An introduction to the cultures and social systems of people from around the world. Topics include economics, politics, kinship, family, and religion, as well as the expressive aspects of culture such as the arts, myth, and ritual.
An introduction to archaeology and its contribution to an understanding of the development of culture. The course will investigate the history of the discipline and the development of techniques and principles used by archaeologists throughout the world.
A survey of human biological evolution. The principal topics are evolutionary theory, human genetics, the nature of race, living primates, and the fossil record of humanity.
Language is distinctively human and the basis for shared social interaction. This course provides students with basic concepts for understanding language and communication from the fields of anthropology and sociolinguistics.
Students are introduced to the unique adaptations seen in modern humans and our fossil ancestors. Students examine the fossil record with special attention to the timing of major changes in the human lineage, such as the emergence of bipedalism, enlargement of the brain, manufacture of stone tools, and global dispersal. Class 75 min and lab 75 min/week
Students are introduced to the diversity of living primates (lemurs, lorises, tarsiers, monkeys, apes, and humans). Students examine key features of the morphology, ecology, evolution, and behaviour of different primate groups. Current threats to primate survival are evaluated and conservation strategies are explored. Class 75 min and lab 75 min/week
In 1845, Sir John Franklin's expedition to map the Northwest Passage sailed into the Arctic Archipelago and vanished. What happened must be pieced together largely through archaeology. Students explore the historical context of the Franklin Expedition and evaluate the evidence discovered in its wake.
Why preserve the past, and in what form? How has the past been used and abused for political purposes in different historical and cultural contexts? To what extent have administrative policies and ethnocentric attitudes towards indigenous peoples alienated indigenes from anthropologists? How do museums, collections, the restitution of cultural property and the illicit traffic in relics contribute to the situation?
This course is an introduction to the multidisciplinary nature of forensic anthropology. It explores the myths and realities of the search for human remains in crime scenes, what should be expected from a forensic anthropology expert in the courtroom, some of the challenges in mass fatality incident responses, and what a student should consider if they want to pursue a career in forensic anthropology.
This course examines the nature of childhood in various societies with attention to the development and socialization of children from birth through adolescence. Primary emphasis will be given to a perspective that views children as active participants in their own worlds as well as the worlds of others. While focusing on the social and culture contexts of children’s lives, we will explore topics that include parent-child relations, education, child labor, friendship, play, and the relationship of children to media technologies and consumer culture.
Students are introduced to the concept of culture as an essential aspect of human nature. Emphasis is given to contemporary theories concerning society and culture.
Selected societies and cultures of Papua New Guinea and adjacent island clusters are examined. Special attention is given to cultural diversity within this region. Specific topics covered include variation in the relationship between men and women, variation in leadership patterns, warfare and descent systems.
This course provides a survey of the varied Indigenous cultures of Canada. Some of the socio-cultural changes associated with contacts between indigenous peoples and Europeans are considered. Variation in roles assumed by men and women are also discussed.
Students consider East Asia as a region with shared cultural and historical legacies, while examining the radically diverse contemporary conditions of each country.
This course introduces Japanese society through a life course perspective. Topics include family, education, the work place, gender, class, ethnic minorities and contemporary social problems.
Students explore the relationship between language and culture in diverse ethnographic settings. Attention will be paid to the unique contributions of anthropology to the study of language.
Anthropologists have long been interested in work as an aspect of economy (that is, how productive tasks get accomplished), as a determiner of general social structure (that is, a core institution), and as a theme in the ethos of various societies (that is, work as an ethic). As anthropologists turn their attention to industrial societies (and as other disciplines adopt ethno-geographic methods), the workplace is often treated as were small communities in the past. Special attention is given to methods of data collection in workplaces in complex societies. There will also be an examination of the application of these techniques by scholars, development agencies, commercial enterprises, and political movements.
Students are introduced to the relationship between people and their environment cross culturally, including issues of stewardship and environmental degradation. Current debates regarding the threats of climate change in terms of peoples’ livelihoods and culture are introduced.
Students examine how our relationship with the environment has changed through time. Students explore the influence of environmental change on the evolution of our species, Homo sapiens. Evidence from the archaeological and paleontological records is used to investigate the long-term history of harmful anthropogenic environmental modification.
The goal of this course is to understand the socio-cultural and economic dynamics that shape food and eating, and the roles that both play in shaping people’s everyday lives. Students will critically examine a wide range of processes connected to food and eating around the world.
Students use anthropological methods to examine tourism and its effects on contemporary culture. Students explore the phenomenon of tourism from multiple perspectives, including the tourist experience, and the tourist industry. Students also explore the re-shaping of places and spaces as a result of the challenges and opportunities presented by tourism.
In 1845, Sir John Franklin's expedition to map the Northwest Passage sailed into the Arctic Archipelago and vanished. What happened must be pieced together largely through archaeology. Students explore the historical context of the Franklin Expedition and evaluate the evidence discovered in its wake. Students engage with the Franklin mystery by conducting their own research.
