1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Course Descriptions - Spring 1996

Courses that meet Major Area Requirements:

Prin. of Social Analysis Cultural Diversity Archaeology Linguistics
220,226,235,327,525,529,
530,531

256.350,358,556,583,
584

281,382,384,507 240,346,504
Senior Seminars 
401A, 401B

Undergraduate Courses:

ANTH 101 INTRODUCTION TO ANTHROPOLOGY (3) DEETZ
M W F 09:00 - 09:50

An integrative survey with attention to the major subfields of anthropology: human origins, archaeology, anthropological linguistics, cultural anthropology, and folklore. This is a broad introductory course covering human evolution, the relationship of language to thought, cultural diversity and cultural relativity.

ANTH 220 DYNAMICS OF SOCIAL ORGANIZATION (3) CROCKER
T R 12:30 - 13:45

This course examines the "classic" anthropological approaches to kinship and marriage systems as the fundamental principles of traditional societies, with an emphasis on the contrasting theories of "descent" and "alliance". It then explores the very difficult organizations of "peasant" societies, with their proclivity to fundamental change, and lastly, compare/contrast modes of contemporary bureaucracies.

ANTH 226 POVERTY AND MERITOCRACY (3) HANDLER
T R 11:00 - 12:15

This course examines American ideas about achievement and failure in relation to modern individualist ideology. Readings include Locke, Rousseau and Tocqueville, for basic ideas about individual and society, private property, freedom and inequality. Contemporary readings focus on such issues as poverty, welfare, management-labor relations, and American class structure.

ANTH 235 INTRODUCTION TO FOLKLORE (3) PERDUE
T R 14:00 - 15:15

Introduction to the materials and methods of folklore study. The course is also intended to be an introduction to folklore scholarship and to the history of the discipline. Materials used as exarnples in this course-- narratives, songs, etc.-- are drawn about equally from European American and African American sources.

ANTH 240 LANGUAGE & CULTURE (3) ROSS
T R 14:00 - 15:15

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.

ANTH 236 CASTANEDA AND DON JUAN (3) WAGNER
T R 9:30 - 10:45

The six books of Carlos Castaneda represent what is perhaps an anthropological ideal-- a world in which the native's concepts of power, sorcery, and transformation are "real" rather than the social systems, adaptations, and symbolic processes generally used to explain them. They are not ethnography; in his latest preface Castaneda prefers to treat them as "autobiography." Yet they can be used very effectively to illustrate a wide range of concepts in anthropology and traditional religions, which is what this seminar is all about. It will not teach you to fly, it may teach you to write, but it will, hopefully, help you to understand how anthropologists think. The course will be given in an open semmar format, with discussion encouraged. Grades will be based on three course papers.

ANTH 256 PEOPLES AND CULTURES OF AFRICA (3) LAVIOLETTE
M W F 11:00 - 11:50

This course surveys the human landscape of modern Africa, through the close reading of ethnographies, a novel, a journalist's account, and a social history from diverse social and geographical areas. The readings will be taught against a backdrop of major economic strategies, varieties of social organization, and socioeconomic problems facing Africans in the late 20th century. We will discuss pastoralists, farmers, and both elite and poor urban dwellers; African Islam, Christianity, and indigenous belief systems; and readings set in East, North, West, and Southern Africa. This is not an attempt to depict all of modern Africa, but to focus on certain themes of wide relevance in Africa in the 20th century.

This is a lecture and discussion course. A number of African feature films are incorporated into the course material. The requirements are two short essays, a map quiz, a mid-term and final exam, and participation in class discussion. No pre-requisites.

ANTH 281 HUMAN ORIGINS (3) HANTMAN
M W 11:00 - 11:50

This course is intended to provide an overview and assessment of the theory, methods, and data used by anthropologists to reconstruct human physical and cultural evolution. Chronologically, the course spans the time from the initial appearance of hominids (ca 4.5 million years ago) to the period just priorto the rise of urbanism and early state formation (ca. 10,000 B.C.). The course is divided into three topical components: 1) a review of evolutionary theory, and the controversy surrounding that theory; 2) an in depth survey of the data used to support current models of the pattern of human evolution, and 3) a study of the origins of modern human adaptations in the relatively recent past, with respect to uniquely human behaviors such as complex language, ritual, religion and art.

