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Anthropology (ANT) Course Descriptions

Department of Anthropology, College of Liberal and Fine Arts


ANT 1013  Introduction to Anthropology [TCCN: ANTH 2346.]
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Course content spans the study of human culture, past and present; its origins, development, and contemporary change; and the exploration of human physical and cultural differences using the paradigm of adaptation. ANT 1013 fulfills all required learning objectives for the Social and Behavioral Sciences component of the core curriculum.

ANT 1103  Great Discoveries in Archaeology
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course surveys some of the greatest discoveries made by archaeologists in the last 300 years. Specific archaeological sites and finds illustrate the process of archaeological interpretation, provide insight into past cultures, and help to show how the past influences the present.

ANT 2033  Introduction to Physical Anthropology [TCCN: ANTH 2301.]
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
A comprehensive evaluation of human biological diversity and its origins. Topics include anatomy, genetics, primate biology, and the human fossil record. Students will gain critical understanding of key theoretical and methodological issues in this anthropological sub-discipline. This course fulfills all required learning objectives for the Life and Physical Sciences component of the core curriculum.

ANT 2043  Introduction to Archaeology [TCCN: ANTH 2302.]
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course presents archaeological approaches to understanding human cultures of the past. Students receive instruction in general anthropological concepts and specific archaeological methods and theories. Particular case studies are presented to illustrate several aspects of archaeological practice, and to show how archaeologists develop their understandings of cultural variation and change. The course fulfills all required learning objectives for the Social and Behavioral Sciences component of the core curriculum.

ANT 2053  Introduction to Cultural Anthropology [TCCN: ANTH 2351.]
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course offers students the opportunity to examine cross-cultural variation in contemporary societies around the world in an anthropological context. It emphasizes ethnographic descriptions to highlight cultural variability in economics, social structures, and ideologies. The course fulfills all required learning objectives for the Social and Behavioral Sciences component of the core curriculum.

ANT 2063  Language, Thought, and Culture
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course surveys anthropological approaches to the cross-cultural study of language, emphasizing linkages among language, expressive culture, systems of belief and value, and the production of cultural meaning. The effects of social context upon speech are examined as are relations of inequality and power that shape linguistic interaction. Instruction is also given in the fundamentals of descriptive linguistics. The course fulfills all required learning objectives for the Language, Philosophy, and Culture component of the core curriculum.

ANT 3133  Ritual and Symbol
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 1013 or ANT 2053 recommended.
An examination of rituals—highly stereotyped, stylized, and repetitive acts usually taking place in carefully selected locations and marked by use of material items. Students will be offered a cross-cultural examination of ritual activity from various cultural regions. Attention is also given to the theoretical frames that contribute to a holistic understanding of ritual practice.

ANT 3153  Indians of the Great Plains
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 1013 or ANT 2053 recommended.
An examination of the fundamental cultural transformation and flourishing of Native American societies of the Great Plains following the introduction of the horse. Attention is also given to the subsequent retrenchment under the imposition of Anglo-American dominance, and the recent emergence of new forms of cultural expression within tribal and urban areas.

ANT 3193  Drug Cultures
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course will examine different aspects of Western and non-Western drug cultures in historical and contemporary society. Topics may include traditional, medicinal and illicit drug use, food drugs, ethnomedicine, spirituality and altered states, indigenous property rights, as well as the drug trade, markets and globalization.

ANT 3203  Native North Americans
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 1013 or ANT 2053 recommended.
Survey of Native North American cultures from ancient times to the present. Emphasis will be placed on cultural responses to colonialism and European/American intrusion as well as contemporary issues confronting native North Americans in the present day.

ANT 3223  Anthropology and the Environment
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 1013 or ANT 2053 recommended.
Human adaptation to the environment and interaction with it, comparing simple and complex societies in various environmental contexts. (Formerly titled “Cultural Ecology.”)

ANT 3233  Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course will critically examine pseudoscience, cult archaeology, and creationism from a scientific perspective. The careful assessment of particular case studies will demonstrate how a strong adherence to professional archaeological methods can uncover facts about the past that are as interesting as myth.

ANT 3253  The Archeology of South America
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 1013 or ANT 2043 recommended.
The origins and development of the native cultures of South America, and their relationships to the cultural areas of Central America and the Caribbean. Emphasis on the variety of cultural forms and cultural evolution. The roles of demography, subsistence systems, militarism, religion, and other factors in the rise of South American cultures may be discussed.

ANT 3263  Archaeology of North America
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 1013 or ANT 2043 recommended.
Survey of prehistoric cultures in North America from earliest times to historic contact. May include discussion of Ice Age mammoth hunters, Eastern mound-building cultures, Southwestern pueblo cultures, and Plains bison hunters. Chronology, sites, settlement and subsistence patterns, and recent research issues may be considered.

