LPS Courses, Fall 2018

These evening and weekend courses are offered by Penn's College of Liberal and Professional Studies (LPS). In all classes, some seats are reserved for LPS students. Some courses may only allow College student enrollment with permission of the instructor and/or LPS. Please reach out to the instructor or the Undergraduate Coordinator with any questions.


ANTH 002-601 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

Instructor: Brian Spooner

Tuesday 5:30PM-8:30PM

An introduction to the anthropological study of human social and cultural diversity throughout the world, with special emphasis on the development of the idea of culture as an analytical concept. The course includes sections on the ethnographic research method and on the library of ethnographic material relating to cultural change in different parts of the world that anthropology has produced since the 19th century.

Fullfills Cross-Cultural Analysis and Sector I: Society Requirements


ANTH 005-601 Great Transformations

Instructor: Thomas Hardy

Thursday 6:00PM-9:00PM

This course explores the history and archaeology of the last 20,000 years from the development of agriculture to the industrial revolution. Why did people across the world abandon foraging for farming? How and why did cities and states develop? Why did societies succeed or fail? How have humans transformed themselves and the natural world, including the landscape and the climate? We will explore the methods that archaeologists use to consider these questions and analyze evidence for social and economic change from the Middle East, the Americas, Asia, Africa, Australia and Europe. In addition, students will have a chance to conduct hands-on exercises with artifacts from the Penn Museum during practicums.

Fulfills Sector II: History and Tradition Requirement


ANTH 122-601 Becoming Human

Instructor: Deborah Olszewski

Wednesday 6:00PM-9:00PM

Human evolutionary studies is a composite product of the fieldwork of both Paleolithic archaeology and human paleontology (or what we refer to as "stones and bones"). This marriage of two subdisciplines of anthropology produces a unique set of data that is intellectually managed and driven by theories within anthropology as a whole and even beyond -- to fields such as biology, psychology, and primate ethology, as we try to understand the origins of language, culture, and our unique physical characteristics. In this course, we will jointly discuss and debate the actual evidence of human evolution, describing what the actual evidence is and exploring how far can we take these interpretations.

Fulfills Sector VII: Natural Sciences and Mathematics Requirement


ANTH 205-601 American Folklore

Instructor: Linda Lee

Wednesday 6:00PM-9:00PM

This course will examine American expressive culture, including everyday speech, narrative, music, foodways, religion, public celebrations, and material culture through an exploration of the multiple and changing avenues of diversity in the United States. Folklore can be considered the unofficial culture that exists beneath and between the institutions of power that we read about in our history books, and that is what we will be studying--the 99% of American life that goes unseen and unnoticed in other college courses. Some of the topics we will examine are: campus folklore; body art and adornment; contemporary (urban) legends and beliefs; public celebrations and rituals; and the adaptation and commodification of folk culture in popular media.


ANTH 219-601 Archaeology Field Project

Instructor: Robert Schuyler

Saturday 8:00AM-5:00PM

First-hand participation in research project in historical archaeology in Southern New Jersey. Transportation provided by the university. Students will assist in excavations and archival research on local archaeological sites. Class is open to all undergraduates, no previous archaeological experience is required. Attendance will involve Fridays or Saturdays, all day from 8:00 to 5:00 including travel time to the excavations and back to the University Museum. Students enroll for only one day (F or S). Enrollment is limited so specific permission of the instructor is required (Robert L. Schuyler: schuyler@sas.upenn.edu; (215)898-6965; U Museum 412). A follow up laboratory course (Anth 220 in the spring semester) will also be available during which the artifacts and documentary sources collected in the fall will be analyzed at the University Museum. Course may be repeated for credit.

Fulfills Sector IV: Humanities and Social Science Requirement


ANTH 271-601 Ancient Mexico and Central America

Instructor: Whittaker Schroder

Mondays 5:30PM-8:40PM

This course will provide an overview of the diverse cultures of ancient Mesoamerica. Across the landscape that is now Mexico and Central America, the societies that inhabited highlands and tropical lowlands developed agricultural lands, built towering pyramids and cities, and forged great civilizations all before the arrival of Europeans to the New World. In this course, students will learn about these diverse civilizations and the many similarities and continuities among them. They will also learn about the legacy left by these cultures on today’s modern peoples of Mexico and Central America.


