1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Course Descriptions - Fall 1998

Courses that meet Major Area Requirements:

Prin. of Social Analysis Cultural Diversity Archaeology Linguistics
223,231,232,237,251,330,
332,355
256,352,357,356,363 280,285,589A,
589B
109,341,345,540
Non-Western perspectives
109,231,232,256,332,
352,357
Senior Seminars 
401A, 401B, 401C

Undergraduate Courses:

ANTH 101 INTRODUCTION TO ANTHROPOLOGY (3) MALLIOS
T R 9:30-10:45

This course is a broad introductory course covering a variety of topics, including the interpretation of other cultures, past and present; the relationship of languages to human thought; and contemporary cultural diversity and cultural relativity. An important focus is the critical analysis of values from a cross-cultural perspective. Grading is based on a combination of essay exams and quizzes.

ANTH 109 LANGUAGE AND WORLD VIEW (3) ROSS
W 1530 - 1800

Does the language we speak affect the way we perceive and construct our view of the world? How does it affect our behavior? How do we organize “reality” by means of our language? How do we understand other people’s realities by examining their languages? We will think about these and other questions by reading and discussing examples from English and from other languages that are unlike English in many ways. Students will write short essays and do brief oral presentations throughout the semester. Class size will be strictly limited to allow for seminar-style discussion. Restricted to first year students. Course meets second writing requirements and Non-Western requirement.

ANTH 223 FANTASY AND SOCIAL VALUES (3) WAGNER
T R 0930 - 1045

An examination of imaginary societies, in particular those in science fiction novels, to see how they reflect the problems and tensions of real social life. Attention is given to "alternate cultures" and fictional societal models.

ANTH 231 SYMBOL & MYTH (3) SAPIR
M W 1400 - l515

This course treats human beings as “symbol making animals.” We will first consider the basic nature of symbolism paying particular attention to the kind of complex symbolization that develops in imaginative thought. We will then treat the symbolism of categories, of space, male/female, directions, nature/culture and the symbolism of myth. Throughout the course, substantive materials will be drawn from anthropological and common everyday, ‘at home’ sources. This course meets the Non- Western Perspective requirement.

ANTH 232 SYMBOL AND RITUAL (3) METCALF
M W 1000 - 1050 plus obligatory section

Rituals great and small permeate social life everywhere, yet their meanings are ambiguous, or contradictory, or contested. For that very reason, their interpretation gives access to an understanding of religions that goes beyond mere dogma, and constitutes anthropology’s contribution to the comparative study of religion. Examples are drawn from cultures simple and complex, exotic and close to home. This course requires enrollment in and attendance at a discussion section. This course meets the Non-Western Perspectives requirement.

ANTH 237 CULTURE & HISTORY PHOTOGRAPHY (3) SAPIR
M W F 1100 - 1150

This course is blocked out into three sections: (1) The nature of photography. What form of communication is it and what is unique about it. How do we “read” photographs and why are they always so ambiguous? What are the motivations for snapshots? (2) A survey of the history of photography from its invention at the beginning of the 19th century to the introduction of the Kodak in the 1880's; beyond that if time permits. Subjects to be covered: the people involved with the invention of photography; the early photographic processes; photographs of the places in the world; photographs of “the other”; photographs in the archives-surveillance and the criminal type; photography as documentation; photography as an art and the influence of photography on art. The work of particular photographers will be examined in detail. (3) The concluding part of the course will consider the American documentary tradition.

ANTH 251 PRIMITIVE/TRIBAL ART IN CIVILIZED PLACES (3) CROCKER
T R 1230 - 1345

Western Anthropologists along with their counterparts in museums, gift shops, art galleries and Fine Arts Departments have long been accused of (mis) appropriating and exploiting the artifacts of “other” non-western indigenous or “native” societies. Thus turned into commodities, these objects take on a variety of contested meanings: authentic versus “tourist”, art masterpieces versus handicraft, elite versus folk, and especially rare versus ordinary. None of these issues seem to have much if any, relevance to the artifacts’ original makers and users. These criticisms have considerable merit, which the course examines in detail but the entire topic is far more nuanced and subtle: it bears on the central integrity of Anthropology’s ambitions: to interpret, compare and evaluate. Course requirements include regular attendance, two take home essays, and a final.

