Introduction to Anthropology 2016

This was the homepage for Introduction to Anthropology 2016 using the 3rd edition of Anthropology: What Does it Mean to Be Human? In 2021, I used the updated 5th edition and was able to record the lectures in a YouTube Playlist:

One unique feature of this 2016 course was that I also required The Land of Open Graves: Living and Dying on the Migrant Trail by Jason De León. I also reflected on teaching Jason De León when we read a Land of Open Graves excerpt for Cultural Anthropology 2019. While it was interesting to read De León during the election of Trump, it did nothing to sway the results.

Part 1: Human Nature, Race, Evolution

1. Horace Miner, “Body Ritual Among the Nacirema.”

2. L&S, chapter 1, “What is Anthropology?” (3-20) and Laura Bohannan, “Shakespeare in the Bush.”

3. L&S module 1, “Anthropology, Science, and Storytelling” (21-29).
L&S chapter 2, “Why is Evolution Important to Anthropologists?” (31-58).
Barbara J. King, “There’s No Controversy: Let’s Stop Failing Our Children On Evolution.”

4. L&S, chapter 3, “What about Human Variation?” (59-84).
Alan Goodman, “Three Questions about Race, Human Biological Variation and Racism” in Anthropology News (2005).

5. L&S chapter 4, “What Can the Study of Primates Tell Us?” (97-118).
Barbara Smuts, “What are Friends For?” in Natural History (1987).

6. L&S chapter 5 (part 1 of 2), “What Can the Fossil Record Tell Us?” (119-132)
“The Latest on Homo naledi” by John Hawks in American Scientist (2016)

7. L&S chapter 5 (part 2 of 2), “What Can the Fossil Record Tell Us?” (133-161)
“Homo naledi shows how biological anthropology is not biology, and can’t be, and shouldn’t be” by Jonathan Marks on Anthropomics (2016)

8. L&S module 2, “Dating Methods in Paleoanthropology & Archaeology” (85-95)

Part 2: Domestication, Agriculture, Culture

9. L&S chapter 6, “How Do We Know about the Human Past?” (163-192).
“New Women of the Ice Age” by Heather Pringle in Discover (1998).
“North Dakota Access Pipeline Protests Spark Historic Declaration” by Nicola Jones in Sapiens (2016).

10. L&S ch. 7 (pt 1 of 2), “Why Did Humans Settle Down?” (193-212).
“The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race” by Jared Diamond in Discover (1999).

11. L&S chapter 7 (part 2 of 2), “Why Did Humans Build Cities, Establish States?” (213-228).
“How do neighborhoods form?” by Michael E. Smith on Wide Urban World (2016).
“The Autonomous Village in Anthropological Theory” by Matthew T. Bradley in The Human Family (2014).

12. L&S ch. 8 (part 1 of 2), “How Does the Concept of Culture Help Us?” (229-236).
“Our Babies, Ourselves” by Meredith Small in Natural History (1997)

13. L&S chapter 8 (part 2 of 2), “How Does the Idea of Cultural Relativism Help Us?” (237-246)
“The campaign against Female Genital Cutting: empowering women or reinforcing global inequity?” by Susie Latham in Ethics and Social Welfare (2016)

14. L&S module 3, “On Ethnographic Methods” (247-259)
“Doing Fieldwork among the Yanomamö” by Napoleon Chagnon. Originally in Yanomamö: The Fierce People (4th edition, 1992)

15. L&S chapter 9, “Why Is Understanding Human Language Important?” (261-284)
“Immigration and Language Diversity in the United States” by Rubén G. Rumbaut and Douglas S. Massey in Daedalus (2013)
“How Language Shapes Thought” by Lera Boroditsky in Scientific American (2011)

16. L&S chapter 10, “How Do We Make Meaning?” (289-322)
“Envisioning a Pragmatic Approach to the Archaeology of Religion” by Mark Aldenderfer in Archaeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association (2012)

17. L&S module 4, “Components of Language” (285-288)

Part 3: Anthropology 2016 & Jason De León

18. L&S chapter 11, “Why Do Anthropologists Study Economic Relations?” (323-348)
De León, Introduction (1-20)

19. L&S chapter 12, “How Do Anthropologists Study Political Relations?” (349-372)
De León, “Prevention through Deterrence” (21-37)

20. L&S chapter 13, “Where Do Our Relatives Come From?” (373-414)
De León, “Dangerous Ground” & “Necroviolence” (38-86)

21. L&S chapter 14, “What Can Anthropology Tell Us about Social Inequality?” (415-446)
De León, “Memo and Lucho” (87-106)

22. L&S module 5, “Background to the Global Political Economy” (475-478)
De León, “Deported” & “Technological Warfare” (107-166)

23. L&S ch. 15, “How is Anthropology Applied in the Field of Medicine?” (447-74)
De León, “The Crossing” (167-202)

24. L&S 16 (1of2) “What Can Anthropology Tell Us about Globalization?” (479-93)
De León, “Exposure” & “You Can’t Leave Them Behind” (203-237)

25. L&S chapter 16, (part 2of2) “What about Globalization?” (494-509)
De León, “Maricela” & “We Will Wait Until You Get Here” (265-279)

26. De León, “Epilogue” (280-287)


This course was the first in a series of Intro-to-Anthropology courses online. My latest attempt from 2022 is one that outlines Human Problems and Human Potential. There were three other courses that used the textbook Anthropology: What Does it Mean to Be Human? (2021, 2018, and 2017). In 2020 I used the textbook Through the Lens of Anthropology.

For a full recorded lecture series from 2021, see the YouTube Playlist:


Living Anthropologically means documenting history, interconnection, and power during a time of global transformation. We need to care for others as we attempt to build a world together. This blog is a personal project of Jason Antrosio, author of Fast, Easy, and In Cash: Artisan Hardship and Hope in the Global Economy. For updates, follow on Twitter, watch on YouTube, or subscribe to e-mail list.

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