1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Course Descriptions -Spring 2014

 


       


Undergraduate Courses
(meet major area requirements)


See Major Area Requirements

1010
INTRODUCTION TO ANTHROPOLOGY
3450
NATIVE AMERICAN LANGUAGE
2120
THE CONCEPT OF CULTURE 
3470
LANGUAGES & CULTURE IN MIDDLE EAST
2280
MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY
 
 
2320
ANTHROPOLOGY OF RELIGION 
3590
INDIGENOUS PEOPLE AND THE STATE
2340
ANTHROPOLOGY OF BIRTH & DEATH 
3890
ARCHAEOLOGY AMERICAN SOUTHWEST
2360
DON JUAN AND CASTANEDA 
4591-01
SOCIAL INEQUIALITIES
2365
ANTHROPOLOGY OF ART
4591-02
NATIVE AMERICAN PREHISTORY
2400
LANGUAGE AND CULTURE 
4591-03
PHILOSOPHICAL ANTHROPOLOGY
2410
SOCIOLINGUISTICS
5220
ECONOMIC ANTHROPOLOGY
2430
LANGUAGE OF THE WORLD 
5225
NGOs,DEVELOPMENT, AND INTERNATIONAL AID
2500
PEOPLE  AND CULTURES OF OCEANIA 
5360
WORLD MENTAL HEALTH
2559-01
MUSLIMS IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND SOUTH
ASIA AN APTHROPOLOGICAL APPROACH
   
2559-02
MEDIA, RELIGION AND NATIONALIM IN SOUTH ASIA
   
2589
ANCESTORS, MUMMIES, AND DEATH 
5395
MYTHODOLOGY
2590-01
INTERNET: ANOTHER COUNTRY
5401
LINGUISTIC FIELD METHODS
2590-02
DISASTER
5440
MORPHOLOGY
2820
RISE OF CIVILIZATION
5541
BILINGUALISM
3020
USING ANTHROPOLOGY
5590-01
 MED ANTH: THEORY AND METHODS
3129
MARRIAGE, MORTALITY, FERTILITY
5590-02
ANTHROPOLOGY OF SPIRITUALITY
3130
DISEASE, EPIDEMICS AND SOCIETY
5590-03
THE NATURE OF NATURE
3175
NATIVE AMERICAN ART: ASTOR COLLECTION
5840
ARCHAEOLOGY/COMPLEX SOCIETIES
3340
ECOLOGY AND SOCIETY
 
 
3370
POWER AND THE BODY
 
 
       

Full Course Descriptions:

ANTH 1010     INTRO. TO ANTHROPOLOGY     3.0     STOETZEL
MW 1000-1050 AM

This course introduces students to the methods, perspectives, and motivations used by anthropologists to study the range and significance of human existence. Students are challenged to follow the way anthropologists approach a research topic, design a question, collect data, and ultimately discuss results via publication. The course surveys the four sub-fields of anthropology (linguistic anthropology, socio-cultural anthropology, biological anthropology, and archaeology) through a combination of texts, multimedia, and guest lectures. The goal of this course is to equip students with an analytical framework which allows the objective appreciation of non-Western languages, social structures, histories and belief systems.

ANTH 2120    THE CONCEPT OF CULTURE    3.0   BASHKOW
TR 11:00-12:15 PM

Culture is the central concept that anthropologists use to understand the striking differences among human societies and how people organize the meaningful parts of their lives. In this course we explore this diversity and examine its implications for concepts of human nature, cognition, creativity, identity, economy, and power. We consider how learning about other cultures can contribute to our understanding of ourselves.

ANTH 2280     MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY     3.0     DOUGLASS
TR 3:30-4:45 PM 

Medical Anthropology is a growing and important new subfield within general anthropology. Medical Anthropology compares different cultures' ideas about illness and curing. Although disease is a concept referring to a pathological condition of the body in which functioning is disturbed, illness is a cultural concept: a condition marked by deviation from what is considered a normal, healthy state. Treatment of illness in Western industrial societies focuses on curing specific diseased organs or controlling a specific virus. In many so-called "traditional" societies greater emphasis is placed on the social and psychological dimensions of illness. In this course we will learn that different cultures, even in the United States have different ways to talk about illness, and that the American medical community is at times as "culture bound" as anywhere. "Science" does not stand outside culture.

