Courses Offered

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Courses Offered 2024-25

Graduate Research Seminar

Regular attendance at four terms of the Graduate Research Seminar is a requirement of our programs. It will appear as a completed milestone on your transcript.

  • 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). The Graduate Research Seminar is scheduled on Friday afternoons to facilitate attendance in terms when students are taking the two required graduate courses (Anthro 9100A and 9101B/9102B) 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 or guest speakers.  While attendance is not required at those optional sessions, we encourage students to take part.
  • Four terms attendance required for all full-time students (two terms for part time students)
Friday 1:30-2:30, SSC 2257 2024-25 Graduate Research Seminar schedule (TBA)

Required Courses - Fall Term 2024

9100A - Thinking Anthropologically

  • Required for students in all streams

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 & Andrew Walsh Friday 9:30am -12:30pm, See dept. for classroom Course Outline

Elective Courses - Fall Term 2024

9001A - Professional Development

This course aims to help you identify and strengthen your marketable skills and learn to present yourself 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. As a group, we will decide which ones to focus on developing this term. The course emphasizes peer and participatory learning and includes a series of collaborative and individual exercises that will not only serve to enrich your skills, but also provide you with concrete experiences to add to your CV.

Open to students in all fields of Anthropology

Lisa Hodgetts Monday, 1:30-4:30pm, See dept. for classroom Course Outline

9118A - Advanced Skeletal Biology

This course is an exploration of the role that human skeletal material plays in providing anthropological information. Emphasis will be placed on the analytical techniques used in osteology and odontology for: measuring biological adaptability in archaeological populations; creating individual biographies, and the reconstruction of cultural activities.

(Cross-listed with Anthro 3338F)

Andrea Waters-Rist Tuesday, 9:30am -12:30pm, See dept. for classroom Course Outline

9127A - Historical Material Culture

Material culture encompasses the relationships between people and their material world (e.g., objects, landscapes, written records, architecture). This course offers a hands-on approach to the archaeological theorization, identification, recordation, and analysis of material culture of the 19th and 20th centuries. Students will work with real collections to complete term projects. Students will learn to identify, catalog, analyze, conserve, and curate historic materials including glass, ceramic, and metal, as well as practice methods like photogrammetry for recording objects and buildings. Partnering with local organizations like TMHC Inc and the Museum of Ontario Archaeology, students will work with real historic collections from Ontario to complete term projects, which include a public-facing exhibit design and a research essay/material culture analysis. 

(Cross-listed with Anthro 4418F)

Trish Markert Wednesday, 9:30am-12:30pm, See dept. for classroom Course Outline

9225A - Reading & Writing Ethnography

This course explores current approaches to reading and writing ethnography in sociocultural anthropology. Through close readings of ethnographic texts, we will explore issues of genre, style, voice, narrative, and representation in anthropological writing.

(Cross-listed with Anthro 4495F)

Greg Beckett Thursday, 9:30am-12:30pm, See dept. for classroom Course Outline

9232A - Anthropology in the Virtual World

As our worlds and lives become increasingly shaped by virtual interactions and connections, anthropological research has shifted to incorporate the virtual world and community. In this course, students will explore the theory and practice of virtual anthropology and the opportunities and challenges that might be encountered as we conduct ethnographic research in virtual worlds. Throughout the course, students will have the opportunity to craft their own virtual ethnography research projects and develop valuable online research skills. To align with the research topic, this course will be held online and we will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of virtual technologies for education.

(Cross-listed with Anthro 4411F)

Jeremy Trombley Online (Synchronous) Course Outline

9900A - Special Topics: History of Anthropological Thought

This course poses questions like: What are the origins of our discipline? Who created it and why? Where (and when) were they from? How did they define what constitutes anthropological knowledge? How did they come to “know” what they (thought they) knew? These broad questions will shape our analysis of how anthropological concepts and categories have been constructed and reconstructed over time. We will do so by examining the work and lives of some foundational figures in anthropology from the late-19th to mid-20th centuries. We will read examples of their work in order to understand how particular kinds of anthropological questions or perspectives emerged out of the intersection of specific life circumstances and interests, intellectual networks and formation of schools of thought, and particular ethnographic circumstances in their political and historical contexts. Some of the questions that guide this course are: How did the scholars studied understand what constitutes “society,” and how it relates to “culture”? How did they conceptualize the causes of social or cultural patterning? What were the implicit or explicit boundaries of their units of study? And how did all of this relate to important political and social issues of the day? At the end of this course, you will have a deeper knowledge of where anthropology came from and how some of its central questions evolved over time. Many of the concepts we will examine shaped research and thinking across the subfields of anthropology.

This course is cross listed with Anthropology 3350F, with additional expectations for graduate students. The lecture material in the course is offered online, while the discussion component can be attended on Zoom or in person. 

(Cross-listed with Anthro 3350F)

Kim Clark Thursday, 12:30-1:30pm & online, See dept. for classroom Course Outline

Required Courses - Winter Term 2025

9101B– Research Design in Archaeology and Biological Anthropology

  • Required for all Archaeology/Biological Anthropology and Applied Archaeology students

This course offers an introduction to a range of issues related to the practice of anthropological research. Among the topics we will address 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.

