1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Course Descriptions - Fall 2003

Courses that meet Major Area Requirements:

Prin. of Social Analysis Ethnography Archaeology Linguistics
223,228,232,332
355,392,521,522,529A
533,571,577
224,260,352
529B,529C
280,379A,383
384,589A
240,343
Non-Western perspectives for the majors 
(for the major: note that some of these courses do not meet the College's Nonwestern requirement)
101,224,232,240,260,332,352
Senior Seminars 
401A,401B,401C

Undergraduate Courses:

ANTH 101 INTRO TO ANTHROPOLOGY (3) HANDLER
MW 1400-1515

This is a broad introductory course covering race, language, and culture, both as intellectual concepts and as political realities. Topics include race and culture as explanations of human affairs, the relationship of language to thought, cultural diversity and cultural relativity, and cultural approaches to current crises.
Meets Non-Western Perspective Requirements.

ANTH 223 FANTASY & SOCIAL VALUES (3) WAGNER
TR 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. A "cultural imaginary" allows us to think carefully about implications of gender, technology, and social existence that we, for very good reasons, are not allowed to experiment upon. Three papers, mandatory attendance in lecture.

ANTH 224 PROGRESS (3) METCALF
MW 1100-1150

Westerners have been deeply attached to the idea of progress since the Enlightenment. But it is not universal; elsewhere and at other times people have seen a world in decline from a Golden Age. In the nineteenth century rapid technological development inspired an almost limitless confidence in progress, but at the same time the success of evolutionary theories introduced a more somber note of extinction for those left behind in the struggle. This course raises a series of questions about our notion of progress: What are its ideological roots? How is technical progress related to social or moral progress? At the beginning of a new century, what threats undermine our confidence in progress? The course includes two lectures per week plus a discussion section.

ANTH 228 INTRO TO MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY (3) MARSHALL
TR 1700-1750

The suffering body is inevitable in human experience, but how suffering is interpreted varies across cultures. Similarly, notions of health and methods of healing vary across cultures and time. The point of this course, which introduces medical anthropology, is to contextualize suffering, healing and health. The course is organized thematically around a critical humanist approach along with perspectives from political economy and social constructionism. The aim of the course is to proved a broad understanding of the relationship between culture, healing (including biomedicine), health and political power.

ANTH 229 AMERICAN WESTS (3) HANTMAN
TR 1230-1320

Anthropology Professor Jeff Hantman, history professor Peter Onuf, and Media Studies postdoctoral fellow Doug Seefeldt will lead this new and innovative course about the peoples and cultures of the American West. The course ranges in chronological scope from initial human settlement through the twentieth century. Students will explore the many different ways in which Americans, and others, have defined and redefined the West. Sponsored by the University's Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Project, American Wests incorporates the perspectives and methodologies of a number of other disciplines. Students can anticipate guest lectures from, for example, art historians, biologists, environmental scientists, and English professors. Topics will include images of the mythical West, Native American peoples and cultures, the environment and the extraction of natural resources, the development of public policy, and visual representations of the American West. Course requirements will include weekly primary and secondary source readings, two mid-semester take-home exams, a blue-book final exam, and a paper. In addition, students should expect to attend two lectures and a discussion section each week. Participation in class discussion will be emphasized, and so each discussion section is capped at 15 students.

ANTH 232 SYMBOL AND RITUAL (3) SIHLÉ
MW 1530-1620

Ritual provides the characteristic approach of anthropology to the comparative study of religion, and the analysis of ritual is anthropology's major contribution to that project. In no other sphere of social life is the alienness of other cultures more striking. Arguably, ritual presents a special challenge to anthropology. This course asks fundamental questions about what rituals mean, and shows how far we have come to answering them in a century of theorizing. The student must enroll in one of the obligatory discussion sections in 232D.

ANTH 237 CULTURE HISTORY OF PHOTOGRAPHY (3) SAPIR
MWF 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 places in the world; "views;" photographs of individuals, "likenesses;" photographs of the "the other;" photographs in the archives - surveillance and the "criminal type," "genre photography;" photography as an art in the early years until the first decades of the 20th century. The work of general nature of photography, this time considering the intrusiveness of the photographic act form the "Kodak fiend" to the paparazzi.

