Race and Human Variation

This is a course about race concepts and human biological variation, viewed from historical and biological perspectives. This course thus has two intertwined emphases. One is placed on the historical connection between science and sociopolitical ideologies and policies. The other is on the evolutionary origin of human biological and cultural diversity. Through lecture and discussion section, topics explored include the role of polygenism, historically and in current scientific thought; biological determinism and scientific racism; the rise of eugenics and other examples of “applied biology”; and the role of the race concept in current scientific and medical debates, such as those over the place of the Neanderthals in human evolution, as well as the importance of race in clinical practice. The course seeks to guide students through a critical exercise in studying the evolutionary origins of contemporary human biological variation and its close relationship with scientific and popular concepts of race.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Van Arsdale

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Typical Periods Offered: Every three years

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered