Anthropology | Bioanthropology of Aboriginal America
B472 | 0487 | Cook
This course will review the demography, epidemiology, and
variability that physical anthropologists and other scientists have
documented in New World peoples, both prehistoric and modern. Research on
Indian and Inuit-Aleut peoples has shaped physical anthropology as a
discipline in the Americas, and we will spend some time looking at this
historical context. Probably the most interesting and consistent
scientific issue throughout this history has been the isolation of the
American continents from the Old World as a force in human adaptation and
variation. We will examine theories of the peopling of the New World, the
effects of diverse life ways on human biology, and the massive biological
and social changes that followed European colonization.
B472 is an intensive writing course. We will stress clear,
concise presentation of ideas in all written work. Students will gain
experience in using the writing style that anthropology journals require.
We will spend about 10 percent of class time discussing your written work.
Grades will be based on four papers (90%), and on participation in
class discussions (10%). The first 3 papers are 5-8 page exercises aimed
at developing writing and critical skills. They are worth 20% each. You
may revise and resubmit any of these papers if the initial grade is B or
less. The last paper is a longer critical review worth 30%. Meet with me
individually before the eight week to discuss possible topics. In all
written work we will follow current IU policy in academic honesty. If you
are not familiar with this policy, see the schedule of classes.
Papers will be graded on four criteria:
A: Content: accuracy of factual material, use of readings
B: Analysis: organization, logic, insight
C: Composition: organization, expression, and grammar
D: Form: use of assigned journal style for text and citations.
I expect you to prepare reading assignments on time. I expect you
to come to class prepared to discuss readings. We will read approximately
two articles per week. From time to time I will assign individual
readings related to a shared reading, so that each student has a special
perspective to contribute. I may quiz you occasionally about reading
assignments if you do not seem to be prepared for discussion. Readings
are available in the Geography Library.
Your first paper will be a description of a skull in the context
of the literature on Paleoindians. The second paper is a book review of
Whittington and Reed, Bones of the Maya, or a similar collection of papers
on skeletal biology. Kunitz' book Disease Change and the Role of
Medicine will be the subject of the third paper. Your final paper is a
critical review of a topic chosen from those included in our reading. A
brief description of your topic and a bibliography of at least ten sources
will be due the week before Thanksgiving break. For our final
class meeting, each person should prepare a short oral version of the last
paper for oral presentation . Any revisions of earlier papers that you
wish to submit for regrading must be turned at our final class meeting.