ANTH 2320     ANTHROPOLOGY OF RELIGION     3.0     METCALF
MW 11:00-11:50 AM

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

ANTH 2340    ANTHROPOLOGY OF BIRTH & DEATH   3.0   KHARE
T 2:00-4:30 PM

The course anthropologically approaches and explicates birth, health-wellness, and death related issues in diverse changing—far and near and now often also globalizing—human societies and cultures. We will focus on comparative ethnographic, bio-cultural and medical anthropological approaches to explicate different (a) child birth, birthing and child-rearing practices; (b) surrogacy under global changes; (c) family dietary and industrial food cultures and self-identity issues; and (d) dying, good and bad deaths, and the “life after life” experiences and explanations.

ANTH 2360     DON JUAN AND CASTANEDA    3.0    WAGNER
TR 9:30-10:45 AM

Castaneda and Don Juan: “Cracking the Castaneda Code,” a hard “second look” at the supposedly “subjective” vistas of the Meso-American power-quest. Objectivity comes to the rescue of what was once thought to be America’s worse drug scandal. Nine books; three papers, no final exam. Class attendance mandatory. 

ANTH 2365     ANTHROPOLOGY OF ART     3.0     DOUGLASS
TR 11:00-12:15 PM

The course will emphasize art in small-scale (contemporary) societies (sometimes called ethnic art or “primitive art”). It will include a survey of aesthetic productions of major areas throughout the world (Australia, Africa, Oceania, Native America, Meso-America). We will also read about and discuss such issues as art (and architecture) and cultural identity, tourist arts, anonymity, authenticity, the question of universal aesthetic cannons, exhibiting cultures, the difference between the bellas artes and arte popular, and the impact of globalization on these arts. The class will visit the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection, the Inuit Study Gallery, and the Object Study Gallery at the UVA Art Museum. (The student should also try and travel to Washington D.C. to visit the National Museum of the American Indian and the National Museum of African Art [extra credit possible].)

ANTH 2400     LANGUAGE AND CULTURE     3.0     CONTINI-MORAVA 
MW 11:00-11:50 AM 

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 evidence from language can shed light on a variety of social, cultural, and cognitive phenomena. Topics include: nature of language, origins of language, how languages change, writing systems, 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 2410    SOCIOLINGUISTICS    3.0    PERKOWSKI
MW 9:00-9:50 AM

Every "single" living language is in practice an unbounded array of linguistic forms, functions, and feelings distributed unequally among speakers. Sociolinguists take such variety and inequality as starting points for investigating language as a crucially social (rather than essentially mental) phenomenon. In this introductory course, we will survey how languages vary through time, across space, and among social groups while also thinking about how times, spaces, and social groups are themselves shaped by linguistic variation. No background in linguistics or anthropology is required.

ANTH 2430     LANGUAGES OF THE WORLD     3.0     DOBRIN
MW 10:00-10:50 AM

This course introduces students to the diversity of human language and the principles of linguistic classification. How many languages are spoken in the world, and how are they related? What features do all languages share, and in what ways may they differ? In surveying the world's languages, we will focus on the structure and social situation of a set of representative languages for each geographic region covered. We will also discuss the global trend of shift from the use of minority languages to large languages of wider communication, and what this means for the future of human diversity. Course work includes problem sets, essays, and a final paper on the linguistic features and social situation of a minor language. Prerequisites: one year of a foreign language or permission of instructor.

 

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Major Area Requirements

 

ANTH 2500   PEOPLE AND CULTURES OF OCEANIA    3.0    HUANG
MWF 9:00-9:50 AM

This course aims to introduce the fundamental themes in Pacific ethnography: Oceania as a region, colonial history, kinship, gender, economy, exchange, hierarchy, nation building enterprise, and contemporary social dilemmas. We will review significant ethnographic studies in Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia. Students are encouraged to critically think through the theoretical frameworks stemming from this cultural area.

ANTH 2559-01   MUSLIMS IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND SOUTH ASIA AN ANTHROPOLOGICAL APPROACH    3.0    WELLMAN
TR 3:30-4:45 PM

This course explores the cultural politics of Islam, gender, kinship, food, and everyday life in the contemporary Middle East and South Asia. A key focus of the course will be Shi’i Muslims in Iran. However, students will also engage materials on diverse Muslim communities in Egypt, Lebanon, Pakistan, and India. Students enrolled in this course will use ethnography, new digital media, and newspapers to move beyond the sensationalist headlines that shape commonly held views of the harem, the veil, and Islamic “fundamentalism.” They will additionally explore the lives of contemporary Muslim youth. This course introduces students to key anthropological concepts such as cultural relativity, fieldwork, and cross-cultural comparison. It provides students with the central theoretical and post-colonial frameworks that guide the anthropology of Islam.

