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Fall 2020 Class Schedule

Course Title Instructor Day/Time Location
ANTHRO 101-6-21 First-Year Seminar: Fantastic Archaeology:  Science and Pseudoscience Mark Hauser MW 11:20am-12:40pm Synchronous:Class meets remotely at scheduled time
ANTHRO 101-6-22 First-Year Seminar: Biological Thought & Action (also BIOL_SCI 115-6-20) William Leonard, Michele McDonough TTh 4:20pm-5:40pm Synchronous:Class meets remotely at scheduled time
ANTHRO 101-6-23 First-Year Seminar: Local Knowledge: Toward an Ethnography of Northwestern CANCELLED Elizabeth Smith  TTh 1pm-2:20pm Synchronous:Class meets remotely at scheduled time
ANTHRO 101-6-24 First-Year Seminar:  Going Paleo: Ancestral Lifeways and Their Modern Implications. Aaron Miller  MW 5:20pm-6:40pm Synchronous:Class meets remotely at scheduled time
ANTHRO 214-0-01 *Archaeology: Unearthing History Melissa Rosenzweig Asynchronous:Remote class-no scheduled mtg time
ANTHRO 214-0-61 Discussion Section Emily Schwalbe M 9:10am-10am Synchronous:Class meets remotely at scheduled time
ANTHRO 214-0-62 Discussion Section Emily Schwalbe M 10:20am-11:10am Synchronous:Class meets remotely at scheduled time
ANTHRO 214-0-63 Discussion Section Bridgette Hulse T 8:30am-9:20am Synchronous:Class meets remotely at scheduled time
ANTHRO 214-0-64 Discussion Section Aaron Schoenfeldt W 9:10am-10am Synchronous:Class meets remotely at scheduled time
ANTHRO 214-0-65 Discussion Section Daniela  Raillard F 9:10am-10am Synchronous:Class meets remotely at scheduled time
ANTHRO 214-0-66 Discussion Section  Daniela Raillard F 10:20am-11:10am Synchronous:Class meets remotely at scheduled time
ANTHRO 214-0-67 Discussion Section  Sophie Reilly M 3pm-3:50pm Synchronous:Class meets remotely at scheduled time
ANTHRO 214-0-68 Discussion Section  Aaron Schoenfeldt W 4:10pm-5pm  Synchronous:Class meets remotely at scheduled time
ANTHRO 214-0-69 Discussion Section  Sophie Reilly T 5:20pm-6:10pm  Synchronous:Class meets remotely at scheduled time
ANTHRO 214-0-70 Discussion Section  Bridgette Hulse Th 6:30pm-7:20pm  Synchronous:Class meets remotely at scheduled time
ANTHRO 314-0-20 Human Growth and Development Erin Waxenbaum TTh 1pm-2:20pm Synchronous:Class meets remotely at scheduled time
ANTHRO 322-0-20 Peoples of Africa  Caroline Bledsoe T 6pm-8:50pm Synchronous:Class meets remotely at scheduled time
ANTHRO 322-0-20 Introduction to Archaeology Research Design & Methods Mark Hauser  W 2pm-4:50pm Synchronous:Class meets remotely at scheduled time
ANTHRO 368-0-20 Latina and Latino Ethnography (also Latino Studies)  Ana Aparicio  W 2pm-4:50pm Synchronous:Class meets remotely at scheduled time
ANTHRO 370-0-20 *Anthropology in Historical Perspective Robert Launay TTh 9:40am-11am Synchronous:Class meets remotely at scheduled time
ANTHRO 390-0-21 Asian Persuasion: Asian American Advertising and Consumption (also ASAM 303) Shalini Shankar MW 1pm-2:20pm Synchronous:Class meets remotely at scheduled time
ANTHRO 390-0-22 Contraceptive Technologies and Debates Over Reproductive Control  Caroline Bledsoe M 6pm-8:50pm Synchronous:Class meets remotely at scheduled time
ANTHRO 390-0-24 Political Ecology (also ENVR_POLY 390-0-1) Melissa Rosenzweig MW 11:20am-12:40pm Synchronous:Class meets remotely at scheduled time
ANTHRO 401-4-20 Logic of Inquiry in Anthropology (Ling) Shalin Shankar T 2pm-4:50pm Synchronous:Class meets remotely at scheduled time
ANTHRO 470-0-20 History of Anthropological Theory Robert Launay Th 2:30pm-5:20pm Hybrid: Remote component and in-person mtgs
ANTHRO 486-0-20 Evolution and Biological Anthropology  Christopher Kuzawa  W 12pm-2:30pm Synchronous:Class meets remotely at scheduled time

