Department of Anthropology
The Anthropology Department at the University of Kansas
Anthropologists are concerned with the origin, history, and future of the human species. Our mission is to further our understanding of past and present human societies in their cultural, biological, and environmental contexts. As flows of people, ideas, money, and goods are crossing borders at unprecedented speeds, we are encountering human diversity now, more than ever before. The discipline provides students the knowledge and skills they will need to navigate these complex, multicultural, and rapidly changing worlds. Because we study what it is to be human, the field is one of the most wide-ranging of the academic disciplines.
There are four main subdisciplines of anthropology: Archaeology is concerned with studying the human past based on the material culture left behind. Biological or physical anthropology is concerned with human evolution and variation. Linguistic anthropology focuses on the relationship between language and culture, as well as the documentation of the history and evolution of languages over time and across space. Cultural anthropology is concerned with the many ways humans organize themselves to live together, questioning past and present patterns of meaning and power relationships on local and global scales. Anthropologists across all of the subdisciplines apply holistic, comparative, and evolutionary perspectives and a range of methodologies in their research. We are committed to fieldwork and the application of this knowledge to helping people better understand one another.
Why Study Anthropology?
Students have many reasons for wanting to major in anthropology. Some are curious about the origins of the human species. Others are fascinated the diversity of human experiences in ancient and modern periods. Some students intend to pursue international careers, where they will use languages and work in cultural contexts very different from those in which they were raised. Others plan to work in museums collecting and curating human cultural resources. Some wish to pursue graduate training in one of the field’s subdisciplines, while others seek to use their anthropological training as preparation for professional schools, including law, medicine, public health, journalism, business, and engineering. There are many professions where the broad scientific, humanistic, and multicultural knowledge available through the study of anthropology can be useful—in education, healthcare, law, social work, business, human resources, public affairs, cultural resource management, or laboratory research.
Anthropological Research Opportunities at KU
- Laboratory of Biological Anthropology (LBA): Founded in 1975, the LBA was established as a research center of the University of Kansas. The LBA has supported graduate and undergraduate student research in biological anthropology, human genetics, and genetic epidemiology.
- Archaeological Research Center: Located in historic Spooner Hall on the main campus, the archaeology laboratory offers research space and support to Anthropology faculty and graduate students, Archaeology staff, Museum Studies interns, affiliate curators and research associates and visiting scholars.
- Field Schools: Anthropology faculty offer field schools in archaeology, biological anthropology, and cultural anthropology. Undergraduates and graduate students have conducted independent and collaborative research in the United States, including Alaska; Mexico, Central, and South America; sub-Saharan Africa; and Asia.
For specific questions about our program, please contact us:
The University of Kansas
Department of Anthropology
1415 Jayhawk Blvd.,
622 Fraser Hall
Lawrence, KS 66045
Mrs. Le-Thu Erazmus Campbell, MSE
Phone: (785) 864-2630
Fax: (785) 864-5224
Undergraduate course work in anthropology is designed for students majoring in anthropology as part of a liberal education, for students majoring in anthropology as preparation for postgraduate professional training, and for students in other areas who wish to do supplementary work in anthropology.
Courses for Nonmajors
Most courses are open to nonmajors and, depending on the course, can be used to meet College principal course distribution requirements in natural sciences, social sciences, or humanities. The department offers many courses that fulfill the non-Western culture requirement. ANTH 100 General Anthropology and ANTH 160/ANTH 360 The Varieties of Human Experience are recommended for students interested in anthropology who do not intend to major in it.
The graduate program consists of about 15 faculty members and about 40 students, giving a professor-student ratio of about 1 to 2.5 and allowing a great deal of direct interaction between faculty and students. The department awards M.A. and Ph.D. degrees and has successfully placed most recipients of graduate degrees in professional positions.
The department offers graduate training in archaeology, biological anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and social/cultural anthropology. It has expertise in applied anthropology, anthropological genetics, molecular genetics, evolutionary studies, language contact and endangerment, medical anthropology, paleoanthropology, symbolic anthropology, visual anthropology, New World and Old World prehistory, and geoarchaeology. Geographic strengths include Asia, Europe, Latin America, Native North America, the Pacific, SubSaharan Africa, and the contemporary United States
The department is closely associated with the Laboratory of Biological Anthropology and the Center for Archaeological Research.
This course is an introduction to the discipline of Anthropology. Our goal is to understand human diversity in the past, present, and future through the lenses of the four primary fields of Anthropology: Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, Linguistic Anthropology, and Sociocultural Anthropology. Students will be introduced to major concepts, research approaches, important findings, and critical controversies within the discipline as a whole. We will investigate such questions as: How did humans evolve? How have human cultures and languages developed? What tools, technologies, and new kinds of knowledge and expertise emerge in the face of global environmental, social, political, and economic change?
This course is designed to enhance students' chances for success in anthropology major and life after college. Students will learn how to maximize their possibilities for gaining academic assistance, grants, and career building, as well as design strategies for winning jobs, entry into graduate programs, and paid internships at home and abroad. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatifactory basis.
Introduction to the fundamentals of linguistics, with emphasis on the description of the sound system, grammatical structure and semantic structure of languages. The course will include a survey of language in culture and society, language change, computational linguistics and psycholinguistics, and will introduce students to techniques of linguistic analysis in a variety of languages including English. (Same as LING 106.)
Introduction to the fundamentals of linguistics, with emphasis on the description of the sound system, grammatical structure, and semantic structure of languages. The course includes a survey of language in culture and society, language change, computational linguistics and psycholinguistics, and introduces students to techniques of linguistic analysis in a variety of languages including English. Open only to students admitted to the University Honors Program or by consent of instructor. (Same as LING 107.)
An introduction to the nature of culture, language, society, and personality. Included in this survey are some of the major principles, concerns, and themes of cultural anthropology. The variety of ways in which people structure their social, economic, political, and personal lives. Emphasized are the implications of overpopulation, procreative strategies, progress and growth of cultural complexity, developments in the Third World, and cultural dynamics in Western as well as in non-Western societies.
An honors section of ANTH 108 for students with superior academic records.
