Course offerings – Cowichan campus 2014/15

Course offerings at Vancouver Island University Cowichan Campus 2014/2015

ANTH 111 (3) Introductory Anthropology: Physical Anthropology /Archaeology
An introduction to the theories, methods and research findings of physical/biological anthropology and archaeology, focusing on the origin and evolution of humans and of cultures.
Research Project: archeological site map, making a tool without the use of modern materials or technology, and creating a replica of an Upper Paleolithic sculpture.

ANTH 112 (3) Introductory Anthropology: Sociocultural Anthropology
A cross-cultural approach to sociocultural anthropology, involving both simple and complex societies. Topics include the relationship between anthropology and the philosophy of science, cultural ecology, systems of government, supernatural beliefs and practices, marriage and the family, law and social control, economy, age and gender, art and aesthetics, technology, and the dynamics of cultural change.
Projects: your family history

NOTE: The following two courses are taught together
ANTH 267 (3) Anthropology of Education
An introduction to the basic concepts, theories, and methodologies of anthropology of education. Topics include cross-cultural methods of transmission and retention of cultural and social knowledge; linguistic diversity; and the history of education in Canada including segregation, assimilation, integration and multiculturalism. Major units of analysis include gender, ethnicity, and class.
Prerequisite: Second-year standing or permission of instructor.
ANTH 307 (3) Culture and Education in Global Context
A cross-cultural analysis of education addressing cultural, social, political, and economic dynamics in North America and abroad. Topics include ethnography in the classroom; critical analysis of multicultural, anti-racist, and indigenous forms of education; theories of cultural difference and production; and practical implications for students and teachers. Prerequisite: Third-year standing.
Projects: TBA

ANTH 280 (3) Oral Tradition Through Time: A Cross-Cultural Perspective
An introduction to the oral traditions of various cultures. Topics include oral history methodology, research ethics, the role of the researcher, the joint construction of life history documents, and the value of oral history research as a resource to the community. Prerequisite: ANTH 112 or ANTH 121 or permission of instructor.
Research Project: recording a life history

ANTH 316 (3) The Anthropology of Homelessness
An examination of homelessness in a cross-cultural perspective. Topics include urban homelessness; rural homeless-ness; possible pathways out of homelessness; local initiatives; gender and age; identity and place; and diasporas and diaspora communities. Prerequisite: Third-year standing or permission of the instructor.
Projects: community based research (TBA) and participation in Cowichan Valley Homelessness Action Week

For information, contact: Helene Demers or Imogene Lim (chair)

Anthropology: The study of humankind in all places and in all times
Respect, Cross-Cultural Awareness, and Cross-Cultural Understanding

Forensic Field School in Guatemala – August & November 2014

Opportunity to participate in the fifth and sixth collaborative field schools between the International Field Initiatives and Forensic Training (IFIFT) and the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation (FAFG) in August 4-29, 2014, and November 3-28, 2014.

The link to the website for the field school is:

Here you will find information on the logistics for this initiative, including the application,brochure, general manual of recommendations of your time in Guatemala, a photo gallery, comments from previous participants and a blog. Individuals who participate in these field school initiatives may have an opportunity to volunteer with the FAFG after the completion of the field school (for one to three months).

If you have any questions, or if you require additional information do not hesitate to contact Cristian.

Cristian M. Silva Zuniga BA, MA,
Director of Operations,
International Field Initiatives and Forensic Training (IFIFT)
20-2007 Upland Street, Prince George, B.C. V2L-5B3, CANADA
Cell:250-617-0221 (CANADA)
502-4375-7770 (Guatemala)
Skype: cachilean

Primatology Research Opportunities

To those interested below are some details of research opportunities for PrimatesPeru.  Click the link for some more specifics.

PrimatesPeru Course Syllabus

We offer a field course in both the early and late summer, as well as research assistantships in a variety of ongoing and long-term research programs, with opportunities to assist in writing publications with the Principal Investigators upon completion of the program. Topics range from studying animal behavior to their reproductive biology, predator-prey dynamics, and health.

Some opportunities begin in Summer 2014 (with fast-approaching deadlines), while others will run year-round (with rolling deadlines). There are programs that should be of interest to current undergraduate and graduate students, as well as seniors who are graduating this May and would like to get field experience in their gap year. Both the course and the research assistantships can be taken for credit from the student’s own university, in collaboration with us.

All of our programs are conducted at the Los Amigos Biological Field Station – a place of remarkable biodiversity and beauty in southeastern Peru.

Thank you for helping to share these opportunities.


Mini Watsa

Mrinalini Erkenswick Watsa
Research Associate
Department of Anthropology
Washington University in St. Louis

Research group – PrimatesPeru

Human Evolutionary Studies Symposium February 14th

The Human Evolutionary Studies Program have their annual Symposium “Heat and Human Evolution” coming up in a few weeks at SFU Burnaby. We would be really grateful if you would be able to circulate the attached poster amongst your colleagues and students, in case any of them are interested. A preliminary program will be online shortly at
3rd HESP Symposium Letter size

Internship – Forensic Anthropology, FL

Dr. Tanya Peckmann of St. Mary’s University, NS, will be teaching a summer session course May 3-17, 2014, called “Internship in Forensic Anthropology” in Miami, Florida. This will be the fourth year that this amazing course has been offered.

