SPRING SEMESTER 2015-16
- GENERAL ANTHROPOLOGY
- LINGUISTIC ANTHROPOLOGY
- SOCIAL-CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY
- COLL Topics Courses taught by Anthropology Faculty
A107 Becoming Human: Evolution
A107 carries CASE N&M credit
MO 107/MO 103
Our understanding of the deep past never had a brighter future than today. In 2015, the oldest stone tools were announced. Possible new species were discovered. The earliest member of genus Homo, our direct ancestors, was dated to 2.8 million years ago! This course will introduce to the cutting-edge field of human evolution. Called paleoanthropology, this field includes contributions from anthropology, paleontology, geology, and many other fields. You will learn how these different areas of study work together to investigate human origins. How is it possible to know what people's lives were like 2 million years ago? How is it possible to understand why people evolved the way that they did? In this class, you will focus on the hands-on methods behind the headlines. You will study stone tools, the fossil casts of hominid (human ancestor) brains, among other many other approaches.
The course will start with a review of the basics of how evolution works. We will then discuss primates and find out where humans fit within this interesting group of species. The fossil record of our evolutionary history will be reviewed, as well as the archaeological remains of our ancestors - from the earliest stone tools to the introduction of agriculture and the emergence of cities and states. Some specific topics we will discuss include the origins of upright walking, when our brains got big (and why), the origins of language, when and where the first people like ourselves appeared, when the earliest evidence of art, the role of diet in human evolution, and why there is so much variation among humans living today. Ultimately we will show that an evolutionary perspective is critical to understanding who we are today.
The course format will include illustrated lectures, discussions, demonstrations and videos. Class consists of 2 lectures per week.
A122 Interpersonal Communication (There are 18 sections. Please check on-line for rooms and times)
Interpersonal Communication (ANTH-A122) introduces the study of communication, culture, identity, and power. We study how people use everyday conversation to create the world they live in.
We discuss such real-world topics as:
• Power and roles in a college fraternity
• Facebook, YouTube, and text messaging
• Male and female communication styles
• Clothing, smoking, and cars in high school
• Saying hello around the world
• Slang and swearing
• Language on athletic teams
• Communication in deaf communities
• The language of law school classes
• And more!
ANTH-A122 looks across cultures at communicative practices ranging from North Africa to North America, from 17th-century Quakers to a contemporary Deaf church, and from grade school students to college undergraduates. We also examine the language used every day by Indiana University students, including slang, verbal play, gendered language, and the academic language of business and law schools.
Past students have said that this course changed the way they view the world, allowing them to see patterns in their conversations and lives that they had never before considered.
ANTH-A122 Interpersonal Communication classes are a lively mix of discussion, small group activities, informal student presentations, lecture, and multimedia examples. Together we will read excerpts from real experts and learn to use communication and performance theory to analyze others' interpersonal interactions. Along the way, you will better understand how your own interactions with friends, family, teammates, and others are connected to broader questions of power and social identity. We will also learn to do original, project-based research to describe and analyze everyday life. Past projects have studied such “real life” interactions as friends hanging out in a residence hall, a Bible study group, a sorority meeting, a pre-game meeting with a sports coach, and a dinner with family. As you learn how communication impacts your life and the lives of others, you’ll also practice critical thinking, research, writing, and presentation skills that prepare you for more advanced coursework in many disciplines.
A200 Native Am & Indigenous Studies
Meets 1st eight weeks only
The place of American Indians in US culture reflects centuries of struggle, political triumph and cultural persistence. This course looks at this history as well as contemporary American Indian culture through the worldview of Natives of North America. The goal of the course is to question how history and culture are understood by using an indigenous lens. Students who take this course will obtain an understanding of indigenous culture and worldview as well as be able to use this knowledge to understand social problems from an alternative perspective.
A200 Peoples, Histories and Politics of Modern Iran and Afghanistan
This introductory course provides students with an anthropological understanding of the Peoples cultures, and societies in Iran and Afghanistan from the end of the Safavid era in mid-18th century to the present. Students will learn about Iran and Afghanistan's cultural heritage, institutions, intellectual trends, and the class/religious/ethnic/linguistic cleavages that reside in these two countries. We will explore the impact of Czarist and British expansionism, Anglo-Afghan Wars, Russo-Persian treaties, Constitutional Revolutions until the inclusion of Iran and Afghanistan into the International System of States. This course also introduces students to the major anthropological issues in the areas ranging from ethnic-nationalism, uneven development and the rise of a new middle class, until the appearance of various Leftist and Islamic Revival movements that led to the 1973/76/78 and 79 revolutions. The course ends with a discussion on the nature of post-revolutionary trends and their wider transnational implication. Students will become familiar with the cultural topography of the Iranian Plateau, social hierarchies, political structures and charismatic leadership, tradition and modernity through scholarly publications, works of fiction, and films.
A200 Captivity Narratives
This class explores a wide range of captivity narratives, from the historical to the fantastic. Along with indigenous captivity and UFO abduction, our study will include fiction and non-fiction accounts of containment and redemption, including texts about slavery, prison, mental hospitals, kidnappings during the Iraqi war, and the desires for containment and release in the making of nuclear weapons. This class is both anthropological and interdisciplinary in scope. We will use a range of perspectives to study both scholarly and popular understandings of captivity, containment, and freedom in America and in other places comparatively. Our focus will include the following themes: colonization and the land, the body and technology, religious questing, and discourses of gender, race and class. Students will be introduced to some social theories of containment in culture and language.