A general introduction to the history methods, theories, and principles of the study of archaeology. Lectures, and discussions sections cover the essential archaeological approaches, methods and practice: what is the material evidence that archaeologists collect, and how they collect and analyze it in order to understand humans of the past, their social organization, economy, subsistence, diet, technology, trade, exchange, symbol systems; how geological, palaeoenvironmental, paleontological, and genetic evidence contribute to archaeology and what was the effect of environmental and climate change on human evolution and global dispersal; what is the role of knowing the past, public archaeology, culture heritage preservation, and archaeological ethics in the modern world. Discussion sections will be used to examine material covered in lectures and in readings related to specific topics, and to explore relevant visual materials - archaeological artifacts, collections, and media sources.
An honors section of ANTH 110 for students with superior academic records.
A general introduction to the evolution of human culture around the world from the Lower Paleolithic to the emergence of complex societies. This course covers what archaeology has revealed about the experience of humankind from the origins of stone tool use to the earliest urban settlements in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas.
This course examines the biological evolution and archaeological record of humanity from the earliest human origins to the origins of civilization, and asks: Where did we come from? What makes us human? Where are we going? By unraveling the fundamental connections between biological evolution and culture, our goal is to help students appreciate how knowledge of the human past is relevant to our modern lives, whether as a KU student today, or as a future parent, medical patient, consumer, or citizen. Not open to students that have taken ANTH 309.
An introduction to basic concepts and themes in cultural anthropology by means of the comparative study of selected cultures from around the world, for the purpose of appreciating cultural diversity. Emphasis is on systems of belief and meaning. Not open to students who have taken ANTH 360.
A limited-enrollment, seminar course for first-time freshmen, addressing current issues in Anthropology. Course is designed to meet the critical thinking learning outcome of the KU Core. First-Year Seminar topics are coordinated and approved by the Office of First-Year Experience. Prerequisite: First-time freshman status.
This course is a broad survey of the most spectacular archaeological discoveries of our time. It tells the story of pioneers and scientist-adventurers in their quest for knowledge of human prehistory. These discoveries became historically significant because they embodied major theoretical advances and evolutionary leaps in our understanding of the past. While reviewing archaeology's greatest discoveries, this course will investigate many of the major events, such as the critical evaluation of evidence or the development of appropriate scientific techniques, that eventually established archaeology as a scientific endeavor.
Archaeology is concerned with explaining mysteries of the human past ranging from the origins of human beings to the rise and fall of civilizations. This course is designed to guide students in investigations of mysteries that capture the popular imagination, but which many scientists do not wish to discuss. What is the scientific evidence for the Biblical account of Creation, the Great Flood, or the Tower of Babel? Was the Great Pyramid encoded with lost knowledge or predictions of the future? Did Chinese, Africans, Celts, or Vikings visit the Americas before Columbus? Is Stonehenge an astronomical observatory? Who built the giant statues on Easter Island? Where are the lost continents of Atlantis and Lemuria? The methods and theories of archaeology and anthropology will be used to address these and other questions. We will develop methods of evaluating information available from various published and online sources to judge when a claim represents a revolutionary new idea or a strategy for extracting money from the uninformed? Students will learn to be critical consumers of scientific and non-scientific information, and our goal will be to identify ways to be skeptical while maintaining an open mind when confronted with conflicting claims.
A course designed to enhance international experience in topic areas related to anthropology at the freshman/sophomore level. Coursework must be arranged through the Office of KU Study Abroad. May be repeated for credit if the content differs. Prerequisite: Department permission.
A survey of the commonly held ideas about the beginning of the world, the role of gods and spirits in daily life, and the celebrations and rituals proper to each season of the year. The purpose of the course is to present the traditional world view of the peoples of East Asia. (Same as EALC 130, REL 130.)
An exploration of the human ways through films. Cross-cultural interpretations by filmed records of varieties of interpersonal relations seen through such aspects of culture as hunting, war, marriage, religion, sex, kinship, and death. Patterns of interactions are analyzed by examples from cultures around the world, primarily the non-Western world.
This course familiarizes students with the peoples and cultures of North Africa and the Middle East. It examines the cultural, demographic, and religious diversity of the region, as well as the development of the early Islamic community and the formation of Islamic institutions. Issues such as religion and politics, inter-religious relations, nation-building, Islamic response to colonialism, Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Islamic resurgence, secularism, democratization, and gender, are also explored. (Same as AAAS 303.)
Biological anthropology is an exciting discipline concerned with humans as biological beings living in cultural and natural settings. We are interested in questions pertinent and important to the scientific, social, and political agendas of the world. Material covered in this class will encourage you to pursue questions about the relationship of humans to the rest of the animal kingdom, the origin, maintenance, patterning, and significance of human biological variation, the nature of heredity, and human evolution. We will discuss the human and primate fossil records, human variation, race, and genetics. Students can expect a strong emphasis on scientific literacy, that is, how the process of scientific inquiry works. When you finish this course, you will have the tools to distinguish between reliable and unreliable sources of scientific information and a solid grounding in the fundamentals of biological anthropology.
This course covers the fundamental concepts, theories, and practices of cultural anthropology. It teaches students how to think anthropologically through a survey of classic and contemporary ethnographic texts, spanning a range of geographic and cultural areas. Applying a holistic lens, students will critically analyze inequality, globalization, and human cultural differences across time and space. Topics will include: fieldwork and ethnography; racism; ethnicity and nationalism; gender, sexuality, and kinship; socioeconomic class; the global economy; politics and power; religion; health and development; and art and media. This course logically follows ANTH 160/ANTH 162/ANTH 360. Not open to students who have taken ANTH 108 or ANTH 109.
A more intensive treatment of ANTH 150. This course examines the biological evolution and archaeological record of humanity from the earliest human origins to the origins of civilization, and asks: Where did we come from? What makes us human? Where are we going? By unraveling the fundamental connections between biological evolution and culture, our goal is to help students appreciate how knowledge of the human past is relevant to our modern lives, whether as a KU student today, or as a future parent, medical patient, consumer, or citizen. Not open to students that have taken ANTH 150.
