Anthropology, the study of humankind, investigates the entire range of the human experience across cultures and over time. Its holistic approach encourages students to explore the relationships among production systems, age and gender roles, family and kinship relations, relations of power and inequality, and religious beliefs in societies throughout the world. Cultural anthropology examines ritual, symbols, cosmological systems, forms of social organization, economics, and politics from a cross-cultural perspective. The department offers major and minor programs in anthropology.
The Anthropology Major
(34 semester hours)
ANTH 221 (3) Culture, Society, and the Individual
ANTH 224 (3) Ethnography
ANTH 328 (3) Ritual and Worldview
ANTH 451 (1) Senior Workshop in Anthropology and Archaeology
ANTH 452 (3) Senior Seminar
Choose 1 of the following courses:
ANTH 215 (3) Peoples and Cultures of Africa
ANTH 268 (3) Peoples and Cultures of the Mediterranean
ANTH 270 (3) Peoples and Cultures of South Asia
ANTH 272 (3) Peoples and Cultures of the Middle East
Choose 1 of the following courses:
ANTH 317 (3) Ecological Anthropology
ANTH 334 (3) Gifts and Commodities
And choose 5 additional three-credit courses in anthropology excluding internships. No more than one directed, special, or independent study may be counted toward the major. Students may apply one archaeology course, excluding ARCH 115, to the major in anthropology.
NOTES: Students choosing to declare majors in both anthropology and archaeology may use ANTH 452 for only one of the majors. The senior exercise for the other major may be an independent study approved by the advisor.
At least four courses (including ANTH 328, ANTH 451, and ANTH 452) must be advanced courses numbered at the 300-level or above.
With the exception of ANTH 451, no course used to fulfill major requirements may be taken on a P/CR/NC grading option. Additional information about the P/CR/NC grading option is available under the Academic Regulations heading of the catalog.
Choose 6 three-credit courses in anthropology excluding internships. At least two three-credit courses must be at or above the 300-level.
NOTE: No more than one directed, special, or independent study may be counted toward the minor. Neither ANTH 451 nor ANTH 452 may be counted toward the minor.
Prerequisite: Not open to seniors. (ANTH 112H is open to seniors). A broad, general introduction to selected concepts and topics in cultural anthropology through ethnographic accounts of societies from different world regions. Questions about differing social practices and cultural values will be explored, along with questions about how anthropologists examine the objects of their studies and critical examination of analytical concepts such as culture, tradition, ritual, and kinship. The course is designed primarily for first- and second-year students. V.4
An introduction to the theory and methods of anthropological archaeology and a survey of some of the prehistoric societies in different parts of the world. III.Q, V.1
An exploration of anthropological approaches to Africa, focusing on selected societies. The course examines the dynamism of African cultures and their engagement with the world system in various domains. Among possible topics in the course are engagements with colonialism and globalization, art and aesthetics, social organization, ideas of the state, health and healing, religion and worldview, personhood and sentiments, and gendered experiences. V.4
Prerequisite: Not open to first-year students. An introduction to the theoretical foundations of anthropology. We examine the emergence of specific problematics in anthropology: What is the relationship of the individual to society? To culture? What are the implications of talking about society as structured? About cultures as different? How do we account for change and diversity? The course introduces these questions through the examination of theoretical sources and supplemented by some ethnographic studies. V.5
Prerequisite: ANTH 112 or one 200-level ANTH course. A critical evaluation of the ways anthropologists study Western and non-Western cultures and the ways anthropologists shape coherent narratives. A practical introduction to fieldwork techniques, ethnographic methods, ethical dilemmas, and the conventions of anthropological writing. III.W, V.5
Prerequisite: ANTH 112 or one 200-level ANTH course; instructor permission may be given to students who have taken upper-level social science courses. An examination of the ideas associated with the family in anthropology and in different societies, of relationships within the family and between families and larger society, and of how such relationships are inventively lived in different cultures in historical and contemporary times. Among other topics, the course may examine ideas of motherhood and fatherhood; descent and relationship; intra- and international adoptions; new reproductive technologies; and the ideas associated with the family in national, business, religious, and other community discourses. Offered alternate years. V.5
This course takes a critical look at globalization, both as an idea about the current moment, and how people respond to and create contemporary changes. We will pay particular attention to global markets and the flow of people, goods and ideas; neoliberalism and the rise of nonstate global agencies; the work of the imagination; the apparent contrast between “the global” and local knowledge; and the place of the intimate in world-wide change. V.4, V.7
Prerequisites: One ANTH course and permission of the instructor. The study of introductory level material by an individual student or by a small group of students under the immediate supervision of a faculty member. This course is graded P/CR/NC only.
