PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY OF
AN310 Course Syllabus (Final Version)
Instructor: Dr. Gary Heathcote
Lab: Anthropology Resource & Research Center (ARRC), DC#32
Office Hours: MWF 10:00-12:00 (at HSS108B)
Phones: 735-2806 (HSS108B); 735-2168 (ARRC); or 735-2800 (messages, c/o Rose Paulino)
Class Meetings: W 17:30-20:20 (HSS110)
Textbook: Houghton, Philip (1996) People of the Great Ocean: Aspects of Human Biology of the Early Pacific. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
This course focuses on the human biological diversity of past and present Pacific Island populations. We will examine interpretations and endeavor to reach understandings of the patterning of this diversity and the processes that have produced it. Pacific human biodiversity is considered from evolutionary and ecological perspectives, with consideration given to the physical environment (present and past), the archaeological record, historical linguistics, culture, social organization, demography and disease. Further, whenever possible, the human biological condition of Pacific Islanders is considered within a political ecological framework, e.g. through examination of the legacies of European contact, influence and colonialism.
Coverage of health issues, especially, will focus on the multiple (and interactive) determinants of well-being, ranging from the evolutionary history and genetic attributes of populations to the physical environments to which they adapted, to exposures to infectious diseases and changes in the prevalence and patterning of “lifestyle” diseases. Such change in health and disease patterning, in turn, is co-determined by trajectories of historical experiences, and consequent changes in culture, social organization and demography.
Weeks 1 – 2 are largely introductory and organizational. During Weeks 3 – 9, we will cover and critically discuss a wide range of topics addressed in the seven chapters of the Houghton text. In support of your major project (an annotated bibliography; see below), Weeks 2 – 4 will be “split sessions” in which approximately ½ of our 3-hour session will be dedicated to bibliographic/information retrieval instruction. During Weeks 10 – 13, sessions will be based on extra-text required readings on Micronesian populations. Week 14 will be set aside for previews and informal evaluations of annotated bibliography projects, i.e. “works in progress”. Students will give Oral presentations on their annotated bibliography project during Week 15. Week 16 will be reserved for a special lecture (topic T.B.A.).
Class Format / Expectations of Students / Instructor’s Obligations
A typical class session will be mixed seminar-lecture-demonstration in format. The success of the course will depend greatly on your informed discussion and writings pertaining to the readings assigned for each weekly session. In preparation for these sessions, students are assigned to complete a set of Questions for Reflection and Discussion. Question sheets will be issued one week in advance; they must be completed, and submitted, on the day the session is scheduled. Late assignments will not be accepted. Completion of these assignments will guarantee that every student is at least minimally prepared to participate in discussions of the required readings. Active student participation beyond the confines of the assigned questions is encouraged.
In addition to the required readings, recommended readings are listed in the Schedule below. These include readings that provide either background information or supplementation (or both) to the required readings. The Instructor will comment on these readings in advance of the sessions, to guide individual students to those that are appropriate to their background levels and interests.
Students are expected to attend all sessions. More than two unexcused absences will result in no credit being given for the course.
The Instructor’s contributions to the sessions will consist of introductions to the topics, the issuing and discussion of occasional supplementary handouts, and regular mini-lectures and/or demonstrations (with laboratory resources) that dovetail with issues covered in the readings.
A set of extra-text (i.e. beyond Houghton) required readings will be bundled by the Instructor and distributed to students. Costs will be recovered from course fees. All recommended readings will be placed on Reserve at RFK; go to the Current Periodicals desk to access them. In addition, all of the readings (as well as “Further Readings” listed at the end of this syllabus) will be made available for in-house use (only) at the Anthropology Resource & Research Center (DC#32).
Your final grade will be based on class preparedness and active participation, an annotated bibliography project report (oral and written), and a final comprehensive exam. The weighting of these evaluation components is as follows:
Class preparedness, completion and quality of assignments, and active participation -- 40%
Annotated bibliography project: Oral presentation -- 10%
Annotated bibliography project: Written Project Report -- 30%
Final Exam -- 20%
Required and Recommended Readings
Avise JC (1994) Molecular Markers, Natural History and Evolution. Chapman & Hall.
