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Anthropology: The Four Fields


Play Overview Video

Anthropology: The Four Fields introduces the central concepts, concerns, and research methods of cultural anthropology. The 28-lesson course takes a cross-cultural approach to diverse subject areas, including subsistence patterns, political organization, the family, social organization, economics, kinship, language, the arts, and religion.

As the course explores the various ways in which the human species has responded to the fundamental challenges of survival students will gain a greater appreciation for the ways in which anthropologists work to study the cultural and biological aspects of humankind within the widest possible context, using a mix of theoretical perspectives and methodologies. Evolutionary theory, primate origins, and paleoanthropology are also discussed.

The online course includes all videos for each lesson, as well as separate, smaller clips of video covering the various learning objectives of each lesson. Interactive exercises, reading instructions, quizzes and other activities are also contained in the online version.

The textbook to accompany this course is Anthropology: The Human Challenge , written by William A. Haviland, Harald E. L. Prins, Dana Walrath, and Bunny McBride. Additional information is provided under the “How to Adopt Course & Print Materials” tab below. To request access to an electronic review copy of the textbook, please contact Cengage Learning.

For access to Coast Learning Systems’ online course preview site, please complete a Preview Request Form.

Lesson Titles and Descriptions

1. The Essence of Anthropology

Anthropology is the study of human beings, but to phrase the definition in these simple terms is to diminish the grand scope of this discipline overall. Anthropology delves deeply into every aspect of humankind, from its beginnings millions of years ago to the present day. Its subject matter ranges from the exotic to the ordinary, from faraway tribes to the structure of the human foot. This lesson explains the four fields of anthropology, defines the concept of holism, and describes how anthropologists approach their subject matter from a holistic and comparative cross-cultural perspective in order to reach the broadest, most inclusive conclusions possible on their subject of interest. Each field – cultural, physical (biological), linguistic anthropology, and archaeology – is described, and situational material is included to illustrate how each field functions and interconnects with the others. Sub fields to the four major fields, such as forensics and paleoanthropology, are introduced and discussed, and the concept that humans are bio-cultural beings because of the simultaneous adaptations of our biology with culture is illustrated. The lesson also introduces the student to the way anthropologists carry out their analyses through rigorous fieldwork and participant observation in order to create the ethnographies that describe humans cross-culturally. Applied anthropology, sometimes referred to as the fifth sub field of anthropology, is introduced.

2. Biology and Evolution

Humans are biological organisms that have a place in the natural world. To understand what it means to be human we need to understand how we became human. The video introduces the topic of biology by looking at an important evolutionary force, natural selection, and how it has affected a species of fox living on islands off the California coast. Next, the ultimate source of variation is discussed as the hereditary material, DNA, is examined. Genes, alleles, and proteins are discussed as part of normal human physiology, including their role in inherited genetic diseases. How the hereditary material is distributed to offspring is the focus of meiosis, by which sex cells are formed. Crucial here is that different combinations lead to variation between each sex cell. Mutations give rise to new variations upon which natural selection can act. In the final segment of the video, population genetics is showcased. A human case of natural selection, the sickle-cell trait, is highlighted. Non-Darwinian forces of evolution, gene flow and genetic drift are explored, and the video ends with a discussion of how evolutionary forces can change a population.

3. The Living Primates

This video presents a portrait of what it is to be a primate that has adapted to an arboreal environment. The traits that distinguish primates are presented along with a comparison with other types of mammals. The video then delves into the adaptations and traits that distinguish various types of primates from one another. Prosimians, tarsiers, New World monkeys, Old World monkeys, and hominoids are all described and distinguished. The types of locomotor patterns, diets, and habitats used by primates are interwoven throughout.

4. Primate Behavior

This lesson tackles why we study the behavior of nonhuman primates and how their behavior patterns can be related to human behavior and evolution. Experts discuss their field-study experiences and what they learned about the behavior of their subjects. Social structure and social organization are related to impact on reproductive success. The central mother-infant bond is explored, along with patterns of affiliative and aggressive behaviors in social groups. Nonhuman capacities for language and culture are also addressed in interesting ways.

