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Class 4 – Fall 2016

Geography, Culture, and Race

quote bubble icon Focus Question

Is ancestry connected with race?

Where some natural scientists have put forward the idea that human population differences are geographically patterned and the product of evolutionary processes, social scientists have taken a different approach, emphasizing the historical political, economic, and social relationships among people in different areas of the world. They have sought to understand the formation and transformation of cultural practices vis-à-vis the power dynamics that forged modern capitalism.

Join us as we explore the historic roots of these discussions in the videos below.

Introduction & Vocabulary

Featuring a vocabulary review with Penn undergrad Leniqueca Welcome [duration 14:46]

(Originally recorded on November 9, 2016)

Collections Workshop & Lecture

Featuring collections workshop with Christopher Heaney, Ph.D, Penn 2016-2018 Barra Postdoctoral Fellow, McNeil Center for Early American Studies [duration 34:55]

(Originally recorded on November 9, 2016)

Panel Discussion with Q&A

Featuring a a panel discussion led by Deborah Thomas, Ph.D and our esteemed panelists, whose full biographies can be seen below [duration 1:19:34]

(Originally recorded on November 9, 2016)

Moderator & Speakers

Morton Collection Workshop

Before each panel discussion, Museum staff will present a selection of skulls from the Samuel Morton Collection of Human Crania to investigate questions related to the class topic. Check back soon to explore select examples from the collection.

In accordance with the Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), passed by Congress in 1990, and out of respect for the beliefs of Native Americans regarding the bodies of their ancestors, the Penn Museum does not display or present images of any human remains from Native American people.

LEARN MORE about the Samuel Morton Collection.

Resources & Worksheets

To get the most out of your Public Classroom experience, follow along with our curated collection of resources and worksheets for each class.

Class 4 Full Worksheets


Useful For:Before Class, During Class, After Class

Class outline, speaker bios, reading list, & activity

Class 4 Activity


Useful For:After Class

(also available in the Full Class Worksheets download)

Class 4 Reading Lists (Academic, Adult, Youth)


Useful For:Before Class, After Class

Suggested class readings for academic, adult, and youth audiences. (also available in the Full Class Worksheets download)