So this past semester, I taught a 600 person Introduction to Anthropology class. Let that number sink in. I think I learned the names of about 8 students, maybe 10. It was fun in the sense that I became a master of writing 45 minute lectures and I think I was pretty entertaining at it. I got in some good laughs, especially about Game of Thrones, and otherwise, had fun holding court over 500+ students. This coming semester I’m teaching the class again, using Anthropology, What does it Mean to be Human, and I think I’ll be rethinking my class a bit. I’ll still have 300+ students and I’ll still be lecturing for the most part, but maybe there are some ways to do something interactive with 300 students… IDK. Any thoughts? Get in touch and let me know.
I know I will be posting lecture summaries online, here and on the UIUC LMS – I found that after my classes, I always had fun ideas floating around in my head that I wanted to get out. So anyways, the goal for the semester is to devise a couple of fun activities for my 101 class and to write one-paragraph summaries of my lectures online.
*in case anyone is interested, here is a description of my class.
As a discipline, anthropology concerns itself with the description and study of human variation, from the evolution of the species to its myriad, modern-day forms. As such, anthropology deploys both scientific and humanistic toolkits to explore fundamental questions related to where we come from, how we used to live, and how do we understand social life today? In this class, we will explore the study of the diversity of humankind through the four sub-disciplines of anthropology – biological/physical anthropology, archaeology, anthropology, and linguistics. This course is ideal for a young college student or someone new to the college experience and for anyone interested in learning about the diversity of humankind and why it is valuable to seek to understand humans outside of one’s own preconceptions.
- Identify and understand the four major subfields of anthropology
- Understand the diversity of humankind and of human cultures
- Understand how culture creates expectations and models of behavior that we “normalize” and that seem fundamental to human nature
- Understand how anthropology can be applied to the study of the world and to successfully operating within an increasingly interconnected and globalized world
Getting ready to teach day 1.