SPRING SEMESTER 2014-15
- GENERAL ANTHROPOLOGY
- LINGUISTIC ANTHROPOLOGY
- SOCIAL-CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY
- COLL Topics Courses taught by Anthropology Faculty
A107 Becoming Human: Evolution
A107 carries CASE N&M credit
This course will introduce you to the study of human evolution. The focus will be on behavior: What do we know about how our ancestors lived their lives, and how did their behavior change over time? We will also emphasize how we come to know what we think we know about our origins and prehistory. This knowledge derives essentially from scientific detective work, in which clues are uncovered from many different sources. Fossils of our ancestors are one such source, but we have also learned a great deal by studying the tools they made and the marks these tools have left behind, the remains of other life forms that were alive at the same times as our ancestors, the geologic deposits all these clues are found in, our DNA and the DNA of closely related species, the behavior of modern primates and modern hunter-gatherers.
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, videos, and sections. Class consists of 2 lectures per week, plus a lab/discussion section. The section activities are designed to give students a richer, hands-on experience with the material evidence of human evolution, and will include exercises using casts of human fossils, human and primate skeletons, computer simulations of evolution, early human stone tool technology, and videos of primate behavior. There will also be discussions on such topics as the origins and importance of modern human variation, evolution of brain, and the origins of language and culture.
A205 Nomads, Networks & Communities
Intensive Writing Class
What does it mean to be a nomad? What is it like to practice a nomadic or semi-nomadic way of life in the 21st century? This course examines how and why humans take up mobile lifestyles and the social and cultural repercussions of human mobility. In the first part of the semester, we will look at mobile pastoralism—what is usually mistaken for nomadism—as a viable alternative for human subsistence. Drawing on case studies from Mongolia, Iran, and the Tibetan plateau in the past and present, we will examine popular perceptions of nomads and how Central Eurasian mobile pastoralists actually live. We will look at the networks through which people move and the different types of communities they form. Finally, we will question what people mean when they speak of “nomadic labor” or living a “nomadic life” in a van and return to the romantic image of a “free” nomad. Why is this image so powerful? What kinds of mobility are and are not possible in the 21st century? What alternative communities can be created? Throughout the semester, we will explore issues central to the social sciences, including notions of space and place, social organization, demography, migration, human-animal relations, humans’ relationships to their environment, and social change.
A200 Bike Racing, Doping & International Sport
In recent years the international sport of bike racing has come under scrutiny for the ubiquity of performance enhancing drugs. However, doping is only one aspect of a 130 year cultural history of bike racing which has been used to further political agendas, challenge racism and as a tool of colonialism. This course will examine the cultures and institutions of professional bike racing from its early beginnings through its attempt to recover from the Lance Armstrong scandal in 2013. The course will primarily focus on Western Europe, but will also include significant material on the United States and Latin America. Students will be able to see the ways cyclesport is a culture unto itself but also reflects specific national cultures and embodies historic moments.
A200 Bizarre Foods
Pig brains, coffee from digested cat feces, and deep-fried scorpion are all on the menu for our examination of food preferences, delicacies, taboos and other cultural engagements with food. At first glance, the ingredients may seem quite bizarre. Yet no matter how unusual the foods or method of preparation, the simple acts surrounding eating are intricately linked to culture, identity, politics, economics, and so much more. Through in-class activities, group work, and illustrated lectures (including segments from hit TV shows ‘Bizarre Foods’ and ‘No Reservation’) this course examines "bizarre foods" and the cultural links they involve.
We will examine foods in our own ‘backyard’ – you’ll learn the ingredients of a Twinkie, explore local meat production, and reflect on how bread and wine transform into ‘body and blood’. We will consider hunger, cannibalism, and dumpster-diving ‘freegans’; and explore ways that people from Indiana to India are working to preserve their food cultures.
A200 Tourism: Cultures and Politics
This course explores tourism as a global yet fundamentally local phenomenon in relation to problems such as sustainability, international politics, cultures, cultural and indigenous rights, ethics and sightseeing, travel writing and experiences, ecology, and ownership of heritage and the past. In this course we ask: What is tourism? Who are tourists? Is tourism good or bad? Are tourists good or bad? Is there a difference between travel and tourism? What is the conflict between those who seek sustainable tourism development and those who advocate for sustainable communities and ecologies? Do other cultures have tourism? Is it a Human Right to be a tourist, that is to visit and sight see any place on earth? Do communities have rights over their past and heritage?