ANTH 2559-02    MEDIA, RELIGION AND NATIONALISM IN SOUTH ASIA    3.0     KHAN
TR 2:00-3:15 PM

This class explores the relationship between media, religion and nationalism in South Asia. The course gives students a critical understanding of nations as modern forms of community, which, far from being ancient, are relatively recent inventions. In South Asia, religion has been central to the creation of nationalism, and we will examine how older South Asian religious traditions like Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism have been reconfigured by nationalists in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Furthermore, we will explore how religion and nationalism are both reflected in and transformed by media contexts like print, television, film and, increasingly, the Internet. The class will provide students with an understanding of the relationship between religion and nationalism in South Asia, and students will be encouraged to think critically about how new media are transforming the way we think about ourselves and our communities.

ANTH 2589    ANCESTORS, MUMMIES, AND DEATH    3.0    BRANT
MWF 12:00-12:50 PM 

Considers how living beings understand and interact with ancestral bodies/spirits as sources of power, protection, collective memory, and resistance.  Archaeological, ethnohistorical, and ethnographic case studies will explore diversity in the preparation, burial and commemoration of the dead in a variety of societies across time and space.

ANTH 2590-01    INTERNET: ANOTHER COUNTRY   3.0    ALVARADO
TR 11:00-12:15 PM 

We explore the Internet as a mode of exchange and communication that has produced a series of social institutions in the economic, political, and cultural spheres in the context of globalization. Using anthropological literature as our guide, we will describe and analyze emerging s ocial and cognitive formations associated with Facebook, Google, Wikipedia, and other Internet zones. Students will create an online ethnography of the web.

ANTH 2590-02    DISASTER   3.0   WESTON 
MW 2:00-3:15 PM 

The sociocultural approach to the study of disaster highlighted in this course includes analysis of the manufacture of disaster, debates on societal collapse, disaster management discourse, apocalyptic thought, representations of disaster in film, the ways that disasters mobilize affect, and disaster as political allegory. Students will learn to apply analytic frameworks to a series of case studies from different societies of various "natural," industrial, and chronic disasters, as well as predictions of future disasters. Cases range from nineteenth-century famines to Hurricane Katrina, the Bhopal gas disaster, the nuclear meltdowns at Chernobyl and Fukushima Daiichi, the HIV/AIDS pandemic, climate change catastrophism, computer modeling of specific disaster scenarios, and doomsday preparation.

ANTH 2820    RISE OF CIVILIZATION     3.0   WATTENMAKER
TR 2:00-2:50 PM 

This course explores the archaeology of early states and cities in both the Old (Mesopotamia and Egypt) and New (Teotihuacan, the Aztecs and the Maya) Worlds. We will discuss the ways that archaeologists learn about complex societies through fieldwork, laboratory research (including artifact analyses), texts, and ethnographic studies. Topics discussed include 1) the problematic concept of "civilization", 2) the origins of agriculture and its effects on society, 3) the shift from egalitarian societies to those with social ranking, 4) theories and evidence for the rise of state societies, 5) urbanism, 6) social, religious, political and economic life in early cities, 7) the beginnings of writing and 8) the collapse of complex societies. By highlighting the wide range of variability in pre-industrial societies, the course emphasizes the role of cultural values in shaping the organization of early societies. This course fulfills the Historical Studies requirement. It has been used in the past to satisfy requirements for Middle Eastern Studies and Latin American Studies (please check with the Program Director for approval).

ANTH 3020   USING ANTHROPOLOGY   3.0   HANTMAN
MW 3:30-4:45 PM 

The theoretical, methodological and ethical practice of an engaged anthropology is the subject of this course. We begin with a history of applied anthropology. We then examine case studies that demonstrate the unique practices of sociocultural, linguistic, archaeological and bioanthropological anthropology in the areas of contemporary policy and community and civic engagement.

ANTH 3129    MARRIAGE, MORTALITY, FERTILITY   3.0    SHEPHERD
TR 12:30-1:45 PM

This course will explore 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) marriage strategies and alternatives, the problem of unbalanced sex ratios at marriageable age, systems of polygamy and polyandry, divorce, widowhood and remarriage; (2) fertility decision making, premodern methods of birth control and spacing, infanticide; (3) disease history, the impact of epidemics and famine, the differential impact of mortality by gender, age, and class, the impact of improved nutrition and modern medicine; (4) migration, regional systems, and variation through time and space in the structure of populations.