This course consists of a lecture and discussion section. The discussion section is required.

ANTH 301 HISTORY OF ANTHROPOLOGICAL THEORY (3) MCKINNON
W 18:30 - 21:00

A review of the major theoretical issues in the field of anthropology from nineteenth century evolutionism to postmodernism. Restricted to Anthropology majors.

ANTH 327/727 POLITICAL ANTHROPOLOGY (3) MENTORE
T R 11:00 - 12:15 (Open to graduate students)

Reviews the variety of political systems found outside the western world. Examines the major approaches and results of anthropological theory in trying to understand how radically different politics work.

ANTH 344(744) PREHISTORIC ART (3) DOBRES
T R 3:30 - 4:45

This course will consider the diversity of ancient forms of image-making known generally as prehistoric art with an eye toward evaluating the conceptual and interpretive frameworks by which it has been studied over the past century and a half. We will explore the usefulness of the following: 19th century evolutionism, art-for-art's sake, magico-religion, functionalism, information-theory, structuralism, and the most recent framework: shamanism. The primary bodies of image-making to be studied are: 1) the corpus of Palaeolithic art of western, central, and eastern Europe and Russia, and 2) South African rock art. A background in archaeology, socio-cultural anthropology, and/or art history required.

ANTH 346 AFRICAN ORAL LITERATURE (3) SAPIR
M W 14:00 - 15:15

This course is an introduction to a sample of African oral literature. It consists of two parts: a review of a variety of genres of African oral literature: - folktales, epics, praise songs, riddles, proverbs and a careful examination of the oral literature of one African people, the Kujamaat Jóola of Southern Sénégal. Here a large portion of time will be devoted to a study of extemporaneous funeral songs.

Limited to 20 students.

ANTH 350 READINGS IN ETHNOGRAPHY (3) METCALF
W 14:00 - 16:30

The focus of this small seminar course is the analysis of the uniquely anthropological practice of the writings of ethnography. In this course we will read and critically analyze some of the "classics" of ethnography as well as a number of the best of contemporary ethnography. While the focus is on a close look at the mode of discourse which ethnography represents, in reading several culturally and topically diverse books the course inevitably also offers a review of some of the major theoretical developments which have occurred in and around anthropology. This course is open to majors and non-majors.

ANTH 358 CREOLE NARRATIVES (3) MENTORE
T R 15:30 - 16:45

We begin with 1 8th and l9th century Caribbean intellectual life. We do so from the perspective of European imperalism and its influences upon colonized values, slavery, race, and colour. We intend to examine the persistence of these major themes through the early 20th century, formalized in the battle of ideas between the elite of the "mother" country and the Creole upper classes. We will attempt to read the images ofthe Creole "self' and explore their claims for a crisis of identity. We will also focus on the so-called spiritual character of the Creole personality. We shall conclude by looking at the way in which the specifics of island culture have directed nation building and how they appear to have helped in the perpetuation of ideological and political dependencies.

ANTH 359 ETHNO-PHOTOGRAPHY (3) SAPIR
T 15:30-18:00

Each student will prepare a photo essay on some focused topic of interest to anthropology. The essay will be presented to an outside jury at the end of the course. There will be weekly presentations of the work of selected documentary photographers and photojournalists.

Darkroom experience and the permission of the instructor are required. Limited to ten (10) students.

ANTH 382 FIELDWORK IN HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY (3) BELL
S 08:00 - 16:00

January - February: U.Va. field school excavations at several historic sites in Louisa County, Virginia have produced almost 20,000 artifacts -- all of which have been washed and catalog,ued. The object of the first two months of this course is to look at these artifacts from as many angles as possible. Comparing and contrasting the artifacts themselves as well as their spatial distributions around the different sites, we will ask what kinds of information these objects and patterns suggest about various historic occupants of the Virginia Piedmont -- information not limited to the artifacts' date of manufacture or expense.