5. Methods of Paleoanthropology

Experts at the cutting edge of paleoanthropological research show how it’s done. In this video, students are introduced to the ways researchers gather data in order to answer the basic human question: Who are we and where do we come from? The multidisciplinary approach to this research is shown through interviews with established paleoanthropologists and with researchers in related areas such as archaeology, geology, the reconstruction of paleoenvironments, geomorphology, paleontology, and paleobotany. There is a strong focus on Koobi Fora, one of the most important field sites in paleoanthropology. In the last segment, relative and chronometric dating methods

6. Macroevolution

Who is related to whom? How do species evolve? What has happened in geological time? This video focuses on macroevolution and the processes that explain it. It begins on location at a paleontological site in the Big Horn Basin, Wyoming, where scientists are recording mammalian evolution in the first 10 million years after the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary extinction. A key question of macroevolution is, “What distinguishes a species?” This leads to taxonomy and discussion of the two main approaches to classification: evolutionary systematics and cladistics. Examples are given of homologies and analogies, and ancestral and derived traits, keys to classifying by these different approaches. Cladistics focuses only on derived traits. In the second segment, two different species concepts are mentioned—the biological species concept, which is the most commonly used definition, and the ecological species concept, which places emphasis on niche occupation and natural selection. The difficulty of recognizing a fossil species is explained by anthropologists Alfred Rosenberg and Jonathan Bloch. In the third segment, the immense time span involved with macroevolution is examined, continental drift and its effects are explained, and the characteristics of mammals are illustrated. The video returns to the paleontological site in the Big Horn Basin, where Bloch is seen excavating.

7. The First Bipeds

The key trait that makes a hominoid a hominin is evidence for bipedalism. In this lesson, experts discuss the physical changes that must occur for the transition to bipedalism, including the more forward positioning of the foramen magnum; the large hole through which the spinal cord passes into the skull; a pelvis that becomes more bowl-shaped rather than the long blade-like pelvis of a chimpanzee; a longer leg; and a foot with springy arches. Important discoveries are examined in the time period from 4 to 1 million years ago, including East African discoveries such as Australopithecus anamensis and the famous “Lucy” specimen. The history of discovery in South Africa is reviewed, starting with the first Australopithecus, the Taung child, and the more rugged genus Paranthropus. Finally, you will learn about the first member of our genus, Homo habilis.

8. A New Hominin

About 1.8 million years ago, a new species of Homo appears in East Africa, a species that will exist longer than any other hominin. This lesson focuses on that new species: Homo erectus, the first hominin to leave Africa. In this lesson, you will follow the migrations of this species. You will explore the history of what paleoanthropologists have discovered concerning this widespread hominin in Java and in China and learn how the recent discoveries in the Republic of Georgia have turned much of what we knew about Homo erectus on its head. Finally, you will learn about a new type of tool industry that lasts for more than a million years.

9. Pre-Modern Humans

Around 780,000 years ago, a new species of Homo appears, perhaps descended from the hominins that lived in Spain and Italy between 900,000 and 800,000 years ago. This time period, called the Middle Pleistocene, is marked by alternations of glaciations and interglacials. The new species is called Homo heidelbergensis. Around 125,000 years ago, Homo heidelbergensis gives rise to the Neandertals. The Neandertals are the main focus of this lesson. You will see that the Neandertals were a robust people adapted for a cold, harsh environment. Their survival depended on more than just biology, however. A major factor to their survival was their stone tool culture, known as the Mousterian. In addition, the fact that they transported raw materials during their migrations to make future tools demonstrated forward planning. These people also practiced burial of the dead, in which grave goods were left with the deceased. Finally, the lesson explores the question of what happened to these ancient humans

10. Homo Sapiens and the Upper Paleolithic

This lesson details the technological, artistic, and geographic expansion of the Cro-Magnons, the anatomically modern humans of Europe during the Upper Paleolithic era. The video details some of the major innovations, such as blade technique in which long, parallel-sided flakes are struck off the edges of a specially prepared core. It also details artistic endeavors of the Upper Paleolithic, beyond cave paintings, such as Venus figures. The geographic expansion during this time is also presented, highlighting the need for and development of a new technology used for their migration over open water. The video also illustrates the cognitive capacity of the Homo sapiens of the Upper Paleolithic and how it allowed them to create technology that eased their daily survival.