ANTH 3130    DISEASE, EPIDEMICS AND SOCIETY    3.0    SHEPHERD 
MW 2:00-3:15 PM 

Topics covered in this course will include emerging diseases and leading killers in the twenty-first century, disease ecology, disease history and mortality transitions, the sociology of epidemics, the role of epidemiology in the mobilization of public health resources to confront epidemics, and the social processes by which the groups become stigmatized during disease outbreaks. This is a course that seeks to present a holistic view of global health by drawing on work crossing several disciplines, including anthropological demography, epidemiology, public health, disease history, genomic studies of disease pathogens, and medical anthropology.

ANTH 3175    NATIVE AMERICAN ART: ASTOR COLLECTION    3.0    HANTMAN
R 2:00-4:30 PM 

This course is concerned with the study of historic and contemporary Native American art, and the history and current debate over the representation of Native American culture in American museums. After a review of the literature on those topics, the class focuses specifically on a collection owned by the University of Virginia and curated by the University's Fralin Art Museum. This collection of predominantly late 19th and early 20th century objects represents a wide range of cultures, artifact types, and art styles from the Americas. It was on exhibit in the Astor Hotel in New York City from 1904-1937.

ANTH 3340    ECOLOGY AND SOCIETY    3.0    DAMON
MW 10:00-10:50 AM 

Forges a synthesis between culture theory and historical ecology to provide new insights on how human cultures fashion, and are fashioned by, their environment. Prerequisite: At least one Anthropology course, significant/relevant exposure to courses in EVSC, BIOL, CHEM, or HIST (which tie in to concerns of this course), or instructor permission.

ANTH 3370    POWER AND THE BODY    3.0    MENTORE
TR 3:30-4:45 PM  

"This course is designed for those students interested in how and why anthropology arrives at its own peculiar paradigms of identity about the Other from its own deeply embedded western cultural understandings of body and Self."

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Major Area Requirements

 

ANTH 3450   NATIVE AMERICAN LANGUAGES   3.0   DANZIGER
MW 2:00-3:15 PM

This course in an introduction to the native languages of the Americas. It serves as a way into knowledge of languages very different from English and the frequently studied European languages. The course covers the major grammatical structures found in the different language families of the Americas, and considers the sociolinguistic situation of Native American speakers in the U.S. and elsewhere. Students will become familiar with the structure of Mopan Maya, an indigenous language of Eastern Central America which is related to the Classic Mayan languages of antiquity, and belongs to a large family of modern Mayan languages spoken today by thousands of people in Belize, Mexico, and Guatemala. The methods of analysis should enable students to make intelligent use of linguistic materials on other languages, including those found in other parts of the world as well. Pre-requisite: LGS 325, LGS 701 or ANTH 740. This course fulfills the Language Structure requirement for Linguistics majors and for Linguistics graduate students.

ANTH 3470   LANGUAGE & CULTURE IN MIDDLE EAST    3.0    LEFKOWITZ
TR 9:30-10:45 AM

TBA

ANTH 3590  INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND THE STATE    3.0    CARVALHO
MWF 12:00-12:50 PM

This course will generally discuss the mobilization of the category “indigenous” in different parts of the world in relation to emergence of indigenous claims, indigenous politics and human rights. The recognition of indigenous peoples’ rights in international law invokes the tensions between sovereignty and human rights, but also challenges the dominant international understandings of both principles. Thus the State and national governments are faced with the claims for indigenous rights that are differentiated from the non-indigenous population. Such claims have culminated in numerous national and transnational indigenous peoples’ organizations pushing for sovereignty from nation-states, government, and their ideas and strategies of development. These organizations claim that such groups/practices have been marginalizing indigenous peoples’ way of life.  Within that context, there is also an ongoing debate about what it means to be indigenous and who has ownership over indigenous claims.  The goal of this course is to debate and investigate some concrete cases of the struggle for rights between indigenous peoples and national governments around the world, paying special attention to the relationships, dialogues, and dissidence of indigenous peoples and their organizations with the ideological model and project proposed by modern states and governments.

ANTH 3890    ARCHAEOLOGY AMERICAN SOUTHWEST    3.0    PLOG
TR 11:00-12:15 PM 

The northern section of the American Southwest offers one of the best prehistoric contexts for examining the evolution of ritual, social organization, economics, technology, and trade from the prehistoric to the historic period. Readings and discussion focus on both archaeological and ethnographic studies of the desert (Hohokam), mountain (Mogollon), and plateau (Ancestral Pueblo) cultures. We will consider the initial colonization of the region by Paleo-indian groups at the end of the Pleistocene up to the Spanish entry into the region in the mid-16th century.