Fall quarter 2020 course descriptions

ANTHRO  101-6-21: First-Year Seminar: Fantastic Archaeology:  Science and Pseudoscience

Did astronauts from another planet establish ancient civilizations on Earth? Were the Americas discovered by Columbus, a Ming dynasty fleet or by Vikings much earlier? Did the Maya Aztec build their pyramids to resemble those of dynastic Egypt? Television is replete with stories of ancient aliens and archaeological mysteries. The impact of such alternative realities on society and history cannot be discounted. They have been used to support nationalistic agendas, racial biases, and religious movements, all of which can have considerable influence on contemporary society.

In this course, we will study "fantastic" stories, puzzles, hoaxes, imaginative worlds and alternative theories. We will learn when, how and what kinds of evidence these alternative theories have used to fascinate the public and illustrate their hoaxes. We will question such theories by using critical thinking and analytical tools to diagnose what is fact and fiction. We will utilize the surviving evidence that archaeologists find to understand cultural contact and interactions.

ANTHRO  101-6-22: First-Year Seminar: Biological Thought and Action

Science is a process by which people make sense of the world. Scientists examine evidence from the past, work to understand the present, and make predictions about the future. Integral to this process are the methods they use to collect and analyze data, as well as the ways in which scientists work together as a community to interpret evidence and draw conclusions. In this class, we will take a multidisciplinary approach to examining biological thought and action and their social ramifications. We will seek to understand science as a social pursuit: the work of human beings with individual, disciplinary, and cultural differences, and requiring tremendous investments in training and equipment. Does it matter that participation in science is more accessible to some than to others? How do biases, assumptions, uncertainty, and error manifest in scientific work? What is the history of scientific values such as objectivity and reproducibility? The course will conclude by investigating current topics of public debate.

 ANTHRO  101-6-23: First-Year Seminar: Local Knowledge: Toward an Ethnography of Northwestern

How do cultural anthropologists create knowledge about people and places? How can we use anthropology’s most famous method, ethnography, to understand community building at Northwestern when the world has been turned upside-down and many basic social practices have radically shifted?  This course introduces techniques such as participant-observation research, interviewing, analysis of written and visual materials, and keeping a weekly fieldnotes journal. Collecting and analyzing this qualitative data throughout the quarter will empower you to make sense of what’s going on around you in this historic moment, turn an analytical eye toward Northwestern University, and critically understand your new role as a college student. Ethnography records and analyzes social relations in the here and now and explores the power of individual narratives. We will pay special attention to how social and economic power structures such as race, gender, sexuality, and economic inequality shape how people understand themselves and their communities.  Course materials include one text for purchase, as well as selections from recent and classic ethnographies, articles, and films/visual material provided digitally on the course site for free. Requirements include participation in synchronous class discussion, a weekly fieldnotes journal, two short writing assignments, and a final presentation on an aspect of college life. 

ANTHRO  101-6-24: First-Year Seminar: Going Paleo: Ancestral Lifeways and Their Modern Implications

Recently ideas about the “paleo-lifestyle” have begun to be spread in popular culture, often with prescriptions about how modern humans should conduct their lives in order to achieve better health and well-being. This course will survey some of these “paleo” recommendations and popular conceptions of our ancestors. These popular conceptions will be viewed critically against the evidence for what our ancestors actually did and what, if anything, it means for people living in the modern era. Some of the included topics will include dietary recommendations, exercise/barefoot running, childcare and feeding practices, and pathogen exposure/immune function.

