Spring 2015 Courses

Spring 2015 Courses 


ANTH 101-1 Human Origins- MW 3:30 - 4:45pm (DH 308) This course will provide an overview of the evolution of modern humans. First, we will study evolutionary theory and the basic principles of genetic inheritance. Second, we will consider biological variation among living primates including humans, apes, monkeys and lemurs. Third, we will examine the fossil record to look closely at how the human lineage evolved over time. In particular we will focus on the evolution of bipedality, large brains, language and cultural complexity. INSTRUCTOR: Professor Leila Porter

ANTH 102 Rise of Civilization - Lecture MW 11:00 - 11:50am (FR 144) Labs - M 1:00 - 1:50 W, 1:00 - 1:50pm, 3:30 - 4:20pm, F 11:00 - 11:50,  1:00 - 1:50pm (SS175) Discussion of the forces leading to the emergence of the earliest civilizations in the Near East, Egypt, China, Mesoamerica, and South America.  Presentation of the aspirations, problems, and needs of the civilizations of antiquity as addressed in art, literature, history, and other enduring contributions through an examination of ancient achievements and values from humanistic and artistic perspectives.  PLEASE BE ADVISED  Because this course is a part of the new Course Transformation initiative, it will include required lecture, laboratory, and online reading.  Students should be aware of the blended framework of the course and be prepared to do self-directed and online learning. INSTRUCTOR: Professor William Balco

ANTH 120 Anthropology and Human Diversity  - MWF 10:00 -10:50 (DU 140) This course will introduce the student to the four subfields of anthropology: physical or biological anthropology, archaeology, linguistic anthropology, and cultural anthropology. Human diversity across time and space is explored critically within each subfield area and through examples from applied anthropology projects in the world. Grades are based on the total number of points accumulated through learning and evaluation activities such as quizzes, short written (1 page) homework, mid-terms, and a final exam. INSTRUCTOR:  Professor Kristen Borre

back to top

ANTH 210 Exploring Archaeology -  TTH 12:30 - 1:45pm (DU 140) This course presents the scientific, anthropological approach to archaeology by emphasizing the methods and concepts used by archaeologists to interpret the ancient civilizations that they find. Examples include archaeological sites and civilizations from around the globe. Learn what archaeologists look for, how they look for it, what they find, and how they interpret it. INSTRUCTOR: Professor Kerry Sagebiel

ANTH 220-1/H3 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology  - MW 2:00 - 3:15pm (FR 144) This course introduces students to the fundamental concepts, questions, and research methods of Cultural Anthropology.  Cultural anthropologists study the social lives of human societies in historical and cross-cultural perspective. As we examine subjects like law, language, religion, politics, economics, and kinship in societies around the world, we will explore both universally shared aspects of social life, and cultural particularities (differences) across the globe. Students will be challenged to examine and articulate their own cultural values, behaviors, and attitudes in light of the cross-cultural anthropological record.  We will also learn about practical applications of anthropology to contemporary problems such as social inequality, racism, and environmental degradation, and consider anthropology's relevance for professional careers. INSTRUCTOR: Professor Emily McKee

ANTH 220-2 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology - TTH 11:00 - 12:15pm (SS 175) This course focuses on introducing students to: 1) the theoretical concepts and models used by anthropologists to describe culture and social organization; and 2) cultural diversity in the 21st century and the variety of cultural changes occurring around the world. Emphasis is given to learning about the range of commonalities within the human species. Course requirements include two midterm exams, a final exam, and two 2-3 page reaction/research papers. INSTRUCTOR: Professor Susan Russell   

back to top

ANTH 230 - Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology TTH 11:00 - 12:15pm (DU 204) An introduction to the study of human language within the holistic perspective of anthropology. Language is seen as a cultural tool and linguistic data are considered as embedded in their socio-cultural context.  Fundamental concepts and tools necessary for formal linguistic analyses are introduced.  Linguistic problems are solved in which the newly acquired knowledge is put to use.  A research project that includes fieldwork in one’s socio-cultural context is required.  INSTRUCTOR:  Professor Andrea Molnar

