1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Courses Fall 2019

Fall  2019

Undergraduate Courses

Full Course Descriptions:

ANTH 1010       INTRO. TO ANTHROPOLOGY     3.0.    SICOLI
MW 3:00-3:50 PM

This course is an overview of key themes and theory in cultural anthropology. It is meant to provide students with the analytical and methodological tools to critically consider cultural difference, social organization, and social change. Themes include: anthropological methods, kinship, gender, religion, colonization, media, pop cultures, consumption, medicine, media, globalization, and post-modernity.

ANTH 2040   HOW TO DO ETHNOGRAPHIC FIELDWORK    3.0   BASHKOW
MW 10:00-10:50 AM

How do you study culture? How do you research aspects of people's lives that they themselves take for granted? This course introduces the theory, ethics, and practice of ethnographic field research, or "fieldwork," which is valued in public health, development, design, planning, marketing, activism, and education. Students gain practical experience conducting an ethnographic research project and presenting the results in a public blog. 

This course will help you if you later choose to do study abroad or independent research, internships, and service-learning projects in the community or overseas, for example, field research and development projects in Global Studies, Engineering, and Global Health, or research based Distinguished Major Program (DMP) senior theses in Arts & Sciences.

ANTH 2280   MEDICIAL ANTHROPOLOGY   3.0    SCHERZ
MW 9:00-9:50 AM

This course is an introduction to the rapidly expanding subfield of Medical Anthropology. It will teach students to analyze how social, cultural, political, and economic factors impact the body and how these factors shape the ways different people understand, experience, and respond to states of health and disease. In addition to exploring the medical systems of other cultures, we will also reflect on biomedicine as a cultural artifact. Given the growing interest in global health and the diversity of the American population, this course may be of special use to students interested in pursuing careers in health care and international development.

ANTH 2400   LANGUAGE AND CULTURE   3.0.   DOBRIN
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. Course includes a plus obligatory discussion section.

ANTH 2440    LANGUAGE AND CINEMA    3.0    LEFKOWITZ
TR 9:30-10:20 AM

Looks historically at speech and language in Hollywood movies, including the technological challenges and artistic theories and controversies attending the transition from silent to sound films. Focuses on the ways that gender, racial, ethnic, and national identities are constructed through the representation of speech, dialect, and accent. Introduces semiotics but requires no knowledge of linguistics, or film studies.

ANTH 2541    TECHNOLOGY, LANGUAGE, AND SOCIETY    3.0.   MORGENSTERN
TR 12:30-1:45 PM

This course provides a linguistic anthropological perspective on technology and communication. Beginning with the development of the written word and concluding with smart phones and social media, the course will explore the use of various communication technologies in both Western and non-Western contexts in order to better understand the role that language and technology play in politics, power, identity, and community.

ANTH 2559   INTRODUCTION TO NATIVE AMERICAN STUDIES   3.0   JERNIGAN
TR 9:30-10:45 AM

This class offers an introduction to the broad field of Native American Studies with a focus on themes of identity and representation. We examine the foundations of Native representations, their constructions in-step with colonization, and their connections to critical issues facing Native communities, including legal and cultural identities, cultural revitalization, environmental racism, health inequities, gender and sexuality, and sovereignty.  (This class is cross-listed with AMST 2559)

ANTH 3100    INDIGENOUS LANSCAPES    3.0    IGOE
TR 9:30-10:45 AM

Indigenous landscapes are space of cultural production, land rights advocacy, and environmental care. They are essential to indigenous sovereignty, and the material and symbolic ground of contested futures. Focusing on landscapes in Africa, Australia, and North America, we will explore their connections to art, media, and related imaginaries, global social movements, and potential solutions to current socio-ecological crises.

ANTH 3010        THEORY AND HISTORY OF ANTHROPOLOGY   3.0   IGOE
TR 2:00-3:15 PM

This course is designed for students who are majoring in anthropology. It presents a broad historical outline of major theoretical approaches in the field, from the late 19th century to the present. These approaches will be examined in relation to both evolving debates within the discipline, and the larger historical, cultural and intellectual contexts in which they were produced, and which they to some degree reflect; we will also discuss the enduring relevance of these theories. The course stresses close reading of primary texts and emphasizes in particular the critical analysis of these texts' arguments. The discussion section is obligatory. This is a required course for anthropology majors.

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 3152     AMAZONIAN PEOPLES      3.0     MENTORE
MWF 11:00-11:50 AM

Analyzes ethnographies on the cultures and the societies of the South American rain forest peoples and evaluates the scholarly ways in which anthropology has produced, engaged, interpreted, and presented its knowledge of the 'Amerindian.'

