Introduction to Physical Anthropology and Archaeology (3)
The biological and cultural evolution of the human species is traced by examining the fossil and archaeological record, primate behavior, and the significance of human variation.
Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (3)
A study of the defining concepts, questions, methods, and findings of cultural anthropology. Through cross-cultural perspective, the course examines symbolic systems, value systems, political organization, social hierarchy, kinship, gender, economic relations, race and ethnicity, and the social construction of reality. It addresses how anthropological knowledge is produced through the methods of ethnography, participant observation, and film.
Indians of North America (3)
A survey of Native American cultures, including the Inuit of the Arctic, the Iroquois, the buffalo hunters of the plains, and the pueblo dwellers of the Southwest, among others.
Currently not offered.
Popular Culture (3)
This course focuses on the rich tradition of studying popular culture from a social science point of view. It examines issues of representation in popular culture: race and ethnicity as well as gender and sexuality. It also examines a history of popular culture in the United States, and elsewhere, starting long before the eras of radio and television and memes. The course makes use of the many different ways to access popular culture that have emerged in the 21st century as well.
Drugs and Society (3)
This course takes a multidisciplinary approach to consider how we use drugs in our society and how they may vary from culture to culture. The course will explore how drugs can create subcultures, how they have been used to reinforce racial stereotypes and maintain racial discrimination, how they affect the lives of men and women differently. It also considers how drugs create an altered consciousness that humans have been seeking for thousands of years.
Anthropology of Development (3)
The course addresses the models of development, methods of "doing" development, and post-Second World War development theories. It explores avenues of development work in NGOs and aid agencies, attending to how anthropological knowledge can be used to expose flaws in development planning and to improve the lives of people in poor countries.
Anthropology of Postcolonialism (3)
Colonialism is the practice and experience of one country exerting economic, military, or political control over another. Postcolonialism refers to life during the period after colonial rule. Postcolonial societies experience an ambivalent relationship to their former colonizers and to aspects of Western modernity. The course explores questions of agency, memory, power, and justice in light of the colonial experience and the contemporary processes of globalization and development.
Culture and Personality (3)
Comparative study of the dynamics of human development and its cultural patterning; readings include autobiographies and ethnographies from several societies and theoretical approaches to understanding the cultural structuring of perception, interaction, and experience; emphasis on interpreting observed social interactions and utilizing life histories.
Anthropology of Power (3)
Who has power, and what does it mean to have it? What are its effects? When, where, and how do we experience power? Can we resist or even escape it? Can we, as ordinary citizens, give life to alternative notions and experiences of power? The course analyzes these questions through ethnographic case studies, guided by the theories and concepts of intellectuals, such as Nietzsche, Deleuze and Guattari, Foucault, and Gramsci.
Medical Anthropology (3)
The course explores cross-cultural understandings of illness, disease, healing, suffering, and human life cycles. It covers the cultural beliefs and social structures that shape the biological and psychological dimensions of human beings. Topics include biomedicine and sacred forms of healing; clinical applications of anthropological knowledge; the social and political organization of health care; the relationship between human and nonhuman health; evolutionary understandings of health and disease; culture bound syndromes; political, economic, racial, and gendered dimensions of health care; ethnomedical symbolism; and social stigmas of disease.
Anthropology of Religion (3)
This course examines religious practices from a cross-cultural and
comparative perspective. The course begins with a focus on religion as a concept and
explores theoretical approaches to the study of religion. The course explores how modernity and globalization are affecting religious
traditions across the globe.
Topics in Anthropology (3)
Topics vary each semester. Consult department for current information.
Peoples and Cultures of Africa (3)
Sub-Saharan Africa remains on the fringe of the global economy, and Westerners tend to blame Africans for many of the devastating problems they face today such as poverty, corruption, AIDS, ethnic violence, famine, and environmental decline. Through films, news reports, and ethnographies, it traces how African peoples and resources have made the comforts of the West possible and have contributed to our general knowledge of human society and culture.