ANTH 240 – General Physical Anthropology - TTH 3:30 - 4:45pm (DU 204) This course is an introduction to physical/biological anthropology. The first part of this class is devoted to evolutionary theory and human genetics. The second part discusses modern human variation and the biology and behavior of primates, our closest living relatives. The last part of this class discusses the fossil record of human and primate ancestors, beginning with early primates but with an emphasis on the morphological and behavioral adaptations in hominids over the past 5 million years.  INSTRUCTOR: Professor Mitchell Irwin

ANTH 301 American Culture MWF 2:00 - 3:15pm (DH 309) Why are sports such a popular American past time and what does beer have to do with it?  What do discourse and sexual intercourse have in common? Why are Americans so fat while movie stars are so thin?  The fast and slow food movements:  do you really know what you're eating?  Race and racism:  does anyone remember OJ Simpson?  Gender and sexism:  is there still a glass ceiling in America? Why are there so many rich people in the U.S.?  These are some of the questions and topics we'll discuss on American culture using an anthropological perspective.  The course requirements include two exams and a final project. INSTRUCTOR:  Professor Kendall Thu 

back to top

ANTH 301 – YE1 American Culture - Has our culture become a disaster? What does it mean to “know how to live?” We will address how American worldview and popular culture shapes our health, work, consumption, and social behaviors. Is there a common set of values and beliefs that create a unique American Culture even though we have multi-cultural roots? We will examine what it means to be multicultural nation using food as a medium. Anthropological concepts and theories will guide our exploration of American beliefs and behaviors; of what equality means when Americans talk about and express ethnicity, class, gender, and race. Readings, videos, short assignments/discussions, quizzes and a research paper are required. Please call 815 753 5200 for registration for this course. INSTRUCTOR: Professor Kristen Borre

ANTH 313 - Archaeology Through Fiction -  MWF 9:00 - 9:50am (SS 175)  Archaeology provides background for countless novels. Some of these are written by archaeologists (Elizabeth Peters, Sarah Wisseman) or physical anthropologists (Diane Gifford Gonzales, Kathy Reichs). Others are not penned by archaeologists but by writers whose knowledge of archaeological practice is often impressive (Erin Hart, Tony Hillerman). This course uses works of fiction as a way to enter the world of archaeology. Students will read popular fiction with an archaeological context and will then read related archaeological literature. Students will analyze case studies, evaluating the accuracy of the archaeological data used by the author. INSTRUCTOR:  Professor William Balco

back to top

ANTH 329 – Anthropology and Contemporary World Problems - MWF 11:00 - 11:50am (RH 205) Applying a long-term, comparative “anthropological imagination,” tracking from the global to the local, species level to individual lived experience, this course analyzes selected world problems introduced or augmented by contemporary globalization. Topics include humanitarian crises wrought by global climate change and conflict, hunger and food systems, population, inequality, colonialism and underdevelopment, environmental degradation, and challenges to human rights, particularly of indigenous and other marginalized groups. PRQ: ANTH 220 or consent of instructor. INSTRUCTOR: Professor Mark Schuller

ANTH 343/ENVS 343 Where the Wild Things Were - TTH 2:00 - 3:15pm (DU 406) This course is about extinction. In this class we will examine how the processes of environmental change, natural selection, and genetic drift can lead to the formation of new species or extinction. We will review natural extinction events as well as human-induced extinctions on prehistoric, historic, and modern species. INSTRUCTOR:   Professors Leila Porter and Dan Gebo

ANTH 414/514 Archaeology of Mesoamerica - TTH 9:30 - 10:45 (SS 175) A survey of the cultures of prehistoric Mesoamerica, from the earliest settlement of the region to the arrival of Europeans.  The area of study extends from the southwest US on the north to Nicaragua on the south, and included a wide variety of people, from hunting and gathering groups to the high civilizations of the Maya and the Aztec.  There will be some focus on the ways that archaeologists study the past, including readings from case studies about specific archaeological sites. PRQ: ANTH 210 or consent of department. INSTRUCTOR:  Professor Kerry Sagebiel

