1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Course Descriptions - Fall 2006

Courses that meet Major Area Requirements:

Prin. of Social Analysis Ethnography Archaeology Linguistics
223,228,317,326,332,
520,529a,529b,577
230,260,350,351,
352,355,363
280,377,387,396,
585
242,347,348,543, 549a
Non-Western perspectives for the majors 
(for the major: note that some of these courses do not meet the College's Nonwestern requirement)
230, 260, 332,347,352,363
Senior Seminars 
401A,401B,401C,401D

Undergraduate Courses:

ANTH 101 INTRODUCTION TO ANTHROPOLOGY (3) WAYLAND
MWF 1000-1050, 1200-1250

In this course we will introduce how and why anthropology examines the uniformities and regularities it perceives as existing in social life -- the perceived order that members of society produce so as to live together. We will read, write, and talk about these instances of eradicated contradictions not as isolated and self-contained institutions but as part of a meaningful and systemic thought process. The study of kinship and marriage, love and moral obligation, economic production and exchange, religious beliefs and values, as well as political power and its distribution will be our principal topics. Satisfies College's Non-Western Perspective Requirement.

ANTH 223 FANTASY AND 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 228 INTRODUCTION TO MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY (3) MARSHALL
TR 1100-1230

The suffering body is inevitable in human experience, but the meaning of suffering is interpreted differently across cultures and time. Conceptions of the body, notions of health and methods of healing vary considerably. The point of this course, which introduces medical anthropology to undergraduates, is to contextualize bodies, suffering, health and power. The aim of the course is to provide a broad understanding of the relationship between culture (particularly in the U.S.), healing (especially the Western form of healing known as biomedicine), health and political power.

ANTH 230 BUDDHISM IN ASIAN SOCIETIES (3) SIHLÉ
TR 1230-1345

This course is an examination of Buddhism in contemporary Asian societies, from an anthropological perspective that will challenge common reductive depictions of Buddhism as primarily philosophical or "spiritual", and highlight how socially and culturally embedded, and historically situated, the various forms of Buddhism are. Doctrinal and historical aspects, beyond a general introduction at the beginning of the course, will not be a central focus in themselves, but rather will be integrated in the analysis of a diverse array of living traditions stretching from Sri Lanka, Thailand and Burma to Tibet, parts of Nepal, and Japan. This examination will enable us to reconsider critically our assumptions of what (a) "religion" is. Prior coursework in anthropology or religion is not required. Students must however be ready to engage in a course that will be relatively reading- and writing-intensive.

ANTH 242 LANGUAGE AND GENDER (3) CONTINI-MORAVA
MW 1000-1050

In many societies, differences in pronunciation, vocabulary choice, and/or communicative style serve as social markers of gender identity and differentiation. We will compare gender differences in our own society with those in other societies including non-Western ones. Topics to be addressed include: the relation between gender difference and gender inequality (in scholarly discussion of language as well as in language itself); intersection of gender, race, and social class in language use; gender and non-verbal communication (including representations of gender in advertising and the media); issues of nature vs. nurture in explaining these differences. Requirements will include one or two papers based on fieldwork conducted jointly with a working group, and a take-home essay question exam focusing on the course readings. The student must enroll in one of the obligatory discussion sections in 242D.

ANTH 245 AND CULTURE IN THE CLASSROOM (3) MOSKOWITZ
TR 1530-1645

At the level of the curriculum, at the level of the institution, at the level of pedagogical philosophy, schools transmit culture. That is, schools reflect and embody the culture of the society in which they are found. Language is both a medium through which this culture is communicated and a symbol appropriated for its social meanings. This course examines the ways in which culture contributes to school and classroom organization while exploring how language can be used as a tool for revealing school culture and classroom politics. The course will begin by asking: what is culture and how do we see it in the classroom? Next we will examine school cultures and the culture of young people. Finally, we will consider the relation between language and identity in the context of the bilingual education and Ebonics debates in the U.S.

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

Explores the outlines of society and culture in India. Discusses kinship, caste, religion, aesthetics and traditional ideas of society and polity. No prior knowledge is expected.

