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First Year Courses

Welcome to Anthropology at Western!

This is the place to learn more about the different first year course options we offer, why you should consider choosing one or several of these options, and how they fit into Anthropology’s undergraduate modules.  If you can’t find what you are looking for, don’t hesitate to get in touch by emailing us at anthro-ugrad-office@uwo.ca

Why take a first year course in Anthropology?

Anthropology may not be what you think it is. Even if you have studied a little Anthropology in High School, or have seen TV shows or documentaries featuring Anthropologists at work, it is likely that you have not yet been introduced to the great breadth of our discipline. Anthropology is not only the study of how processes of biological evolution have made us the species we are today, nor is it only the study of past human cultures and societies through archaeological research, nor is it only the study of the diverse ways in which people around the world live, organize, use language, and experience the forces of globalization. Anthropology is the study of all of these things, and more. For an up-to-date sense of the breadth of topics addressed by Anthropologists today, check out SAPIENS (www.sapiens.org).

Students love our introductory courses. Instructors consistently receive excellent evaluations from students.

Taking an introductory Anthropology course will open your mind.

Anthropology is unique among disciplines in how we approach the human experience in the broad, holistic way that we do, focusing on how humans are simultaneously biological, social, cultural, and language-using beings. An introductory course in Anthropology will challenge you (in a good way!) to think differently about what makes us human and how we have come to be this way.

You will not be disappointed.

Student evaluation statistics consistently reveal that even students who enter our introductory courses with a relatively low “initial level of enthusiasm” come out of them with a profound appreciation for what they have learned. Put another way: if you are not sure whether you will get something out of an introductory Anthropology course, rest assured that you will!

First year Anthropology will stick with you.

We often hear two kinds of stories from students who have discovered Anthropology through an introductory course at Western. The first, commonly told by students who continue in one of our modules, is that experiences in first year Anthropology are what ignited a passion for the discipline. The second, commonly told by students who only took an introductory course with us, is that Anthropology was a favorite first year course, offering insights on humanity that have proven memorable and relevant beyond their time with us.


Which introductory anthropology course should I take?

1020 Many Ways of Being Human (1.0 course)

Anthropology 1020 will introduce you to the full breadth of Anthropology in an engaging full year (1.0 credit) non-essay course comprised of four six-week sections, each featuring lectures from specialist instructors and weekly tutorials.

An introduction to anthropology (the study of human beings, past and present) co-taught by specialists in biological anthropology, archaeology, linguistic anthropology, and sociocultural anthropology. Students will explore anthropological approaches to and findings concerning: human evolution; variation and adaptation; diverse forms of social, political, and economic organization; culture; ritual; language; communication; identity; gender; health; social inequality; and globalization.

Two sections are offered in 2018/2019:
Section 001 is Mondays 1:30-3:30 plus one tutorial hour of your choice on Wednesdays.
Section 002 is Tuesdays 9:30-11:30 plus one tutorial hour of your choice on Thursdays.

Antirequisites: Anthropology 1025F/G and 1026F/G.

1025F/G Sociocultural Anthropology (0.5 course)

Anthropology 1025F/G will introduce you to Sociocultural Anthropology through one term allowing you the opportunity to supplement in-class learning with an independent writing project. An introduction to the basic concepts used in the anthropological study of non-Western social and cultural institutions that focuses on the unity and diversity of human experience. Topics include: kinship, economics, politics, religion, and the present-day conditions of indigenous societies. The ethnography of various peoples is discussed.

Three sections are offered in 2018/19:
Fall term Monday evenings 7-10
Fall term online through Distance Studies
Winter term Mondays 3:30-5:30 and Wednesdays 4:30-5:30

Antirequisites: Anthropology 1020 (formerly Anthropology 1020E).

1026F/G Archaeology and Biological Anthropology (0.5 course)

Anthropology 1026F/G will introduce you to Archaeology and Biological Anthropology through one term allowing you the opportunity to supplement in-class learning with an independent writing project. An introduction to aspects of biological anthropology and archaeology which help us to understand the place of humankind in nature. Topics to be covered include heredity, human evolution and variability, archaeological method, the development of culture, the domestication of plants and animals, and the rise of civilization and the state.

Three sections are offered in 2018/19:
Fall term Wednesdays 3:30-6:30.
Winter term online through Distance Studies.
Winter term Monday evenings 7-10.

Antirequisite: Anthropology 1020 (formerly Anthropology 1020E).

1027A/B Introduction to Linguistics (0.5 course)

Anthropology 1027A/B will introduce you to Linguistics through one term allowing you to learn and practice the fundamentals of Linguistics (through lectures and tutorials) in preparation for further studies in either Linguistics or Linguistic Anthropology. Introduction to basic concepts and methods of modern linguistics. Topics include articulatory and acoustic phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics. This course is a prerequisite for subsequent linguistics courses in the Department of Anthropology and/or the Linguistics program.

Two sections are offered in 2018/19:
Fall term Wednesdays 4:30-6:30 plus one tutorial hour on Wednesdays.
Winter term Tuesdays 3:30-5:30 plus one tutorial hour on Thursdays.

Antirequisite: Linguistics 2288A/B.