ANTH 427/527 Economic Anthropology - TTH 2:00 - 3:15pm (RH 205) This course is an introduction to cultural analyses of development and social change in different areas of the world.  The emphasis in this course is on understanding how different historical influences and cultural processes affect the form of economic and political relationships. PRQ: ANTH 220. INSTRUCTOR:  Professor Susan Russell

back to top

ANTH 440/540   Fossil Humans - TTH 9:30 - 10:45am (CO B55) Fossil Humans is a course that examines the human fossil record from our earliest origins to the appearance of fully modern humans.  This course will review the morphology of human fossils and their close living relatives (the great apes).  It will also consider human phylogeny and hominid lifestyles through time. PRQ: ANTH 240 or consent of department.     INSTRUCTOR:  Professor Dan Gebo


ANTH 441/541   Sex and Gender in Primate - MWF 9:00 - 9:50am (CO B55) This course will review theories explaining the evolution of sex differences and associated gender roles in human and non-human primates. Topics will include primate mating systems, sperm competition, mate choice, parental care, aggression and cooperation. Lecture and discussion. PRQ: ANTH 240 or consent of department. INSTRUCTOR:  Professor Leila Porter

ANTH 450/550 Ethics and Research Design in Anthropology - MW 2:00 - 3:15pm (SS 175) This course is intended to provide graduate students and advanced majors in anthropology with an introduction to basic practices related to anthropological research skills and ethics.  The format will involve both lecture and seminar arrangements.  Substantial portions of the class are dedicated to group discussion of various topics and to students reports.  This course will first cover several aspects of professional behavior in a university setting, in the field, and in the private sector.  We will then discuss the peer review process in anthropology, including book reviews, grant proposals, and oral presentations.  A two week segment of the course will then be devoted to a discussion of current and significant issues in anthropology emphasizing important interpretative frameworks such as models, systems, and structures.  In essence this course introduces how anthropologists do what they do and provides students with a means to begin to resolve a research topic and to determine the basic research strategies to be invoked in their work.  Students will finish the class with a good idea about what makes a successful anthropologist and how to find a job in the field. PRQ: One 200-level Anthropology course or consent of department. INSTRUCTOR: Professor William Balco

back to top

ANTH 453/553   Archaeological Theory - TTH 3:30 - 4:45pm (CO 106) Development of archaeological theory from the mid-19th to the present. Connections of archaeological theory to major anthropological issues.  PRQ: ANTH 210 or consent of department. INSTRUCTOR:  Professor Kerry Sagebiel


ANTH 465/565 Medical Anthropology - MW 2:00 - 3:15pm (CO B55) This course draws on methodological and analytical approaches from anthropology to understand health and lack of health in global populations.  Students will gain a firm understanding of medical anthropology by exploring current topics in national and global health. Learn skills for becoming culturally competent in understanding human health care and examining the bio-medical, evolutionary medical, and critical anthropological constructions of health and illness, sickness and disease.  We will approach the study of human health ecologically and bioculturally through critical readings, lecture/discussion, and research.  This class is appropriate for those seeking careers in medicine, health professions, human services, applied anthropology, communications, and marketing.  The class provides a strong liberal arts and sciences approach to our understanding and knowledge of health and health care in the nation and world, liberal arts and sciences majors will be able to use their knowledge to critically engage questions about human health. INSTRUCTOR Professor Kristen Borre


ANTH 490 - Anthropological Research Training: PRQ: Consent of Department Required.