A208 Ruin Porn & Urbex: Aesthetics & Politics of Ruination
Ruin photography (commonly called "ruin porn") is a genre of photography that focuses on urban decay and modern ruin, and it has been heavily criticized in recent years for what some view as its sensationalistic and exploitative nature. Urban Exploration (a.k.a. UE, UrbEx, or Place-Hacking) is the exploration or infiltration of the built environment, and it is also frequently criticized for its practitioners' "unauthorized" usage of derelict and off-limits spaces.
This course uses these two popular phenomena as tools of cultural analysis, asking what they can teach us about the ways in which people have perceived and interacted with ruins and "wasted" spaces throughout history, and the implications this has for heritage management and preservation, urban planning, and tourism. Activities include field trips, film screenings, and a class photography exhibit where students can showcase their work.
A211 Bee-ing human: bees and humans
This course will investigate the relationship between humans and honey bees from an interdisciplinary perspective. Honeybees connect the social, cultural and biological worlds like no other animal because of their immense importance to the human diet. We will learn about honey bee biology and behavior, and how this knowledge has influenced human beekeeping and honey hunting practices around the world and across time. We will investigate theories about the importance of honey hunting as a possible factor in human evolution and compare human behaviors to behaviors of other honey hunting animals like chimpanzees and honey badgers. Historically, bee keeping has been considered a powerful, sometimes even mystical skill in almost every society, and we will also explore the role of bees and bee keeping in more recent times. This will set the stage for a discussion of the current role of bees and bee keeping in our society. We will learn how honeybees are used as a model species in the biological sciences to investigate social behaviors, communication and honey bee health. Furthermore, we will explore the practices of bee keeping, the challenges these are facing, but also the opportunities they are providing across the world today. We will review the importance of honey bees to the current human diet by examining the links between pollination services, food production and security and declining bee populations. Finally, we will contrast bee keeping in the US with bee keeping in other parts of the world with a focus on the local bee keeping community.
If you are interested in the course but you have an allergy to honey bee stings (or suspect you have one), please contact the instructor for more information.
This course is not a beekeeping course. There are a variety of introductory courses offered by local beekeeper associations where experts share their extensive experience in beekeeping.
A408 Museum Practicum
Jackson (3415) AUTH
The Museum Practicum (1-4 cr.) provides students with the opportunity to gain hands-on work experience in museums while earning academic credit through Indiana University's Department of Anthropology. Practica require prior agreement and must be arranged with supervising museum personnel and the course instructor, Professor Jason Jackson, Director of the Mathers Museum of World Cultures (email@example.com, 812-856-1868).
Practica may be arranged at any museum. If you wish to arrange a practicum at a museum other than the Mathers Museum of World Cultures, you must obtain written permission from a designated supervisor at that institution. General guidelines require that you and your supervisor agree upon the number of credit hours to be awarded, the number of hours to be worked per week, and the specific work schedule. Your designated supervisor will be responsible for assessing your performance and assigning a grade. Please bring a copy of the supervisor's statement of permission to Professor Jackson when you request authorization to enroll. (It may also be forwarded directly to Professor Jackson from your supervisor.) Students interested in arranging practica at the Mathers Museum should visit http://www.indiana.edu/~mathers/museumprac.html - for detailed information regarding a specific practicum. Practica may involve collections research, curation, conservation, education/programs, the museum store, exhibits, and photography.
To apply for a practicum at the Mathers Museum, please review the information on the website, then contact the appropriate departmental supervisor (noted at the top of each listing) to request an application and arrange an interview. Acceptance of students is limited. The required number of practicum hours worked per week at the Mathers Museum varies according to the number of credit hours of A408 the student is enrolled in, and the semester of enrollment.
A410 Photography and Anthropology
Intensive Writing class
In this capstone course we will consider the history of photography within the four fields of anthropology, as primary data, as documentation for colonial projects, evidence of fieldwork, as material objects for museum exhibitions, and as works of art. We will discuss the relationship between photography and truth, art photography, ethnographic documentation, and the social and ethical practice of taking pictures. The course emphasizes visual as well as textual approaches to the material; and will include a variety of media including literature, films, Internet sites, exhibitions, and photography with the aim of encouraging students to think critically about the media of representation and communication.
A420 UGRD Teaching Practicum
Anthropology A420 allows advanced undergraduate students the opportunity to work closely with anthropology faculty for preparing and implementing course materials in other undergraduate courses. Interns may develop materials, oversee laboratory activities, lead discussions, maintain educational collections, or moderate online work. They may keep labs open to accommodate student’s work, assist the instructor in creating active learning projects and exercises, assist students in understanding new material, or help them with projects. Students are not required to have taken the course for which they intern, however, in most cases having taken the class is an asset. Students may concurrently enroll in the class they are assisting. Students in A420 do not assist in grading. However undergraduate interns may be asked to keep attendance records, or other records for individual students that don’t involve evaluation. Open to junior or senior Anthropology majors with consent of instructor. May be repeated up to 6 credit hours, but taken only for 3 credit hours in any one semester.