Bellwood PS (2000) Some thoughts on understanding the human colonization of the Pacific.
People and Culture in Oceania 16:5-17.
Bellwood P, Fox JJ and Tryon D (1995) The Austronesians in history: Common origins and
diverse transformations. In P Bellwood, JJ Fox and D Tryon (eds): The Austronesians: Historical and Comparative Perspectives. Canberra: Department of Anthropology, The Australian National University, pp. 1-16.
Bindon JR and Baker PT (1997) Bergmann’s rule and the thrifty genotype. American Journal
of Physical Anthropology 104:201-210.
Blust R (1996) Austronesian culture history: The windows of language. In WH Goodenough
(ed) : Prehistoric Settlement of the Pacific. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, pp. 28-35.
Brace CL (1998) Review: People of the Great Ocean: Aspects of Human Biology of the Early
Pacific by Philip Houghton. Asian Perspectives 37:115-117.
Brace CL, Brace ML, Dodo Y, Hunt KD, Leonard WR, Li Y, Sangvichien S, Shao X-Q, and
Zhang Z (1990) Micronesians, Asians, Thais and relations: A craniofacial and
odontometric perspective. Micronesica Suppl. 2:323-348.
Chen K-M (1998) The History of Guam ALS/PDC: 1900-1998. Annotated Chronological
bibliography. Mangilao: Micronesian Health and Aging Studies Institute, University of
Clark JT and Kelley KM (1993) Human genetics, paleoenvironments, and malaria: relationships
and implications for the settlement of Oceania. American Anthropologist 95:612-630.
Diamond J (1997) Speedboat to Polynesia. Chapter 17 in Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of
Human Societies. New York: W.W. Norton, pp. 334-353.
van Dijk N (1991) The Hansel and Gretel Syndrome: A critique of Houghton’s cold adaptation
hypothesis and an alternative model. New Zealand Journal of Archaeology 13:65-89.
Friedlaender JS (1998) Review: Human Biology in Papua New Guinea, edited by Robert D.
Attenborough and Michael P. Alpers, and People of the Great Ocean: Aspects of Human Biology of the Early Pacific by Philip Houghton. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 106:553-556.
Garruto RM (1989) Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Parkinsonism-Dementia of Guam:
Clinical, epidemiological, and genetic patterns. American Journal of Human Biology 1:367-382.
Garruto RM (1990) Health consequences of migration in Micronesia. Collegium
Garruto RM (1996) Early environment, long latency and slow progression of late onset
neuro-degenerative disorders. In CJK Henry and SJ Ulijaszek (eds.): Long-term Consequences of Early Environment: Growth, Development and the Lifespan Developmental Perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 219-249.
Garruto RM, Way AB, Zansky S and Hoff C (1989) Natural experimental modesl in human
biology, epidemiology, and clinical medicine. In ML Little and JD Haas (eds.): Human Population Biology: A Transdisciplinary Science. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 82-109.
Goodman AH and Leatherman TL, editors (1998) Building a New Biocultural Synthesis:
Political-Economic Perspectives on Human Biology. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Hanihara T (1997) Craniofacial affinities of Mariana Islanders and Circum-Pacific Peoples.
American Journal of Physical Anthropology 104:411-425.
Hanson DB and Butler BM (1997) A biocultural perspective on Marianas prehistory: Recent
trends in bioarchaeological research. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 104:271-290.
Heathcote GM, Bansil KL, and Sava VJ (1996) A protocol for scoring three posterior cranial
superstructures which reach remarkable size in ancient Mariana Islanders. Micronesica 29:281-298.
Heathcote GM, Stodder ALW, Buckley HR, Hanson DB, Douglas MT, Underwood JH, Taisipic
TF, and Diego VP (1998) On treponemal disease in the Western Pacific: Corrections and critique. Current Anthropology 39:359-368.
Houghton P (1991) Grim fairy tale: Comments on some matters raised in The Hansel and
Gretel Syndrome by N. van Dijk. New Zealand Journal of Archaeology 13:91-99.
Howells WW (1989) Skull Shapes and The Map: Craniometric Analyses in the Dispersion of
Modern Homo. Papers of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, Volume 79.
