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Check out Anthropology Undergraduate Courses* offered in Fall 2021! 


ANTH 101 

Anthropology was first envisioned as a holistic discipline, combining insights from the study of human anatomy and evolution, research on material remains of human settlements, and the analysis of social interaction in language and other cultural practices. Following this tradition, this course explores the questions about where humans came from, how societies live and communicate, and why human cultural groups vary.

ANTH 102 

Explores the origin and evolution of humans with an emphasis on reconstructing and interpreting fossil evidence. It provides an introduction to the fundamentals of biological anthropology and draws on a diverse range of other disciplines that contribute to the study of human evolution – evolutionary biology, population genetics, comparative anatomy, primatology, archaeology, geology and paleoecology. We examine the fossil and artifact record of the last several million years in order to develop an understanding of why we are interesting animals and a somewhat unique species.

ANTH 103 

Presents the fundamental areas of anthropological analysis through a series of comparative cases that emphasize social and cultural relations in global contexts. Directs attention to the anthropological history of global empires and colonial states, their cultural exchanges, and contemporary studies of culture, society, and globalization.

ANTH 105 

Using archaeological data, traces our prehistoric heritage and the processes which led to the evolution of agriculture, settled villages, and civilization in many areas of the world. Lectures range from the earliest Homo sapiens to Sumeria, Egypt, Mexico, Peru, and the United States.

ANTH 106 

Explores recent theoretical, methodological, and thematic developments in historical archaeology in North America and the Caribbean. The temporal coverage is 1500-1900 AD. Examines how historical archaeologists use artifactual, documentary and oral history evidence in interpreting the past, and how historical archaeology can contribute to our understanding of the ways by which material culture can be used to study race, class, gender, and ethnic identities.

ANTH 108 

Introduction to classic writers and texts in Western religious and social thought from antiquity to the Enlightenment, with emphasis on their social and historical contexts.

ANTH 126 

Emphasizes questions of how we can move toward a more sustainable future by focusing on two key realms of human relations with non-human animals: as food, and as “friend,” or pets/companion animals. A third category, of animals as “fauna” or avatars of the wild will be touched on briefly. Anchored in humanistic social science, this course also exposes students to the benefits and challenges of interdisciplinary thinking and research, and provides an opportunity for active experiential learning and pubic engagement

ANTH 130 

The History of South Asia Description: This course will look at the history of modern South Asia from 1700 to the present day. Students will be introduced to the histories of the varied cultural, linguistic, social, economic and political formations that constitute modern South Asia. Commencing with the Mughal Empire, the course will consider early modern state formations, the rise of British colonial power, anti-colonial nationalisms, the partition of British India, and the creation of the post-colonial nation-states of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. We will conclude by examining democracy, development, and religion-based politics in contemporary South Asia.

ANTH 143 

Biological anthropology looks at human biology and behavior through the lens of evolutionary biology. However, as human behavior is complex, it cannot be understood independent of culture or the physical environment. We will explore how biology intersects with environmental factors, including culture, to influence human behavior. Students will learn the skills needed to become scientifically literate, learning their place in nature, the importance of the comparative method in learning about ourselves, and the interaction between biology and culture in understanding the human condition. Topics include evolutionary theory and human evolution, primate origins of human behaviors, social and sexual behaviors, aggression, cooperation, and language, cognition, and culture.

ANTH 160 

Engages with issues such as migration, borders, policing and related topics to examine certain key interventions in the analysis of race in the United States. Introduces students to critical methods and theories in socio-cultural anthropology and allied disciplines in order to grapple with these issues. We will read a variety of material, including ethnographic accounts, scholarly and popular articles, and a work that blurs non-fiction with fiction-writing, as well as screening related films and documentaries. Students will develop a conceptual vocabulary (keywords) to begin analyzing the social problem that race and racism has become in US society.

ΑΝΤΗ 180 

Cross-cultural introduction to the celebration of death across time and space. Examines the anthropological and archaeological literature on death, particularly in terms of death ritual and burial practices. Students study popular films on death in different cultures.

MUSE 200 

A broad introduction to the museum world, focusing on what a museum is, what differentiates various types of museums, and how museums function. Examines museums in terms of education, curation, exhibition, public relations, research, administration, ethical and legal obligations, funding and knowledge.

