1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Courses Spring 2020

Spring 2020 

Undergraduate Courses

 

Full Course Descriptions

 

ANTH 1010-100   INTRO. TO ANTHROPOLOGY           3.0      ROLANDO BETANCOURT
MW 8:00-8:50 AM

ANTH 1010-200   INTRO. TO ANTHROPOLOGY            3.0     BROACH
MW 12:00-12:50 PM

ANTH. 1010-300  INTRO. TO ANTHROPOOGY            3.0      MILLS 
MW 3:30-4:20 PM 

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 2250   NATIONALISM, RACISM, MULTICULTURISM   3.0     HANDLER
MW 4:00-4:50 PM

Introductory course in which the concepts of culture, multiculturalism, race, racism, and nationalism are critically examined in terms of how they are used and structure social relations in American society and, by comparison, how they are defined in other cultures throughout the world.

ANTH 2280       MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY  3.0        TIDEY
MW 10:00-10:50 AM

This course is an introduction to the rapidly expanding anthropological subfield of medical anthropology. It explores how social, cultural, economic, and political factors shape experiences of illness and health in a comparative and transnational manner. This course will show students how illness is understood and perceived in different socio- cultural contexts. It will address how notions of the body, practices of care, and socio-political conditions influence illness experiences and health outcomes. By considering biomedicine alongside other cultural medical systems, students will learn that there is more to health and illness than biology.

The course is organized around four units, guided by a set of questions that have been central to the field of medical anthropology. Exploring these questions will provide cross-cultural comparative insights into problems that patients, medical practitioners, and other people face when confronting illness, disease, and suffering.

Health and illness: How do patients and practitioners experience and understand states of health and illness? How are these experiences and understandings shaped by social and cultural contexts across space and time? How does biomedicine as a cultural artifact compare to other medical systems?

The body in the world: How do people use the body and its afflictions as symbols to speak about and respond to the social worlds in which they find themselves? How do the social, cultural, political, and economic factors of those worlds in turn shape the body and its afflictions?

Violence and inequality: How do the political and economic organization of our social world injure some bodies more than others? How does social suffering from violence and inequality become experienced and embodied?

Personhood, belonging, and care: How do ideas, practices, and material artifacts of medicine shape our understandings of ourselves and each other as particular kinds of persons? How do medical experiences influence various forms of belonging? How do they facilitate or restrict possibilities for care?

ANTH 2375                   DISASTER                   3.0                    QUASEM
TUTH 9:30-10:45 AM

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 2410                   SOCIOLINGUISTICS               3.0                    LEFKOWITZ
MW 3:30-4:20 PM

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 alsothinking about how times, spaces, and social groups are themselves shaped by linguistic variation. No background in linguistics or anthropology isrequired.

ANTH 2415       LANGUAGE IN HUMAN EVOLUTION              3.0        SICOLI
MW 9:00-9:50 AM

Examines the evolution of our capacity for language along with the development of human ways of cooperating in engaged social interaction. Course integrates cognitive, cultural, social, and biological aspects of language in comparative perspective. How is the familiar shape of language today the result of evolutionary and developmental processes involving the form, function, meaning and use of signs and symbols in social ecologies?

ANTH 2430       LANGUAGES OF THE WORLD                  3.0      MIRZAYAN
MW 8:00-8:50 AM

This course introduces students to the diversity of human language and the principles of linguistic classification. How many languages are spoken inthe 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.

ANTH 2559-01 CONTEMPORARY INDIGENOUS WORLDS     3.0       ROLANDO BETANCOURT
MW 2:00-3:15 PM

Indigenous Peoples around the world face similar threats and difficulties: cultural and linguistic discrimination, territorial dispossession, and environmental injustice, among others. Students will use a comparative perspective and a problem-based methodology to become familiar with some of these global issues, their causes, consequences, and possible solutions without losing sight of the great diversity among Indigenous Peoples.

ANTH 2559-02     SEX, SPIRITS, AND SORCERY          MW      3.0      SKERITT
MW 3:30-4:45PM 

The art of northern Australia opens a window onto a world in which ancestral spirits remain a constant presence in the land. These narratives contain all the drama of a Hollywood epic: struggles over life and death, love and lust, all within simmering magic of the tropics. Using the world-class holdings of the Kluge-Ruhe, this seminar explores the development of the art of Arnhem Land from 1911 to the present. 

ANTH 3020     USING ANTHROPOLOGY        3.0        SEALE-FELDMAN
MW 9:00-9:50 AM

The theoretical, methodological, and ethical practice of engaged anthropology is the subject of this course. We begin with a discussion of the uses of anthropology and the ethics of anthropological research. We then examine case studies in activist, applied, and public anthropology that demonstrate the unique practices and contributions of anthropology in diverse areas of policy and civic engagement.

