THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA GRADUATE CATALOG
Table of Contents > College of Arts & Sciences

6.2 DEPARTMENT OF ANTHROPOLOGY (ANT)
Chairperson: Professor Ian Brown, Office: 19B ten Hoor Hall

The Department of Anthropology of The University of Alabama offers programs leading to the master of arts degree and the doctor of philosophy degree. These programs seek to furnish a balanced view of anthropological inquiry by means of intensive training in the literature, methods, techniques, and skills required for research in anthropology. The MA builds on the inherent strengths of medium-sized departments—the ability to provide necessary background through small lecture courses and specialized training through the tutorial format of seminars and individually directed research projects. In short, the MA program provides students with a scholarly comprehension of the discipline, practical experiences in anthropological research situations, and the initial competency required of a professional anthropologist. Additionally, an inter-institutional program leading to the master's degree is offered in cooperation with the Department of Anthropology of The University of Alabama at Birmingham. See specific details at the website of the Department of Anthropology.

 

The PhD curriculum builds on the strengths of the master's degree program by concentrating on two emphases: 1) the archaeology of complex societies, pertaining to the emergence and spread of early civilizations in the Americas, and 2) medical anthropology, the study of the influence of social relations and culture on psychological and biological adaption. The doctoral program is designed to prepare graduates with the skills needed to move easily into either academic or non-academic positions.

 

Admission Requirements


Students seeking MA degrees in anthropology at The University of Alabama must satisfy departmental entrance and examination requirements. An acceptable score on the Graduate Record Examination general test is required for admission. Students seeking PhD degrees must have already completed an MA in anthropology, either at Alabama or elsewhere, before undertaking doctoral work. Students are required to have taken graduate-level coursework in at least three of the four sub disciplines in anthropology before being admitted to the PhD program.

 

See the Admission Criteria section of this catalog for more information.




General Degree Requirements


For the MA degree, each student must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours in courses numbered 500 or above. Without special prior approval of the student's advisor, the student's committee, and the director of graduate studies, neither ANT 598 Individual Investigations nor ANT 599 Thesis Research will count toward the 30 hours.
 
All MA graduate students must successfully complete a core program consisting of one graduate course in at least three of the four fields of anthropology: ANT 636 Social Structure or ANT 641 Culture, ANT 501 Anthropological Linguistics, ANT 670 Principles of Physical Anthropology, and ANT 625 Survey of the History of Archaeology. In addition, the seminar course ANT 600 Research Methodology is required.
 
Additional requirements include a comprehensive examination to be taken following the second semester in residence and reading knowledge of a foreign language or demonstration of a research skill such as statistical analysis.  Thesis and non-thesis options are available and the specific requirements for these options are published on the department's website. The MA degree will be conferred by The University of Alabama.
 
 

For the PhD program each student must complete 48 credit hours in courses numbered 500 or above. No more than 24 hours can be transferred from an MA program to the PhD program. A reading facility in one foreign language appropriate to the research topic must be demonstrated. Knowledge of quantitative methods and other advanced research skills must also be obtained through the required seminar ANT 601 Advanced Research Methods in Anthropology. Additional requirements include two core courses, each of which is specific to the doctoral tracks. For the archaeology of complex societies, these seminars are ANT 603 Theory and Method in Archaeology and ANT 604 Seminar in the Archaeology of Complex Societies. For biocultural medical anthropology, these seminars are ANT 610 Theory and Method in Medical Anthropology and ANT 612 Seminar in Biocultural Anthropology.

 

Plan of Study


Early in the graduate program, each student confers with a faculty adviser or major professor to select courses, discuss when and by which method the doctoral residency requirement will be completed, discuss research interests, and so forth.  Then a Plan of Study is prepared and submitted to the Graduate School.  

 

The PhD Plan of Study is available at the Graduate School website.  All doctoral students must have a completed Plan of Study approved by the Graduate School no later than the semester during which the student will complete 30 semester hours of UA and/or transfer credit for the doctoral degree.  Otherwise, a “hold” may be placed on future registrations.

If later there are changes in the Plan of Study, the student simply submits an amended Plan to the Graduate School at the time that the form for Admission to Candidacy for Doctoral Degree is submitted.

 

A preliminary examination must be passed before undertaking dissertation research. Six to 12 months of ethnographic or archaeological field work is expected, followed by analysis and the writing of the dissertation. The dissertation itself will then be presented and defended before the student's committee and other interested faculty.

Additional information is in the Degree Requirements section of this catalog.

