1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Course Descriptions - Spring 1999

Courses that meet Major Area Requirements:

Prin. of Social Analysis Cultural Diversity Archaeology Linguistics
227,236,317,327,329,330,
334,335,336,337,359

256,260,346,350,
358,365,366,367

280,285,380,584 240,343,504,
547,548
Non-Western perspectives
334,358,365
Senior Seminars 
401A, 401B, 401C

Undergraduate Courses:

ANTH 227 MAGIC & WITCHCRAFT (3) CROCKER
M W 14:00 - 15:15

This course surveys the nature, and functions, and dysfunction's of mystical beliefs and practices in both Western and Non-Western societies. We begin with the rich scholarly tradition of British studies in African witchcraft, and then study comparative material from other traditional societies, especially Amerindian, Polynesian, and Asian. We conclude with the very different traditions of European witchcraft and magic. Requirements: a take-home mid-term, a final take-home or term paper. The perspective throughout will be one of empathetic skepticism. Course satisfies second writing requirement.

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 t his course 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 seminar format, with discussion encouraged. Grades will be b ased on three papers.

ANTH 240 LANGUAGE & CULTURE (3) CONTINI-MORAVA
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 280 INTRODUCTION TO ARCHAEOLOGY (3) Fleisher
M W 9:00-9:50 plus mandatory sections TBA

Topics will include traditional and alternative theoretical approaches to the study of prehistory and cultural change, methods and techniques of excavation, regional survey and dating, and the construction of economic, political, social, and religious organization of prehistoric societies. We will use case-studies drawn from both the Old and New World to contextualize these theorectical and methodological concerns. In the mandatory sections, which will meet once a week, students will tackle specific archaeological data sets and problems.

ANTH 285 AMERICAN MATERIAL CULTURE (3) DEETZ
M W F 9:00-9:50

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

ANTH 301 HISTORY OF ANTHROPOLOGICAL THEORY (3) KHARE
T R 11:00-12:15

An overview of major theoretical developments in anthropology, with emphasis on those during the last half of this century for reflecting their relationships to changing human conditions and issues. Students must sign up for obligatory discussion section. Restricted to Anthropology majors.

ANTH 317/717 VISUAL ANTHROPOLOGY (3) SAPIR
M W F 11:00 - 11:50

This course will examine the use of visual representations in the work of Anthropology. Included will be an examination of the use of film and still photography as well as other media. A section will be devoted to the use of photography in the late 19th century and another to the American tradition of documentary photography.

ANTH 327 POLITICAL ANTHROPOLOGY (3) CROCKER
T 1700-1815

ANTH 329/729 MARRIAGE, MORTALITY, AND FERTILITY (3) SHEPHERD
M W 14:00 - 15:15

This course explores the ways that culturally formed systems of values and family organization affect population processes in a variety of cultures. Topics to be discussed will include (1) disease history, the impact of epidemics and famine, the different ial impact of mortality by gender, age, and class, the impact of improved nutrition and modern medicine; (2) marriage strategies and alternatives, the problem of unbalanced sex ratios at marriageable age, systems of polygamy and polyandry, divorce, widowh ood and remarriage; (3) fertility decision making, premodern methods of birth control and spacing, infanticide; and (4) migration, regional systems, and variation through time and space in the structure of populations.

Anthro 101 or equivalent recommended as background. This is an advanced course, adding to general offerings in social organization, kinship, marriage, and gender. This course is cross-listed with women's studies. Upper level majors and non-majors.

ANTH 334 ECOLOGY & SOCIETY (3) DAMON
M W F 11:00-11:50

Ecology and Society: An Examination of Historical Ecological and Its Impact on Anthropology

This course forges a synthesis between culture theory and historical ecology.' Its intent is to provide new insights on how human cultures both fashion and are fashioned by their environments. Topics covered will include Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, the relationship between Global Change and its impact on human culture, and the place of Environmentalism in contemporary culture. Special attention will be paid to the place of trees in the conceptualization of cultural systems. Ethnographic examples will be employed from the Amazon, the Pacific Islands, East and South Asia, and one or more modern societies.

Although some background in anthropology is advisable, this course is designed to encourage interdisciplinary dialogue. Students from Environmental Sciences, Biology and Chemistry are especially encouraged to join the class. The course grade will be det ermined by a midterm and a final exam, class participation, and a special project. This project will count for approximately 30% of the course grade. Examples include an intensive analysis of book, analysis of a website devoted to environmental issues, or description, based on on-site analysis, of some NGO devoted to local, national or global environmental concerns.

