Courses

ANTH 200/204/210 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (every semester) Profs Falcone, Prins, & Wesch

Cultural Anthropology explores different cultures in all of their manifestations - from how people make a living to what people live for.  In this course, you will learn about the tremendous diversity of people around the world, how different aspects of culture (such as economics, politics, family structures, and religion) influence one another, and explore the possibilities and challenges of our increasingly globalized world.  This course will also help you improve your abilities to “think outside the box” by recognizing your own cultural biases and questioning the assumptions, beliefs, concepts, and ideas you may have previously taken for granted. There has never been a time when Cultural Anthropology has been more important than it is right now. Note: ANTH 204 has a recitation, ANTH 200 does not. ANTH 210 is an Honors course.

ANTH 220 Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology (every semester) Prof Loyd

This course provides a broadly-based entry-level introduction to linguistic anthropology stressing the interactions between language and culture, and between language and social identity. By the end of the course, you should be acquainted with the basics of linguistic analysis, be aware of fundamental similarities and differences among all human languages, and have an informed perspective on issues of language that have an impact on our society. Most importantly, in this class you will acquire the essential tools for learning and analyzing languages in social and cultural contexts, and for understanding the basics of cross-cultural communication.

ANTH 260  Introduction to Archaeology and World Prehistory  (every semester)  Prof Ritterbush

Archaeology strives to understand past human societies through the systematic study of their material remains.  In this course students are introduced to the goals of anthropological archaeology and general methods and approaches to interpreting our human past.  Through a survey of past human societies in various parts of the world, students will not only learn about people and cultures of very ancient times, but develop an understanding of how and why humanity developed into the diverse world of today.

ANTH 280  Introduction to Biological Anthropology  (every Fall and every other Spring semester)  Profs Alfonso Durruty & Durband

ANTH 301  Initiation to Anthropology (every Spring semester) Prof Wesch

{ANTH 322  Topics in Cultural Anthropology - Falcone, Prins, Wesch or visiting cultural anthropologist}

ANTH 322  Topics in Cultural Anthropology: Medical Anthropology (occasional; next taught Fall 2015 through Global Campus) - Prof Durbin

Medical anthropology provides a unique way of understanding the universal human experiences of sickness and death and the various medical systems that all cultures have for dealing with these inevitabilities.Medical anthropology also seeks to understand how health and illness is influenced by environment, genetic inheritance, and socio-economic circumstances. This course will, first, introduce students to the basic vocabularies and conceptual frameworks for understanding human health and illness from an holistic perspective. Second, it will help students learn how to apply this understanding and build cultural competence by studying a series of real cases. Themes include: ethnomedicine and its interactions with biomedicine; social constructions of the body; structural violence and global health; ethnicity, race, and health; gender and health; and culture and nutrition.

ANTH 323  Language and Gender (Spring semesters) Prof Loyd

{ANTH 330  Topics in Physical Anthropology - Prof Alfonso-Durruty or Durband or visiting biological anthropologist}

ANTH 330A  Topics in Physical Anthropology - Introduction to Human Evolution (Fall semesters) Prof  Durband

A beginning survey of the human fossil record, including an introduction to evolutionary theory and a discussion of the place that humans occupy among the other primates. (No prerequisites required.)

ANTH 330B  Topics in Physical Anthropology - Myths and Mysteries  (a First Year Seminar) (occasional Fall semesters; taught in Fall 2015) Prof  Durband

This course will provide an introduction to many fascinating scientific mysteries and controversies related to biological anthropology, including evolutionary theory, Bigfoot, the Piltdown hoax, and why humans have wisdom teeth.

ANTH 333  Plagues (occasional Fall semesters) Prof Alfonso-Durruty

Human diseases and conditions have both proximate (mechanistic/physiological) and ultimate (evolutionary) causes. In this class we will explore both from a biocultural and historical perspective.  To achieve this goal, this class applies evolutionary theory and principles to the study and understanding of health and disease in both past and contemporary populations.The principal goal of this class is to enhance the understanding of diseases and disorders as interactions that occur in a specific cultural and historical setting. Thus, this course will foster an understanding of the behaviors, environmental situations, and interactions that prevent or mediate illness/disorder.

ANTH 345 Cultures of South Asia  (occasional Fall semesters; next taught in Fall 2015) Prof Falcone

This course will provide an interdisciplinary exploration of some of the cultures of the South Asian region (including nations such as, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, the Maldives, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka).  We will examine thematic issues of colonization, religion, nationalism, modernity, sexuality, gender, globalization and social stratification in their various South Asian contexts.  By supplementing our scholarly readings about the region with Bollywood films and other popular media, we will trace the cultural contours of contemporary South Asian societies.

ANTH 503  Archaeological Fact or Fiction (every Fall Semester)  Prof Ritterbush

Many of us are fascinated by the "mysteries" of our human past, devouring popular literature and news stories about archaeological discoveries and long-held ideas about spatially and temporally "exotic" cultures.  But, how valid are the interpretations of these discoveries?   Hone your critical thinking and research skills through the evaluation of varied claims about the human past and explore the effects of our interpretations of the past on modern societies!  A wide range of archaeological case studies are explored including the moundbuilder myth, ancient North American inscriptions, Vikings in the Americas, lost civilizations, advanced prehistoric technologies, archaeology and politics in India, and much more.  (ANTH 260 or a demonstrated knowledge of archaeological methods and approaches, as well as major cultural developments through time is prerequisite for this course. Successful completion of ENGL 200/expository writing II is also recommended.)