An introduction to the history, methods, theories, and principles of archaeology. This course covers essential archaeological approaches, methods and practices to answer such questions as: What is the material evidence that archaeologists collect and how do they analyze it in order to understand humans of the past, their social organization, economy, subsistence, diet, technology, trade, exchange, and symbol systems? How do geological, palaeoenvironmental, paleontological, and genetic evidence contribute to archaeological understandings of human biological and social evolution? What was the effect of environmental and climate change on human evolution and global dispersal? How are knowledge of the past, public archaeology, culture heritage preservation, and archaeological ethics used in the modern world? Prerequisite: ANTH 150 or permission of instructor.
A survey of prehistoric art focusing on the material record and interpretations of rock art (paintings, engravings on rock surfaces in rock-shelters, caves and in open air sites) and portable art created by prehistoric people. The emphasis is on the small-scale societies (hunter-gatherer and early food producers) around the world before the appearance of written records in respective geographic areas. Environmental, social and cultural contexts in which these art forms were created are discussed along with a review of past scholarship and current interpretive approaches to this old and enduring expression of human creativity. Course may be offered in lecture or online format. (Same as HA 315.)
A survey of one million years of prehistory from the peopling of the European continent to the Roman Empire. The course will focus on the growth of culture, considering economy and technology, art and architecture. Topics will include the Neanderthals, the big game hunters of the Ice Age, the megalith builders, the Celts. Prerequisite: An introductory course in anthropology, history, or cultural geography.
A survey of the diverse and changing lifeways of Native Americans in the Great Plains region from the time of the earliest inhabitants more than 13,000 years ago to the modern era. Collections of prehistoric and historic Native American material culture will be used to illustrate the diversity of technologies and artistry of indigenous Great Plains peoples.
Language is an integral part of culture and an essential means by which people carry out their social interactions with the members of their society. The course explores the role of language in everyday life of peoples in various parts of the world and the nature of the relationship between language and culture. Topics include world-view as reflected in language, formal vs. informal language, word taboo, and ethnography of speaking. (Same as LING 320.)
This course introduces students to the relationships the people of India have had with their landscape from ancient times to the present. Students will learn about diverse ecosystems and the indigenous peoples they have harbored from the high Himalayas altitudes to the coastal regions, from the desolate arid deserts to the rain forests of India. The class will discuss how the very nature of the relationship of the people with their land has changed over the long course history of South Asia with specific case studies of environmental challenges, failures and successes. Examples of possible cases include: the Chipko movement led by the women of the Himalayas to save their forests from loggers; the traditions of creating lakes and water conservation lifestyles in the arid region of Rajasthan; and nature worship and cases of leopards and tigers receiving protection by the very villages they terrorize. (Same as GIST 323.)
How do people express gender in diverse languages around the world? In a globalized world in which English is increasingly prominent, how are other languages changing to account for both global and local shifts in gender norms and expectations? This course will examine gender, multilingualism and globalization using approaches of sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, and communication studies. We will explore such topics as gender, sexuality, and multilingualism; gendered language variants; gender norms, politeness, and globalization; nonbinary and trans identities encoded in languages around the world, including but not limited to gender pronouns; identity, body, and linguistic practices; and considerations of power, hegemony, and imperialism. (Same as GIST 303, JWSH 305, SLAV 305 and WGSS 325.)
This course focuses on the study of forensic anthropology as related to medico-legal death investigation. It includes overview of the Coroner's System, death scene investigation techniques, DNA and Geoscience applications, statutes and laws, review of injuries and interpretations, child death investigation and its uniqueness, identification of the body, coordination with law enforcement and the legal world, how to obtain the necessary information in order to complete a case, cause vs. manner of death, types of death and how to identify, how to deal with families and the public, and social responsibilities associated with forensic science.
An examination of biochemical and physical variability in contemporary human populations. Topics include: genetic basis of human diversity, evolutionary theory, population genetics, blood groups, biochemical variations, body size and shape, pigmentation, and other morphological characteristics. Prerequisite: An introductory course in biological anthropology, biology, or permission of instructor.
The evolutionary processes and events leading to the development of humans and the humanlike forms from primate ancestors; fossil hominids and the origin of modern Homo Sapiens. Prerequisite: An introductory course in biological anthropology, biology, or permission of instructor.
The course is a cross-cultural survey of human dietary practices (foodways). Students are introduced to the concepts of nutrition, diet and cuisine. Evolutionary and adaptive aspects of human diets and cuisines are considered. Nutritional, environmental/ technological, social and ideological aspects of regional and ethnic foodways are examined. Invited lecturers from different cultural traditions offer indigenous perspectives on their foodways.
This course takes students on the evolutionary journey of the human species: from the origin of the primate order to modern human population diversity. It examines human adaptations to extreme environments, nutrition and the role of the microbiome in human health, and human evolutionary genomics in the foundations of immunity and their intersection with public health. It evaluates our Neandertal ancestry, and tracks major human migrations and dispersals in the peopling of the world. All topics are examined through the lens of molecular evolutionary approaches to the study of human diversity. An introduction to biology or biological anthropology course is recommended.
A critical analysis of conflicting perspectives on scientific and anthropological research, past and present. Topics considered include the nature of science, colonialism in anthropology and biology, origin stories and human evolution, the ethics of research in ancient and contemporary populations, eugenics, biological race, and the relationship between humans and our extinct hominin relatives. Prerequisite: An introductory course in biological anthropology, biology, or permission of instructor.
An evolutionary perspective on the behavior and biology of males and females in human society. Topics will include the evolution of sexual dimorphism, social and biological issues in human reproduction, primate social patterns, human sexual behavior and taboos, sex and social structure, and the sociobiology of sex.
A more intensive treatment of ANTH 160. An introduction to basic concepts and themes in cultural anthropology by means of the comparative study of selected cultures from around the world, for the purpose of appreciating cultural diversity. Emphasis is on systems of belief and meaning. Not open to students who have taken ANTH 160.
This course uses ethnographic case materials to explore the ways humans provision themselves under different social and environmental conditions. It introduces the basic theories, concepts, and debates of economic anthropology and provides a foundation for more advanced courses in this subdiscipline. Prerequisite: ANTH 108 or ANTH 160/ANTH 162 or ANTH 308 or ANTH 360 or permission of instructor.