ANTH 335/735 THE MUSEUM IN MODERN CULTURE (3) HANDLER
T R 1230-1345

This course considers the museum as an institution in relation to its social and cultural contexts. The course focuses, first, on the politics of cultural representation in museums. It compares different types of museums (fine art, history, anthropology) and the differing uses of objects in each, with special attention to the political and cultural values that the display of objects in museums entails. A second major concern is the sociology of museums: their organization to accomplish the array of tasks they set themselves (education, heritage preservation, financial stability). The course will draw on the rapidly growing interdisciplinary literature on museums; it will include case studies of selected museums as well as theoretical overviews.

ANTH 336/ENAM 336 LIFE HISTORY AND ORAL HISTORY (3) PERDUE
T H 14:00 - 15:15

This course is focused primarily on practical experience in the field situation and training in the creation of written life histories from transcriptions of recorded oral materials. It will, however, also present and discuss theoretical issues involved in the interpretation and use of life history and oral history material.

NOTE:ANTH 336 is an undergraduate Anthropology course, cross-listed with English.

ANTH 337/737 ON POWER AND THE BODY (3) MENTORE
T R 12:30 - 13:45

The human individual, as subject to the coercive strategies of society, has been the central topic of Western intellectual thought for some time now. Human corporeality in action, as agent, and as the surface upon which power operates has consistently fascinated us. The body, in fact seems to have served as the constitutive element of power and as its field of knowledge. In this course, we will study the intimacy between relational power and the knowing body. We will cover such topics as the tortured body, the gendered body, and the imprisoned body. We will attempt to understand how these meanings of somatic presence become knowable. In so doing, the form and character of a radically different theory of power will be introduced. Course satisfies the second writing requirements.

ANTH 343/743 ORAL TRADITION & CREATIVITY (3) HYMES V.
W 1530-1800

This course will provide an introductory overview of approaches to oral literature through an initial reading and discussion of Ruth Finegan's Oral Poetry: Its Nature Significance and Social Context. It will then move quickly into detailed examination o f analyses of oral narratives from a wide range of narrative traditions. We will listen to and look at analyses of different tellings of the same traditional narratives both by the same narrator and in some cases by the same narrator on different occasio ns. We will see how narrators use the story telling techniques of their culture to give new shape and meaning to old stories and to create new narratives from the experiences of their own lives. Through practice on a variety of narratives the class will learn how to recognize the linguistic devices by which narrators organize their stories in spoken lines and groups of lines into units of context and will explore how best to capture that organization on the page. One goal of the course is to give stude nts ways of hearing and thinking about the stories that are being told in the course of their daily lives and to understand what makes some of those stories memorable.

ANTH 350 - READINGS IN ETHNOGRAPHY (3) KHARE
T 15:30 - 18:00

A comparative discussion of selected ethnographies, along with appropriate video materials, for illustrating rich relationship of anthropology to diverse human experiences and social concerns. The issues will include women's status, aging, life and death matters, social violence, and human rights with social justice. Assignments center on weekly discussions in class and three written pieces of different lengths. Open to majors and non-majors.

ANTH 358/758 CREOLE NARRATIVES (3) MENTORE
T R 15:30 -16:45

We begin with the 18th and 19th century Caribbean intellectual life. We do so from the perspective of European imperialism and its influences upon colonized values, slavery, race, class and color. We examine the persistence of these major themes throug h the 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 of the Creole "self" and explore their claims for a crisis of identity. We will also focus o n 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 politi cal dependencies.

ANTH 359 ETHNOPHOTOGRAPHY (3) SAPIR
M 19:30 - 22:00

This course will be composed of two parts: academic and workshop. The academic part of the course will examine specific photographic work that can be thought of as ethnographic in some way. The materials will be drawn from documentary photography and photojournalism. Particular attention will be given to the photo essay as exemplified by LIFE Magazine. Students will give oral reports, to be written up, on selected works. The workshop will be an ethnophotography project. Students will find an approp riate field subject to photograph. The work will be displayed in a photo essay form and presented to a jury.

Prerequisites: permission of instructor and knowledge of darkroom techniques.

ANTH 365 ASIAN AMERICAN EXPERIENCES (3) LIPTEN
M W F 10:00-10:50

This course will engage historical, sociological, anthropological, and literary prespectives on Asian American experiences. Praticular attention will be given to situating Asian Americans in the context of American race relations, past and present. Topi cs include: changing idioms and practices of kinship; the myth of the "model minority"; anti-Asian violence' Asian American Students and the politics of education; the portrayal of Asians and Asian Americans in the US media; the intersection of race, cla ss, and gender; and the problems and promises of pan-Asian American idenity. Discussion of these issues will be informed by readings on the history and histories of various Asian American communities. Prior knowledge of Asian or Asian American history i s not required.