ANT 3273  Civilizations of Mexico
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 1013 or ANT 2043 recommended.
Examination of the development of the ancient civilizations of Mexico and Central America: Olmec, Teotihuacan, Toltec, Aztec, and Zapotec, among others. Insights will be drawn from archaeological data, art, hieroglyphic writing, ethnohistoric accounts, and Colonial Period documents. (Formerly titled “Ancient Civilizations of Mesoamerica.”)

ANT 3293  Analytical Methods in Anthropology
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisites: Completion of Core Curriculum requirement in mathematics recommended; ANT 2043 or ANT 2053 recommended.
Qualitative and quantitative analysis and computer applications as used in anthropological research.

ANT 3303  Nature and Culture in Greater Amazonia
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 1013 or ANT 2053 recommended.
This course examines the historical and contemporary situations of the indigenous peoples of lowland South America, focusing specifically on the Amazon Basin. Consideration will be given to classical ethnographic monographs as well as accounts of the political and ecological challenges that currently face the inhabitants of Greater Amazonia.

ANT 3333  Physical Anthropology of Human Populations
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 1013 or ANT 2033 recommended.
Examines the biological variability of living populations; includes genetics, anatomy, demography, and change within a physical anthropology framework.

ANT 3343  The Contemporary Pacific
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 1013 or ANT 2053 recommended.
This course examines the geography, prehistory, colonial contact and contemporary society in the Pacific Islands. Drawing on case studies from Hawaii to Papua New Guinea, emphasis is placed on ethnography and the contribution of the area to anthropological thought.

ANT 3363  Indians of Mesoamerica
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 1013 or ANT 2053 recommended.
Survey of the indigenous peoples of Mexico and Central America, including Maya, Zapotec, Mixtec, and Nahua (Aztec) cultures, from before the Spanish conquest to the present. The course emphasizes interactions between native peoples and the Spanish colonial and modern national regimes and processes of culture change.

ANT 3383  Folklore and Folklife
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 1013 or ANT 2053 recommended.
Examines vernacular arts, crafts, and customs and their function in the maintenance of group identity. National, regional, ethnic, and occupational traditions are investigated. Attention is given to texts such as legends, myths, and ballads, as well as folk performance, clothing, architecture, and foodways.

ANT 3403,6  Field Course in Archaeology
3 or 6 hours credit. Prerequisites: Upper-division standing, consent of instructor, and at least one previous anthropology or archaeology course.
Offers the opportunity to gain intensive training in archaeological field methods: excavation, site survey, mapping, sampling, and interpretation. Additional fees are required. May be repeated for credit with advisor’s permission, but not more than 6 semester credit hours may be applied to a major in anthropology.

ANT 3413  The Fieldwork Experience
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 2053 or consent of instructor.
Drawing upon the field experiences of major figures in anthropology, the course explores the scientific and humanistic aspects of research in cultural anthropology. Ethnographic methods and techniques are discussed, with emphasis on participant observation and ethical considerations.

ANT 3503  Human Origins
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 1013 or ANT 2033 recommended.
The fossil record of human emergence and comparative studies of human evolution. Evolution of social organization, technology, and language development to the end of the Ice Age.

ANT 3513  The Human Skeleton
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 1013 or ANT 2033 recommended.
Students are given the opportunity to develop skills in the study and analysis of human osteological remains. Applications of skeletal analysis in a variety of fields are considered, including physical anthropology and archaeological demography.

ANT 3523  Medical Anthropology
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 1013, ANT 2033, or ANT 2053 recommended.
This course approaches the study of health and disease patterns in human populations through the combined perspectives of culture, biology, and ecology.

ANT 3543  Museum Studies in Anthropology
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 1013, ANT 2043, or ANT 2053 recommended.
By studying the nature and functioning of museums, past and present, this course will explore major controversies and debates about the politics of memory and visual display. Particular emphasis will be placed upon the role of anthropologists and archaeologists in museum contexts. Methodologically, the course will provide an overview of techniques used in exhibition planning and design as well as in collections management.

ANT 3603  Sex, Gender, and Culture
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 1013 or ANT 2033 recommended.
Examination of the biological and cultural sources of differences between men and women.

ANT 3713  Anthropology of Material Culture
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 2043 or ANT 2053 recommended.
This course surveys the role of material culture in human social systems of the past and present. Archaeological, historical, and ethnographic case studies are used to illustrate how the material world is variously woven into the fabric of culture. (Formerly titled “Material Culture Systems.”)

ANT 3723  Ancient Civilizations
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 1013 or ANT 2043 recommended.
Cross-cultural exploration of the development of ancient civilizations and their social, economic, and political institutions, using archaeological remains, ancient art, and ancient writing. The course compares ancient civilizations of Mesoamerica, South America, Africa, and Asia. (Formerly titled “Ancient Complex Society.”)

