Courses Offered

Surface picking

Courses Offered 2020-21

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 / synchronous 2020-21 Graduate Research Seminar schedule (TBA)

Required Courses - Fall Term 2020

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).

Neal Ferris Friday 9:30am -12:30pm / synchronous

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 / synchronous

Course Outline

9110A – Principles of Applied Archaeology

  • Required for all Applied Archaeology & Intensive Applied Archaeology students

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.

Cross-listed with Anthropology 4429F

Peter Timmins Monday, 9:30am-12:30pm / synchronous

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 2020

9104A - Special Topic in Bioarchaeology: Life History

Life history theory is an analytical approach commonly used in biology to understand how energy is allocated throughout the life cycle, to factors such as growth, reproduction, maintenance, activity, and immune function.  This course will explore the ways that sociocultural and behavioural differences between human populations influence life history strategies A range of topics will be considered in relation to our understanding of energetics and activity, including diet and subsistence behaviour, growth and body size, locomotion, reproduction, immune function, and changing patterns of labour.  Throughout the course we draw upon evidence from both past (bioarchaeological) and living human populations.

Cross-listed with Anthropology 4493F


Jay Stock Monday 1:30-4:30pm / synchronous

Course Outline

9213A - Displacement and Diasporas 

In this course, we will discuss and problematize the uncritical use of the “diasporic” condition as by default anti-essentialist, as politically radical, or as detachment. The course emphasizes the diverse trajectories, cultures, histories and political aspirations of diasporic populations (some with modern political projects), and underscores the significance of politics, power structures and socio-economic differentials in variously shaping diasporic subjects (migrants, refugees, exiles, etc.) in the twenty-first century. The crossing of geo-political boundaries involves gendered cultural encounters. Yet such boundary crossings do not necessarily mean we also journey physically, of  ideologically or politically towards global citizenship, or do they?

Eligible for credit towards the MER Collaborative graduate program.


Randa Farah Tuesday, 1:30-4:30pm / synchronous

Course Outline

9225A -  Special Topic in Sociocultural Anthropology: Reading and Writing Ethnography

Cultural anthropologists use the term ethnography to describe both their method of research and the final product of that research, often a narratively driven article or book. In this course, we will explore ethnography as a mode of knowledge and representation, as a theory and practice, and, above all, as a genre of writing. We will begin by considering some classic debates about ethnographic writing and then turn to in-depth analyses of several contemporary ethnographies. This course will be of interest to students across all four subfields and will explore issues of narrative form and technique; the relation between the form and content of arguments; the ethics of cultural representation; time, space, scale, and context; and voice, positionality, agency, and subjectivity.

Cross-listed with Anthropology 4494F


Greg Beckett Wednesday, 10:30am-1:30pm / synchronous

Course Outline

Linguistics 9237A - Advanced Research in Language: Field Techniques in Linguistics

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to Linguistic Fieldwork. As such, this course will lead you into the field to seek native speaker consultants, to collect, transcribe and analyze linguistic data of a given language and to present that data in such a way that it is useful to others. We will be working with a language unfamiliar to the students.  The 1-hour class will be devoted to lecture and going over data and the 2-hour class to data gathering and elicitation with a language consultant. We will be working with a variety of digital tools and students must be prepared to spend ample time familiarizing themselves with these tools. 

Cross-listed with Anthropology 3237A

Tania Granadillo Wednesday, 2:30-4:30pm / 2 hrs synchronous plus asychronous

Course Outline

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, 1:30-4:30pm / synchronous

Course Outline

Required Courses - Winter Term 2021

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 / synchronous 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.

Lindsay Bell Friday 9:30am-12:30pm / synchronous

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 2021

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 / synchronous

Course Outline

9105B - Special Topic in Archaeology: Artifact Analysis

This course will explore the approaches used in archaeology in identifying and analysing artifact object collections (this course will not be exploring materials such as floral or faunal remains). This course will provide graduate students with advanced level discussion on the identification, analysis and interpretation of major types of cultural materials commonly recovered from archaeological sites in Ontario. Emphasis will be placed on developing practical skills and knowledge related to conducting analyses and reporting results of archaeological investigations. The course will provide an overview of a broad range of cultural materials including: lithics, ceramics, metals, glass, and organic artifacts. As well, students will be introduced to matters of managing archaeological collections long term, including issues of conservation, access and maintaining collection integrity and contextual data. In addition, students will be introduced to logics, or lack of it, with respect to: classification, typology, measurement, and digital analyses. By the end of the course students will be able to work with, manage and report on archaeological collections, and identify limitations in conventional typological and classification schemes, direct in the lab material analyses, and plan for specialist analyses on classes of artifacts from these collections.

Cross-listed with Anthropology 3313B

Peter Timmins Wednesday, 10:30am-12:30pm / synchronous

Course Outline

9111B - Advanced Bioarchaeology

This course explores current theoretical and methodological issues in bioarchaeology.   Using a broad international and comparative approach, the course considers ways to interpret a diverse array of factors influencing human lives in the past, including: diet, demography, disease, identity, mobility, landscape, childhood, life history, gender, ideology, political economy, violence, work, urbanism, and globalization.  Throughout the course, these themes are linked to broader themes of interaction between culture, the natural and social environments, and human biology.   While emphasizing prehistoric bioarchaeology, the course will have broad relevance to the interpretation of the links between the past and present.  

Cross-listed with Anthropology 3311G


Jay Stock Wednesday, 2:30-5:30pm / synchronous

Course Outline

9112B - Digital Archaeology and Digital Heritage

This course will explore the implications of digitizing the practice of archaeology, and interacting with the past digitally. How does this digital world change methodologies, analyses, and even how we interpret and think about the archaeological heritage? What are the implications for understanding the past and making the archaeological heritage accessible beyond archaeology, 3 as it becomes engaged with, challenged, and re-imagined online and within social media and a global digital community? The intent of this course is to understand the implications of a digital archaeology, and of a digital heritage arising from that archaeology. It is NOT a how-to course, and digital novices as well as seasoned veterans will easily manage the expectations for this course, including hands-on experiences using digital equipment.

Cross-listed with Anthropology 4407G


Neal Ferris Thursday, 1:30-4:30pm / synchronous 

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 Monday, 1:30-4:30pm / synchronous

Course Outline

9217B - Anthropology and Embodiment

In this course we will use anthropology as a lens to analyze, evaluate and interpret embodiment and bodymind. In the style of an emerging topics course -- weekly readings will be designed to reflect the particular interests of course participants. Possible topics might include: Surveillance and management of bodies in life and death (prisons, hospitals and graveyards etc.); Sex, Gender, and Sexuality; Pregnancy; Performance/Athleticism; Race; Disability; Food Access (choices, barriers); Obesity vs. Fat Pride; Body modification (tattoos, adornment, orthotics, prostheses, assistive technologies), and more. This is a course that welcomes the exploration of borders and boundaries of embodiment as emerging within students' own diverse research interests. 

The course will be hybrid synchronous and asynchronous. Students will take turns as discussion leaders (both synchronous and asynchronous components), assignments will include weekly reflections and responses to each others' reflections (online discussion format), one essay and either another essay or an alternative format assignment.

Pamela Block Wednesday, 10:30am-1:30pm / synchronous

Course Outline

The following course offered through the Centre for Theory and Criticism is also open to graduate students in Anthropology: Land, Language and Locatives; Instructor: Regna Darnell

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.