ANTH 256 PEOPLES AND CULTURES OF AFRICA (3) LAVIOLETTE
M W 1000-1050

In this course we look at the human landscape of modern Africa, through a close reading of monographs (anthropological studies, personal narratives, a novel, and a social history) and feature films made by African film makers from diverse cultural and geographical areas. The texts are taught against a backdrop of economic strategies, different forms of social organization, cultural expressions, and challenges facing African men and women as the tumultuous twentieth century draws to a close. We will focus on rural farmers, urban dwellers, and both the elite and poor; belief systems including Islam, Christianity, and non-“book” religions; and societies in east, west, northern, and southern Africa. How relationships between men and women are contextualized and negotiated is a theme found throughout the readings and films, as well as the struggle of people in different circumstances to build new relationships with traditional beliefs and practices. This is not an attempt to summarize, or familiarize you with, all of modern Africa, but rather to distill out, and feature, certain themes of wide relevance to peoples living in Africa in the twentieth century. ANTH 256 is a three-credit lecture and discussion course. For an additional one credit, students may elect to take ANTH 256D, a discussion section. The work load in the lecture course includes a map quiz and several reading quizzes, two short essays based on the readings, and a midterm and final exam. This course meets Non-Western Perspective requirement.

ANTH 280 INTRODUCTION TO ARCHAEOLOGY (3) TBA
M W F 1200 - 1250

Topics will include alternative theoretical approaches to the study of orehistorv and cultural change. methods and techniques of excavation, regional survey and eating, and tne construction or economic, political, social and religious organization of prehistoric societies. Case-studies will be drawn from both the Old and the New World.

ANTH 285 AMERICAN MATERIAL CULTURE (3) DEETZ
T R 0800-0915

Using a structural anthropological approach, this course treats changes in several categories of American material culture, including ceramics, architecture, mortuary art, food ways and trash disposal. Emphasis is placed on the way in which these changes reflect a fundamental transformation of the way in which Americans perceived the world in which they lived. In addition, Native American, African American, and Asian American examples will be discussed, to show how they were different from the dominant European Americans.

ANTH 300A PERSPECTIVES FOR MAJORS (1) TBA
M 1300 - 1350

A course for majors and minors in the department designed to introduce them to a number of topics of concern to current anthropology. Majors and minors are expected to take this course at their first opportunity after joining the program. This course will also be offered in the Spring.

ANTH 301 HISTORY/THEORY OF ANTHROPOLOGY (4) VANN
M W F 0900-0950 plus obligatory discussion section

An outline of the development of anthropology as a scholarly discipline stressing both its unfolding internal logic and its relation to “the rest” of the world. Themes include the dialectics of structure, function, conflict, and cultural style. Restricted to 3rd and 4th year Anthropology major.

ANTH 330 TOURNAMENTS AND ATHLETES (4) MENTORE
T R 1100-1215 plus obligatory discussion section

This course will offer you a cross-cultural study of competitive games. Criticizing current theories about the “innocence” of sports while comparing and contrasting various athletic events from societies around the world, it will provide an argument to explain the competitive bodily displays of athletes. It will select materials which allow you to examine bodily movement, meaning, context, and process, in addition to the relations between athletes, officials, spectators, and social systems. Its general thesis will be that sport brings out the universal morals of community, challenges and tests them in controlled and unthreatening genres, yet never defeats them or makes them appear unjust.

ANTH 332 SHAMANISM, HEALING, AND RITUAL (3) TURNER
T R 1400 - 1515

This course delves into the sources of shamanism and ritual healing, and provides an understanding of their inner processes and how they can be effective. The class will “unpack” the meanings of contemporary non-Western rituals, keeping respect for their veridicy and function. Performance of ritual being its actual life, we will learn how to approximate a sense of ritual by performance. A term paper is required, also short papers during the term.

