Eric A Smith
Comparative examination of human foraging societies, emphasizing ethnographic cases and socioecological analysis. Foraging and human evolution; rationality of foraging societies; population and reproductive strategies; variability in social organization and land use; power relations between the sexes; ritual and belief; contemporary status of hunter-gatherer populations. Prerequisite: either one 200-level ANTH course or LING 203.
We will survey current anthropological literature on a variety of topics of central concern in hunter-gatherer studies, including: the place of hunter-gatherers in studies of human biocultural evolution; foraging strategies and labor effort (models and empirical findings); settlement patterns and land tenure; population ecology, demography, and reproductive strategies; gender roles; kinship and social organization; political dynamics and (in)equality; ritual, ceremony, and shamanism; and the present status and future of foragers in an industrial globalized world.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Combination of lecture, seminar discussion, and student presentations.
Some background in social anthropology and/or ecological anthropology would be helpful.
Class assignments and grading
Class presentations on outside readings Written discussion topics (submitted by EPost) Discussion participation Short paper and annotated bibliography focused on either a particular topic or a single hunter-gatherer society