An area survey of selected Mediterranean societies, including the comparative analysis of selected European, Middle Eastern, and North African cultures. An examination of the central concepts in the social anthropology of this region: honor and shame, the roles of family and kinship, and systems of stratification. Offered alternate years. V.5
An examination of selected South Asian societies from an anthropological perspective. Among topics the course may cover are kinship, class and caste, gender and sexualities, the lifecourse, modernity and tradition, religion, and aesthetics. V.4
An exploration of various anthropological perspectives on selected Middle Eastern societies. Among topics that may be covered are gender, family and society, religion and secularism, transformations of class, media and society, age and the lifecourse, and Middle Eastern modernities. Offered every two years. V.4, V.5
Are relations of power and status between men and women always unequal? Are gender differences always linked to the same notions of sexuality and sexual practice? These questions will be explored by looking at the ways people in various cultures throughout the world define and maintain gender distinctions and order, and conceptualize sexuality. V.5
Prerequisite: ANTH 112, ENGL 149, or ENGL 150. This course explores images of the cultural other, as seen in ethnographic and documentary films and photographs. How do photographs, art, exhibits, and museums reinforce stereotypes of “the primitive” and “the exotic?” In what ways are visual media used to create ethnographic texts and representations? The course will address these topics through film screenings, discussions, and readings as well as video production. V.5
Prerequisite: ANTH 112 or one 200-level ANTH course. A detailed exploration of the body as a cultural construct and as a field of practices. The course will examine how the body is imagined through a variety of discourses, including disease, illness and healing; ritual; aesthetics; age and gender; modification and training; and as part of the political domain. V.5
Prerequisites: Two ANTH courses, at least one of which is at the 200-level or above. This course examines the processes through which people come to think of themselves as part of a group united by shared values, practices, or substances, and the ways in which such identities figure in political contexts. The course also looks at how people relate to and shape political contexts, including “the state,” examining such concepts as civil society and the public sphere. Offered alternate years. V.7
Prerequisite: ANTH 112, one anthropology course at the 200-level, or ENVR 101. Ecological approaches in anthropology are introduced in this course through topics such as human population growth, biodiversity, sustainability, and climate change, especially in international contexts. A comparative study of global versus regional environmental concerns in both Western and non-Western contexts will be covered through readings and discussions. Offered alternate years. V.5
Prerequisites: Two ANTH courses, at least one of which is at the 200-level or above. An intensive study of a selected topic in anthropology, to be determined by the students and the instructor.
Prerequisites: Two ANTH courses, at least one of which is at the 200-level or above. A study of how ritual and religious symbolism define cultural categories and individual experiences. The course will focus on initiation and death ritual, taboo, witchcraft and other idioms of affliction, and some of the theories anthropologists have used to interpret religious behavior and ideas. V.4, V.5
Prerequisites: Two ANTH courses, at least one of which is at the 200-level or above. How do objects, such as gifts, money, commodities, art and aesthetic products, become “valued?” How do exchanges of valued objects shape relationships among people? The place of value and exchange in everyday life is examined through classic statements (for example by Marx, Mauss, and Simmel), and also in selected ethnographies. Offered alternate years. III.O
Prerequisites: Three ANTH courses, at least one of which is at the 200-level or above, and permission of the instructor. The study of an intermediate level topic by an individual student or by a small group of students under the immediate supervision of a faculty member. This course is taken on a P/CR/NC grading option only.
Prerequisites: Three credits in ANTH and permission of instructor, department chair, and dean. This course is graded P/CR/NC only.
Prerequisites: Open to ANTH and ARCH majors. A fall term workshop for students planning to take ANTH 452 in the spring term. In the course we will plan the senior seminar, and plan research projects for the spring, including assembling bibliographies, and research materials, and developing research proposals for review by the department. We also discuss career planning and how the anthropology and archaeology majors have prepared students for a variety of post-graduation paths. This course is taken on a P/CR/NC grading option only.
Prerequisite: ANTH 451. An examination of core concepts and analytical methods in anthropology through focused discussion of contemporary scholarship and through student senior research projects. III.O, III.W