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ANT 475/575: Biology, Culture, and Evolution is a detailed introduction to the study of how humans bioculturally adapt to their physical, biological, and social environment from the perspective of human evolutionary biology.

The purpose of this site, like all sites on the Anthropology Blog Network, is to engage in public anthropology while learning. Public anthropology involves addressing issues beyond the discipline of anthropology through direct public conversation with the explicit goal of fostering social change.

Through this blog site, students will summarize readings and provide commentary and critique regarding those readings and summarizing, while placing the authors of the assigned readings and their work within a disciplinary context.  We welcome interaction with individuals outside the course, especially the authors of the work we are discussing, who can often provide clarity on issues that puzzle students.

For each class when a reading is due, 1-2 students will be assigned to summarize the reading as a blog post no later than NOON the day before class.  Summaries should be between 1-2 typewritten pages (compose in Word then cut and paste) and contain the following elements:

  • A one-paragraph biography of the author or authors.  Go to their faculty pages and check them out.  The authors you will be reading are currently central figures in the study of human biology.  This will help everyone put them in context.
  • One-paragraph summarizing the author's research.  What projects have they been involved in and what have been the major findings?
  • Summarize the article or chapter you have been assigned (be efficient, as everyone will be reading it--don't waste your time essentially rewriting the whole thing).
  • Link the material to a broader context (inside or outside the discipline), other things you've learned in anthropology or the UA department, or your own research or opinion.  Provide hyperlinks to outside sources (but be sure to explain them).

Everyone else will provide commentary about the reading on that post no later than 6 PM the day before the class. Commentary should use about one paragraph to describe what you found most interesting about the reading and anything that you would like clarified or further explained. Then, propose for discussion at least one concrete, practical example of how the material in this reading might matter to a nonspecialist (think internet news site reader or cable news viewer-–why should they care?). Commentaries need not further summarize the reading but should make it clear that you read and thought about the chapter.