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Anthony Di Fiore, Chair SAC 4.102, Mailcode C3200 78712 • 512-471-4206

Course Descriptions

ANT 301 • Physical Anthroplogy-Wb

30220 • Kappelman Jr, John W.
Meets
show description

 This course is an introduction to the principles and the methods of physical anthropology.  Physical anthropology is the study of human beings in a biological context, and seeks to explain our relationship to other primates and to the rest of the natural world.  In other words, who are we? how are we unique? how, why, an when did we come to be the way we are?The study of physical anthropology requires many different types of knowledge.  Throughout the course, we will examine anatomical, behavioral, and genetic similarities and differences among living primates, learn the basic mechanisms of the evolutionary process, and trace a pathway of human evolution as reconstructed from the fossil record.  The main goal of the course is to obtain a clear understanding of our place in nature.

ANT 301 • Physical Anthropology

30225-30275 • Shapiro, Liza J.
Meets MW 1100am-1200pm JES A121A
show description

 This course is an introduction to the principles and the methods of physical anthropology.  Physical anthropology is the study of human beings in a biological context, and seeks to explain our relationship to other primates and to the rest of the natural world.  In other words, who are we? how are we unique? how, why, an when did we come to be the way we are?The study of physical anthropology requires many different types of knowledge.  Throughout the course, we will examine anatomical, behavioral, and genetic similarities and differences among living primates, learn the basic mechanisms of the evolutionary process, and trace a pathway of human evolution as reconstructed from the fossil record.  The main goal of the course is to obtain a clear understanding of our place in nature.

ANT 302 • Cultural Anthropology

30305 • Hosemann, Aimee
Meets MW 100pm-200pm GEA 105
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This course focuses on "classic" themes in anthropology such as ethnicity, language, adaptation, marriage, kinship, gender, religion, and social stratification.  We will consider anthropological theory from its 19th-century origins to the present.  The course also explores the nature of ethnographic field work, especially the relationship between the anthropologist and the field community.  
The lectures, readings, and films for this course have been selected with the objective of exploring the social meanings with which diverse groups invest their life.  By comparing and analyzing the similarities and differences between "us" and "others," both within the borders of the U.S. and abroad, the anthropological perspective can expose some of our own cultural assumptions and enable us to better understand diverse cultures.

ANT 302 • Cultural Anthropology

30310-30345
Meets MW 200pm-300pm ART 1.102
show description

This course focuses on "classic" themes in anthropology such as ethnicity, language, adaptation, marriage, kinship, gender, religion, and social stratification.  We will consider anthropological theory from its 19th-century origins to the present.  The course also explores the nature of ethnographic field work, especially the relationship between the anthropologist and the field community.  
The lectures, readings, and films for this course have been selected with the objective of exploring the social meanings with which diverse groups invest their life.  By comparing and analyzing the similarities and differences between "us" and "others," both within the borders of the U.S. and abroad, the anthropological perspective can expose some of our own cultural assumptions and enable us to better understand diverse cultures.

ANT 304 • Intro Archaeol Stds: Prehist

30380 • Valdez, Jr., Fred
Meets MW 900am-1000am GAR 0.102
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An introduction to archaeology as a discipline.  Three major themes that deal with issues of the past will be covered:

1.  A brief history of the discipline, changing theories about various aspects of the past, and the role that the reconstructions of the past play in national and/or group identities.

2.  A survey of the development of human culture from its beginnings to the rise of civilizations and proto-historical cultures in most areas of the world.  Prehistoric cultures, archaeological sites, and areas of Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe , and the Pacific will be covered.

3.  Archaeological methods of recovery of information about the past.  Scientific procedures involved in excavation, dating, and preservation of the material record.

ANT 304 • Intro Archaeol Stds: Prehist

30410 • Covey, R. Alan
Meets TTH 930am-1030am GSB 2.124
show description

An introduction to archaeology as a discipline.  Three major themes that deal with issues of the past will be covered:

1.  A brief history of the discipline, changing theories about various aspects of the past, and the role that the reconstructions of the past play in national and/or group identities.

2.  A survey of the development of human culture from its beginnings to the rise of civilizations and proto-historical cultures in most areas of the world.  Prehistoric cultures, archaeological sites, and areas of Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe , and the Pacific will be covered.

3.  Archaeological methods of recovery of information about the past.  Scientific procedures involved in excavation, dating, and preservation of the material record.