Anthropology through Film (3)
Examination and analysis of selected societies and cultures through films and complementary written texts. Study of the process of making documentary and ethnographic films and the related problems of representing "realities" through visual media.
Human Rights in a Global World (3)
This course explores the origins and recent proliferation of concepts, practices, and institutions related to human rights. It considers how human rights claims are contested, appropriated, and transformed in particular contexts. Struggles for human rights reconfigure social and cultural norms, and they transform local and global politics. Topics include the relationships of human rights to individual agency, culture, suffering, body, memory, law, justice, security, violence, citizenship, and group difference.
The Dark Side of Humanity (3)
This course centers on the following questions: What is the dark side of humanity? Is it true that only evil people commit evil acts? What are the causes of mass human destructiveness? Why do people commit evil acts? Is evil a part of human nature or linked to the human condition? Or both? What can be done to prevent the excesses of the dark side of humanity?
Human Rights Theory into Practice (1)
How do human rights discourses impact our daily lives, and the world around us? In this course, students will have access to speakers, seminars, and opportunities to gain experience with major human rights and social justice organizations.
Human Rights Applied (1)
Explores human rights careers, fellowships, and volunteer work, and teaches students how to prepare for human rights work at home or abroad. The course develops skills in fundraising/grant writing, drafting applications, and networking in the international development field, and offers guidance on careers in social science fields.
Urban Anthropology (3)
The course explores the city as the locus of everyday practice, linking macroscopic processes to the texture and the fabric of human experience. It includes works on the early industrial city, social structure, and urban ecology, as well as recent ethnographic and theoretical readings on urban governmentality, global cities, urban citizenship, and life in megacities of the global South.
Anthropology of Inequality (3)
Social hierarchies and inequalities are pervasive and enduring issues in society. How do class, race, and gender structure inequality, and how do these markers of status and identity play out in different places and historical periods? What are the origins of inequality? How do power and wealth accrue to some but not to others? This course studies how systems of inequality work and how they are perpetuated and transformed.
Comparative Roles of Women (3)
Women's roles in societies are evolving rapidly. But around the world, women still face extraordinary challenges, such as poverty, violence, and access to basic education. This course examines complex systems that impact women's lives at home and abroad, and issues of economics, migration, law, and policy that can improve or detract from women's livelihoods. Topics include human rights, gendered bodies, gender violence, the rights of the girl-child, and international women's movements.
Culture and Biology (3)
Explores the extremely contentious area of the intersection between biology and culture, what is called the "nature versus nurture" debate. Students are challenged to consider how much of who they are as a person is influenced by inborn characteristics, and how much is acquired by growing up within a particular social world--or is it both? A survey course with trans-disciplinary readings, it includes discussion of genetics, evolution, race, chimpanzees, IQ, evolutionary psychology, development, brain and mind, gender, violence, and other applied topics, such as politics, crime, aesthetics, and religion.
The Cultural History of the New York Police (3)
Explores the role of policing in modern society by examining the origins and development of the New York City Police Department, from the events leading up to the founding of a unified day and night force in 1845 to the reforms following the Knapp Commission in the early 1970s. Uses extensive readings to ask how changing social and political forces affected the organization and policies of the police and how police actions in turn shaped the character of urban life.
Environmental Anthropology (3)
The human ability to adapt to ecological conditions is increasingly challenged by the unprecedented rate of extinctions and habitat loss, climate change, pollution, super viruses, regional famines, and obesity. How have human beings confronted the changing environments in which they live? This course offers an anthropological perspective of the human-environment relationship and examines theories of geographical determinism, cultural materialism, and political ecology.
Peoples and Cultures of Latin America (3)
Latin-American cultures studied with emphasis on contributions and interactions of Native Americans, Iberians, and Africans. Examines the impact of colonialism and neocolonialism; structures of class, race, and gender; and ongoing efforts to implement change.