We develop historical and cultural approaches to issues such as ecological tourism, adventure tourism, modernity and mobility, visiting the past, time travel, indigenous and cultural rights, commodification of identity and culture, hospitality, and sex tourism.
A200 Divine Swine
In The Divine Swine we will explore contemporary topics in a variety of fields through the lens of the pig and related species including warthogs and peccaries. Our porcine friends play important roles in human subsistence, religion, colonization and colonialism, and human-environment interaction. We will discuss the pig as a way of coming to a greater understanding of these and other issues such as the role of pigs in modern cuisines, food production, and popular culture. In doing so we will draw on a wide range of sources including ethnographic, archaeological, ecological, historical, and biological literature to provide a truly multidisciplinary view of the pig. While this course uses a lecture format, students will participate in multiple class activities and discussions and will enjoy guest speakers local to Bloomington. Finally, students will have the opportunity to learn about pigs by consuming them during in-class pork tastings.
A205 Sustainable Agriculture & Trade
This course examines the anthropology of agriculture and trade, including Organic and Fair Trade certifications. Drawing from anthropological literature, historical records, and real-world examples, the course explores how depictions of farming and farmers reveal shifting values of nature, culture, production and trade over time. Throughout the course, we will draw from case studies from Africa, Latin America, the United States and other agrarian communities (and consumer cultures) around the world.
A208 Sex Drugs and Rock n Roll
Do you feel like a punk? Do you wonder what an ‘ethical slut’ is? Are hallucinogens illegal because they open the mind and somebody prefers to leave it closed? In short: Are you interested in the subversive culture that surrounds Sex, Drugs, and Rock-n-Roll? If so, you should take this course. In it we try to answer these and other provocative questions by proposing to take them on as legitimate academic inquiry. First, we introduce ourselves to various theoretical perspectives that shed light on the reasons for and inherent contradictions within forms of cultural expression and social practice that claim to be subversive but often run the risk of “selling out.” Second, we divide the remainder of the course into three broad sections - (1) Sex (2) Drugs and (3) Rock-n-Roll – in order to examine in detail particular kinds of subversive subcultures in their cultural and historical context. This includes various edgy rock subcultures like punk, extreme metal, rave, and goth. It also includes expressive subcultures that grow up around illicit substances (i.e. club cultures/hallucinogenic subcultures) and anti-normative sexual practices like modern polygamy/polyamory, homosexuality, alternatives to mainstream pornography, and BDSM.
A211 Ancient Minds
"Explores the methods and theories Paleolithic archaeologists use to investigate the evolution of the human mind over the past 2.6 million years. A wide array of scientific perspectives from Paleolithic archaeology, lithic analysis, brain evolution, network theory, and long-term trends in climate change will be applied. This course stresses hands-on experience with methods."
A400 Four Field Ethics
This class will focus on the ethical issues raised by anthropological research, data curation and preservation, and public visibility. Political and cultural developments all over the world have led to laws and ethical codes that challenge the traditional practice of anthropology as an academic discipline. The causes of these challenges, as well as the consequences, are transforming anthropology into a very new field for some anthropologists. Others continue to productively define their field in terms of a modernist agenda that they identify with responsible science.
Course Objectives: The primary goal of the class will be to acquaint undergraduates with the sociopolitical context of science, especially social science, and raise a critical awareness of the importance of reflexive practice and civic engagement. It is not possible to teach someone to be ethical, but it is possible to teach people to recognize the ethical implications of the choices they make. Experience in thinking through the issues involved in ethical practice improves their chances of being able to accurately evaluate problematic situations in order to make good decisions. The class will pertain directly to anthropology, depending on anthropological literature and case studies, but will strive to develop reasoning and critical skills that are relevant outside the academy. In effect, this is an “applied” course.
Course Organization: I will structure the class around a series of debates. I prefer to teach ethics classes as seminars, but for coping with a class of 30+ I will divide the class into two parts and the halves will take turns being the discussants and being the audience.