A 399 Honors Tutorial
A495 Individual Readings in Anthropology
A496 Field Study in Anthropology
Sept (3414, 3416, 3417)
These courses provide opportunities for students to work on independent projects, create their own courses, and combine fieldwork, lab work, or other kinds of research in creative ways, under faculty supervision.
The Honors Tutorial (3 cr.) involves research and writing, culminating in an Honors Thesis. Individual Readings in Anthropology (1-4 cr.) allows the student to work with a particular professor on a specific topic chosen by the student and agreed to by the professor. Field Study in Anthropology (3-8 cr.) gives the student a chance to earn academic credit for work "in the field."
P200 Intro to Archaeology
For most of human existence, there were no written texts, so to understand most of the human past, archaeologists learn to “read” history by examining material remains and combining a variety of techniques, methodologies and theories. Through an examination of important archaeological places around the world we will review those methodologies as well as explore what kind of knowledge archaeologists can generate. We will investigate how archaeological methods and theories help us answer questions like how pyramids and mummies help us understand Egyptian religion, how we know where the Vikings sailed; what Stonehenge had to do with ancient ideas about life and death, or why human sacrifice was practiced around the world. We will also consider the role the present plays in understanding the past, and alternately, how the past informs the present. Our text, “Strung Out on Archaeology” will take us through archaeological principles using, Mardi Gras, parades and beads as our primary example. In lab sections we will will conduct an actual analysis of archaeological materials, and try to answer a real and unanswered question about the past in Indiana.
Format: there will be illustrated lectures, films, demonstrations and hands on lab exercises. Evaluations will be based on exams, short papers and lab projects.
P370 Civilizations of the Andes
Above class approved for Intensive Writing Credit
Get ready to explore the Andean region—from its foundations in fishing villages, to its complex cultures of Chavín, Moche, Nazca, Chimu, Wari, Tiwanaku and Inka. From desert to rainforest, and from sea to sierras. the Andes of South America have supported an astonishing array of civilizations that inspire big questions. How and when were the rugged Andes in South America first settled? What factors led to the development of maritime and highland cultures? What is the significance of potatoes, coca, guinea pigs, and llamas? Who were the Inka? You will see how environment and natural resources provide a backdrop for the development and use of extensive transportation, intensive agriculture, colorful technology, socially prescribed labor, religious systems that focus on high places, the earth, the sun, and the moon and a bewildering array of sites perched in the driest deserts and some of the highest mountains.
We will also look at what effect archaeology has had in Andean countries. Originally operating in a colonial environment, archaeologists were interested in acquiring materials for museums around the world. Now archaeological tourism is a booming industry, looting is rampant, and cultural, national and ethnic identities can be manipulated on the basis of archaeological knowledge and finding, while indigenous people still strive for economic security and political voice. We will address these issues as well, because archaeology, though it deals with the past, is something that happens and affects people in the here and now.
P380 Prehistoric Diet & Nutrition
Above class carries N&M Distribution
“YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT,” we are often told. Yet human diets today are very different from those of our ancestors of just a few thousand years ago. Are people adapted to their modern diets? Should we be trying to mimic the "Paleodiets" of our Stone Age ancestors?
Food sits at the interface between biology and culture, between the present and our evolutionary past. This course explores how the long-term history of human diet has developed in the context of our genetic, anatomical and socio-cultural evolution. We will examine how non-human primates are adapted to their diets, and what fossil and archaeological evidence exists for the diets of our fossil ancestors at different points in time.
In particular, we will critically evaluate the popular "Paleo Diet" fad, based on the hypothesis that humans evolved to hunt and gather wild foods, and that we are not adapted to eat modern diets based on agricultural staples and heavily refined foods. What can prehistoric evidence tell us about the "original" paleo diets? What were the consequences of the shift to a dependence on domesticated plants and animals and agricultural ways of life? What is the antiquity of cooking and other food processing techniques that we take for granted today? Ultimately the goal of the class is to consider how an evolutionary perspective our dietary heritage can help us understand some of the health consequences of our dietary choices today.
Students will analyze their own diets from different perspectives and also learn about the origins and antiquity of different types of foods and ancient food-processing techniques through various hands-on activities and collaborative in-class projects. Grades will be based on a combination of participation in individual and collaborative projects during class time, and on several written reports and take-home essay assignments.
This course has no prerequisites and is scheduled in the new collaborative technology classroom in the Student Building. The class can carry graduate credit; graduate students do an additional research paper for the class.
Above class carries CASE N&M credit
Geoarchaeology is designed to provide students with an introduction to the geological principles, methods and theories relevant to archaeological research. Geoarchaeology is an interdisciplinary field that integrates archaeological and geological theoretical concepts and analytical methods with the end goal being a better understanding of the archaeological record. The course will focus on deciphering human landscapes. Participants will study topics such as geochronology, site formation and taphonomic processes, anthropogenic alteration of landscapes, geomorphology, remote sensing, sediments, soils, stratigraphy and paleoenvironmental reconstructions to understand the dynamic nature of earth processes and their effects on archaeological sites. The class incorporates hands-on experiences with aspects of research design. After completing the course, participants will be capable of understanding basic concepts, principles and methods that are required by the discipline, while being conversant with basic geoarchaeological language. Participants will be able to critically evaluate research literature and design research that incorporates geoarchaeological concepts.