ANTH 341/741 SOCIOLINGUISTICS (3) DANZIGER
T R 1100-1215

Sociolinguistics is the study of the way language is used to express social relationships in the speech community. Topics to be covered include language as an index of socio-economic class, Black English, male-female language, pidgin and creole languages, the analysis of everyday conversation, and political, legal, and social issues affecting language in multilingual societies, including ours. Midterm and final; field project involving observation of language use in the speech community.

ANTH 345/745 NATIVE AMERICAN LANGUAGES(3) V. HYMES
W 1530-1800

This course in an introduction to the native languages of North America and to the methods that linguists and anthropologists have used to record and analyze them. One purpose of the course is to introduce students to linguistics through actual use of grammars, texts and dictionaries of individual languages. It is concerned with linguistic analysis and theory not for their own sake but as a way into knowledge of languages very different from English and the frequently studied European languages. The methods of analysis learned should enable students to make intelligent use of linguistic materials on languages in other parts of the world as well. The native languages of the Americas are many, diverse and unevenly studied. Generalizations about them all can rarely be very meaningful or penetrating. The best way to gain a genuine sense of the subject is to become familiar with one of the languages. Such familiarity will give more than acquaintance with that particular language. It will give insight into the nature of the data and problems of the field as a whole (i.e. the field of study of languages which were, for their speakers, unwritten). To achieve this purpose, the course is designed so that each student will be working on a different language for which adequate published materials are available. The major assignments involve that work. Brief oral reports by each student enable the class as a whole to learn about the languages the others are working on. Prerequisite: Should have taken one course in linguistics or sociolinguistics, or have permission of instructor.

ANTH 347/747 LANGUAGE AND CULTURE IN THE MIDDLE EAST (3) LEFKOWITZ
T R 0930-1045

This course provides an introduction to the people, cultures, and histories of the Middle East, through an examination of language-use in contemporary Middle Eastern societies. The course focuses on Israel/Palestine, and the contract between Hebrew and Arabic, as a microcosm providing insight into important social processes- - such as colonization, religious fundamentalism, modernization, and the changing status of women- - affecting the region as a whole. Readings contrast ethnographic with novelistic representations of language. society, and identity. A primary concern will be to compare social scientific and literary constructions of "self' and "other" in the context of the political and military confrontation between Israel and Palestinians. This is a lecture and discussion course. A number of feature films from the Middle East are incorporated into the course material. Requirements include three short essays, a book review, and a research paper. Prerequisite: previous course work in anthropology or Middle Eastern studies, or permission of the instructor.

ANTH 352 AMAZONIAN PEOPLES (3) MENTORE
T R 1530 -1645

Native Lowland South American peoples have been portrayed as “animistic”, “totemic”, “shamanic” , “mythologic”, “Dreauduan”, “slash and burn horticulturalists”, “stateless”, “gentle”, “fierce”, and much more. What do these anthropological portraits mean and what do they contribute to the collective body of Western intellectual thought? Is there any relation between such thinking and the experience of being “Indian” in Amazonian societies? Are there any other ways of understanding the Amazonian social experience? This course addresses these questions through a reading of the ethnography of the region. This course will satisfy the non-western perspective requirement.

ANTH 355 ANTHROPOLOGY OF EVERYDAY LIFE (3) DAMON
M W F 1100 - 1150

Using production and exchange theories about society, this course creates an anthropological perspective on modern American society by tracing the development of individualism in American historical and institutional development, using as primary sources of data religious movements, mythology as conveyed in historical writings, novels, and the cinema, and the creation of modern American urban life. This course will satisfy the second writing requirement.