The basic organizing ethical issues for the class might be summarized as:
1. The possibility of and the necessity for intersubjectivity (in anthropology and in life)
2. The cultural and social context of science
3. Science defined as honesty, humility and clarity
4. Intellectual freedom vs intellectual license
5. The ethical requirement of engagement
A408 Museum Practicum
Jackson (16429) 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 Anthropology Capstone Sem: Taboo
AN 101, 701 E. 8th
How do we study the unspeakable? Taboo is one of anthropology’s enduring concepts and a focus of both classic and current research. In this capstone seminar we take a broad four-field approach to the topic of taboo beginning with the historical roots of the idea in Polynesia and how gets construed up by European explorers and taken up by foundational figures in anthropology and other disciplines. Via a series of in-class discussions and presentations we will explore the wide world of taboos -- phenomena such as naming avoidance, incest prohibitions, food restrictions, caste endogamy, social suicide, and how different societies distinguish sacred spaces from profane ones. As we explore and discover we will also compare and assess the major theories that attempt to explain these phenomena.
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.
A399 Honors Tutorial
A495 Individual Readings in Anthropology
A496 Field Study in Anthropology
Tucker (16428, 16430, 16431)
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 this major part 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.
Format: there will be illustrated lectures, films, demonstrations and hands on lab exercises.
Evaluations will be based on exams, short papers and lab projects.
P210 Life in the Stone Age
This class will introduce students to our stone age ancestors through the study of Paleolithic archaeology. Popular images of our ancient forebears can be found across a wide-range of media, from novels and films to television commercials. But how realistic are these media creations? How primitive were “cave men,” actually? What kinds of skills and knowledge did it really take to make a living off the land, especially during an ice age? We will learn about the many different kinds of evidence archaeologists use to try to piece together daily lives in ancient times. Some of this work will be hands-on and experimental — researching, making and using replicas of ancient technology, for example, or learning about harvesting and processing wild foods. We will also focus on piecing together evidence from case study archaeological sites, evocative “snapshots” from different time periods. Our goal is to give you an appreciation for the interpretive challenges we face in reconstructing ancient ways of life, and how archaeologists are working to fill the gaps in our knowledge of the stone age. The class will meet both in lectures and in smaller, weekly, discussion sections/labs. Student work will include in-class exercises, take-home written work, and a research project. At the end of the semester students will present the results of their projects in a “Stone Age Symposium.”
P302 Invention and Technology
One thing that makes us human is how we modify our world through invention and technology, for better or for worse. This ongoing theme has accompanied us from the very beginning of human history into our modern world today. We can easily take many things for granted, such as a drinking cup, an umbrella, or a car. However, our world is defined by thousands of inventions and technologies that each represents a changing point within a larger dynamic human history. This course will introduce students to a series of material goods across the world throughout human history to discuss the technological and social implications of these items.
P314 Early Prehistory of Africa
AFRICA is the birthplace of humanity, and the only continent where we can study a complete archaeological record from the very beginnings of stone technology. Over 2.5 million years ago in Africa proto-humans discovered how to fracture stone and create sharp-edged tools. With this initial invention, a trail of our ancestors' litter and refuse began to accumulate on ancient African landscapes. Archaeologists have been able to study these stone tools and other traces of behavior as clues to the evolution of our species and the emergence of modern human ways of life. This course is called the "Earlier" Prehistory of Africa because it focuses on human origins and evolution in Africa during the Stone Age. We will explore:
Human Origins Archaeology: After an introduction to the continent and brief overview of the evolution of early hominin species, we will study case studies of the major early archaeological sites, and learn how archaeologists use information from many different sources (primate behavior, carnivore studies, experiments) to learn about how Early Stone Age ways of life developed from the Oldowan through Acheulian times.
Rise of Humanity: We can recognize the beginnings of modern human biology and behavior very early in Africa. We will explore what Middle Stone Age and Later Stone Age sites reveal about ancient strategies for survival, and our evolution and cultural development as a species.