An analysis of the cultural origin, diversity, and unity of the peoples of China. Emphasis on historical development, social structure, cultural continuity and change, and ethics. (Same as EALC 368.)
This course examines theories of religion, discourse, power, gender and sexuality in their application to Arab societies. The course introduces different aspects of Arab cultures. Through canonical works, we study political domination, tribal social organization, honor, tribe, shame, social loyalty, ritual initiations and discuss how these issues speak generally to anthropological inquiry. Regionally specific works are then framed by an additional set of readings drawn from anthropological, linguistics, and social theories. (Same as AAAS 372.)
A survey of the major indigenous traditions of Mesoamerica, the Andes, and lowland tropical Latin America. Coverage emphasizes how indigenous cultural traditions and societies have both continued and changed since the European Invasion and addresses such current issues as language rights, territorial rights, sovereignty, and state violence. Students enrolled in the 600-level section will be required to complete additional research and class leadership tasks. Not open to students who have taken LAC 634. (Same as LAC 334.)
A survey of native peoples and cultures of South America from the time of initial Western contacts to the present day.
An analysis of the cultural origin, diversity, and unity of the peoples of the neotropics. Emphasizing the peoples of Amazonia, the course introduces students to topics associated with the economic, political, and cultural dimensions of social life in rain forest communities.
This course will introduce students to cultural constructions and performances of masculinity, femininity, and alternative genders across time and space. Topics and cases will be drawn from primarily non-Western cultures, ranging from Japanese markets to Pacific Rim gardens, and from Haitian voudou to Maya royal politics. This course uses research by archeologists, linguists, biological anthropologists, and sociocultural anthropologists. (Same as WGSS 389.)
This course offers students an opportunity to study classical and emerging topics in the four primary fields of Anthropology: Biological Anthropology, Linguistics, Sociocultural Anthropology, and Archaeology. Concepts and approaches to each field will used to investigate past and present examples from around the world. Topics will be examined with an emphasis on the unity of the anthropological approach.
An introduction to the historical background, practice, and ethical issues involved in the creation, presentation, and dissemination of anthropological information in a museum setting. Students participate in the study of a collection of material culture (artifacts) from the Museum of Anthropology, culminating in development of a script for an exhibit.
Selected issues and theories in contemporary anthropology (cultural, linguistic, biological, archaeological) for honors students. Topic for semester to be announced. May be repeated for credit if content varies. Prerequisite: Admission to University Honors Program or permission of instructor.
Capstone course that integrates the primary fields of anthropology. Students apply concepts and approaches from each field to a particular topic in preparation for and presentation of a cross-disciplinary and integrative final project. Prerequisite: Completion of ANTH 150/ANTH 151 or ANTH 160/ANTH 162/ANTH 360 and any two other anthropology courses.
A survey of basic field methods and laboratory procedures associated with specimen acquisition, preparation, analysis, classification, and measurement of archaeological materials. In this course students will apply archaeological methods to the study of stone tools, ceramics, and animal bone, learn which field and lab methods to use in a range of research scenarios, interpret human behavior on the basis of artifacts and features recovered from archaeological sites, use introductory flintknapping techniques to produce a stone tool, study the major dating and chronological methods used in archaeology, and complete labs and projects that require analysis and interpretation of archaeological materials. Prerequisite: ANTH 110/ANTH 111 or ANTH 150/ANTH 151 or ANTH 310 or permission of instructor.
Under the direction of a professional archaeologist, undergraduate and graduate students are taught proper procedures for the excavation and laboratory analysis of data from a prehistoric or historic archaeological site. Data gathered may be used for additional graduate research. Enrollment by application; limited to twenty students. A fee for subsistence costs will be charged.
Undergraduate and graduate students are taught techniques of archaeological field work, including survey and excavation, as well as laboratory procedures, including artifact classification and curation.
The study of language as a symbolic system. Exploration into the interrelatedness of linguistic systems, of nonlinguistic communicative systems, and of other cultural systems. (Same as LING 430.)
Constructed languages are devised by individuals to facilitate international communication (Esperanto) or to enhance fictional or fantasy worlds (Lapine, Newspeak, Klingon, Elvish, Navi'i, the Common Tongue, Valyrian). Invented or constructed languages provide a means to study both the universals of linguistic expression (grammar) and the cultural contexts from which they emerge. Students will construct languages and evaluate the cultural motivations of existing ConLangs. Prerequisite: ANTH 106 or ANTH 107 recommended.
Principles of human genetics involved in biological anthropology. The genetics of non-Western populations considered within an evolutionary framework. Prerequisite: An introductory course in biological anthropology, biology, or permission of instructor.
Seminar concentrating on selected problems and issues in contemporary biological anthropology. Topic for semester to be announced. Prerequisite: An introductory course in biological anthropology, biology, or permission of instructor.
This biological anthropology lab course builds upon concepts introduced in ANTH 150 and ANTH 304. It provides students with practical, hands-on experience in biological anthropology laboratory methods and theory. Topics include: genetics, osteology, forensic anthropology, modern human biological variation, primatology, paleoanthropology, and human evolution. Students integrate their knowledge of human variation, genetics, and critical approaches to the concept of social and biological race. For the final project, students analyze genetic markers using a commercial ancestry test. They will either be given anonymous data to work with, or, if they pay an optional laboratory fee, they can investigate their own genome for the final project. This fee for self-study is not required for full participation in the final project. (Same as BIOL 449, SPLH 449, and PSYC 449.) Prerequisite: Either ANTH 304, ANTH 340, Human Biology major, or permission of instructor.
The course is an introduction to the evolutionary study of human sexual behavior. Using an explicitly Darwinian framework, it examines the biological basis for human mate selection, male and female mating strategies, child-birth and child-care practices, parental care, marriage, and family structure. The power of Darwinian theory to predict human sexual behavior is tested in anthropological field studies, designed and carried out by students in the class. Class time is allocated for discussion of students' research as it progresses through each stage, and results are presented in the last weeks of the semester. Prerequisite: An introductory course in biology or biological anthropology. Admission to the University Honors Program or permission of instructor.
