Anthropology

  • Department Information

    Anthropology

    Department of Sociology and Anthropology

    Matthew Oware, Chair
    Professor Diaz-Barriga, Dorsey, Oware
    Associate Professors French, Grollman, Hass, Nourse, Richards, Sweis
    Professionals from the field also are employed as adjunct faculty

    The major in anthropology stresses cultural anthropology, the study of contemporary and historically recent human societies around the world. Specifically, cultural anthropology focuses on the ways in which various individuals and groups (societies) construct their ideas (culture) about the world and the ways in which these ideas influence how various people behave. Courses in anthropology compare diverse cultures to ascertain their similarities as well as their differences. Some courses in cultural anthropology study particular regions of the world and the way in which those peoples construct their realities and find meaning in their lives. Other courses in cultural anthropology select various dimensions of human life - family, gender, religion, politics, art, etc., and examine how one of these subjects relates to all the other dimensions in one particular culture or across cultures in general.

  • Major

    The Anthropology Major

    Note: The grade point average of the anthropology coursework comprising the major must be no less than 2.00 with no course grade below C- (1.7).

    10 units, including:

    ANTH 101 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

    ANTH 211 Field Methods in Ethnography

    ANTH 290 Cultural Theory

    ANTH 400 Capstone Seminar

    Six additional units in anthropology or from the list below

    CLSC 220 Introduction to Archaeology

    LING 203 Introductory Linguistics

    MUS 229 Anthropology of Music

    Approved experience of at least six weeks duration in a cultural environment different from the student's own

    Notes:

    • Upper-level courses are taught on a rotating basis.
    • Students must achieve a grade of C or better in both ANTH 211 and ANTH 290 in order to take the Capstone Seminar and to receive credit toward the major for courses taken that are not on the list below.
    • For the anthropology major, no more than three courses (one course for the anthropology minor) may be taken at other institutions, including study abroad institutions, with departmental approval.
  • Minor

    The Anthropology Minor

    Note: The grade point average of the anthropology coursework comprising the minor must be no less than 2.00 with no course grade below C- (1.7).

    Five units, including:

    ANTH 101 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

    ANTH 211 Field Methods in Ethnography or ANTH 290 Cultural Theory

    Three additional units in anthropology or from the list below (no more than one course may be taken at other institutions, including study abroad institutions).

    CLSC 220 Introduction to Archaeology

    LING 203 Introductory Linguistics

    MUS 229 Anthropology of Music

  • Honors

    The Anthropology Honors Program

    The goal of the Anthropology honors program is to give those students with superior interests and talents in the field to explore both anthropology and personal intellectual interests and themes beyond the limits of typical courses offered. This will prepare these advanced students for possible graduate work or more advanced career prospects. Successful completion of the Honors Program is shown on the student's permanent academic record and on the diploma

    Eligibility and Admission

    To qualify for the honors program in Anthropology, a student should have:

    1. 18.5 or more units completed overall
    2. At least a 3.30 cumulative grade point average for all courses
    3. Excluding coursework primarily for first-year students, 4 or more units completed with distinction in the major field and a 3.5 cumulative grade point average for Anthropology courses.

    To enter the honors program, the student must submit a letter of intent, with nominating support from one faculty member, by March 15 of his or her junior year.

    A student who does not meet these qualifications may be admitted to the Program with the special recommendation of all members of the anthropology program.

    Students may request consideration by the department, or the department may invite a student to apply.

    Program of Study

    To receive credit for the Honors Program, the student must:

    • Fulfill the normal BA requirements for Anthropology, with required methods and theory courses (Anthropology 211 and 290) completed by the end of the junior year to facilitate work on the senior thesis (see below). The program of study for Honors is 12 units (10 units for the BA plus 2 units -- one for Honors Independent Study and one for the Honors Thesis).
    • Complete a senior thesis that addresses an original question or issue and that produces some original research (so as not to be a pure literature review of existing work). The thesis should be data-driven, ethnographic in nature, and demonstrate a grasp of existing literature and theory related to the issue at hand. In preparation for undertaking the senior thesis, the student must agree with a faculty member, whose interests and expertise have the best possible fit with the student's intended thesis topic, to be his or her advisor for the thesis. The student and advisor should devise a basic plan for the project by the end of the spring semester of the junior year. The student and his/her advisor should develop a schedule for meetings and assessment they find most appropriate.
    • For credit for the thesis, the student will take two one-unit Honors courses in the senior year, both involving work on the senior thesis: Honors Independent Study (Fall) and Honors Thesis (Spring). This will involve at a minimum meeting once a week with the thesis supervisor to discuss and monitor progress in data collection, analysis, and write-up. The former will involve monitoring and assessing progress in data collection and analysis through regular reports -- the timetable depending on the particular project, in agreement with the student and advisor. Assessment for the latter will be the thesis product itself. The thesis will be due in time for a final grade to be submitted to the registrar -- preferably the Friday before the School of Arts & Sciences Student Symposium. The grade for the Honors Thesis course is that for the senior thesis. The department encourages students who are prepared sufficiently early to apply for a summer grant to facilitate research.
    • The senior thesis will be assessed and graded by the student's thesis advisor and one other member of the anthropology program. If one person fulfills both these roles, an outside person whose expertise is sufficiently close to the thesis topic will be asked to aid with assessment. In case of disagreement, another member of the department will be asked for his/her opinion on the appropriate grade to resolve the disagreement.
    • The student must take two standard one-unit upper-level courses for Honors credit that include additional extra work agreed upon by the student, the course instructor, and the student's thesis advisor. One of those must be related to the intended senior thesis topic. This one course may be in any department, but in any case it should meet with the approval of the student's thesis advisor.