P350 Archaeology of Ancient Mexico
This course is a survey of the archaeology of ancient Mexico. You will learn about the complex origins and achievements of the indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica, from the Olmec to the Aztec (and beyond). This course outlines cultural developments in the northern desert regions, West Mexico, the highland valleys of the Sierra Madre, the Yucatan peninsula, and the Pacific and Gulf coasts, notably the Olmec, Zapotec, Teotihuacan, Maya, Toltec, Mixtec, and Aztec. We will study the major issues, controversies and current debates in Mesoamerican archaeology. Topics will include the transition to settled life; the emergence of political stratification; the organization of craft production; the formation of urban centers; elite ideology, legitimacy and wealth; gender and power; human sacrifice and warfare; Mesoamerican religion; the Spanish conquest/invasion; and the role of the prehispanic past in the construction of Mexican national identity. Classes will consist of lectures, films, and discussions.
Prerequisite: P200, equivalent, or permission of instructor (email@example.com)
P399 Sex, Violence and Religion in a Global Archaeological Perspective
In this class you will use the capabilities of the collaborative learning studio in your investigations of four archaeological cases, Çatalhöyük in Turkey, Moche in South America, the Khmer at Angor Wat in Cambodia, and Cahokia in the Midwestern US. Your goal will be to determine how and to what degree sex, violence and religion played a role in the creation and experience of civilizations in different regions of the world. You will consider art work such as underwater carved phalluses, goddess figurines, and walls painted with headless people, artifacts such as bull crania, moche sex pots, and carved smoking pipes as well as constructions such as temples, mounds and mortuaries to understand each group of people, what mattered and motivated. Student teams will address their research questions in class by engaging with resources and media such as interactive digs, online museums, films, 3D models and excavation data augmented by mini lectures and group discussions. Along with a sense of how sex, violence and religion were and are interrelated and influence societies you will develop a sense of how to engage with archaeological research methods as well as develop an understanding of how archaeology utilizes multiple resources to develop histories and theories.
Evaluations will be based on the mini reports and presentations research teams produce for each case study. You will be evaluated on your own contributions to the report.
There is no textbook for this course, Readings will be provided on Canvas.
P399 Archaeology of Ancient China
The course examines the archaeological evidence for broad-scale cultural and social developments in China. We begin with the time of the arrival of modern humans (ca. 40,000 years before present) and close with the late Shang Dynasty, the first historical state. This course focuses on some of the most important archaeological finds in Chinese contexts and explores how we can better understand ancient Chinese societies with these finds. Specific topics include: the nature of early hunting and gathering societies; the emergence of plant and animal domestication; craft production, ritual, regional interaction, and Neolithic complex societies; and the development of metallurgy and the roles of agriculture, technology, and trade in the rise of advanced civilization during the Bronze Age. Various theoretical and methodological perspectives will also be introduced to give students a framework for interpreting the archaeological evidence. Through this course, students will acquire a richer understanding of Chinese archaeological sites and cultures and the practice of studying ancient Chinese societies.
This course will review the theory, mechanisms, and processes of biological evolution applied to problems of the primate and human fossil record and contemporary human populations. Topics will include reviews of evolutionary theory, life history theory and genetics, non-human primate evolution, behavior and adaptations, human evolutionary history and modern human variation. By the end of this course, students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of basic evolutionary theory and human evolution.
This course is required for anthropology majors and is a prerequisite for more advanced courses in bioanthropology. This course carries N & M credit towards the COAS distribution requirements.
This course is the same as the class above regarding course content; however, grading procedures assignments and text may differ.
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.
B368 The Evolution of Primate Social Behavior
In B368 we will become familiar with the variety of primate social organizations. Primate societies will be parsed into 5 basic systems, after which variations on these themes will be explored. You will learn that nonhuman primates vary from solitary, positively antisocial species to animals that gather in groups of up to 300. We also aim to understand the theoretical underpinnings of primate social behavior. We will investigate the evolutionary and ecological bases of sociality, intense affiliation within groups (bonding), dispersal (group transfer), territoriality, aggression, primate intelligence, communication, tool use, mating strategies and parenting strategies.
B370 Human Variation
This course explores the variation within and between human populations and individuals in anatomy, 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, three short writing assignments, and a final project.
