Introduction to Anthropology
Anthrcul 101: This introductory course exposes and explores the structures of inquiry characteristic of anthropology and surveys the field's four subdisciplines (biological, archaeological, cultural, and linguistic anthropology), providing a first glimpse of the field's overall context, history, present status, and importance. The principal aim of the course is to help students develop a coherent view of the essential concepts, structures, and intellectual methods that typify the discipline. In doing so, the course lays stress on concrete examples of human cultural and ethnic diversity and the interactions leading to structures of dominance, inequality, and resistance. In order to understand and counter negative assessments of diversity, it stresses unifying principles that link the subdisciplines and thereby create anthropology's comprehensive, holistic world view. It teaches students various ways of learning and thinking about the world's many designs for livi ng in time and space. It prepares them to integrate and interpret information, to evaluate conflicting claims about human nature and diversity, and to think critically. Topics covered include: the nature of culture; human genetics, evolution and the fossil record; the concept of race; primate (monkey and ape) behavior; language and culture; systems of marriage, kinship and family organization; sex-gender roles; economics, politics, and religion in global perspective; the cultural dimension of economic development and contemporary social change, and the emergence of a world system. Required readings come from one introductory text and additional paperbacks. Lectures and discussion-recitation. Two objective exams (multiple choice and true or false questions) cover the two halves of the course. The second exam is given on the last day of class. There is no final exam and no term paper. Section leaders require quizzes and, perhaps a short paper.
Language and Culture
Anthrcul 374: This course is concerned with the relations among language, thought, and culture. The first half of the course centers on how language as a system of signs makes culture possible. It looks at some basic questions about the nature of human language and its implications for how people make sense of the world. We ask such things as these: What do we share with other animal systems of communication and what is peculiar about human language? How does language shape the way we perceive and think about the things around us - and how does the world shape language? How does language let people mean things? The second half of the course focuses on language in action and interaction. We explore the dynamics of everyday conversations, the artful uses of language in performance, and aspects of power such as the politics of gender, national identity, and social status. Although most of the readings are drawn from anthropology, we will also venture into closely r elated areas in linguistics, sociology, and psychology. This course does not assume any background in linguistics and has no prerequisites.
this course will examine the histories, possibilities and limits of cities as global ethnographic sites. We will look at recent, past, and future manifestations of urban spaces and the people who live within them. Furthermore, we will examine cities as sites of work, as spaces of decay, as cosmopolitan centers, and as spaces of intense socio-economic, ethnic and "racial" diversity and division. This course is organized around ethnographic and historical literature and will also include close analyses of film and other media representations.
Anthrbio 365: Human evolution has been a biological process with both social and physical aspects. Through lectures, discussion section, laboratory, and reading, the interrelated process of behavioral and physical change is outlined for humans and their ancestors. Emphasis is placed on evolutionary mechanisms, and context is provided through an understanding of the pre-human primates. The human story begins with origins and the appearance of unique human features such as bipedality, the loss of cutting canines, the appearance of continual sexual receptivity, births requiring midwifery, and the development of complex social interactions. An early adaptive shift sets the stage for the subsequent evolution of intelligence, technology, and the changes in physical form that are the consequence of the unique feedback system involving cultural and biological change. The "Eve" theory and other ideas about the origin of modern humanity and human races, and their development an d relationships, are discussed in this context. Class participation and discussion are emphasized, and there is a required discussion/laboratory section for elaboration of lecture topics and supervised hands-on experience with primate skeletal material and replicas of human fossils.
Techniques in Biological Anthropology
Anthrbio 371: Laboratory training and work in the techniques used in various aspects of research in biological anthropology.
This course is about the origin of the human species and the adaptations and life history of the earliest human ancestors before Homo. It examines the ancestry of the hominids, the various theories of their origin, and aspects of australopithecine evolution such as their history, locomotion, behavior, adaptations, and taxonomy. Emphasis is placed on the application of evolutionary theory to species origins and mode of evolution, the biomechanical links of form to function, and the importance of the discovery of stone tools.
Evolution Genus Homo
Evolution of the genus Homo from H. erectus to modern human populations. Topics include origin and dispersal of Homo erectus, appearance and evolution of early H. sapiens, Neanderthal, and modern humans.
Stars and the Universe
Astro 112: Discover the nature of stars, black holes, luminous nebulae, supernovae, galaxies, and other cosmic phenomena. In this concept-focused course you will learn what these objects are, how they formed, and what is ultimately in store for the universe. Explore the roles of light, energy, and gravity in astronomy, and get hands- on experience with telescopes and other astronomy tools during mini-labs.