Howells WW (1990) Micronesia to Macromongolia: Micro-Polynesian craniometrics and the
Mongoloid population complex. Micronesica Suppl. 2:363-372.
Ishida H and Dodo Y (1997) Cranial variation in prehistoric human skeletal remains from the
Marianas. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 104:399-410.
Kennedy KAR (1989) Skeletal markers of occupational stress. In MY Iscan and KAR Kennedy
(eds.): Reconstruction of Life from the Skeleton. New York: Wiley-Liss, pp. 129-160.
Knusel C (2000) Bone adaptation and its relationship to physical activity in the Past. In M Cox
and S Mays (eds): Human Osteology in Archaeology and Forensic Science. London: Greenwich Medical Media Ltd., pp.381-401.
Larsen CS (1997) Bioarchaeology: Interpreting Behavior from the Human Skeleton.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Lobban CS, and Schefter M (1997) Tropical Pacific Island Environments. Mangilao: University
of Guam Press.
Lum JK and Cann RL (2000) mtDNA lineage analyses: Origins and Migrations of Micronesians
and Polynesians. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 113:151-168.
Lum JK, Cann RL, Martinson JJ, and Jorde LB (1998) Mitochondrial and nuclear genetic
relationships among Pacific Island and Asian populations. American Journal of Human Genetics 63:613-624.
Lum JK, Jorde LB and Schiefenhovel W (2002) Affinities among Melanesians, Micronesians,
and Polynesians: A neutral, biparental genetic perspective. Human Biology 74:413-430.
Lynch J (1998) Pacific Languages: An Introduction. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
Monmany T (1990) This obscure malady. New Yorker, October 29, pp. 85-113.
Oppenheimer S and Richards M (2001) Fast trains, slow boats, and the ancestry of the
Polynesian islanders. Science Progress 84:157-181.
Pietrusewsky M (1990) Craniometric variation in Micronesia and the Pacific: A multivariate
study. Micronesica Suppl. 2:373-402.
Pietrusewsky M (1994) Pacific-Asian relationships: A physical anthropological perspective.
Oceanic Linguistics 33:407-429.
Pietrusewsky M, Douglas MT, and Ikehara-Quebral R (1997) An assessment of health and
disease in the prehistoric inhabitants of the Mariana Islands. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 104:315-342.
Pollock NJ (1993) Fat is beautiful – the body as art form in the Pacific. Paper written for the
Pacific Arts Symposium, April 13, Adelaide, 15pp.
Pollock NJ (1995) Cultural elaborations of obesity – fattening practices in Pacific societies.
Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition 4:357-360.
Rapaport M (Ed.) 1999 The Pacific Islands: Environment & Society. Honolulu: Bess Press.
Roberts C and Manchester K (1999) The Archaeology of Disease, 2nd ed. Ithaca: Cornell
Rubinstein DH (1999) Staking ground: Medical Anthropology, health and medical services in
Micronesia. In RC Kiste and M Marshall (eds.) American Anthropology in Micronesia: An Assessment. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, pp. 327-359.
Saunders SR (1989) Nonmetric skeletal variation. In MY Iscan and KAR Kennedy (eds.):
Reconstruction of Life from the Skeleton. New York: Wiley-Liss, pp. 95-108.
Terrell JR, Kelly KM and Rainbird P (2001) Foregone conclusions? In search of “Papuans”
And “Austronesians” Current Anthropology 42:97-124 (including Comments and Reply).
Turner II CF (1990) Origin and affinity of the people of Guam: A dental anthropological
assessment. Micronesica Suppl. 2: 403-416.
Weiss ML (2000) An introduction to Genetics. In S Stinson et al. (eds.): Human Biology: An
Evolutionary and Biocultural Perspective. New York: Wiley-Liss, pp. 47-85.
Wiederholt WC (1999) Neuroepidemiologic research initiatives on Guam: past and present.
Yamada S and Palafox N (2001) On the biopsychosocial model: the example of political
economic causes of diabetes in the Marshall Island. Family Medicine 33:702-704; Comment in: Family Medicine 34:235-236, 2002; Author reply in Family Medicine 34:236, 2002.
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