Summer School: cultural phylogenetics
23 April 2008
The AHRC Centre for the Evolution of Cultural Diversity (CECD) at UCL is hosting a summer school in September 2008 on 'Cultural Phylogenetics'.
Cultural traits such as languages or artefacts can evolve through the process of descent through modification, just like biological organisms. Phylogenetics deals with identifying and understanding evolutionary relationships, and these methods can help us investigate cultural as well as biological evolution.
The summer school programme provides an in-depth overview of modern methods used in the phylogenetic analysis of culture and will be held at the UCL Institute of Archaeology, from Monday 15th September 2008 to Friday 19th September 2008.
As well as lectures, the programme includes the opportunity to develop practical skills in the computer laboratory.
These methods, developed in evolutionary biology, provide a systematic and quantitative framework for the rigorous study of cultural evolutionary processes, and are allowing anthropologists, archaeologists, linguists and other human scientists to test hypotheses about the diversity of cultural behaviour.
The topics will be introduced by researchers during lecture and discussion sessions, and the practical classes will give participants hands-on experience with a variety of software packages and methods.
The programme will end with a 'clinic', where the tutors will be on hand to offer advice on participants' own research projects
The programme is primarily aimed at masters students and those already engaged in doctoral research. All participants will be expected to have background knowledge of evolutionary theory.
To find out more, use the links at the top of this article.