ANTHRO  214-0-1: Archaeology: Unearthing History

This course is an introduction to the anthropological subfield of archaeology, its theories and methods, and the political and social issues that arise when we study human pasts. The course has two main components. First, we look at the history of the discipline and its theoretical underpinnings, followed by methodological topics including how archaeologists create research designs, discover and excavate sites, and analyze artifacts and features. Secondly, we explore how archaeology confronts and deals with contemporary issues critical to the archaeological project and the communities that archaeologists engage with: e.g. heritage preservation and Indigenous/community rights, Black lives and Black histories, environmental degradation and sustainability, feminist archaeology and gender equality. Throughout the course, students will learn about archaeological case studies from around the globe and from a variety of historical periods. Lectures will be pre-recorded and available in an asynchronous format. Sections will be held synchronously and call upon students to work creatively with the materials around them and on the internet to experience and understand archaeology-in-practice.

ANTHRO  314-0-20: Human Growth & Development

This course is an introduction to the anthropological subfield of archaeology, its theories and methods, and the political and social issues that arise when we study human pasts. The course has two main components. First, we look at the history of the discipline and its theoretical underpinnings, followed by methodological topics including how archaeologists create research designs, discover and excavate sites, and analyze artifacts and features. Secondly, we explore how archaeology confronts and deals with contemporary issues critical to the archaeological project and the communities that archaeologists engage with: e.g. heritage preservation and Indigenous/community rights, Black lives and Black histories, environmental degradation and sustainability, feminist archaeology and gender equality. Throughout the course, students will learn about archaeological case studies from around the globe and from a variety of historical periods. Lectures will be pre-recorded and available in an asynchronous format.  Sections will be held synchronously and call upon students to work creatively with the materials around them and on the internet to experience and understand archaeology-in-practice.

ANTHRO  320-0-20: Peoples of Africa

This course introduces students to major themes in the anthropological study of Africa, the world area that most inspired the development of anthropology as a discipline. Examining the diversity of contemporary African societies and moments in the colonial past, we will explore in depth several related themes that derive from the classics as well as the contemporary anthropological corpus. These themes center on the creation of social ties, making a living, and managing health and uncertainty in volatile times. Specific topics will include kinship and marriage, production and exchange, health, population, economic development, corruption, political patronage, war, and the dynamics of movement and transnationalism.

ANTHRO  322-0-20: Introduction to Archaeology Research Design & Methods

This class is fundamentally about how—and why—we do archaeology. Over the course of the quarter, we will take what interests you about archaeology and build a scaffold for how you think about these interests and how you might examine them in depth in the future. The main goal is to produce a high quality NSF proposal by the end of the course (NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program proposal for undergraduates; NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant for graduate students). To that end, we will spend time reviewing successful proposals to decipher how scholars link theory, data, methods, and analysis in their research projects. We will work our way through the main methods in every archaeologists' tool kit: regional survey, excavation, and materials analysis. Upon completion of the course, students should feel comfortable writing grant proposals and be ready to design their own independent archaeological research project.

ANTHRO  368-0-20: Latina and Latino Ethnography

This course will focus on cultural and political expressions and representations of Latinos/as in the US. We will draw from historical accounts, fiction, ethnographies, and media representations. We will consider how these forms of expression are used to represent U.S. Latina/o life. We will examine how ethnography works as a field method and as a form of communication. Our course will cover a broad range of areas and textual modes, so that we may do some comparative work.

ANTHRO  370-0-20: Anthropology in Historical Perspective

Rather than attempting the impossible--an overview of the whole history of the discipline of anthropology-this course will focus on one particular problem: the relationship between theory and ethnographic description in cultural Anthropology. The course will attempt to survey the development of certain schools of thought in the discipline since the mid-nineteenth century: evolutionism; historical particularism; structural-functionalism; culture and personality; cultural materialism; interpretive anthropology. In order to examine the ways in which each of these theoretical approaches affects the ways in which anthropologists choose to describe what they observe, the class will read a series of ethnographies (or excerpts from larger works) written at different times from different points of view.