ANTH 3155     EVERYDAY AMERICAN LIFE       3.0    DAMON
MWF 10:00-10:50 AM

The United States and the world are at a crossroads and this course will use anthropological models to analyze our situation, the US experience in North America and its extension into the world. From the tone and result of the 2016 Presidential election and the Trump administration’s actions, we will begin with an analysis of the US electoral system as a ritual practice deeply ingrained in the fabric of US history and structure. We will then try to grasp this moment by looking at several historical sequences to examine our current situation. Successively these will focus on US religion, understood from its early 19th century founding; environmental movements that have crossed the last two hundred years; our system of food production and consumption; and our financial system viewed through the trials and tribulations of home ownership and its financing. The models employed will be drawn from anthropology’s analysis of production and exchange, rites of transition, sacrifice and mythology. This is a reading and writing course and will fulfill the Second Writing Requirement. Students will write short papers on specific course sections while they prepare a longer research paper or prospectus for something like an independent study or Distinguished Majors program.

ANTH 3450       NATIVE AMERICAN LANGUAGES     3.0     SICOLI
MWF 10:00-10:50 AM

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 3590    ECOLOGIES OF POWER     3.0     FAVINI
MW 5:00-6:15 PM

At the intersections of anthropology, political ecology, and STS, this course seeks to understand our ecological crisis in ways attuned to the complexity and inequities of human social life.  Readings will explore a diverse range of topics – from inquiries into the ways culture shapes conservation biology, to criticisms of “green capitalism,” to analyses of settler colonialism as an ecological force – united by a common theme that human interactions with landscapes are deeply cultural and always political. The course will critically evaluate dominant environmentalist discourse, and, drawing on indigenous authors, speculative fiction, and posthuman philosophy, explore different possibilities for climate action. Whenever possible, course materials will ground students in local environmental justice struggles.

ANTH 4591-01   HUMAN CRUELTY AND ITS DOUBLE      3.0     MENTORE
W 2:00-4:30 PM

Giving an anthropological turn to a topic dominated mostly by philosophy -- "cruelty as massacred bodies" and "the gaze veiled by tears".  This course is a cross-cultural study of ethnographies descriptive of felt reality.  It will attune the fact that any such genre in storytelling pertains principally to an act of witnessing, which deploys the heroic in ways obscuring its very shaping of the villain and thus its implicated practices of cruelty.  From the benevolent master and tortured slave, the child killer and victorious warrior, to the planet destroyer and economy savior, anthropological interest in such characters reveal its longstanding concerns for subjectivity, individuality, and categorical personhood.  Hence, the dominant course-problematic on how the proclaimed dichotomies of western thought end up being nothing more than the fold of its doubled ideas.

ANTH 4591-02    MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY     3.0   SCHERZ
M 2:00-4:30 PM

This majors seminar will give anthropology majors an opportunity for deep engagement with current and classic texts in medical anthropology. Medical anthropology looks at the ways social, cultural, political, and economic factors impact the body and shape the ways people understand, experience, and respond to states of health and disease. Among the topics, we will consider are care, quantification, and alternative modes of healing.

ANTH 5210        RECONFIGURING KINSHIP STUDIES       3.0      DAMON
MW 6:00-7:15 PM

This course comes in two parts. The first will be a fast overview of the history of kinship studies from its 19th Century origins to late 20th –early 21st Century trends. Among the works examined will be those leading up to and including Lévi-Strauss, Needham and Schneider, Goody and McKinnon. Building on the first half the second will examine three specific ‘societies’ and their kinship structures. Central to this inquiry will be an examination of the degree to which ideas about making people organize kinship orders. This will entail the close examination of ideologies, terminologies, rituals etc. The three societies will be drawn from Melanesia, China and West Africa (the Kabre; Duke University’s Charles Piot may participate in the West African examination). Students will demonstrate competence in two of these three as well as organize their own study of one specific place, one of which might be one these three.

ANTH 5470      LANGUAGE AND IDENTITY      3.0        LEFKOWITZ
T 2:00-4:30 PM

Explores the view that language is central in the construction, negotiation, and expression of social identities by juxtaposing and critically appraising social, theoretic, and linguistic treatments of identity.

ANTH 5510    ETHNOGRAPHY OF CHINA       3.0     SHEPHERD
MW 3:30-4:45 PM

This is a seminar for graduate students and upper-level undergraduates with background in Chinese studies and/or Anthropology. In this seminar we will read ethnographies selected to represent the most recent ethnographic works focusing on Chinese societies in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Topics will range from post-reform rural and urban life, gender, ethnicity, political culture, and religion. The seminar will critically review the numerous approaches to the Chinese culture of social relations that have been proposed by anthropologists, psychologists, and political scientists. The adequacy of these characterizations will be tested against ethnographic descriptions and literary accounts of Chinese families, gender roles, village life, friendship, formal organizations, and political culture. Ethnographies will be drawn from the People's Republic, Taiwan, and overseas communities. The course will be conducted as a seminar based on student participation and discussion focusing on critical responses to the readings. Students should expect to read a new ethnography approximately every two weeks, supplemented by articles and reviews. Requirements include reading responses, preparation of discussion questions, and active seminar participation. Written work will include two short essays (8-10 pages), and a term paper (15-20 pages).

