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SMC|Enrollment Development|International Education Center|Study Abroad|South Africa Courses

South Africa Courses

South Africa Winter 2015 Course Descriptions 

Professor Nancy Grass Hemmert, Communication Studies 37: Intercultural Communications 

3 units, IGETC Area 4 (Social & Behavioral Sciences), Transfer: UC, CSU

This course focuses on the identification and analysis of processes and challenges of communication as affected by different cultures. We will use the “laboratory” of South Africa to focus on the principles of communication theory and practice the skills of competent communication as they apply to this intercultural setting. With an emphasis on the effects of differences in attitudes, social organization, role expectations, language and nonverbal behavior between South African and U.S. American cultures, we will explore our own identities and communication behaviors in communication action with our South African hosts. Additionally, over the course of your stay in South Africa, you will be asked to do a series of field assignments that allow you to compare and contrast South African society and culture to U.S. society and culture. Whose voices are heard? What values are revealed? What attitudes are implied? Who is privileged, visible, oppressed, revered?


Professor Catherine Haradon, Anthropology 1: Physical Anthropology

3 units, IGETC Area 5B (Biological Sciences, non-lab), Transfer: UC, CSU

Our species, Homo sapiens, is a product of the evolutionary process. Anthro 1 is an in-depth introduction to physical anthropology that investigates our common origins with other animals as well as what makes us, as humans, different. We examine key issues and topics ranging from the evolutionary mechanisms that have produced variation in modern humans and other forms of life; the diversity and ecological/behavioral adaptations of our closest living relatives, the primates; and the extensive and growing fossil and archaeological records of human evolution.

As participants in the study abroad program to South Africa, students will have the unparalled experience of visiting paleoanthropological sites where important fossils of early humans have been discovered, beginning in the 1920s and continuing through today. Students will also have the opportunity to experience the ecological and geographical landscape in which our early ancestors lived, as well as the animals and plants that they interacted with, all factors which ultimately shaped the evolution of our species. We will examine the evolutionary basis for different skin colors and the concept of "race". Lectures on genetic variation, evolutionary theory, primatology, and the human fossil record will be enhanced by direct observation in perhaps the most significant part of the world for human evolutionary studies.