ANTH 4591-01    SOCIAL INEQUIALITIES  3.0    KHARE
R 2:00-4:30 PM

Amid highly unequal forces of globalization, the seminar explores how such ubiquitous markers of social inequalities as class, caste, race and gender are currently readapting, with distinctly changing socioeconomic forces, cultural politics and meanings. With a comparative cultural focus on such challenges (including those found between America and India), we will discuss (a) structures, values and politics in class, caste and gender issues; (b) the inequalities coping new middle class; (c) work ethics and “the working American”; and (d) gender, race and ethnic differentials in health, food and housing issues.

ANTH 4591-02    NATIVE AMERICAN PREHISTORY    3.0    PLOG
MW 2:00-3:15 PM 

A comparative study of three areas of North America--the Cahokia region of the Midwest, the Powhatan area of the Mid-Atlantic, and the Chaco region of the American Southwest--where complex polities and significant social differentiation evolved. We will examine general theories that attempt to explain such patterns of culture change and then will consider case studies from each of the three areas.

ANTH 4591-03     PHILOSOPHICAL ANTHROPOLOGY    3.0     MENTORE 
TR 11:00-12:15 PM  

"Brings to the awareness of students the not often considered view that the theories used by anthropologists come directly from deeply embedded western philosophical knowledge.  It will not only introduce some of these knowledge forms to students, but also demonstrate how they have been applied in the anthropological project and, indeed, how they frequently end-up hindering the project of understanding cultural others."

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Major Area Requirements

 

ANTH 5220   ECONOMIC ANTHROPOLOGY    3.0    DAMON
M 7:00-9:30 PM

Considers Western economic theories and their relevance to non-Western societies. Overviews include introductory readings for Marxism, World-System Analysis, Exchange Theory and Historical Ecology and Materiality. The course is designed for first and second year graduate students but is appropriate for mature 3rd and 4th year undergraduates, especially Anthropology and History Majors. For undergraduates permission from instructor is encouraged.

ANTH 5225    NGOs,DEVELOPMENT AND INTERNATIONAL AID      3.0   BASHKOW
T 4:00-6:30 PM 

Graduate level seminar explores the scholarly literature on NGOs and aid organizations, emphasizing results of field studies. Issues include the impact of changing development trends and funding priorities; how aid meshes with politics; economic and racial hierarchies in development; the complexities of representing the voices of aid clients; assessment and audit; and the nature of motivations to help.

ANTH 5360     WORLD MENTAL HEALTH     3.0     MERKEL
W 6:30-9:00 PM

This course will examine mental health issues from the perspectives of biomedicine and anthropology, emphasizing local traditions of illness and healing as well as evidence from epidemiology and neurobiology. Included topics will be psychosis, depression, PTSD, Culture Bound Syndromes, and suicide. We will also examine the role of pharmaceutical companies in the spread of western based mental health care and culturally sensitive treatment.

ANTH 5395     MYTHODOLOGY     3.0     WAGNER
TR 1230-1:45 PM

Mythodology: A participatory crash-course in the obviation skill set: how to “solve” a myth or story as if it were a topological mind-puzzle. All the student is required to do is furnish a myth or story of their own choosing, analyze it in class presentation, and prepare a final paper on the subject. Class attendance mandatory. 

ANTH 5401   LINGUISTIC FIELD METHODS   3.0   CONTINI-MORAVA
T 5:00-7:30 PM

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 5440     MORPHOLOGY   3.0     DOBRIN
TR 12:30-1:45 PM 

In this course we approach the study of morphology theoretically. The issues covered fall mainly into two broad groupings: those that relate word structure to phonology (such as allomorphy and word formation), and those that relate it to syntax (e.g., inflection, distinguishing compounds from phrases). Throughout the course we will be mindful of whether there exists a core set of phenomena having to do with word structure which motivates a distinct morphological component of grammar. Coursework involves biweekly problem sets and active participation in class problem solving and discussion. Some familiarity with linguistic analysis (such as LNGS 3250) is strongly recommended. Course fulfills the Theory requirement for Linguistics.

ANTH 5541    BILINGUALISM    3.0    WILLIAMS
TR 12:30-1:45 PM 

This course examines bilingualism from sociocultural, structural, and psychological perspectives, and considers the linguistic, ideological, and cognitive motivations and ramifications involved. Topics include societal and individual bilingualism, diglossia, language maintenance and shift, borrowing, code-switching, bilingual acquisition and education, and the bilingual brain. Prerequisites: LNGS 3250/7010 (Introduction to Linguistic Theory & Methodology) plus one other Linguistics course.

ANTH 5590-01     MED ANTH: THEORY AND METHODS     3.0     FRASER
R  7:00-9:30 PM 

This course will provide an overview of theoretical frameworks and methods in medical anthropology situated so that students understand the key assumptions, kinds of questions asked and data used within each framework, something of their histories and exemplars from research studies. Students will become informed and critical readers and will initiate a small research project of their own.