This course is an elective in the anthropology major and fulfills a humanities requirement in the college, not social science.

ANTH 240 LANGUAGE & CULTURE (3) CONTINI-MORAVA
MW 1000-1050

A survey of topics having to do with the relationship between language, culture, and society. We will consider both how language is described and analyzed by linguists, and how data from languages are used in related fields as evidence of cultural, social, and cognitive phenomena. Topics include: nature of language, origins of language, how languages change, use of linguistic evidence to make inferences about prehistory, the effects of linguistic categories on thought and behavior, regional and social variation in language, and cultural rules for communication.
Satisfies the non-western requirement.

ANTH 260 INTRODUCTION TO INDIA (3) SENEVIRATNE
TR 1400-1515

A general introduction to the society and culture of India. Deals with kinship, caste, religion, music, dance and popular culture using ethnographic works, fiction and visual material.

ANTH 280 INTRODUCTION TO ARCHAEOLOGY (3) LAVIOLETTE
TR 1230-1345

Topics will include the history and goals of archaeological research; traditional and alternative approaches to the study of ancient societies and culture change; methods and techniques of excavation, regional survey and dating; and the reconstruction of economic, political, social, and religious organization. We will use case studies from both the Old and New Worlds.

ANTH 301 HISTORY AND THEORY OF ANTHROPOLOGY (3) BASHKOW
MWF 1100-1150

This course is designed for students who are majoring in anthropology: it presents a broad historical outline of major approaches and debates in the field, and seeks to foster skills in critically reading and discussing social and cultural theory. By reading sample works we will learn about the approaches of social evolutionism, diffusionism, Boasian particularism, l'Année Sociologique, British structural functionalism, French structuralism, symbolic anthropology, Marxist anthropology, cultural materialism, neo-evolutionism, structural history, postmodern anthropology, Feminist anthropology, practice theory, postcolonial criticism, and globalization/transnational studies. We will attempt to understand past anthropological theories in relation to key debates of their time, while also considering their larger cultural-historical context and their enduring relevance. We will ask: What are the sources (and kinds) of modern anthropological concepts of culture? How have scholars learned, and been forced to unlearn, about humanity in studying other cultural worlds? The course stresses close reading and analysis of primary texts. Students must enroll in one of the discussion sections in 301D.
Course Meets Second Writing Requirement.

ANTH 316 CHANGING HINDUISM AND HINDU WORLDVIEWS (3) KHARE
TR 1100-1215

A discussion of contemporary (mostly post-independence) Hinduism by studying interlocking aspects of (a) traditional Hinduism; (b) the changing family-kinship-caste world, (c) urban religious rituals, ceremonies and domestic/temple workshop; (d) "tolerant Hinduism" of M.K. Gandhi; (e) social neglect, injustice and violence: (f) "assertive Hinduism;" (g) the rise of Hindutva and Hindu nationalism; and (h) debates on Indian secularism and democracy.

ANTH 332 SHAMANISM & HEALING (3) TURNER
TR 1100-1215

This course delves into the sources of shamanism and ritual healing. It provides some understanding of their different logics, and therefore why they communicate and heal. The class will bring to life the reports and experiences of contemporary non-Western shamanic and healing rituals, keeping respect for native interpretations in order to better understand the effectiveness of ritual. Emphasis is given to the human, personal experience of the events as process, to complement the descriptive and analytic literature that exists. Experience of shamanism and healing being their actual life, we will learn how to approximate the sense of ritual by enacting it. A term paper is required, also a book presentation and short papers during the term.
Course meets Non-Western Perspective.

ANTH 343 INTRODUCTION TO GENERATIVE LINGUISTICS (3) DOBRIN
TR 0930-1045

An introductory course in linguistics for students interested in the study of language as a branch of cognitive science. We will adopt a view of language that has been highly influential in the field since the "generative revolution" led by Noam Chomsky in the mid-twentieth century, which uses a formal theory to explain how it is that "all normal children acquire essentially comparable grammars of great complexity with remarkable rapidity." Course work will include readings and weekly problem sets in phonology (sound structure) and syntax (sentences).

