods.Login: guest_oclPassword: ocl
In this unit, you will explore globalization and development and its effects on indigenous peoples. Modern economic and political development is driven by the assumption that the results will be benefical for all people; however, cultural differences are not taken into consideration, leading often to the destruction of indigenous cultures. Understanding the context of modern development students become versant in the current debate about globalization.
By the end of the unit, you should be able to answer the following questions:
What is globalization?
How did the modern era of globalization develop?
What is the relationship between culture and globalization?
This PPT introduces students to the concept of cultural heritage and then gets them to reflect on cultural heritage tourism via independent internet-based research and the development of an advertisement.
Culture, Embodiment, and the Senses will provide an historical and cross-cultural analysis of the politics of sensory experience. The subject will address western philosophical debates about mind, brain, emotion, and the body and the historical value placed upon sight, reason, and rationality, versus smell, taste, and touch as acceptable modes of knowing and knowledge production. We will assess cultural traditions that challenge scientific interpretations of experience arising from western philosophical and physiological models. The class will examine how sensory experience lies beyond the realm of individual physiological or psychological responses and occurs within a culturally elaborated field of social relations. Finally, we will debate how discourse about the senses is a product of particular modes of knowledge production that are themselves contested fields of power relations.
This course examines computers anthropologically, as artifacts revealing the social orders and cultural practices that create them. Students read classic texts in computer science along with cultural analyses of computing history and contemporary configurations. It explores the history of automata, automation and capitalist manufacturing; cybernetics and WWII operations research; artificial intelligence and gendered subjectivity; robots, cyborgs, and artificial life; creation and commoditization of the personal computer; the growth of the Internet as a military, academic, and commercial project; hackers and gamers; technobodies and virtual sociality. Emphasis is placed on how ideas about gender and other social differences shape labor practices, models of cognition, hacking culture, and social media.
Humans are social animals; social demands, both cooperative and competitive, structure our development, our brain and our mind. This course covers social development, social behaviour, social cognition and social neuroscience, in both human and non-human social animals. Topics include altruism, empathy, communication, theory of mind, aggression, power, groups, mating, and morality. Methods include evolutionary biology, neuroscience, cognitive science, social psychology and anthropology.
In this role-playing case study, students attempt to determine the identity of a variety of human fossils based on characteristics described during a "quiz show." The case was designed to be used in a general biology class for freshman students where the focus is on evolution. It could also be used in an anthropology or paleontology course.
- Life Science
- Material Type:
- Case Study
- National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science
- Provider Set:
- Case Study Collection
- Clyde Freeman Herreid
- Shoshana Tobias
- Date Added:
In this case study, a forensic anthropologist must determine the age and sex as well as look for signs of trauma to a skeleton found in a shallow grave in a state park. Students simulate the actual procedures used in a forensics lab and learn to identify bones, landmarks, and anatomical features associated with sex, age, height, and pathology. The case was developed for use in a freshman-level human anatomy and physiology course. It could also be used in biology, anatomy, and anthropology courses.
Digital Anthropology is a Spring 2003 applied social science and media arts seminar, surveying the blossoming arena of digital-artifact enabled experimental sociology/anthropology.ĺĘWe will emphasize onĺĘboth (a) Technology Testbeds -- systematically deploying research lab prototypes and corporate pre-production products in a sample human organizational population and carefully observing the social consequences, and (b) Sociometrics -- using digital artifacts to better observe and measure the complex social reality of interesting human systems.
An introduction to the cross-cultural study of bio-medical ethics. Examines moral foundations of the science and practice of western bio-medicine through case studies of abortion, contraception, cloning, organ transplantation and other issues. Evaluates challenges that new medical technologies pose to the practice and availability of medical services around the globe, and to cross-cultural ideas of kinship and personhood. Discusses critiques of the bio-medical tradition from anthropological, feminist, legal, religious, and cross-cultural theorists.
This case study is a fictional account of a romantic interlude in which a secret concerning the gender history of one of the characters is revealed. The case is intended to offer students a greater understanding of gendered culture and to discuss diversity issues. Students are also introduced to the possible scientific basis for "transgenderedness" and ultimately transsexualism. The case was developed for a community college level introductory cultural anthropology class, but could also be used in introductory gender classes or in courses where diversity issues may arise, such as in some sociology classes.
This course examines how medicine is practiced cross-culturally, with particular emphasis on Western biomedicine. Students analyze medical practice as a cultural system, focusing on the human, as opposed to the biological, side of things. Also considered is how people in different cultures think of disease, health, body, and mind.