The Big Bang
Astro 142: This course will trace our progress in understanding the nature of the Universe from the early Greeks to today, with emphasis on our current understanding based on Einstein's relativity. The Big Bang Theory will be presented and origin of matter will be traced from the formation of atoms, to the formation of the first stars, to the build-up of galaxies such as the Milky Way. Dark energy and the ultimate fate of the universe will also be discussed in the context of the recent results from space satellites concerning the cosmic microwave background radiation that fills the universe and the large scale distribution of galaxies that form the cosmic web.
The Ancient Greeks are always with us, in high places and low, from the halls of our democratic institutions to the pages of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. How can we explain their ubiquitous presence in our lives? Why won't they go away? This course explores the art and archaeology of ancient Greece, beginning in the Bronze Age (the famous Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations) through to Hellenistic times (the age of Alexander the Great). We will explore all aspects of Greek life as reflected in the materials they left behind, objects that range from mighty marble temples such as the Parthenon, to discarded drinking vessels from their parties, from cities to theaters, from houses to palaces. Such artistic and archaeological evidence allows us to consider how Greek society worked, and how they understood the relations of humans and gods, men and women, Greeks and barbarians. Having taken this course, you will understand far better just why t hey Greeks are so hard to forget.
Frauds and Fantastic Claims in Archaeology
Anthrarc 285: rauds and Fantastic Claims in Archaeology examines interpretations of archaeological remains popular in the media but that archaeologists view as fringe or "pseudoscientific" ideas. We focus particularly on claims that cultural achievements by indigenous peoples are a consequence of contact with superior beings, such as "more advanced" civilizations and even extra-terrestrials. We will examine the logical flaws and problematic evidence used to support these claims, along with the racist assumptions that underlie them. The goal of this course is for students to learn critical thinking skills that will enable them to assess popular interpretations of archaeological remains in the future.
Athens Past and Present
Old cities are not just monuments to past glory. They are incubators for new ideas and sites of dynamic change. Athens has always been a city in transition, from ancient times, when it was a center of art, politics, philosophy, and commerce to the modern era, when it reemerged as a modern capital city. In this class, we will explore Athens neighborhood by neighborhood through photographs, films, travel descriptions, maps, poetry, plays, political writing, and fictional and non-fictional narrative. We will work through important moments in Athens' long history, as we also make stops at some of the city's contemporary hot spots - from the Acropolis to the Plaka and Kolonaki Square to beachfront scenes of Athens' modern night life - in order explore the different ways that Athens has reinvented itself.
Archaeology of Asia Minor
Clarch 435: This course provides a chronological survey of the art and archaeology of western Turkey, the place the Greeks called Anatolia, "the land of the rising sun," from the late Bronze Age (15th -12th centuries B.C.) to the Hellenistic period (2nd century B.C.). The course begins by examining the collapse of Aegean Bronze Age civilization from an Anatolian perspective, focusing especially on the archaeology of Troy and the Trojan war, and on the Hittite empire. We will then consider the re-emergence of town life in the Iron Age (11th to 6th centuries B.C.) and the formation of independent kingdoms in places such as Phrygia and Lydia, the lands of Midas and Croesus. Special attention will be paid to the role of Anatolia as an intermediary between the Greek cities of Ionia, on the western coast of Turkey, and the complex civilizations of the ancient Near East - in subjects as diverse as architectural ornament, the evolution of urban form, bronze casting, and the adoption of a written script. In the 6th century B.C., Anatolia was conquered by Persian invaders, who established a unified system of government that lasted until the coming of Alexander the Great in the mid-4th century B.C. In examining the Persian period in Anatolia, we will focus on the career of Mausolus, whose eponymous tomb, the Mausoleum, built and decorated by some of the most famous Greek architects and artists of his day, became one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The last section of the course will consider the influence of the Anatolian heritage on the development of Hellenistic Greek civilization in sites such as Pergamon, which emerged as the capital of a powerful independent kingdom in the 3rd and 2nd centuries B.C. The archaeological evidence considered in this course comes mainly from excavations carried out at town-sites and monumental cemeteries, and the course will also investigate contemporary developments in Anatolian archaeology, including new research strategies s uch as regional survey in addition to ongoing excavation.
Greek Drama: Greece on Stage
Stdyabrd 473: This course focuses on the civic values of tragedy and comedy in Athens, the birthplace of democracy. Students will read a selection of plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes that reflect the ideals and practical reality of the Athenian polity. Students will also learn about theater festivals, theater architecture, staging, and the participation of Athenian citizens in the production and performance of drama within the urban context of Athens.
