Dental Anthropology, Human Variation, and Hominid Evolution is a one credit hour course offered by Oral Sciences at UIC.
Location and Time: Room 138 in the Orthodontic Department at the south end of the UIC College of Dentistry first floor, 801 South Paulina, Chicago. Class begins promptly at 1:00 PM and ends promptly at 2:30 PM each Thursday for twelve consecutive weeks beginning May 17th and concluding with the final session on August 2nd.
Course Objectives: An overview of physical anthropology and evolution; human adaptation, variation, growth, and maturation, morphology, organization, phylogeny, and development of the hominid dentition.
Textbook and Instructional Material: Hillson, S. Dental Anthropology. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996. A binder and text written by the instructor for this course will be provided to you each week.
Instructor: Clarke Johnson DDS, PhD, Northwestern and the University of Chicago. Appointments: Assistant Professor UIC College of Dentistry Departments of Oral Biology and Orthodontics; Visiting Lecturer in Anthropology Indiana University Northwest Sociology and Anthropology Department. You may call me in the evening after 6:00 PM at (815) 939-4242; leave a message after the fourth ring if there is no answer. To find me mat UIC, call the Oral Biology secretary, room 452 at (312) 996-7732. My own office is room 461C. At IUN, my telephone is (219) 981-5601. There is voicemail. In the event of illness or personal crisis, please keep in touch so we can assist you with coursework. My email at UIC is:
Format: The class sessions will be lecture and discussion. Topics discussed will be rigorously organized and notes are encouraged. Due to the wide scope of material to be covered, the instructor has written much of what is covered.
Sign-in: You are asked to 'sign in' at each class period. Attendance each week is expected of you.
Examinations: There will be a short midterm examination and a comprehensive final examination. A study guide will be provided for each. The dates are listed in the Class Schedule elsewhere in the syllabus.
Weekly Written Assignments: There will be nine homework assignments. Most are 'hands-on' in nature and creativity is encouraged. Each will have concise written instructions.
Independent Study Project: This is a paper, approximately eight pages in length, including a literature review, and a bibliography. More details and a list of suggested topics is provided elsewhere in this syllabus. syl-1999
OSCI 590 Website: This course is accessible 'on line' at this URL
Final Grade Breakdown:
Midterm examination.............50 points
Weekly assignments..............20 points
Independent Study Component.....30 points
Final examination..............100 points
Course total.................200 points
Acknowledgement: This is a special 'thank you' to Carla Evans, Orthodontic Department Chairman for providing the inspiration, encouragement, ongoing advice, and financial support for this course.
WEEK 1 May 17 EVOLUTION I
What is Anthropology? The subfields of anthropology; life on earth; the history of evolutionary thought; the Great Chain of Being; Linnaeus, other pioneers.
*Introduction to dental anthropology.
Readings: Hillson Ch 1, 2 pp 1-67 Handouts issued.
****Do homework #1, due next week.
**Term paper instructions and topics issued.
WEEK 2 May 24 EVOLUTION II
Prologue to Darwin; The Beagle; Darwin and Wallace; the development of evolutionary thought; the logical consequence in theory; the evidence for evolution. *History and organization of teeth; jaws and teeth. Demonstration with museum specimens, with an emphasis on comparative anatomy of the vertebrates.
Readings: Hillson Ch 3 pp 68-105 Handouts issued.
****Do homework #2, due next week.
**Confirm your term paper topic.
WEEK 3 May 30 HOMINID EVOLUTION
Early hominids, Early Homo, Erectus and Archaic Homo, Homo sapiens; jaws and teeth. Demonstration with museum specimens. *Tritubercular theory and nomenclature; hominid molar teeth.
Readings: Hillson Ch 5 pp 118-147. Handouts issued.
****Do homework #3, due next week.
**Prepare your bibliography. It is due next week.
WEEK 4 June 07 BIOCULTURAL EVOLUTION
The interaction of health, disease and culture; the arrow of disease; health and the rise of civilization.
*Evolution of the Dentition since the Upper Paleolithic.
Readings: Hillson Ch 6 pp 148-181. Handouts issued.
****Do homework #4, due next week.
**Submit your biography today.
**Midterm in two weeks. Study guide issued next week.
WEEK 5 June 14 GENETICS I
Genes in pedigrees: Mendelian inheritance and Nonmendelian (polygenic) characteristics; genotype and phenotype; gene expression and biometrics. *Variation in the size and shape of teeth.