How and why do people seek to capture everyday life on film? What can we learn from such films? This course challenges distinctions commonly made between documentary and ethnographic films to consider how human cultural life is portrayed in both. It considers the interests, which motivate such filmmakers ranging from curiosity about "exotic" people to a concern with capturing "real life" to a desire for advocacy. Students will view documentaries about people both in the U.S. and abroad and will consider such issues as the relationship between film images and "reality," the tensions between art and observation, and the ethical relationship between filmmakers and those they film.
Dr. Stephen O'Brien of the National Cancer Institute discovers a 700-year-old mutation that makes a person resistant to HIV infection. From Evolution: "Evolutionary Arms Race." ***Access to Teacher's Domain content now requires free login to PBS Learning Media.
- Life Science
- Material Type:
- PBS LearningMedia
- Provider Set:
- PBS Learning Media: Multimedia Resources for the Classroom and Professional Development
- Teachers' Domain
- Clear Blue Sky Productions
- National Science Foundation
- WGBH Educational Foundation
- Date Added:
This class examines the relationship between a number of mind-altering substances and cultural processes. We look at the relationship between drugs and such phenomena as poverty, religion, technology, inter-generational conflict, colonialism, and global capitalism. We read about the physiological and psychological effects of these substances -- ranging from alcohol to LSD, cocaine and ecstasy -- and ask why different societies prohibit and sanction different drugs. We examine the use of mind-altering substances in a number of "traditional" societies, and follow the development of a global trade in such substances as sugar, coffee, tea, nicotine, cocaine, and marijuana concurrent with the evolution of global capitalism. We look at the use of LSD as a mind-control substance by the CIA and as a mind-altering substance in the 1960's counter-culture, and we look at the rise of Prozacĺ¨ and Viagraĺ¨ as popular, if controversial, pharmaceutical products in recent years. Finally, we evaluate America's current drug laws.
In this video segment from Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, learn how Muslims in America celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the Ű_í_Ű__Ű_Ű_Ű_Feast of Breaking the Fast.Ű_í_Ű__Ű_Ű_Ű_í_Ű_ ***Access to Teacher's Domain content now requires free login to PBS Learning Media.
Examines theories and practice of environmental justice, concerns about race, poverty, and the environment in both domestic and international contexts, exploring and critically analyzing philosophies, frameworks, and strategies underlying environmental justice movements. Examines case studies of environmental injustices, including: distribution of environmental quality and health, unequal enforcement of regulations, unequal access to resources to respond to environmental problems, and the broader political economy of decision-making around environmental issues. Explores how environmental justice movements relate to broader sustainable development goals and strategies. This class explores the foundations of the environmental justice movement, current and emerging issues, and the application of environmental justice analysis to environmental policy and planning. It examines claims made by diverse groups along with the policy and civil society responses that address perceived inequity and injustice. While focused mainly on the United States, international issues and perspectives are also considered.
This class explores the interrelationship between humans and natural environments. It does so by focusing on conflict over access to and use of the environment as well as ideas about "nature" in various parts of the world.
An introduction to the cross-cultural study of ethnic and national identity. We examine the concept of social identity, and consider the ways in which gendered, linguistic, religious, and ethno-racial identity components interact. We explore the history of nationalism, including the emergence of the idea of the nation-state, as well as ethnic conflict, globalization, identity politics, and human rights.
This module provides descriptive notes and images that can support teaching and learning about ethnobotany and landscape ethnoecology, or the integrative study of human-resource relationships. The photos and graphics are mostly derived from field study and research at Mt. Kasigau, Kenya (1999-2015) as a case example. I openly make them available through the OER site for educational purposes. The resources attached to the module include:I. Ethnobotany- descriptive notes and images (ethnobotany_notes_oer) and a powerpoint presentation (ethno_div_oer);II. Landscape Ethnoecology- descriptive notes and images (landscape_ethnoecology_oer) and a powerpoint presentation (landscape_ethno_oer);III. Participatory Inquiry in Ethnobotany and Landscape Ethnoecology- descriptive notes and images (ethno_participatory_oer) and a powerpoint presentation (ethno_process_outcome_oer);IV. Collaborative Field Guide to Woody Plants and their Uses at Mt. Kasigau, Kenya (kasigauplantbook_may2013.pdf)
A practicum-style course in anthropological methods of ethnographic fieldwork and writing, intended especially for STS, CMS, HTC, and Sloan graduate students, but open to others with permission of instructor. Depending on student experience in ethnographic reading and practice, the subject is a mix of reading anthropological and science studies ethnographies; and formulating and pursuing ethnographic work in local labs, companies, or other sites.