Courses Offered

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Courses Offered 2021-22

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 1:30-2:30 2021-22 Graduate Research Seminar schedule (TBA)

Required Courses - Fall Term 2021

9101A - Research Methods in Archaeology & Bioarchaeology

  • Required for all Bioarchaeology and Archaeology students, including Applied Archaeology

This course offers an introduction to a range of issues related to the practice of anthropological research. Among the topics we will be addressing through readings, presentations and discussions are research design, ethics, and the advantages and limitations of different approaches to data collection, analysis and presentation of results. Assignments will require students to conduct an original research project. We will also tour various research labs.

This course crosses over several times in the term with Anthropology 9201A (below).

Andrea Waters-Rist Friday 9:30am -12:30pm, SSC 3102

Course Outline

9201A – Research Methods in Sociocultural Anthropology

  • Required for all Sociocultural and Linguistic Anthropology students

This course is 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 research design, ethics, and the advantages and limitations of different approaches to data collection, analysis and presentation of results. Assignments will require students to conduct an original research project in teams.

This course crosses over several times in the term with Anthropology 9101A (above).

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

Course Outline

9301A – Directed Research & Writing I (Intensive Applied Archaeology only)

  • Required for Intensive Applied Archaeology students

The Directed Research and Writing courses are intended to focus students on their thesis topic, and allow them to generate content for their thesis as part of the course requirement. These courses will be taught by the student's supervisor or by an instructor if the cohort in a given year is large enough. Regular meetings and blocks of time for writing are part of the course content. Successful completion of these courses is determined through a pass/fail evaluation.

Elective Courses - Fall Term 2021

9208A - Anthropology of the State

In this graduate seminar we will discuss readings that may assist us in thinking anthropologically about state formation, state projects, and state effects (rather than focusing on formal theories of the state). The kinds of questions examined include: How are state subjects and citizens made? How can the state itself – as a set of institutions and as an idea – be examined ethnographically? What kinds of cultural understandings underlie a range of state projects and interventions? How can we understand how local populations and/or subordinate groups experience and respond to such projects? The course has been organized around an exploration of concepts for the study of the state, and readings have been selected to cover many different geographic areas in addition to engaging different theoretical concepts. Given the range of student interests, the aim is to allow students to familiarize themselves with analytical tools that can be applied to their own research, rather than to review thoroughly the literature on state formation in any specific region.

Cross-listed with Anthropology 4495F


Kim Clark Wednesday, 1:30-4:30pm, SSC 3227

Course Outline

9214A - Memory, History and Identity (CANCELLED)

The course examines the reproduction of the past, whether professional historical productions or popular memory, as entwined to present givens and interests. It similarly assumes that identity constructions inevitably invoke the past. The course includes readings on how memory is reproduced in the context of migration/diaspora, the political aspect of memory, and the struggle for and against power. 

Eligible for credit towards the MER Collaborative graduate program.


Randa Farah CANCELLED

9900A - Special Topic in Anthropology: Anthropology of Conservation

The conception and application of “conservation measures” are inherently humanistic endeavours. While current concern over biodiversity loss might lead people to associate “conservation” with threatened species and endangered ecosystems, there are multiple other ways in which humans practice conservation behaviour (usually accompanied by explicit rationales why a particular conservation endeavour is needed or of future value). This seminar will be an exploration of the multple endeavours and expressions that human engagements with “conservation” can take. We will begin the term looking at the wide-­‐spread association of “conservation” with threatened species and endangered ecosystems.

Other areas to be explored will include (but will not necessarily be limited to are: issues of curation, both in regards to archaeological assemblages and, more broadly, to museum collections generally; preserving/conserving published material, indigenous languages, "traditional ecological knowledge" (TEK), architectural heritage, electronic media, and cultural practices.

Open to students in all fields of Anthropology.

Eligible for credit towards the E&S Collaborative graduate program.


Ian Colquhoun Thursday, 9:30am -12:30pm (online)

Course Outline

Required Courses - Winter Term 2022

9100B– Theory in Archaeology

  • Required for all Bioarchaeology and Archaeology students, including Applied Archaeology students

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 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 that fit best with their own research interests and proposals in development. These reading lists will ultimately inform students’ final papers. 

