A Sum Greater Than Its Parts: Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives on Later Human Evolution
Room: Imperial A
Date/time: Saturday Nov. 17, 2012, 1:45-5:15
In anthropology departments across the country- as in the field as a whole- the boundaries between the sub-fields of the discipline are often being drawn more starkly than ever. This reflects the ongoing debates about scientific vs. humanistic anthropologies as well as the increasing specialization of knowledge required for successful scholarship. And yet, even in the face of the increasing fractionation of our field, certain avenues of anthropological inquiry are actually becoming more multi-disciplinary in nature. A particularly noteworthy example is found in the study of later human evolution. Researchers from an array of fields—paleoanthropology, archaeology, behavioral and evolutionary ecology, genetics, linguistics, cognitive psychology, and primatology—produce independent and overlapping datasets that address the behavioral and biological evolution of our species. It is only by embracing the contribution of scholars across sub-field- and disciplinary- boundaries that the complexity of recent human evolution can be understood.
The purpose of this session is to bring together scholars who approach the study of human evolution from different perspectives, both to demonstrate the unique contributions being made by the disciplines represented, and as a means of highlighting the critical importance of collaborative work to a more deeply nuanced understanding of the later evolution of our species.
3:15 PM - Break