ANTH 210 

Explores economic, political, cultural and social factors affecting families in different countries; examines variations among families in developed and developing nations and their historical, political and cultural contexts.

ANTH 220 

Introduction to the problems of studying past cultures; special attention given to the ranges of techniques available and the adequacy of various methodologies as bases for sound inference about the structure of extinct cultures.

ANTH 230 

Introduction to the anthropological study of contemporary human societies; emphasis on the comparative study of social organization, interpersonal relations, cultural ecology, and processes of sociocultural change, but also includes some consideration of the method and theory of ethnographic field research.

ANTH 241 

Examines the biological concept of race as applied and misapplied to Homo sapiens by anthropologists and others from the 18th century to the present and of the origin, nature, and significance of so-called racial variation.

ANTH 246 

History and theory underlying methods used in forensic science. Topics include the courtroom, the units of a crime laboratory, methods of securing and investigating a crime scene, and the analysis of evidence collected from a crime scene such as blood, fibers, hair and fingerprints.

ANTH 248 

We ask 'How can activist scholars address observable social injustices such as inequality, poverty, and racism? What methods work best to intervene in public and policy debates? What are the implications of such interventions?' We explore the history of anthropological engagements with distinct "publics" as well as influences from other disciplines and forms of activism. These include Latin American Action Research traditions, Indigenous Studies, and Indigenous, Black, and Latinx feminist schools of thought. From these perspectives, we examine contemporary currents and influences inside and outside of the United States.

ANTH 262 

Perceptions of women, their perceptions of themselves, and their varying roles and statuses in several contemporary societies in diverse countries; supervised ethnographic observation of women's behavior.

ANTH 272 

As a country located at the crossroads of Asia, Europe and Africa, Turkey has always been under the spotlight. In this course, we will study the dynamic relationship between language and culture in Ottoman and modern Turkey through a timely analysis of its transition from a long-lasting empire to a young "secular" nation-state. We will examine the complexities of Turkish modernity from a holistic perspective to better comprehend how central Asian and Middle Eastern cultural influences, continuities, and transformations gave birth to modern Turkish language. The course should help you not only in developing an understanding of the Turkish language within a cultural framework, but also in gaining insight into Turkey's history, politics, literature, and media. No former knowledge of Turkey or the Turkish language is required.

ANTH 278 

Examination of how climate change impacts society. With the increasing need to understand how climate changes and society intersect at present, it is becoming important that we address critical questions about how lessons from the past inform present needs. Case studies from around the world are discussed.

ANTH 347 

Comprehensive knowledge of the human skeleton is central to reconstructing the anatomy, demography, health and evolution of past populations because most of our evidence is derived from preserved skeletal and dental remains. The primary goal of this course is the identification of isolated and fragmentary skeletal remains given that this is a prerequisite to all subsequent analysis. In addition to identifying the bones and landmarks of the human skeleton, students will learn about the structure and function of bone, understand the growth and development of the human skeleton and be introduced to analytical techniques used in human osteology including paleopathology, paleodemography and forensics.

ANTH 350 

Covers major concepts and debates in the study of legal anthropology: the way in which different societies understand justice, practice law, engage or violate human rights, adjudicate responsibility. We examine the foundations of different legal systems, the cultural categories that different societies use to determine the meaning of justice, guilt, innocence, and the variations in systems for both preventing and punishing crime. In addition, we will consider the cultures of law as a profession. How do lawyers learn to read and see the world differently? How do Courts create their own cultural norms and social contexts in ways that impact how all of us receive due process? Finally we explore the relationship between state power, rule of law and democracy. Is there and should there be a role for politics in the law?

ANTH 360 

Our health is inseparably tied to our evolutionary history. As a result, evolution is an important underpinning discipline for health professionals. This course first provides an overview of evolutionary processes, molecular evolution, human evolution, life history theory, and evolutionary-developmental biology. Second, it illustrates the application of these principles to our understanding of nutrition and metabolism, reproduction, disease and stress, and behavior. Third, it shows in practical terms how the principles of evolutionary medicine can be applied in medical practice and public health.