ANTH 366/766 CHINA: EMPIRE AND NATIONALITIES (3) SHEPHERD T H 12:30 - 13:45

Tibetans, Mongols, Manchus, Turkish Muslims, peoples of Yunnan, aborigines of Taiwan: a Chinese state has incorporated all these groups in recent centuries. This course explores the distant and recent history of Han and non-Han nationalities in the Chines e empire and nation-state. The course will examine the reaction of minority nationalities to Chinese predominance, and the bases of Chinese rule and cultural hegemony. The course explores changes in gender roles, ethnic and subethnic (i.e., intra-Han) ide ntity formation, processes of ethnic conflict, and the emergence of separatist and nationalist movements. The course also examines the role of minorities in the definition of Chinese nationalism, and China as a multi-cultural society and an historic empir e. The course will offer a critique of Eurocentric theories of colonialism, modernity, and world system.

Requires 20 page term paper (second writing requirement). Background in China or East Asia recommended. Should fulfill non-Western requirement. Upper level majors and non-majors.

ANTH 367 VIETNAMESE CIVILIZATION (3) ROSS
W 1600-1830

This course examines the continuities and discontinuities in recurring themes of "traditional" Vietnamese culture from the horticultural Neolithic to the present. The class size is limited in order to facilitate class discussion and the sharing of study materials. Students will write several short essays on a variety of topics. The class fulfills the Arts and Sciences multicultural requirement and the second writing requirement.

ANTH 380/780 ARCHAEOLOGY OF MESOPOTAMIA (3) WATTENMAKER
T R 1100-1215

 

ANTH 401A LANGUAGE AND THOUGHT (3) DANZIGER
W 15:30 - 18:00

There is almost always more than one way to think about any problem. But could speaking a particular language make some strategies and solutions seem more natural than others to individuals? The classic proposal of linguistic relativity as enunciated by Benjamin Lee Whorf is examined in the light of more recent cross-cultural and psycholinguistic research. We highlight the interplay between social intelligence, linguistic structure and general cognition. In the course of the discussion, we consider topics such as the significance of literacy for cognition, and the development of language-specific cognitive preferences during childhood. We also ask how our own culturally particular ways of talking about language might reflect and reinforce some of the unexamined "common-sense" ideas about the nature of language which underlie most linguistic research. During the term, students will prepare short written summaries of assigned readings, and a longer research paper.

This course fulfills the Senior Seminar requirement for undergraduate Anthropology majors.

ANTH 401B SENIOR SEMINAR: NATIVE AMERICAN RELIGION (3) WAGNER
R 14:00 - 16:30

Native American world-views and conceptions of the human fit some of the classic ways of studying ritual and the asupernatural almost as poorly as they fit with our category of a religion. This course will take advantage of some more recent approaches to how these peoples configure their world, with specific address to the Navajo, Northwest coast, and plains peoples.

ANTH 401C SENIOR SEMINAR: GLOBALISM AND LOCAL CULTURE (3) SENEVIRATNE
M 15:30-18:00

This course deals with two broad issues. First, it deals with the fact of "Globalisation", i.e., the fact that there is such a thing as the world being more interconnected than in any previous era in history, that this is inevitable, and that those who fail to get on will be left behind. Globalisation's triumph was dramatically expressed in the collapse of the Soviet system and the emergence of a unipolar world in the late 1980s. Second, the course examines the response to globalism as expressed by a c ritique articulated cross-culturally, in the developed and undeveloped world. This is signified by questions regarding the equation of the modern with the western, regarding whether globalism is a new form of imperialism especially in its expression as multinational enterprises, and regarding the threat posed by globalism to culture and the environment. Further the response to globalism is also expressed in the rise of local movements of resistance to globalist encroachment. The class meets once a week and will proceed in a seminar format. All students read the assigned readings and come prepared for discussion.

USEM 171, Section 004 Death & the Amer Way of Life (2) Fraser
M 1000-1200

Restricted to first year undergraduates

USEM 171, Section 005 Buddhism (2) H.L. Seneviratne
W 1400-1600

Restricted to first year undergraduates

This seminar focuses on three themes. The first explores the basic concepts of Buddhism with a view to providing the student with a concise understanding of the Buddhist doctrine, and its unique status among religions as a proponent of human effort as the solution to the problem of existence. The second deals with the historical and sociological circumstances of the origin of Buddhism. We shall explore early Buddhism as an ethical movement of the merchant and warrior elites who found no answers to their inner problems in the ritualist Hinduism of the time. Third, we shall explore the spread of this elitist urban doctrine from its original home in northeast India to almost all of Asia, transforming itself from a urban elite religion into a mass religion of the peasantry. We will focus on how, in this process, Buddhism adapted itself to popular religious needs on the one hand, and to different cultural forms on the other, thereby ensuring for itself a widespread allegiance which it would otherwise have failed to command.

