Author: Katie Nelson

Call For Authors!

In Development: An OER Biological Anthropology Textbook Open Educational Resources (OER) have become more common as textbook costs have increased and technology has improved. It is our goal with this project to produce a high-quality textbook written and peer-reviewed by experts in the field. This book would be available to download free of charge under a Creative Commons License, and will be similar in format to the Cultural Anthropology book Perspectives (available at perspectives.americananthro.org). We are seeking volunteer (not paid) authors, reviewers, and editors with expertise in the content area willing to write to an audience of introductory level...

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Teaching marriage and agency with Woman’s Kingdom film

Katie Nelson Inver Hills Community College I regularly use the PBS/Frontline film Woman’s Kingdom in my classes to introduce material on marriage, family and kinship. The film presents the matrilineal ethnic minority of China the Mosou, focusing on the practice of “walking marriage” and their matrilocal family structure. The film also highlights the pressures that are affecting change among the Mosou including environmental degradation, tourism, and the penetration of the cultural values of the Chinese Han majority. I have also used the film to highlight the theme of human agency. Near the end of the full-length version of the...

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Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer…Can I have an Extension, Please?

Heidi Bludau December, 22, 2015 Ah, yes, the end of the semester…the time when we rush to catch up on grading, students repeatedly ask what they can do to make up their poor performance the previous 13 weeks of the semester and grandmothers start dropping like flies. This time of semester, I can’t help but be reminded of the classic M*A*S*H* skit where Klinger “receives a letter from home” informing him that his mother is dying and he needs an emergency leave. We next learn of all the previous like letters he has received over time, ending with “an oldie but a goodie – half the family pregnant, the other half dying.” While we joke about the depths to which students will stoop, hopefully just short of murder, to get out of final exams or to wrangle last minute extensions, we still have to consider the broader context. Life does happen to our students. Life happens to us. I was intimately reminded of this about two weeks before the end of the 2013 fall semester. On a Friday night, I was in a car accident. While I walked away with only a few bruises, aches and a mild concussion, it still threw me for a loop. Not feeling capable of teaching on Monday, I cancelled my classes and suggested to my students that they use the time to prepare...

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Placing Stickers on Student Papers for Positive Reinforcement

John M. Coggeshall Clemson University March 2, 2015 As a senior male professor with grey hair and a beard, I have no trouble presenting an image of gravitas in the classroom; I also have a relatively low percentage of A’s in my classes. Thus, I need to find ways to appear “friendlier” to my undergrads without compromising academic rigor or modifying my own personality. I have discovered a simple but effective way to inject a little brevity into grading. My wife and I donate to several charities (e.g., Nature Conservancy), and we get an overwhelming amount of “free” mailing...

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Processing Anthropology from an Undergraduate Student’s Perspective

Caitlin Homrich May, 18, 2014 Anthropology courses and curricula are experienced by students uniquely, as each student brings a unique perspective to the classroom, fieldwork, readings, and assignments. Among the various factors that contribute to this perspective, such as reasons for taking the course or previous education within and outside of the department, is the student’s identity—race, ethnicity, class background, language, gender, etc. My own time in anthropology courses has shown that students can hear and understand the same anthropological concepts from the same lecture or activity in very different, sometimes even contradicting, ways. Usually, this is due to...

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