    The student may withdraw at any time. Should he/she not complete required additional work or maintain an overall 3.3 grade point average and a 3.5 grade point average for Anthropology coursework, the student will not receive credit for the Honors Program.

    The Anthropology faculty will encourage students in their junior year who appear qualified to consider the Honors Program seriously as soon as possible, to facilitate preparation for the senior thesis, and any required summer work/research.

Courses

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  • ANTH 101 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

    Units: 1

    Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSSA)

    Description

    Examines how people make cultural meaning out of their lives and explores the way in which anthropologists come to understand other people's construction of culture. Cross-cultural perspective on family, kinship, language, religion, gender and sexuality, and other aspects of social life.

  • ANTH 211 Field Methods in Ethnography

    Units: 1

    Description

    Introduces the methodologies used in cultural anthropology, as well as theories behind these methodologies. Issues of objectivity, ethical research and presentation, the political nature of the production of knowledge, positioning the researcher, and the uses to which training in ethnographic methods might be put.

    Prerequisites

    ANTH 101.

  • ANTH 279 Selected Topics in Anthropology

    Units: 1

    Description

    Various topics in the field of anthropology. May be repeated for credit if topics are different.

    Prerequisites

    ANTH 101.

  • ANTH 290 Cultural Theory

    Units: 1

    Description

    History of cultural and social anthropological thought, major theoretical perspectives and contemporary issues as to how humans construct their social worlds.

    Prerequisites

    ANTH 101.

  • ANTH 300 Sexuality and Gender Across Cultures

    Units: 1

    Description

    Theoretical and ethnographic examination of masculinity and femininity within various worldwide cultures.

  • ANTH 302 Medicine and Health from a Global/Anthropological Perspective

    Units: 1

    Description

    Examines, through an anthropological lens, ways in which non-western and western cultures conceptualize human bodies, medical practice and the process of healing. Considers ways in which ethnomedical (shamanistic, Ayurvedic, acupunctural, and herbal) practices coincide and/or clash with biomedical practices in the US and globally. Reflects on international policies, pharmaceutical corporations and indigenous movements to nationalize ethnomedicine and reject biomedicine.

  • ANTH 303 Biopolitics in Medical Anthropology

    Units: 1

    Description

    Advanced anthropology course examining the intersections of culture, politics and medicine from a variety of theoretical and scholarly approaches. With a strong emphasis on contemporary states and governments, the readings focus on how biology and politics--or biopolitics--converge in a myriad of ways to shape human experience, past and present. Study of the biopolitics in countries such as Cuba, Egypt, Haiti, South Africa, France, the United States, and more. Topics include: the history and culture of modern western biomedicine; religious perspectives of the body; organ donation and transplantation; sex, gender and reproductive technologies; racialized bodies in medical science; global poverty and infectious disease; ethics and medical humanitarianism; and how big pharmaceutical companies shape our ideas of health and personhood.

    Prerequisites

    ANTH 101

  • ANTH 306 Tourism and Anthropology

    Units: 1

    Description

    Explores tourism as a complex social setting in which encounters and exchanges of all kinds occur, and which creates formative meaning through its participants. Students will be encouraged to discuss their own experiences of travel and tourism, including study abroad, pilgrimages, SSIR, and mission trips.

    Prerequisites

    ANTH 101.

  • ANTH 307 Indigenous Peoples of the Americas

    Units: 1

    Description

    Historical development, culture, relations with governments and international organizations, and current issues of indigenous peoples throughout the Americas, including the U.S.

    Prerequisites

    ANTH 101.

  • ANTH 308 Latin America: An Ethnographic Perspective

    Units: 1

    Description

    Anthropological overview of Latin American cultures and subcultures. Considers indigenous and African-descendants' rights, local and national politics, gender relations, perspectives on race and color, religion, urban/rural distinctions, migration, colonial dynamics, and post-colonial legacies.