11. Food Domestication and the Emergence of Cities

This lesson explores how the accelerated rate of cultural change continued to drive human innovation in ways that transformed daily life for everyone. It illustrates the most radical cultural shift in the history of humankind that occurred in the Neolithic period (or New Stone Age), detailing the domestication of plants and animals and the shift to setting up permanent residences. The video concentrates on the Mayan civilization to explain the cultural changes that mark the differences between village life and urban settlements

12. Patterns of Variation

The video begins with comments on instances of ethnic genocide that have occurred in the past in the Sudan, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Nazi Germany during World War II, and relates these occurrences to the concept of “race,” a concept based on physical differences between groups. It defines the everyday usage of the word “race” and includes its biological definition, which leads to the conclusion that the word and concept of “race” cannot apply to Homo sapiens because, as is well understood, there are no subspecies of Homo sapiens. The video then briefly explains the historical context of how the concept of race emerged among European explorers during the 16thcentury. And, it explains that today anthropologists and scholars look beyond visible physical differences to explain human variation, that they analyze genetics and DNA, the cornerstone of genetic studies, to describe and understand human diversity. The video defines polymorphisms and explains how their presence in human genotypes causes differences in phenotypic variation. Using interviews with a Somali family who had to flee their country because of race-based violence, the video points out that the easiest difference to see is skin color. The video explains that science now explains skin-color shifts as a response to geographical regions called clines. A montage of images illustrates the phenotypic variation of skin tones in Africa to illustrate this perspective. The video features Gregory Lanzaro, a medical entomologist working to eradicate malaria. It describes how the sicklecell allele began and how it has become adaptive in alarial regions. The concept that humans are products of biocultural evolution is discussed, as well as the latest theoretical viewpoints on the “thrifty gene” hypothesis.

13. Patterns of Adaptation

How do humans adapt to environmental challenges? In this video, experts explore this question from many angles. The difference between acclimatization and adaptation is explained. Nina Jablonski explains skin-color function and adaptations related to UV radiation levels, the vitamin D hypothesis, and preventing the loss of folate in the body. High-altitude adaptations are also discussed, along with responses to heat and cold stressors. In the last segment, the evolutionary dance between humans and their pathogens is brought to light. The interwoven interactions between human cultural activities and the evolution of new pathogens, as well as the evolution of drug resistance in existing pathogens, are discussed.

14. Characteristics of Culture

The state of Oaxaca, Mexico, is the backdrop of this film, which explores the nature of culture and how cultures are studied. The Oaxacan society is used to illustrate the basic characteristics of culture: an integrated, dynamic system of beliefs, values, and behaviors that are shared by the members of a society; wholly learned and based on symbolic systems; and constituting humankind’s most important method of adaptation. Jayne Howell’s work in Oaxaca aims to determine how this society in transition is adapting to the pressures imposed by outside forces, and illustrates some of the methods of research that ethnographers employ in a biocultural approach to discovering how the world’s diverse cultures function.

15. Communication and Culture

This program focuses on the efforts of the Serrano tribe of Native Americans to revitalize their dying cultural traditions and language. The features and structures of human language in general are discussed, showing examples from the Serrano language, and the role played by the descriptive linguist assisting them is examined. A discussion of sign languages reveals that they are in every way like all other human languages except that they are based on gestures instead of sounds. Nonverbal human communication systems are explored, as are various aspects of the fields of ethnolinguistics and sociolinguistics. African-American Vernacular English is discussed as an example of a social dialect that marks membership in a group. The film closes with a focus on the Serrano children, who it is hoped will carry on the tribal language and traditions.

16. Social Identity, Personality, and Gender

One of the universal questions people ask is, “Who am I?” The answer is complex and begins with enculturation. Enculturation influences how you think, feel, and behave, and it starts at birth. It begins with being given a name. Naming ceremonies vary from culture to culture, but what you are called is an important device for self-definition and it also allows individuals to take their place within their group’s culture. As children develop physically, they also develop emotionally and psychologically. One aspect of this maturation is the development of selfawareness. This is important for the individual and also for the entire community. Not only does everyone have a name, but individuals have their own personalities. It is now recognized that one’s personality is the product of both enculturation and one’s own genetic make-up. When studying how personality develops, we cannot ignore the role that sex and gender may play, nor can we overlook the biological factors that may influence and differentiate male and female behaviors. Determining whether gender roles influence personality and social identity or vice versa may be difficult, but we know that gender roles vary greatly from culture to culture. It is also recognized that every culture has individuals who are transgenders—people who do not fall neatly within the proscribed male and female categories. Western cultures prefer to think exclusively in male and female gender roles, but many other cultures have created a “third gender” or even a “fourth gender” in which to place these individuals. As individuals, we not only need to know who we are but also how we fit in and belong to the culture we were born into. Sometimes it gets complicated.