B400 Animal Tool Use
The extensive use of tools and the development of technology are one of the defining characteristics of the human condition. While tool use was once thought to be unique to humans, it is now clear that many animals create and use tools of various kinds, for various purposes. Knowing the different ways in which animals – and particularly our closest primate relatives – make and use tools provides us with a critically important context upon which to understand the evolutionary history of our own use of tools. This seminar will explore the latest research exploring animal tool use and what it might mean for cognition. The core of the class will be a series of invited speakers who have done important work on animal tool use and cognition. We will explore their research beforehand, and have an opportunity to hear about their seminal work and engage them in discussion. We will also explore important work done in the field, and try to assess what this might mean for our own evolutionary history.
B400 Mortuary Practices
This course is a seminar in the anthropology of mortuary ritual and the disposal of the dead. We will concentrate equally on ethnographic accounts of the great variety of mortuary practices and on applications of this body of information to interpreting the archeological record. Grades are based on class participation (50%), and on a final paper (50%).
A seminar depends on consistent, thoughtful participation each week from each person. You must come to class prepared to discuss the material we are reading. If participating in discussion is difficult for you, it will help to make notes in advance on issues you wish to raise. Each of you will be responsible for discussing sources that the other seminar members have not read. When we do individual reading assignments, each person will prepare a written summary of the item he or she has presented for distribution to other seminar participants. You will find that your colleagues in the seminar are quite helpful in finding resources for your research. Expect approximately 100 pages of reading per week.
Your final paper should aim at a substantial, original review or analysis suitable for submission to an appropriate journal. You may do original research on funeral customs, memorials, or archaeological data. Please meet individually with me to discuss a topic for the final paper before our third week of classes. A one-page prospectus of your project is due at our last meeting before spring break. Each seminar participant will present a summary of the project at our final class meeting. Written versions are due the last day of finals week.
1996 The Sacred Remains: American Attitudes toward Death, 1799-1883. Yale U. Press: New Haven.
1. Book review of Laderman. AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST STYLE
2. Book review of an ethnography or history for in-class presentation. Prepare a one-page single-spaced review for distribution to seminar participants.
3. Book review of an archaeology or art history text for in-class presentation. Prepare a one-page single-spaced review for distribution to seminar participants.
4. Weekly participation in readings and discussion.
5. RESEARCH paper comparable to a journal article in length and scope prepared in the style of a suitable journal.
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 Bioanth 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.
L313 Elementary Lakota (Sioux) Language II
This course is the 4th 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 in/of Media
Media can provide great insight into the cultures and societies that produce them. What might we learn about the role of language in a society, then, by looking at the language of its media? This seminar examines both how language is (or languages are) represented in media and the language(s) of media as ways of understanding broader sociocultural processes. We will look at the main ways that scholars have approached language in/of media to date, and hopefully open some new lines of inquiry ourselves. Topics covered include representing dialects and sociolects in media, representing foreignness linguistically, multilingualism in media, translation decisions, censorship, the affordances of different media platforms, language use in mass media versus “small” media, public/private distinctions, and the use of media in language maintenance and revitalization projects. In each class session, we will analyze an example of media language as a source of social information, whether it be a cartoon, a Facebook post, a news story about sports, or an excerpt of fictional language constructed for a book or film such as Lord of the Rings or Avatar. Writing for the course includes a series of short exercises practicing methods for analyzing linguistic data from media, including capturing data, transcribing, and conducting textual and content analysis—all of which will be your own research material leading to a final project.
L400 Language Revitalization
This course carries S&H credit
It is now generally agreed that half of the world’s 6,000 languages will go out of use by the end of the present century. This course investigates the social and cultural conditions that lead to language shift and explores what can be done to maintain and revitalize threatened minority and indigenous languages. We work with case studies that show how practical problems are being handled in diverse linguistic communities. Students select a particular endangered language to focus on in their own work and report to the class on language revitalization efforts in the community they have selected.
