Anthropology

Courses

ATH 112 Cultural Anthropology
Drs. Finkelstein and Miller
This course introduces students to the concepts, principles, and methods used by cultural anthropologists to understand and explain the diversity of human societies throughout the world. It combines a cross-cultural analysis of different social institutions with the systematic examination of the behavior of individual societies in order to promote a rational understanding of human social and cultural diversity.
Offered every Fall and Spring
Prerequisite: ATH 112 Cultural Anthropology
Meets general academic requirements DE and SL

ATH 155 Archaeology & Prehistory
Dr. Carter
This course is an introduction to human prehistory and the archaeological techniques used to decipher it. We will examine the origins of human culture, the success of the 3-million-year-old hunting and gathering way of life, the effect of the development of farming and urban life on human health, and the rise of complex society in Africa, Asia, and the Pre-Columbian Americas. Emphasis is placed on archaeology’s unique methods of understanding the human past and how this rich heritage contributes to modern society.
Offered every Fall and Spring
Meets general academic requirements DE and SL

ATH 205 Anthropological Theory
Dr. Finkelstein
This course reviews the major theoretical approaches that make anthropology unique among the social sciences. These approaches include evolution, functionalism, structuralism, materialism and cultural ecology, interpretive and symbolic anthropology, and postmodernism. The course is organized historically and chronologically in order to analyze the emergence and development of theories in their broader social, historical, and theoretical contexts. The course focuses on major figures in the field and specific schools of thought, allowing students to better understand both the scientific and humanistic aspects of anthropology.
Offered every Spring
Prerequisite: ATH 112 Cultural Anthropology
Meets general academic requirement W

ATH 211 Human Evolution
Dr. Carter
This course introduces students to the scientific concepts, principles, methods, and research pertaining to human biological evolution. The course begins with a discussion of evolutionary theory and then applies evolutionary theory to examine: (1) contemporary human biological diversity, (2) the biological and behavioral similarities and differences among human and nonhuman primates, and (3) the fossil evidence for human evolution.
Offered every other Fall
Meets general academic requirement SC

ATH 230 Inca, Aztec, & Maya
Dr. Carter
Latin America contains two geographic regions where civilization developed independently, Mesoamerica and South America. This course focuses upon the origin, development, and expression of the Inca, Aztec, Maya, and their predecessors through time. Themes of power, trade, consumption, ritual, identity, and symbolism will be explored through the lens of archaeology. This course employs the long term perspective of archaeology and anthropology to understand controversial issues such as elite dominance, commoner resistance, warfare, auto-sacrifice, and human sacrifice.
Offered every Spring
Meets general academic requirement DE

ATH 240 Magic and Modernity
Dr. Finkelstein
This course will examine beliefs and practices of witchcraft, magic, and sorcery in both Euro-American and non-Western societies. Emphasis will be placed on comparative analysis of the dynamics and functions of magical practice in cross-cultural context. Special attention will be paid to answering the following questions: What sorts of cultural information are transmitted through acts of conjuring and witchcraft? What are the social functions of magical ritual? Why do cultures embrace notions of malevolent supernatural power? How is sorcery used to control social behavior? Topics to be addressed include the functions of ritual, shamanism, magic, sorcery, vampirism, divination, possession, sacrifice, and the use of oracles.
Offered every other Spring
Prerequisite: ATH 112 Cultural Anthropology
Meets general academic requirement HU

ATH 250 Anthropology of Gender & Sexuality
Drs. Finkelstein and Miller
This course introduces students to core concepts and topics in the anthropological study of gender and sexuality. Particular attention will be paid to bodily experiences of gender and sexuality as complex, contested, and changing fields of experience and expression that are related to other fields of power including race, ethnicity, religion, and class. Topics to be studied may include gender and sexuality as bio-cultural phenomena; the sex and gender distinction; gender and the division of labor; gender stratification and male dominance; men and masculinities; feminist, postmodern, and queer theories; LGBTIQ cultures and societies; and the globalization of gender and sexuality.
Offered every other Fall
Prerequisite: ATH 112 Cultural Anthropology
Meets general academic requirements DE and SL