17. Subsistence Systems

Regardless of language, geographic location or culture, the question is the same: “What are we going to eat today?” The response depends upon the subsistence system used by those asking the question. This lesson focuses on three types of subsistence patterns: foraging, horticultural/ agricultural, and pastoralism. The Ju/’hoansi live in the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa. They are a prime example of the hunter/gatherer–foraging subsistence system. Their understanding of the ecosystem in which they live and their ability to adapt have led to their survival both as foragers and now as a more sedentary group. While foragers have little control over the availability of natural resources, they can ensure their survival by living within the carrying capacity of the environment. In contrast, people in food-producing societies control the production of either plants or animals. Food-producing societies tend to be sedentary; they live in larger groups than foragers and have more complex social and political structures. The most common form of horticulture is slash-and-burn cultivation, which relies on human power and has limited productivity yield. Another subsistence system is pastoralism, the managing of herds of animals. Many pastoralist societies live at such high altitudes that little agricultural activity can occur. The Yolmo of Nepal, featured in the video, have crossbred cows with male yaks to produce zomo, a hybrid cattle species that is biologically adapted to live at high altitudes. Since life is so precarious, the Yolmo must exploit the seasonal environments and supplement their diet and economy by practicing horticulture at the lower altitudes. Many pastoral groups practice transhumance, the seasonal migration of herds and people in order to maximize grazing opportunities. Common to all subsistence systems is the need for water. Who controls the water is at the heart of human survival. In the postindustrial era, traditional subsistence activities have been relegated to hobbies, such as hunting, fishing, and berry-picking. The next time you ask, “What’s for dinner?” think about what it took to get food to your table.

18. Economic Systems

Economic systems are the means by which a society produces, distributes and consumes resources, and are intimately integrated with the other elements of the culture. In this lesson, the economic systems of several societies are examined as examples of how reciprocity, redistribution, and market exchange play a central role in the distribution of goods. The Ju/’hoansi of southern Africa exemplify foraging cultures in which food is not produced but rather collected as it is needed and distributed immediately, according to the process known as generalized reciprocity. The Yolmo of Nepal traditionally practiced pastoralism and subsistence farming, using an exchange system of balanced reciprocity combined with redistribution. A Ghanaian market run by women illustrates a traditional form of market exchange, and a Japanese fish market exemplifies the wholesale commercial market, with international participants but face-to-face transactions according to Japanese cultural practices

19. Sex and Marriage

The lesson opens with a wedding in Long Bow Village, in China, and shows the diverse nature of weddings from one culture to another, emphasizing that weddings are rites of passage, full of ritual and symbols that convey and emphasize the values of that society. The lesson defines marriage and suggests that this is one way that societies regulate sexual relations between men and women. It points out that all cultures include rules on who can marry whom because of the general concern regarding marriage between close family members, or incest. The incest taboo is discussed, and the narrator and expert anthropologists explain how it provides a structuring mechanism for marriage rules, endogamy and exogamy. Also discussed are arranged marriages, how they benefit specific societies, and the attitudes toward then as opposed to the Western ideals of romantic love.

20. Marriage and Family

The lesson begins with Helen Mendoza and Pam Privett explaining that families today can take many forms. They are partners in a same-sex marriage, raising children of their own. Lesson 19 explained why some cultures find polygamy a preferred marriage arrangement, and this lesson highlights the familial and household benefits of the polygynous system. However, the video points out that not all such marriages are cooperative. Under some circumstances, competition among wives can cause serious tensions. The terms consanguinal family, conjugal family, and fictive kin are defined, and varying family forms such as nuclear family, extended family and blended family are illustrated. The Yolmo, pastoralists of east-central Nepal, are featured to illustrate how monogamy within a nuclear family organization functions within this group. Residence patterns and marriage customs, such as bride price and bride service, are discussed, and the reasons for their practice are illustrated. The final segment comments on newer adaptations of the family made possible because of advances in reproductive technology and changes in adoption laws within the United States.