This course provides students with a conceptual and historical synopsis of genocide and ethnocide from an anthropological perspective. Taking its lead from a human rights orientation, the course assesses why such atrocities must be confronted. This includes grappling with ethical, legal and definitional ambiguities surrounding the concepts of genocide and ethnocide. We will explore a range of cases in the 20th and 21st centuries, while focusing on diverse conditions leading to genocide, ethnocide, population displacements, human trafficking and the modern phenomena of refugee camps. The course will analyze the role of the modern state, colonialism, political ideologies, ethnicity and nationalism as major forces underpinning ethnocide and genocidal campaigns. Based primarily on a select review of cases of ethnocide and genocide, the class examines how to spread global awareness and communal engagement by actively protecting human rights. (Same as GIST 465.)
Applications of anthropological theory, methods, and findings in programs of community and national development, public health, international aid, and military assistance. Examination of the role of the anthropologist, of ethics and values in intervention schemes, and of the organization of planned change in applied programs. Intensive analysis of selected case studies.
A comparative study of religion and systems of value and belief in non-Western cultures.
A course designed to enhance international experience in topic areas related to topics in anthropology at the junior/senior level. Coursework must be arranged through the Office of KU Study Abroad. May be repeated for credit if the content differs. Prerequisite: Department permission.
Individual investigation of special problems in anthropology. Maximum of three credit hours in any one semester. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.
A supervised field or laboratory-based experience in the United States or abroad. Students may receive this credit for an independent or collaborative research project or in conjunction with field school participation. Students may also acquire credit for supervised placements in organizations, agencies, museums or other settings in which they apply anthropological knowledge to real-life situations and actively participate in organized work within a community. The field experience should not duplicate any other regularly available course. A contract between mentor and student is required at the beginning of the experience, and a reflection paper is required at the end of the experience. Students are strongly recommended to have completed at least one anthropology methods course prior to enrolling in Field Experience. Prerequisite: Permission and supervision by anthropology instructor required.
Individual research under the direction of one or more instructors in the department. Minimum of three credit (maximum of six credit) hours in any one semester. Prerequisite: A grade-point average of 3.50 in anthropology and 3.25 in all courses, and permission of instructor.
Seminar concentrating on selected problems and issues in contemporary archaeology. Topic for semester to be announced. Course may be repeated for a maximum of nine hours of credit. Prerequisite: Successful completion of a course in archaeology at any level, or by permission of instructor.
Course concentrating on selected problems, theories, and issues in contemporary sociocultural anthropology. Topic for semester to be announced.
Course concentrating on selected problems, theories, and issues in contemporary anthropological linguistics. Topic for semester to be announced.
Course concentrating on selected problems, theories, and issues in contemporary biological anthropology. Topic for semester to be announced.
A general survey of the archaeology of North America. Detailed coverage of selected problems.
A survey of the archaeological record of eastern North America from the late Pleistocene to the time of European contact. The diverse environments of eastern North America are considered in conjunction with the dynamic climatic and ecological changes which have occurred during the past 20,000 years to provide a background for study of the prehistoric groups who occupied the region. Topics will include the change in economies, technologies, and organization from the earliest hunter-gatherers through the development of pre-Colombian complex societies. Prerequisite: ANTH 110 or ANTH 150 or ANTH 151 or ANTH 310 or permission of instructor.
A survey of indigenous, Pre-Hispanic cultures of Mexico and Central America, including Olmecs, Teotihuacan, Mayas, Zapotecs, Toltecs, and Aztecs. This course teaches how to interpret art, architecture, artifacts, and culture change in the context of iconography and symbols, metaphysical beliefs and ritual practices, crafts and technologies, trade and exchange, social inequality and conflict resolution, and the relationships among these cultures and their environments. (Same as HIST 571 and LAC 556.) Prerequisite: A course in Anthropology, Latin American Studies, Art History, Museum Studies, Indigenous Studies, History, or permission of instructor.
An intensive examination of current scholarship on the ancient Maya civilization of Mexico and Central America. The course will consider Maya culture from its roots in early villages of the Preclassic period to the warring city-states of the Postclassic period. Topics will include settlement and subsistence systems, sociopolitical evolution, art and architecture, myth and symbolism, and Maya hieroglyphic writing. An important theme of the course will be the relevance of the Precolumbian Maya for understanding complex societies and contemporary Latin American Culture. (Same as LAC 557.) Prerequisite: A course in Anthropology, Latin American Studies, Art History, Museum Studies, or Indigenous Studies, or permission of instructor.
An archaeological survey of the ancient peoples of Peru and neighboring countries in South America. The origins of complex societies on the coast and in the Andean highlands will be reviewed with special consideration of the role of "vertical" environments in the development of Andean social and economic systems. Cultures such as Chavin, Moche, Nazca, Huari, Tiahuanaco, Chimu, and the rise of the imperial Inca state will be examined through artifacts, architectural remains, and ethnohistoric documents. (Same as HIST 572 and LAC 558.) Prerequisite: A course in Anthropology, Latin American Studies, Art History, Museum Studies, History, or Indigenous Studies, or permission of instructor.
This course will examine the Precolumbian cultures of the region situated between Mesoamerica to the north and the Central Andes to the south, focusing principally on the countries of Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia. Once regarded as an "Intermediate Area" on the peripheries of the ancient civilizations to the north and south, the area of southern Central America and northern South America is now recognized as a center of innovation from very remote times up until the Spanish Conquest. The archaeological remains of stone tools, pottery, jade carvings, gold and copper ornaments, and a wide variety of structures will be interpreted within the context of information on subsistence, settlement patterns, social organization and religious ideology. Issues of the relationships with populations of regions in major culture areas to the north and south will also be considered in detail. (Same as LAC 559.) Prerequisite: ANTH 110 or ANTH 115.
Archaeological record of funerary rites, architecture, ceremonial objects and nutritional indicators is often the sole evidence of inequality in the past, especially in the absence of written sources or unbiased historical observations. Case studies describing past small-scale and emergent complex societies worldwide are chosen to help understand the interplay between individual status and rank (achieved or ascribed), group inequality and subordination (class, caste, gender, age, race), wealth (material, embodied, relational), and the role of power and resistance in shaping these societies. Egalitarianism as a leveling mechanism in many of the past societies is also explored. Prerequisite: Junior or Senior or Graduate status, or permission of the instructor.