P406 Laboratory Method in Archaeology
You've come back from your first (or second or third) archaeological dig, now what? Artifacts don’t speak for themselves; it is only through laboratory analysis that we are able to answer anthropological questions about the past. Knowing how to choose appropriate laboratory techniques and methods of analysis is a critical skill in interpretation and is an essential part of archaeological training. In this class students will focus on processing, describing, and analyzing artifacts and data from several sites in the remote mountains outside of Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. Students will work on individual projects the last half of the semester. All students will be encouraged to present their results at the Plains Anthropological Conference in Bismarck, North Dakota in October, 2016.
Prerequisites: ANTH P200 and/or ANTH P405 are recommended but not necessary.
P411 Archaeology of Religion
Religion is one of the most important topics today, and it is frequently a part of world news and events. Archaeologists often invoke religion, rites and ritual to explain the past when no other explanation works. The saying, “if you don’t know what it is call it ritual” is in fact a common, cynical, archeological quip. That’s all wrong, if not irresponsible. In this class we investigate what a responsible archaeology of religion might look like. In this class, we familiarize ourselves with how anthropologists approach religion and then look at how religion is to be understood in the past. We will examine the differences between religion, worldview, cosmology and culture, and examine the origins of religion, the materiality and mundane practices of religion, revitalization and missionization through case studies. We will try to evaluate how religion is tied to human history. But we will not advocate or dismiss religion nor promote a particular point of view. Rather, the course provides students with a broad exposure to the archaeology of religion.
Students will improve writing and critical thinking skills through short weekly essays as they develop understandings of anthropological and archaeological theories of religion.
Bioanthropology B200 is an introduction to the biological study of humans. Students learn the basics of genetics, evolutionary theory, human evolution, primate morphology, primate behavior, growth and development, human adaptation, and human variation. A number of supervised labs give students hands-on work with the primate skeleton, the human skeleton, dental anatomy, fossil anatomy, and biological methods. The course is designed to give students background to prepare them for more advanced bioanthropology courses. Much of the course concerns the evolutionary origin of humans. We will achieve a basic knowledge of what our ancestors looked like at each stage of their evolution. We discuss issues such as why we evolved bipedalism, hairlessness, large brains, language, and less robust bones and teeth.
Class grades are assigned based on quizzes (10% of grade), two exams worth 20% of grade each (40% of total grade), laboratory assignments (20%) and a cumulative final exam (30%). Forty pages of text are assigned per week.
This course is the same as the class above regarding course content; however, grading procedures assignments and text may differ.
B260 Biocultural Medical Anthropology
In this course we will explore health and disease in a holistic manner, integrating evolutionary, ecological, and cultural perspectives as we attempt to understand such questions as: Why do we get sick? Why are some illnesses prevalent in certain populations and rare in others? How does cultural context affect both the prevalence of illness and our understanding of what it means to be “sick” and “healthy”? Why does the effectiveness of some treatments decline over time? How do a person’s genes and their physical and social environments interact with respect to disease? What strategies hold promise for alleviating certain illnesses on a global scale? A variety of health topics will be covered, including reproductive health, illnesses related to diet, diseases caused by infectious agents, and psychological ailments. You will have both structured and unstructured opportunities to collaboratively investigate, present, and discuss specific health issues in teams consisting of your peers. Additionally, you will gain experience searching for and synthesizing primary research using the university’s journal subscriptions. By the end of this course, you will have considerable practice applying a biocultural approach to understanding the causes, consequences, distributions, and potential treatments for numerous illnesses affecting people around the world.
B301 Laboratory in Bioanthropology
This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the basic research techniques used by biological anthropologists through hands-on experience and an introduction to the literature of the field. The course is divided into two main sections. The first focuses on human skeletal anatomy, and the second covers methodologies used in forensic anthropology, paleontology, primatology, human growth and development, and population genetics. This course counts for the NMNS distribution requirement.
B301 Laboratory in Bioanthropology
This course is the same as the class above regarding course content.
B370 Human Variation
This course explores the variation within and between human populations and individuals in anatomy, physiology, genetics, and behavior. Topics covered include biological concepts of race, and evolutionary processes acting on humans in the past, present and future to shape our body, genes and behavior. We will explore current hypotheses regarding human variation in a multitude of traits including skin color, body shape, blood type, response to stress, disease resistance, IQ, violent behavior, and sexual orientation, as well as explore the nature/nurture debate. Also discussed are the implications of anthropological data and theories for current and future human biological and social problems. The topics of this course involve profound questions facing our society, and revolve around quickly evolving science and technology. This is a lecture course with no required textbook, all readings will be available online. Grades will be based on a midterm and a final exam, short writing assignments, and a final project.