March - May: Survey and partial excavation of one or more historic sites in Louisa County. The field school which ended in October '95 located several artifacts on a ridge overlooking a river -- artifacts which are temporally ambiguous. We will return to this area and test it more carefully to decide whether or not it is an historic domestic site and, if so, if it is the site for which we have been surveying -- dating from the 1740s to the 1770s. Depending on the results of this research, we will continue work on this site or will begin archaeological testing of the yards around several standing historic houses in the area.

ANTH 384 ARCHAEOLOGY OF EGYPT AND MESOPOTA1MIA (3) WATTENMAKER
T R 11:00 - 12:15

 

ANTH 401A SENIOR SEMINAR (3) KHARE
R 1400- 1630

A discussion of current anthropological (mostly sociocultural) theories, ethnographic debates and critical issues, beginning after the second World War. The major theoretical contributions and selected ethnographies and ethnographic debates will be considered for tracing the development of anthropological studies in the; last fifty years, including some critical trends and issues currently being explored within the discipline.

ANTH 401B SENIOR SEMINAR PROBLEMS IN THE PARADIGMS (3) SHEPHERD
M W 14:00 - 15:15

This course will critically analyze selected recent contributions to anthropological theory and seek to contextualize these contributions in the history of the discipline. Topics will be diverse, but will include anthropological approaches to ritual and religion, history, 'science".

Students will be expected to make presentations and participate actively in critiquing the readings.

 


Courses open to Undergraduate and Graduate Students

ANTH 504 LINGUISTIC FIELD METHODS (3) CONTINI-MORAVA
M 15:30 - 18:00

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 not likely to be familiar to any of the students in the class). We will try to figure out the phonological and grammatical structure of the language entirely on the basis of data collected from the language consultant in class. Attendance is therefore mandatory. Assignments include one paper on phonology, one on morphology, and one on syntax (the nature of the assignments may vary depending on the particular language being studied.

Prerequisites: LING 325/701, ANTH 240, or permission of instructor.

ANTH 507 HISTORY OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL THOUGHT (3) DEETZ
M W F 11:00 - 11:50

This course will consider the relationship between the development of ethnological theory and the way archaeologists have used their data. Beginning with Lewis Henry Morgan in the second half of the nineteenth century, the course will proceed to consider the effect on archaeological thought of the work of such scholars as Franz Boas, Alfred Kroeber, Leslie White, Julian Steward, Clyde Kluckhohn, Claude Levi-Strauss, Henry Glassie, and others. Special attention will be paid to one archaeologist, Walter Taylor.

ANTH 525 MARRIAGE AND SOCIAL ORGANIZATION (3) SHEPHERD
T R 12:30 - 13:45

This course will provide a critical overview of the variety of theoretical approaches anthropologists have used to analyze the processes of marriage and local group organization in the classic field of "kinship and marriage." We will begin by questioning the fundamental assumptions usually brought to these problems by reviewing the history of the debate over incest and the incest taboo. Readings will be drawn from Freud, Westermarck, Levi-Strauss, and A.P. Wolf, among others. We will then critique alliance/ descent/ kinship approaches to the field and proceed to consider a variety of approaches to the analysis of marriagesystems, marriage transactions, inheritance, the formation of families and households, gender, and the political context. Theoretical approaches considered will include practice, Marxist, jural, culturological, and symbolic, among others; these will be juxtaposed to expose their strengths and weaknesses. These debates will also be an occasion to analyze certain epistemological and methodological issues in doing anthropology.

ANTH 529 CRITICS OF SOCIETY (3) CROCKER
T 19:30 - 22:00

Although "social criticism" has been a genre of western thought since the Greeks and ancient Judaism, in the decades since WW II it has achieved a distinctive a-political, anti-ideology cast. The seminar will examine such seminal writers as Williarn Whyte and Michael Foucault, as well as lesser known but persuasive theorist (e.g., Richard Sinnett, Marshall Behrman, Mary Douglas, Paul Fussell).

ANTH 530 FOUNDATIONS OF SYMBOLISM (3) SAPIR
M W F 11:00 - 11:50

This course starts with a nature of the sign, drawing on Charles Peirce's semiotics. It then examines recent and not so recent discussions of figurative language, especially metaphor. Readings and lectures will consider the writings of I.A. Richards, Paul Ricoeur, Freud and Kenneth Burke. Related studies from anthropology will be examined.

