advancing cultural evolutionary studies

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Resources

We are gathering resources here to showcase what the field has to offer. Scroll down to find materials on society activities as well as books, articles, and talks relevant to cultural evolutionary studies. Please let us know what we are missing as this is a "living webpage" that will be updated on a regular basis.


New Online Tutorials: Dynamical Systems in Cultural Evolution

The Center for the Dynamics of Society Complexity (DySoC) and the Cultural Evolution Society (CES) announce a new online learning series presenting basic and applied lessons in the dynamics of cultural evolution. To truly understand how culture evolves, scientists often turn to mathematical models to shed light on how culture and life history have interacted in shaping who we are and what we might become. The CES online learning series, which includes seven modules, has been developed with self-guided study in mind. Through a variety of online learning methods, students will be able to independently work through the material to gain both a theoretical understanding of the method and practical experience using it. The concepts and techniques covered in these modules are intended to facilitate interdisciplinary conversations and collaborations. The modules could serve as a basis for intensive short courses, seminars, or as components of a regular quarter or semester course.

The modules were created by scholars from around the world through a competitive process as a part of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation with principal investigators DySoC Director Sergey Gavrilets and past CES President Peter J. Richerson. Technical assistance was provided by the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis. Four of the seven modules have been released, available at http://www.dysoc.org/cesmodules.

They are as follows:

  • Models of Social Dynamics: An Introductory Module (created by Paul E. Smaldino, Cognitive and Information Sciences, University of California, Merced).
  • Animal Cultures: Core Discoveries and New Horizons (created by Andy Whiten, University of St Andrews, UK; Lucy Aplin, Max Planck Institute for Animal Behaviour, Germany; Nicolas Claidière, CNRS, Aix-Marseille University, France; Rachel Kendal, University of Durham, UK).
  • The Neverending Story: Cultural Evolution and Narratives (created by Joseph Stubbersfield, Psychology Department, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK; Jamie Tehrani, Anthropology Department, Durham University, Durham, UK; Oleg Sobchuk, Max Planck Institute the Science of Human History, Jena, Germany).
  • Foundations of Cultural Evolution (created by Adrian Bell, Department of Anthropology, University of Utah).

The remaining modules will be released this summer. They include Modeling the Dynamics of Cultural Diversification; Dynamic Models of Human Systems; and Cultural Evolution of Dynamic Learning.