B400 Evolution of Human Cognition
This seminar will explore questions surrounding the origin and evolution of important aspects of human cognition and behavior. Theoretical perspectives that apply an evolutionary perspective to understanding human behavior will be discussed and critically evaluated. These have historically been controversial, as have the research programs that they inspire. This class will explore how evolutionary perspectives have informed an understanding of where our behavior comes from, why we behave the way we do, and to what extent our behavior is or has been modifiable. We will also discuss what this research might mean, if anything, for society. Topics to be addressed will include: the history of attempts to apply an evolutionary perspective to human behavior, the concept of inclusive fitness, evolutionary models of altruism, human sexual behavior and mating strategies from an evolutionary perspective, modularity in cognition, mental disease from an evolutionary perspective, human brain evolution and evolutionary models used to explain it (e.g., language, sociality, dietary shifts, and other behavioral adaptations), archaeological evidence of human behavioral evolution, the importance of cultural evolution, and the complex interplay between evolved predispositions and learned behavior over evolutionary time. We will also explore the ideas of emergence and “complex adaptive systems” as applied to human behavior. Participants will have the opportunity to take an active role in influencing the direction of the seminar towards areas of their particular interest. The goal of the seminar will be to integrate research from many fields of inquiry. There are no prerequisites, other than an interest in understanding evolutionary perspectives on human behavior. The course is limited to upper level undergraduates and graduate students, or permission from the instructor.
B400 Ancient DNA in Anthropology
This course explores the field of ancient DNA research, including an historical perspective on the development of the science, and a review of the current trends and exciting new results. The ability to access ancient molecules (not only DNA but also proteins, lipids, and other interesting molecules) has opened new doors in our understanding of the prehistory of our planet. This course will focus on applications within Anthropology, but will also touch on palaeontological and forensic applications of this science, and will include discussion of the work currently in progress in the instructor's Ancient DNA laboratory in the IU Institute of Molecular Biology. Grades are based on discussion participation, five written critical commentaries on assigned readings, and a research paper, with each component contributing one-third of the course grade. Although there are no specific prerequisites for the course, I will assume a good knowledge of bioanthropology as well as some basic genetics. This course requires a significant amount of reading of primary literature.
B464 Human Paleontology
Humans are the dominant primate on the planet now, but 20 million years ago our ape ancestors were hardly distinguishable from any of the dozen apes alive then. B464/524, Human Paleontology, aims to survey the fossil record beginning with the earliest primates but focusing on human ancestors from around the time of the great ape die-off around 10 million years ago and to the present. We will begin historically, by examining how scientists came to recognize fossils as ancient animals, and how they learned interpret them. The class will examine the course of human evolution and the evidence paleontologists bring to bear when interpreting morphology of our lineage, and the selective pressures that created it. We will examine the relevant fossils in detail, discuss basic functional anatomy and investigate the inferred behavioral ecology of fossil species. We will also study evolutionary theory, and what it can tell us about why humans evolved and why we're still evolving. In the course of learning the anatomy and chronology of critical fossils, students will learn why humans became bipedal, why we shifted from a principally vegetarian diet to one that includes animals, why we came to have large brains, and what the impact of tools and other technology has had on our bodies. B464 has four required labs and three exams, including a cumulative final exam. B524 students will be required to complete three additional labs and a term paper.
B472 Bioanthropology of Aboriginal America
Intensive Writing class
This course will review the demography, epidemiology, and variability that physical anthropologists and other scientists have documented in New World peoples, both prehistoric and modern. Research on Indian and Inuit-Aleut peoples has shaped physical anthropology as a discipline in the Americas, and we will spend some time looking at this historical context. Probably the most interesting and consistent scientific issue throughout this history has been the isolation of the American continents from the Old World as a force in human adaptation and variation. We will examine theories of the peopling of the New World, the effects of diverse life ways on human biology, and the massive biological and social changes that followed European colonization.
B472 is an intensive writing course. We will stress clear, concise presentation of ideas in all written work. Students will gain experience in using the writing style that anthropology journals require. We will spend about 10 percent of class time discussing your written work.
Grades will be based on four papers (90%), and on participation in class discussions (10%). The first 3 papers are 5-8 page exercises aimed at developing writing and critical skills. They are worth 20% each. You may revise and resubmit any of these papers if the initial grade is B or less. The last paper is a longer critical review worth 30%. Meet with me individually before midterm to discuss possible topics. In all written work we will follow current IU policy in academic honesty. If you are not familiar with this policy, see the schedule of classes.
Papers will be graded on four criteria:
A: Content: accuracy of factual material, use of readings
B: Analysis: organization, logic, insight
C: Composition: organization, expression, and grammar
D: Form: use of assigned journal style for text and citations.
I expect you to prepare reading assignments on time. I expect you to come to class prepared to discuss readings. We will read approximately two articles per week. From time to time I will assign individual readings related to a shared reading, so that each student has a special perspective to contribute. I may quiz you occasionally about reading assignments if you do not seem to be prepared for discussion. Readings will be available through IUCAT, as I expect you to develop your skills at finding journal articles.
Your first paper will be a description of a skull in the context of the literature on Paleoindians. The second paper is a book review of an edited volume on skeletal biology. Health in reservation groups will be the subject of the third paper. Your final paper is a critical review of a topic chosen from those included in our reading. A brief description of your topic and a bibliography of at least ten sources will be due the week before Spring break. For our final class meeting, each person should prepare a short oral version of the final paper for presentation in class. Any revisions of earlier papers that you wish to submit for re-grading must be turned at our final class meeting.
