Department of Anthropology

Arlene Rosen


ProfessorPh.D., University of Chicago

Department Associate Chair and Professor
Arlene Rosen

Contact

  • Phone: (512) 232-2081
  • Office: CLA 4.402
  • Office Hours: Spring 2016: Tuesdays and Wednesdays 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.
  • Campus Mail Code: C3200

Interests


Environmental archaeology, Prehistory of the Near East and China, origins of agriculture, climate change and society, phytoliths, geoarchaeology.

Courses


ANT 324L • Archaeol Of Climate Change

30425 • Spring 2016
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM PAR 1
(also listed as GRG 356)

Course Description: Climate change has impacted human societies over the course of human existence on the planet. It has played a role in everything from hominin evolution to the rise and fall of civilizations through to the present day economic and ethical decision-making. In this course we will examine why climate changes, the methods for recording climate change, and discuss case studies of the varied responses of past human societies to climate change in different geographic regions and time periods with varying socio-political and economic systems. We will explore aspects of resilience and rigidity of societies and issues of environmental sustainability in the past as well as the present. Finally we will compare and contrast modern responses to climate change on a global scale with those of past societies.

Goals: To familiarize students with the evidence for climate change and methods of climate change research; to increase their understanding of the social, economic and technological issues human societies faced in the past when dealing with climate change. To understand what were adaptive and maladaptive human strategies. To help students evaluate the modern politics and social responses to climate change. On successful completion of this course a student should understand how climate change is recorded and the basic climatic record for the period of human occupation of the earth. To be familiar with current debates about how human societies adapt to climate change. To be able to think critically about issues and arguments proposed in the literature, and to write a coherent essay arguing a point of view.

Flags:

Ethics and Leadership

This course carries the Ethics and Leadership flag. Ethics and Leadership courses are designed to equip you with skills that are necessary for making ethical decisions in your adult and professional life. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from assignments involving ethical issues and the process of applying ethical reasoning to real-life situations. Global Cultures This course carries the Global Cultures flag. Global Cultures courses are designed to increase your familiarity with cultural groups outside the United States. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from assignments covering the practices, beliefs, and histories of at least one non-U.S. cultural group, past or present.

Requirements: The class will have regular lectures and class discussions; student participation is required. Students are expected to regularly attend all classes, complete the assigned readings in advance of class, and come ready to discuss readings or topics.

ANT 324L • Archaeol Of Climate Change

30674 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM SAC 4.174
(also listed as GRG 356)

Climate change has impacted human societies over the course of human

existence on the planet. It has played a role in everything from hominin evolution to the rise and

fall of civilizations through to the present day economic and ethical decision-making. In this

course we will examine why climate changes, the methods for recording climate change, and

discuss case studies of the varied responses of past human societies to climate change in different

geographic regions and time periods with varying socio-political and economic systems. We will

explore aspects of resilience and rigidity of societies and issues of environmental sustainability

in the past as well as the present. Finally we will compare and contrast modern responses to

climate change on a global scale with those of past societies.

Goals: To familiarize students with the evidence for climate change and methods of climate

change research; to increase their understanding of the social, economic and technological issues

human societies faced in the past when dealing with climate change. To understand what were

adaptive and maladaptive human strategies. To help students evaluate the modern politics and

social responses to climate change. On successful completion of this course a student should

understand how climate change is recorded and the basic climatic record for the period of human

occupation of the earth. To be familiar with current debates about how human societies adapt to

climate change. To be able to think critically about issues and arguments proposed in the

literature, and to write a coherent essay arguing a point of view.

ANT 324L • Archaeology Of Climate Change

31330 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM SAC 4.174
(also listed as GRG 356)

Modern Western Society is not the first to be impacted by and pushed to the brink by a changing climate.  The anthropology and archaeology of past societies world-wide provide innumerable examples of societies which have found sustainable solutions to problems of chronic floods and droughts caused by abrupt climatic changes, as well as long term solutions to adverse secular changes in climate and environment, These adaptations are manifested at both the institutional and local or individual level where individual decision-making and ethical environmental actions have contributed to sustainable adaptations to climate change in the past.  We have much to learn from past societies by understanding the kinds of resilient strategies that allow the survival of sustainable economies, political systems and social institutions in times of adversity.

 

This course will provide a deep-time perspective on how and why climate and environmental changes have required human societies to adapt over the past 20,000 years until the present day, and also how humans throughout this time period have impacted their environments.  We will examine why climate has changed in the past, the methods for recording climate change, and provide case studies about the responses of past human societies to climate change in different geographic regions and time periods with varying socio-political and economic systems. Some topics include the impact of climate change in the development of Homo sapiens, the role of climate change in the origins of agriculture, did climate change lead to the collapse of the Maya, Akkadian Empire, and the Tang Dynasty? Finally, we will focus on sustainable solutions undertaken by past societies that can be informative for developing better current and future sustainable lifeways in the face of global warming.

 

 

 

ANT 380K • Geobotanical Techs Archaeology

31540 • Fall 2013
Meets TH 2:00PM-5:00PM CLA 3.102
(also listed as GRG 396T)

This course is an introduction to geoarchaeological and archaeobotanical methods used in the reconstruction of past landscapes, the use of sediment and botanical analysis in paleoenvironmental reconstruction, and the study of sediments and plant remains in archaeological contexts. The aim is to provide a basic expertise in botanical and earth sciences techniques for answering archaeological questions.

This is a lecture and laboratory-based course in which the students will receive a basic foundation in geoarchaeological and archaeobotanical research questions, sampling at archaeological and paleoecological sites and geo-sections, and learn laboratory techniques for processing and analyzing geoarchaeological and paleobotanical samples. On successful completion of this course students should have an overview of, and practical experience in a wide range of techniques in Geo-botanical archaeology including basic granulometry, micromorphology of thin-sections, geochemical analyses such as measuring pH, magnetic susceptibility, phosphate analyses, pollen, phytoliths, starches, and the analysis of charred macro-botanical remains. They should be familiar with the strategies and methods for collecting sediment and botanical samples from archaeological excavation sites and off-site paleoenvironmental sections and cores.

 

 

ANT 380K • Interprtg Cul Envirs Past/Pres

31422 • Spring 2013
Meets T 2:00PM-5:00PM SAC 5.124

This seminar course is an introduction to some of the major guiding anthropological concepts concerning relationships between past human societies, culture and the ‘natural world’. The course will include lectures, readings and discussions on ecological concepts and processes, human ecodynamics, landscape sustainability, landscape heritage, human perceptions and symbolization of their environments, political ecology, human behavioral ecology, the ecology of colonialism, and human impacts on the environment. Throughout the course we will discuss how to generate problem-driven research based on the above concepts using the technical skills of environmental archaeology. 

ANT 380K • Archaeology Of Climate Change

31297 • Fall 2012
Meets M 2:00PM-5:00PM SAC 5.124

This course will cover how and why climate change has impacted human societies over the past 20,000 years until the present day. We will examine why climate changes, the methods for recording climate change, and discuss case studies of the varied responses of past human societies to climate change in different geographic regions and time periods with varying socio-political and economic systems. We will discuss aspects of resilience and rigidity of societies, and issues of environmental sustainability. Finally we will compare and contrast modern responses to climate change on a global scale with those of past societies. 

Curriculum Vitae


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