ANTH 515  Creativity and Culture  (every Spring semester) Prof Falcone

"At once a property of individuals and social situations, creativity (not unlike laughter) often erupts at unpredictable times and on unexpected occasions."

This course will take an anthropological approach to the study of art by examining them as forms of embodied and material cultural knowledge that can reveal much about the social worlds in which things are made, as well as the ways that margins are challenged by artists working to make something new.  We will explore the construction of representation, aesthetics and artistry in various cultural contexts.  Is invention bounded by the genius of an individual, or the limits of a particular cultural milieu?  Who decides what is art, and what it should mean?   Who gets to define what is authentic, and/or what is innovative?

ANTH 516 Ethnomusicology (every Fall semester) Prof Falcone

This course will take an anthropological approach to the study of performance arts.  While the course will maintain an emphasis on music cultures, the readings also draw attention to the art worlds of dance and theatre. Embodied and performed cultural knowledge can reveal a great deal about the social worlds in which performances take place.  We will explore the cultural construction of representation and identity, aesthetics, artistry and power in various performance contexts.  Is invention bounded by the genius of an individual, or the limits of a particular cultural milieu?  Who gets to define what is authentic, and/or what is innovative?  Who decides what a performance should mean to the audience or the performer?   Among other things, we will read about Indian dance forms in flux, a Tibetan refugee rock band, brass bands in New Orleans, shamanic artists, ritual performances, and music-making the world over.

{ANTH 521  Topics in Archaeology  Profs Ritterbush, Logan, or visiting/guest archaeologists}

ANTH 521  Topics in Archaeology: Archaeology of Ancient Symbols  (occasional semesters; next taught Fall 2015 - Global Campus) Prof Giles

In this class, we will explore how different types of archaeological and art historical analyses can provide insights into the symbols and religious beliefs of past peoples through a series of case studies from the Americas. We will examine how archaeologists assess the material symbols of past peoples through examining their 1) depositional context, 2) use wear, and 3) production, which in turn can lead to more sophisticated analyses of exchange patterns, social structure and meaning. In particular, we will discuss how archaeologists have theorized the role that material symbols play in social communication and information exchange, as well as the way in which symbols have been argued to structure and constitute peoples’ worldviews. We will contrast these perspectives with art historical, iconographic approaches to representational imagery that assesses the meaning of particular motifs and themes, through a ‘configurational’ approach. Students will draw on these perspectives to develop their own assessment of a particular archaeological symbol or set of symbols, in their term paper.  (ANTH 260 or a comparable introductory course in archaeology is a pre-requisite.)

{ANTH 522  Topics in Cultural Anthropology - Profs Falcone, Prins, Wesch or visiting cultural anthropologist}

{ANTH 523  Topics in Linguistic Anthropology - Prof Loyd or visiting linguistic anthropologist}

{ANTH 530  Topics in Physical Anthropology - Prof Alfonso Durruty or Durband or visiting biological anthropologist}

ANTH 570   North American Archaeology  (every other Spring semester [odd years])  Prof Ritterbush

This course explores the archaeological evidence of native peoples of North America prior to European contact.  The archaeology of various cultures in different parts of North America are studied, including in the Desert West and eastern Woodlands.  Throughout the semester we address questions professional archaeologists are addressing through new discoveries and analytical technologies.  Among the specific issues we explore are interpreting how, when, and by whom the Americas were first settled; how Puebloan and Hohokam farmers adapted to the diverse environments of the American Southwest and how and why their cultures changed through time; and why did moundbuilding become a major activity of many different groups at different times in the Midwest and Southeastern United States.  Broad course objectives include critical thinking, culture change, and cultural diversity in native North America prior to European contact.  (ANTH 260 or comparable introductory archaeology course is required for enrollment.)

ANTH 602  Capstone Course on Anthropological Theory (every Fall semester) Prof Prins or Prof Wesch

ANTH 618  Religion in Culture (every Fall Semester)  Prof  Wesch

A romp through the fundamental ideas about anything and everything humankind has entertained in the past 40,000 years (a.k.a. religions and worldviews) and the ideas about those ideas (a.k.a. Anthropological Theory). Our story begins 150 years ago as reports of what seemed to be strange and exotic beliefs, rites, and customs poured in from remote centers of the earth to that little corner of the world known as "The West." Here, a group of men with adventurous minds and idle legs attempted to make sense of these bizarre ideas and rites. They called themselves, "anthropologists." This class tells the story of the anthropologists' 150-year journey from the armchair to the field to engage with the most fundamental beliefs, ideas and ideals of all humankind. 

ANTH 630  North American Indians (every other Fall semester [odd years])  Prof Prins 

A survey of indigenous North America,... It includes a focus on the Mi'kmaq Indians of Northeast America.

