Fall Semester 2015




Instructor: Dr. Paul J. Pacheco

Office: Bailey 153A

Office Hours: T  9:00 A.M. - 1:00 P.M., or by appointment

Office Telephone:  245-5275

email: pacheco@geneseo.edu

webpage:  mycourses.geneseo.edu  (ANTH 101)



Course Description:


This course is an introduction to the science of anthropology; the study of biological and cultural diversity of human beings.  Anthropology allows students to explore the question of who we are as complex cultural animals.  We will examine the four sub-disciplines of anthropology and what each has to offer us in our quest for who we are as a species, as members of a global population, and as individuals of a particular culture.


Social Science Core:


 Besides fulfilling your multi-cultural graduation requirements, this course also fulfills one course in the social science general education requirements. The guidelines for a social science core course stress the development of the following characteristics of a responsible member of society:

(1) an acquaintance with major empirical, analytical, or theoretical approaches to human behavior, institutions or culture;

(2) an acquaintance with social, economic, political, or moral alternatives;

(3) an acquaintance with major problems, issues, institutions, practices or trends in the social world;

(4)  a capacity to express ideas clearly, coherently and grammatically in written form

as one component of the evaluation process. This written work must total at least 1500 words, at least half of which must be prepared outside of class.


Learning Outcomes:


  1. Students will gain an appreciation of themselves as a product of biology and

      culture. Students will also discover that while some aspects of our behavior can be

      understood by looking our heritage, most aspects of human behavior can only be

      understood by examining the relativistic constructs of  the particular cultures in which a

      person is raised.  Students will demonstrate appreciation of the basic issues surrounding 

      human diversity  through both in and out of class writing assignments.



2.    Students will demonstrate their comprehension of human diversity in areas

       such as language, cultural ecology, social organization, political organization,   

       ideology, and religion through multiple choice questions on the exams.


 3.   Students will learn the evolutionary history of our species via an exploration of primate  

       and hominid evolution and will demonstrate their understanding of this biological

       heritage through multiple choice questions on the exams.. 


Course requirements and Grading Procedures:


          Exam 1                              100 points    (9/30)

          Exam 2                              100 points    (11/4)

          Exam 3 - Final                    200 points    (12/17 from 3:30-6:30 P.M.)

          Reaction Paper                 100 points    (see class schedule below)


            Exams are non-cumulative and consist of 70 multiple choice questions (worth 1 point each) plus a 30 point section consisting of 3 short essays worth 10 points each.    Exam 3 - the Final - includes two extra essay questions in addition to the non-cumulative multiple choice and short essay sections discussed above.   The second extra essay on the final is worth 75 points.  This essay covers chapters 2-6 of the Middleton text and it reinforces the primary cultural diversity themes of the course. 


Grades will be assigned on a percentage basis out of 500 possible points as follows.  Because of the size of the class, rounding will not be used in the calculation of final grades:


A  =  100% - 93%                                C+ = 79.99 - 77%

A-   = 92.99% - 90 %                           C   =  76.99 - 73%

B+ =  89.99 - 87%                               C - = 72.99 - 67 %

B   =  86.99 - 83 %                              D =   66.99 - 57 %

B- =   82.99 - 80 %                              E =   56.99 - 0 %


Reaction Paper:


            You have three opportunities to write one Reaction Paper, but you can only write one paper!  When each option is due is listed below on the class schedule, but regardless of the day, hard copies will be collected at the beginning of class.   Option 1) How do we view and understand people very different from us?   Base this paper on the concepts introduced in Chapter 1 of the Middleton text and your reaction to the class film Warriors of the Amazon and the Chagnon pdf #1.  Option 2) This paper is based on your reaction to the class film The Blood of Kings.  How did the Mayan kingdoms integrate their social, political, and religious systems and how does this explain the Mayan collapse?  In your essay, address how ethnocentrism and/or cultural relativism affected your reaction.   Option 3) This paper is based on your reaction to the class film People of the Forest.  Based on your reaction to this film, discuss what you think it means to be human, incorporating concepts you have learned throughout the course.  How different are these chimps from people and have they been unfairly portrayed in “human terms”?

Your paper is required to be 1000-1050 words long; no exceptions. Failure to comply with the words count limit results in a 10 point deduction from your essay grade.  The title page and references cited, should you include them, do not count towards the words count limit. In addition to the hard copy, an electronic version of your paper using Microsoft Word should be dropped into the appropriate ANTH 101 myCourses.geneseo.edu Drop Box (located under Course Materials) no later than 3:59 P.M. on the day the paper is due.  Failure to drop your essay in the Drop Box by the deadline results in a 10 point deduction from your essay grade.   Failure to drop your essay in the Drop Box at all results in a 25 point deduction from your essay grade.  Use your last name as the file name for the electronic version of the paper (i.e. adams.doc or manson.docx).  A random sample of approximately 25% of these files will be checked for compliance with the word count limit, although conspicuously short or long papers will also be checked.  


