Course Descriptions

Graduate Anthropology Course List

For courses at the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa), see the graduate catalog of that university. Unless otherwise noted, all courses are for 3 semester hours of credit. Course numbers preceded with an asterisk indicate courses that can be repeated for credit, with stated stipulations.


ANTH 601 - ANTH 628
ANTH 630 - ANTH 657
ANTH 660 - ANTH 699

ANTH 600 Medical Anthropology

Seminar addressing health care systems and theories cross-culturally; including historical changes and examination of wide variety of simpler and more complex systems.

ANTH 601 Forensic Approaches to Osteology

Applied human osteology, emphasizing ability to identify age, sex, and population type of skeletal material. Effects of disease and behavior on bones.

ANTH 602 Classics in Anthropology

Close reading of major classics in anthropological literature; to include one each from the four main subfields of anthropology.

ANTH 603 As Others See Us

Jointly offered with American Studies and International Studies, this seminar surveys international perceptions of U.S. culture.

ANTH 605 Advanced Cultural Anthropology

Critical review of theoretical approaches in cultural anthropology.

ANTH 606 World Ethnography

Kinship, economy, social control, religion, and ritual for peoples in North America, South America, Africa, or Asia. Focus on one area.

ANTH 607 Social Structure

Theoretical works in political anthropology, economic anthropology, or kinship. Emphasis varies according to instructor.

ANTH 609 Advanced Archaeological Anthropology

Principal theoretical approaches in 19th- and 20th-century archaeology; historical, processual, and postprocesual.

ANTH 610 Advanced Physical Anthropology

Human evolution, primatology, race, human genetics. Tasks performed by physical anthropologists.

ANTH 611 Field Archaeology

Archaeological field and laboratory techniques, including excavation, surveying, and artifact analysis and description; general problems of archaeological interpretation. 1-6 hours.

ANTH 613 Human Osteology
The identification of human skeletal remains. This laboratroy/lecture course provides the groundwork for much of the work in physical anthropology. The first course of the sequence into ANTH 601. 4 hours

ANTH 615 Ethnographic Field Methods

Classroom instruction and practical experience in techniques of ethnographic fieldwork, including participant observation, household surveys, structured and unstructured interviewing, and genealogies. 3-6 hours.

ANTH 616 Ethnographic Filmmaking
The use of film and video to document and analyze aspects of human social and cultural life. Students view, analyze, and create ethnographic films. 3-6 hours.

ANTH 617 Origins of Agriculture

Survey of evidence for animal and plant domestication and reasons for spread of feed production.

ANTH 619 Food and Culture
The role of food in human culture through time and in a variety of geographic settings. Examines the biological basis of diet, how foodways develop and change, how and why anthropologists study diet, and variations in foodways around the world.


ANTH 620 Computers and Statistics in Anthropology
Computers and statistical applications in anthropology. 1 to 3 hours.


ANTH 622 Landscape Archaeology
Archaeological techniques of reconstructing past landscapes, including remote sensing, GIS, survey, excavation, and environmental analysis.

ANTH 625 African American Archaeology

African American archaeology is one of the better established research interests within U.S. historical archaeology. This course will examine the development of “the archaeology of the African diaspora” from its beginnings in the 1960s to the present day. Its principal focus will be the plantation of the Southern United States. The course will include an examination of history of the plantation economy as well as an exploration of issues currently of interest to archaeologists studying the archaeological record of African American life.

ANTH 626 Archaeology of the Pacific Islands
Survey of Pacific Islands societies in the past drawing on archaeological, ethnographic, historic, linguistic, and biological data.

ANTH 628 Comparative Religion
Human behavior in relation to the supernatural; religion as a system of social behavior and values; theories of religion.


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ANTH 630 Animal Bone Archaeology

Introduction to methods and theories of zooarchaeological research. Practical experience in processing, identification, and interpretation of animal bone remains from archaeological sites. 3-6 hours.