ANTH 531 FEMINIST THEORY IN ANTHROPOLOGY (3) MCKINNON
R 18:30 - 21:00

The course focuses upon the particular configurations of the encounter between feminist theory and cultural anthropology over the past two decades. The first half of the course explores earlier theories that attempted to comprehend the seemingly universal subordination of women (including those centering upon concepts of production and and private property; the domestic and the public, nature and culture; the dynamics of psycho-socialization; the exchange of women, etc). A central issue will be the tensions raised not only by the political challenge that feminist theory presents to anthropology but also by the relativizing challenge that anthropology presents to feminist theory. Expanding upon this issue, the second half of the course examines the productive tensions between anthropology, (an increasingly differentiated) feminist theory, and more recent cross-disciplinary inquiries such as post-modernism, post-colonialism, science studies, the cultural politics of difference, and gay and lesbian studies. The course is open to graduate students and advanced undergraduates.

ANTH 539 CONTEMPORARY ETHNOGRAPHIC FIELDWORK (3) TURNER
R 19:30 - 22:00

A seminar to examine recent approaches to ethnography, and to become familiar with changes in the nature of the dialogue between the fieldworker and his or her field respondents. The broader definition of fieldwork at the present day, when it is rare to find a self-contained society any more-- the third world itself having become modernized--is a problem presenting different solutions. We will also consider cases where anthropological theory and ethnotheory conflict, and view a continuum of different levels on which anthropologists deal with these anomalies.

The seminar should suit the needs of those planning field trips, paying attention to fieldwork logistics and methods, rapport with those studied, and ethics. Ways to document action and events as well as verbal accounts will be investigated. The seminar will also provide a forum for returning fieldworkers to present their material and discuss it with the group. Practice field trips in the neighborhood will be included.

Open for credit to graduates and undergraduates. All interested are welcome.

ANTH 556 CONTEMPORARY INDIA (3) KHARE
T R 11:00 - 12:15

An internally comparative discussion of selected cultural, religious and political events, issues, conflicts and controversies in contemporary India, with an analysis of recent commentaries lby intellectuals--anthropologists, psychologists, historians, and social commentators. Illustrative examples will include the communal violence, the Sati cases, temple-mosque conflict, the Queen Bandit, religious fundamentalism, and issues of rights and justice.

ANTH 583 ARCHAEOLOGY OF TEIE ANCIENT NEAR EAST (3) WATTENMAKER
M l5:30 - 18:00

 

ANTH 584 ARCHAEOLOGY OF COMPLEX SOCIETIES (3) WATTENMAKER
 W 19:00 - 21:30

 

ANTH 589 GENDER AND ARCHAEOLOGY (3) DOBRES
T 7:00 - 9:30PM

This is an upper division/graduate-level seminar that will (try) to get a handle on some of the implications of a concern with prehistoric gender processes on archaeological method and theory. While each topic considered could be a course in its own right, among those we will explore are: feminist critiques of science; the demographic (gendered) constitution of archaeological practice and its possible impact on general method and theory; Marxist and traditional theories of sexual divisions of labor; contemporary feminist/anthropological definitions of gender dynamics; methodological issues involved in inferring the dynamics of prehistoric gendered social relations from the study of static (and mute) artifacts, including problems with "gender attribution" and the use of analogy. We will close out the course by evaluating a series of recent case studies in light of these issues.

The course is of limited enrollment. There will be a significant amount of reading on a weekly basis and everyone is expected to come to class prepared to participate fully and vocally at each meeting.

 


Courses restricted to Graduate Students

ANTH 711 PAPER AND PRESENTATION (3) HANDLER
T R 15:30 - 16:45

This course is available for graduate students in their fourth semester, as they prepare to fulfill the Paper and Presentation requirement.

ANTH 732 AMERICAN FOLKLORE (3) C. PERDUE
T R 11:00 -12:15

This course will focus primarily on Anglo-and Afro-American traditional culture and, within that domain, deal with problems of definition, origin, collection, and analysis of the main genres of folklore--narrative and song.