ANTH 356/756 CONTEMPORARY INDIA (3) KHARE
T R 1100-1215

A discussion of selected anthropological studies and Indian cultural changes in understanding some critical caste, gender, religious and political developments in contemporary India. Suitable cultural ideologies, social events, religious performances and conflicts, political movements and mass-media expressions will be intensively examined to explore the current state of cultural dialogue between India and anthropology, and India and the modern West. Prerequisites: for undergraduates: Anth 101 or a course in South Asian studies, permission of the instructor for graduate students.

ANTH 357 PEOPLES & CULTURES OF THE CARIBBEAN (3) FRASER
T R 1400 - 1515

This course will familiarize students with some of the core cultural, historical, and political economic issues facing the Caribbean region and its peoples. It will discuss the commonalities as well as the differences across the island societies that include English, Spanish, and French territories, independent nations, integrated provinces of European states, and semi-autonomous colonies. Our disciplinary focus broadly speaking is anthropological- - we will move across individual level experience, structural, economic, and historical processes, and symbolic realms in order to understand their inter- relationships, and how together they shape Caribbean culture and society. We will also consider the Caribbean Diaspora which is defined as the systematic dispersal of peoples of Caribbean descent across Europe and the Americas. This course meets second writing and non-western requirements.

ANTH 362/762 THE CINEMA IN INDIA (3) SENEVIRATNE
M 1530-1800

Examines the social and aesthetic aspects of the Indian film: its relationship to the theory and practice of Sanskrit drama; the role of music and dance in film as a popular art form; and film as a reflection of middle class ideology and conceptions of nationhood.

ANTH 363 CHINESE FAMILY AND RELIGION (3) SHEPHERD
T R 1230-1345

This course will introduce students to anthropological analysis of the traditional forms of the Chinese family and popular religion, and their modern transformations. Topics to be covered include the dynamics of Chinese marriage and domestic life, gender roles, the religious underpinnings of Chinese family life in ancestor worship and the Chinese cult of the dead, marriage rituals, and the cult of filial piety. The forms of temple worship, the interaction of the Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucian traditions, and the shamanic tradition will also be covered. Finally attention will be paid to the changing role of the family and religion in twentieth century Chinese life. This course will satisfy the second writing requirement.

ANTH 401A SENIOR SEMINAR (3) DAMON
M 1900-2130

SOCIETY, HISTORY AND ENVIRONMENT IN THE PACIFIC This course has three foci. The first, conducted through group reading assignments and reports, will provide students with an overview of “Pacific” societies, environments, and histories. The second, through a small number of common readings, will engage a comparison between the societies of Eastern Indonesia and Western Melanesia. These two portions of the course will also prepare the class- - and the larger University community- - for the appearance on the UVA Campus in the early November of the 1996 Nobel Peace Laureate, Jose’ Ramos-Horta. The third portion of the course will focus on each individual student’s major research project. Student research papers should draw from the second part but need not be confined to those two areas. Topically, they should draw from social, environmental, or historical perspectives.

ANTH 401B SENIOR SEMINAR (3) CROCKER
R 1530-1645

Readings in structuralism and similar analytical modes: Levi Strauss, Barthes, Sahlins, Bateson, Douglas, Bourdieu, Foucault, etc.

ANTH 401C SENIOR SEMINAR (3) WATTENMAKER
T R 1400-1515

This seminar focuses on ancient Mesopotamia (an a area which includes the modern countries of Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey) from 7000-2000 BC. We will discuss some of the key changes that took place during this time, such as the formation of farming villages and social inequality, followed by the appearance of nomadic groups, cities and writing systems. Models for ancient Mesopotamian social organization are based on a combination of archaeological evidence, early historical documents, and ethnoarchaeological and ethnographic studies of modem Middle Eastern societies. To evaluate controversial issues in the field of Mesopotamian archaeology, we will examine some of the key archaeological and ethnographic works that have led researches to their conclusions. Finally, we will consider the ways in which images of modern Middle Eastern societies have influenced construction of ancient Mesopotamia, as well as the ways in which studies of ancient Mesopotamia have contributed to images of modern Middle Eastern societies.