ANTH 370 

Addresses the theoretical, methodological, and ultimately political implications and questions generated by a range of ethnographic materials on Latina/os. Specifically explores culture and power (e.g., racism, sexism, and activism) through ethnographic methods and modes of representation, including literature. Fundamental to the course is the requirement that students engage in ethnographic practice, producing ethnographic research on Latina/os at the University of Illinois.

ANTH 372 

Advanced topics in language and culture.

ANTH 379 

Introduction to concepts and social aspects of health, illness, and curing in different cultures. Considers concepts of interaction between folk and modern medicine in developing nations and delivery of health care as an international social problem.

ANTH 399 - VA 

This course will introduce concepts, techniques and methodologies in archaeological field research through participation in virtual excavation, artifact recovery, analysis and interpretation. Virtual archaeology will include weekly activities in virtual reality where students will use empirical evidence to uncover and reconstruct pieces of the past. No prerequisite, but students must be willing and able to use the HTC Vive VR system

ANTH 399 

Overview of the history of archaeological research in the United States Southwest and cultural developments in the region. Includes such topics as the adoption of agriculture, transitions in social organization and leadership, and the impacts of European colonialism on American Indian populations

ANTH 407 

Immune systems are a defense mechanism against microbial assault and dying and cancerous cells. They are under tremendous evolutionary pressure to cope with changing invasions and other stresses and have, therefore, evolved differently across species and populations. The resulting immune variation strongly impacts human and animal health. This seminar addresses animal immune system physiology and function in the context of evolutionary and anthropological theory and research. It is designed for advanced undergraduate and graduate students with a basic background in biology, biological anthropology and related fields.

ANTH 408 

Comprehensive, comparative study of musculoskeletal anatomy in primates, focusing on functional and adaptive changes that have occurred in the masticatory apparatus, facial skeleton, and locomotor systems of New World monkeys, Old World monkeys, apes, and humans. Relationships between morphology, ecology, and behavior are discussed, applied to the fossil record, and used to address current issues in human evolution.

ANTH 414 

In this seminar we address the theoretical divide between the humanities and the social sciences, the unique authority of the scholar/author, and the invisibility of the reader in producing scholarly texts. Focusing on the ways in which scholars are also authors, we explore current debates by reading a selection of contemporary anthropological texts (and a few precursors) that experiment boldly with how ethnography is written. Students will experiment with several ethnographic writing styles. This course is designed for advanced undergraduate anthropology students and graduate students in cultural anthropology, writing studies, and education.

ANTH 423 

Covers the emergence of economic anthropology as a subdiscipline; considers various definitions of economics with their implications for the study of human society; emphasizes the relationship between social organization and economic life from the perspectives of classical studies in anthropology and their contemporary interpretations.

ANTH 460 

Detailed examination of the theoretical and practical issues of archaeological heritage management. Focusing on the legal, environmental, ethical, social, political, educational, and touristic aspects of the management of ancient sites for their continued sustainability.

ANTH 461 

Examines the prominent theories in archaeology from its inception to the present day and does so within the context of general developments in anthropological thought. Provides a foundation for graduate students and a capstone for major emphasizing archaeology.

ANTH 479 

The idea of race has historically been central to how Western cultures conceptualize and think about human difference. This course examines the historical significance of race through one domain of knowledge: medicine. Specifically, it will be concerned with "race" as a central category in the medical construction and management of individuals and populations. Case studies might focus on colonial medicine, race and public health, sexuality and reproduction, global health disparities, and genetics and genomics.

ANTH 485 

Introduction to the use of anthropological theories and methods in policing studies. Includes comparative historical survey of the diverse sources of power and authority which are bundled into the modern idea of "police power," considers the range of authors contributing to contemporary debates about policing in anthropology, and supports students focusing on both theoretical and applied questions.

ANTH 499 

Geographic Information Services are important tools in anthropology for understanding the role and use of space in both modern and past societies. This course is an introduction to anthropological spatial analysis and the use of GIS software in the analysis of varied sets of data at multiple spatial scales

ANTH 499 - Archaeometry 

Seminar on Archaeometry 


*If you have questions about the following courses, please contact the anthropology advisor: ANTH 494, ANTH 495 (Senior Capstone Seminar), ANTH 498 (Internship), ANTH 390 (Study Abroad), ANTH 390