The diversity of hunter-gatherer cultures documented in the ethnographic and archaeological records is considered on a global scale, with particular attention given to the relationships between environment, technology, and organization. The evolution of hunter-gatherers from the earliest hominids until their interaction with more complex societies is considered, with emphasis given to the variation and nature of change in these societies. Prerequisite: ANTH 108 or ANTH 150/151 or ANTH 160 or ANTH 162 or ANTH 308 or ANTH 310 or permission of instructor.
Application of the concepts and methods of the geosciences to interpretation of the archeological record. The course will focus primarily on the field aspects of geoarchaeology (e.g., stratigraphy, site formational processes, and landscape reconstruction), and to a lesser extent on the array of laboratory approaches available. (Same as GEOG 532.) Prerequisite: GEOG 104, ANTH 110, or ANTH 310.
An introduction to the analysis and interpretation of prehistoric stone industries. Topics discussed include origins and development of lithic technology, principles of description and typology, use and function of stone tools; interpretation of flint knapping. Prerequisite: An introductory course in archaeology.
Practicum in the method and theory of pottery analysis in archaeology. Topics include manufacturing techniques, classification, and compositional analysis of pottery artifacts, as well as strategies for interpreting the role of ceramic vessels in food production, storage, and consumption; social and ritual activities; trade and exchange; and the communication of ideas. Prerequisite: ANTH 110 or ANTH 150 or ANTH 151 or ANTH 310 or permission of instructor.
This course is intended to complement faunal identification with practical involvement in analyses and interpretation of archaeological faunal assemblages using a variety of modern methods. Students will participate in the study of specific archaeological faunal remains, development of comparative zooarchaeological collections, and in middle-range research to document the variety of agents that affect faunal remains. Prerequisite: ANTH 110 or ANTH 150 or ANTH 151 or ANTH 310 or permission of instructor.
A survey is provided of the archaeological record and its interpretations for the Great Plains area of North America. The records from earliest human occupation, variation in hunter and gatherer societies, to horticultural and farming societies, and the historic period are reviewed. The history of archaeological research in the region, explanatory frameworks and models, and discussion of changes in economy, technology, mobility, social organization, and population movements are among the topics of concern. Prerequisite: ANTH 110, ANTH 310, or permission of instructor.
A survey of the genetic, linguistic, historic, archaeological, and morphological evidence for the origins of indigenous populations of the Americas. Prerequisite: An introductory course in physical anthropology, biology, or permission of instructor.
The course examines health and nutrition in African communities, using the methods of biological and medical anthropology. Fundamental to the approach taken in the course is the understanding that the health of human groups depends on interactions between biological and cultural phenomena in a particular ecological context. One topic will be selected per semester, to examine in detail the full array of epidemiological factors contributing to patterns of specific diseases. AIDS, childhood diseases, and reproductive health of African women are among possible topics. Course material will be selected from scholarly and medical publications, as well as coverage in the popular media. The use of a variety of sources will enhance understanding of the biological and cultural issues involved and will help students identify possible bias and misinformation in popular coverage of events such as famine or epidemic in African settings. (Same as AAAS 554.) Prerequisite: An introductory course in either anthropology or African studies.
Surveys the history of the development enterprise since WWII, examines the marginalization and impoverishment of Latin America's indigenous peoples, and provides training to carry out projects for and with them to enhance their quality of life. Development is understood as not merely technological or economic, but also social, emotional, and educational. Students work in teams to design their own mock development project. A 3-credit non-obligatory companion course, Applied Anthropological Field School among the Ch'orti' Maya, will follow in the intersession after each version of this course. (Same as LAC 561.) Prerequisite: ANTH 100, ANTH 108, ANTH 160 or LAC 100; or consent of instructor.
This class surveys the relations between Mexico and the U.S. as nation-states, and among Mexicans, Mexican Americans, and Anglo Americans (to a lesser extent other U.S. citizens) in historical perspective. Issues of sovereignty, national and ethnic identity, immigration, migration, labor relations, popular culture, media, and transnational economics are covered. (Same as LAC 562.) Prerequisite: ANTH 108 or ANTH 308 or ANTH 160 or ANTH 360 or LAC 100.
"Peoples of Africa" examines the anthropology of Sub-Saharan Africa through selected case studies of particular societies and issues that have wider comparative relevance. Normally two to four societies are selected for the semester and studied through ethnographic, historical, and literary monographs. These case studies are examined in their pre-colonial, colonial, and postcolonial histories. Lectures, readings, and exercises emphasize three kinds of reasoning -- geographical, historical, and cultural context -- required to grasp events and issues in unfamiliar societies. The course also features major anthropological ideas that emerged in the study of African society, and tracks how anthropology has been adapted by African scholars, policy makers, and activists.
Mexico and Central America have formed a cultural interaction zone for thousands of years, and today share common challenges, particularly political, economic, and social ones related to the Spanish colonial legacy, U.S. involvement, and their place in the global economy. Some of the issues addressed include racism, civil war, migration, youth gangs, narco-trafficking, resource extraction, homeless children, the transition from local subsistence economies to low-income work, and struggles for indigenous rights. Prerequisite: ANTH 108 or ANTH 160 or ANTH 162 or ANTH 308 or ANTH 360 or LAC 100 or permission of instructor.
Introduces students to the comparative and cross-cultural study of violence. The course begins by surveying different anthropological approaches to the study of violence, with special attention paid to classical social theorists as well as ethnographic works. Topics may include (post) coloniality and identity politics, nationalism, race, religion, and political culture; geographic areas to be covered may include Africa, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and South Asia. (Same as GIST 570.) Prerequisite: Junior standing or above or permission of instructor.
How shall we feed ourselves? In the face of unprecedented world population growth, humanity must meet the challenge of providing minimum caloric needs while preserving the health of ecosystems for future generations. In this course, students will explore different food cultures and production strategies developed by people in societies around the world. These include foraging, horticulture, pastoralism, intensified horticulture, and industrial agriculture. We will compare the social, economic, and environmental sustainability of various food systems and technologies and their impact on larger social and ecological systems. Prerequisite: ANTH 150 or ANTH 160.