No late papers will be accepted.  You have three options to get the paper done and each is associated with a long weekend.  Under these circumstances, no extensions are necessary.


Format Rules: The hard copy of your reaction paper must be stapled to a cover sheet that includes your name, and the title of your essay.  Do not place your name, or the paper title, anywhere but on the cover sheet.  Please include page numbers, but do not number the cover page.  Use normal margins and double-spacing.  Please do not use a font size smaller than 10 point. 


Your paper will be graded on the following five components: format (as outlined above), structure (includes sentence construction and organization), grammar (includes spelling errors and typos), clarity (are your ideas expressed clearly?), and content (are your comments perceptive, have you explored significant issues?).   Please note that this paper functions as part of the writing requirement for Social Science core, which means that grading emphasizes your writing in addition to the content of the paper.


“SUNY Geneseo will make reasonable accommodations for persons with documented physical, emotional, or cognitive disabilities.  Accommodations will also be made for medical conditions related to pregnancy or parenting.  Students should contact Dean Buggie-Hunt in the Office of Disability Services (tbuggieh@geneseo.edu or 585-245-5112) and their faculty to discuss needed accommodations as early as possible in the semester.”


Required textbooks:

Kottak, Conrad P.    2014   Windows on Humanity: A Concise Introduction to Anthropology (sixth edition).  McGraw Hill  ISBN #978-0-07-803508-1  

Middleton, DeWight R.  2011    The Challenge of Human Diversity (third edition).  Waveland Press   ISBN # 978-1-57766-675-2

             The course reading schedules for both editions of Kottak and supplemental readings (denoted as

             pdfs on the reading schedule) will be made available on your  myCourses webpage under the

             Course Materials tab. 



Class Schedule                                                                                                  Reading


8/31   Introduction                                                                                             Kottak Ch. 1,

                                                                                                                         Middleton Introduction pp. 1-7


9/2     Film – Warriors of the Amazon                                                              Chagnon pdf #1


9/7     Labor Day – No Class                                                                           Middleton Ch. 1


9/9    Discussion of Yąnomamö film and conducting fieldwork                        Kottak Ch. 3 pp. 49-60;

                                                                                                                                 Bohannan pdf;

                                                                                                                         Option 1 Reaction  papers due


9/14    Studying Culture                                                                                    Kottak  Ch. 2


9/16     Language                                                                                              Kottak Ch. 10


9/21     Completion of the Language Topic and short clip Chimp Talk                          -


9/23     Religion                                                                                                Kottak Ch.  15
9/28     Completion of Religion topic and discussion about Yanomamö religion   Chagnon pdf#2;
                                                                                                                                        Gmelch pdf


9/30     EXAM I                                                                                                           -


10/5    Making a Living  (Subsistence Patterns)                                             Kottak Ch. 11;
                                                                                                                                         Friedl pdf


10/7      Film  The Blood of Kings                                                                                          -


10/12     Fall Break – No Class                                                                                               -


10/14    Political Systems                                                                                Kottak Ch. 12


10/19   Families, Kinship, and Descent                                                           Kottak Ch. 13,  pp. 298-307


10/21    Marriage and Gender                                                                         Kottak Ch. 13, pp. 308-321;

                                                                                                                                      Kottak Ch. 14

                                                                                                                          Option 2 Reaction Papers due


10/26    Completion of Marriage and Gender Topic and short clip from

              Film  Strange Relations                                                                        McCurdy pdf; Geertz pdf


10/28    Modernization, Development, and Cultural Exchange                          Kottak Ch. 17; Kottak Ch. 18;

                                                                                                                                          Patten pdf



11/2      Film Women’s Bank of Bangladesh                                                       Kottak Ch. 19


11/4     EXAM II                                                                                                                   -


11/9     Studying the Human Past                                                                      Kottak  Ch. 3 pp. 40-49


11/11     Biology and Evolutionary Theory                                                          Kottak  Ch. 4


11/16    Primates                                                                                                Kottak Ch. 5;

                                                                                                                                    Diamond pdf#1


11/18    Apes                                                                                                     review Kottak Ch. 5, pp. 103-107      


11/23     Film People of the Forest                                                                               -


11/25    Thanksgiving Break – No Class                                                                       -


11/30     Early Human Evolution                                                                        Kottak Ch. 6                                                                                     


12/2      Evolution of Modern Humans                                                               Kottak Ch. 7;

                                                                                                                          Diamond   pdf#2                                                                      


12/7      The First Farmers and Origins of Social Complexity                            Kottak Ch. 8

                                                                                                              Option 3 Reaction Papers due


12/9       Cities, States and Cultural Collapse                                                    Kottak Ch. 9; Diamond pdf #3


12/14       Race and Ethnicity                                                                             Kottak Ch. 16; refer back to

                                                                                                                             relevant sections of Kottak 

                                                                                                                            Chapter 4; Jablonski pdf


12/17    FINAL EXAM (3:30-6:30 P.M.)