L200 Language and Culture
This course provides an introduction to the study of language and to the relationship between language and other aspects of culture. It examines how the languages that people speak reflect their cultural traditions, how the use of language shapes those traditions, how categories of language are related to categories of thought, and how linguistic variation reflects distinctions of race, class, and gender. Work for the course includes a series of problem sets that provide students with experience with the methods of linguistic analysis, plus several short papers for which students are asked to critique readings for the course.
L311 Elementary Lakota (Sioux) Language II
This course is the 2nd in a four-semester sequence designed to introduce students to the language and culture of an American Indian people, the Lakota (Western Sioux) of North and South Dakota. Study is designed around an introductory Lakota language textbook, weekly lessons, tape recordings, and readings on
Lakota culture. The course requires both oral and written exercises (inside and outside the classroom), and will teach both speaking and reading.
The four semester sequence fulfills the COLL foreign language requirement.
L400 Language & Identity in Central Eurasia
Some of the most central and impassioned struggles in contemporary Central Eurasian societies concern languages and the publics that they mark or create. From Estonia to Kazakhstan to the Russian Far East, language has taken on tremendous importance as a marker of ethnic affiliation, local and national pride, and a host of shifting social allegiances. This seminar explores how language is (and languages are) used to accomplish economic, political, and sociocultural ends in the region—both at the macro level, such as to assert the territorial sovereignty of new post-Soviet nation-states, and at the micro level, such as to stake out new individual identities on factory floors and in grocery stores. Topics covered include multilingualism; regional ethnolinguistic categories; the relationship between language policy and nationalities policy; gendered language; code choice in interactions; the politics of translation; poetics; standardization; and language shift, endangerment, and revitalization. Throughout the course, we will connect the fine-grained ethnography of interactions to broader socioeconomic and political processes.
L400 Structure of Maliseet-Passamaquoddy
The topic for Spring 2016 is the structure of Maliseet-Passamaquoddy, a Native American language of the Algonquian family spoken in Maine and New Brunswick, Canada. The course will cover aspects of the phonology of the language, including its complex system of stress assignment and syncope, as well as its pitch accent system. It will also deal with issues in the morphology and syntax of the language such as direct and inverse voice, the structure of noun phrases, unbounded dependency constructions, and discontinuous constituents.
E101 Sustainability and Society
What can we do to help create a more sustainable world? Almost every day we hear news about the degradation of the air, water, soils and forests on which people and all living things depend for survival. We hear little, however, about what can be done to mitigate or reverse these processes. In this course, we will examine the idea of “sustainability” from a cultural perspective, looking at human-environmental interactions around the world. How do ideas of sustainability vary depending on one’s culture and background? How can different academic disciplines, including science, economics, social sciences, and humanities, work together to promote more sustainable practices? How do we measure and monitor how we are doing at creating a more sustainable future? In examining these questions, we will connect the global scale of environmental issues with the more personal, individual experiences and decisions that we encounter in our everyday lives. By the end of the course, students will understand how questions of environmental sustainability are also questions of culture, of meaning, and of values.
E200 Social and Cultural Anthropology
This course is an intermediate survey of the development, methodological approaches, key theoretical concerns, and classic and contemporary issues that have shaped sociocultural anthropology as a discipline. The course will be focused on the theme of globalization. Accordingly, it will consider a number of case studies elucidating, for instance, the ways in which postcolonialism, migration, tourism, and the capital-driven, mass-mediated circulation of popular cultural forms (musical, visual, material, subcultural) have influenced the expression of sociocultural identity around the globe. Several ethnographic films will be included in the course.
E212 Anth of Youth and Adolescence
Suslak (14609) 2nd 8 weeks
How does the life of an American teenager compare with that of young people in indigenous Mexican communities, the urban centers of South Asia, or war-torn southern Sudan? Why does adolescence sometimes come to be seen as a particularly turbulent stage of life and adolescents as a source or trouble for a society? How and when do young people get mobilized to become agents of social and political change? This course introduces students to the cross-cultural study of adolescence and youth culture. In it we will cover some classic anthropological concerns such as age sets, generational groups, and rites-of-passage. We will also look at current investigations into the roles that educational institutions and mass media play in the production and globalization of youth culture. Other topics include: how certain styles, ways of speaking and behaviors come to be seen as particularly ‘youthful’, the nature of ‘generation gaps’, and the impact that western-style adolescence is having on traditional ways of conceptualizing how children become adults.
E251 Post Taliban Afghanistan & the War on Terror
The unprecedented terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 aimed at targets within the United States prompted the Coalition of the Wiling’s "War on Global Terror" against the Taliban controlled Afghanistan– regarded as the virtual headquarters of global terrorism led by Osama Bin Laden and his Al Qaeda terrorist network who are implicated in carrying out the attacks. The war on global terror has been waged now for almost a decade and a half in Afghanistan, spawned into the invasion of Iraq and greater instability in the Middle East and beyond --western China (Xinjiang province), Pakistan (NWFP & FATA), India (Kashmir), Yemen, Africa (Somalia, Sudan and Nigeria) and Russia (Chechnya). Even after the killing of Bin Laden (May 2nd, 2011), the alleged master mind of 9-11attacks, there seems to be no end to terrorism in sight, why?