    Prerequisites

    ANTH 101.

  • ANTH 328 Anthropology of Human Rights

    Units: 1

    Description

    Examines the origins of human rights discourse and practice in the 20th century and the elaboration and dissemination of human rights concepts in the post-World War II period, including analysis of institutional grounding in United Nations and non-governmental organizations. Considers human rights from a cross-cultural, anthropological perspective.

    Prerequisites

    ANTH 101, GS 290, PLSC 240, PLSC 250, PLSC 260, SOC 101, or LDST 101.

  • ANTH 329 Anthropology of Race

    Units: 1

    Description

    Examines, through an anthropological lens, cultural constructions of race, by comparing racial constructs and designations in the United States with those in other societies, and by considering theories of race intersect with public policy, the popular imagination, and individual experiences.

    Prerequisites

    ANTH 101, SOC 101, or GS 290

  • ANTH 335 Law and Order: The Anthropology of Justice

    Units: 1

    Description

    Focuses on law, order, and justice as cultural phenomena and takes comparative approach to jurisprudence, dispute resolution, law-making processes, and the relation of law to justice, politics, culture, and values.

    Prerequisites

    ANTH 101, SOC 101, GS 290, or LDST 102

  • ANTH 350 Sex and Gender in the Middle East

    Units: 1

    Description

    Beginning with a brief historical, religious, and geographical overview, the course will draw attention to the "Orientalist gaze" of Western perception that tends (incorrectly) to regard veiled Middle Eastern women as victims of patriarchal or religious oppression. Subsequently reviews detailed analyses of ways in which contemporary men and women the Middle East behave in everyday contexts.

    Prerequisites

    ANTH 101 or one of the following: SOC 101, GS 290, WGSS 200.

  • ANTH 379 Selected Topics in Anthropology

    Units: 1

    Description

    Various topics in the field of anthropology. May be repeated for credit if topics are different.

    Prerequisites

    ANTH 101.

  • ANTH 388 Individual Internship

    Units: .5

    Description

    Supervised independent field work. Requires permission of a supervising faculty member and approval by the department chair. No more than 1.5 units of internship in any one department and 3.5 units of internship overall may be counted toward required degree units.

    Prerequisites

    ANTH 101 and permission of instructor.

  • ANTH 400 Capstone Seminar

    Units: .5

    Description

    Preparation of senior thesis to complete anthropology major.

  • ANTH 401 Honors Independent Study

    Units: 1

    Description

    Preparation course for honors thesis. This course is taken in fall of senior year. Students work to write Institutional Review Board proposal, conduct research, and compile an extensive annotated bibliography in preparation for the spring semester in which the thesis is written.

    Prerequisites

    ANTH 211 and 290 with a minimum GPA of 3.3 overall and 3.5 in Anthropology. Also must submit proposal in spring of junior year.

  • ANTH 402 Honors Thesis

    Units: 1

    Description

    Taken in the spring of the senior year and it is the second course in the honors program. The majority of the semester will be spent writing drafts for the final thesis. A schedule is drawn up for submission of chapters. The mentor aids the student in finding a theoretical angle coupled with ethnographic evidence to support it that will allow the student to express their ideas eloquently and powerfully. If there are symposia and conferences during the spring semester, the mentor assists student in preparation. Students will be encouraged to submit their finished thesis, or an abbreviated form of it, to a journal for publication.

  • ANTH 406 Summer Undergraduate Research

    Units: 0

    Description

    Documentation of the work of students who receive summer fellowships to conduct research [or produce a creative arts project] in the summer. The work must take place over a minimum of 8 weeks, the student must engage in the project full-time (at least 40 hours per week) during this period, and the student must be the recipient of a fellowship through the university. Graded S/U.

    Prerequisites

    Approval for summer Arts and Sciences fellowship by faculty mentor

  • ANTH 426 Directed Independent Study

    Units: .5-1

    Description

    Intensive study of a specific topic within anthropology under the direction of a member of the faculty. Requires approval by the department chair.

    Prerequisites

    ANTH 211 and ANTH 290 with a grade of C or better.

  • ANTH 427 Directed Independent Study

    Units: .5-1

    Description

    Intensive study of a specific topic within anthropology under the direction of a member of the faculty. Requires approval by the department chair.

    Prerequisites

    ANTH 211 and ANTH 290 with a grade of C or better.

  • ANTH 489 Research Practicum

    Units: .5-1

    Description

    Work closely with professor on research project, including design, data collection, data analysis, and dissemination of results. Requires permission of a supervising faculty member and approval by the department chair.

    Prerequisites

    ANTH 211 and ANTH 290 with a grade of C or better.