Course will involve lectures and discussion of Ethnobotany - the mutual relationship between plants and traditional people. Research from both the field of anthropology and botany will be incorporated in this course to study the cultural significance of plant materials. The course has 7 main areas of focus: 1) Methods in Ethnobotanical Study; 2) Traditional Botanical Knowledge - knowledge systems, ethnolinguistics; 3) Edible and Medicinal Plants of North America (focus on North American Indians); 4) Traditional Phytochemistry - how traditional people made use of chemical substances; 5) Understanding Traditional Plant Use and Management; 6) Applied Ethnobotany; 7) Ethnobotany in Sustainable Development (focus on medicinal plant exploration by pharmaceutical companies in Latin America). (Same as EVRN 542 and ISP 542.) Prerequisite: EVRN 142, EVRN 145, EVRN 148, ANTH 150/151, ANTH 160/162/360 or permission of instructor.
Escalating transnational flows of information, commodities, and people have created innumerable kinds of "intimate" contacts on a global scale, such as mail order brides, child adoption, sex tourism, commodified romance, and emotional labor. Exploring the ways that cultural artifacts of intimacy are rendered, fetishized, and reified in a free market economy, this course examines how discourses on love and sex encounter, confront, and negotiate the logics of the capitalist market, the discrepant narratives of (colonial) modernity, and the ethics of pleasure. In so doing, this course navigates the treacherous interplay among emotions-specifically love, sex, and money, seeking the potential and limits of cultural politics of emotions. (Same as WGSS 583.) Prerequisite: Any previous course in ANTH or WGSS.
This course takes a hands-on approach to the study of theory, ethics, and methods in visual ethnographic representation. Students also read and consider historical dimensions in this subdiscipline and complete individual and team projects in photographic and videographic media. Prerequisite: An introductory course in cultural anthropology or permission of the instructor.
Teams of interdisciplinary students partner with the Chorti Maya of Guatemala and Honduras to share information and experiences. One third of the course consists of readings and 4-5 orientation sessions on campus, and two thirds entails two weeks in Central America. Examples of activities might include historical research, water testing and improvement, photography, art, music, tourism consultation, marketing of crafts, human rights advocacy, web design, computer training, and museum work, among others. There are no prerequisites, but students with a working knowledge of Spanish will receive preference for admission. (Same as LAC 587.)
An anthropological and historical examination of the processes and dynamics of the colonial experience. Cross-cultural psychosocial phenomena that have profoundly affected the values and social organizations of both colonizers and colonized will be emphasized. Specific examples will be chosen from the former American, Japanese, and European colonial empires with emphasis on Asia.
This course explores shamanism, broadly defined as the practice of gaining insight through the use of ecstatic techniques (dance, drumming, trance, vision quests, and the use of psychotropic substances) for the purpose of interpreting existence and healing illnesses, through a consideration of theories and evidence for its practice from Upper Paleolithic times to the present day. Examples from the ancient cultures of Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia, and the Americas are used to explore current theoretical approaches in order to identify shamans and shamanism in the past. Issues of identifying shamans and shamanism in art and archaeological contexts are discussed. The course also explores the role that shamanism plays in a wide variety of cultures. The principal goal of the course is to provide a reasoned, critical interpretation of shamanism in the context of contemporary debates about its definition and active practice. Prerequisite: ANTH 108 or ANTH 110 or ANTH 150 or ANTH 151 or ANTH 160 or ANTH 162 or ANTH 308 or ANTH 310 or ANTH 360 or permission of instructor.
This class will review the ongoing scientific debate concerning the routes and chronologies of the earliest human migrations into the Americas. It surveys the history of the dispute over the antiquity of archaeological sites in North and South America, and investigates the paleontological, genetic, geological, and archaeological records for clues to the various peopling models and processes. As a counterpoint to the scientific approach, it also explores public arguments over the issue, to assess the socio-cultural and political repercussions of archaeological discoveries. Prerequisite: ANTH 150, ANTH 310, or permission of the instructor.
Students study theories and methods of burial practices in the archaeological record. They learn about past communities; attitudes toward death and burial and how social organization, complexity, ideology, power, gender and age roles contribute to mortuary practices. The course examines a variety of Old and New World examples from different chronological periods through class presentations, debates and written assignments. The course focuses on comparisons and evaluation of traditional and current methods and approaches. Prerequisite: ANTH 110 or ANTH 150 or ANTH 151 or ANTH 310 or permission of instructor.
A field course taught during the three week summer session. Involves all-day excursions to different regions in order to introduce students to a variety of archaeological landscapes and environments. Focuses on the application of geoscientific concepts and methods in archaeological field investigations, emphasizing natural processes such as erosion, deposition, weathering, and biological and human activity that create and modify the archaeological record, and on soil-stratigraphic and geophysical approaches to landscape and site investigations.
This course examines the structure and function of the human skeleton from an evolutionary and biomedical perspective. Students will learn to identify bones comprising the human skeleton and how osteological information aids in reconstructing sex, age, race, stature, and health status. Major transformations of the human skeleton from hominoid precursors, and some of the biomedical consequences of these transformations, will be addressed. (Same as BIOL 548.) Prerequisite: An introductory course in physical anthropology, biology, or permission of instructor.
Examination of possible interrelationships between the demographic structure of a population and the forces of evolution. Students are exposed to field methods and techniques of population studies. Prerequisite: An introductory course in anthropology, biology, or permission of instructor.
Examines the ideologies of capitalism and consumerism as they influence social institutions and daily life. Topics for consideration grow out of instructors' interests and may include areas such as class, religion, advertising, politics, gender, medicine, environment, childhood, and education. Prerequisite: ANTH 560 or permission of instructor.
The course reviews the history of archeological, ethnographic, physical anthropological and other types of collections. It also considers current issues facing anthropologists, such as: contested rights to collections and the stories that accompany them; representation and interpretation of cultures; art and artifact; conceptualization, design and building of exhibitions; and anthropological research and education in the museum. (Same as MUSE 699.) Prerequisite: ANTH 150 or ANTH 108 or consent of instructor.
Development of the field of anthropology and its relations with intellectual history. Emphasis on method and theory in historical context. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor or graduate standing.