Why the attacks on New York City, Pentagon and Pennsylvania? Who did it and Why? Why and how did Afghanistan become a Global Terrorism Inc.? Is the rise of Taliban movement in Afghanistan as a contemporary phenomenon unique? How has terrorism been conceptualized and explained by the government officials, academics and media experts in the U.S. and why? What are the root causes of terrorism? What role, if any, does religion/civilization, especially Islamic "fundamentalism" play in the current global security crises? Why has the "War on Terrorism", so far, NOT worked? Or has it? What are some alternative approaches/solutions to the problem of terrorism which have not been considered and why? What lessons are learned from the war on global terror so far? Will withdrawing US-NATO combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year (2014), as planned by President Obama, make Afghanistan, America and the world more or less secure? Can anthropological knowledge and approaches offer alternative re-conceptualization of security in a manner which could help US get closer to realization of our real national goals/interests?
This course will critically examine, from anthropological perspective, these and related questions by focusing on the history, society, economy and political culture of Afghanistan as a case study of a multi-ethnic modern failed nation-state which has been ravaged by a century of internal colonialism, and most recently by foreign invasions, proxy wars and global terrorism. We will also try to assess the reasons for the failure of international community to build a viable democratic institutions of state as promised. Instead they have midwifed the delivery of one of the most kleptocratic “thugocracies” in the history of Afghanistan and the region, why?
Required Texts (some reading may vary):
Peter Marsden The Taliban: War and Religion in Afghanistan (Revised 2002 Edition)
Wissing, Douglas An Enemy We Created: The Myth of the Taliban-Al Qaeda Merger in Afghanistan
Abdul Salam Zaeef My Life with the Taliban.
Additional articles assigned on weekly or bi-weekly topics will be posted on the Oncourse/Canvas.
Steve Coll, Ghost Wars: the secret history of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet invasion to September 10, 2001.
Robert M. Gates, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War
Annemarie Shimmel Islam: An Introduction or
Karen Armstrong Islam: A Short History
E260 Culture, Health and Illness
Across the world, ideas about and experiences of health, "dis-ease,"and medicine are profoundly shaped by culture. This introductory medical anthropology course introduces students to cross-cultural approaches to understanding health and illness, covering topics such as ethnomedicine, ritual healing, gender and health, and international development and global health.
E322 Peoples of Brazil
Brazil is a nation of contrasts and colors, richness and poverty, diversity and unity, promises and challenges. This course will introduce you to contemporary Brazil. We will examine the interconnections of Brazil’s political and economic histories, geography and socio-demography, environment, socio-cultural diversity and current social dilemmas.
Learning goals: I expect you to leave this course with the following accomplishments:
-A historical understanding of Brazil, including sociocultural formation, demographic history, political transitions, and economic history
-A basic understanding of Brazilian geography and environment, including understanding Brazil’s regional social diversity and economy.
-A understanding of socio-cultural diversity and daily life in urban and rural contemporary Brazil, including an understanding of Brazil's current development challenges and dilemmas.
-A critical understanding of social and economic inequality and the development challenges facing Brazil today.
E337 Food, Sex and Gender
Wilk (30271) 1st eight weeks
Above Class Meets First Eight Weeks
Food is always gendered - cave dwellers to reality TV, New Guinea to New York. In US culture, beef is male and salads are female even though everyone eats both. This class will use a variety of formats to further our understanding of the connections between food, gender and sexuality. These connections are a basic part of everyday life and experience for all human beings, but they have rarely been studied by social scientists or even in Gender Studies.
E393 World Fiction & Cultural Anth
Sterling (30304) 1st eight weeks
This course links literature and anthropology as means of understanding culture. Ethnographic writing and world fiction – novels, short stories, poems, myths, folktales – are analyzed for what they may differentially reveal about the social, cultural and political lives of peoples around the world. The course includes three sections. The first explores recent anthropological writings that have re-evaluated the relationship between fiction and ethnography. The second considers how aspects of social identity –such as race, ethnicity, gender and religion – have been represented in ethnography, fiction, and other works located ambiguously in between. The third section considers fictional and anthropological writing that explore human experience particularly in relation to the state. Among the regions represented are Africa, Europe, the Middle East, the Caribbean, and the United States. Among the issues discussed are colonialism, war, socialism, and immigration. Several documentaries and brief readings will also be included in the course.
E400 Chocolate: Local Farmers, Global Economies
S&H Breadth of Inquiry
Cacao (Theobroma cacao), whose name means “food of the gods,” enjoyed a long history in the great civilizations of Mesoamerica, immortalized in art and iconography and traded as a luxury good, long before it became the New World’s gift to the Old. Europeans quickly became as captivated by it as were the Maya and the Aztec, introducing the custom of chocolate parties, drinking chocolate in place of daily tea, and consuming it in the form of bars, pastilles, as ices, and as an ingredient in main dishes and desserts. It moved from a luxury item consumed by the aristocracy to an inexpensive treat for the masses in the solid forms created by Van Houten, Lindt, Cadbury, and Hershey. Now, it has once again become a “luxury” item in the form of designer chocolate and Fair Trade chocolate while it remains one of the most popular “food groups” with the continued and expanded production and consumption of Hershey bars, Cadbury biscuits, M&M’s, and hundreds of other confections.