ANTH 280 INTRODUCTION TO ARCHAEOLOGY (3) ARKUSH
TR 12:30-1:45

This course surveys the history and goals of archaeological research, different theoretical approaches to the study of ancient societies and culture change, and archaeological methods. Alongside the study of archaeological method and theory, we will explore life in the ancient and not-so-ancient worlds as revealed through the work of archaeologists.

ANTH 301 HISTORY OF ANTHROPOLOGICAL THEORY (3) MCKINNON
TR 0930-1045

This course will provide a survey of anthropological theory from the late 19th century to the present. We will explore a diverse range of anthropological approaches developed over the course of the century, including: 19th-century evolutionism, Boasian cultural anthropology, British structural-functionalism, French structuralism, British symbolic anthropology, American cultural materialism and neo-evolutionism, later American cultural anthropology, feminism, and post-colonial and post-modern theories. We will be concerned to understand these approaches not only as theoretical frameworks for understanding other cultures, but also as cultural and historical productions, in themselves. The discussion session is obligatory. This is a required course for anthropology majors.

ANTH 316 QUESTIONS OF IDENTITY (3) LIM
MW 1530 -1645

This course explores constructions of personhood and non-personhood in different societies. One of the principal themes will be what we might call "identity theft", or the loss of one's "person". We will look at examples of fat stealing, soul stealing, cannibalism, and possession in order to address such questions as: how is it possible to become someone else, or to no longer be oneself? what is being taken away that is said to constitute the person? We will also look at the current phenomenon of identity theft "plaguing" Western societies that has lead to heightened security measures in people's everyday lives. This last issue will serve as an entry point into a detailed examination of the techniques used by modern states to identify and collect information about people. Of particular interest will be the relationship between, on the one hand, identification and political and social rights, and on the other hand, identification and the construction of persons and social groups. Who has the authority to attribute and deny identity and personhood and how does that attribution or denial correspond with access to rights? How does documenting and controlling individual identities produce national identities and social categories, including that of non-persons? Our analysis will draw on examples dealing with immigration, colonialism, political asylum and slavery.

ANTH 317 VISUAL ANTHROPOLOGY (3) ABSE
W 1700-1930

This course will provide a foundational understanding of underlying theories and concepts in visual anthropology. Student will view ethnographic and documental films, and the occasional excerpted segment from a few experimental and narrative films with ethnographic or "anthropological" content. Course reading, films, class lectures and discussions will examine the themes of cinematic (visual and auditory) manipulation of audience's perceptions and interpretations, research and cinematic ethics and accountabilities, and the politics of ethnographic representation (in general and in film). Although not required, it is recommended that students interested in enrolling in this class have a basic understanding of cultural anthropological concepts and methods. Meets the second writing requirement..

ANTH 326 GLOBALIZATION AND DEVELOPMENT (3) BASHKOW
TR 1100-1230

Why are Third World people poor? How are they affected by globalization and by economic development programs promoted by international agencies like the World Bank? To answer these questions, we will examine cases drawn from African, Asian, and Pacific Island societies. We will ask: What are the intended and unintended consequences of internationally-funded economic development projects? How does the rhetoric that justifies such projects often distort the real nature of the problems which they would try to solve? We will consider the implications of globalization, particularly its impact on workers in low income nations and those that are newly industrializing. We will examine the relationship of globalization to our own consumption of commodities and mass media. Finally, we will read about some examples of development efforts that offer promise of hope. Coursework will consist of intensive reading assignments, papers, and exams. Students must enroll in a discussion section of 326D.

ANTH 332 SHAMANISM AND HEALING (3) TURNER
TR 1400-1515

The course delves into the sources of shamanism and ritual healing. It provides understanding of their different logics, and therefore why they communicate and heal. The class brings to life the reports and experiences of contemporary non-Western shamanic and healing rituals, keeping respect for native interpretations in order to understand the effectiveness of their rituals. We will give emphasis to the human, personal experience of the events as process, and will use the in-depth studies of scholars who have become more than academics, in fact, participating practitioners of the crafts about which they seek knowledge. The experiencing and practicing of shamanism and healing being the actual life of these crafts, we will learn how to approximate a sense of the rituals by enacting them. A term paper is required, also a book presentation and short papers during the term.