ANTH 5590-02     ANTHROPOLOGY OF SPIRITUALITY    3.0     TURNER
R 7:00-9:30 PM 

The seminar will explore the cross-cultural commonalities of spirituality and the variations in spiritual practice. To better understand these, we will experimentally try out viewpoints from the cultures concerned. While including the First Americans' religions in the "Great Religions," we will eschew theologies and use ethnographies--accounts of human action--for our material. We will use primary sources (where non-philosophical) from active seers and spiritual leaders, examining the relevant history and context for their spiritual activity, including spiritual contexts as well, such as the presence of spirits. The work of anthropologists who have been involved in crossing such boundaries will be available, those by Steven Friedson, Ter Ellingson, Duncan Earle, Suchitra Samantha, and others. We will invite religious activists in for dialogue and will practice empathy, and we will respectfully enact rituals. Class members will conduct local field research to engage in spirituality in milieus suggested in the class, while recognizing that the phenomenon transcends psychological and sociological limits of discussion.

ANTH 5590-03    THE NATURE OF NATURE     3.0     IGOE
TR 3:30-4:45 PM 

Nature is a cultural construct paradoxically imagined as existing outside the realm of culture. As such Nature has a special kind of power. It is an inanswerable explanation for why things are as they are (e.g. That's just human nature).  And it is a place to escape unpleasant aspects of civilization (e.g. I'm looking forward getting back to Nature this weekend). Nature presents reality both as it supposedly is and as it ideally should be.  At the same time, in our present historical moment, a growing number of analysts are proclaiming "the end of Nature." In this seminar we will explore the evolution of Nature as a concept and a realm of reality, particularly with respect to various aspects of globalization. We will look at what kinds of work Nature has done over the years, what it may mean in other cultural contexts, and some of the implications of imagining that Nature is now coming to an end.

ANTH 5840     ARCHAEOLOGY/COMPLEX SOCIETIES    3.0    WATTENMAKER
T 6:30-9:00 PM

This seminar course examines key themes, theories and controversies of interest to archaeologists researching state societies and empires. We will first examine theoretical approaches "middle scale" societies and, with this background, then consider state societies and empires. Readings will include problem-oriented case studies dealing with a range of relevant topics, such as archaeological signatures of state societies, political economy, gender dynamics, class and other sources of variation in state societies, “failed” state societies and inter-cultural dynamics. Drawing on these case studies, we will address the questions of how social hierarchies and inequalities are constructed, maintained and undermined in archaeologically documented complex societies. This course meets the second writing requirement.

 

 


Back to courses offered

Course Number Index

Courses that meet Major Area Requirements:


Sociocultural Anthropology   Archaeology Linguistics

2120, 2280, 2320, 2360, 2365, 2500,2559-01, 2559-02, 2590-01, 2590-02, 3129, 3130, 3175, 3340,
3590, 5360, 5395, 5590-01, 5590-03

 

2589, 2820, 3890, 5840 2400, 2410,2430, 3450,
5401, 5440,5541
Major Requirements
1010, 3020
Beyond the West (formerly Non-Western Perspective) 
(for the major: note that some of these courses do not meet the College's Nonwestern requirement)
2500, 2559-01, 2559-02
Senior Seminars
4591-01, 4591-02, 4591-03

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


       


Graduate Courses


5220
ECONOMIC ANTHROPOLOGY
5225
NGOs, DEVELOPMENT, AND INTERNATIONAL AID 
5360
WORLD MENTAL HEALTH
5395
MYTHODOLOGY
5401
LINGUSTIC FIELD METHODS
5440
MORPHOLOGY
5541
BILINGUALISM
5590-01
MED ANTH: THEORY AND METHODS
5590-02
ANTHROPOLOGY OF SPIRITUALITY
5590-03
THE NATURE OF NATURE 
5840
ARCHAEOLOGY/COMPLEXT SOCIETIES
7020
HISTORY OF ANTHROPOLOGY THEORY II
7060
DISSERTATION RESEARCH PROPOSAL 

7129

MARRIAGE, MORTALITY, FERTILITY 

7370

POWER AND THE BODY

7400

LINGUISTIC ANTHROPOLOGY

7450

NATIVE AMERICAN LANGUAGES

7470

LANGUAGE AND CULTURE IN THE MIDDLE EAST 

 


Full Course Descriptions:

 

 

ANTH 5220   ECONOMIC ANTHROPOLOGY    3.0    DAMON
M 7:00-9:30 PM

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

ANTH 5225    NGOs,DEVELOPMENT, AND INTERNATIONAL AID     3.0     BASHKOW
T 4:00-6:30 PM 

Graduate level seminar explores the scholarly literature on NGOs and aid organizations, emphasizing results of field studies. Issues include the impact of changing development trends and funding priorities; how aid meshes with politics; economic and racial hierarchies in development; the complexities of representing the voices of aid clients; assessment and audit; and the nature of motivations to help.