USEM 171, Section 006 Visualizing Ourselves, Visualizing the Other (2) SAPIR
W 1400-1600

Restricted to first year undergraduates

 


Undergraduate & Graduate courses:

ANTH 504 LINGUISTIC FIELD METHODS (3) CONTINI-MORAVA
W 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 try to figure out the phonological an grammatical structure of 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 509 HISTORICAL ETHNOGRAPHY (3) DEETZ
4:00 - 16:30

This seminar will address selected sets of documents including the published records of Plymouth Colony, wills and probate inventories, as part of a long range program of what is known as demographic reconstitution, or record stripping. The course will be largely devoted to the extraction and analysis of data from these sources, formulating and discussing various research questions, and continuing to build up a data base which is part of an ongoing archaeological and documentary research project on the historical ethnography of seventeenth century Plymouth.

ANTH 522 ECONOMIC ANTHROPOLOGY, AN INTRODUCTION (3) DAMON
M 19:00 - 21:30

It is the purpose of this course to introduce students to anthropologically useful ideas in Marxism and world system theory, provide an introduction to the last 30 years of writing in exchange theory, and highlight some main avenues of research concerning newer versions of ecological anthropology and the anthropology of resource extraction in the West. The course syllabus will be devoted to these divisions, though not in equal time slots. Students will be expected to write 5 -10 page papers on each of the se three Parts, increasingly bending their papers to their longer-term research interests. In addition to these three Parts, there will be one two-week section devoted to a collective examination of McDonalds in the international context. See Damon for fu rther details.

ANTH 547 LANGUAGE AND IDENTITY (3) LEFKOWITZ
T 1530-1800

This course explores the relationship between language and identity. In anthropology, cultural studies, and literary criticism, issues of social identity have become a central concern, and much of this attention has focused on language. In linguistics, on the other hand, scholars have long looked to categories of social identity to help explain language structure and change. This course explores the convergence of these two trends: the view that language is central in the construction, negotiation, and expression of social identities. We will take an historical look at the development of approaches to language, culture, and social identity, beginning with Herderian notions of language and folk nationalism's, and ending with a critical reading of post- modern tropes of hybrid and Creole identities. Throughout the course, readings will juxtapose social theoretic and linguistic treatments of identity, and a main goal of the course will be to critically appraise theoretical frameworks from both domains wh ich providing promising technologies for investigating and describing the conjunction of language and identity.

ANTH 548 LANGUAGE AND PREHISTORY (3) DANZIGER
T H 9:30 - 10:45

This course examines the nature of language change through time, and discusses the uses of linguistic data in the reconstruction of prehistory. We will consider, for example, the use of linguistic evidence in tracing prehistoric population movements, in demonstrating contact among prehistoric groups, and in the reconstruction of daily life. The course also covers the basic principles of diachronic linguistics the study of how languages change over time. We discuss both language-internal and language-external (sociological) mechanisms of linguistic change. 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 undergraduate majors and graduate students, and the comparative-historical requirement for Linguistics undergraduate majors and graduate students. Prerequisite: One prior course in either archaeology or linguistics, or permission of the instructor.

SEMINAR 572 EXPERIENTIAL ANTHROPOLOGY (3) TURNER
T 19:30

HOME SEMINAR - CALL 973-6986

The seminar deals with the aspect of anthropological research concerned with the experiencing of a culture, both by field consultants and by the researcher. Experience, as Victor Turner said,is anthropology's truest material; the course will be useful f or field workers in the social sciences.

ANTH 584 ARCHAEOLOGY OF COMPLEX SOCIETIES (3) WATTENMAKER T R 1530-1645

 


Graduate courses:

ANTH 702 - CONTEMPORARY THEORY (3) METCALF
M W 14:00 - 15:15

The course continues the agenda of ANTH 701, reviewing the development of anthropological theory from the nineteen forties to the present. It is required of, and normally restricted to, all graduate students in their second year.

ANTH 704 RESEARCH METHODS AND DESIGN (3) TBA

The course steers a middle path between the three positions implied in the above quotations. It is a course about methodology defined as Pertti Pelto would have it as the systematic transformation of ethnographic data into anthropological concepts. It i s also a course that inverts this definition so methodology is understood as what happens before any data is collected and as the means through which data is generated. The interpretive tradition of cultural anthropology will be emphasized. The course u nderstands the interpretive process to include the systematic application of a set of procedures and questions which may be independently assessed and evaluated.

ANTH 706 RESEARCH DESIGN (3) TBA

This workshop is open to graduate students in their second year or beyond who are actively preparing doctoral research projects and writing grants to support that research. During the course of the semester students will work through repeated draughts of a proposal following the NSF format, so that they will be ready to commence the application cycle of granting agencies in the fall.

ANTH 711 PAPER AND PRESENTATION (3) Most
R 14:00-16:30

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) PERDUE
T R 11:00-12:15

 

ENAM 885/ANTH 732-AMERICAN FOLKLORE (3) 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.

NOTE: ENAM 885 is a graduate English course, cross-listed with Anthropology.