 


Undergraduate & Graduate courses:

ANTH 520 RECONFIGURING KINSHIP (STUDIES) (3) MCKINNON
R 1900-2130 

This course traces the history of kinship studies (which constitute one of the primary foci of anthropological investigations of other cultures) beginning with 19th century evolutionary models and moving through the development of structural-functional, structural, and cultural models. This will be a critical reading of these models and will see them as representations of our own cultural constructions of ideas of person, relation, gender, and society.

ANTH 525 ETHNOGRAPHIES OF ILLNESS AND THE BODY (3) FRASER
M W 1400-1515

In American society writing about illness and the body is a form of therapeutic action for those who become ill. It is often at moments of intense ruptures in the body’s functioning that individuals and societies reflect on the taken for granted assumptions about self, family, community, social and political institutions, the relation between normal and pathological, the roles of healers and patients, life and death. The course will focus largely on the writings of people who have been or are sick. We will also read in the anthropological and related disciplines to give us perspective on these “ethnographies” of the sick. This course meets the second writing requirement.

ANTH 540 LINGUISTIC ANTHROPOLOGY (3) DANZIGER
R 1530 - 1800

Reviews the many ways in which language is central to the theoretical issues and research of anthropology.

ANTH 571 CRITIQUES OF REPRESENTATION (3) METCALF
M W 1400-1515

No description available at this time

ANTH 577 CULTURAL INVENTORIES (3) WAGNER
T R 1230-1345

No description available at this time

ANTH 588 QUANTITATIVE METHODS II (3) PLOG
R 1530-1800

We will examine the applications of analytical methods, including statistical approaches, to the study of archaeological data. Questions regarding both methods and analytical concepts will be discussed through the examination of case studies. Students will be expected to complete an analytical project using archaeological data of their choice.

ANTH 589A THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF COLONIAL EXPANSIONS (3) LAVIOLETTE
W 1900-2130

This seminar explores the archaeology of colonialism by foregrounding the colonial enterprises of European nations between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries against a backdrop of other expansions that have been studied archaeologically. We will draw on pertinent, recent literature on colonialism and colonial historiography to help inform our analyses of archaeological studies. We will trace the evolution of contact models used to interpret sites on colonial frontiers, and examine how very different archaeologically-known expansions, e.g. Uruk, Roman, and Bantu, are conceptualized in terms other than strictly those of colonialism. The core of the class will be close readings of case studies bringing to bear the above considerations. The work load will include a 20-page research paper for undergraduates and a 30-page paper for graduate students, plus active participation in weekly discussion, preparation of discussion questions, and presentation of readings.

ANTH 589B QUANTITATIVE METHODS I (3) MOST
F 9:30-12:00 AM

This course provides an introduction to the use of statistics and quantitative methods in anthropology. Analytical techniques used to describe both anthropological and archaeological data sets are emphasized but experience has shown that students in sociology, psychology, and nursing have little problem applying the statistical methods learned to their own data sets. The course focuses on descriptive statistics, probability and sampling, and univariate, multivariate and non-parametric statistics. No prior knowledge of statistics is necessary. Course requirements: Timely completion of 8-10 weekly assignments and a research project/term paper (about 15-20 pages) involving the statistical analysis of a data set of your choice. (Students who lack a data set will have assistance in locating one with which they can work.)

 


Graduate courses:

ANTH 701 GENERAL ANTHROPOLOGY (3) HANDLER
TR 1400-1515

Canonical theories in modern Western social philosophy, including social contract theory, romanticism and primitivism, evolutionary theory, utilitarianism, functionalism, and cultural relativism. Works by Locke, Rousseau, Tocqueville, Darwin, Morgan, Spencer, Durkheim, Weber, Boas, DuBois, and Benedict.

ANTH 703 ETHNOLOGY II (3) KHARE
T 1530 - 1800

A discussion of development of ethnography since the forties as a core anthropological method and discursive strategy, with special attention to changing directions, issues and debates surrounding ethnographic writing and cultural anthropological theories.