Sport in Ancient Greece and Rome
Stdyabrd 473: This course covers athletics in Greece from its origins to its end in Late Antiquity. Students will learn how to reconstruct the culture of sport from ancient sources, both literary and archaeological. Reading and classroom discussion will be integrated with on-site visits to the most important venues for Panhellenic competitions, including Olympia, Delphi, Isthmia, and Nemea. Attention will also be paid to the legacy of Greek athletics in the modern Olympics.
Stdyabrd 473: A survey of medieval Greece from the collapse of the western Roman Empire, through the rise of the Byzantine Empire, to the Ottoman conquest of the 15th century.
Modern Greek Language
Stdyabrd 473: An intensive introduction to spoken modern Greek designed to enable students to use the language in their daily contact with the Greek people.
Archaeology in Ancient Greece
Stdyabrd 473: A survey of the major historical monuments and sites, from the prehistoric period to Classical times
Introduction to Computer Systems
Eecs 181: Fundamental computer skills needed to increase productivity. Use of software packages and applications including word processors, web browsers, spreadsheets, database systems. Creating a web home page. History of computing, ethics and legal issues. Introduction to basic hardware components.
Elementary Programming Concepts
Eecs 183: Fundamental concepts and skills of programming in a high-level language. Flow of control: selection, iteration, subprograms. Data structures: strings, arrays, records, lists, tables. Algorithms using selection and iteration (decision making, finding maxima/minima, searching, sorting, simulation, etc.) Good program design, structure and style are emphasized. Testing and debugging.
English (SWC) 100: Practicum students develop writing skills that allow them to take full advantage of their experiences in Michigan courses. Practicum is designed to support students with limited experience in the type of writing most often assigned and valued at the University and for those students who are not as confident in their writing and want more preparation for college writing. Students will gain practice and experience in: writing as a process of drafting and revising; reading and writing analytically; developing a writer's voice, which includes distinguishing between one's own ideas and those of others; studying models of writing of the kind they are expected to produce in college; using the computer to draft and revise papers and to talk about writing; and attending to grammar and mechanics.
English 125: This course is an opportunity to develop a skill shared by successful persons in all career fields: the ability to communicate effectively in writing. You will become a more effective researcher that can find and use outside information to support your main ideas. You will learn how to develop and state an articulate, persuasive thesis and support it in a clear, organized, and reader-friendly fashion. We will talk about writing as a multi-step process that begins with brainstorming and research, continues with planning and a first draft, and culminates in a proofreading and editing process. We will also discuss grammar and rhetoric not because they are exciting concepts on their own, but because they are the screwdrivers and wrenches of the writing toolbox that will make your writing more engaging and clear.
To the extent possible, this course will tailor writing assignments to your academic fields of interest. By the time you leave this course, you will not only write more effectively but will also be better prepared to interpret the complex writing of professionals in your fields of interest and in the larger media.
Technology & the Humanities
English 415: This upperclass and graduate-level course is appropriate for both those who are technically sophisticated and those who are novices. The course offers technical training, exploration of the implications of modern digital technologies, and the opportunity to develop both technical and scholarly skills in advanced research subjects in the humanities. The course fosters both sharpened general analytic and presentational skills and technical mastery of a broad range of modern computer-based technologies for collaboration and for gathering, manipulating, analyzing, and presenting electronic data in the humanities, both locally and via networks, with special attention to creating and publishing "compound documents" (e.g., Web sites and CD-ROMs). The course begins with five weeks of intensive technical training and proceeds to five weeks of discussion of works that explore the impacts of technology. By the middle of the semester, restrained only by time an d their imaginations, students also will be working in self-selected groups on creating sophisticated multimedia products using a variety of techniques to address some substantial issue in the humanities. Technical topics include information gathering from digital sources, HTML authoring, hypertext documents or novels, collaborative technologies, image manipulation, text analysis, and the meaning of the digital revolution.
