1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Course Descriptions - Summer 2008

Courses that meet Major Area Requirements:

Prin. of Social Analysis Ethnography Archaeology Linguistics
228, 264 259, 252, 262 381, 387 240
Major Requirements
Non-Western perspectives for the majors
(for the major: note that some of these courses do not meet the College's Nonwestern equirement)
101, 252, 259, 262
Senior Seminars

ANTH 101 (Section 1), Introduction to Anthropology [3]
1030 to 1245. June 10 to July 8. MTWRF
Instructor: Clare Terni

This course introduces students to the discipline of anthropology. We will explore how people in different places make sense of themselves and the world around them, how they communicate, and how they understand their past. We will investigate these topics by examining the specifics of cultural phenomena such as witchcraft beliefs and practices in rural and urban South Africa, how race is defined in Brazil, male and female initiation rites in Togo, gendered communication styles among US college students, and human-animal transformations in lowland South America. Students will engage with a variety of anthropological documents, including ethnographies, films, and still images.

June 10-July 8, MTWRF 1030-1245
Instructor: Strohl

Americans are often surprised to learn that India has the third largest population of Muslims in the world, yet they remain a minority in their home country. Journalists and politicians often represent the situation of over one hundred million Muslims in a predominantly Hindu nation as a yet another "clash of civilizations." But many historians and anthropologists studying the lives of ordinary Muslims find a variety of beliefs and practices within Muslim communities and cultural continuities with Hinduism. This course introduces students to a growing body of scholarship on Islam in India with the aim of acquainting them with the variety of approaches Indians take to Islam. By examining essays by scholars and activists, short stories, poetry, and films, we will look at how Muslims living in India deal with pluralism within their religious tradition and also outside it, through their interactions with the multitude of religious communities in India. We will consider these issues in light of a variety of case studies, including debates about the veil or pardah, studies of conversion, and ritual analysis.

Students need not have prior knowledge of Islamic or South Asian Studies.

ANTH 228 (Section 1) Introduction to Medical Anthropology [3]
1300 to 1515. June 10 to July 8. MTWRF
Instructor: Wende Marshall

This course introduces students to the body as a map of social injustice, explores the social origins of suffering and disease, the relationship between social justice and health, and the limits of biomedical and scientific understandings of disease etiology. Topics may include: debates about needle exchange as a means of stopping the spread of HIV; the impact of neo-liberal economic policies on health in the U.S. and elsewhere; debates about commoditization of health; and non-biomedical healing epistemologies.

ANTH 240 (Section 1) Language and Culture [3]
1030 to 1245. May 12 to June 6. MTWRF
Instructor: Adam Harr

What is language and how did it get started? How does language set us apart as a species? Why are there so many different languages? Can the grammar of a language mold one's thoughts? How does the way one speaks define who one is for other people? Our course will examine anthropological debates surrounding these essential questions, paying special attention to the ways in which some of the most compelling answers have been shaped by anthropologists' long-term personal engagement in cross-cultural research. No background in linguistics or anthropology will be presupposed.

ANTH 252 (Section 1) Men and Masculinities in South Asia [3]
1300 to 1515. July 10 to August 7. MTWRF
Instructor: Holly Donahue Singh

This course focuses on men and masculinity in myth and reality in South Asia. We will examine new scholarship on the cultural construction of men and masculinity as it bears on issues relating to sexuality and changing gender roles; family and male honor; reproduction and the rise of the new reproductive technologies; and religious fundamentalism and national politics.

ANTH 259 (Section 1) Making Cuba [3]
1030 to 1245. July 10 to August 7. MTWRF
Instructor: Roberto Armengol

Places do not exist but are made-and remade. Columbus imagined Cuba to be "the most beautiful land eyes have ever seen." Humboldt saw a slave society ready to crack. Today some envision paradise and others paradise lost. Through an examination of the ethnographic record, historical artifacts, film and images, speeches, news, diaries and travel logs, we'll review the history of Cuba's making from pre-Columbian times to the Cold War and beyond, with a heavy focus on contemporary issues, such as everyday life and the informal economy, exile culture, and the resurgence of international tourism. In the process, we will consider theories of nationalism, the state, postcolonialism, socialism, power, race, gender, religion and language.

ANTH 262 (Section 1) Bollywood: Indian Popular Cinema [3]
1300 to 1515. May 12 to June 6. MTWRF
Instructor: H.L. Seneviratne

An exploration of the history and evolution of the Indian popular cinema, known as Bollywood, with special emphasis on how a modern western art form was indigenized, leading to the formation of the world's largest film industry.

ANTH 264 (Section 1) The 'Hood, the Slum and the Teeming Masses: An Anthropological Investigation of Urban Poverty [3]
1030 to 1245. June 10 to July 8. MTWRF
Instructor: Claire Snell-Rood

Urban poverty is represented everywhere: from the urban welfare queens of the Reagan era, to images of burgeoning slum growth in the "Third World," to Jacob Riis' infamous portraits in How the Other Half Lives. A central question of this class is: how are the "urban poor" produced in the imaginations of popular middle class media, governments and NGO's? How do these imaginings affect the development of urban policies and practices? Through ethnography, this course will expose students to more nuanced portrayals of the lived realities of urban poverty, helping students to critically assess representations of the urban poor and the policy solutions that address urban poverty

ANTH 381 (Section 1) Field Methods in Archaeology [3]
800 to 1700. May 12 to June 6. MTWRF
Instructor: Elizabeth Bollwerk

This course-taught in tandem with ANTH 387-introduces students to contemporary archaeological fieldwork through participation in research on a Late Woodland-Contact Period Monacan village site, Monasukapanough, in Albemarle County. The class will consist primarily of archaeological fieldwork including excavation, site interpretation, artifact classification and cataloging, drafting and computer-aided mapping. To place this research in a broader context we will also visit the Monacan Ancestral Museum and work with the Monacan people to see first hand how they interpret their own history. You must enroll in ANTH 387 to register for ANTH 381.

ANTH 387 (Section 1) Archaeology of Virginia [3]
800 to 1700. May 12 to June 6. MTWRF
Instructor: Jeffrey Hantman

This course-taught in tandem with ANTH 381-provides an overview of the archaeology of Virginia and the larger Middle Atlantic region, placing the field excavation at Monasukapanough in a larger temporal and regional research context. The course also provides instruction in the analysis of material culture from Native American sites in Virginia, using artifacts recovered in ANTH 381 as the basis of training in laboratory methods. The course is taught on-grounds in the Brooks Hall Archaeology Lab. You must enroll in ANTH 381 to register for ANTH 387.