 



Course Descriptions


Prerequisites: Twelve hours in anthropology and graduate standing, or permission of the instructor.

ANT 501 Anthropological Linguistics. Three hours.
The scientific study of natural language; phonology and grammar, lexicon, and meaning; and the role of linguistics in anthropological research. Offered once a year. 

ANT 504 Analysis of Kinship Systems. Three hours.
Techniques, methods, and theories bearing on the analysis of kinship semantics. Firsthand experience with the analysis of a particular kinship system. Offered according to demand.

ANT 505 Culture, Mind, and Behavior. Three hours.
The cultural and linguistic basis of cognitive organization, local systems of folk classification, and the collection and analysis of data of shared cultural and social information. Offered according to demand.

ANT 507 Sexual Stratification in Society. Three hours.
An examination of the various roles women play in society, including their relationships to the family, the economy, political organizations, and the religious system. The analysis juxtaposes women and men at all times. Offered according to demand.

ANT 508 Ancient Civilizations of Mesoamerica. Three hours. A survey of the origin and development of Mesoamerican civilizations. Offered according to demand.


ANT 509 Ancient Maya Civilizations. Three hours.
Ancient Maya civilizations in Mexico and Central America from the earliest inhabitants until the Spanish Conquest.

ANT 511 Culture, Health, and Healing. Three hours.
Provides the student with an overview of health, illness, and healing as they vary between and within cultural systems.

ANT 512 Peoples of Europe. Three hours.
A survey of the standards, customs, and beliefs that typify European cultures. Offered according to demand.

ANT 513 Peoples of Latin America. Three hours.
A survey of the standards, customs, and beliefs that typify Latin American cultures. Offered according to demand.

ANT 514 Peoples of Africa. Three hours.
A survey of the standards, customs, and beliefs that typify African cultures. Offered according to demand.

ANT 515 Peoples of East Asia. Three hours.
A survey of the standards, customs, and beliefs that typify East Asian cultures. Offered according to demand.

ANT 516 Peoples of Southeast Asia. Three hours.
A survey of the standards, customs, and beliefs that typify Southeast Asian cultures. Offered according to demand.

ANT 517 Peoples of the Pacific. Three hours.
A survey of the standards, customs, and beliefs that typify the cultures of Oceania. Offered according to demand.

ANT 518 Development in Non-Western Cultures. Three hours.
A theoretical and descriptive study of social change and development in non-Western societies. Major emphasis will be on the effect of change on indigenous institutions. Offered according to demand.

ANT 519 Myth, Ritual, and Magic. Three hours.
A survey of the anthropological literature on religion, including such topics as myth, ritual, magic, witchcraft, totemism, shamanism, and trance states. Offered according to demand.

ANT 520 Background of Anthropological Thought. Three hours.
An intensive review of the work of several early figures in the development of social theory (e.g., Marx, Freud, Durkheim, and Weber), emphasizing their relevance for modern anthropology. Offered according to demand.

ANT 521 Ethnography. Three hours. Planning, preparing, and executing ethnographic field work. Problems of health, logistics, data recording, obtaining support, and ethics. Observation and interviewing exercises. Offered according to demand.

ANT 522 Topics in Cultural Anthropology: Political Anthropology. Three hours.
An examination of the structure and organization of the political process and the sources of political power in nonindustrial societies. Offered according to demand. 

ANT 523 Topics in Cultural Anthropology: Legal Anthropology. Three hours.
An examination of legal theory and legal processes from an anthropological perspective. Offered according to demand.


ANT 524 Topics in Cultural Anthropology: Economic Anthropology. Three hours.
An examination of the economic structure and organization of nonindustrial societies. Offered according to demand.

ANT 526 The Archaeology of Eastern North America. Three hours.
An examination of the origin and development of pre-Columbian and early historic cultures of eastern North America. Offered according to demand. 

ANT 527 The Archaeology of Western North America. Three hours.
An examination of the origin and development of pre-Columbian and early historic cultures of western North America. Offered according to demand.

ANT 528 Analytical Archaeology. Three hours.
Contemporary issues in concept formation, theory construction, methods, and techniques. Offered according to demand. 

ANT 529 The Archaeology of Europe. Three hours.
An examination of the origin and development of prehistoric and early historic European cultures. Offered according to demand.

ANT 530 The Archaeology of Africa. Three hours.
An examination of the origin and development of prehistoric and early historic cultures of sub-Saharan Africa. Offered according to demand.

