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Fall 2021

 

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Anthropology (ANTH)
308 Condon, 541-346-5102
College of Arts & Sciences
G - Pre-major, major, or minor are required to take this course graded to be applied to major/minor requirements
O - All course content is conducted online. Students are not required to come to campus for orientation, testing, or academic support services.
U - Some or all of the seats in this section are reserved for students in Freshman Interest Groups (FIG) or Academic Residential Communities (ARC)
Course Data
  ANTH 163   Origin of Storytelling >3 >GP >IC 4.00 cr.
Application of evolutionary thinking to the origins and function of literature.
Grading Options: Optional; see degree guide or catalog for degree requirements
Instructor: Sugiyama MHomepage Office:   273 Condon Hall
Section has additional FeesCourse Fees: $25.00 per credit
Course Materials
 
  CRN Avail Max Time Day Location Instructor Notes
  16972 3 200 -   ASYNC WEB Sugiyama M $OGU
Academic Deadlines
Deadline     Last day to:
September 26:   Process a complete drop (100% refund, no W recorded)
October 2:   Drop this course (100% refund, no W recorded; after this date, W's are recorded)
October 2:   Process a complete drop (90% refund, no W recorded; after this date, W's are recorded)
October 3:   Process a complete withdrawal (90% refund, W recorded)
October 3:   Withdraw from this course (100% refund, W recorded)
October 4:   Add this course
October 6:   Last day to change to or from audit
October 10:   Process a complete withdrawal (75% refund, W recorded)
October 10:   Withdraw from this course (75% refund, W recorded)
October 17:   Process a complete withdrawal (50% refund, W recorded)
October 17:   Withdraw from this course (50% refund, W recorded)
October 24:   Process a complete withdrawal (25% refund, W recorded)
October 24:   Withdraw from this course (25% refund, W recorded)
November 14:   Withdraw from this course (0% refund, W recorded)
November 14:   Change grading option for this course
Caution You can't drop your last class using the "Add/Drop" menu in DuckWeb. Go to the “Completely Withdraw from Term/University” link to begin the complete withdrawal process. If you need assistance with a complete drop or a complete withdrawal, please contact the Office of Academic Advising, 101 Oregon Hall, 541-346-3211 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday). If you are attempting to completely withdraw after business hours, and have difficulty, please contact the Office of Academic Advising the next business day.

Expanded Course Description
This is a Science Group satisfying course designed for humanities majors, presenting “science in words” instead of numbers, and emphasizing hypothesis formulation, prediction testing, and evidentiary standards. It uses a biology-based approach to understand the behavior of storytelling, examining forager oral tradition using biological theory (natural selection) and research on human biology (i.e., cognition, life history). The course applies evolutionary theory and related fields—e.g., hominid evolution, hunter-gatherer studies, cognitive and developmental psychology—to the question of when and why storytelling developed. In so doing, it introduces students to the foundations of evolutionary anthropology and the process of scientific reasoning.

The chief aim is to give students an understanding of the socio-ecological context in which storytelling emerged, the role it played in ancestral environments, and the evolved cognitive capacities that make it possible. To this end, the course examines evolutionary theory, human life history, and the evolution of the human mind, with an emphasis on the relationship between prolonged childhood and social learning in humans. Next, key cognitive capacities involved in narrative production (e.g., theory of mind, language, pretense, mental time travel) are examined in the context of social learning. This lays the groundwork for testing the hypothesis that oral tradition is an important means of information transmission in forager societies. This is done by identifying recurrent problems of forager life (e.g., cooperation, mating, warfare, famine, animal hazards, wayfinding, childcare) and the knowledge sets integral to solving them, which provides a list of content themes predicted to be present in forager oral tradition. A cross-cultural sample of forager folktales is then examined against this list for content relevant to coping with the problems embodied by these themes.

With its emphasis on the transmission of forager knowledge and values via oral tradition, the course also meets the International Cultures requirement by describing and analyzing multiple non-western worldviews. Course reading consists of scientific articles, a science textbook, and a cross-cultural sample of forager folktales.

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Release: 8.9.1