ANT 305 • Expressive Culture

30470 • Hosemann, Aimee
Meets MW 1000am-1100am CLA 0.112
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The purpose of this course is to introduce the concept of culture as a crucial dimension of human life. Because we tend to think of thought and action as stemming from individual impulses, we find the notion of a shared, highly variable, but influential force in our lives hard to fathom.  Even if we speak of "society" as a familiar concept, we tend to make of it a uniform, oppressive force, some institution outside ourselves that we individually confront and oppose. Yet only if we can learn to recognize how deeply we share certain assumptions and inclinations with others--but only some others, and to varying degrees--can we appreciate the degree to which culture inheres within us and makes us who we are.

ANT 307 • Culture And Communication

30475 • Keating, Elizabeth L.
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm CLA 0.112
(also listed as LIN 312C)
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The ability to learn and use language is a quintessentially human characteristic—one that distinguishes homo sapiens from other animal species. Language is simultaneously generated through and generative of social life; the former is a primary resource that we humans use in both the structuring and accomplishment of the latter. These dynamics form the subject of study of linguistic anthropology.

This course is an introduction to linguistic anthropology. It is impossible in a single semester to provide a complete overview of all topics that linguistic anthropologists address, so this course covers selected topics, the selection of which is aimed to illustrate how linguistic anthropologists go about doing their work: the range of topics they examine, the kinds of questions they ask, the types of approaches and methods they utilize, and the sorts of conclusions they reach.

ANT 314C • Intro Mesoamerican Archaeol

30500 • Rodriguez-Alegría, Enrique R.
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm CLA 0.112
(also listed as LAS 315)
show description

This course is an introduction to ancient Mesoamerica, the area roughly

covering Mexico and the northern half of Central America, from the time of

emerging social inequality in the Formative Period until the Spanish conquest of

Mexico-Tenochtitlan in the sixteenth century. By studying archaeological

evidence from several sites in this region we will address a few important

theoretical issues in archaeology. These issues include: 1) the relationship

between people, the environment, and social organization 2) the study of elites

and commoners in archaeological cultures, and 3) the use of historical and

archaeological data in reconstructing the past. During the course of the

semester we will examine varied lines of evidence, including archaeological

artifacts (especially pottery, obsidian, and ceramic figurines), human remains,

architecture, murals, sculpture, and historical evidence (esp. codices and colonial

accounts) to assess the role of evidence and theory in how we conceptualize the

past in Mesoamerica. In addition, we will address issues that have captured the

general public’s imagination in recent years, including the end of the world, the

Maya collapse, human sacrifice, and others. Thus, the class will be of interest to

archaeology majors and other students as well.

ANT 322M • Mexican Amer Indig Heritage

30510 • Menchaca, Martha
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm GDC 5.302
(also listed as LAS 324L, MAS 374)
show description

FLAGS:   CD

ANT 324L • Graffiti/Poster Art: Islm Wrld

30520 • Shirazi, Faegheh
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm PAR 101
(also listed as ISL 373, MEL 321, MES 342, R S 358, WGS 340)
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Too many portrayals of Islamic societies are treated as superficially as the issues involving the hijab and veiling. Among the hip and the fashionable, the religious fronts and political systems in contemporary Muslim societies (particularly in the Middle East and North Africa), a complex and complicated phenomenon has been developing for decades:  the “art of the wall,” namely, graffiti and poster art.

Poster art and graffiti are employed by various groups within the Islamic world to project their ideas through the mediums of photography, video, the film of documentary makers, the paint and ink of professionals, anonymous or amateur designers and artists to record the political and social events within urban areas. Such visual records depicting aspects of everyday life give voice to the people living and working within the Muslim world. An observer can see acts of rebellion as the anonymous young population in Muslim societies experiments with ways to test the limits of freedom. This is done with creativity and often with courage, which may cause concern to the political systems ruling over people whose freedom of speech and action are limited.

In this course, the students are introduced to a common and general principle of Islam, followed by a study of differences in culture and linguistic background of the people in lands of a Muslim majority. The major part of the semester is devoted to analysis and studying graffiti and poster art as it relates to social and political events unfolding. It is expected that the students become interested and learn that the interpretation of today’s Muslim youth through popular culture, expressed in the art and work of talented people manifesting their identities and personal expression about the world around them, provides a valuable access to learning and getting closer to the cultures that may seem strange, illogical, or somewhat hostile to the principles of “Western democracy.” This is an opportunity for us to look at the body and soul of people of ancient civilizations and of a recent troubled history with high hopes for a bright future from the perspective of those from the inside looking out.

