Instructor: Dr. Matt Rossano
Office: CN 108 White Hall Office Hrs: MW 11-12 1:30-3:30; TTh 1:30-3:30
Phone: 985-351-3663 email: firstname.lastname@example.org (note: all email communication should be done using university authorized address)
Text/Readings. All readings can be found on my webpage under Grad Seminar
Course Overview: On October 13 (Friday!), UAF flight 571 crashed in the Andes Mountains near the border of Argentina and Chile. Seventy-two days later two exhausted, emaciated survivors of that crash trekked out of the mountains and spotted a Chilean peasent, who contacted the authories. A subsequent rescue mission retrieved 14 more survivors, at total of 16 from the original 45 total passangers and crew. The story of their survival is extraordinary for many reasons, but the particular reason that will occupy us is the fact in order to survivor they created complex society and it was the functioning of this society that sustained them for over two months in the mountains. Their story is a microcosm of human evolution. We will examine their story from an evolutionary perspective with a special emphasis on ritual and the role of ritual both in sustaining the Andes survivors and in sustaining humanity over the course of evolutionary history.
Evaluations: Course grades will be determined by 3
factors: (1) two in-class presentations for each student based on
the required readings (10pts each, 20pts total) (2) two tests
given during the term (see class outline below for dates). Each
test = 50 pts; 100 pts total; and (3) final worth 100 pts. Thus
there's a total of 220 pts possible.
Class presentations: I
intend for this to be a seminar style class where thoughtful
discussion is the norm and endlessly droning lecturing is the
exception. To wit; it is important that everyone in class read and
think about the material prior to class and be prepared to have
something interesting to say about it. To ensure that at least one
person (other than me) has read the material, and to give you all
some pratice at presenting scholarly material before a learned
audience, every student will have to give two inclass
presentations on the required readings. We'll make the assigments
on the first day of class. If two people mutually decide to switch
that's fine with me just let me know beforehand. If you want to do
a power point to go along with your presentation, fine, but it is
not required. I grade presentation based on three things: (1)
organization -- can I follow what you're saying?; (2) clarity --
does what you're saying make sense? (3) style -- are you boring me
to death by droning on and on in a listless monotone? If you are
boring, confusing, and disorganized you're going to do poorly on
this. I'm going to give for first few presentions in the class so
use me as a role model -- because it goes without saying that I
think I'm pretty good at this stuff.
Along with the presentation, each presenter will be required to
submit 5-10 questions based on what he/she believed were the major
points of the assigned reading. I will use these, along with my
own questions as a basis for the tests and final. I'll post all of
these questions on my webpage after each presentation.
Tests: Test questions
will be drawn from the "major points" questions (both mine and the
presenters). Tests will be take home tests. Here's how they will
work. On the day a test is to be given (see outline below), I will
post 7 or 8 questions drawn from the "major points" questions
posted. You will have 5 questions to answer, each worth 10 pts.
These will be posted by 3pm on the day before the test is
scheduled and must be emailed to me by 3pm of the test day. We
will not meet on the test day. Since tests will be taken at home,
more or less at you lesure, I will be emphasizing organization,
good grammar, correct spelling, complete sentences, good paragraph
structure, clarity of thought and expression and just overall good
writing. "Good writing" will be considered as important as
accuracy of content. Test questions should be included along with
each answer. Email to me as an attached file using MS word. I will
return to you via email and make comments using MS editor
Grades: Grades will be based on total points possible with 90% or above = A; 80%-89% = B, 70%-79% = C.
||Intro to class; assigning presentations
||Andes story overview
||Evo of human culture
||Environments and adaptations
||rugby makes men; African tranditional self
||Tetlock; Leinard & Boyer
||Taboo thinking; rituals and hazards
||Taboo: Allison B.;
3/6 Test 1 Questions
posted by 3/5 3pm; must be submitted by 3/6 3pm
||Complex Hunter-gatherers; rituals and community
||Rituals: Clifton M
||Wiltermuth & Heath; Cohen et al.
||ritual and cooperation
||Ritual and cooperation: Natalie P.; Rowers: Clifton M
||Shuck & Busy; Spagnola & Fiese
||Family rituals and routines
||FRR1: Allison B;
FRR2: Stacey S
||Rituals and social norms
4/5 Test 2 Questions
posted by 4/4 3pm; must be submitted by 4/5 3pm
||Zeiden et al.; Kabat-Zinn
||Mediation and pain tolerance
||Med and pain 1: Leah B.;
Med and pain 2: Evelyn H
||Wacholtz & Pargament; Wiech et al
||God and pain tolerance
||God and pain 1: Leah B;
God and pain 2: Natalie
I do take attendance for each class as is required by University policy. However, you cannot rely on me to drop you for non-attendance. It is the responsibility of the student to drop the class if it is his/her desire to do so.
If you are a qualified student with a disability seeking accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, you are required to self-identify with the Office of Student Life, Room 202, Student Union.
No behavior that interferes with the ability of the instructor to teach or students to benefit from that instruction will be tolerated. Disruptive, disorderly, or uncivil behavior will be not be permitted. No beepers, cell phones, or other noise-making electronic devices are allowed in class without prior explicit permission of the instructor!
2/16: Term 1 classes: Last day to withdraw from classes
2/15: Last day to apply for graduation
3/9: Regular class: Last day to withdraw or resign from the University (12:30pm)
4/20: Term 2 classes: Last day to withdraw from classes.