ATH 262 Historical Ecology
Dr. Carter
Historical ecology is the study of long term interactions between people, their institutions, and their environments. We will critically evaluate arguments about the current relationship between people and the environment in popular texts using archaeological, historical, and ethnographic evidence. Many current pressing issues can be assessed more appropriately when viewed from a long-term perspective gained from an historical or archaeological approach. We will focus on some of these issues. Some questions that will be addressed include: Where do people encourage the spread of forests into the greatest desert in the world? Where does an increase in population result in less environmental impact? Can the poor soil of the rainforest support “civilization?” We will also examine the local environment over the past 100 years.
Offered every other Fall
Meets general academic requirement DE

ATH 280 Urban Anthropology
Dr. Finkelstein
What is globalization? Where do our ideas about globalization come from? What are the effects of global processes on the rapid expansion of urban spaces? This course explores the multifaceted ways global cities have inspired and informed social analysis and cultural production. We will cover an interdisciplinary range of urban studies to address questions about the representation of global cities through an anthropological lens.
Offered every other Fall

Meets general academic requirements SL and DE

ATH 282 Anthropology of China
Dr. Miller
This course encourages students to think critically about many of the major developments in Chinese culture and society that have occurred during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with an emphasis on understanding both cultural change and continuity in China. Drawing on ethnographic material and case studies from rural and urban China over the traditional, revolutionary, and reform periods, we will examine a number of topics in the anthropological study of China, including family and kinship; marriage, reproduction, and death; popular religion; women and gender; the Cultural Revolution; social and economic reforms; gift exchange and guanxi networks; changing perceptions of space and place; globalization and modernity.
Offered every other Spring

Prerequisite: ATH 112 Cultural Anthropology
Meets general academic requirements SL DE

ATH 285 Queer Ethnography
Drs. Finkelstein and Miller
This course engages in a broad reading of contemporary ethnographies of non-normative genders and sexualities, broadly defined as “queer.” Our emphasis will be on understanding anthropology's contribution to and relationship with gay and lesbian/queer studies and queer theory. In doing so, the class will ground itself in several critical “classic” texts in order to trace a rough genealogy of “queer anthropology” as a sub-discipline. From there, we will be reading, talking, and writing about current debates and developments in the field and what the future of a queer anthropology of gender and sexuality may hold.
Offered every other Fall
Meets general academic requirements SL and DE

ATH 287  Borders & Boundaries
Dr. Finkelstein
Historically, anthropology has been invested in considering the construction of “culture” within bounded, geographically limited spaces. However diaspora studies, theories of globalization and radical geography have shown us how space and place is constantly created and recreated. Taking “borders and boundaries” as our analytic opening, and the crisis of belonging, identity and documentation as our anchor, this course engages with immigration, migration, diaspora and critical race studies to explore how bodies, boundaries, and borders are imagined and reimagined in the contemporary moment, as well as historically. We will focus on critical moments within the United States, including the forced migration of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, The Great Migration, displacement of indigenous communities by settler colonialism, US immigration after 9/11, and internal refugees produced by Hurricane Katrina (among several examples). In addition we will focus on several global case studies, including the India/Pakistan/Bangladesh partitions of 1947, and 1971, the Israel-Palestine border, and the current refugee crisis in Syria. In doing so, we will interrogate how space, place and bodies are constructed, regulated, and imagined.
Offered every other Spring

Meets general academic requirements SL and DE

ATH 291 Medicine & Culture
Dr. Miller
States of illness and health are not simply the result of biological processes. If we want to understand why people get sick and how they get better, we should also examine the social and cultural aspects of medicine and disease. This course is an introduction to medical anthropology: the study of cultural meanings, social relations, and systems of power that structure our experiences of illness and health. Students will engage with ethnographic texts and films from Western and non-Western medical settings in order to learn how health, illness, and healing practices are culturally shaped, transformed, and contested.
Offered every other Fall
Prerequisite: ATH 112 Cultural Anthropology
Meets general academic requirement DE

