Anthropological Sciences 201

ANSC 201: Introduction to Anthropological Research

Pre- or Corequisites: ANSC 101 or permission of instructor

Credit Hours: (2) Two hours seminar

This seminar serves as an Introduction to the Anthropological Sciences major and prepares students for success in the major.  Topics will include the nature of scientific inquiry in Anthropology as well as career options and resume preparation.  Students will learn, through locating and reading the primary literature, to critically evaluate research in the discipline and receive the background and training necessary to conduct their own original research.  Students cannot receive credit for both ANTH 497 and ANSC 201.

Detailed Description of Content of Course

Topics to be covered:

•    Major subfields in the discipline (Biological Anthropology, Archaeology, and Cultural Anthropology), their connections, and their contributions to Anthropological Sciences’ holistic view of humanity;
•    An understanding of the nature of scientific inquiry in the Anthropological Sciences and the links between anthropological issues, students’ lives, and the world in which they live;
•    Prominent approaches to anthropological research and the links between theory and research;
•    Knowledge of how to read, understand, and critically interpret the primary literature in the Anthropological Sciences;
•    Knowledge of how to design research projects in the Anthropological Sciences;
•    Differences between qualitative and quantitative methodologies in the Anthropological Sciences, and the advantages and disadvantages of each;
•    Differences between anthropological, popular science, and common-sense approaches to the understanding of human behavior and biology;
•    The value of the Anthropological Sciences major in terms of a career and the skills, knowledge, and perspectives Anthropological Sciences majors bring to the workplace

Detailed Description of Conduct of  Course

This course will be taught in seminar format. Although there will be some “lectures,” most of the course will involve discussion and debate that will emanate from reading the primary literature.  Thus, the students themselves will accept a great deal of responsibility for the conduct of the course.

 Goals and Objectives of the Course

At the conclusion of the course, students will be able to:

1. Understand and interrelate the major subdisciplines of the field and understand how they contribute to our understanding of the world around us (including how they impact students’ lives);
2. Understand why Anthropology is a science and how scientific inquiry is conducted in the Anthropological Sciences;
3. Critically evaluate the primary literature in the discipline, including research designs, methodology, and presentation of scientific results;
4. Understand how to design their own original research projects in the Anthropological Sciences;
5. Begin resume preparation and ideas about career placement.

Assessment Measures

A variety of assessment measures will be used. These will include frequent writing assignments (e.g., article reviews and summaries), class participation (e.g., attendance, discussion, short presentations, etc.), and the completion of a professional resume or curriculum vitae. As a final project for the course, students will produce a basic research design on a selected topic.

Other course information


Review and Approval
December, 2009

Revised: March 20, 2012