21. Kinship and Descent

The lesson opens with pictures of Chinese immigrants of the 1850s to the 1900s, explaining how immigrants of that time faced enormous challenges when they moved to the United States. They faced discrimination and a sense of isolation because they lacked the assistance that had been provided through strong kinship ties in China. The lesson explains that kinships, or the strong familial networks within which individuals function, are made up of groups of family members that provide the essentials for survival. The lesson explains descent groups and lineages and points out that not all lineages trace descent the same way. Several kinds of descent groups are illustrated, and Chinese patrilineal descent is featured. Particular attention is given to explaining this complex system, in which a lineage goes back only four to six generations; conflicts arise in households that have become very large over time, and so brothers splinter off and begin lineages of their own. The concept of clan (tsu) is discussed at length. Different systems of kinship are illustrated, where each group has established varying methods of defining relatives. The video explains the Eskimo, Iroquois, and Hawaiian systems.

22. Grouping by Gender, Age, Common Interest, and Class

This program explores concepts related to non-kin-based social groupings by focusing on the culture of the Black Indians of New Orleans. They are a common interest group that celebrates their own art and culture, culminating in their annual celebration of Mardi Gras separately from the better known White Carnival. Divisions within the group based on age and gender are discussed, as are its origins and history as an oppressed minority social class excluded from the white Mardi Gras. Finally the lesson examines the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the culture of the Mardi Gras Black Indians and on the recovery of the city in general.

23. Politics, Power, and Violence

This lesson explores the anthropological concepts of political organization and social control as practiced crossculturally. It opens with anthropologists Victoria Bernal and Laura Nader discussing the concepts of political
organization in terms of power, authority, and functions, and in its four main forms: bands, tribes, chiefdoms, and states. Nader and William Ury then explore the various methods of maintaining social order across cultures, including interior and externalized controls, sanctions and laws. Methods of dispute resolution are described by Nader and Ury, and the two then debate the merits of the use of alternative dispute resolution methods (ADR) in the United States. China’s control over citizen use of the Internet is used as an example of the interrelationships between social control, ideology, legitimacy, and the potential for the use of force by ruling powers. Nader and human rights activist Xiao Qiang then describe, in parallel fashion for comparison and contrast, their personal experiences with peaceful student protests at the University of California in Berkeley in the mid-1960s and in Tiananmen Square in China in 1989, both of which brought violent reactions from their respective governments.

24. Religion and Spirituality

The program opens with a general discussion of the anthropological definition of religion contrasted with spirituality. This is followed by a close-up view of some of the history, beliefs, and practices of Islam and Tibetan Buddhism through the eyes of several experts and practitioners. Discussions of anthropological concepts of religion across cultures are offered, with examples of the basic forms of religion, its specialists, and its rituals, as well as magic and witchcraft. The exploration of some of the social and psychological functions of religious practices and belief systems, especially focusing on Islam, conclude the lesson.

25. The Arts

This lesson focuses on visual, verbal and musical art forms. Since art is created in response to social, religious, political, economic, and aesthetic stimuli, anthropologists use it as a guide to understanding the values and ideals of culture. Being able to put art within a cultural context enables anthropologists to observe cultural dynamics. That is why tattoos, hip hop and hula provide insight into past and present cultures. You will also be reintroduced to the Pacific Northwest Potlatch ceremony. This once again will highlight the integrated nature of all aspects of culture.

26. Processes of Change

At the beginning of this lesson, anthropologist Leo Chavez comments that culture “is always transforming itself, always changing. It is always in the process of becoming something else.” Throughout history, cultures have changed because of environmental conditions, internal pressures, or external forces. Change comes quickly, or it may occur slowly. In any event, anthropologists chronicle cultural change and offer explanations as to why it happens. Anthropologist Eugene Cooper has tracked cultural change as reflected in the craft of Chinese furniture making during the 1970s and 1980s, emphasizing that societies change with the use of new technologies. The key term “diffusion” is introduced and discussed within the context of the spread of the English language from the anthropologist to the group she or he studies. The video illuminates some of the benefits and problems that immigration poses for a culture. It focuses on the current migration of Mexicans and Central Americans to the United States. It illustrates why the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps was founded, and how their goals were formed in response to the perception that too many Mexican citizens were coming across the border into the United States illegally. In contrast, the human rights organization El Rescate was formed in 1981 in Los Angeles to assist individuals who had escaped the chaos in Central America and who sought refuge here. Both groups offer their own perspective on the impact of immigrants on American culture. The lesson also offers contextual information on post-colonialism, and explains the differences between rebellion and revolution.