ANTH 352 AMAZONIAN PEOPLES (3) MENTORE
TR 1530-1645

Native Lowland South American people 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 experiences? This course addresses these questions through a reading of the ethnography of the region. This course will satisfy the non-western perspectives requirement.

ANTH 355 EVERYDAY LIFE IN AMERICA (3) DAMON
MWF 1000-1050

Using production and exchange theories about society, this course explores anthropological models to look at orders of the human experience in North America called the United States. The course begins by locating present-day dynamics found from the Texas panhandle to the tamed Columbia River, from Wall Street to Silicon Valley by way of urban America and an interpretation of the place of violence in US culture. We then take a historical tour beginning with religious transformations in the early 19th century, ending with the paradoxes of gambling, religious and legal literalism, and the political and economic scandals that mark contemporary debate. Particular emphasis will be put on trials and persecutional forms as mechanisms for dealing with the dialectics of order and its discontents. Singled out for study will be a consideration of the question of "Exceptionalism" in United States culture, a topic that will occupy class discussion every Friday. Lectures and readings will be organized through a series of short papers punctuated by three longer ones.
This course meets the second writing requirement.

ANTH 371 CITIES IN HISTORY (3) UPTON
TR 1100-1215

This lecture course examines the history of cities around the world, locating urban form in its social, cultural, political, and symbolic contexts. We will look at the history of cities from the origins of urbanism to the present, but will focus on recent centuries.

ANTH 379A QUANTITATIVE METHODS II (3) PLOG/MOST
F 0930-1200

This course is the 2nd half of a two-semester course sequence that provides an introduction to the use of analytical procedures, database applications, statistics, and quantitative methods in anthropology. Multivariate analytical techniques used to describe and analyze archaeological and anthropological data sets are emphasized. More specifically, the course focuses on research design; factor, cluster, and discriminate analysis; sample-size/diversity issues; and spatial analysis with an introduction to the use of Geographic Information Systems: Prior knowledge of statistics is necessary; background in anthropology, archaeology, or a related field is required.

ANTH 383 NORTH AMERICAN ARCHAEOLOGY (3) HANTMAN
MW 1400-1515

This course provides an overview of the contributions of archaeological research to our understanding of the long term history of North America, particularly the history of indigenous Native American people. Following an introductory study of the diverse history of archaeological research in North America from the eighteenth century to the present, the course shifts focus to specific topics of interest. Among these are the debate over the timing and process of the initial peopling of the Americas, the development of distinctive regional traditions, discussions of the origins of domestication and regional exchange systems and the rise and fall of chiefdoms in prehistory, colonial encounters between Europeans and Native Americans, and the historical archaeology of Europeans and Africans in colonial America. Course requirements include a mid-term, final, and one seminar paper (15-20 pp).

ANTH 384 EGYPT & MESOPOTAMIA (3) WATTENMAKER
TR 1530-1645

This course is an introduction to the prehistory of the Near East, focusing mainly on the period from ca. 9000 to 2500 BC. Through both lectures and discussion, we will examine the archaeological evidence for the origins of food production (the domestications of plants and animals), the earliest village communities, the origins of social ranking, nomadism, the rise of state societies and the first cities, and the origins of writing systems. Regions of study include the Levant, Anatolia, Egypt, and Greater Mesopotamia (Iraq, Iran, Syria and southeast Turkey). Emphasis will be placed on evaluating hypotheses on cultural organization and change in the ancient Near East, as well as comparison of cultural developments in different parts of the Near East. Questions of interest to anthropologists working in other parts of the world, such as the origins of the state, will be examined in light of findings from the Near East. sections in 355D.

ANTH 392 TRANSNATIONAL KINSHIP (3) MCKINNON
TR 1100-1215

This course will focus on the shifting nature of kinship relations in the context of the global economic restructuring, increased labor migration, and the political, religious, racial, and gender hierarchies that are characteristic of the emerging global political economy. We will examine a range of issues including: the stratification of reproduction," the consequences of national reproductive policies (pro-and anti-natalist), the effects of forms of labor and migration, mail order brides, the new reproductive technologies across national boundaries, and the creation of family life in the space-time compression of the global order. This course is open to upper-level undergraduate students. Prerequisite: Anth 290 or permission of instructor. Each student will research a topic of his or her own choosing which may be a family history-and write three 7-page papers.
Course meets Second Writing Requirement.