The archaeologist's toolkit is changing rapidly as new technologies allow us to detect and map archaeological sites and features without digging. Students engage in hands-on learning with terrestrial and aerial remote sensing technologies including ground penetrating radar, electromagnetic induction, and LiDAR.
This course introduces the student to the basics of social structure and social organization. Emphasis is placed upon the importance of kinship, politics, economics, beliefs, and the arts for an understanding of human socio-cultural life.
Students are introduced to an anthropological perspective on the relationship between culture, biology, and social expectations of male and female behavior. Emphasis is given to examining how individuals and societies imagine, negotiate, perform and contest dominant gender ideologies, roles, relations and identities.
Students are introduced to the field of visual anthropology. The course has two major foci: 1.) examination of the use of visual material in anthropological research and in the presentation and consumption of anthropological knowledge, focusing particularly on photography and film, and 2.) addressing visually as a domain of anthropological inquiry, exploring ways of seeing in culturally and historically specific contexts.
We perceive the world around us through the logic of signs. This course is an introduction to the fields of symbolic and semiotic anthropology, examining the role of symbols in constituting cultural reality. Special attention will be paid to both universal and culturally specific symbolic practices as well as considering the role symbols play in our own lives.
A number of substantive studies of peasant society and culture are examined. Examples are drawn from diverse regions including Mexico, India, China, Japan, Europe and Southeast Asia. Theories related to similar and contrasting features of peasant culture are considered.
This course surveys major developments in the anthropological study of religions. The course will provide a solid theoretical foundation for the field study of contemporary religions.
Students explore the anthropological analysis of cinema and the public image of anthropology as represented in popular movies.
The course will examine the nature and structure of human conflict by evaluating anthropological theories of warfare and aggression in light of the case materials available on small-scale societies. In addition, particular attention will be devoted to: 1) the role of racism in human conflict, and 2) a critique of socio-biological theories of human aggression.
Students are introduced to processes and social relations surrounding production, exchange, and consumption from a cross-cultural perspective. They are encouraged to think critically about notions of “the economy” as a separate sphere of activity and see how exchange is embedded in society.
This course offers detailed instruction with practical application of archaeological field techniques. This course is generally off-campus at an archaeological site. As such, the course is dependent upon external funds and has a limited enrollment. Please consult the Departmental Chairperson regarding availability.
The course offers training in the laboratory, analysis of materials recovered from an archaeological site. To maintain continuity of the learning experience, students must take ANTH 3373 in the same year this course is offered.
Students examine archaeological evidence of early human activity and how this evidence has been interpreted. We examine human origins, cultural adaptations, and the notion of “human nature”.
This course will examine funerary customs within a global framework. Mortuary rituals afford not only insight into the death practices of past societies, they may also provide a basis from which to investigate a broad range of important social and anthropological questions, from social organizations, gender relations, and social inequality, to health and disease, diet, and biological affinity, to the ethical and legal aspects of exhumation and reburial of skeletal remains.
This course offers an introductory survey to both the empirical and interpretive aspects of Landscape Archaeology incorporating real-world case studies drawn from local archaeological resources. It emphasizes the human-scale experience of the past rather than grand, overarching models, and borrows liberally from socio-cultural anthropology.
Drawing upon primary source evidence, and placing a particular emphasis on materiality, thematic emphasis is given to colonial Nova Scotia as a stage for conflict and negotiation between Aboriginal and European peoples and adaptation of European social, political, and economic practices to a North American environment. This course explores the European colonization of the Maritime Provinces from contact to the middle of the 18th century.
A survey of human genetics, including Mendelian genetics, multifactorial genetics, cytogenetics, and population genetics, intended to enhance understanding of human biological variation.
A survey of primate and human evolution as revealed in the fossil record.
Learning a field language is an essential part of anthropological fieldwork. Students learn concepts and methods related to language elicitation, and acquisition of communicative competence in an unknown language. The practical application of these methods in ethnographic settings is stressed.
Geographically vast and linguistically diverse, Canada offers an ideal case study of contemporary issues in the study of language. Topics include official bilingualism, functional multilingualism, heritage languages, and indigenous languages. Questions of maintenance, revitalization, contact and change will be examined throughout.
Cultural Resource Management (CRM), as an applied form of archaeological research, is a rapidly expanding field of practice where many students and graduates of archaeological curricula develop their professional careers. Students will be introduced to its principles and learn about legislation, policy and protocols that impact CRM archaeology. Students will also be introduced to applications of geomatics technology, including geographic information systems (GIS), for CRM archaeology. Case studies will comprise a fundamental source of information in this course. The format is that of a seminar.
A detailed examination of bones of the human skeleton for forensic purposes.
A detailed analysis of the human skeleton aimed at creating profiles of decedents and understanding circumstances surrounding their deaths.
Students study facial anatomy and its importance in forensic human identification through an examination of topics such as human osteology, soft tissue anatomy, how the brain recognizes faces, collection of facial tissue depths using ultrasound, and 3-D facial reconstruction.
Students examine the structure of human variation from a biological perspective through an exploration of topics such as: “race” and biology; eugenics; sex, gender and sexuality; and environmental racism.