An introduction to fundamental theoretical orientations and methodological approaches in world archaeology. Case studies illustrate data acquisition, dating methods, culture history, paleoenvironmental models, and culture processes. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor or graduate standing.
The fundamental issues, methods, and theories in contemporary biological anthropology. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor or graduate standing.
The fundamental issues, methods, and theories in contemporary cultural anthropology and anthropological linguistics. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor or graduate standing.
This course will cover fundamental issues, methods, and theories in contemporary linguistic anthropology. (Same as LING 706.) Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of the instructor.
This course examines a range of issues critical to responsible research, scholarship, and practice in anthropology. Required for all doctoral students in Anthropology. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in anthropology or consent of instructor.
The study of language as it concerns anthropology. Language systems in relation to culture, language taxonomy, semantics, and linguistic analysis as an ethnographic tool. (Same as LING 730.) Prerequisite: Graduate standing.
This course focuses on linguistic frameworks for the analysis of discourse. Discourse is a linguistic system larger than the sentence (utterance), which connects and contextualizes speech and written text. This course focuses on current issues and theoretical frameworks in the analysis of discourse. Using oral and written data, students will examine how contexts influence and shape linguistic form. Topics covered include transcription systems, the structure and organization of different genres of language, and the performance of social actions, including stance-taking, framing, and the construction of identity. Students will also have an opportunity to perform discourse analytic research on the data of their choice. (Same as LING 732.) Prerequisite: ANTH 706 or permission of the instructor.
Practice in applying the techniques of phonological, grammatical, and syntactic analysis learned in introductory linguistics to data taken from a variety of languages of different structural types. (Same as LING 708.) Prerequisite: An introductory course in linguistics. Not open to students who have taken LING 308.
The tools and techniques necessary to analyze linguistic fieldwork data, including research design, recording and elicitation techniques, computational data processing and analysis, and field ethics. Techniques of research, field recording, and data analysis technology. Methods of phonetic transcription, grammatical annotation, and analysis of language context. Practice of techniques via short studies of at least one language. (Same as LING 740.) Prerequisite: LING 700 or permission of instructor.
The elicitation and analysis of phonological, grammatical, and discourse data from a language consultant. In-depth research on one language. Techniques of research design, methods of phonetic transcription, grammatical annotation, and analysis of language context. (Same as LING 741.) Prerequisite: LING 705 or permission of instructor.
Theories and case studies of languages in contact. Areal and genetic linguistics, genesis of pidgins and creoles, multilingualism. Social, political, economic, and geographic factors in language change. (Same as LING 748.) Prerequisite: A course in linguistics.
Topic for semester to be announced. Students may repeat the course for different topics. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
A practical course in the use of special laboratory techniques of biological anthropological research and methods of data presentation. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
Intensive consideration of special problems in cultural anthropology. Topic for semester to be announced.
Ethnography is both process and product. The product, a representation of a culture (or selected aspects of a culture), is based on fieldwork, the common term for the ethnographic process. This course explores how ethnographers prepare for the field, do their fieldwork, then report it.
This course examines the roles collections play in fulfilling a museum's mission; the obligations ownership/preservation of collections materials create for a museum; and the policies, practices, and professional standards that museums are required to put in place. The course will cover utilization of collections for research, education, and public engagement; address how that utilization informs the need for and structure of collections policies, and introduce the basic practices of professional collections management. (Same as AMS 730, BIOL 798, GEOL 785, HIST 725, and MUSE 704.) Prerequisite: Museum Studies student, Indigenous Studies student, or consent of instructor.
This course is an introduction to graduate study in Anthropology at the University of Kansas. Students will be introduced to the history, theory, and current research in two subfields of Anthropology: archaeology and biological anthropology. Students will read foundational papers in these two fields in order to develop a framework for contextualizing more cutting-edge research by KU Anthropology faculty and other scholars. In addition, this course will provide professional development resources for graduate students with an overview of the resources available at KU to support their graduate studies, including internal and external funding sources, information about the design, ethics, and approval procedures for future research, peer review and advisor feedback on research proposals, integration into mentoring networks, and other activities focused on career and professional development. Graduate students will learn how to critically read academic papers, and begin to develop a proposal for their graduate research project.
This course continues graduate students' survey of the history and theory of each anthropological subfield with a focus on foundational readings in sociocultural and linguistic anthropology as well as current research by KU Anthropology faculty and scholars outside of the department. Students will continue to develop their professional skills by finishing their proposals for external funding, and presenting and critiquing each others' work. Students' finished proposals can form the foundation of their dissertation proposals, and all are encouraged to submit them for external funding.
Subject matter of seminar to be announced for semester.
A two-semester course designed to provide graduate students with basic principles in the analysis of archaeological data. Course content will include an introduction to archaeological systematics, analytical procedures, application of multivariate statistics, and computer applications. Topic for semester to be announced.
Consideration of scientific methodology, basic assumptions of anthropological archaeology, relationship of archaeology and anthropology, and current theoretical and methodological trends in archaeology.
This course provides advanced training in selected aspects of medical anthropology; the topic for a particular semester will reflect the current interests of the instructor. It is expected that the course content will alternate between theoretical and applied emphases. May be repeated for a total of six hours credit. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
Under the direction of a professional archaeologist, undergraduate and graduate students are taught proper procedures for the excavation and laboratory analysis of data from a prehistoric or historic archaeological site. Data gathered may be used for additional graduate research. Enrollment by application; limited to twenty students. A fee for subsistence costs will be charged.
Individual investigation of special problems in anthropology. Limit of six hours credit for the M.A. degree.
Experiential learning in the application of anthropology through placement in business, government, community, research, or social service organization or agency. Students design and implement an anthropological project under faculty supervision. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in Anthropology.
Experiential learning in the application of anthropology through placement in business, government, community, research, or social service organization or agency. This course is a sequel to ANTH 897. Students finish up any remaining research and deliver their findings to the client. They also prepare a written report and a verbal presentation for the Department of Anthropology. Prerequisite: ANTH 897 and Graduate standing in Anthropology.
Limit of six hours credit for the M.A. degree. Graded on a satisfactory progress/limited progress/no progress basis.
Individual investigation of special problems in anthropology.
Dissertation hours. Graded on a satisfactory progress/limited progress/no progress basis.