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 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.
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.
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.
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.
This course provides a broad conceptual and historical introduction to scientific theories of evolution and their place in the wider culture. It embraces historical, scientific and anthropological/cultural perspectives grounded in relevant developments in the biological sciences since 1800 that are largely responsible for the development of the modern theory of evolution by natural selection. Students read key texts, analyze key debates (e.g. Darwinian debates in the 19th century, and the creation controversies in the 20th century) and give class presentations.
Chapter 1: Introduction to Biological Anthropology
Chapter Two: Evolution
Chapter 3: Introduction to Molecular Biology and Genetics
Chapter 4: Forces of Evolution
Chapter 5: Meet the Living Primates
Chapter 6: Primate Ecology and Behavior
Chapter 7: Understanding the Fossil Context
Chapter 8: Primate Evolution
Chapter 9: Early Hominins
Chapter 10: Early Members of the Genus Homo
Chapter 11: Archaic Homo
Chapter 12: Modern Homo sapiens
Chapter 13: Race and Human Variation
Chapter 14: Human Variation: An Adaptive Significance Approach
Chapter 15: Bioarchaeology and Forensic Anthropology
Chapter 16: Contemporary Topics: Human Biology and Health
Appendix A: Osteology
Appendix B: Primate Conservation
Appendix C: Human Behavioral Ecology
Reviews available here: https://open.umn.edu/opentextbooks/textbooks/explorations-an-open-invitation-to-biological-anthropology-shook
Powerpoint slides here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1wp4NDnXBiWhhsN-cAXQlIteS8PeOx9pB
Request access for the test bank: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeEwpBLlsu4dWx-49UsF2lCPWfzubdQNAyzxdS7EjA2AMPI3w/viewform
Explores connections between what we eat and who we are through cross-cultural study of how personal identities and social groups are formed via food production, preparation, and consumption. Organized around critical discussion of what makes "good" food good (healthy, authentic, ethical, etc.). Uses anthropological and literary classics as well as recent writing and films on the politics of food and agriculture.
Major narrative texts from diverse Western cultures, beginning with Homer and concluding with at least one film. Emphasis on literary and cultural issues: on the artistic significance of the chosen texts and on their identity as anthropological artifacts whose conventions and assumptions are rooted in particular times, places, and technologies. Syllabus varies, but always includes a sampling of popular culture (folk tales, ballads) as well as some landmark narratives such as the Iliad or the Odyssey, Don Quixote, Anna Karenina, Ulysses, and a classic film. This class will investigate the ways in which the formal aspects of Western storytelling in various media have shaped both fantasies and perceptions, making certain understandings of experience possible through the selection, arrangement, and processing of narrative material. Surveying the field chronologically across the major narrative genres and sub-genres from Homeric epic through the novel and across media to include live performance, film, and video games, we will be examining the ways in which new ideologies and psychological insights become available through the development of various narrative techniques and new technologies. Emphasis will be placed on the generic conventions of story-telling as well as on literary and cultural issues, the role of media and modes of transmission, the artistic significance of the chosen texts and their identity as anthropological artifacts whose conventions and assumptions are rooted in particular times, places, and technologies. Authors will include: Homer, Sophocles, Herodotus, Christian evangelists, Marie de France, Cervantes, La Clos, Poe, Lang, Cocteau, Disney-Pixar, and Maxis-Electronic Arts, with theoretical readings in Propp, Bakhtin, Girard, Freud, and Marx.
" An historical examination and analysis of the evolution and development of games and game mechanics. Topics include a large breadth of genres and types of games, including sports, game shows, games of chance, schoolyard games, board games, roleplaying games, and digital games. Students submit essays documenting research and analysis of a variety of traditional and eclectic games. Project teams required to design, develop, and thoroughly test their original games."
This course includes an introduction to the anthropological study of human sexuality, gender constructs, and the sociocultural systems that these are embedded in. Examines current critiques of Western philosophical and psychological traditions, and cross-cultural variability and universals of gender and sexuality.
