Courses Offered

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Courses Offered 2019-20

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
2019-20 Graduate Research Seminar schedule (TBA)

Required Courses - Fall Term 2019

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 3227

Course Outline

9201A – Research Methods in Sociocultural Anthropology

  • Required for all Sociocultural and Linguistic Anthropology students

This course 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 3102

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 2019

9001A - Professional Development

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.

Open to students in all fields of Anthropology.

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

Course Outline

9003A - Collaboration in Anthropology

This course addresses collaboration as practice and concept in anthropological work today. Although we will certainly examine the history of the practice and concept of collaboration, our ultimate goal will be to consider the sources and implications of recent calls for collaboration (with ‘local people’, with descendent communities, with NGOs, with colleagues in other disciplines, with government, etc.), as well as the opportunities and pitfalls that these calls present. Is “collaboration” just a synonym for kinds of anthropological work that have been going on since the early years of the discipline, or does the rising prominence of this term suggest something more?

This course will draw examples and case studies from different subfields including sociocultural anthropology, medical anthropology, archaeology, linguistic anthropology, forensic anthropology, and so on. Through individual and group work, students will be able to focus on the cases and subfields that most interest them. 

Open to students in all fields of Anthropology

  • Grad Seminar cross-listed for advanced undergrads as Anthropology 4494F
Andrew Walsh Tuesday, 9:30am-12:30pm, SSC 3227

Course Outline

9118A - Advanced Human Skeletal Biology

This course involves the in-depth study of human skeletal and dental remains. Human skeletal biology, or osteology, is essential for research in biological or forensic anthropology. This course will cover several topics including bone and tooth biology and histology, skeletal and dental growth and development, metrics and non-metric traits, estimation of core osteobiographical characteristics such as age-at-death, sex, and stature, data collection techniques and written reporting, an introduction to paleodiet, paleodemography, taphonomy, and paleopathology, and ethical considerations.

  • Undergrad course (Anthropology 3338F) cross-listed for grad students with enhanced expectations
Andrea Waters-Rist Tuesday, 9:30am-12:30pm, SSC 2257

Course Outline

9124A - Advanced Analytical Techniques in Archaeology & Biological Anthropology

Archaeology and Bioanthropology are two subdisciplines of anthropology that bridge the social and natural sciences. As such, they are inherently interdisciplinary. Often the research questions will arise from the social science side, but the methods utilized to address those questions are borrowed from the natural sciences. In the first half of the course we will explore what it means to work in the interdisciplinary realm, including defining interdisciplinarity and exploring the factors that encourage and/or discourage interdisciplinary research. We will also explore the nature of collaboration, including issues of intellectual property. In the second half of the course we will examine broad questions of archaeological & bioarchaeological interest in terms of what analytical techniques can be deployed to answer those questions.

  • Grad seminar cross-listed for advanced undergrads as with Anthropology 4424F
Andrew Nelson Wednesday, 1:30-4:30pm, SSC 2257

Course Outline

9900A - Special Topics 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, 1:30-4:30pm, SSC 3315

Course Outline

Required Courses - Winter Term 2020

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 3227

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 3102

Course Outline

9110B – Principles of Applied Archaeology

  • Required for all Applied Archaeology students
  • Grad seminar cross-listed for advanced undergrads as 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). Over the last 4 decades CRM archaeology has grown to dominate the practice of archaeology in North America to the point that it now constitutes the majority of all archaeology conducted on an annual basis, and provides employment for the majority of professionals in the field. Increasingly CRM archaeology has also begun to define the critical issues facing archaeology more generally.

Peter Timmins Wednesday 1:30-4:30pm, SSC 3315

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 2020

9104B - Special Topics in Bioarchaeology: 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.

