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List of Free Online Anthropology Courses and Learning Materials

See our list of the top free online anthropology courses. Learn about what courses are available and what topics they cover to find the course that's right for you.

List of Free Online Anthropology Courses

Adventures in Forensic Anthropology at University of Cape Town

This course delves into the study of human remains and what bones can tell us about a human's life and death. It teaches students how forensic anthropology contributes to solving murders and other crimes. The school provides audio lectures that students can download.

Anthropology of Religion at Utah State University

Online students taking this course learn about the relationships between the individual, culture, society and religion. Lectures are available as videos or PDF downloads, and they cover religious myths and symbols, the psychology of religion, religion and society, religion as an expressive culture, and religious ritual, among other topics. Quizzes are also available for each lecture. One textbook purchase is required to fully learn from this course.

Anthropology of Computing at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

This anthropology course delves into cultural and social conditions that have helped computing develop over the years. The class discusses seeks to link machines and culture and covers topics like World War II cybernetics research, the commodification of the home computer and hacking. The class provides a selection of downloadable lecture notes.

Anthropology of War and Peace at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

This course teaches students about the consequences of war on American culture, the reasons for war, and how war experiences differ. The focus of this course is the war in Iraq. The class schedule consists of 12 sets of PDF lecture notes, which examine the genocide in Rwanda, the Vietnam War, the first Gulf War, the invasion of Iraq, and experiences of war and violence. Four textbooks are recommended to get the most out of this course.

Culture, Embodiment and the Senses at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

This undergraduate course is focused on human sensory experiences and the politics related to them. For example, students take a look at philosophical dialogues about the brain, emotions, the inner working of the mind and the body. Online students have access to downloadable lecture notes.

Gender, Sexuality and Society at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

This course addresses gender and how people experience it under different cultural and historical contexts. Specific topics covered include gender in the workplace, sexuality-based identities, intersexuality, fetal images and abortion, and sexism and racism as they relate to violence. Three textbooks are suggested to work through the readings of the course.

Introduction to Social Anthropology at Capilano University

This introductory course is designed to teach students ideas, concepts and methods in the social anthropology field. Some of the topics covered through short lecture excerpts are communication systems, kinship systems and religious systems. Students can purchase a workbook and download fieldwork and cultural paper assignment instructions to get the most benefit from taking this course.

Power: Interpersonal, Organizational and Global Dimensions at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

This course explores the dynamics of subordinate and dominant relationships. Students look at the ways in which these personality types influence themselves and the people around them. Students are able to download class assignments as well as lecture notes.

Primate Behavior at the University of Notre Dame

Students participating in this course learn about nonhuman primates and their social activities and behavior. The course syllabus suggests that students purchase one textbook to work through the 18 topics included in the lecture notes. Some of these topics include conservation, behavioral ecology, mate choice, social learning and conflict negotiation. The course includes a couple links to outside resources as well as a primate taxonomy chart.

Religion and Social Order at the University of California at Irvine

Students who take this course learn about religions in many different cultures. The course consists of a series of PowerPoint lectures covering such topics as religion and the body, religion and art, exorcising miscegenation, religion in contemporary Africa and GLBTQ spirituality. The course site includes relevant links to outside sources that shed some additional insight on the course topics.

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