back to top    

ANTH 491-1/591-1 Current Topics in Anthropology: Peace and Conflict in Southeast Asia: A Political Perspective - TTH 12:30 - 1:45pm (RH 205) The course aims to examine Peace and Conflict issues in the Southeast Asia region. The region has several conflict and post-conflict countries, and therefore provide numerous case study examples through which to examine a range of issues in Peace and Conflict studies—conflict analysis, peace- making strategies, peace building initiatives, peace education, religion and peace, gender and peace, and so on. While basic theoretical and methodological principles of Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS) will be reviewed in lectures in the early part of the course, the course is mainly seminar style and requires every student’s participation in the discussion of the assigned case studies from Southeast Asia. Among others, PACS issues for the cases of southern Thailand, southern Philippines, Timor-Leste and Papua in Indonesia will be examined. INSTRUCTOR: Professor Andrea Molnar

ANTH 491 YEI - ONLINE -  Current Topics in Anthropology: Native American Culture and the Law Wednesdays 6:30 – 9:15pm - Online and 3 face to face meetings NIU- Naperville) Face-to-Face Meeting Dates: (Jan 28, Mar 4, and April 29th)This course will discuss key concepts and events in Native American history since the establishment of the United States of America, the changing views of cultural stewardship, museums’ role in artifacts and repatriation, and recent events and case studies. This course will survey cultures of the native peoples of North America, and the contemporary issues of various US laws and statutes. This course will be web-based with 3 face-to-face meetings, and will use a combination of online modules and lectures, text readings, videos, activities, and ongoing group discussion. If you would like to register for this course please call CLA&S External Programming at (815) 753-5200.   INSTRUCTOR: Karly Tumminello

ANTH 493 Anthropology Field Study:   PRQ: Consent of Department Required.      

ANTH 498-1/ANTH 690 Independent Study in Anthropology:  Library Research in Anthropology - 1 Credit Hour (8 week course) - W  8:30am  (FO 237) This topics class, designed for all majors and graduate students, will be a seven-week exploration of the paper and electronic resources available in sub disciplines of anthropology, emphasizing hands-on practice as well as gaining skill in searching for relevant materials.  The extensive holdings of Founders Library relating to archaeology, physical anthropology, linguistics and cultural anthropology will be utilized to equip students with familiarity with possible research tools as well as training them in how to think about doing literature searches so much a part of our field.  Evaluation will be done via weekly worksheets and a take-home final.  No prerequisites. INSTRUCTOR:  R. B. Ridinger     

back to top                                                                                                                                                            

ANTH 498H Independent Study in Anthropology         PRQ: Consent of Department Required.

ANTH 499H Senior Thesis     PRQ: Consent of Department Required.

ANTH 590 - Anthropological Research Training: PRQ: Consent of Department Required.                                                                                                                                                                                             

ANTH 593 Anthropology Field Study:   PRQ: Consent of Department Required.                                                                                                                                                                                                             

ANTH 690 Independent Study:   PRQ: Consent of Department Required.      

ANTH 665 Museum Practicum    Work experience in an on-campus (NIU) museum, gallery or collection. With permission it may be another institution that contains related cultural or aesthetic objects and artifacts as long as the work is under the supervision of a member of a professional staff. Requires regular experience in day-to-day museum operations and completion of a major project arranged with the intern’s museum supervisor/museum studies faculty member. Minimum practicum time is 120 clock hours. PRQ: Completion of ART 565 or equivalent and one museum studies core course.

ANTH 693: Museum Internship:    Work experience at an off-campus museum gallery under the supervision of a member of the professional museum staff. Requires regular experience in day-to-day museum operations and completion of a major project arranged with the with the intern’s museum supervisor and the NIU Museum Studies representative. May be repeated to a maximum of 2 credit hours. PRQ: ART 565 or equivalent plus the museum studies core courses.     

ANTH 699   Master's Thesis      PRQ: Consent of Department Required                                                                                                                                                                                           

ANTH 790D Physical Seminar in Anthropology - TTH 11:00 - 12:15pm   CO B55  This graduate level course is oriented around weekly topics having to do with biological anthropology.  Selected articles will be discussed each week. Discussion themes are wide ranging and student participation in developing topics is a must.  PRQ: Consent of instructor. INSTRUCTOR: Mitchell Irwin

back to top