ANT 536 Social Anthropology. Three hours.
Social organization and structure, social life and institutions, especially in nonliterate societies; and kinship, descent groups, marriage, residence, and local group composition. Offered every third semester.

ANT 537 Topics in Social Anthropology: The Analysis of Kinship. Three hours.
Contemporary issues in the study of kinship, emphasizing semantics, typology, lexicon, the psychological reality of kin terms, the extensional hypothesis, and formal accounts. Offered according to demand.

ANT 538 Topics in Social Anthropology: Social Structure. Three hours.
An examination of contemporary issues in the study of descent groups, marriage, residence, and local group composition in nonindustrial societies. Offered according to demand.

ANT 543 Advanced Field Investigations in Archaeology. Three to twelve hours.
Directed field study in the excavation and analysis of archaeological deposits. Each student must design and conduct a research project, then adequately report the results. Off campus.

ANT 550 Problems in Anthropology. Three to six hours.
Devoted to issues not covered in other courses. Offered according to demand.

ANT 560 Anthropology and Natural History Museums. Three hours.
Examines the historical connections between anthropology and natural history museums in the U.S. Explores the present operation of such museums and develops exhibits based on collection studies.

ANT 571 Fossil Man and Human Evolution. Three hours.
A survey of the discoveries, methods, and theories that provide the background for modern research in macroevolution.

ANT 572 Seminar in Human Evolution. Three hours.
A combined lecture and seminar course that explores various theories of hominid phylogeny, the theorists responsible, and the considerations that influenced their thoughts.

ANT 573 Human Osteology. Four hours. Two hours' lecture, two hours' laboratory.
A detailed introduction to human osteology, emphasizing the identification of fragmentary remains and the criteria for determination of age, sex, and race. Offered according to demand.

ANT 575 Human Adaptability. Three hours.
An introduction to the biological bases of human adaptability. Offered according to demand.

ANT 576 Nutritional Anthropology. Three hours.
An introduction to anthropological inquiries in nutrition—including food habits, food systems, and dietary variability—from a cross-cultural perspective. Offered every fourth semester. Bindon.

ANT 598 Individual Investigations. Three hours.
Directed nonthesis research in archaeology, cultural anthropology, anthropological linguistics, or physical anthropology.

ANT 599 Thesis Research. One to three hours.

ANT 600 Research Methodology. Three hours.
Prepares students in the scientific method and research skills used in anthropology. Instruction emphasizes grant writing, study design, interview and observation techniques, and the collection, management, and analysis of data using a statistical software package.

 

ANT 601 Advanced Research Methods in Anthropology. Three hours.
This seminar is designed to refine doctoral students' background in qualitative and quantitative research methods necessary for dissertation research. Emphasis is placed on the integration of qualitative and quantitative methods for students doing ethnographic research, and techniques of numerical induction for archaeology students.

ANT 603 Theory and Method in Archaeology. Three hours.
An examination of contemporary archaeological theory and method and their development during the 19th and 20th centuries.
 

ANT 604 Seminar in the Archaeology of Complex Societies.  Three hours.

Contemporary issues in the archaeology of complex societies, including different aspects of complexity and attempts to classify and measure them.

 

ANT 610 Theory and Method in Medical Anthropology. Three hours.
A detailed introduction to theory and method in medical anthropology. Approaches include adaptation, biocultural, psychoanalytic, stress, and other theoretical perspectives.

ANT 612 Seminar in Biocultural Anthropology. Three hours.
A biocultural overview of the anthropology of health. Topics include biological and cultural approaches to various dimensions of human health and illness.

ANT 620 Prehistory of North America. Three hours.
An in-depth examination of the prehistory of the various areas of North America, focusing on environmental and cultural influences that affected ways of life.

ANT 621 Native Americans in Ethnohistorical Perspective. Three hours.
An examination of Indians and Eskimos of North America during the historical period, focusing on the impact of European contact on culture and society.

ANT 625 Survey of the History of Archaeology. Three hours.
A critical examination of archaeology's history as a science, with emphasis on intellectual trends, changes in method and theory, and recent developments. Offered once a year.

ANT 636 Social Structure. Three hours.
Social organization and structure, social life and institutions, especially in nonliterate societies; and kinship, descent groups, marriage, residence, and local group composition. Offered every third semester.

ANT 640 Landmarks in Anthropological Research. Three hours.
This course examines seminal works in the history of anthropology. Works may include books or smaller publications that exemplify important developments in theory and method.

ANT 641 Culture. Three hours.
This seminar reviews past and contemporary theories and approaches used in cultural anthropology.