E101 Sustainability and Society
What can we do to help create a sustainable world? Almost every day we hear news about degradation or pollution of the air, water, soils, forests, and other natural resources on which people and all living things depend for survival. We hear little about what can be done to mitigate or reverse these processes. This class will examine human interactions with the natural environment, and explore the cultural ideas and values that shape challenges and potential for ecological, economic and social sustainability. We will take an interdisciplinary perspective to explore concrete examples from Indiana and around the world, on issues such as deforestation, water scarcity, waste management, growing energy demands, and changing weather patterns. Readings, films, discussion and class activities will encourage critical thinking about contradictions and conundrums related to sustainability. Students will carry out individual and team research projects to gain an understanding of what is happening on the Indiana University campus and in Bloomington to address local environmental issues, and examine progress and shortcomings. In the process, we will endeavor to envision a sustainable world, understand the challenges, and think about ways to make wise changes. Course evaluation will depend on team projects, writing exercises, class participation, quizzes, and a final exam.
E200 Social and Cultural Anthropology
This course will introduce students to cultural anthropology, which involves the study of social, cultural and historical processes in their local, comparative and global dimensions. Students will be asked to think both critically and comparatively about the ways in which we create meaning through the analysis of human institutions such as kinship, politics, economies, ritual and religion, art, race, gender, the nation and globalization. Throughout the course we will consider what anthropologists do. While historically anthropologists have engaged in fieldwork that involves the long term study of a place many anthropologists also conduct fieldwork in corporate offices, urban streets, stock market floors and in international organizations. You will read ethnographies, the mode of anthropological writing, and work on ethnographic fieldwork projects, the primary method in anthropology.
E208 Global Jazz, Reggae & Hip Hop
With focus on jazz, Jamaican popular music and hip-hop, “Global Jazz, Reggae and Hip-Hop” links the creation and consumption of African diasporic music around the world to issues of race, nation, ethnicity, religion, class and gender. The course will explore these musical genres as reflections of the specific communities that produced them, and also explores broader national responses to the emergence of these genres. The course further considers the music’s international spread, and how this circulation within and beyond the African diaspora helps us understand social issues of importance to the receiving societies (for example, reggae in Japan as opportunity to explore Japanese attitudes toward race). "Global Jazz, Reggae and Hip-Hop" uses readings and assignments to introduce students to ethnographic research, that is, research based on an extended period of fieldwork within a given community. Among the regions discussed in the course are North America, South America, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia.
E212 Anth of Youth and Adolescence
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.
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.
E320 Indians of North America
This course is designed to introduce students to the diversity of cultures in Native America north of Mexico. It focuses on culture patterns from the time of earliest European contact until the mid-nineteenth century, but also considers traditional culture among contemporary Native Americans. Readings provide a general orientation to the study of Eskimo and American Indian life ways as well as a series of case studies. Lectures include discussion of the methods used by anthropologists for studying Native American cultures and societies. Fundamental concepts of cultural and social anthropology are presented throughout the course to serve as the means for understanding native peoples.
Grades will be based on two short quizzes and two examinations designed to test the students’ knowledge of information about Native American peoples as well as their comprehension of and ability to use the theories and methods of anthropology presented in class lectures and readings. Prerequisites: none
E397 Peoples and Cultures of Middle East
The principal objective of this course is to acquaint students with the anthropological contributions (conceptual, methodological and analytical) to the ethnographic studies of the peoples and cultures of the Middle East. It is an ethnographic survey course which examines the unity and diversity of social institutions and cultural practices in contemporary Middle Eastern societies--i.e., the Arab countries of North Africa and the Near East, Israel, Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan. The course will pay special attention to micro-level analyses of continuities and social change. Topics covered include: ecology, the rise and development of Islam and Muslim civilizations; traditional adaptive strategies (pastoral nomadism, rural agriculture and urban mercantilism); consequences of European colonialism, the rise of nation states; politicization of social identities (kinship, tribe, ethnicity, gender, religion/sect); and the consequences of modernization/globalization, oil wealth, poverty, labor migration, dependency, militarization, political conflicts and social unrest (including terrorism and the “Arab Spring” & ISIS).
E400 Consumer Culture, Sustainability & Climate Change
Above Class Meets First Eight Weeks
This course will examine the evidence for the spread of global consumer culture, looking at the ways that people in different parts of the world have learned to be consumers. We will ask the tough questions about the future, about the environmental impacts of consumption, and the way our own cups of coffee and running shoes tie us together with a whole globe of other producers and consumers.