ANTH 5360     WORLD MENTAL HEALTH     3.0     MERKEL
W 6:30-9:00 PM

This course will examine mental health issues from the perspectives of biomedicine and anthropology, emphasizing local traditions of illness and healing as well as evidence from epidemiology and neurobiology. Included topics will be psychosis, depression, PTSD, Culture Bound Syndromes, and suicide. We will also examine the role of pharmaceutical companies in the spread of western based mental health care and culturally sensitive treatment.

ANTH 5395     MYTHODOLOGY     3.0     WAGNER
TR 1230-1:45 PM

Mythodology: A participatory crash-course in the obviation skill set: how to “solve” a myth or story as if it were a topological mind-puzzle. All the student is required to do is furnish a myth or story of their own choosing, analyze it in class presentation, and prepare a final paper on the subject. Class attendance mandatory. 

ANTH 5401   LINGUISTIC FIELD METHODS   3.0   CONTINI-MORAVA
T 5:00-7:30 PM

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 5440     MORPHOLOGY   3.0     DOBRIN
TR 12:30-1:45 PM 

In this course we approach the study of morphology theoretically. The issues covered fall mainly into two broad groupings: those that relate word structure to phonology (such as allomorphy and word formation), and those that relate it to syntax (e.g., inflection, distinguishing compounds from phrases). Throughout the course we will be mindful of whether there exists a core set of phenomena having to do with word structure which motivates a distinct morphological component of grammar. Coursework involves biweekly problem sets and active participation in class problem solving and discussion. Some familiarity with linguistic analysis (such as LNGS 3250) is strongly recommended. Course fulfills the Theory requirement for Linguistics.

ANTH 5541    BILINGUALISM    3.0    WILLIAMS
TR 12:30-1:45 PM 

This course examines bilingualism from sociocultural, structural, and psychological perspectives, and considers the linguistic, ideological, and cognitive motivations and ramifications involved. Topics include societal and individual bilingualism, diglossia, language maintenance and shift, borrowing, code-switching, bilingual acquisition and education, and the bilingual brain. Prerequisites: LNGS 3250/7010 (Introduction to Linguistic Theory & Methodology) plus one other Linguistics course.

ANTH 5590-01     MED ANTH: THEORY AND METHODS     3.0     FRASER
R  7:00-9:30 PM 

This course will provide an overview of theoretical frameworks and methods in medical anthropology situated so that students understand the key assumptions, kinds of questions asked and data used within each framework, something of their histories and exemplars from research studies. Students will become informed and critical readers and will initiate a small research project of their own.

ANTH 5590-02     ANTHROPOLOGY OF SPIRITUALITY    3.0     TURNER
R 7:00-9:30 PM 

The seminar will explore the cross-cultural commonalities of spirituality and the variations in spiritual practice. To better understand these, we will experimentally try out viewpoints from the cultures concerned. While including the First Americans' religions in the "Great Religions," we will eschew theologies and use ethnographies--accounts of human action--for our material. We will use primary sources (where non-philosophical) from active seers and spiritual leaders, examining the relevant history and context for their spiritual activity, including spiritual contexts as well, such as the presence of spirits. The work of anthropologists who have been involved in crossing such boundaries will be available, those by Steven Friedson, Ter Ellingson, Duncan Earle, Suchitra Samantha, and others. We will invite religious activists in for dialogue and will practice empathy, and we will respectfully enact rituals. Class members will conduct local field research to engage in spirituality in milieus suggested in the class, while recognizing that the phenomenon transcends psychological and sociological limits of discussion.

ANTH 5590-03   THE NATURE OF NATURE    3.0   IGOE
TR 3:30-4:45 PM

Nature is a cultural construct paradoxically imagined as existing outside the realm of culture. As such Nature has a special kind of power. It is an inanswerable explanation for why things are as they are (e.g. That's just human nature).  And it is a place to escape unpleasant aspects of civilization (e.g. I'm looking forward getting back to Nature this weekend). Nature presents reality both as it supposedly is and as it ideally should be.  At the same time, in our present historical moment, a growing number of analysts are proclaiming "the end of Nature." In this seminar we will explore the evolution of Nature as a concept and a realm of reality, particularly with respect to various aspects of globalization. We will look at what kinds of work Nature has done over the years, what it may mean in other cultural contexts, and some of the implications of imagining that Nature is now coming to an end.

