Human Nature

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UMass Amherst
Introduces the full range of human cultural and biological diversity. Human evolution, rise and fall of civilizations, non-Western cultures, and the human condition in different societies today. Emphasis on the relationships among biological, environmental, and cultural factors. (Gen.Ed. SB, G)
Open to first year Cultural Explorations RAP students in Webster. ANTHRO 100-02


This course explores how cultural practices and beliefs shape the world we live in.

In an increasingly globalized world and competitive job market, it is not readily obvious why the study of anthropology matters. Although anthropology is not directly responsible for technological breakthroughs, feats of engineering, or curing diseases, it is essential in understanding how these advancements affect people on the ground and what repercussions certain actions, policies, inventions, and developments have on the everyday lives of global citizens.

Through the four subfields of anthropology (sociocultural, biological, archaeological, and linguistic) we will explore various themes and issues that directly relate to your day to day life as a global citizen:

-The importance of cell phones to your social relationships
-The connections of coffee to broader global processes, and
-What it means to be a consumer in the contemporary world

Specifically you will learn theoretical and methodological tools for approaching your own academic interests in a critical manner. By the end of this class, you should be able to critically engage the questions:

-What does it mean to be human?
-What are some explanations for variation in human biology, cultural practice, and beliefs?
-What are the deeper meanings behind the things we do, the stories we tell, and our everyday practices?
Instructor Permission: 
Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.
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Course Sections

Human Nature
Sect # Credits Instructor(s) Instructor Email Meeting Times Location
02 4.0 Marc Lorenc M W F 10:10AM 11:00AM