ANTH 347 LANGUAGE AND CULURE IN THE MIDDLE EAST (3) LEFKOWITZ
MW 14:00-14:50

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 contact 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 Palestine. This is a lecture and discussion course. A number of feature films from the Middle East are incorporated into the course material. Requirements include four short essays and a book review. Prerequisite: previous course in anthropology, linguistics, or Middle Eastern studies, or permission of the instructor.

ANTH 348 LANGUAGE AND PREHISTORY (3) DANZIGER
MW 1100-1050

This course covers the basic principles of diachronic linguistics — the study of how languages change over time — and discusses the uses of linguistic data in the reconstruction of prehistory. We will consider the use of linguistic evidence in tracing prehistoric population movements, in demonstrating contact among prehistoric groups, and in the reconstruction of daily life. To the extent that the literature permits, examples and case studies will be drawn from the Mayan language area of Central America, and will include discussion of the pre-Columbian Mayan writing system and its ongoing decipherment. This course fulfills the linguistics distribution requirement for Anthropology majors and for Cognitive Science majors. It also fulfills the comparative-historical requirement for Linguistics majors.

ANTH 350 READINGS IN ETHNOGRAPHY (3) KHARE
T 1530-1800

A comparative reading and discussion of selected ethnographies, classical, old and new, illustrating different styles and purposes of ethnographic writing, interpretation and analysis. Class discussions will explicate both the "science" and "art" of field work and ethnography, along with a focus on employing ethnography to study such diverse issues as gender; birth, disease and dying; food and culture; eating disorders; and social communication. Course Satisfies Second Writing Requirement.

ANTH 351 INDONESIA: NATIONALISM, RELIGIOUS MOVEMENTS, AND LOCAL CULTURE (3) JOHNSEN
Time: TBA

Indonesia is one of the most startling examples of national unity superimposed on heterogenous cultures and peoples. Hundreds of languages and "ethnicities," as well as Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, and Christian influences, make this country a fascinating place to explore the relationships between nation-state, religions, and local cultures. The first part of the course will deal with political forms that preceeded nationalism, followed by readings on Indonesian state ideologies and other aspects of the nationalist imagination. Against a backdrop of violently suppressed separatist movements making world news, we will examine how marginalized peoples relate to the nation-state, whether by attempted inclusion or separation. The second half of the course will look at religious change and identity politics, as local cultures attempt to define themselves as "having religion" in the eyes of the state. We will discuss terrorism in relation to the Bali bombings and ask how it intersects with nationalism and religion. No prior knowledge of Southeast Asia or particular religious traditions is required.

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 Amazonian social experiences? This course addresses these questions through a reading of the ethnography of the region. Satisfies College's Non-Western Perspectives Requirement.

ANTH 355 TRANSFORMING EVERYDAY LIFE IN AMERICA (3) DAMON
MW 1100-1050

Taking a production and exchange orientation to society, this course uses anthropological models to analyze aspects of the US experience in North America and its extension into the world. The models will be drawn from the anthropological analysis of exchange, rites of transition, sacrifice and mythology. The course will be organized in two parts. The first will provide a journalistic introduction to United States culture focusing on its financial/productive center, political institutions, and national ideologies. Anthropological, i.e. analytical, models will be reviewed as part of this introduction. The second part will examine the place of war, athletics, and movies in US culture. The collective readings of this second part are to be used by each student as a point of departure for his or her own research project and paper. Several short thematic and response papers will organize the first part. A research paper anchors the second part. Students must enroll in a section of 355D. Course Satisfies Second Writing Requirement.

ANTH 377 EMERGENCE OF SOCIAL INEQUALITY: PREHISTORIC CASE STUDIES (3) PLOG
TR 1100-1230

No description available.

ANTH 387 ARCHAEOLOGY OF VIRGINIA (3) HANTMAN
TR 1400-1515

This course provides an overview of the insights gained into Virginia's history and prehistory through the joining of archaeological and ethnohistoric research. The course explores culture change and adaptation in Virginia (and the Chesapeake region more broadly) from the time of earliest human settlement of the region to the nineteenth century. In this vast time frame, we will focus on a number of selected topics for which people, events and sites in Virginia provide a unique perspective. These include: the origins of archaeology in America, current debate surrounding the timing and process of the initial settlement of America, the development of distinct regional polities such as the Powhatan and Monacan chiefdoms, early interaction between American Indians and Europeans and the long-term impacts of colonialism, and archaeological research on Euroamerican and African-American culture in the region.