ANTH 5559    CRITICAL HERMENEUTICS     3.0    ZIGON
R 3:30-6:00 PM

This is a seminar on key texts in the tradition of critical hermeneutics and phenomenology.  We will consider these in relation to the practice of critical hermeneutics within anthropology and other disciplines.

 

Course Number Index

 

Courses that meet Major Area Requirements:

 

 

Prin. of Social Analysis

Archaeology

Linguistics

2040, 2280, 3100, 3152, 3155, 3255

5589

 2400, 2440, 3750       

Major Requirements

1010, 3010, 4591-01-, 4591-02

 

 

 

Major Seminars

4591-01, 4591-02

 

 

 

Graduate Courses

Full Course Descriptions:

 

ANTH 5210        RECONFIGURING KINSHIP STUDIES       3.0      DAMON
MW 6:00-7:15 PM

This course comes in two parts. The first will be a fast overview of the history of kinship studies from its 19th Century origins to late 20th –early 21st Century trends. Among the works examined will be those leading up to and including Lévi-Strauss, Needham and Schneider, Goody and McKinnon. Building on the first half the second will examine three specific ‘societies’ and their kinship structures. Central to this inquiry will be an examination of the degree to which ideas about making people organize kinship orders. This will entail the close examination of ideologies, terminologies, rituals etc. The three societies will be drawn from Melanesia, China and West Africa (the Kabre; Duke University’s Charles Piot may participate in the West African examination). Students will demonstrate competence in two of these three as well as organize their own study of one specific place, one of which might be one these three.

ANTH 5470      LANGUAGE AND IDENTITY      3.0        LEFKOWITZ
T 2:00-4:30 PM

Explores the view that language is central in the construction, negotiation, and expression of social identities by juxtaposing and critically appraising social, theoretic, and linguistic treatments of identity.

ANTH 5510    ETHNOGRAPHY OF CHINA       3.0     SHEPHERD
MW 3:30-4:45 PM

This is a seminar for graduate students and upper level undergraduates with background in Chinese studies and/or Anthropology. In this seminar we will read ethnographies selected to represent the most recent ethnographic works focusing on Chinese societies in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Topics will range from post-reform rural and urban life, gender, ethnicity, political culture, and religion. The seminar will critically review the numerous approaches to the Chinese culture of social relations that have been proposed by anthropologists, psychologists, and political scientists. The adequacy of these characterizations will be tested against ethnographic descriptions and literary accounts of Chinese families, gender roles, village life, friendship, formal organizations, and political culture. Ethnographies will be drawn from the People's Republic, Taiwan, and overseas communities. The course will be conducted as a seminar based on student participation and discussion focusing on critical responses to the readings. Students should expect to read a new ethnography approximately every two weeks, supplemented by articles and reviews. Requirements include reading responses, preparation of discussion questions, and active seminar participation. Written work will include two short essays (8-10 pages), and a term paper (15-20 pages).

ANTH 5559    CRITICAL HERMENEUTICS     3.0    ZIGON
R 3:30-6:00 PM

This is a seminar on key texts in the tradition of critical hermeneutics and phenomenology.  We will consider these in relation to the practice of critical hermeneutics within anthropology and other disciplines.

ANTH 7100      INDIGENOUS LANDSCAPES      3.0      IGOE
TR 9:30-10:45 AM

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 7010     THEORY AND HISTORY OF ANTHRPOLOGY      3.0     IGOE
TR 2:00-3:15 PM

This course is designed for students who are majoring in anthropology. It presents a broad historical outline of major theoretical approaches in the field, from the late 19th century to the present. These approaches will be examined in relation to both evolving debates within the discipline, and the larger historical, cultural and intellectual contexts in which they were produced, and which they to some degree reflect; we will also discuss the enduring relevance of these theories. The course stresses close reading of primary texts and emphasizes in particular the critical analysis of these texts' arguments. The discussion section is obligatory. This is a required course for anthropology majors.

ANTH 7060     DISSERTATION RESEARCH PROPOSAL WRITING       3.0       LAVIOLETTE
R 5:00-7:30 PM

A workshop for anthropology graduate students preparing dissertation proposals and writing grant applications.

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 7400      LINGUISTIC ANTHROPOLOGY       3.0       DOBRIN
R 5:00-7:30 PM

An advanced introduction to the study of language from an anthropological point of view. 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. Topics include an introduction to such basic concepts in linguistic anthropology as language in world-view, the nature of symbolic meaning, language and nationalism, universals and particulars in language, language in history and prehistory, the ethnography of speaking, the nature of everyday conversation, and the study of poetic language. The course is required for all Anthropology graduate students. It also counts toward the Theory requirement for the M.A. in Linguistics.