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1 - 2 of 2 results for: ANTHRO113

ANTHRO 113: Culture and Epigenetics: Towards A Non-Darwinian Synthesis (ANTHRO 213)

The course examines the impact of new research in epigenetics on our understanding of long-term cultural change. The course examines the various attempts that have been made over recent decades to find a synthesis between cultural and biological evolution. These approaches, often termed neo-Darwinian, include memes, dual inheritance theory, theories of cultural selection and transmission, niche construction theory and macro-evolutionary approaches. Research in all these areas will be examined, with particular reference to explanations for the origins of agriculture, but also including other transformations, and critiqued. New research in epigenetics offers an alternative non-Darwinian evolutionary perspective that avoids many of the problems and pitfalls in the neo-Darwinian approaches. Cultural evolution comes to be viewed as cumulative, directional and Lamarckian, since heritable epigenetic variation can underlie evolutionary change. Epigenetics opens the way for human cultural entanglements to become the drivers for evolutionary change, thus allowing the full range of social processes studied in the social and cultural sciences to take their place in the study and analysis of long-term change.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4-5 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Hodder, I. (PI)

ANTHRO 113B: Religious Practices in Archaeological Cultures (ANTHRO 213B, ARCHLGY 113B)

According to Hawkes (1954), religion or ideology is the most difficult part of social life to access archaeologically. Luckily, not all scholars agree; according to Fogelin (2008) 'religion is not something people think about, but something people do¿. Thus, archaeology, an inherently multidisciplinary subject that studies material culture, is well suited to delve into religion and its underpinnings.nThis course will explore religious practices, as they can be defined and interpreted from archaeological contexts spanning the Paleolithic to historic periods. Definitions of religion differ from author to author but they mostly agree that religion is a fully integrated and thus integral part of human social life. Politics, economics, identity and social class influence religion, and religion influences how these forces play out in society. Thus, the course will also examine the significance of ritual and religion in a variety of social contexts.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
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