ANTH 3240       FOOD, CULTURE, AND SOCIETY: A FOCUS ON NATIVE NORTH AMERICA       3.0.     JERNIGAN
TUTH 11:00-12:15 PM

This course approaches food from the various perspectives of social sciences, focusing on historically and culturally variable forms of food production, exchange, preparation and consumption as the means through which both individual and social bodies are constructed and reproduced. We begin with a brief overview of evolution, adaptation, and subsistence strategies, followed by an examination of why we eat what we eat (and what it means). We then examine food and the environment; food and colonialism, the globalization of food and food production; food and identities, food and bodies (cultures of thinness and fatness). We examine concepts of food security, food apartheid, and food sovereignty and end with an examination of food justice movements and food-related social movements, with a focus on Native American communities..

ANTH 3290    BIOPOLITICS AND THE CONTEMPORARY CONDITION   3.0    ZIGON
TH 3:30-6:00 PM

Biopolitical analysis has become one of the prominent critical approaches across the social sciences and humanities. This course will consider various biopolitical theories and the ways in which they help us understand diverse phenomena of our contemporary condition, which will be examined through various case studies. 

ANTH 3390     PREGNANCY, BIRTHING AND THE POST-PARTUM    3.0       FRASER
TUTH 3:30-4:45 PM

There is no debate that human reproduction is a biological universal, but it is also an intensely cultural phenomenon with widely disparate, and often contested, specific cultural routines, symbolic systems, ideas and practices whether focused on mothers, fathers, infants or communities or who is recognized as a birthing expert. This course examines variations in physiological and cultural processes globally and explores both the  individual experiences and systemic patterns associated with the phases of reproduction from pregnancy through to post-partum. While being respectful to differences in belief among course members, your professor will teach evolution as an established scientific fact necessary  to fully understand the human history of pregnancy, birthing and the post-partum.

ANTH 3470       LANGUAGE AND CULTURE IN THE MIDDLE EAST   3.0        LEFKOWITZ
MW 11:00-11:50 AM

Introduction to peoples, languages, cultures and histories of the Middle East. Focuses on Israel/Palestine as a microcosm of important social processes-such as colonialism, nationalism, religious fundamentalism, and modernization-that affect the region as a whole. This course is cross-listed with MEST 3470. Prerequisite: Previous course in anthropology, linguistics, Middle East Studies or permission of instructor.

ANTH 3490    LANGUAGE AND THOUGHT                  3.0        DANZIGER
WF 11:00-11:50AM

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? Can we learn about alternative ways of approaching the external world by studying other languages? The classic proposal of linguistic relativity as enunciated by Benjamin Lee Whorf is examined in the light of recent cross-cultural psycholinguistic research. This class fulfills the Linguistics requirement for Anthropology and for Cognitive Science majors. It fulfills the Theory requirement for Linguistics majors.

ANTH 3559    CURATING CULTURE: COLLECTION PRESERVATION DISPLAY   3.0    DOBRIN
TH 2:00-4:30 PM

This course explores the importance of understanding cultural meanings for curating items—both material and intangible—drawn from social worlds other than one’s own. Rights and the power to control items of patrimony and their representation are extremely important when thinking about curation of indigenous art, but it is also important to understand how the meaning of cultural objects can create challenges for responsible curation.

The course is divided into two segments. The first is a general introduction to collection, preservation, and display that shows how these activities are cultural forms in their own right. After historicizing museums and archives, we focus in on situations that raise cultural challenges for curation, such as cases in which items are understood by those who created them to have power apart from the uses anyone makes of them, or where community ideas about the value of replication run up against preservation workers’ insistence on differentiating between “original” and “copy”, or where cultural protocols limit who can appropriately view particular items. The second segment of the course brings the regional focus of the course to Melanesia. I will start by sharing with the students my own work digitally curating Arapesh texts, images, maps, and other materials in a way that makes them accessible to outsiders while also preserving their meaning and value from an Arapesh cultural perspective. Students will then gain direct experience with the problem of curating culture by studying items from the Fralin’s Oceanic collection. They will come into the facility to study the objects; they will read literature in Melanesian anthropology that will help them understand what the objects are, where they come from, and what they mean to the people who produced them; and they will analyze the implications of this knowledge for appropriate curation. The final course project will be to curate a collection of objects produced in Melanesia for public display in Brooks Hall.

ANTH 3589       ARCHAEOLOGY OF HEALING AND DISEASE             3.0    HAINES
TUTH 9:30-10:45 AM

In this course students will examine the sociocultural dynamics of health and disease through archaeological case studies. Course materials address four main topics and methodological approaches: 1) archaeological approaches to the body through Bioarchaeology; 2) foodways and the emergence of agriculture; 3) the social ecology of disease and landscape care; and 4) household medicine and daily practice.