ANT 667 Methods in Prehistoric Iconography. Three hours.
An exploration of anthropological and art-historical concepts as applied to the problem of meaning in prehistoric representational art.

ANT 670 Principles of Physical Anthropology. Three hours.
A series of seminars and lectures designed to refine the student's knowledge of research on nonhuman primates, fossil hominids, population genetics, and human variation and adaptation. Offered once a year.

ANT 698 Individual Investigations. One to nine hours.
Directed dissertation research in archaeology, cultural anthropology, anthropological linguistics, or physical anthropology.

ANT 699 Dissertation Research. Three to fifteen hours.



UAB Course Descriptions

ANTH 601 Forensic Approaches to Osteology.  Three hours.
Applied human osteology, emphasizing ability to identify age, sex, and population type of skeletal material. Effects of disease and behavior on bones.
 

ANTH 602 The Conquest of Mexico. Three hours.

Examines the Spanish conquest of Mexico from both Spanish and indigenous perspectives. Surveys the institutionalization of Spanish control over the fallen Aztec Empire and the broader intellectual and material consequences of the conquest.


ANTH 605 Advanced Cultural Anthropology. Three hours.
Critical review of theoretical approaches in cultural anthropology.
 

ANTH 604 Introduction to Mapmaking. Three hours.

Introduction to theory and methods of cartographic representation, image analysis and GIS.

 

ANTH 608 Advanced Linguistic Anthropology. Three hours.

Historical development of theory and field practice of linguistics.


ANTH 609 Advanced Archaeological Anthropology. Three hours.
Principal theoretical approaches in 19th- and 20th-century archaeology; historical, processual, and postprocessual.

ANTH 610 Advanced Physical Anthropology. Three hours.
Human evolution, primatology, race, human genetics. Tasks performed by physical anthropologists.

ANTH 611 Field Archaeology. One to six hours.
Archaeological field and laboratory techniques, including excavation, surveying, and artifact analysis and description; general problems of archaeological interpretation.

ANTH 615 Ethnographic Field Methods. Three to six hours. Classroom instruction and practical experience in techniques of ethnographic fieldwork, including participant observation, household surveys, structured and unstructured interviewing, and genealogies.
 

ANTH 622 Landscape Archaeology. Three hours.

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

 

ANTH 626 Archaeology of the Pacific Islands. Three hours.

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

 

ANTH 628. Comparative Religion. Three hours.

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

ANTH 630 Animal Bone Archaeology. Three to six hours.
Introduction to methods and theories of zooarchaeological research. Practical experience in processing, identification, and interpretation of animal bone remains from archaeological sites.

 

ANTH 634. Observing the Earth from Space. Three hours.

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. Three hours.
Approaches and contributions of anthropology to the 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 the sick, and illness and social control.

 

ANTH 637. Real World Remote Sensing. Three hours.

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. Three hours.
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 versus the culture of politics.

ANTH 653 Primatology. Three hours. Biology, behavior, and distribution of living nonhuman primates with emphasis on field studies of old-world monkeys and apes.

ANTH 657 Archaeology of Gender. Three hours.

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

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

ANTH 664 Political Anthropology. Three hours.
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 680 Anthropology of Slavery and Servitude. Three hours.
Slavery as a social and cultural phenomenon in context of a broader investigation of relations of domination and exploitation in human social life.

 

ANTH 685. Foundations of Symbolism. Three hours.

Study of symbolic forms in myth and ritual and overview of theoretical approaches.

 

ANTH 690. Research Methods in Anthropology. Three hours.

Research design and methods including formulation of research problems, data collection, and data analysis; relationship between theory and method; field research techniques; preparation of grant proposals; anthropological ethics. Prerequisite: consent of the instructor.

ANTH 691 Special Problems in Cultural Anthropology. Two to six hours.
Supervised study of specified topic area; defined problem explored in depth. Topics determined by student and instructor interest in cultural anthropology.

ANTH 692 Special Problems in Archaeology. Two to six hours.
Supervised study of specified topic area; defined problem explored in depth. Topics determined by student and instructor interest in archaeology.

ANTH 693 Special Problems in Linguistics. Two to six hours.
Supervised study of specified topic area; defined problem explored in depth. Topics determined by student and instructor interest in linguistics.

ANTH 694 Special Problems in Physical Anthropology. Two to six hours.
Supervised study of specified topic area; defined problem explored in depth. Topics determined by student and instructor interest in physical anthropology.

ANTH 699 Thesis Research. One to three hours.
Independent development of research project. Admission to candidacy.  


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