 

Texts

Reader packets TBD

 

Grading Policy

TBD

ANT 324L • Human Securities/Insecurities

30525 • Cons, Jason
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am CLA 0.106
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This course explores the various debates, concepts, and issues clustered around human security from an anthropological standpoint. The concept of human security is relatively new, yet it refers to a serious of longstanding challenges including, but not limited to, the deprivations of poverty, vulnerability to environmental change, and risk in conflict and post-conflict situations. In short, it is often referred to as freedom from fear, freedom from want, and freedom to live life with dignity. This course will ask what “human security” as a term adds to and enables within global intervention. It will ask what is gained or lost when considering issues such as conflict and climate together as "human security." It will explore a range of issues in the broad field of human security, touching on theoretical and practical concerns around climate change, violent conflict, and humanitarian intervention.  It will explore the various meanings of “human” and “security” embedded within the term. Students will engage with these issues through ethnographies of security and insecurity, analyses of the foundational approaches to human security, and in-depth case studies.

ANT 324L • Japan Rel & Westrn Imagination

30530 • Traphagan, John W.
Meets MWF 900am-1000am BUR 134
(also listed as ANS 340, R S 352)
show description

FLAGS:   GC

Description

This course focuses on how Japanese religious traditions, particularly Zen, have been viewed from the perspective of people living in non-Japanese societies since the end of World War II.  Using Ruth Benedict’s book The Chrysanthemum and the Sword as a starting point, we will explore different ways in which non-Japanese have imagined Japanese religious and ethical ideas and both explained Japanese behavior and adopted (often stereotyped) ideas about Japan into their writings about philosophy and life.  We will discuss and deconstruct works by authors such as Alan Watts, Eugene Herrigel (Zen in the Art of Archery), and Roberg Pirsig (Zen in the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance) as a framework for thinking about how Japanese religious and ethical ideas have been imagined in the West. 

Grading

  • Weekly reading reaction papers, 30%
  • Final, take home exam, 40%
  • Group project, 30%

Texts

We will discuss and deconstruct works by authors such as Alan Watts, Eugene Herrigel (Zen in the Art of Archery) and Robert Pirsig (Zen in the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance) as a framework for thinking about how Japanese religious and ethical ideas have been imagined in the West.

ANT 324L • Racism And Antiracism

30535 • Tang, Eric
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm BUR 112
(also listed as AAS 330, AFR 324E)
show description

Flags: Cultural Diversity in the U.S. and Writing

Racism preoccupies virtually every aspects of US society: culture, law, politics, economies. Yet US-based scholars have offered surprisingly few comprehensive theories or definitions for what, exactly, racism entails and where it comes from. This course examines the few theories/definitions of racism across several fields: anthropology, sociology, psychology, cultural studies, postcolonial studies, gender/sexuality studies. During the second half of the course, we turn our attention to anti-racist activism, particularly within people of color and immigrant communities. How have these anti-racist efforts measured up to existing scholarly theories of racism? Or do they instead produce new theories and definitions of their own? (This is an upper division undergrad course).

Required Texts:

Franz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

Albert Memmi, Racism

George Lipstiz: The Possessive Investment in Whiteness

Patricia Hill Collins, Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment

All other readings for this course will be posted to Canvas

Grading Breakdown:

Attendance 15%

Participation 10%

Reflection Paper #1 (2-3 pages) 10%

Midterm Essay (5 pages) 20%

Reflection Paper #2 (2-3 pages) 10%

Research Project 30%

ANT 324L • Ritual & Religion In Korea

30538 • Oppenheim, Robert M
Meets TTH 500pm-630pm CLA 0.118
(also listed as ANS 340, R S 352)
show description

FLAGS:   GC

ANT 325L • Jewish Folklore

30560 • GOTTESMAN, ITZIK
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm GDC 2.402
(also listed as GSD 360, J S 363, R S 357, REE 325)
show description

FLAGS:  Wr  |  GC 

Course Description

Dybbuks, golems, evil eye are just some of the more well-known aspects of Jewish folklore, but this course will also examine the folklife of the Jews, their world view, their folk beliefs and fears. Call it folk religion if you will; many of these practices were dismissed by the "offical" Jewish religion as unJewish, but the "folk" persisted and eventually the practice became Judaized and accepted. The influence of the Kabbalah, Jewish mysticism, also led to the introduction of many customs.

Using literary sources, ethnographic memoirs, historical documents, films (among them "The Dybbuk" 1939), folkore collections and field trips (among them - to the oldest Austin Jewish cemetery), we will focus on what makes Jewish folklore Jewish. For example, the high literacy rate among Jews over the centuries and the people's close connection to the written word led to the development of specifically Jewish interpretations of internationally disseminated beliefs. Folklore genres -folktale, legend, folksong, folkmusic, custom, belief and, of course, Jewish humor will be included.