ANTH 631 Palaeoethnobotany

Survey of the plant-human relationships in the past and present. Practical field and laboratory experience in processing, identification, and interpretation of the plants from archaeological sites.

ANTH 634 Observing the Earth from Space
This course will provide students with an introductory knowledge of remote sensing analysis. Students will learn how to analyze diverse types of satellite imagery in a wide range of fields, and how to apply this knowledge in original research projects.

ANTH 635 Ethnomedicine and Ethnopsychiatry

Approaches and contributions of anthropology to study of health, sickness, and healing. Physical environment and human adaptations as key determinants of health systems; culturally defined concepts of sickness, health, and healing; healing as social, as well as physiological, activity. Topics may include life stages, medical knowledge among different human groups, impact of culture contact on medical systems, ecological balance and population control, cultural definitions and treatment of abnormal behavior, healers, health and supernatural, social roles of sick, and illness and social control.

ANTH 637 Real World Remote Sensing
Real world applications of remote sensing technology. Students work closely with UAB professors and scientists at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center doing original remote sensing research on diverse topics, possibly including terrorism, global warming, health, anthropology/archaeology, atmospheric studies, urban expansion, and coastal management.

ANTH 650 Nationalism, Ethnicity and Violence

Social and cultural analysis of ethnicity and nationalist ideologies particularly where these have led to violent confrontations within modern nation-states. Considers primordialist versus constructionist theories of difference; the varying weight to be attributed to political, historical and cultural factors in the study of nationalism; and the politics of culture vs. the culture of politics.

ANTH 653 Primatology

Biology, behavior, and distribution of living nonhuman primates with emphasis on field studies of old-world monkeys and apes.


ANTH 655 Archaeology of Alabama

Archaeology of Alabama.


ANTH 657 Anthropology of Gender
Cultural construction of gender differences in human societies; shifting definitions of proper male and female roles across cultures and through time.

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ANTH 660 Ecological Anthropology
Examines interactions among behavioral, technological, institutional, and ideological features of human cultures that serve to adapt societies to their environment.

ANTH 664 Political Anthropology

The comparative analysis of political structures and process throughout the world, focusing especially on non-Western forms; a survey of anthropological attempts to understand the complex interplay of culture and power in human societies.

ANTH 669 Surviving Development: The Case of Mexico

Comparative and historical analysis of rural Mexican communities, emphasizing the impact of recent NAFTA-related economic policies and democratic political reforms.

ANTH 675 Human Adaptability

Introduction to study of how humans adapt to their physical, biological, and social environment. Reviews ecological, demographic, nutritional, physiological and health-related concepts and considers applications to case studies.


ANTH 681 Anthropology and the Health Profession
Anthropological theory and practice relevant to health care professions in medicine, nursing, public health, psychology, etc. Anthropological perspectives on practice of health care and practical applications of anthropology in providing health care to culturally diverse people.


ANTH 685 Foundations of Symbolism
Study of symbolic forms in myth and ritual and overview of theoretical approaches.

ANTH 691 Special Problems in Cultural Anthropology

Supervised study of specified topic area; defined problem explored in depth. Topics determined by student and instructor interest in cultural anthropology. 2-6 hours.

ANTH 692 Special Problems in Archaeology

Supervised study of specified topic area; defined problem explored in depth. Topics determined by student and instructor interest in archaeology. 2-6 hours.

ANTH 693 Special Problems in Linguistics

Supervised study of specified topic area; defined problem explored in depth. Topics determined by student and instructor interest in linguistics. 2-6 hours.

ANTH 694 Special Problems in Physical Anthropology

Supervised study of specified topic area; defined problem explored in depth. Topics determined by student and instructor interest in special topics in physical anthropology. 2-6 hours.

ANTH 699 Thesis Research

Independent development of research project. Prerequisite: Admission to candidacy. 1-3 hours


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