ANTH 396 ARCHAEOLOGIES OF THE SILK ROAD (3) McCARTY
TR 1230-1345

The legendary Silk Road was a series of land and sea routes along which merchandise, ideas, and people moved; it connected Japan at its eastern edge with the Mediterranean in the West. We will focus on a variety of ancient cultures and time periods that span this vast geographic expanse. Topics include the archaeology of ancient Japan and China, nomads of the Central Asian steppes, the Indus River Valley Harappan civilization of today's India and Pakistan, the Persian Empire, and cultures of Anatolia (modern Turkey) including the Hittite Empire. Finally, we'll discuss evidence for the historic Silk Road with readings from the late 13th century travels of Marco Polo, the 14th century travels of Ibn Battuta and the archaeology of the Ottoman Empire.

ANTH 401A SOCIAL INEQUALITIES: RELIGIOUS, MODERN AND POSTCOLONIAL (3) KHARE
W 1400-1630

A seminar on comparative discussion of social inequalities in societies both postcolonial and modern (e.g., contemporary India and the U.S.), with a focus on how different social, religious and political forces now play their roles in continuing and complicating social differences and issues along the lines of gender, class, caste, race, religion, and latest, globalization. The seminar will include appropriate in-class exercises conducted by students on the inequalities experienced and coped with in life. Course Satisfies Second Writing Requirement.

ANTH 401C LANGUAGE AND CINEMA (3) LEFKOWITZ
TR 12:30-13:45

This course takes a historical look at the role that speech and language have played in Hollywood movies. We will look at the artistic controversies, aesthetic theories, and technological challenges that attended the transition from silent to sound films as a backdrop to the main discussion of how gender, racial, ethnic, and national identities were constructed and reproduced through the representation of speech, dialect, and accent. This course provides an introduction to the study of semiotics but requires no knowledge of linguistics, or of film studies. Restricted to: 4th-year anthropology majors (or permission of instructor). Course Satisfies Second Writing Requirement.

ANTH 401D EVOLUTION OF PUEBLO SOCIAL ORGANIZATION (3) PLOG
M 1400-1630

No description available.

 


Undergraduate & Graduate courses:

ANTH 520 HISTORY OF KINSHIP STUDIES (3) MCKINNON
R 1600-1830

This course explores the development of kinship studies in anthropology from 19th-century evolutionary theorists through the classic kinship studies of the 20th century-including British descent theory, French alliance theory, and American cultural theory-to more recent developments relating to "house societies" and "cultures of relatedness." The course is a critical appreciation of a body of literature that has been central to the development of anthropological theory for over 100 years. It seeks to understand how these "scientific" theories were culturally constituted, what the analytic consequences were of their particular cultural and historical configurations, and what their relation was to discourses of social in/equality and narratives of evolution, development, and modernization.
 

ANTH 529A NATIONALISM AND POSTCOLONIALTY (3) SENEVIRATNE
M 1700-1930

Discusses the conditions and characteristics of "cultural" or "sub"-nationalisms with special reference to South Asia.

ANTH 529B SELECTED TOPICS IN THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF RELIGION (3) SIHLÉ
W 1700-1930

This seminar will examine a selection of key debates and theoretical formulations in the anthropology of religion. Some of the major points of focus will be: (1) forms of religious specialization (from Weber's seminal formulations to recent ethnography of shamanism); (2) questions pertaining to the structure of a religious field (as approached by e.g., Dumont, Tambiah or Bourdieu); and (3) a discussion of some theoretical approaches to ritual (with writings by Lienhardt, Geertz, Bloch and others). The ethnographic readings will focus notably, but far from exclusively, on Asian (e.g., Hindu or Buddhist) contexts. Course Satisfies Second Writing Requirement.