ANTH 401A SOCIAL INEQUALITIES AMID POSTCOLONIAL CHANGES (3) KHARE
T 1530-1800

A seminar of social inequality, devoted to examining caste, class, race, religious ideology and gender differences, especially in postcolonial societies. With a comparative focus on contemporary India and America, the class will discuss similarities and differences in the two societies as they deal with their historically distinct social/ethnic/racial inequalities, changing rural communities, Subaltern groups, gender issues, and local/global religious and political conflicts.
Course meets Second Writing Requirement.

ANTH 401B SENIOR SEMINAR: LANGUAGE & EMOTION (3) LEFKOWITZ
T 1900-2130

This course looks at the nexus of language, culture, and emotion, exploring the field of emotion from the perspective of cultural anthropology and sociolinguistics. Specific topics covered include: emotion in the natural vs. social sciences; cross-cultural conceptions of emotion; historical change in emotion discourses; emotion as a theory of the self; the grammatical encoding of emotion in language; (mis-) communication of emotion; and emotion and the construction of racialized and gendered identities.
Course meets Second Writing Requirement.

ANTH 401C POLITICS OF THE PAST (3) WATTENMAKER
M 1830-2100

To many societies, the history of land and ancestors form an integral component of sociocultural identity. This makes archaeology, which seeks to construct and understand the history of cultures and regions, deeply meaningful to modern populations living in areas where research is underway. Moreover, archaeological results are sometimes viewed as having bearing on modern political conflicts over issues such as land claims. This course examines the dynamic relationship between the past and present from a number of different angles. We consider, for example, the ways in which different interest groups manipulate understanding of the past to further their political agendas, and how the understanding an archaeologist may have of his/her own culture in relation to other cultures often shapes the ways that the past is portrayed in films, museum exhibits and scholarly literature. Specific issues and case studies from various parts of the world, such as the study of Native American cemetery sites, serve to highlight some of the ways that the past and present intersect and the impact modern politics has on the way archaeologists work.

 


Course open to Undergraduates and Graduates:

ANTH 521 RECONFIGUIRING KINSHIP STUDIES (3) MCKINNON
R 1800-2030

This course is the sequel to Anth 520 (The History of Kinship Studies). It explores the transformation of traditional kinship studies in their encounter with gender and feminist theory, critical race theory, science studies, queer theory, and theories of globalization and transnational movements. The new sites of kinship making that we will examine are forged in the contexts of transformations taking place in gay and lesbian kinship, the new reproductive technologies and biogenetics, race/class relations, nationalisms and transnational circuits, and various forms of transkinship (crossing sex/gender, species, animal/machine). This course is open to graduate students and upper- level undergraduates (who have taken at least one other lower level kinship course). Each student will research a topic of his or her own choosing and write 20-page paper.
Course meets Second Writing Requirement.

ANTH 522 ECONOMIC ANTHROPOLOGY (3) DAMON
T 1900-2130

Organized in three parts, this course introduces students to anthropologically useful ideas in Marxism and world systems theory, the use of `exchange theory' over the last 100 years, and research in newer visions of ecological anthropology and the anthropology of resource extraction for the West. An important theme running through each section will be relationships between production, circulation and display. Students will write 5 to 10 page papers on each of the three parts, increasingly bending their papers to their longer-term research interests. Individualized oral reports on tangential readings are also expected, and will enable students to structure aspects of the course to their topical or regional interests. Although designed for graduate students, undergraduates are encouraged to consider the course to round out their undergraduate careers and help define their futures.

ANTH 529A TOPICS IN RACE THEORY (3) MARSHALL
T 1900-2130

This course will examine theories and practices of race and otherness, in order to analyze and interpret constructions, deconstructions and reconstructions of race (particularly whiteness) from the late 18th to the 21st centuries. Central to our discussion will be the "progress" paradigm, so essential to positivism and western social science, and the relationships between race/whiteness, culture, nation, gender, and history.

ANTH 529B RELIGION, CULTURE AND NATION IN ASIA (3) SENEVIRATNE
W 1530-1800

An exploration of the cultural context of nationalism in Asia. Religion and culture in the articulation of nation and state in selected ethnographic examples.