ANTH 273-601 Global Health: Anthropological Perspectives

Instructor: Michael Joiner

Tuesday 4:30PM-7:30PM 

In some parts of the world spending on pharmaceuticals is astronomical. In others, people struggle for survival amid new and reemerging epidemics and have little or no access to basic or life-saving therapies. Treatments for infectious diseases that disproportionately affect the world's poor remain under-researched and global health disparities are increasing. This interdisciplinary seminar integrates perspectives from the social sciences and the biomedical sciences to explore 1) the development and global flows of medical technologies; 2) how the health of individuals and groups is affected by medical technologies, public policy, and the forces of globalization as each of these impacts local worlds. The seminar is structured to allow us to examine specific case material from around the world (Haiti, South Africa, Brazil, Russia, China, India, for example), and to address the ways in which social, political-economic, and technological factors -- which are increasingly global in nature -- influence basic biological mechanisms and disease outcomes and distribution. As we analyze each case and gain familiarity with ethnographic methods, we will ask how more effective interventions can be formulated. The course draws from historical and ethnographic accounts, medical journals, ethical analyses, and films, and familiarizes students with critical debates on globalization and with local responses to globalizing processes. 


ANTH 386-601 Culture, Consumption, and Production in The Global Marketplace

Instructor: Marilynne Diggs-Thompson

Wednesday 5:30PM-8:40PM

The goal of this course is to understand and to investigate both historical and contemporary issues related to a culture of consumption. Reading topics cover both contemporary and scholarly issues in cultural anthropology, popular culture, consumer behavior, off-shore production, social networking, media and communications, financial and real estate markets and marketing. Class distinctions are equally interdisciplinary as we focus on investigating and identifying critical global/local linkages. We analyze the various ways in which Philadelphia and other "global cities" are competing for consumer revenues. We ask what factors have led contemporary society reaching its current stage of mass consumption and how have certain goods and services been reconfigured, packaged or re-packaged to attract new consumers. In order to better understand the link between consumption and production factors we explore the relationship between outsourcing and/or offshore production and modern consumption. Approximately sixty percent of the seminar takes place in the classroom and will include lecture, class discussion, and films. The remaining portion of the class meetings will involve local and regional travel. Research assignments emphasize the use of anthropological participant-observation techniques to investigate the relationships between culture and contemporary mass consumption within the contexts of re-gentrification, urbanization, and globalization.

Fulfills Cultural Diversity in US Requirement


ANTH 458-601 Introduction to Paleopathology

Instructor: Michael Zimmerman 

Monday 6:00PM-9:00PM

Disease evaluated in its culture context, based on findings in skeletal and mummified paleopathologic specimens. Instruction in examination of specimens. For senior anthropology majors, graduate and medical students.


ANTH 598-640 Economics of Heritage

Instructor: Peter Gould

Monday 5:30PM-8:40PM

Governmental resources for archaeological and heritage sites are declining worldwide while commercial and economic development initiatives are threatening the fabric of heritage and the larger landscape environment to ever greater degrees. As a consequence, the competition for resources to protect and preserve heritage is intensifying, as is the challenge of articulate the value of heritage resources vs. competing commercial or public projects. This is the context for understanding the issues surrounding the definition of the value of cultural heritage assets and the tools available for their measurement and management. This course explores in some depth issues relating to the economic analysis of heritage and culture. It is designed to provide students with a foundational understanding of the economics of heritage-related projects, the tools and techniques available for their analysis and the ethical and practical issues of public policy and private actions that determine the future of heritage resources. Readings and case studies will explore technical, practical and ethical issues that arise in cultural heritageeconomics. Relevant analytical techniques will be introduced and particular emphasis will be placed on commercial, government and community issues unique to heritage-related activities. Special emphasis will be placed upon developing pertinent strategies for the tourist industry. Students will produce one case-study project intended to integrate the technical and practical aspects of the course.