Palaeopathology is the study of diseases in past human populations. In this course you will learn how to diagnose simple bone pathologies, and in the process gain an understanding of bone physiology and pathology and how these processes work. The main part of the course will focus on the major categories of disease that affect the skeleton. We will also examine how certain diseases have affected human history.
Students will survey spectacular claims about the past found in public discourse. Questions such as the nature of archaeological evidence, the degree to which archaeology can be said to be a science, and the treatment of alternative interpretations of the past will be addressed.
This course examines the phenomenon of imperialism through an archaeological lens. Students will explore the relationships between material culture and systems of social power.
A variety of research methods associated with the study of urban materiality will be examined. Using Halifax as a case study, students will participate in research and field work that will contribute directly to an understanding of the urban archaeology and history of Halifax and its people.
Public archaeology concerns how archaeology and archaeologists function beyond the professional community. Students consider why it is important for people to know about archaeology. They also examine how governments, teachers, writers, and journalists interact with the discipline.
Students focus on the current problematics of human-environment relations in the age of climate change and environmental degradation. Current debates regarding the threats of climate change in terms of peoples’ livelihoods and culture, and the concept of the Anthropocene as a new epoch in human impact on the environment, are addressed.
This course is an introduction to forensic archaeology. It will teach students field recovery techniques of surface and buried remains as well as the protocol associated with crime scenes and exhibit documentation. Topics that will be covered include: introduction to forensic archaeology and anthropology (including roles of various law enforcement officials), crime scene safety and ethics, crime scene and exhibit documentation (scene photography, note taking, chain of custody of exhibits), establishing scene perimeters, searching for clandestine burials and human remains, forensic taphonomy, gridding scenes, mapping scenes, excavation techniques, soil analysis, and scene restoration.
ANTH 3710 - 3719 Field Study in Anthropology
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: Twelve (12) credit hours in Anthropology and permission of the instructor
This course is designed to allow students to take advantage of field study, including international field study, opportunities not necessarily supervised by a member of the Department of Anthropology. Special arrangements for the course must be approved by the Department Chairperson, at the request of the student.
ANTH 3826-3849 Special Topics/Seminars in Anthropology
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: Six (6) credit hours at the 2000 level or above
To be offered in response to expressed student desire for advanced instruction in anthropological topics not covered intensively in substantive course offerings; or to take advantage of expertise of visiting scholars. The format is usually that of a seminar.
ANTH 3876 - 3899 Directed Independent Study in Anthropology
3 credit hours
This course offers a practical exploration of empirical landscape archaeological methods such as pedestrian and geophysical survey, and historical map and aerial photograph interpretation. Students apply these methods in the field and produce research reports in accordance with federal and provincial archaeology regulations.
Students are introduced to the variety of ethnographic research methods applicable in the field setting. Through a series of exercises (that may include work in the local community) the students develop and design a long-term research project, and learn how to analyze their findings. A brief introduction to quantitative methods is offered.
A history of anthropological theory focused on the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.
Concepts and methods of historical archeology, survey techniques, data collection, and laboratory analysis. Suggested for students who intend to take fieldwork courses in archeology.
Students are expected to have knowledge of field techniques used in archaeology. They assist a senior archaeologist in the excavation of an archaeological site, being responsible for all levels of recording. Please consult the Departmental Chairperson regarding availability.
Students must have a knowledge of laboratory techniques used in archaeology. They use this knowledge to record, analyze, and report on archaeological specimens. This course may be twinned with ANTH 4464, should the site being excavated produce sufficient archaeological materials.
This course examines topics in the field of linguistic anthropology, combining a sophisticated understanding of the structure of language with the cultural realities of its use. Students will learn about current debates and advanced concepts in the field, while being given the opportunity to conduct their own research on language behaviour.
Linguistic anthropologists analyze the dynamics of communication through the medium of ethnography. This course critically examines how anthropologists collect and convey their findings on language use. Case studies combine ethnographic texts with theoretical background to allow students to evaluate recent anthropological research.
The application of anthropological theory and methods to a well-defined area of study identified and communicated to the student’s honours thesis committee prior to enrolment. Students will work closely with their principal advisors and two other committee members.
This course examines the communication of the results of anthropological inquiry to the scholarly community through the writing of an honours thesis. While students will work closely with their thesis committees, all faculty members of the department will evaluate theses on the basis of content and style.
This is a practical, hands-on course in forensic anthropology. Students will use their knowledge of forensic methodologies for the examination and identification of human remains as well as the writing of forensic anthropology reports through work in an official morgue.
ANTH 4710 - 4719 Advanced Field Study in Anthropology
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: One of ANTH 3710 – 3719
Students will investigate and develop a response to a specific research questions in a particular field site (e.g. Japan, Arctic Canada, etc.), Students will travel to the field site with a faculty member. Students will apply anthropological theories and methods to complete a guided research project. This course generally takes place between May and August and involves additional costs. Locations and foci will vary from year to year. Please consult Departmental Chairperson for availability.
To be offered in response to expressed student desire for advanced instruction in anthropological topics not covered intensively in substantive course offerings; or to take advantage of expertise of visiting scholars. The format is usually that of a seminar
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