Anthropology | BIOANTHROPOLOGY OF ABORIGINAL AMERICA
B472 | 0414 | 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.
For Thursday please read T.D. Stewart's essay on reserve in the Geology
Library. I would like to use it to explore how one prepares for an
in-class discussion. Here are some questions one might consider. What
claims does Stewart make about the population biology of New World
peoples? What is the status of the questions Stewart raises in
contemporary anthropology? Who is Stewart, and why are his views on these
questions important? Who were his audience?