1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Course Descriptions - Fall 2007

Courses that meet Major Area Requirements:

Prin. of Social Analysis Ethnography Archaeology Linguistics
219,223,232,250,
332,521,577
257,266,312,316,
352,355,363,367,374
280,383,385,389,396 240,244,340,504,549a
Non-Western perspectives for the majors 
(for the major: note that some of these courses do not meet the College's Nonwestern requirement)
101,232,240,257,266,312,332, 352,363,367,374
Senior Seminars 
401a,401b,401c,401d
Second Writing Requirement
316,355,363,401A,401C,401D,529B,

Undergraduate Courses:

ANTH 101 INTRODUCTION TO ANTHROPOLOGY 3.0 JOHNSEN
MWF 900-950

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 219 DESIRE AND WORLD ECONOMIES 3.0 MENTORE
TR 1400-1515

Because of the current woeful lack of understanding about the economies of other societies, this course offers an insight into the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services practiced by peoples ignored or unknown to classic Western economics. Its principal focus will open upon the obvious differences between cultural concepts of the self and the very notion of its desire. Such arguments as those which theorize on the "rationality" of the market and the "naturalness" of competition will be debunked through the critical purvey of alternative subjectivities. More substantively the course will present societies of the gift, barter, and monetary exchange; the morality of consumption; the value and ethics of production; to name but a few of the topics covered.

ANTH 223 FANTASY AND SOCIAL VALUES 3.0 WAGNER
TR 0930-1050

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 232 ANTHROPOLOGY OF RELIGION 3.0 SIHLÉ
MW 1400-1515

This course is an introduction to the anthropology of religion. Drawing from a broad sample of ethnographic texts on religious forms ranging from so-called "world religions" to those of small-scale, non-literate societies, we will ask fundamental questions about religion and society, about ritual and religious practice, about religious worldviews and symbolism. We will learn to challenge the very categories that structure our common understandings of this subject starting with the category of "religion" itself. The student must enroll in one of the obligatory discussion sections in 232D.

ANTH 240 LANGUAGE & CULTURE (3) WILLIAMS
MWF 1200-1250

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 linguistic data can shed light on a variety of social, cultural, 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 communications. Satisfies the non-western perspectives requirement in the College.

ANTH 241 STRUCTURE OF ENGLISH 3.0 DOBRIN
MW 900-950

The goal of this course is to help students understand the system of rules underlying English grammar, and so to become better writers, teachers, and analytical thinkers. Students will learn the basic elements of English sound and word structure (phonology and morphology); examine English vocabulary classes from both formal and functional points of view (lexicon); explore basic English sentence types, common phrase and clause patterns, and sentence transformations (syntax); and (4) think about how information is packaged linguistically and interpreted in context (semantics, discourse, and pragmatics). The course has no prerequisites, but in order to succeed and enjoy themselves students will need to have both a strong interest in language and a willingness to reconsider some of their ideas about English that they may perhaps hold dear. The course has an obligatory one-hour discussion section, time to be announced.

ANTH 244 LANGUAGE AND CINEMA 3.0 LEFKOWITZ
MW 1100-1150

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.

ANTH 250 HEALTH AND BLACK FOLKS 3.0 MARSHALL
TR 1100-1150

"The Health of Black Folks" is a course in medical anthropology which will analyze the relationship between race, class, gender and health, both historically and in the present (with particular attention to the experience of Native Americans and African Americans). The course is interdisciplinary and in addition to anthropology may offer readings and analysis from sociology, public health and epidemiology, literary studies, cultural studies, ethnic studies and history. Issues addressed in the course may include: the myth of the biological basis of race; race, health and the environment; black, brown and poor bodies as research subjects for biomedical science; gender, race and reproductive health; and specific epidemics such as cancer or HIV.

ANTH 257 TRADITIONAL HEALING & WESTERN MEDICINE IN AFRICA 3.0 TERNI
MW 1530-1645

This course uses written and visual ethnography to explore the constructions of health, healing, and illness in Africa. We will read both contemporary and historical accounts of indigenous and colonial engagement with these topics. Further, we will consider how people make choices about their health care, what structural constraints might shape those choices in different areas, and how healing systems create and reinforce different constructions of the body. Majors and non-majors are welcome. Public Health majors and first- and second-year students are encouraged to attend.

ANTH 266 POWER AND TABOO IN POLYNESIA 3.0 KRIZANCIC
MW 1530-1645

The word “taboo” (like “tattoo” and “tiki”) comes to us from island Polynesia and from the ways that power, agency, ritual, divinity, states and institutions work there. This course seeks to immerse students in this familiar and foreign language and worldview, and in so doing, introduce some theories of social structure, kinship and politics that have been influential in understandings of peoples and cultures near and far from Polynesia. Key issues will be the tension between generic and local theory, between theory and lived reality, between regions and more particular times and places, between culture and history.