Film & Video
Film, TV & Cult Comedy & the Comic Style
his course will explore the history of American film comedy from the origins of cinema to the end of the studio era in the early 1960s. In its various forms, comedy has always been a staple of American film production. But it has also always been a site of heterogeneity and nonconformity in the development of American cinema, with neither its form nor content fitting existing models of classical film practice. This course accounts for that nonconformity by exploring comedy's close and essential links to 'popular' cultural sources (in particular, vaudeville and variety); it looks at how different comic filmmakers have responded to and reshaped those sources; and it examines the relation between comedy and social change. Rather than engage the entire spectrum of comic styles (romantic comedy, genre parody, screwball, etc.), this course focuses on a single tradition bridging the silent and sound eras: the performance-centered, 'comedian comedy' format associated with performers as diverse as Charlie Chaplin, Mae West, the Marx Brothers, and Bob Hope. 'Laughter and its forms,' writes theorist Mikhail Bakhtin, 'represent the least scrutinized sphere of the people's creation.' This course restores film comedy to the scrutiny it deserves, examining it both in its inward formal development and in its external relation to other modes of social expression.
Geosci 105: The seemingly stable land masses of the world are in motion. Continental collision and fragmentation are only a few of the attendant processes associated with these motions. This course deals with the modern concept of plate tectonics and continental drift, the processes, and the products of this dynamic system.
Introduction to Language
Ling 211: Human beings have always been curious about the uniquely human possession, human language - about its structure, its diversity, its use, and its effects on others. This course explores the human capacity for language. We begin with the discussion of the uniqueness of human language and then review major properties of language structure including sound systems, word and sentence structure, meaning and their use. We explore how these properties relate to language acquisition, processing/computation, and writing. The course also considers the rich variation of language in terms of language change, dialects, sign language and language deficits.
Data, Functions, and Graphs
Math 105: his is a course on analyzing data by means of functions and graphs. The emphasis is on mathematical modeling of real-world applications. The functions used are linear, quadratic, polynomial, logarithmic, exponential, and trigonometric.
Math 115: The course presents the concepts of calculus from three points of view: geometric (graphs); numerical (tables); and algebraic (formulas). Students will develop their reading, writing and questioning skills. Topics include functions and graphs, derivatives and their applications to real-life problems in various fields, and definite integrals.
Math 116: Topics include the indefinite integral, techniques of integration, introduction to differential equations, and infinite series.
Problems in Philosophy
Phil 232: This course is open to students from all areas of the University. No previous work in philosophy is assumed. First-term undergraduates are welcome. The course will provide an introduction to some fundamental philosophical problems drawn from a variety of branches of philosophy. The course also seeks to develop, through written work and intensive discussion, skills in critical reasoning and argumentative writing. Topics will be selected from among the following: determinism, free will, and moral responsibility; arguments for and against the existence of God; skepticism about knowledge of the material world; the nature of personal identity; the relationship between mind and body; egoism, altruism, and the nature of moral obligation; and the ethics of belief and nature of faith.
Science, Technology, and Society (STS)
Science, Technology, Medicine and Society
Rcssci 275: This course will provide a rigorous overview of science, medicine, and technology studies. We will explore the interplay between science and society from historical, ethical, and cultural perspectives through case studies. Topics covered will include: genetic enhancement, energy and transportation, human experimentation, public health and epidemics, and reproductive health. You should come away from this course with the ability to think critically about the role of science, medicine, and technology, as knowledge and material practice, especially in the United States.
Oil, Nukes and Democracy in U.S.- Iran Relations
What is the U.S.-Iran crisis about? This seminar course examines the background and daily developments of the crisis in U.S. - Iran relations. We most especially study the history and political-economy of Iran within the oil order since 1900, and examine Iran's nuclear program, and its rights and apparent intentions in light of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as Vs. the positions of the U.S., E.U.-3, Russia, India and China at the IAEA and UN. We also examine the history of U.S. relations with Iran since WWII, and especially since the Iranian Revolution, and the policies of the national Republican and Democratic Parties, neo-cons, etc. We study Iran's policies and relationship to the U.S.-British occupation of Iraq, the Palestinian-Israeli question, relations with Saudi Arabia, E.U., China, India, and other states. In addition, we will examine the internal economic, political and ideological policies of the mullahs' regime, of the Ahmadinejad go vernment, and of the previous government of "liberal reformers," and look closely at examples of resistance and mass struggles by students and others who favor a democratic transformation of Iran. Throughout the semester, we will very closely follow and discuss daily developments in Iran - U.S. relations as they unfold
Person and Society
Soc 101: An introductory study of the interrelationships of the functioning of social systems and the behavior and attitudes of individuals.
Introduction to Information Studies
Provides the foundational knowledge necessary to begin to address the key issues associated with the Information Revolution. Issues range from the theoretical (what is information and how do humans construct it?), to the cultural (is life on the screen a qualitatively different phenomenon from experiences with earlier distance-shrinking and knowledge-building technologies such as telephones?), to the practical (what are the basic architectures of computing and networks?).