Introduction to Anthropology

Introduction to Anthropology Syllabus Fall 2019

Examples of course materials:

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Course Description

Anthropology is the only field of study examining the diversity of human experience across all cultures and throughout our history as a species. Rather than providing a long list of facts to memorize (and later forget) about human history and culture, this course instead offers a unique opportunity to radically transform how you see the world. Maybe you have wondered: Are humans innately acquisitive and selfish? Are we hard-wired for aggression and war? Have we always been unequal? Anthropology can answer these questions and more, informing our views about human nature. More than this, anthropology offers something for everyone. No matter what you care about, you can approach consider it anthropologically and understand it better: science, medicine, sports, business, food, globalization, conflict, inequality, race, gender, psychology… you get the idea.

This course introduces students to key insights from the four traditional subfields of the discipline: Archaeology, Cultural Anthropology, Physical/Biological Anthropology, and Linguistic Anthropology. We will also explore the growing field of Medical Anthropology, which focuses on the extra-biological factors that shape human health and illness. Integrating these perspectives enables a uniquely holistic understanding of human origins and contemporary human diversity.


Student evaluations

“I’m really fond of her and wish more professors were like her. She doesn’t speak to us as teacher vs. students, but rather like we’re all on the same field just trying to help each other grow intellectually. My interest in this course had a big deal with how it was taught and has me interested to learn about it further. Dr. Cooper truly is passionate about what she teaches and that really makes a difference with how students perceive the course and how much effort we’re willing to put in.”

“She was very respectful of students and their thoughts. She taught the material in a very interesting manner and made it interactive by asking students thinking questions and facilitating discussions which kept everyone very engaged. I also loved how she always asked related the material back to everyday life. She always worked with students, was very understanding, and was flexible to accommodate students’ needs… She also communicated through email quickly which I really appreciated and was overall very communicative of expectations and deadlines. Thank you so much for being such a great professor but also a great person in general! You truly made me a better person through this course. I will genuinely miss being in your class.”

“I enjoyed her teaching so much that I tried to change my whole schedule next semester just to have a class with her. I wasn’t able to but I’m going to try again for the rest of the semesters I have here.”

“Dr. Cooper always invited productive discussion in the classroom and this added significantly to the content and usefulness of this class. She always made sure a topic was understood before moving on to the next one and truly wanted to help each of us succeed in her class. It was clear that she cared more about the content of the course and making sure it was understood instead of just giving students a grade and moving on. Overall, I was very happy with this course, as it made me think about new topics in different ways, and the instructor who presented these topics very well.”



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