ANTH 543 AFRICAN LANGUAGES (3) SAPIR
MW 1530-1645

The course will cover the classification of African languages, selected grammatical typologies, African lexicography, and examples of oral literature. Students will give presentations on these topics with respect to a specific language or languages. The intention of the course is to investigate the considerable variety of linguistic types present in sub-Saharan Africa. Permission of Instructor required.

ANTH 549A MIND IN LANGUAGE (3) DANZIGER
TR 1400-1515

Anthropologists report that across societies, different cultural attitudes exist as to the acceptability of speculating on what is taking place in another person's mind. In certain cultural settings, speculation of this kind is considered completely inappropriate: something to be politely avoided. Meanwhile however, linguistic theories about how conversation works rely heavily on the premise that in order to function successfully, conversational interactants must constantly seek out and interpret the unstated intentions of their conversation partners. How can we reconcile the linguistic account with the anthropological observations? This seminar course covers the relevant literature from ethno-psychology and linguistic pragmatics, and considers the relationship of cultural philosophies of language, including our own, to the actual conduct of interaction. Because figurative language forms (e.g., metaphor, irony) seem especially to require intention-guessing for their interpretation, the course includes significant consideration of the role and range of such forms in different cultural contexts.

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

This class 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 seminar; course paper.

ANTH 589A WARFARE AND SOCIETY (3) ARKUSH
T 3:30-6

This seminar will examine selected current debates in the anthropology of war. Topics include the causes of war at multiple scales of analysis; cross-cultural variation in the practice of war; relationships between warfare, gender, and political power; and the effects of war on the individual and society over the long term.

ANTH 589B METHODS IN HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY (3) NEIMAN
W 1700-1930

This course offers an introduction to analytical methods in historical archaeology, their theoretical motivation, and their practical application in the interpretation of material culture. The class combines lectures and discussion with computer workshops, in which students have a chance to explore historical issues raised in the reading and lectures using real architectural and archaeological data. The course is designed to teach students in architectural history, history, and archaeology theoretical models, simple statistical methods, software applications, and how they can be integrated to address important historical questions. Our principle historical focus is change in the conflicting economic and social strategies pursued by Europeans, Africans, and Native-Americans, and their descendents in the colonial Chesapeake. In 2006, much of the course will be devoted to seventeenth-century Jamestown.

 


Graduate Courses:

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

This is a required course for graduate students in their first semester. It 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 (3) METCALF
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, some classic, others recent, which demonstrate a range of abstract theoretical paradigms being applied to real-world situations. Since ethnographies 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 708 ARCHAEOLOGICAL METHOD AND THEORY (3) HANTMAN
MW 1530-1645

An intensive investigation of current research in the principles, methods, findings, and analysis of anthropological archaeology.

ANTH 726 THEORIES OF GLOBALIZATION AND CULTURE (3) BASHKOW
T 1600-1830

This graduate seminar surveys current theoretical approaches in the study of globalization and culture. Enrollment will be limited strictly to graduate students in anthropology.

ANTH 738 SOCIAL PRODUCTION OF HEALTH AND DISEASE (3) MARSHALL & OLIVER
T 1400-1630

Co-taught by Norm Oliver, M.D. (UVa Health Systems-Family Medicine) and Wende Marshall, the course will explore health and disease in socio-cultural, political-economic, and historic contexts. We will pay particular attention to the current popular discourse on "minority health disparities," exploring its conceptual meaning, and its limits for understanding the relationship between race, poverty, health and disease. Readings are interdisciplinary and will range across anthropology, epidemiology and public health, history of science, and sociology among others. The course is appropriate for graduate students in the social sciences and humanities, as well as in the health sciences.

ANTH 747 LANGUAGE AND CULURE IN THE MIDDLE EAST (3) LEFKOWITZ
MW 14:00-14:50

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 contact 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 Palestine. This is a lecture and discussion course. A number of feature films from the Middle East are incorporated into the course material. Requirements include four short essays and a book review. Prerequisite: previous course in anthropology, linguistics, or Middle Eastern studies, or permission of the instructor.

ANTH 777 EMERGENCE OF SOCIAL INEQUALITY: (3) PLOG
TR 1100-1230

No description available.