ANTH 634 Indigenous South America (every other Fall semester [even years])  Prof Prins

A survey of indigenous South America, this course offers a broad review of the cultural evolution, colonial history, and ethnography of the continent's major culture areas - Andean highlands, Amazonia, Gran Chaco, Pampas, and Tierra del Fuego. In addition to highlighting two specific indigenous nations representative of each culture area, the course discusses the contemporary struggles for cultural survival and human rights.

ANTH 650 Apocalypse & Prophecy: Anthropology of the Future  (periodic Fall semesters; next offered Fall 2016) Prof Falcone

 "The future is now."

For the messianic prophet, the inventor, the environmentalist, and so many other individuals and communities, "the future" pervades and shapes the present moment, and vice versa.   We will look at distinct notions of time, progress, hope and fear, planning, utopia and dystopia, world-ending and world-renewal from various societies around the world.

ANTH 660  Ethnohistory  (occasionally)  Prof Ritterbush

This advanced hands-on cultural anthropology methods course immerses students in the ethnohistoric method, which applies an anthropological approach and perspective to understanding earlier human societies through the analysis of information extracted from many different kinds of historical and related documents.  Typically a semester-long case study is employed with the secondary goals of demonstrating culture change over time and the holistic nature of anthropology.  (ANTH 200/204/210 or a comparable introductory cultural anthropology course is prerequisite.  Successful completion of ENGL 200 or expository writing II is recommended.)

ANTH 676  European Archaeology  (every other Spring semester [even years])  Prof Ritterbush

ANTH 680  Survey of Forensic Sciences (every other Spring semester [even years]) Prof Alfonso-Durruty

Forensic Anthropologyis an applied subdiscipline of Biological Anthropology that uses osteological methods to determine identity, mode and manner of death as well as time since death in a medico-legal setting when a visual ID cannot be made. In this course students are introduced to the theories and techniques anthropologists use to identify individuals, and assess the cause of death. In this class students learn how to conduct forensic investigations, and the methods that lead to the identification of an unidentified individual.

ANTH 691  Primatology (Fall semesters) Prof Durband

Survey of the primate order including considerations of anatomy and behavior. Particular emphasis will be given to exploring the ecological constraints that drive the evolution of certain behaviors.  (ANTH 280 or a comparable introductory biological/physical anthropology course is prerequisite.) (ANTH 280 or a comparable introductory biological/physical anthropology course is prerequisite.)

ANTH 694/695  Osteology and Lab (every other Spring semester [odd years]) Prof Alfonso Durruty

This course offers a detailed introduction to the form and function of the human skeleton. The course starts with a brief introduction to skeletal development, tissues, anatomical terminology, plans of orientation and bone biology. The anatomical structures that constitute the human skeleton are revised during lectures, and the student will be instructed on the identification of the different bones and their landmarks. Additional topics include a brief review on sexing and aging.

ANTH 777  Digital Ethnography  (every Spring Semester)  Prof Wesch

In this class, you will learn how to actually *do* an ethnographic project using, harnessing, and leveraging the always emerging possibilities of digital media.  Our most recent project on YouTube was presented at the Library of Congress in June: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPAO-lZ4_hU.  Check out the last 3 minutes if you want to see how much fun we have in this class!  There are many more great videos by students you can view here: http://www.youtube.com/user/mwesch and here: http://mediatedcultures.net  Work from this class has been featured on BBC, ABCnews.com, CurrentTV, local ABC and NBC television stations, the Margaret Mead Film Festival, several newspapers and magazines worldwide, and the Chronicle of Higher Education (just to name a few).

ANTH 730  Archaeological Field School  (Summer 2016)   Profs Logan & Ritterbush

This summer class introduces students to archaeological field methods, including basic artifact identification, pedestrian survey; GPS, total station, and unit mapping; excavation and associated skills and interpretation; various forms of record-keeping, and more through hands-on training and experience in a field research situation.  The field school is commonly held in June in even-numbered years.  (This is an essential course for anyone considering a career in archaeology, but also a useful course for anyone interesting in experiencing archaeology first hand.)  Supplementary fees are required to cover field supplies and daily transportation.  Students must be in good physical condition, prepared to spend the entire day outdoors, have had a tetanus shot within the past 10 years, and carry health insurance.  Consent of instructor through an application process is required prior to enrolling.  Further information and the application form are available through the course website.   See a brief video of the 2010 field school.

ANTH 790 Writing Culture: Ethnographic Methods (every Spring Semester)  Prof  Falcone

How does one write about culture?  In this course, we will interrogate issues of truth, representation and ethics vis-à-vis ethnography, creative non-fiction, ethnographic fiction.  This course will combine theoretical and critical reading on writing cultures with more practical readings on the normative field methods of cultural anthropologists.  The course evolves into a writing workshop towards the completion of a final, polished ethnographic product. This will be an opportunity to do participant observation of a local subculture and write up your results in a cohesive, anthropological, ethical manner. Students have the opportunity to publish their final polished mini-ethnographies in a class book.

ANTH 792 Linguistic Methods (Fall semester) Prof Loyd