120 Cultural Anthropology
(3 s.h.) An introduction to the study of humans as culture-bearing beings. Through readings, films, lectures, and discussions students come to an understanding of the extent of human cultural diversity. Using societies from around the world as examples, students will study cultural practices and beliefs regarding marriage, kinship, family life, uses of technology, religion, political organization and social stratification.
121 Physical Anthropology and Archaeology
(3 s.h.) An introduction to the physical history of the human species by studying our closest living primate relatives and analyzing fossil remains of early hominids. Students then study the evolution of human culture from the origins of humankind to the beginnings of the first literate civilizations in the Old and New Worlds. The course concludes by looking at physical variation, including the concept of race, in contemporary human populations.
202 Women, Gender, and Culture
(3 s.h.) Explores the relationship between gender, culture, and women’s status in communities around the world. Students will examine the relationship between “sex” and “gender,” evaluate cross-cultural variations of women’s roles and status, be exposed to differing constructions of gender and sexuality, and gain a greater appreciation of the influence of systems of power, such as race and colonialism, on women’s lives.
208 Medical Anthropology
(3 s.h.) Explores the ways in which culture influences the definition and treatment of diseases in communities around the world. Students will be exposed to such topics as the difference between disease and illness, the influence of disease on human populations throughout history, ethnomedicine, the relationship between culture and Western biomedicine, culture-bound syndromes, social suffering, and stigma.
212 Indigenous Peoples of North America
(3 s.h.) An introduction to the cultural diversity of North American indigenous peoples and the relationship between U.S. tribal communities and the federal government. Through readings that tie specific tribal communities to larger issues, we will explore the effects of federal policies on indigenous communities, sovereignty and land rights, Indian activism, and contemporary issues such as language revitalization, identity, and reservation poverty.
220 Language and Culture
(3 s.h.) Explores language, a uniquely human capability that makes us different from primates and other animals. Besides introducing students to the basic definitions of language, this course also examines the complex relations between language and other aspects of human behavior and thought. Students will explore the relationship of language to human evolution, culture, social context, identity, power, status, and gender.
227 People, Place and Culture
(3 s.h.) Combines perspectives from two closely related fields, human geography and cultural anthropology, to focus specifically on the relationships between people and the environments in which they live. The course will be organized around four learning nodes — people, places, flows, and maps — that each include more specific learning objectives. We will study how people — including culture, technology, settlement patterns, religion, and language — have been affected by, and continue to affect in turn, the places that we live. We will also study the flows of people, money, cultures, information and objects across space and time. In order to make sense of these global flows and spatial relationships, we will learn how to use and interpret maps.
244 Anthropology of Ritual and Symbol
(3 s.h.) Explores the role of symbols — religious, mythic, aesthetic, political, and economic — in social and cultural processes in communities around the world. Students will examine the definition and uses of symbols in all social contexts, including secular and religious rituals, focusing on what symbols and rituals can tell us about the cultures that produce them.
246 Anthropology and Art
(3 s.h.) Emphasizes art in contemporary small-scale societies (sometimes called ethnic art or “primitive art”) and includes a survey of aesthetic productions of major areas throughout the world (Australia, Africa, Oceania, and Native America). We read and discuss such issues as art and cultural identity, tourist arts, anonymity, authenticity, the question of universal aesthetic canons, exhibiting cultures, and the impact of globalization on these arts.
320 Theories of Culture
(3 s.h.) An introduction to the history of cultural anthropology. By reading important pieces of cultural anthropological literature, students will be exposed to the many ways anthropologists have defined “culture” and implemented those definitions in anthropological research. In addition, students will be introduced to significant ethical and philosophical trends within the field, especially as they relate to theories of culture and research design.
400 Senior Seminar
(3 s.h.) Students research a theme or issue of their choice, approved by their thesis supervisor. Students meet for one hour a week of class for directed research and thesis critique. The work culminates in one oral presentation and a finely written research paper, presented to all members of their thesis committee. A required course for the Anthropology/Sociology major.