Anthropology Major (BA)
What is a border? How do lines, real or imaginary, bring us together or divide us? What happens to those who don’t fit comfortably on one side or the other, but rather inhabit the space of the border itself? This class will examine how boundaries–racial, ethnic, linguistic, socioeconomic, scientific, sexual, and otherwise–are constructed, maintained, crossed, challenged, and lived within. Not repeatable for credit.
For over a century, anthropology in the United States has been founded on the twin principles of scientific objectivity and humanitarian equality. Anthropology has championed the fundamental equality and unity of all humans, even when politicians, the law, and mainstream society maintained segregation and inequality. Nonetheless, the role of anthropology as a discipline that “speaks for” marginalized groups is ambiguous. In this course, students will explore, reflect on, and debate the potential for anthropological research (and social science research broadly) to promote greater social justice. Not repeatable for credit.
This course provides a cross-cultural introduction to diverse forms of knowledge and ways of knowing, focusing on indigenous peoples of America. Our inquiry is guided by three sets of questions: What are indigenous knowledge frameworks and how can we understand them on their own terms? Why are some forms of knowledge viewed as legitimate or even universal, while others are marginalized? How are individuals and groups negotiating and translating indigenous and western forms of knowledge? Not repeatable for credit.
Or permission of the instructor.
This course examines ethnography, the primary research methodology used by cultural and other anthropologists. Each semester, the course will focus on a particular world region in order to highlight the diversity of ethnographic techniques and studies emanating from that region while providing a detailed knowledge of regional culture and history. In the process, students will learn about and practice ethnographic methods including sampling techniques, participant observation, interviews, surveys and various kinds of data analysis. We will examine traditional and less traditional forms of ethnography including autoethnography, visual ethnography and testimonio or life-history, and students will select one form to carry out and write-up for their own final grade in the course.
Exploration of the origins and processes of human biological variation and adaptation with emphasis on complex human behavior (culture) and how humans respond and adapt to the environment. These responses are viewed within a biocultural perspective; that is, with the knowledge that human biology must always be explored within behavioral and cultural contexts. Sources of variation are developmental, phenotypic, hereditary, gender, individual, population, evolutionary, ecological, sociocultural, and random (in probabilistic terms).
This course examines historical and contemporary studies of ‘globalization,’ a term that has become commonplace in popular and academic discourse. We consider globalization in terms of an apparently increasing velocity in the spread of ideas, commodities, laborers and capital around the world, but we take an anthropological approach to understanding this, meaning that we couple top-down or macro- level theory with deep attention to local experience through ethnographic research. The first part of the course focuses on what is meant by social scientists when we use terms like globalization, the second is devoted to 20th century histories, particularly development ideology, and the last third examines commodification and the global and local natures of consumption.
In this course we examine the social construction of gendered identities in different times and places. We study culturally specific gendered experiences, ‘roles,’ rights and rebellions around the world, discussing the concepts of gender acquisition, individual and social consequences of gender, and the interrelationships betweengenderandothercategoriesforidentityincludingrace, class, age, ethnicity, occupationandsexuality. We also examine gender ‘at home’, and take a critical approach to understanding gender inequality and gender-based violence, as well as the role of Western expectations about gender in science, in discourses about politics, economics and global exchange, and in the arts and media.
Course content changes from year to year but focuses on a cultural issue or in-depth examination of the culture of a specific group or geographic area. Students may take this course twice for credit toward an anthropology minor.
ANT 101 or permission of instructor.
Study of varying topics in anthropology. Includes a two-week Nichols trip. Prerequisites will vary.
Anthropological research outside the classroom. Students will learn first hand which methods to utilize when conducting research and the potential problems they may encounter. Students must prepare a report regarding the complexities of applying anthropological concepts in research situations.
ANT 101 and permission of instructor.