Anthropology is a science of humanity that addresses human issues both from a cultural and from a biological point of view. The narrowest concern of anthropology is the survival of humanity; its broadest is the conditions of continuity and change for all human life. While broadly educated, individual anthropologists generally specialize in a particular approach to this whole view of humanity. Our University offers undergraduate and graduate programs in four approaches, or “sub-disciplines” of anthropology: The department of Anthropology offers a large number of courses that provide students with an opportunity to engage with human rights issues in a significant way. Experienced faculty members teach a wide array of human rights related courses, ranging in topic and approach but connected to a central theme of human rights.For more information, including registration details, contact the Anthropology department.
Plagues and People
Examines selected plagues in evolutionary, ecological, and epidemiological context, and considers the complex biological, social, and economic repercussions for human populations. Foci include past, present, and emerging infectious disease epidemics.
Anthropology of Childhood
Anthropological approaches to the study of children and childhood. Childhood is examined as a social and historical construction, and children are analyzed as active contributors to their social worlds. Cross-cultural ethnographic material relating to children and youth is critically read and discussed.
Language and Culture
The investigation of the complex interaction of language and culture, including linguistic perspectives on prehistory, ethnosemantics, and sociocultural correlations of linguistic variation.
Anthropology of Political Systems
Analysis of political institutions and their changing nature in diverse societies and forms of society, with attention to authority, leadership, decision-making, power and its disguises, and forms of resistance.
The Anthropology of Food
Considers the diversity of ways that anthropologists have used food as a productive entry point for understanding culture, society, and human ecology. The course will survey highpoints in the history of the anthropology of food and address current topics such as food security and food movements.
Women in Cross Cultural Perspective
Critical perspectives on the role of women cross-culturally, with ethnographic reference to non-Western societies and cultures.
Anthropology of Sex and Sexualities
Anthropological approaches to the study of human sexuality and the diversity of sexual expression and identification. Sex and sexualities are examined as social and cultural constructions, experiences, discourses, identities and practices taking place in specific local contexts and shaped by wider social processes, including colonialism and globalization.
An anthropological study of dimensions of community, ethnicity, and social class in Canadian society.
Anthropological Perspectives on Globalization and the World-System
An anthropological perspective on the modern world-system and the expansion of capitalism into peripheral areas of the world; the transformation of indigenous societies and cultures; the rise of ethnic conflict, protest and resistance; and a comparative examination of selected global and transnational processes.
Anthropology and Contemporary Social Issues
Anthropological perspectives on poverty, social accountability, colonialism, racism, education, ecological degradation and violence.
This course provides the theory, methods, and techniques for forensic identification of human skeletal remains, including estimation of sex, age-at-death, stature, population affinities and features of personal biology. The laboratory component of this course, where students work with actual human skeletal remains, is a major component.
Cultural Resource Management
A survey of the concepts, methods and techniques used in the management of cultural, especially archaeological, heritage resources. The roles of public agencies, private contractors, and heritage legislation in Canadian CRM are reviewed.
Seminar in the Anthropology of Religion
An intensive analysis of religion as a cultural subsystem, dealing comparatively with ideologies, rituals, and ceremonies and the various anthropological theories put forward to explain religious behavior.
Selected Topics in Cultural Anthropology (ANTH 4780)/Problems in Ethnological Research (ANTH 7900)
Course offerings may vary from year to year.
Anthropology of Human Rights
This seminar examines diverse conceptualizations and practices of human rights and social justice as broadly understood. Particular attention will be given to instances where human rights are emergent, and where they are contested or are subjects of conflict. An objective of the course is to increase critical resources for thought and action on human rights and social justice. Another is to achieve familiarity with alternative and oppositional understandings and approaches to human rights and social justice.
Environmental Conflict, Rights, and Justice
This seminar explores how the theories and methods of anthropology can be used to understand and address controversies over resource extraction, toxic pollution, environmental racism, sustainable food systems, and other current issues. It focuses on the tensions that emerge when scientific and non-scientific forms of knowledge produce different ways of understanding environmental problems. Selected articles and ethnographies will introduce key concepts and current debates in the discipline.