ANTH 280 INTRODUCTION TO ARCHAEOLOGY 3.0 ARKUSH
TR 1400-1450

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 THE HISTORY AND THEORY OF ANTHROPOLOGY 4.0 MCKINNON 
TR 1230-1345

This course will provide a survey of anthropological theory from the late 19th-century up 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 312 A WORLD OF ISLANDS: AUSTRONESIA 3.0 METCALF
MW 1600-1650

Languages of the Austronesian family are widely dispersed. Speakers are found all the way from Madagascar, off the eastern coast of Africa, through the archipelago of Southeast Asia, and out across the vast Pacific. It is a world of islands: indeed it encompasses the majority of all the islands of the globe. Being part of no continent, Austronesia is all but invisible, and seldom in the news. To approach this hidden world requires us to reverse the landsmen's geography, and see oceans instead of continents. In doing so we will learn about the migrations of its people, their diverse historical experience, and the extraordinary range of societies and cultures that have resulted.

ANTH 316 CONTEMPORARY HINDU CULTURE 3.0 KHARE
M 1400-1630

A discussion of contemporary (i.e. mostly post-independence) Hindu society, culture and politics by explicating interrelated aspects of (a) traditional or normative Hinduism; (b) the changing Hindu caste-kinship-family world; (c) position of women, Dalits and children; (d) major Hindu rituals, festivals, ceremonies, and worship; (e) Hinduism and Indian democracy; and (f) Hinduism in Indian film and television. Course Satisfies Second Writing Requirement.

ANTH 332 SHAMANISM AND HEALING 3.0 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. Instructor's permission.

ANTH 352 AMAZONIAN PEOPLES 3.0 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. Anthropology 101 or Instructor's permission.

ANTH 355 TRANSFORMING EVERYDAY LIFE IN AMERICA 4.0 DAMON
MWF 1100-1150

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. Anthropology majors or those in allied disciplines (e.g. History, American Studies)

ANTH 363 CHINESE FAMILY AND RELIGION 3.0 SHEPHERD
TR 1530-1645

This course will introduce students to anthropological analysis of the traditional Chinese 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 20th- and 21st-century Chinese life. This course will satisfy the Second Writing Requirement.Meets College's Non-Western Perspective Requirements. Must have completed one course in history or the social sciences.

ANTH 367 TIBET AND THE HIMALAYAS 3.0 SIHLÉ
TR 1100-1215

This course aims at providing a balanced, anthropological outlook on a complex and culturally diverse area, on which the West-and others-have massively projected their own fantasies: Tibet and the Himalayas. We will learn to mistrust these myths and will develop an understanding of these societies both in their own terms and by relating Tibetan and Himalayan ethnography to larger anthropological issues and debates. The main topics investigated shall include ethnicity, social and political organization, and religious forms. The course materials will center on academic articles and books, but will include also poetry, fiction, biography, analyses of recent political developments and films.

ANTH 374 TURKEY: ORIENTALISM AND MODERNITY 3.0 MCCARTY
MW 1800-1915

Description forthcoming.

ANTH 383 NORTH AMERICAN ARCHAEOLOGY 3.0 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 18th 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.

ANTH 385 HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY 3.0 NEIMAN
W 1630-1900

This course is an introduction to archaeological approaches to the study of the early moderd Atlantic world (1500-1800). Our principal regional foci are Britain, West Africa, North America, and the Caribbean. Topics covered include subsistence and settlement systems, agricultural and ornamental landscapes, the arrangement and the use of architectural space on domestic sites, and commodity production and consumption. The course combines lectures, discussion sessions, and computer workshops. In the latter students have the opportunity to learn technical skills required to analyze effectively real archaeological data. The course aims to teach students in architectural history, art history, history, and archaeology new ways to use material evidence to chart important historical trends and to evaluate explanations for them.

ANTH 389 ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE AMERICAN SOUTHWEST 3.0 PLOG
TR 0930-1045

An examination of the prehistory of the American Southwest (New Mexico, Arizona, southern Utah and Colorado) with an emphasis on the origin and development of Pueblo culture in the Four Corners region. Topics will include the origin of agriculture, the establishment of village-based organization, demographic change including the major population declines of the 12th and 13th centuries, conflict/warfare, and ritual change. Particular areas of concern will be the Chaco Canyon region of northwestern New Mexico, Mesa Verde, and the Salt-Gila River Valleys.

ANTH 396 ARCHAEOLOGIES OF ANCIENT ASIA 3.0 MCCARTY
MWF 1100-1150

Description Forthcoming

ANTH 401A SOCIAL INEQUALITIES AND PUBLIC ANTHROPOLOGY 3.0 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 (a) how different social, religious and political forces today play their crucial roles; (b) in continuing and complicating differences and issues along the lines of gender, class, caste race, religion, and latest, globalization; and (c) how "anthropology of meaning" and public anthropology approach now issues of social inequality. Course Satisfies the Second Writing Requirement.