Peoples and Cultures of Southeast Asia (3)
This course concentrates on the history and ethnography of Southeast Asia. It examines cases and examples from both mainland and insular Southeast Asia. What does it mean to talk about Southeast Asia as a region? How has the area been shaped by Indian, Chinese, Arabian, and European influences? Is Southeast Asia merely a colonial illusion? Or, are there geographic, historical, religious, economic, and cultural commonalities that legitimate using the term? To address such questions, the course deals with both the history of the region and the peoples and cultures within it.
Selected Areas Studies (3)
Analysis of selected cultures and societies, such as those indigenous to North America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and/or New Guinea and Australia.
Social Determinants of Health (3)
The social determinants of health are social, political, economic and cultural conditions, forces and factors that influence how health is distributed among entire groups and populations. This course will introduce basic concepts in public health and then examine fundamental determinants of health, including income and social class, ethnicity and racism and will focus on selected specific determinants (e.g. food security) and health issues (e.g. tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS).
Perspectives on Healthcare Policy (3)
The course focuses on social science foundations of political perspectives on US healthcare policy and law, which shape the public and private sector arrangements of health care delivery. Students will characterize healthcare debates in terms of barriers to care, and then theoretically and empirically evaluate three policy platforms: (1) market-oriented perspectives, (2) social protection perspectives, and (3) social justice perspectives.
Researching Population Health (3)
The focus of the course is research design investigating the behavior and social determinants of health. Students will create core components of epidemiological and clinical trial studies. The course is intended for students considering careers across health and health-related fields; no background knowledge is required for the course.
Anthropology of Science and Technology (3)
This course interrogates the cultural boundaries that set science and technology apart from everyday practices, and critically examines their claims of universality and cultural neutrality. Discussions include such questions as how scientists "see" the world, what objectivity is, what a technological artifact is, how machines "think," the ¿political lives¿ of infrastructures, and how big data and AI "govern" our behavior.
Culture, Political Violence, and Crimes against Humanity (3)
Explores the cultural dimensions of political violence and crimes against humanity. Focuses on different pathways to political violence and crimes against humanity, including a discussion of the cultural, socioeconomic, and historical origins of political violence in a wide range of contexts. Examines the trajectories of intervention and conflict resolution, such as humanitarian relief, human rights, transitional justice, and atrocity prevention.
An overview of anthropological knowledge about war. Covers biological explanations; archaeological evidence; and the relation of war to ecology, economy, social structure, gender, politics, and beliefs in tribal societies. Also covered is the link between war and states, and the impact of Western expansion on indigenous warfare. The last part of the semester focuses on recent ethnic conflict and other identity-linked violence, future prospects for war in the world, and peace. One week will be devoted to events since 9/11/2001.
Ethnographic Research & Writing (3)
This course introduces students to the craft of ethnographic research and writing. Ethnography (writing about people) is a scholarly narrative based on systematically gathered and analyzed data. Along with learning how to collect ethnographic material, students complete short writing exercises and pursue research projects focusing on issues of concern for themselves, their families, and their communities.
Anthropological Theory and Methods (3)
An introduction to classical theories and methods of modern anthropology since the days when Europeans came into contact with other peoples of the world through exploration, missionization, and colonization. The course covers the major schools of anthropological thought and qualitative methods of anthropological research.
Research in Anthropology (3)
Topics vary depending upon current focus of instructor.
Prerequisites: Three anthropology courses or permission of the instructor.
Culture and Globalization (3)
Analysis of the cultural dimensions of globalization. Examines how global flows of people, information, resources, identities, ideas, commodities, symbols, and images impact upon and are transformed in local contexts.
Seminar in Anthropology (3)
Intensive study of a single topic or area of anthropological relevance conducted through the exchange of information by participating members of the seminar.
Fulfills a writing intensive requirement. Prerequisites: 21:070:204 and two 300-level anthropology courses, or permission of instructor.
Independent Study in Anthropology (3)
Special, individualized study of an anthropological topic.
Prerequisites: Junior or senior standing and permission of instructor.