Trish Markert Friday 9:30am -12:30pm, See dept. for classroom Course Outline

9201B - Research Design in Sociocultural & Linguistic Anthropology

  • Required for all Sociocultural and Linguistic Anthropology students

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 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.

Greg Beckett Friday 9:30am-12:30pm, See dept. for classroom Course Outline

Elective Courses - Winter Term 2025

9108B - Paleopathology & Paleodiet

This course will explore disease and diet in past human populations with particular focus on the interaction of health and nutrition. 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 through the analyses of skeletal and dental remains from archaeological contexts. Major techniques for reconstructing disease and diet from archaeological human remains are covered. The skeletal and dental markers of disease, injury, and diet are a source of evidence about the broader context in which people lived, for example providing information about changing environments, changing exposure to pathogens, population size and density, conflict between groups, the varied effects of the domestication of plants and animals, and activity patterns such the gendered division of labour. Cutting-edge research in biological anthropology is utilizing the interaction of health and nutrition to address broad hypotheses about human adaptation and evolution.

(Cross-listed with Anthropology 4408G)

Andrea Waters-Rist Wednesday, 9:30am-12:30pm, See dept. for classroom Course Outline

9111B - Advanced Bioarchaeology

This course introduces students to the field of bioarchaeology. In North America, Bioarchaeology is defined as the study of human remains (skeletal and mummified) from archaeological sites. In the UK and other parts of the world, it is defined as the study of biological remains, plant, animal and human, from archaeological sites. Thus, to begin with, the history of the discipline and the derivation of the term will be explored in detail. Individual lecture topics will include ethics and Bioarchaeology, mortuary analysis, the osteobiography, how identity is expressed on the skeleton, the relationship between Bioarchaeology and forensics, and Bioarchaeology in the public realm. Both empirical and theoretical aspects of Bioarchaeology will be explored in every lecture. The interdisciplinary nature of the discipline is a key theme in the course, as is the fact that Bioarchaeology is firmly rooted in Anthropology writ large.

(Cross-listed with Anthro 3311G)

Andrew Nelson Tuesday, 1:30-4:30pm, See dept. for classroom Course Outline

9126B - Cyborgs - The Anthropology of Human Augmentation

Humans have been indirectly and directly biohacking ourselves for millennia. This course considers the evidence for human ‘self-engineering’ throughout human evolution, the archaeological record, and today, focusing on broad comparative perspectives on cultural influences on human anatomy, physiology, genetics, and the history, ethical, and social context of conscious human self-modification.

(Cross-listed with Anthro 3379G)

Jay Stock Thursday, 9:30am-12:30pm, See dept. for classroom Course Outline

9215B - Discourse and Society

Discourse analysis provides empirical grounding for explanations and interpretations of culture, society and social behaviour. Attention to discourse (language in use as talk or text) reveals the diversity of perspectives within cultural and social groups, reminding us to be critical of generalizations we make, while deepening our understanding of issues. In this course, we will explore how discourse is shaped by many things including the world as we know it, the structures of language itself, socio-political relations, prior discourses, the limitations and possibilities of the medium, and various interactional goals. Examples of discourse features include: discourse markers, slang, stance, style, framing, register, genre, language choice, and reported speech.

Karen Pennesi Thursday, 9:30am-12:30pm, See dept. for classroom Course Outline

9233B - Faces & Phases of Nations & Nationalisms

From its liberationist anti-colonial moment, to its ugly racist and fascist face, nationalism - the ideological motor of the ‘nation’ and nation-state has multiple faces and phases. Most scholars agree that the genesis of national consciousness and the concept of the ‘nation’ are attributed to the two momentous revolutions of the 18th century: The North American colonies’ rebellion against Great Britain leading to the American Declaration of Independence (1776), and the French Revolution (1789) – the latter having literally beheaded Absolutism in the figure of Louis the XVI. These momentous events fomented the meaning of the ‘nation’ as a social unit, or in Anderson’s famous expression, imagined community, a unity among equal and free citizens with authority to invest sovereignty in the state – the ‘nation-state’ – thereby obscuring class struggles and other social fissures in society. The history of the emergence of the nation-state is closely entwined with capitalist expansion and the colonial domination of millions of people and a vast stretch of the Earth’s territory for markets and cheap labor. There in the colonial world of ‘natives’, the noble ideals of the Enlightenment were suspended. Thus, anti-colonial national liberation movements in the ‘Third World’ sought to mobilize the largest alliance of classes in a ‘front’ against colonialism. Many of these movements inherited colonial institutions and as new ‘independent’ states became oppressive regimes and continued to orbit in the imperial sphere, unable to achieve real sovereignty and independence. A postcolonial theory and critics of postcolonial scholars emerged out of this condition. In this course, we examine the various theories, types and manifestations of nations and nationalism, and will draw on case studies from Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America.

(Eligible for credit towards the MER Collaborative Graduate Program.)

Randa Farah Wednesday, 9:30am-12:30pm, See dept. for classroom 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.