ANTH 401B MARRIAGE IN ANTHROPOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE 3.0 SHEPHERD
TR 1230-1345

This seminar will look at the varieties of marriage found cross-culturally and historically. Includes examination of polygyny and polyandry, Goody's theory of the historical origins of the European marriage system, legal controversies over recognition of same sex marriages. Course Satisfies Second Writing Requirement.

ANTH 401C ARCHAEOLOGY AS ANTHROPOLOGICAL HISTORY 3.0 HANTMAN 
R 1400-1630

Course Satisfies the Second Writing Requirement.

ANTH 401D CONTEMPORARY AFRICAN SOCIETIES 3.0 LAVIOLETTE
TIME: TBA

This course engages the human landscape of modern Africa, through the close reading of a selection of monographs and African feature films from diverse cultural and geographical areas. The main texts are drawn from fiction, ethnography, and social history, and are taught against a backdrop of economic strategies, forms of social organization, and challenges facing modern African women and men. We will discuss urban dwellers and rural farmers, both the elite and poor, and the forces that draw them together; transnational migration; and belief systems. 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 older beliefs and practices, and with new forms of government. Course Satisfies the Second Writing Requirement.

 


Undergraduate & Graduate courses:

ANTH 504 LINGUISTIC FIELD METHODS 3.0 CONTINI-MORAVA
R 1530-1800

In this course we will work with a native speaker of an "exotic" language (i.e., a language that is not commonly taught in the U.S., hence likely not to be familiar to any of the students in the class). We try to figure out the phonological and grammatical structure of the language based on data collected from the native speaker consultant in class. Attendance is therefore mandatory. Assignments include one paper on phonology, one on morphology, and one on syntax (the nature of the assignment may vary depending on the particular language being studied).

ANTH 521 RECONFIGUIRING KINSHIP STUDIES 3.0 MCKINNON
W 1500-1615

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, the new reproductive technologies, 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 trans-kinship (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 a 20 page paper.

ANTH 529B THE OUTSIDERS: AFRICAN AMERICAN PIONEERS IN AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGY 3.0 FRASER
TR 930-1045

There is a mistaken notion that African American scholars were absent both from Anthropology's intellectual development and the debates which drew on anthropological concepts and research. This course seeks to correct that perception. With an emphasis on the period between 1900 and 1960, the course will document the work and presence of African American pioneers in Anthropology and explore the politics and practices that render their work invisible to us today. The course will also try to understand how these individuals carved an intellectual space for themselves inside and outside the discipline under racist and exclusionary conditions. We will end by assessing the contributions made and lessons offered to contemporary Anthropology and Anthropologists by these hidden ancestors. Course Satisfies the Second Writing Requirement.

ANTH 549A TOPICS IN THEORETICAL LINGUISITICS AND LINGUISTIC ANTHROPOLOGY: LITERACY AND ORALITY 3.0 DOBRIN 
W 1600-1830

Literacy and orality are counterparts within a common scriptural economy. And shifting and value-laden notions of both of these have been central tropes in discussions of social difference and progress for the past several decades. This course is a critical survey of the anthropological literature on literacy, focusing on the social meanings of speaking vs. writing (and hearing vs. reading) as opposed communicative practices in both western and "traditional" societies. Course work will involve weekly reading response papers and a final research paper. Satisfies second writing requirement.

ANTH 577 CULTURAL INVENTORIES 3.0 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. Permission of instructor.

ANTH 589 PRECOLONIAL AFRICAN CITIES AND STATES 3.0 LAVIOLETTE 
T 1530-1800

This seminar explores the archaeological and other forms of evidence concerning larger-scale African societies prior to the 16th century A.D. It will focus on the origins and trajectories of these societies, their changing political economies, ideologies, and the nature of their connections to each other, their regional neighbors, and to other parts of the world. Permission of Instructor.

 


Graduate Courses:

ANTH 701 HISTORY OF ANTHROPOLOGICAL THEORY 3.0 DAMON 
W 1900-2130

This required course for first year graduate students explores the diverse intellectual roots of Anthropology from the 18th to the mid 20th Century. We attempt to keep clear the differences and interweavings amongst US, English and French traditions that lay the ground work for late 20th and early 21st century Anthropology.

ANTH 703 ETHNOLOGY II 3.0 METCALF
MW 1400-1450

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 3.0 ARKUSH 
TIME: TBA

An intensive investigation of theory and method in anthropological archaeology, with particular attention paid to the evolution of archaeological theory in the last fifty years, and to the diversity of modern approaches in archaeology.

ANTH 738 SOCIAL PRODUCTION OF HEALTH AND DISEASE 3.0 MARSHALL
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 763 CHINESE FAMILY AND RELIGION 3.0 SHEPHERD 
TR 1530-1645

This course will introduce students to anthropological analysis of the traditional Chinese 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 20th- and 21st-century Chinese life.