27. Global Challenges & Anthropology

This program explores the phenomenon of globalization, its complex forms, and its impact on the cultures of the world, as well as the contributions that anthropology can make toward a better understanding of it. Wal-Mart’s operations in China are shown as an example of how giant global corporations use structural power to expand business and profit in developing countries. The collaboration of the Bolivian government with another U.S. based global corporation, Bechtel, and the World Bank illustrates how such partnerships can act against the best interests of the people. Finally, a Bangladeshi immigrant to the United States is interviewed, giving a personal perspective on the record-high levels of external and internal migration occurring worldwide.

28. Applied Anthropology

The lesson begins with the anthropological definition of applied anthropology: the application of method and theory to the analysis and solution of practical problems that can be used, or “applied,” within the four subdisciplines of anthropology—physical (or biological), cultural, linguistic and archaeological. The lesson shows how a cultural anthropologist, Professor Mikel Hogan, practices applied anthropology within a hospital setting to help resolve some of the on-the-job problems that nurses face at this time of crisis within the health-care system in the United States. As the lesson progresses, viewers also see how linguistic anthropologist Breesha Maddrell works on the Isle of Man to help the culture there preserve and maintain the Celtic language of Manx Gaelic. Finally, the third segment of the lesson shows how physical anthropologists Amy Mundorff and Diane Cockle work in the area of forensics. Mundorff explains the educational qualifications required for a career in forensics, explaining that a strong background in biology or chemistry, plus a strong background in anthropology, particularly archaeology, is ideal. In general, this video gives very clear and varied examples of where applied anthropology is used in the workforce, how flexible the field is, and how it fits within the subfields of anthropology.

National Academic Advisory Team

George Bagwell, M.A., Colorado Mountain College
Wendy Birky, Ph.D., California State University, Northridge
Naomi H. Bishop, Ph.D., California State University, Northridge
Christina Brewer, M.A., Saddleback Community College
Benjamin Campbell, Ph.D., Harvard University
Gary Cummisk, Ph.D., Dickinson State University
Jeffrey David Ehrenreich, Ph.D., University of New Orleans
Barbra E. Erickson, Ph.D., California State University, Fullerton
Kathleen Godel-Gengenbach, Ph.D., Red Rocks Community College
Carol Hayman, M.A., Austin Community College
Mikel Hogan, Ph.D., California State University, Fullerton
Robert Jurmain, Ph.D., San Jose State University
Diane P. Levine, M.A., Los Angeles Pierce College
Mark S. Lewine, Ed.D., M.A., Cuyahoga Community College
Linda D. Light, M.A., California State University, Long Beach, and Santa Ana College

Barbara Mueller, Ph.D. Casper College
Jill Pfeiffer, M.A., Rio Hondo College
Monica Rothschild-Boros, Ph.D., Orange Coast College
Frank A. Salamone, Ph.D., Iona College
Priscilla Schulte, Ph.D., University of Alaska Southeast
John J. Schultz, Ph.D., University of Central Florida
Michael Wesch, Ph.D., Kansas State University
Leanna Wolfe, Ph.D., Los Angeles Valley College
Marcus Young Owl, Ph.D., California State University, Long Beach

On-Camera Experts

H. Samy Alim, Ph.D., Department of Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles
Karen Baab, Ph.D., Anthropologist, Stony Brook State University
Victoria Bernal, Ph.D., Anthropologist, University of California, Irvine
Theodore Bestor, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology, Harvard University
Naomi Bishop, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology, California State University, Northridge
Wendy Birky, Ph.D., California State University, Northridge
Jonathan I. Bloch, Ph.D., Vertebrate Paleontologist, Florida Museum of Natural History
Robert J. Blumenschine, Ph.D., Director Center for Human Evolutionary Studies, Rutgers University
Noellie Bordelet, Dancer, University California, Los Angeles
Carl Braun, Director, California Minuteman Civil Defense Corps
David Braun, Ph.D., Archaeology Department, University of Cape Town
Lauren Breihan, MD, Physician, Native Americans for Community Action Inc. (NACA)
Susan Cachel, Ph.D., Anthropologist, Rutgers University
Nina Chapman, MA., Golden West College
Leo R. Chavez, Ph.D., Anthropologist, University of California, Irvine