" This course explores recent historical and anthropological approaches to the study of life, in both medicine and biology. After grounding our conversation in accounts of natural history and medicine that predate the rise of biology as a discipline, we explore modes of theorizing historical and contemporary bioscience. Drawing on the work of historian William Coleman, we examine the forms, functions, and transformations of biological and medical objects of study. Along the way we treat the history of heredity, molecular biology, race, medicine in the colonies and the metropole, and bioeconomic exchange. We read anthropological literature on old and new forms of biopower, at scales from the molecular to the organismic to the global. The course includes readings from the HASTS Common Exam List. The aim of this seminar is to train students to be participants in scholarly debates in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences about the nature of life, the body, and biomedicine."
Where did we come from? What were our ancestors like? Why do we differ from other animals? How do scientists trace and construct our evolutionary history? The History of Our Tribe: Hominini provides answers to these questions and more. The book explores the field of paleoanthropology past and present. Beginning over 65 million years ago, Welker traces the evolution of our species, the environments and selective forces that shaped our ancestors, their physical and cultural adaptations, and the people and places involved with their discovery and study. It is designed as a textbook for a course on Human Evolution but can also serve as an introductory text for relevant sections of courses in Biological or General Anthropology or general interest. It is both a comprehensive technical reference for relevant terms, theories, methods, and species and an overview of the people, places, and discoveries that have imbued paleoanthropology with such fascination, romance, and mystery.
Reviews available here: https://open.umn.edu/opentextbooks/textbooks/the-history-of-our-tribe-hominini
This course introduces diverse meanings and uses of the concept of culture with historical and contemporary examples from scholarship and popular media around the globe. It includes first-hand observations, synthesized histories and ethnographies, and visual and narrated representations of human experiences. Students conduct empirical research on cultural differences through the systematic observation of human interaction, employ methods of interpretative analysis, and practice convincing others of the accuracy of their findings.
Chapter 1: Digital Geography
1.1 What is a Toponymy?
1.2 Distance and Scale
1.3 Topography and Our National Parks
Chapter 2: Human Population
2.1 Population Dynamics
2.2 World Population
2.3 United States Demographics
Chapter 3: Migration
3.1 The Human Journey
3.2 Cradles of Civilization
3.3 Migration, On the Move
3.4 Syrian Migration Crisis
Chapter 4: Cultural Patterns and Processes
4.1 Language and Religion
4.2 Sacred Place - Sacred Space
4.3 The Crusades
4.4 The Underground Railroad
4.5 Native American Lands
Chapter 5: Political Geography
5.1 Political Borders, Boundaries, and Barriers
5.2 Governments Around the World
Chapter 6: Measuring Human Development
6.1 Comparing Country Development
6.2 Human Development Index
Chapter 7: Food, Water, and Agriculture
7.1 Agricultural Patterns
7.2 Farming and the Rural Landscape
7.3 Down to the Last Drop
Chapter 8: City and Urban Landscapes
8.1: What's the Range?
8.2 Urban Areas and Edge Cities
Examines the dynamic interrelations among physical and behavioral traits of humans, environment, and culture to provide an integrated framework for studying human biological evolution and modern diversity. Topics include issues in morphological evolution and adaptation; fossil and cultural evidence for human evolution from earliest times through the Pleistocene; evolution of tool use and social behavior; modern human variation and concepts of race. Includes study of stone artifacts and fossil specimens.
This course explores how identities, whether of individuals or groups, are produced, maintained, and transformed. Students will be introduced to various theoretical perspectives that deal with identity formation, including constructions of "the normal." We will explore the utility of these perspectives for understanding identity components such as gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, language, social class, and bodily difference. By semester's end students will understand better how an individual can be at once cause and consequence of society, a unique agent of social action as well as a social product.
Through the comparative study of different cultures, anthropology explores fundamental questions about what it means to be human. It seeks to understand how culture both shapes societies, from the smallest island in the South Pacific to the largest Asian metropolis, and affects the way institutions work, from scientific laboratories to Christian mega-churches. This course will provide a framework for analyzing diverse facets of human experience such as gender, ethnicity, language, politics, economics, and art.