ANTH 529C TIBETAN & HIMALAYAN ANTHROPOLOGY (3) SIHLÉ
R 1900-2130

This course aims at providing a balanced, anthropological outlook on a complex, and culturally diverse area, on which the West has massively projected its own fantasies: that of the Tibetan and Himalayan societies. The anthropological study of Tibetan societies in particular is a relatively recent academic tradition, with both geographical and political circumstances still being major obstacles to ethnographic fieldwork. One aim of this seminar will be to relate Tibetan and Himalayan ethnography to larger, theoretical debates of the discipline. The main topics investigated will include political and social organization, ethnicity, and religious forms.
Course Meets: Second Writing Requirement

ANTH 529D WHITENESS (3) BASHKOW
MW 1530-1645

This course is an advanced reading seminar on the emerging interdisciplinary field of "critical whiteness studies," which attempts to re-center studies of race and ethnicity on the privilege and power associated with whiteness. Readings will include works by authors such as Ruth Frankenberg, David Roediger, Paul Gilroy, Bell Hooks, Karen Brodkin, W.E.B. DuBois, Daniel Segal, John Hartigan, Vron Ware, George Lipsitz, Howard Winant, Matthew Frye Jacobson, Richard Dyer, and Ian Haney Lopez. Coursework will consist of reading and discussion of the readings, writing weekly reading questions to be emailed to the class list, and presenting a paper at a public miniconference which the class will organize near the end of the term.

ANTH 533 ETHNOHISTORY RESEARCH & METHODS (3) PERDUE
TR 1400-1515

This graduate and upper-level undergraduate course offers an introduction to ethnohistory, considers some sources and methods for conducting ethnohistorical research, and applies them to an historical case study, using Albemarle County civil records and other documentary and secondary sources. Conceptions of group identity and culture, or "ethnos," based on race, ethnicity, class, or situation and of the nexus between history and anthropology will be discussed, with some consideration given to contemporary ethnohistorical case studies that address issues of contact, conflict, control, and commodification.

ANTH 571 INTERPRETATION OF RITUAL (3) SIHLÉ
MW 1530-1620

This course is an extension of ANTH 232, with additional readings and requirements. It is designed for graduate students lacking familiarity with anthropological perspectives on religion, and ritual in particular.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

ANTH 577 CULTURAL INVENTORIES (3) WAGNER
TR 1230-1345

Cultural Inventories uses the work of Jorge Luis Borges and Ludwig Wittgenstein to explore the "inventory" side of the language-phenomenon, the quixotic logic or order of experience that is manifest in what is said, or meant, or intended in the use of language, rather than in its syntax, grammar, or basic structure. The logic of "what to say." Readings and discussion in a seminar; course paper.

 


Graduate courses:

ANTH 701 HISTORY OF ANTHROPOLOGICAL THEORY (3) METCALF
MW 1400-1515

This course explores the diverse intellectual roots of Anthropology from the 18th century to the mid 20th. We attempt to keep clear the differences and interweavings amongst US, English, and French traditions that lay the groundwork for late 20th and early 21st-century Anthropology.

ANTH 703 ETHNOLOGY II: "THE ETHNOGRAPHIC BASIS" (3) SAPIR
MW 1400-1515

This is a required course for graduate students in their third semester. Its purpose is to give a close reading to a range of primary ethnographies and similar documents, some classic, others recent. Since these documents provide the basis for whatever truth claims anthropologists make it is essential that we learn to probe them, to find out what their authors learned and how they learned it, whether their propositions carry conviction, and how they make themselves readable, assuming they do.

ANTH 705 DATA ANALYSIS (3) MENTORE
TR 1100-1215

This course is designed to follow a course on ethnographic methods and research design, and assumes students have had some experience practicing fieldwork methods of data gathering. (For some students the implications of the course material for research design will remain the primary focus.) We will review selected methods and design issues, and proceed to the next stages of the research process: organizing data, analysis, write-up, and re-design. The course will be run as both seminar and writing workshop. Students will be expect to make numerous class presentations, and to submit drafts of work in progress. Students will experiment in their writing and analysis with a variety of conceptual approaches and ethnographic styles.