ANT 3733  Political and Legal Anthropology
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 1013 or ANT 2053 recommended.
Comparative political and legal systems; forms of authority, legitimacy, and power. Major trends in anthropological thought are explored with emphasis on the political uses of myth, symbol, and ritual. Law and judicial processes are examined in Western and non-Western societies.

ANT 3743  The Anthropology of Cyber Cultures
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 1013 recommended.
This course focuses on the cultural and historical dimensions of cyberspace. Consideration will be given to a variety of topics that may include virtual worlds and gaming, online communities, social networking, the political economy of information as well as cross-cultural theories of identity, location, and space as these apply to cyber cultures.

ANT 3803  Media, Power, and Public Culture
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 1013 or ANT 2053 recommended.
Film and media images facilitate the production, consumption, and circulation of ideas and practices in the United States and cross-culturally. The course traces the history and meaning of various communication technologies and their impact on culture. It will examine print, film, television, new digital media and the Internet, asking how these are used to create and perpetuate dominant cultural forms as well as how these are appropriated and used by people on the margins as critique and resistance. In an increasingly media-dominated world—mass advertising, indigenous film as political resistance, politics as media campaigns, DVD productions by gangs and terrorist organizations—understanding the relationship between media and culture is a critical dimension of the professional knowledge of our future.

ANT 3823  Applied Anthropology
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 1013 or ANT 2053 recommended.
Applied cultural anthropology directly addresses the needs and problems of communities and organizations throughout the world. Topics include the history of applied anthropology; a conceptual framework for understanding the different styles of applied research; methods of applied anthropology; domains of applied anthropology: international development, medicine, education, business, criminal justice, and the environment; career options and becoming a professional.

ANT 3833  Indians of Texas
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 1013 or ANT 2053 recommended.
Ethnological survey of the Indian populations of Texas from the early historic period to the present. (Formerly ANT 4133. Credit cannot be earned for both ANT 3833 and ANT 4133.)

ANT 3843  Introduction to Primate Diversity
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course offers a broad survey of the social behavior and ecology of the living primates. It begins with a survey of primate taxonomy, drawing distinctions among prosimians, monkeys, and apes. The course concludes with consideration of what the study of nonhuman primates can tell us about human evolution.

ANT 3853  Modern Ape Behavior and Ecology
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Modern apes show considerable diversity in their behavioral and morphological adaptations. This course focuses on the major theoretical approaches to understanding the biological variation within this primate group. The question of whether great apes exhibit culture is also discussed.

ANT 3863  The Evolution of Human Nature
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
A central concept in the evolution of human behavior is the idea that our brains, like our bodies, have been shaped by natural selection. The extent to which this factor influences the diverse behavior of modern humans is a topic of considerable debate. This course takes a critical look at different attempts to explain human behavior based on adaptive design.

ANT 3873  Food, Culture, and Society
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course explores the relationship between food and culture in diverse societies by examining food, food practices, and production, as well as the meanings associated with food. Topics include issues of identity, class, food habits, global food systems, and world hunger.

ANT 3883  Death and Dying
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 1013, ANT 2043, or ANT 2053 recommended.
Cross-cultural approaches to death, dying, and bereavement with a focus on either contemporary or prehistoric cultures depending on instructor’s emphasis. When exploring contemporary cultures, attention will be given to the emotional, social and ethical issues of dying, and the social organization of death and dying. When exploring prehistoric groups, attention will be given to conceptualizing death through diverse funerary practices, body treatment of the deceased, and religious principles involved with death. In both cases, the course seeks to provide a comparative understanding of death and its wider social implications. May be repeated once with advisor’s approval when topic varies.

ANT 3893  Primate Ecology
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Nonhuman primates in their natural habitats, including biogeography, feeding and ranging behavior, structure and social organization of groups in relation to environment, and primates as members of communities.

ANT 3903  Introduction to Linguistics
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Basic principles of analysis and description of the structure of language, including sound system, word order, and meaning. Also, overview of selected subfields of linguistics, such as historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, language acquisition, and bilingualism. (Same as ENG 3343 and LNG 3813. Credit cannot be earned for more than one of these courses.)

ANT 4013  Maya Civilization
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 1013 or ANT 2043 recommended.
Examination of the development of Maya civilization in Mexico and Central America. Insights will be drawn from archaeological data, art, hieroglyphic writing, ethnohistoric accounts, and Colonial Period documents.

ANT 4023  Histories of Anthropology
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 2033 ANT 2043, ANT 2053, or ANT 2063 recommended.
This course examines the history of anthropology as a distinct field, including considerations of historical figures, institutions and relationships among subfields. Emphasis will be placed on changes in theoretical and methodological orientations as they emerge in specific historical contexts.

