Tag Archives: anthropology

Study Anthropology with Professor Javier Urcid this summer!

Still thinking about how to spend your next couple of months? Join Professor Javier Urcid as he journeys through the bio-cultural transformations of humanity and studies forensic methods and techniques in his Anthropology classes this summer!

Professor Urcid will offer two Anthropology courses during Summer School Session 2: July 8 to August 9, 2019. Read more about these classes below.

ANTH 5a – HUMAN ORIGINS

This course covers the transformation of human biological and cultural endowments through a span of some 7 million years, from a hominoid stage to the appearance of anatomically modern humans.  A consideration of the human genome, of our place in nature–including our relationship with non-human primates–, and a review of evolutionary principles, leads to a broad coverage of the archaeological findings of hominids in a diachronic framework. Further consideration is placed on the selective processes that led to the human reliance on symbolic adaptations. The journey through the bio-cultural transformations of humanity highlights the emergence of bipedal locomotion, the increased levels of encephalization, changes in subsistence practices, the control of fire, the appearance of language, and the anthropogenic impacts of the global dispersal of modern humans.

The course is lecture-oriented and combines in-class presentations with discussions of assigned readings. Students engage throughout the summer session in the critical assessment of several video documentaries.  Students make these assessments using the conceptual tools that are presented and discussed in class.

ANTH 116a – HUMAN OSTEOLOGY

This course reviews in detail human skeletal anatomy for the proper identification of the bones in the body, their biomechanical articulations, and their relationship with the muscular system.  Focus is then directed to studying forensic methods and techniques for the estimation of age at the time of death, determination of sex, assessment of type of bone remodeling, identification of cultural modifications to bone, and of the impact of environmental processes on bony tissue. Hands-on laboratory sessions involve team analysis of human remains from the comparative collection in the Archaeology Laboratory at Brandeis.

The course combines lectures, class discussions, trans-media materials, and a hands-on project where students (organized in groups) use the human skeletal comparative collection to collect data and write a research paper that mimics a forensic report on a set of commingled and highly fragmented remains.

Enroll Today!
Currently a Brandeis student? Simply log into your SAGE account, activate yourself in summer term, and enroll.
                                    ­
If you’re a visiting student – welcome! The Brandeis Summer School Office is ready to support you through the process to create a Brandeis student record.
Email us with any questions at: summerschool@brandeis.edu

Enrollment closes on June 28, 2019!

Faculty Spotlight: Casey Golomski

casey.golomskiBrandeis University Summer School interviewed Casey Golomski, a lecturer in the Anthropology Department at Brandeis.  This summer, Casey will be teaching ANTH127a “Medicine, Body and Culture.” Registration is now open – click here to be directed to the enrollment page.

 

Brandeis University Summer School: How long have you been teaching at Brandeis? 

Casey Golomski: My home is in the Department of Anthropology. I am also Lecturer in Anthropology at UMASS Boston, and I formerly taught at Northeastern University. I matriculated to the Brandeis Anthropology PhD program in 2006 and successfully defended my dissertation this past March, so I will graduate this spring. Last spring I independently convened the course ANTH80a, “Anthropology of Religion.” I otherwise teach regularly “Introduction to Cultural Anthropology,” “Peoples and Cultures of Africa,” and “Watching Film, Seeing Culture.”

BUSS: What courses will you teach this summer? What can students expect?

CG: This summer I will teach ANTH127a, “Medicine, Body and Culture.” This course is a broad yet nuanced introduction to medical anthropology, engaging the social, economic and political dimensions of illness and healing across cultures. I’m very excited for the opportunity to convene this course. I consider myself a cultural anthropologist, but I am very involved in issues of bodies, aging and medicine. In the past, I’ve done work with traditional and Christian spiritual healers in southern Africa, as well as youth and shamanistic healing in the Hmong Diaspora in the US. My current research focuses effects of death and demographic shift from HIV/AIDS on life cycle rites in the the Kingdom of Swaziland. In the course, I’ll share some of these findings and works-in-progress.

To explain the syllabus a bit, we begin with historical precursors to the field, so how earlier scholars were writing about medicine, culture, society and power and consider how they laid certain intellectual foundations we still work with today. I designed a number of interesting case studies modules on: race and medicine the US; health, environment, and ecology, including how we are affected by wind; chronic illness; and even sleep and sleeplessness! This course attracts many students who are Biology, International Global Studies, or Health Science Society and Policy majors or are pre-med, and we are going to interrogate “biomedicine (our own system and understandings of health) and programs and initiatives of “global public health,” as well as learning how undergraduate students in Africa learn to become doctors in some resource deprived settings there. At the end of the course, we consider how to apply our culturally-nuanced findings in practice and public policy. We draw case studies from Anglo-, Hispanic- and Native North, Central and South America, Western Europe, Eastern and Southern Africa, East and South Asia and the Pacific.

BUSS: What is unique about summer courses – either for the students or faculty?

CG: I like the opportunities that summer school schedules provide. While the course is condensed to make up for a full semester’s content, I make sure to stagger the work expectations so students are able to better relish the material. While the readings are pretty equitable across the course schedule, some days will be more concentrated my own material and lectures. Other days use a “conversation circle” format where we each share individually- or group-assigned readings with each other. We will read scholarly and some popular writing which can be a much quicker read, like the best-seller “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” I think summer is a good time to catch up on “leisure” reading, and this combination lets students see how books in the library and popular books can converse in interesting ways. We will watch a number of films as well.  Students will have three different options for a final project, including doing their own short ethnographic investigation which a summer course permits more time and freedom to take on.

 

Registration for ANTH127a and all summer course is now open.  Click here for more information, or to sign up!

Brandeis Anthropologist Javier Urcid teaches 2 courses this summer

Photo of Anthropology Professor Javier UrcidBrandeis Associate Professor and Chair of the Brandeis Anthropology Dept., Javier Urcid, will be teaching two classes this summer.  Prof. Urcid will be teaching ANTH 5a: Human Origins and ANTH 116a: Human Osteology. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Prof. Urcid studies the development of ancient complex societies in Mesoamerica: the origin and societal functions of early writing, political economy and settlement patterns, and the social and ideological dimensions of mortuary practices.

Recently, Prof. Urcid was the feature of a video on his work helping students understand ancient societies using Brandeis’ rich collection of artifacts.

Several Anthropology courses are being offered this summer:

ANTH 1a: Introduction to the Comparative Study of Human Societies with Ieva Jusionyte
Sage class number: 2109

ANTH 5a: Human Origins with Javier Urcid
Sage class number: 2070

ANTH 61b: Language in American Life with Laura Ann John
Sage class number: 2110

ANTH 105a: Myth and Ritual with Adam Gamwell
Sage class number: 2111

ANTH 116a: Human Osteology with Javier Urcid
Sage class number: 2072

ANTH 129b: Global, Transnational, and Diasporic Communities with Noah Tamarkin
Sage class number: 2073

ANTH 144a: The Anthropology of Gender with Anna Jaysane-Darr
Sage class number: 2112

To register for 2012 Brandeis Summer Classes, visit:

http://www.brandeis.edu/summer/registration/ready.html