Within the genus Homo, debates about species definitions and their significance.
Once one of these themes is chosen, students will identify a narrower issue from within so that they focus on some specific debate that involves recent and past interpretations of a limited number of specific fossil sites or discoveries. As one among many examples from the first topic, what are the argued distinctions between fossil finds identified as H. ergaster and H. erectus in East Africa? In what senses are these distinctions meaningful? A related issue might be how do hominin fossil finds from the site of Dmanisi in the Republic of Georgia speak to debates surrounding species identification within our genus? There are many other possibilities so be alert from the beginning of the course!