ANT 4113  Archaeology of Texas
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 2043, ANT 3263, or ANT 3663 recommended.
Detailed review of prehistoric and historic aboriginal cultures of Texas and adjacent areas; current trends in Texas archaeology; examination of artifacts; and field trips to local prehistoric sites.

ANT 4123  Archaeology of the American Southwest
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 2043 or ANT 3263 recommended.
Consideration of the prehistoric cultures in the American Southwest and northern Mexico from the earliest occupations to European contact. Paleo-Indian, Archaic, Mogollon, Anasazi, and Hohokam occupations are reviewed with a consideration of recent research directions and theory.

ANT 4143  Primate Feeding Biology
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 2033, ANT 3843, or ANT 3893 recommended.
An investigation into the ecology and evolution of wild primate feeding biology and nutrition. Topics include primate-plant interactions, nutritional requirements, plant defensive chemistry, foraging theory, sensory ecology, evolution of body size and its implications for feeding, and evolution of primate feeding-related anatomy.

ANT 4183  Diet, Nutrition and the Human Brain
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 2033, ANT 3843, or ANT 3893 recommended.
An investigation into the impact of digestion, food and diet on human brain evolution. Topics include a review of macronutrients and metabolism, brain and gut anatomy and physiology, the interactions between the central nervous system and enteric nervous system, food and cognition, and the roles of hunting, meat consumption, and cooking in human evolutionary history.

ANT 4233  Conservation of Primates in Global Perspective
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 2033 or ANT 3843 recommended.
Analysis of the conservation status of the world’s nonhuman primates, and the specific threats to their survival. Includes examination of issues relating to the anthropology of conservation, such as human-nonhuman primate resource competition, anthropogenic habitat alteration related to land use and development, and efforts to achieve community-based conservation.

ANT 4243  Ethnographic Film
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 1013 or ANT 2053 recommended.
Critique of major ethnographic films, concentrating on field methodology, production values, and the issue of representation.

ANT 4263  Anthropology of Globalization and Development
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 1013 or ANT 2053 recommended.
Anthropological perspectives on the nature, causes, and consequences of social and cultural change, with an emphasis on how local cultures are shaped by and resist the process of globalization and development. (Formerly titled “Social and Cultural Change.”)

ANT 4273  The Anthropology of Oil
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 1013 or ANT 2053 recommended.
This course explores the social, cultural, and political-economic significance of oil, the most important industrial commodity of the world. Case studies will be drawn from books, articles, and films that describe the importance of oil at the level of its production, distribution, and consumption in the United States and around the world.

ANT 4283  Culture in Theory and Practice
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 2033, ANT 2043, ANT 2053, or ANT 2063 recommended.
Examines philosophical approaches to culture and their applications within anthropology. Readings will include significant theoretical works from within anthropology and influential texts from related disciplines. Case studies will be used to illustrate these perspectives.

ANT 4333  Ecology and Evolution of Human Diseases
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 2033 recommended.
Ecological, evolutionary, and biocultural aspects of human disease. Topics include the ecology of infectious/parasitic disease pathogens and their human hosts, the evolution of human host-pathogen interactions, the impact of cultural and demographic change in human populations, and the effects of global environmental change on human disease patterns.

ANT 4363  Primate Evolutionary Biology
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ANT 2033 or consent of Instructor.
This course evaluates the evolutionary history of the nonhuman primates. Examination will include information gained from fossil and genetic data as well as from modern phylogenetic methods.

ANT 4911-3  Independent Study
1 to 3 hours credit. Prerequisites: Permission in writing (form available) from the instructor, the student’s advisor, the Department Chair, and Dean of the College in which the course is offered.
Independent reading, research, discussion, and/or writing under the direction of a faculty member. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 6 semester credit hours of independent study, regardless of discipline, will apply to a bachelor’s degree.

ANT 4933,6  Internship in Anthropology
3 or 6 hours credit. Prerequisite: Consent of internship coordinator.
Supervised experience relevant to anthropology within selected community organizations. A maximum of 6 semester credit hours may be earned through Internship in Anthropology. Must be taken on a credit/no-credit basis.

ANT 4953  Special Studies in Anthropology
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
An organized course offering the opportunity for specialized study not normally or not often available as part of the regular course offerings. Special Studies may be repeated for credit when the topics vary, but not more than 6 semester credit hours, regardless of discipline, will apply to a bachelor’s degree.

ANT 4983  Anthropology Honors Research
3 hours credit. Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to candidates for Department Honors during their last two semesters; approval of the Department faculty.
Supervised individual research and preparation of a major paper in support of Department Honors. May be repeated once with advisor’s approval.

ANT 4993  Honors Thesis
3 hours credit. Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to candidates for University Honors in Anthropology during their last two semesters; and consent of the Honors College.
Supervised research and preparation of an honors thesis. May be repeated once with advisor’s approval.


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