Grace Chen., Genealogist, Genealogical Society of Utah
James M. Cheverud, Ph.D., Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology, Washington University
Cynthia Close, Executive Director, Documentary Educational Resources
Diane Cockle Ph.D., Crime Scene Methods Analyst, Forensic Identification Research Services
Derek Congram, Ph.D., Forensic Archaeologist, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver B. C.
Tim Coonan MS, National Park Service
Eugene Cooper, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology, University of Southern California
Cathy L. Costin, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology, California State University, Northridge
Blake Cotton, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians
Kevin Danaher, Ph.D., Co-Founder & Executive Director, Global Exchange
Dorothy Davis, M.A., University of North Carolina, Greensboro
Kaylene Day, M.A.., San Manuel Band of Mission Indians
Eric Delson, Ph.D., Lehman College – CUNY
Geoff Duller, Ph.D., Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences, University of Wales, Aberystwyth
Alessandro Duranti, Ph.D., Department of Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles

Chris Duro, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians
Jeffrey Ehrenreich, Ph.D., Anthropologist, University of New Orleans
Fadwa El Guindi, Ph.D., Anthropologist, University of Southern California
Barbra E. Erickson, Ph.D., Anthropologist, California State University, Fullerton
Rose-Lynn Fisher
Maria Gillespie, Choreographer, Dancer, Educator, University of California, Los Angeles
David Theo Goldberg, Ph.D., University of California, Irvine
Jack Harris, Ph.D., Department of Anthropology, Rutgers University
Cherice Harrison-Nelson, Mardi Gras Indian
Katerina Harvati, Ph.D., Senior Researcher, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
HEK, Tattoo artist
Stephanie Hibard, Investment Banker
Tom Higham, Ph.D., Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art
Jayne Howell, Ph.D., Department of Anthropology, California State University, Long Beach

Jean Jacques Hublin, Ph.D., Director Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Nina G. Jablonski, Ph.D., Penn State University
William Jankowiak, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Holly Johnston, Choreographer, Dancer, Educator, University of California, Los Angeles
Nake Kamrany, Ph.D., University of California
Gail Kennedy, Ph.D., Paleoanthropologist, University of California, Los Angeles
Joel Kennedy, Tattoo Artist
Jennifer Kewley Draskau, DPhil, Research Fellow, Center for Manx Studies
Paul Kroskrity, Ph.D., Department of Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles
Halima Lamungu
Hassan Lamungu
Gregory Lanzaro, Ph.D., University of California, Davis
C. K. Lee, Department of Sociology, University of Michigan
Richard B. Lee, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology, University of Toronto
Barbara Lemaster, Ph.D., Departments of Anthropology and Linguistics, California State University, Long Beach

William R. Leonard, Ph.D., Department of Anthropology, Northwestern University
Nancy E. Levine, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles
Breesha Maddrell, Ph.D., Acting Director, Center for Manx Studies
Sabina Magliocco, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology, California State University, Northridge
Jonathan Marks, Ph.D., Department of Anthropology, University of North Carolina, Charlotte
Victoria Marks, Chorographer, Professor of Dance
John McNabb, Ph.D., Centre for the Archaeology of Human Origins, University of Southampton, England
Steven Merritt, Ph.D., Rutgers University
Frank Meza, M.D., Physician in Charge, Kaiser Permanente
Richard Michod, Ph.D., Department of Anthropology, The University of Arizona
Darryl Montana, Mardi Gras Indian
Jim Moore, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of California, San Diego
Lorna G. Moore, Ph.D., Department of Anthropology, University of Colorado-Denver
Joanna L. Mountain, Ph.D., Department of Anthropology, Stanford University
Amy Mundorf, Ph.D., Simon Fraser University Vancouver B.C.

