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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Advances in artificial intelligence are triggering discussions about our future and potential consequences, both good and bad. World leaders are engaging in the conversation as well. Wired Editor-in-Chief, Scott Dadich, and MIT Media Lab Director, Joi Ito, conducted an interview with President Obama on artificial intelligence and society.
In this case study, you will explore an article and video from Wired's conversation with President Obama; then you will be asked to reflect on the core ideas and details of the conversation. As engaged and informed citizens, we must begin to consider the relationship between artificial intelligence and society.
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.
By adding positive stimuli to the African Penguin exhibit at the New Jersey State Aquarium these young scientists discovered that the penguins fought less during feeding time!
This fun Web article is part of OLogy, where kids can collect virtual trading cards and create projects with them. Here, they learn about the ancient city of Petra. The article begins with an overview of this city, which was located along the ancient trade routes between Arabia, Egypt, and the Mediterranean Sea. Kids then have the chance to take a walk through Petra's ruins. This clickable illustration has 11 places for them to explore. The article concludes with an extensive information section on the history of the city.
This online article explains the meticulous care and tracking that goes into storing the 530,000 items in the museum's anthropology collection. Along with discussing the inherent differences between the items in each of the collection's three subdivisions (archaeology, ethnology, and biological anthropology), the article covers the nature of collections, preserving anthropology collections and computerizing collections management
This online article introduces students to the Objects Conservation Laboratory run by the museum's Anthropology Division. It discusses the main activities of the lab's conservators what that process involves.
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.
This online article tells the story of the discovery of Nevada's Hidden Cave and the archaeologists who excavated there in the 1940s, 1950s, and late 1970s. The article has more than a dozen photographs of the cave and the treasures found within it.
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.
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.
Two young scientists crazy about dinos have a first hand opportunity to find fossils at Egg Mountain in Montana and investigate dino bones at a Museum of the Rockies! With the help of fellow scientists, they were able to determine the age of one dino when it died.
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.