ANTH 739 ETHNOPSYCHOLOGIES (3) DANZIGER
R 1530-1800

The ways in which people think about minds and behaviors is a topic of great interest in the social sciences. Using literature from anthropology, philosophy, psychology, and linguistics, we will explore explicit and implicit ideas about minds and the origins of behaviors that are held in different cultures of the world. Our aim will be to arrive at a better understanding of whether the European-American social science model of psychology, or elements of its, are universal. If not, how can ideas from other cultures enrich our own psychological model? Cross-listed with PSYC 584 Ethnopychologies.

ANTH 740 LINGUISTIC ANTHROPOLOGY (3) LEFKOWITZ
W 1900-2130

An advanced introduction to the study of language from an anthropological point of view. This course is designed to facilitate students' application of linguistic theories and methods in their own anthropologically oriented research. The field will be explored from twin perspectives: how the study of language can help address issues of cultural change and social dynamics, and how the study of social context can inform the description of linguistic and semiotic systems. Specific topics include core domains of linguistic analysis, language variation and change, language and nationalism, ethnopoetics and narrative, the structure of conversation, and the ethnography of communication. Through readings and discussion, the implications of each of these topics for the general conduct of anthropology will be addressed. Evaluation is based on seminar participation, problem sets and data collection/analysis projects assigned throughout the semester, and a research paper due at the end of the course. No prior linguistics coursework is expected.

ANTH 759 MATERIAL CULTURE THEORY & METHODS (3) UPTON
T 1530-1800

Material culture is a term originally coined by archaeologists to stand for "the vast universe of objects used by mankind to cope with the physical world, to facilitate social intercourse, and to benefit our state of mind" (James Deetz). In recent decades, material culture studies have grown into a thriving field that considers every aspect of the ways people imagine, create, use, and interpret their physical surroundings.

In this graduate seminar we will read and discuss a variety of theoretical and practical approaches to material culture, ranging from traditional formal analyses of artifacts to the most recent studies focusing on gender, consumption, perception, and social self-definition. Our readings will examine many kinds of artifacts, including architecture, cultural landscapes, furniture, painting, clothing, decorative arts, and the ephemera of daily life.

ANTH 761 CHANGING HINDUISM AND HINDU WORLDVIEWS (3) KHARE
TR 1100-1215

A discussion of contemporary (mostly post-independence) Hinduism by studying interlocking aspects of (a) traditional Hinduism; (b) the changing family-kinship-caste world, (c) urban religious rituals, ceremonies and domestic/temple workshop; (d) "tolerant Hinduism" of M.K. Gandhi; (e) social neglect, injustice and violence: (f) "assertive Hinduism;" (g) the rise of Hindutva and Hindu nationalism; and (h) debates on Indian secularism and democracy.

ANTH 779A QUANTITATIVE METHODS II (3) PLOG/MOST
F 0930-1200

This course is the 2nd half of a two-semester course sequence that provides an introduction to the use of analytical procedures, database applications, statistics, and quantitative methods in anthropology. Multivariate analytical techniques used to describe and analyze archaeological and anthropological data sets are emphasized. More specifically, the course focuses on research design; factor, cluster, and discriminant analysis; sample-size/diversity issues; and spatial analysis with an introduction to the use of Geographic Information Systems: Prior knowledge of statistics is necessary; background in anthropology, archaeology, or a related field is required.

ANTH 784 EGYPT & MESOPOTAMIA (3) WATTENMAKER
TR 1530-1645

This course is an introduction to the prehistory of the Near East, focusing mainly on the period from ca. 9000 to 2500 BC. Through both lectures and discussion, we will examine the archaeological evidence for the origins of food production (the domestication of plants and animals), the earliest village communities, the origins of social ranking, nomadism, the rise of state societies and the first cities, and the origins of writing systems. Regions of study include the Levant, Anatolia, Egypt, and Greater Mesopotamia (Iraq, Iran, Syria and southeast Turkey). Emphasis will be placed on evaluating hypotheses on cultural organization and change in the ancient Near East, as well as comparison of cultural developments in different parts of the Near East. Questions of interest to anthropologists working in other parts of the world, such as the origins of the state, will be examined in light of findings from the Near East.