Laura Nader, Ph.D., Anthropologist, University of California, Berkeley
Sophia Pandya, Ph.D., California State University, Long Beach
Susan Perry, Ph.D., Department of Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles
Kari Prassack, Ph.D., Rutgers University
Harald Prins, Ph.D., Department of Sociology Anthropology and Social Work, Kansas State University
Xiao Qiang, Lecturer, Human Rights Activist/Journalist, University of California, Berkeley
James Quesada, Ph.D., San Francisco State University
James Ramos, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians
Christopher Ramsey, D.Phil., Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit , Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art
Dwight Read, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles
Alfred Rosenberger, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Anthropology and Archeology, Brooklyn College
Barry Rosenbloom, M.D.
Monica Rothschild-Boros, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology, Orange Coast College
Edward Rubin, M.D., Ph.D., JGI Production Genomics Facility
Towhid Salam, M.D., USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Southern California

Salvador Sanabria, Executive Director, El Rescate
Jim Shultz, San Francisco CA
John Shea, Ph.D., Paleoanthropologist, Stony Brook University
Paul Silverstein, Ph.D., Anthropologist, Reed College
Marcus Smith, MPhil, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians
Monica L. Smith, Ph.D., Anthropologist, University of Los Angeles
Yong Soon, M.F.A., University of California, Irvine
Nick Spitzer, Ph.D., Ethnomusicologist, University of New Orleans
Matt Sponheimer, Ph.D., Department of Anthropology, University of Colorado Boulder
Ian Stanistreet, Ph.D., Dept. Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of Liverpool
Anne C. Stone, Ph.D., Arizona State University
Melissa Tallman, M.A.
Weng Tekui
Wesley Thomas, Ph.D.
Justin Thomas McDaniel, Ph.D., Department of Religious Studies, University of California, Riverside

Thomas Urban, Geophysicist, Brown University
Charles F. Urbanowicz, Ph.D., California State University, Chico
William Ury, Ph.D., Anthropologist, The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School
Nicole Waguespack, Ph.D., Anthropologist, University of Wyoming
Thomas W. Ward, Ph.D., Department of Anthropology, University of Southern California
Douglas White, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Irvine
Walter Williams, Ph.D., Anthropology Department, University of Southern California
Milford Wolpoff, Ph.D., Paleoanthropologist, Department of Anthropology, University of Michigan

Coast breaks from the traditional order of topics and in a fashion that emphasizes key concepts better, and that allows students understanding to develop in a more natural manner."
David Carter, Angelo State University


Instructors can customize the course by making learning assets open or closed to student view, add learning assets such as new assignments, discussion forums, web research activities, and extra credit work. Instructors also have the option to request a “copy” of their prior course each term. Finally, there is the option of turning on automatic student tracking that simplifies the evaluation process.

How to Adopt Course & Print Materials

There is no fee paid by an institution or instructor when the online course/content is adopted. Each student is required to purchase a one-time use Access Code. To adopt and offer this course online, instructors complete an Online Course Request Form prior to the start of each term, and a course shell will be provided by the date requested. Instructors also have the option to request a “copy” of their prior course each term.

This online course is hosted and provided in a Moodle® (LMS) shell, and instructors can link from their institution’s LMS or send their students directly to the class URL. Coast Learning Systems provides instructor and student technical support via an electronic help desk, which is monitored 7 days a week. Our goal is to make sure you enjoy teaching with our content and that your students have an engaging and positive learning experience.

The Online Course Request Form should be submitted at least two weeks prior to the start of your class.

Anthropology: The Human Challenge
Cengage Learning, ISBN: 978-1-1339-4132-3
The textbook is available in paperback, loose leave, as an eBook with multiple access lengths, eChapter, or as a rental with multiple options.

One-Time Use Online Course Access Code
Coast Learning Systems, (800) 547-4748
ISBN: 978-1-59846-540-2
Access Codes are sold through bookstores only; we do not sell directly to students.

If you are interested in licensing just the videos as a resource for your own online, hybrid, video-based, or traditional course, please contact our office. In areas where connectivity is a challenge, DVDs are a perfect solution. All of the video lessons are available in a professionally produced set of DVDs and are available directly from Coast Learning Systems. Please contact our office for DVD options and pricing, (800) 547-4748.