Some of the topics in this class will include the history of chocolate, the political economy of its production and marketing, who are the farmers producing it, the social life of chocolate, its preparation, the great chocolate producers (Hershey’s, Cadbury’s, Mars, Dove, and Lindt), the fine art of chocolate—who are the new artisan chocolate-makers?, Fair Trade chocolate, chocolate and the environment, who and where are the new markets.
Each of you will be assigned a chocolate company and your task will be to learn as much as you can about its history, its philosophy, its products, and its relationships with growers. This will provide material for class discussions as well as for a 8-10 page paper.
E454 India Lost and Found
06:00-09:00pm T WY 015
11:15am-12:30pm TR SB 138
This course focuses on the films of Indian diasporic filmmakers from the 1980s to the present. In these films India and South Asian diasporic culture more broadly are both harshly critiqued and fiercely loved. Drawing on their own and others’ experiences of displacement and difference, the filmmakers whose work we consider offer powerful political provocations as well as historical testimony. Their films invite cultural critique and foster debate concerning the success of India as a modern and ‘modernizing’ nation, and the politics of treating Indian culture itself as something akin to an iconic commodity that bespeaks ‘tradition.’
Our approach to this material will be ethnographic and historical: we focus on the social and cultural context of the actions, events, places and personages that figure centrally in these films and the stories they tell. The focus of the films themselves spans colonial and postcolonial periods, and our readings focus accordingly on continuities between the cultural critiques made from afar and from within India during these respective eras. As gender inequalities continue to figure prominently in critiques of Indian postcolonial modernity, we will pay special attention to the representation of gender roles in the films. The course has as its conceptual centerpiece the films of two prolific feminist filmmakers who have produced highly acclaimed and controversial films over the last two decades, Mira Nair and Deepa Mehta. While theirs are not the only films we will screen, a primary aim of the course is to develop students’ cultural and filmic literacy to the point where you can appreciate the power of these films as interventions into the gendered realities of Indian and diasporic South Asian culture. To this end we will view several touchstone films from other directors and moments in Indian film history. Films will be shown on Tuesday evenings.
E422 Native American & Indigenous Media
Lepselter (31004) 2nd eight weeks
This class explores the poetics and politics of mediated communication in Native American and other indigenous groups around the globe. We will consider both dominant groups’ representations of native people -- beginning with the first American “best seller” in the 17th century – and native responses to those representations. We also look at the performance of indigenous experience and identity in a range of media, including film, radio, books and the Internet. We explore both the artistic and the politically strategic levels of these mediated works to help us understand the ways indigenous people make use of multiple mediated venues to build community, critique society, and express group and individual viewpoints. We will explore the effects of both sadness and comedy.
E485 Art & Craft of Ethnography
11: 15am-01:30pm F
Above class approved for Intensive Writing Credit
Ethnography is the heart of social and cultural anthropology. Fieldwork is at the heart of ethnography. While anthropology has experienced many and powerful changes in the last one hundred years, fieldwork and ethnography remain a constant defining feature. Where the field is and how ethnography is realized and presented have undergone shifts and transformations but the basic desire to understand how individuals and communities meet the challenges that face all human societies persists and colors the questions we ask and the ways in which we hear the infinity of answers.
Ethnographers are interpreters. Their ability to do this depends on mastering both the theory and the craft of anthropology. How they frame the stories of individuals and groups will depend on their ability to listen and observe and set those stories within the larger context of region, nation, or world. Many anthropologists today are natives of the cultures and societies they describe. This also affects the way in which they understand and interpret people’s stories. Ethnographers’ modes of telling may range from academic writing to writing for the educated public to film, video, dvd, and other kinds of narrative prose and poetry. Their research may be multi-sited and even virtual in both place and time.
We are bound by ethical responsibilities; none more important than toward those who have welcomed us into their community and shared their lives with us. We are guests, interpreters, and scribes. We will be examining these issues throughout the course as we read and do ethnography.
These will include active participation in class discussion, written short reviews of readings, mini ethnographic field projects to be analyzed and presented in different formats, journal recording, analysis of films as ways of showing rather than telling, and a reflective final essay about the field. Two of the longer writing projects will include drafts and rewriting. Please check the syllabus frequently to remind yourself of due dates, especially of field projects.
COLL Topics Courses taught by Anthropology Faculty:
C105 Women's Bodies
As members of the same species, all human females share a similar morphology and physiology. But similarity is not identity. This course considers the extent and causes of variation among women and across populations in biological form and functioning from menarche through menopause, and the consequences of this variation for women's health and well being. Students gain a solid foundation in the physiology of women's bodies and an appreciation of the influence of cultural traditions and practices in modifying biology and shaping a woman's experience of her own body. Specific topics include the roles of diet (especially fat intake) and eating disorders, activity patterns and exercise, breastfeeding, religion, mass media, sexuality, poverty, violence, and medical practices in women's biology and health.