Western University AntropologyWestern Social Science

Required Courses

Required Full Year Courses

9010 A/B - Graduate Research Seminar

Note: Although enrolling in and attending the Research Seminar are requirements of our programs, this course does not count for credit (there are no shared readings or graded assignments). It appears as an audit on transcripts.

  • Full-time MA and PhD students are expected to enroll in and attend this seminar for a total of four terms during their programs. Part-time students are only required to enroll for two terms (in recognition of their other commitments and time constraints), and the Research Seminar is scheduled on Friday afternoons to facilitate their attendance in terms when they are taking the Theory and Methods courses, which are offered on Friday mornings. We ask part-time students to attend as many additional sessions of the Research Seminar as feasible, in addition to their two terms of formal enrolment.

  • Once they have research results, all graduate students must make a research presentation to their peers in the Research Seminar. This normally occurs in the second half of their programs–year 2 for full-time MA students, year 3 or 4 for part-time MA students and full-time PhD students.

  • Formal meetings of the Research Seminar occur approximately six times each term (roughly every other week). On alternate weeks there may be other kinds of presentations in this time slot, such as workshops on specific issues. Attendance is not required at those optional sessions.
  • Four terms enrollment (AUDIT) required for all full-time students (two terms for part time students)
Friday 2:30-3:30
SSC 2257
2017-18 Research Seminar schedule (Coming soon)

Required Fall Term 2017 Courses

9100A – Archaeology Theory

  • Required for bioarchaeology and archaeology students, including applied archaeology(where appropriate to the research project, 9200A may be substituted)

This course introduces students to the significance and uses of theory in anthropological thinking and practice today. Instead of attempting a comprehensive overview of the history and/or current state of anthropological theory, we will focus on selected readings related to several broad themes of common interest (phenomenology, agency, and entanglements with things and others) in an attempt to illustrate theory’s place in anthropological thinking and practice. As the course progresses, students will be encouraged to look beyond assigned readings and begin amassing eclectic reading lists of their own. These reading lists will ultimately inform students’ final papers.  

This course crosses over several times in the term with Anthropology 9200A (below).

Jean-François Millaire Fridays 9:30am -12:30pm
SSC 3227 + Tutorial Rooms SSC 3207, 3221, 3220, 3219
Course Outline

9200A – Sociocultural Anthropology Theory

  • Required for sociocultural and linguistic anthropology students (where appropriate to the research project, 9100A may be substituted)

This core graduate seminar is built around four central topics in anthropology: culture; individual and society; time, memory and the politics of the past; and space and place. It is designed not as a survey of theoretical positions on these topics, but rather as an exercise in critical reading and critical thinking about how these sets of concepts have been, and can be, used. In other words, the objective is to train you to think theoretically, rather than to teach you theories. In addition to thinking through some ways that these four themes have been used in sociocultural anthropology, and what the implications are of different approaches, we will also be considering how archaeologists use these concepts, and whether (or to what degree) we are all talking about the same thing when we engage them.

This course crosses over several times in the term with Anthropology 9100A (above).

Adriana Premat Friday 9:30am -12:30pm
SSC 3102 + Tutorial Rooms SSC 3207, 3221, 3220, 3219
Course Outline

Required Winter Term 2018 Courses

9101B – Research Methods in Archaeology/Bioarchaeology

  • Required for bioarchaeology and archaeology students, including applied archaeology (where appropriate to the research project, 9201B may be substituted)

There are several aims to this course. The proximate aim is to work with you to develop your thesis research proposal. The ultimate aim is to examine how methodology is applied to address issues that flow from theory and to appreciate that there are common themes among the various methodological approaches that are utilized in archaeology and bioarchaeology. Among the issues that we will be addressing through readings, presentations and discussions are: the nature of anthropological research – and specifically anthropological archaeology and bioarchaeology; the nature of research questions and the design of research programs to address those questions; how is our research situated in relation to the existing literature; ethics; and the nitty gritties of data collection and analysis.

Andrew Nelson Friday 9:30am -12:30pm
SSC 3102
Course Outline

9201B - Research Methods in Sociocultural Anthropology

  • Required for sociocultural and linguistics students (where appropriate to the research project, 9101B may be substituted)

This course offers an introduction to a range of issues related to the practice of anthropological and ethnographic research. Among the topics we will be addressing through readings, presentations and discussions are: the nature and ethics of anthropological work, research design, and the advantages and limitations of different approaches to data collection and analysis. The course will also consider the logic, aims, and methods of comparative analysis.

Karen Pennesi Friday 9:30am -12:30pm
SSC 3227
Course Outline

9110B – Principles of Applied Archaeology

  • Required for applied archaeology students
  • Cross-listed with Anthropology 4429G

This course will examine the principles and concerns that are integral to the practice of applied archaeology in North America, and the role of applied archaeology in heritage management in general. The course will review legislation and professional practices that govern applied archaeologists, and in particular the form of archaeology carried out by consultant archaeologists hired by third parties to undertake archaeological investigations in advance of land development or resource extraction (commonly called Cultural Resource Management - CRM). While the readings will draw on the experience of applied archaeology from across North America and beyond, the course will focus on applied archaeology as currently practiced in Ontario.

Peter Timmins Monday 1:30-4:30pm
SSC 3315
Course Outline