The application date is quite soon (Jan 27, 2014). Only 16 students are chosen for the course and Dr. Peckmann wants to have the class list finalized by the first week of February – so students will have enough time to work extra shifts and find the funds to pay for this course. The total cost for the course including flights, hotel, and food is about $3500 for the 2-week course.

See Internship poster 2014.

Osteology, Bioarchaeology and Funerary Archaeology in Transylvania

More field school opportunities in Transylvania.

The 2013-2014 osteology and bioarchaeology programs are taught by Dr. Jonathan Bethard (Forensic Anthropology Program, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Boston University School of Medicine).

As the 15th century ends, the southeastern European frontier collapses in front of the Ottoman Turks. As Europe redefines itself in the wake of the Ottoman invasion, the Carpathian frontier still holds fast against the Eastern invaders. With the collapse of the Kingdom of Hungary in 1526, its Transylvanian territories became a political battlefield between European and the Ottoman backed princes. The local populations lived under constant social, political, economic and religious stress. During the late Middle Ages, Transylvania goes through major political changes, and a spiritual crisis, under the pressure of Islam from the East and Protestantism from the West.

The aim of the osteology and bioarchaeology projects is to evaluate how major global political events impact physically the local Transylvanian populations. For that purpose, we will analyze the relatively very well preserved human remains from ca. 200 adults and 100 children from four different cemeteries from central Transylvania (Romania), dating from the 16-17th centuries. Students will be taught how to identify fragmented bones, determine age, sex, stature, identify pathologies, trauma and take standard measurements. At the same time, they will be introduced to various osteological conservation problems aiming at properly evaluate bone quality for DNA and isotope analysis.

Concurrently, our funerary excavation aims at understanding the evolution of the population within this space-time environment, the changes in the very local type of church architecture and burial patterns through time, and the variations on the Christian burial ritual during social, political and economic stress. Through a more thorough study of the cemeteries and their occupants, we will also explore the different processes that led to the penetration of Protestantism in the region and then its subsequent return to Catholicism. The further study of the human remains in our osteology laboratory will provide a more detailed view of the “lived” human aspects of these transitions and crises.

Osteology Workshops: Late Medieval ”Crisis” Populations – The Remaking of the European Frontier
Location: Odorheiu Secuiesc, Transylvania, Romania
Dates: June 8 – July 5, 2014 (all level students)
More information:
Contact e-mail:

Bioarchaeology of Children Osteology Workshop: Victims of Change – lost Churches Projects
Location: Odorheiu Secuiesc, Transylvania, Romania
Dates: July 6 – August 2, 2014 (intermediary and advanced level students)
More information:
Contact e-mail:

Excavation: Medieval Cemetery – Life and Death on the Edge of Europe
Location: Teleac and Valeni, Harghita County (Southern Transylvania), Romania
Period: Late Middle Ages
Excavation dates – Session 1: June 15 – July 5, 2014
Excavation dates – Session 2: July 6 – July 26, 2014
More information:
Contact e-mail:

For student evaluations of the 2013 season, go to:

For additional information:

Gail Anderson @ VIU, Nanaimo – Dec 3

Maggot Tales

Forensic entomology is the study of insects, their life cycles, and their succession on decomposing bodies. Dr. Anderson will discuss how insects can be used to determine time since death and to pinpoint the location of wounds in human and animal crime scene investigations.

Gail Anderson, forensic entomologist extraordinaire, will be speaking at the Nanaimo Campus of Vancouver Island University, Tuesday, December 3. There will be two presentations: 1:30-3:00pm, and 3:00-4:30pm; both will be held in Building 356, Room 109.

Don’t miss this opportunity!  Free and open to all!

Transylvania Bioarchaeology Field Schools

Two bioarchaeology field schools are being offered in Transylvania, Romania.

Migration, Health, and Lifestyle in the Kingdom of the Gepids (Transylvania)
For the 2014 field season, we will continue examining and analysing skeletal remains belonging to the Gepid culture, excavated from the Northeastern plains of Transylvania.  All analytical work will take place in the National History Museum of Transylvania (MNIT), located in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. If available, students will also have the opportunity to experience bioarchaeological fieldwork.

Jucu de Sus Barbarian Necropolis Excavations
The Jucu de Sus necropolis project is beginning in 2014 as a collaborative project between Transylvania Bioarchaeology and the Institutul de Arheologie și Istoria Artei din Cluj-Napoca. The aim of the 2014 field season is to excavate the skeletal remains and the associated material culture from the necropolis in order to further define the relationship between the necropolis and the surrounding settlements, as well as to attempt to understand the social customs, palaeodemography, origins, and health status of the population.

More info about these projects are available at

Transylvania Bioarchaeology Projects Flyer

Talk at ASBC Nanaimo by David Hopwood

David Hopwood Lecture Click for details

Date: Saturday November 16 3:30-5
Location: Nanaimo District Museum
Cost $2
ASBC Members Free!

David will be speaking on the work that has been conducted on the archaeological site Kenan Tepe in Souteastern Turkey. In particular the talk will focus on the multiple burials uncovered over three time periods represented at the site. Burial practice patterns provides insight into how individuals and communities negotiated their relationships between the living and the dead. Several infant and adult burials from the multi-period mound site of Kenan Tepe were analysed to examine the variety of burial practices carried out and to address questions regarding the nature of the relationship between the Kenan Tepe residents and their dead. During the time of occupation at Kenan Tepe at least three different methods of interment were practiced, progressively indicating a shift towards a less intimate relationship with the dead.