ANTHRO  390-0-21: Topics In Anthropology: Asian Persuasion: Advertising & Consumption

This course will examine ethnographic approaches to advertising, fashion, food, and expressive culture among Asian communities in the United States. The course will foreground topics of racial capitalism, cultural and linguistic appropriation, and the politics of community ownership over intellectual property. The course will be grounded in anthropological and critical ethnic studies perspectives on advertising and cultural production as well as theories of consumption, and consider the effects of these on meanings of race, ethnicity, language, gender, class, nation, and diaspora. Students will be encouraged to undertake individual and/or group projects that apply course concepts to social phenomena.

ANTHRO  390-0-22: Topics In Anthropology: Contraceptive Technologies and Debates Over Reproductive Control

One of the topics in social science that has been as contentious as it has been enduring has been human fertility and attempts to control it through technological means.  Underlying nearly all these discussions are those such as the following:  tensions between individual vs societal control, rights vs. obligations, differing interests among sexual and reproductive partners (and their families!), morality/religion, potential profits to be gained by appropriating  sexual/fertility technology and intervention, and attempted manipulations of highly contextualized understandings of technology and intellectual property across time and place. To mine this rich subject, this class will examine relevant debates that have arisen in classic literatures in anthropology, sociology, demography, law, and history.

Of additional interest will be several very recent topics that have surged to the fore in debates over the meaning of new technologies of cultural/symbolic reproductive control.  Examples will include legal entanglements governing reproduction and the transfer of technologies across national and international borders, debates over contraception and its alleged links to pathologies of vaccines and sexually transmitted diseases, and struggles over funding for fertility control for rich vs. poor, and dilemmas of reproduction in the age of gender and partnership fluidity.

Regional emphases will be broad.  Of special interest will be Africa, Western Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, and the US. 

ANTHRO  390-0-24: Topics In Anthropology: Political Ecology

This class is an introduction to Political Ecology, a multidisciplinary body of theory and research that analyzes the environmental articulations of political, economic, and social difference and inequality. The key concepts, debates, and approaches in this field address two main questions: (1) How do humans' interactions with the environment shape power and politics? (2) How do power and politics shape humans' interactions with the environment? These questions are critical to understanding and addressing the current issues of climate change, the Anthropocene, and environmental justice. Topics discussed in this class will include environmental scarcity and degradation, sustainability and conservation, and environmental justice. Readings will come from the disciplines of geography, anthropology and archaeology. Case studies will range from the historical to the present-day. No prior background in the environmental sciences is needed to appreciate and engage in this course.

ANTHRO  470-0-20: History of Anthropological Theory

This course will attempt the impossible--to survey the development of anthropological theory in a single quarter. Needless to say, it will not and cannot be exhaustive. Instead, it will focus on the careful scrutiny of a few primary sources by prominent individuals who have contributed to the development of the discipline, but who will also be taken as "representative" of various historical trends. The first part of the course will rapidly outline the prehistory of the discipline and focus more extensively on the notion of evolution central to 19th century social theory. The second part of the course will deal with the individual contributions of three "founding fathers": Marx, Durkheim and Weber. The final part of the course will cover a few of the numerous trends of 20th century cultural anthropology.

ANTHRO  486-0-20: Evolution & Biological Anthropology

This graduate-level seminar is designed for students interested in the historical development of evolutionary theory and current debates within the field. We will begin with a brief survey of the intellectual precursors to Darwin, the legacy of Darwin and Wallace, and the intellectual threads that coalesced in the Modern Synthesis. We will then trace subsequent controversies within evolutionary biology, with a prominent focus on the role of developmental biology, plasticity and behavior as forces of evolutionary change. Controversies in the study of human evolution and the origins of modern human diversity will be used as lenses to explore these evolutionary themes. This will be a reading intensive course.

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