What Makes Us Human?

Cultural Anthropology 2021

For Cultural Anthropology 2021, we are reading the second edition of Introducing Anthropology by Laura Pountney and Tomislav Marić. The subtitle of their text is “What makes us human?” The theme of the course is how we can work toward realizing our own humanity, by recognizing the humanity of others and attempting to radically listen to other perspectives. There is also a YouTube Playlist of lectures.

Part 1: What makes us human?

1. Introductions

2. Human Biology & Culture

  • Chapter 1, “What makes us human?”

3. Rethink Evolution

  • Agustin Fuentes, “‘The Descent of Man,’ 150 years on”
  • Elizabeth Preston, “Did Dads Evolve?”

4. Researching Culture

  • Chapter 2, “Research Methods”

5. Public Space

6. Body

  • Chapter 3, “The Body”

7. Body Work

8. Thinking

  • Chapter 4, “Ways of Thinking & Communicating”

Part 2: Society, Nature, Identity

9. Society

  • Chapter 5, “Social Relations”


11. Nature

  • Chapter 6, “Engaging with Nature”


13. Persons

  • Chapter 7, “Personhood”

14. Identity

  • Chapter 8, “Identity”


16. Ritual

  • Chapter 9, “Ritual”

Part 3: Boundaries & Beyond

17. Gender

  • Chapter 10, “Gender”


19. Boundaries

  • Chapter 11, “Boundaries”



22. Globalization

  • Chapter 12, “Globalization”

23. Material Culture

  • Chapter 13, “The Role of Material Culture”

24. Applying

  • Chapter 14, “Applied Anthropology”

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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