Jay Stock Friday 9:30am -12:30pm, SSC 3102 Course Outline

9200B - Theory in Sociocultural Anthropology

  • Required for all Sociocultural and Linguistic Anthropology students

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 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 that fit best with their own research interests and proposals in development. These reading lists will ultimately inform students’ final papers.

Andrew Walsh Friday 9:30am-12:30pm, SSC 3227

Course Outline

9302B - Directed Research & Writing 2 (Intensive Applied Archaeology only)

  • Required for Intensive Applied Archaeology students

The Directed Research and Writing courses are intended to focus students on their thesis topic, and allow them to generate content for their thesis as part of the course requirement. These courses will be taught by the student's supervisor or by an instructor if the cohort in a given year is large enough. Regular meetings and blocks of time for writing are part of the course content. Successful completion of these courses is determined through a pass/fail evaluation.

Elective Courses - Winter Term 2022

9001B -Professional Development

  • Optional but strongly recommended for students in all streams.

Anthropologists develop a suite of valuable transferrable skills that can be effectively applied in a wide range of job settings. This course aims to help students identify and strengthen their marketable skills and learn to present themselves effectively to prospective employers both within and outside of academia. These skills include time management, oral communication, grant writing, teaching, leadership, research, project management, editing, interpersonal skills, and an appreciation of ethical and civic responsibility. The course emphasizes peer and participatory learning and includes a series of collaborative and individual exercises that will not only serve to enrich students’ skills, but also provide them with concrete experiences to add to their CVs.

Lisa Hodgetts Thursday, 9:30am-12:30pm, SSC 3315

Course Outline

9104B - Special Topic in Archaeology: Mortuary Archaeology

This course takes a cross-cultural and deep temporal perspective on how different societies have dealt with the loss of one of their members. Mortuary archaeology draws on many different threads in Anthropology, including ethnography, cultural theory, bioarchaeology, archaeological theory, forensic analysis to name only a few. It also reaches beyond the bounds of Anthropology to draw on research in Sociology, Biology and other disciplines to take a truly interdisciplinary approach to how societies deal with death.

Cross-listed with Anthropology 4426G

Andrew Nelson Monday, 1:30-4:30pm, SSC 3227

Course Outline

9108B - Paleopathology and Paleodiet

This course will explore disease and diet in past human populations. A range of topics within paleopathology, the study of ancient disease, and paleodiet, the study of ancient diet, will be investigated to learn what can and cannot be discerned about human health in the past.

Cross-listed with Anthropology 4408G


Andrea Waters-Rist Tuesday, 1:30-4:30pm, SSC 3227

Course Outline

9225B - Special Topics in Sociocultural Anthropology - Deviance, Difference and Resistance

This course provides students with a comprehensive understanding of deviance, difference, and resistance from several distinct and relevant theoretical perspectives from the 19th and 20th centuries. This course traces the development of these concepts in anthropology and the social sciences beginning with 19th and early 20th century theories of degeneration and eugenics as well as scholarship from the same period that countered eugenics. We will use period sources to study 20th century movements to surveil, incarcerate, sterilize, and euthanize specific populations identified as deviant or dangerously different as well as resistance to these practices and theoretical conceptualizations of resistance as articulated in global north and south contexts.

Cross-listed with Anthropology 4494G


Pamela Block Thursday, 12:30-2:30pm, SSC 3102

Course Outline

9230B - Advanced Disability and Health in Local and Global Worlds

This course will provide students with a foundation to think critically about occupying and decolonizing health and disability and to use an anthropological lens to provide students with skills to critically evaluate health- occupation- and disability-related experiences both locally and globally.

Cross-listed with Anthropology 3354G


Pamela Block Tuesday, 10:30am-12:30pm + 1 hr synchronous, FNB 2220

Course Outline

9300A/B (MA) or 9800A/B (PhD) - Directed Reading Courses

If you plan to take a Directed Reading Course, you should first consult with your supervisor and with the faculty member who will be supervising the reading course, and then obtain the Graduate Chair's approval. Please complete the Directed Reading Course form and either email it to Christine Wall or drop it off at Christine's office, SSC 3324.