Grading Policy

Attendance, homework and class participation: 30%

Four short papers 30%

Midterm and final paper: 40%

Reading List

Joshua Trachternberg   Jewish Magic and Superstition

Joachim Neugroschel   Great Tales of Jewish Fantasy and the Occult

Moses Gaster    Maaseh Book

I. B. Singer    The Satan in Goray

Elizabeth Herzog/Mark Zborowski   Life is With People

ANT 326L • Cultures In Contact

30580 • Wilson, Samuel M.
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm CLA 0.130
(also listed as LAS 324L)
show description

"Cultures in Contact" is a multi-disciplinary course which combines Historical, Anthropological, Geographical and Literary analyses of the continuing "contact period" in the New World.  The issues addressed span the last 500+ years of cultural interaction in the Americas, looking especially at the processes of cultural interaction, competition, cooperation, and synthesis that have taken place among people from the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

ANT 346L • Primate Social Behavior

30585 • Lewis, Rebecca J.
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am SAC 5.172
(also listed as WGS 323)
show description

This course focuses on the study of primate social behavior. It explores the basic theoretical principles that guide primatologists.

Topics covered include: evolutionary theory, primate diversity, social and mating systems, sexual selection, life history, cooperation, competition, intelligence, communication, and human behavior.

ANT 346M • Comparative Primate Ecology

30589 • Lewis, Rebecca J.
Meets MWF 900am-1000am SAC 5.172
show description

Comparative Primate Ecology will explore the following topics with respect to primates: population ecology, community ecology, feeding adaptations, foraging strategies, ranging behavior, and life history strategies.

ANT 350C • Primate Sensory Ecology

30594 • Kirk, Chris
Meets TTH 930am-1100am SAC 5.172
show description

Primate Sensory Ecology is a course designed for advanced undergraduates in physical anthropology and the biological sciences. This course provides an opportunity for detailed study of primate sensory systems from an ecological and comparative phylogenetic perspective.
    The core topics covered in this course are the special senses of hearing, vision, and smell, with a special emphasis on the adaptive and ecological significance of sensory adaptations in primates. For each of these senses, lectures and readings will provide a comprehensive review of the following concepts: 1) general anatomy and physiology, 2) development and genetic regulation, 3) functional morphology and mechanics, 4) neural control and regulation, 5) psychophysics, 6) biological role and behavioral ecology, 7) phylogenetic history and fossil record. Additional senses that will be covered in a less-comprehensive fashion include touch, taste, balance and equilibrium, and the Jacobson's organ.
In studying each sensory system, a strong emphasis will be placed on understanding the relationship between variant morphologies and behavioral capabilities. This dual focus on morphology and behavioral ecology will provide students with an explicit understanding of the effect that the  functional design of a sensory system has on an organism's adaptive niche. All information will be presented within a comparative phylogenetic framework, so that evolutionary novelties (e.g., the haplorhine retinal fovea) can be understood in terms of the macroevolutionary processes responsible for the novel feature's appearance. This approach will further emphasize the importance of certain evolutionary changes in primate sensory systems as key innovations. Toward this end, discussions of current literature will cover a number of special topics in addition to the more basic aspects of sensory system morphology and function.

ANT 351E • Primate Evolution

30595 • Shapiro, Liza J.
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm SAC 5.172
show description

This course is an examination of the fossil record for (nonhuman) primate evolution.  The fossil record will be examined after a basic grounding in the anatomy, ecology, and systematics of living primates.  Each of the major radiations of fossil primates will be explored with respect to adaptive diversity, functional morphology, and systematics.

ANT 453 • Archaeological Analysis

30600 • Valdez, Jr., Fred
Meets MW 1000am-1200pm SAC 4.174
show description

The purpose of this course to provide you (the course participants) with a background to “the kinds” of archaeological analyses that often occur, “what” is involved in archaeological analysis, and “how” archaeological analysis may be approached. This means learning what questions to ask about a field or laboratory project and the steps needed to understand the type of analysis required. From this course you should also become aware of “how to do” an analysis from start (first learning about certain material culture) to completion (doing the analysis and the report writing).

 

 

Prerequisite: Anthropology 304 or Archaeology 301.

 

ANT 366 • Anat And Bio Of Human Skeleton

30610 • Kappelman Jr, John W.
Meets TTH 1230pm-100pm SAC 5.172
show description

This course introduces the student to an in-depth study of the human skeleton. Class sessions combine lecture and laboratory sessions and cover topics including developmental biology, functional morphology, and skeletal identification, with a special focus on the latter skill as it relates to forensics and archaeological studies. Students will also be introduced to new 3D imaging techniques for studying the skeleton. 

This class requires both intensive in-class and out-of-class preparation. Participants must be prepared to handle actual human osteological specimens and have a professional approach to this subject and the human remains. An interest in human skeletal identification is especially applicable to the fields of archeology, physical anthropology, health sciences, law, and law enforcement.

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