" This course provides an introduction to important philosophical questions about the mind, specifically those that are intimately connected with contemporary psychology and neuroscience. Are our concepts innate, or are they acquired by experience? (And what does it even mean to call a concept 'innate'?) Are 'mental images' pictures in the head? Is color in the mind or in the world? Is the mind nothing more than the brain? Can there be a science of consciousness? The course includes guest lectures by Philosophers and Cognitive Scientists."
" Still photography, a practice and form of expression that has worked its way into every facet of social life and every culture in the world, is considered here from the perspectives of history and social science. We will discuss the uses and functions of pictures; how they are to be understood and interpreted; whether they have clear-cut content and meanings; how they shape and are shaped by politics, economics, and social life."
Students in this course will explore evolutionary theory, including the core concepts of basic genetics and the modern synthesis of evolution. Students will examine, critically evaluate and explain scientific claims about the origins of humankind and modern human variation, as well as biocultural evolution. Students will develop critical thinking and communication skills through the application of essential anthropological approaches, theories, and methods.Login: guest_oclPassword: ocl
This course focuses on popular music, i.e. music created for and transmitted by mass media. Various popular music genres from around the world will be studied through listening, reading and written assignments, with an emphasis on class discussion. In particular, we will consider issues of musical change, syncretism, Westernization, globalization, the impact of recording industries, and the post-colonial era. Case studies will include Afro-pop, reggae, bhangra, rave, and global hip-hop.
Using examples from anthropology and sociology alongside classical and contemporary social theory, this course explores the nature of dominant and subordinate relationships, types of legitimate authority, and practices of resistance. The course also examines how we are influenced in subtle ways by the people around us, who makes controlling decisions in the family, how people get ahead at work, and whether democracies, in fact, reflect the "will of the people..
This advanced course in anthropology engages closely with discussions and debates about ethnographic research, ethics, and representation.
Intensive reading and analysis of key works in the theory and methods of the social study of science and technology. Aims at understanding the different questions and methods social scientists have posed and used in exploring how social context and norms influence the work of scientists and engineers. Students read studies of science labs, science policy, Internet culture, and science in popular culture.
This course covers major theorists and theoretical schools since the late 19th century. Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Bourdieu, Levi-Strauss, Geertz, Foucault, Gramsci, and others.
This course explores how social theories of urban life can be related to the city's architecture and spaces. It is grounded in classic or foundational writings about the city addressing such topics as the public realm and public space, impersonality, crowds and density, surveillance and civility, imprinting time on space, spatial justice, and the segregation of difference. The aim of the course is to generate new ideas about the city by connecting the social and the physical, using Boston as a visual laboratory. Students are required to present a term paper mediating what is read with what has been observed.
" Humans are social animals; social demands, both cooperative and competitive, structure our development, our brain and our mind. This course covers social development, social behaviour, social cognition and social neuroscience, in both human and non-human social animals. Topics include altruism, empathy, communication, theory of mind, aggression, power, groups, mating, and morality. Methods include evolutionary biology, neuroscience, cognitive science, social psychology and anthropology."
Is marriage a patriarchal institution? Much feminist scholarship has characterized it that way, but now in the context of the recent Massachusetts Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage, the meaning of marriage itself demands serious re-examination. This course will discuss history, literature, film, and legal scholarship, making use of cross-cultural, sociological, anthropological, and many other theoretical approaches to the marriage question from 1630 to the present. As it turns out, sex, marriage, and the family have never been stable institutions; to the contrary, they have continued to function as flash points for the very social and cultural questions that are central to gender studies scholarship.
Anthropologists attempt to answer the question of what it means to be human. In a sense, we all do anthropology because it is rooted in a universal human characteristic, curiosity. We are curious about ourselves and other people_ including the living and the dead. This course provides an introduction to the anthropological approach to the study of humans. It is a survey course that introduces anthropology as a four-field discipline, encompassing biological anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, and cultural anthropology. Aspiring to a holistic understanding of what it means to be human, anthropology is at the intersection of the humanities and the sciences, the most scientific of the humanities and the most humanistic of the sciences.The course begins with a basis in evolutionary theory and human variation. With this foundation, we will explore primate behavior and the fossil record to develop a better understanding of human evolution. We will discuss the archaeological record of early civilizations, the origins and use of language, and the concept of culture in the development of human societies, both extinct and extant. This class will also highlight the epistemological development of the field of anthropology and how religion, culture, and the scientific process pertains to the discipline of anthropology.
This subject examines relationships among technology, culture, and politics in a range of social and historical settings. The class is organized around two topics: Identity and infrastructure, and will combine interactive lectures, film screenings, readings, and discussion.
Word table that includes a selection of OERs that deal with anthropology and archeology, including both cultural and physical anthropology.
This course examines the problem of mass violence and oppression in the contemporary world, and the concept of human rights as a defense against such abuse. It explores questions of cultural relativism, race, gender and ethnicity. It examines case studies from war crimes tribunals, truth commissions, anti-terrorist policies and other judicial attempts to redress state-sponsored wrongs. It also considers whether the human rights framework effectively promotes the rule of law in modern societies. Students debate moral positions and address ideas of moral relativism.