ANTH 3590-01             MORAL EXPERIENCE              3.0      SEALE-FELDMAN
W 3:30-6:00 PM

This course will introduce students to one of the key frameworks in anthropology's "ethical turn": moral experience. The anthropology of moral experience explores questions of ethics and morality from a phenomenological perspective that attends closely to questions of subjectivity, affect, and embodiment. We will explore topics including ethical self-cultivation, empathy, love, hope, breakdown, mood, and moral transformation.

ANTH 3590-02    INDIGENOUS NORTH AMERICAN ARTS                  3.0               GRECI GREEN
TH 1:00-3:30 PM 

This course will give you an introduction to the art histories of indigenous North American nations and cultures. You will explore the range of creativity and diversity of media, forms, and aesthetic systems of Native American and First Nations artists of the past and of artists working today. We will discuss significant themes in the study of Native arts including the relationship between art and cultural identity, the role of artists in society, and the significance of artistic exchange within the arena of social relations.
 
We will also discuss the history of collecting indigenous arts, how Native American arts are presented in museums, and the repatriation of works of art to their communities of origin.
 
This course offers you the opportunity of hands-on experience studying a range of works of Native American art in the collection of the Fralin Museum of Art. You will receive basic training on material culture analysis, investigation of construction methods, object history, and comparative collection histories from which to build an original research project on the work of art you select.

 

ANTH 3590-04     HIMALAYA REVISITED                      3.0            ZHANG
TUTH 3:30-4:45PM

TBA

ANTH  3885           ARCHAEOLOGY OF EUROPE       3.0           LAVIOLETTE
TUTH 12:30-1:45 PM

A survey of European archaeology beginning with the Neanderthal debate, and including interpretations of Upper Paleolithic cave painting, the spread village farming from the Near East, the role of megalithic monuments, the interaction of Rome and the `Barbarians', the growth of urban centers, the Iron Age, and the Viking expansion.

ANTH 4591-01  TRUTH CLAIMS, VISUAL TECHNOLOGY, AND JUSTICE       3.0           DONOVAN
TUTH 2:00-3:15 PM

This course considers the complex relationships between storytelling, visual evidence, legitimacy, and law, focusing on how people in different contexts worldwide are using images and visual technologies to construct persuasive claims about truth. We will draw on ethnography, law, journalism, grassroots case studies, body cam and cell phone footage, documentary film, and other sources in an interdisciplinary seminar environment.

ANTH 4591-02     FAMILY ACROSS CULTURE             3.0        BROACH
MW 2:00-3:15 PM

In this class, we will take a cross-cultural perspective that comparatively examines the symbols and structures that humans use to define what it means to be family. In the past, anthropologists assumed that kinship belonged in the domain of biology. “Blood” relationships and nuclear families were central to what defined “real” kinship. However, familial bonds across cultures can also be formed through substances such as food and land. They can be created by ritual processes such as baptism and spiritual possession, or through practices like ancestor worship and speaking in tongues. Together, we will explore a diversity of ways in which humans relate to one another as family. Students will be guided throughout the semester in preparing a research paper that explores these themes.  

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 5401       LIGUISTIC FIELD METHOD   3.0        MIRZAYAN
M 5:00-7:30 PM

Investigates the grammatical structure of non-European language on the basis of data collected in class from a native speaker. A different language is the focus of study each year.

ANTH 5410       PHONOLOGY              3.0        MIRZAYAN
TUTH 3:30-4:45 PM

An introduction to the theory and analysis of linguistic sound systems. Covers the essential units of speech sound that lexical and grammatical elements are composed of, how those units are organized at multiple levels of representation, and the principles governing the relation between levels.  

ANTH 5425       LANGUAGE CONTACT                       3.0        SICOLI
W 2:00-4:30 PM

Considers how languages change when part of social systems and affected by historical processes. We will contrast language change through internal processes of drift and regular sound change with contact-induced language change involving multilingualism and code switching, language shift and lexical borrowing, the emergence of pidgin, creole, and intertwined languages, language endangerment, and computational tools for historical linguistics. Fulfills the Historical Linguistics requirement for Linguistics majors and graduate students.

ANTH 5465       LANGUAGE AND THE CULTURE OF PRESERVATION           3.0        DOBRIN
TH 5:00-7:30 PM

Why save endangered languages? What makes this work compelling to the diverse stakeholders involved? What kinds of obstacles do language preservation projects repeatedly encounter and why? This seminar explores language preservation as a cultural phenomenon in which issues of temporality, ownership, identity, and authenticity come to the fore.

ANTH 5589       HOUSEHOLD ARCHAEOLOGY                       3.0        LAVIOLETTE
TU 5:00-7:30 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 and challenges of sociocultural, linguistic, archaeological and bioanthropological anthropology in the areas of contemporary policy and community and civic engagement.