ATH 313 Anthropological Ethnography
Dr. Finkelstein
This course is an introduction to ethnography, the signature method developed by cultural anthropologists for researching cultural issues in contemporary societies. In this course students will learn the fundamentals of ethnographic fieldwork (site selection, archival and documentary research, sampling, participant-observation, structured observation, interviews, survey, genealogy, case study analysis, narrative and symbolic analysis, mapping, ethnologic induction, etc.) and will prepare for field research by studying the ethics of doing anthropology, emic vs. etic perspectives, field logistics, rapport establishment, writing ethnographic fieldnotes, the politics of representation, and the concept of objectivity and reflexivity in writing culture.
Offered every other Fall
Prerequisite: ATH 112 Cultural Anthropology

ATH 315 Archaeology of Food
Dr. Carter
This course uses food as a central axis for considering issues of health/nutrition, subsistence economy, gender roles/relations, ritual/ceremonial life, social inequality, and political power in past societies. These issues will be addressed through an examination of the archaeological residues of food remains and food consumption. Thus, the course has a dual emphasis on anthropological issues and archaeological methods of “food analysis”. Understanding past food practices requires consideration of a variety of archaeological evidence, including the food remains themselves, food containers and serving wares, areas of food preparation and consumption, and the human skeleton as a record of consumption. After several weeks considering the methods for analyzing these types of evidence, the course considers the above issues through case studies dealing with topics like cannibalism, feasting, luxury foods, status, gender, and ethnicity.
Offered every other Spring
Prerequisite: ATH 155 Archaeology & Prehistory

ATH 317 Field Archaeology
Dr. Carter
An intensive analysis of a particular archaeological site. Utilizing the methodological and theoretical concepts of anthropological archaeology, students will be required to participate in every phase of the scientific research process.
Offered every other Fall
Prerequisite: ATH 155 Archaeology & Prehistory

ATH 318 The Archaeology of Objects
Dr. Carter
This courses examines the role of material culture in the human world. Objects, especially artifacts, are more than just utilitarian background to our existence; they shape us as much as we modify them. This course provides a methodological and theoretical foundation for the analysis of archaeological and anthropological artifacts. We will examine a variety of materials, including stone, clay/ceramics, basketry, metals, wood, shell, and more. We will examine the process of transforming raw materials into material culture from technological, economic, social, political, and religious perspectives.
Offered every other Spring
Prerequisite: ATH 155 Archaeology & Prehistory

ATH 383 Anthropology of Palestine
Dr. Finkelstein
This course examines the culture and social worlds of Palestine, as well as the political, geography and social history of the region. It explores the complex interplay of state, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and class at both local and global levels in constructing what Palestine is and who Palestinians are. The course covers a diverse selection of materials (graphic novels to archaeological sites, news reporting to documentary film), to ask how Palestine is created and recreated. Additionally, students will gain a familiarity with anthropological writing about and methodological approaches to Palestine. They will become familiar with aspects of the social organization, historical developments, and political events that have shaped the region over the last century.
Offered every other Fall starting Fall 2020

ATH 387 Queer China
Dr. Miller
This course explores the emergence and expression of queer identities, cultures, and communities in modern and contemporary mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the Chinese diaspora through the critical reading and analysis of texts from the disciplines of cultural anthropology and literature/film studies. Major themes include shifts in popular and official attitudes toward queer sexualities during the late traditional, early modern, and contemporary periods; “hooligan” and other unruly sexualities under Maoism; the explosion of Chinese gay and queer literature and film in the 1990s and 2000s, and contemporary queer cultures and communities in China and the Chinese diaspora.
Offered every other Spring
Meets general academic requirements DE and IL

ATH 450 CUE: Advanced Seminar in Anthropology
Drs. Carter, Finkelstein and Miller
An anthropology seminar in which students participate in a collective research and/or applied project. Open only to anthropology majors and minors or by permission.
Offered every Spring
Prerequisites: ATH 205 Anthropological Theory and ATH 313 Anthropolgical Ethnography or ATH 317 Field Archaeology or ATH 318 The Archaeology of Objects
Meets general academic requirement W

ATH 970 Anthropology Independent Study/Research
Drs. Carter, Finkelstein and Miller
Each independent study/research course is to be designed in consultation with a faculty sponsor.

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