Grad seminar cross-listed for advanced undergrads as Anthropology 4493G

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

Course Outline

9121B – Advanced Zooarchaeology

An introduction to the range of information about past human groups gleaned from the animal remains. Lectures will cover various topics in zooarchaeological theory and practice. Labs will teach the basics of skeletal identification for fish, birds and mammals, and will provide experience in the identification of fragmentary archaeological remains.

  • Undergrad course (Anthropology 3310B) cross-listed for grad students with enhanced expectations
Lisa Hodgetts Tuesday, 1:30-4:30pm, SSC 2257

Course Outline

9122B - Activity & Energetics in the Past

Energy is a measure of the capacity to do work. Habitual activity and energy use are fundamental characteristics of the biology of any species. Both are extremely dynamic and variable throughout human evolution and prehistory in relation to environmental variation, cognitive evolution, and functional morphology. This course will explore the processes by which energy is captured from the environment and the ways that our changing relationship with energy have shaped the evolution of human behaviour and biology. We will consider the relationship between energy and activity in the palaeobiology of fossil species, between populations in prehistory, and investigate the ways which our energetic ecology influences human health today. A range of topics will be considered in relation to our understanding of energetics and activity, including diet and foraging behaviour, body size and allometry, locomotion, reproduction, thermoregulation, and changing patterns of labour in the past. Throughout the course we will consider the interactions between four inter-related factors: energy, activity, cultural change and human biology.

  • Grad seminar cross-listed for advanced undergrads as Anthropology 4422G
Jay Stock Thursday, 12:30-3:30pm, SSC 2257

Course Outline

9228B - Language & Power

This course examines linkages between linguistic practices and relations of power, drawing primarily on techniques of linguistic anthropology and discourse analysis.Topics such as racism, disability, migration and others will be addressed.

  • Grad seminar cross-listed for advanced undergrads as Anthropology 4412G
Tania Granadillo Tuesday, 1:30-4:30pm, SSC 3227

Course Outline

9229B - Anthropology of Ethics & Morality

This course focuses on anthropological approaches to the study of ethics and morality. A key goal of the course will be to show where ethics and morality come from, how they arose historically as part of human social and cultural life, and how ethical and moral values are deeply embedded in even the most banal aspects of social life. We will explore how values give rise to historically, socially, and culturally constituted ways of knowing, thinking, and acting. Ethnographic examples will show how our ideas of the right and the good emerge out of, and are often challenged by, everyday social encounters and interactions.

Grad seminar cross-listed for advanced undergrads as Anthropology 4409G

Greg Beckett Wednesday, 10:30am-1:30pm, SSC 3102

Course Outline

9230B/200 - Advanced Disability and Health in Local and Global Worlds

This is a course about intersections. Disability cuts across age, gender, class, caste, occupation, religion- or does it? By some measures, people with disabilities are the largest minority group in the world today. In this course, we critically examine both the experiences of people with experiences with disability or chronic health conditions as well as the politics and processes of writing about such experiences through an anthropological lens. Indeed, questions of representation are perhaps at the core of this course. Is there such a thing as an international or universal disability experience? What does it mean to be disabled or have a chronic health condition in different social, economic, and political contexts in today’s world?

In the beginning of the course, we will develop an anthropological foundation from which to talk about local and global contexts as well as disability. We will consider issues of local development, globalization, and transnationalism. We will ask whether disability is a universal category and we will consider how experiences of health, illness, disability, and debility vary. We will engage in “concept work” by analyzing the relationships between disability and impairment and we will critically evaluate the different models employed to think about disability. In doing so, we will rethink (perhaps) previously taken for granted understandings of disability and health and we will also engage with broader questions about international development, human rights, the boundaries of the nation, the family and other kinship affiliations, and identity and community formation. How is occupying health and disability both a productive analytic and a lens for thinking about pressing questions and concerns in today’s world?

Undergrad course (Anthropology 3354G) cross-listed for grad students with enhanced expecations.

Pamela Block Wednesday, 2:30-4:30m + 1 hour online, MC 105B

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 return it to the Graduate Assistant in SSC 3324.