The word anthropology means literally "the study of man." We are a complicated species, and anthropologists poke into every aspect of our human nature.
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* 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 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.