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Lecture 1 - Intro to Course - September 11.docx

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Keriann Mc Googan

September 11, 2012. Lecture 1 – Intro to Nature of Humans Outline:  Who, what, where, when, why, and how?  What is anthropology?  What does it mean to be human? Course Objective:  How do humans fit in the natural world?  Evolution and how it works  Living non-human primates o Characteristics, adaptations, behaviour, conservation  Evolution of the human lineage  Humans as primates and our role in the natural world What?  What is anthropology?  Evolutionary theory  The molecular basis of life  Heredity and evolution  Macroevolution  Film: “Evolution: Darwin’s Dangerous Idea”  QUIZ 1 (15%)  What is a primate?  Overview of the living primates  Primate behaviour  Primate conservation  TEST 1 (20%)  Primates as models for human evolution  Primate evolutionary history  Reconstructing early hominin behaviour and ecology  Hominin origins  Homo erectus and contemporaries  Premodern humans  Homo sapiens  QUIZ 2 (15%)  Modern human biology: variation  Modern human biology: adaptation  The human life course  Human impact on the planet  FINAL EXAM (30%) What is Anthropology?  My definition: The objective study of humans and their biological, cultural, and historical evolution and current contexts.  Anthropos = “man”  Logos = “study”  The study of humankind everywhere, throughout time  Accounts for evolutionary and cultural factors  EXAMPLE: Digestion of Lactose o Study in 1960s finds African American children rarely drank milk o Thought the cause might be lack of money to buy it or lack of education to know milk should be drank o Societies/communities that keep milk-bearing animals do not drink fresh milk and will sour it into cheese or yoghurt first o Fact is many humans lack an enzyme called lactase which breaks down lactose into a more digestible form (glucose and galactose)  When, where, and why humans appeared on Earth?  How and why they have changed since then o Whether biological or cultural  How and why modern human populations vary in certain features o (biological features)  How and why societies in past and present vary in customary ideas and practices o Lifestyles, cultures, traditions, living situations, etc. History of Anthropology  Originated within the context of Western civilization o Started with ability to travel far  Ability to travel to far off places – interest in people radically different  Realization that all people share a basic humanity – interest in human diversity  In Canada: th th o Began in 18 and 19 centuries o Development influences by museums, academic departments, and applied research o E.g. Father Joseph-Francois Lafitau  Spent time living with the Iroquois  First to give first-hand information and scholarly publications of the plants, animals and people of the region Holistic Approach  Takes a multifaceted approach to the study of humans o Might look at family life, environment (abiotic and biotic), diet, leisure activities, etc.  Four subfields: o Cultural/Social Anthropology  Anthropological demography  Ethnography  Ethnohistory  Historical anthro  Legal anthro  Political economy  Urban anthro o Linguistic Anthropology  Historical linguistics  Structural linguistics o Archaeology  Classical arch.  Ethnoarch.  Historical arch.  Prehistoric arch.  Underwater arch.  Urban arch.  …. o Physical/Biological Anthropology  ….. Cultural Anthropology  Global patterns of belief and behaviour found in human cultures in both the past and the present  Humans as a culture-making species  Roots in early 19 century  What is Culture?  Unconscious standards by which societies operate  Socially learned sta
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