Readings: Hillson Ch 182-197. Handouts issued.
****NO homework this week! Prepare for midterm.
**Biographies returned to you today.
**Study guide for midterm issued today. The midterm exam is next week.
WEEK 6 June 21 MIDTERM EXAMINATION
Population genetics: mating, gene flow, mutation, random genetic drift, natural selection. *The cultural modification of teeth (mutilation).
Readings: Handouts issued.
****Homework #5 due next week.
WEEK 7 June28 VARIATION
Anthropometry; some instruments used in anthropometry; what anthropologists measure; population variation and peoples of the world. *Occlusion and Malocclusion; teeth and prehistory.
Readings: Hillson Ch 4 pp 106-117. Handouts issued.
****Homework #6 due next week.
**Midterm examinations returned today.
WEEK 8 July 05 HUMAN GROWTH I
The human growth curve: velocity and distance/longitudinal and cross-sectional data; growth at adolescence. *Sequence and timing of dental growth; missing teeth and the Field Theory.
Readings: Hillson Ch 8 pp 198-206. Handouts issued.
****Homework #7 due next week.
**Your term paper is due in two weeks.
WEEK 9 July 12 HUMAN GROWTH II
Heredity and environment in controlling growth; secular (generational) trends; sociology and health; intellectual growth; physique in its relation to function, disease and behavior; senescence; how anthropologists determine the age of skeletal remains. *Theories of tooth eruption; thick and thin enamel.
Readings: Hillson Ch 9, 10 pp 207-230. Handouts issued.
****Abstract of your term paper (#8) due next week.
**Your term paper is due next week.
WEEK 10 July 19 HUMAN ADAPTABILITY I
Human ecology, adaptibility and plasticity of the human genome; adaptation to heat, cold, and high altitude. *Nonmetric variation in tooth form.
Readings: Hillson Ch 11 pp 231-253. Handouts issued.
****Homework #9 due next week.
**Your term paper is due today.
**Study guide for the final exam issued today. The final exam is in two weeks.
WEEK 11 July 26 HUMAN ADAPTABILITY II
Nutritional stress; adult body size and shape variation; modernization and the 'diseases of civilization'; health effects of culture change. *The epidemiology of dental disease in a historical and cross cultural perspective.
Readings: Hillson Ch 12, 13 pp 254-294 Handouts issued.
**Did you get a study guide?
**Term papers returned.
**Final examination is next week.
WEEK 12 August 02 FINAL EXAMINATION
(If a 'take home' final is issued week 11, this session will be ommitted.)
TERM PAPER SUGGESTIONS: The very term 'term paper' turns many students off. It brings back memories of all night marathons to produce a document at the last minute. Writing them was much worse in the era before computer word processing, the ready availability of photocopied articles, and cumbersome library search mechanisms all done with paper. Often a critically important library document was lost, stolen, or checked out to someone else.
The Internet and the search mechanisms at the library offer modes of inquiry not even dreamed of when I started graduate school in 1966.
Why have this requirement, or this course at all? Our intent is to expose you to dental literature outside the usual clinical sciences and to a body of knowledge outside of clinical dentistry that impacts on what you do. In brief, we hope to broaden your horizon and introduce some new ideas to you.
Many disciplines outside of dentistry study teeth. Teeth are enduring in the fossil record, serve nicely as genetic markers in phylogeny, and offer important clues about lifeways in the past.
I did a rhesus monkey project in grad school. They bit, scratched, smelled, and about everything that could go wrong with our reasearch study did go wrong. One animal died prematurely. Fellow student Dan Driscoll and I were able to salvage enough data to do our papers, survive oral examination, and graduate. We submitted our work for the Milo Hellman award in 1969 and came in third.
My best memories of that project was assembling the literature review. It was a wonderful learning experience. It is with that experience that I ask this of you: select a topic, dig out appropriate references, and put it together in your own words. Plan to do seven double spaced pages and a page of bibliography in proper academic style.
Late in the semester, an abstract will be requested of you. These will be duplicated and shared with you classmates.
A copy of your paper will be retained by the department and will be placed on file for future reference. Suggestion: be original and do a good job with your paper.