ANTH 5840     ARCHAEOLOGY/COMPLEXT SOCIETIES    3.0    WATTENMAKER
W 6:30-9:00 PM

This seminar course examines key themes, theories and controversies of interest to archaeologists researching state societies and empires. We will first examine theoretical approaches "middle scale" societies and, with this background, then consider state societies and empires. Readings will include problem-oriented case studies dealing with a range of relevant topics, such as archaeological signatures of state societies, political economy, gender dynamics, class and other sources of variation in state societies, “failed” state societies and inter-cultural dynamics. Drawing on these case studies, we will address the questions of how social hierarchies and inequalities are constructed, maintained and undermined in archaeologically documented complex societies. This course meets the second writing requirement.

ANTH 7020     HISTORY OF ANTHROPOLOGY THEORY II     3.0     METCALF
MW 2:00-3:15 PM

This course continues the program of ANTH 7010, bringing the review of anthropological theory from the mid-twentieth century to the present.

ANTH 7060     DISSERTATION RESEARCH PROPOSAL    3.0     MCKINNON
W 3:30-6:00 PM

Grant proposals are a peculiar academic literary genre with a specific shape and logic. In this course, you will learn how to craft a grant proposal: how to define a research question, problem, or hypothesis (rather than a general area of interest); how to situate that problem within relevant literatures that you wish to build on or challenge and in a way that clearly motivates the project; how to define a methodology that speaks explicitly to the problem you have defined in all its aspects and interrelations; and how to articulate the significance of your project in relation to larger issues in the discipline and beyond.

ANTH 7129     MARRIAGE, MORTALITY, FERTILITY     3.0     SHEPHERD
TR 12:30-1:45 PM 

This course will explore 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) marriage strategies and alternatives, the problem of unbalanced sex ratios at marriageable age, systems of polygamy and polyandry, divorce, widowhood and remarriage; (2) fertility decision making, premodern methods of birth control and spacing, infanticide; (3) disease history, the impact of epidemics and famine, the differential impact of mortality by gender, age, and class, the impact of improved nutrition and modern medicine; (4) migration, regional systems, and variation through time and space in the structure of populations.

ANTH 7370    POWER AND THE BODY   3.0     MENTORE
TR 3:30-4:45 PM  

"This course is designed for those students interested in how and why anthropology arrives at its own peculiar paradigms of identity about the Other from its own deeply embedded western cultural understandings of body and Self."

ANTH 7400    LINGUISTIC ANTHROPOLOGY    3.0   LEFKOWITZ
TR 2:00-3:15 PM 

This is an advanced introduction to linguistic anthropology, a sub-field of anthropology that looks at language as a socio-cultural phenomenon and at society and culture as discursive phenomena. Linguistic anthropologists are interested both in how the study of language can help address issues of social structure and cultural change, and in how the study of social context can inform the description of linguistic systems. This course mirrors the field’s duality in that the readings, lectures, and practical exercises combine linguistic description and analysis with ethnographic interpretation. One goal of the course is to provide anthropology students with the ability to interpret language use as a social practice wherever they conduct research. No prior coursework in linguistics is expected, but the course is aimed at graduate students who will use what they learn in their own anthropologically-oriented research. Fulfills the Linguistics requirement for the Anthropology graduate program and counts toward the Theory requirement for the M.A. in Linguistics.

ANTH 7450     NATIVE AMERICAN LANGUAGES     3.0     DANZIGER 
MW 2:00-3:15 PM 

This course in an introduction to the native languages of the Americas. It serves as a way into knowledge of languages very different from English and the frequently studied European languages. The course covers the major grammatical structures found in the different language families of the Americas, and considers the sociolinguistic situation of Native American speakers in the U.S. and elsewhere. Students will become familiar with the structure of Mopan Maya, an indigenous language of Eastern Central America which is related to the Classic Mayan languages of antiquity, and belongs to a large family of modern Mayan languages spoken today by thousands of people in Belize, Mexico, and Guatemala. The methods of analysis should enable students to make intelligent use of linguistic materials on other languages, including those found in other parts of the world as well. Pre-requisite: LGS 325, LGS 701 or ANTH 740. This course fulfills the Language Structure requirement for Linguistics majors and for Linguistics graduate students.

ANTH 7470   LANGUAGE AND CULTURE IN THE MIDDLE EAST     3.0    LEFKOWITZ
TR 9:30-10:45 PM 

TBA