ANTH 5590     AFRICAN AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGISTS  3.0        FRASER
W 5:00-7:30 PM

The course is inspired by Ira and Faye Harrison's book on African American Pioneers in Anthropology whose classic book rehistoricized the African American presence in the discipline. This course will take on the practical work of extending this text,  further explore the intellectual and foundational contributions of African American scholars and ask what does this mean for contemporary Anthropological theory, pedagogy and practice.

 

 

Course Number Index

 

Courses that meet Major Area Requirements: 

 

Prin. of Social Analysis                                                   Archaeology                              Linguistics

2280,2375,2589,3240,3290,3559,3390,3590                         3589,3885                       2410,2430,2415,3470,3490

Major Requirements

1010-1,1010-2,1010-3,3020,4591-1,4591-2

Senior Seminars 

4591-1,4591-2

 

 

Graduate Courses

 

Full Course Descriptions: 

 

 

 

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 5401       LIGUISTIC FIELD METHOD   3.0        MIRZAYAN
M 5:00-7:30 PM

Investigates the grammatical structure of non-European language on the basis of data collected in class from a native speaker. A different language is the focus of study each year.

ANTH 5410       PHONOLOGY              3.0        MIRZAYAN
TUTH 3:30-4:45 PM

An introduction to the theory and analysis of linguistic sound systems. Covers the essential units of speech sound that lexical and grammatical elements are composed of, how those units are organized at multiple levels of representation, and the principles governing the relation between levels.  

ANTH 5425       LANGUAGE CONTACT                       3.0        SICOLI
W 2:00-4:30 PM

Considers how languages change when part of social systems and affected by historical processes. We will contrast language change through internal processes of drift and regular sound change with contact-induced language change involving multilingualism and code switching, language shift and lexical borrowing, the emergence of pidgin, creole, and intertwined languages, language endangerment, and computational tools for historical linguistics. Fulfills the Historical Linguistics requirement for Linguistics majors and graduate students.

ANTH 5465       LANGAUGE AND THE CULTURE OF PRESERVATION           3.0        DOBRIN
TH 5:00-7:30 PM

Why save endangered languages? What makes this work compelling to the diverse stakeholders involved? What kinds of obstacles do language preservation projects repeatedly encounter and why? This seminar explores language preservation as a cultural phenomenon in which issues of temporality, ownership, identity, and authenticity come to the fore.

ANTH 5589       HOUSEHOLD ARCHAEOLOGY                       3.0        LAVIOLETTE
TU 5:00-7:30 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 and challenges of sociocultural, linguistic, archaeological and bioanthropological anthropology in the areas of contemporary policy and community and civic engagement.

ANTH 5590     AFRICAN AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGISTS  3.0        FRASER
W 5:00-7:30 PM

The course is inspired by Ira and Faye Harrison's book on African American Pioneers in Anthropology whose classic book rehistoricized the African American presence in the discipline. This course will take on the practical work of extending this text,  further explore the intellectual and foundational contributions of African American scholars and ask what does this mean for contemporary Anthropological theory, pedagogy and practice.

ANTH 7020       CONTEMPORARY ANTHROPOLOGICAL THEORY    3.0        BASHKOW
M 2:00-2:50 PM 

Explores the major recent theoretical approaches in current anthropology, with attention to their histories and to their political contexts and implications.

ANTH 7040       ETHNOGRAPHIC RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS             3.0    BASHKOW
TUTH 2:00-3:15 PM 

Seminar on ethnographic methods and research design in the qualitative tradition. Surveys the literature on ethnographic methods and explores relations among theory, research design, and appropriate methodologies. Students participate in methodological exercises and design a summer pilot research project. Prerequisite: Second year graduate in anthropology or instructor permission.

ANTH 7470       LANGUAGE AND CULTURE IN THE MIDDLE EAST        3.0    LEFKOWITZ
F 11:00-11:50 AM

Introduction to peoples, languages, cultures and histories of the Middle East. Focuses on Israel/Palestine as a microcosm of important social processes-such as colonialism, nationalism, religious fundamentalism, and modernization-that affect the region as a whole. This course is cross-listed with MEST 3470. Prerequisite: Previous course in anthropology, linguistics, Middle East Studies or permission of instructor.

ANTH 7590       ANTHROPOLOGY OF RELIGION        3.0        METCALF
MW 12:30-1:45 PM

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. Everywhere ritual permeates social life, yet in no other category of behavior is the exoticness of other cultures more in evidence. This course asks commonsense questions about religion and ritual, and shows how far we have come towards answering them in a century of theorizing. There are no prerequisites for this course, which is designed to be accessible to those with no background in anthropology.