Course description

The course gives and overview of patterns of cultural change and the diversity of theories and methods used in research on cultural evolution.

Photo: Johan Lind

Students will analyse differences between humans and other animals and what lies behind the emergence of cultural complexity and diversity. You will learn about how mathematics can be an important tool for theoretical work and how to formalise ideas to generate testable hypotheses. You will learn about the benefits of interdisciplinary interactions in terms of utilizing knowledge from different disciplines. You will also be encouraged to contribute with knowledge from your own field. You will meet fellow students and active researchers from the humanities, social and natural sciences, which is beneficial for future research cooperation across disciplines.

Course organisation

We offer two courses that run at 50% time in the evening during the entire spring term. This is the first course, which covers the diversity of observations of cultural change and theories seeking to explain them. In the subsequent course "Cultural evolution: project" (7,5 hp) you will produce an interdisciplinary paper on a topic of your choice related to cultural change.

The courses are organized by the Centre for Cultural Evolution in collaboration with the departments of Sociology, Psychology, Linguistics, Archaeology and Classical Studies, Culture and Aesthetics, Zoology, and Biology Education. The courses are open to master students and Ph.D. students from all academic areas. The courses can be included as elective or optional in a large number of Master's programs or degrees. For information about integration of the courses in your degree, consult your department's home page or study councellor.