Below are course descriptions for two new Anthropology courses being offered in the Spring 2018 semester:
ANTH 239: Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Development
Instructor: Laura Klein (visiting instructor this year)
Days/Time: Tues/Thurs 3:30-4:45
Course Description: How do we become who we are? In this course, we will explore how experiences, nutrition, health, and culture during early life influence our physical and social development. Specifically, we will focus on how experiences before we are born and in infancy shape our bodies, health, and personality. This course will utilize from research in multiple fields, including anthropology, biology, nutrition, neurobiology, and global health. Though the focus of this class will be understanding human development, we will also draw on examples from non-human primates and model organisms.
ANTH 231: Fossil Humans
Instructor: Christina Nicholas (Honors College Fellow)
Days/Time: Tues 8:00-9:15am, Thurs 8:00-10:15am
Course Description: Join us on a journey through our recent evolutionary history! This course, Fossil Humans (ANTH 231), will focus on the evolution of hominins – the lineage of fossil humans beginning approximately 6-8 million years ago. Taught by Dr. Nicholas, a trained paleoanthropologist who has first-hand experience studying and excavating fossils (particularly Neanderthals), Fossil Humans will follow the course of evolutionary history, learning about famous fossil such as “Lucy” the Australopithecine, “Turkana Boy”, and new exciting finds such as the Homo naledi discovery. Through the course of the semester, you’ll learn about important themes in human evolution, such as the rise of bipedal walking (walking on two legs), our increasing brain sizes, cultural complexity, tool making and language. Drawing on the most recent fossil and genetic evidence, we’ll discuss the appearance of our own species (H. sapiens), interactions with Neanderthals and other hominins, and the likely reasons that we are the last remaining hominins. This course includes a hands-on lab component, with the opportunity to examine the Department of Anthropology’s extensive fossil hominin cast collection. The course will also feature guest lectures from other paleoanthropologists, who will share details of their research and fieldwork experiences. If you’ve ever been interested in human history on a deep time scale, or just think Neanderthals are cool, this is the course for you!