E400 Islam in the Balkans
Islam came to the Balkans in the fourteen and the fifteenth centuries with the Ottomans and spread across the peninsula of southeastern Europe. In this class we study the history of Islam in the Balkans, from the gradual conversions of local people, the political and cultural heights of the Ottoman Empire, to the decline of the Ottoman Empire, the growth of ethnic-based nation states, and the relegation of most Muslim communities to minority status. This history is best understood through study of the cities of Edirne, Salonika, and Sarajevo, and the place of Balkan Muslims and Balkan Orthodox Christians in the Ottoman Empire. We also study the forced migrations and expulsions of Muslims from the Balkans in the 19th and 20th centuries, culminating in the wars in Bosnia and Kosova in the 1990’s. Finally we draw on anthropological studies of Muslims in the Balkans in recent times for questions relating to gender and the ongoing negotiation of Muslim identities.
E400 Blood, Money, Value
Honors Students onlyQuestions of value are at the heart of anthropological discussions of personhood, kinship, gifts, money, commodities and art. In this seminar we will consider anthropological approaches to value through a critical survey of past and recent debates in the field. Readings range from classical theoretical and ethnographic materials to recent reformulations focusing mainly on Africa and the Pacific. Through seminar presentations and a paper, students will participate in addressing the central questions of this course and turn these questions towards their own research.
E400 Ethnographic Video Methods
This course examines the historical and contemporary use of film/video recording in conducting ethnographic research. The course investigates the field of visual anthropology and documentary filmmaking more broadly in order to contextualize the production of ethnographic film and video projects. The course of study incorporates developing theories and scholarship on visual studies, anthropological methods, and research ethics. This course also explores issues surrounding representation and the implications of visually documenting ethnographic research. Students will learn the basic skills necessary for producing ethnographic digital video projects, and will develop a short video project to be screened at the end of the course. In order to optimize this experience, the class combines assigned readings, class discussions, film screenings, and hands-on training in digital video production. Students are expected to finish the class with a comprehension of the history and ethical issues surrounding the use of film/video recording in ethnographic research, as well as an understanding of the fundamentals of digital video production.
E400 Gender Warfare and Militarism
In this course, we consider how ideas about gender shape people (soldier, demonstrator, rebel), objects (rifle, tank, flower), places (college campus, city street, battlefield) and ideas (militarism, pacifism, anti-authoritarianism).
Embarking on these explorations, we consider ways scholars understand warfare and militarism in particular dialogue with gender studies. Together, we ask whether warfare is a universal? what do warfare and militarism have to do with masculinity? what is the relationship between liberation/independence/anti-colonial movements and powerful states and economic interests? is militarism necessarily connected to fascist pro-natalism? are women who torture, engage in combat, or commit suicide bombings anomalies? how are paramilitary and guerilla movements different from official state militaries? what happens to masculinity/femininity in prisoner of war camps and with respect to disabled veterans? is there a feminist ethics to guide research on warfare and militarism? and most centrally, how do we think about the relationship between militaries and societies?
E463 Anthropology of Dance
Despite the fact that dance and movement are integral parts of virtually every society, past and present, the field of Anthropology has not come to terms with these embodied phenomena with the same thoroughness that it has applied to other aspects of culture. Embodied ways of knowing, especially dance, are the focus of this course. We will examine dance in its theatrical and cultural contexts, explore its formal qualities through such issues as technique, artistry, innovation, and style, look at who dances and how they are "trained" and regarded in their societies, trace dance used as a political expression of identity, and search out the meanings of dance across multiple cultural domains. We will use examples from historical and contemporary dance, theatrical and culturally embedded forms, from a range of cultures, and explore the effect of new technologies and media on dance creation and presentation.
Understanding by thinking and understanding by doing are different matters. It is impossible to "understand" dance and movement by intellectual means alone. That is why we call it "embodied." Anthropologists commonly learn in the field by doing. We will have opportunities in class to share experiences of movement that may include dance but also such embodied forms as martial arts, yoga, sports, and ordinary movement and posture. "Native" knowledge of a dance genre is valuable not only to understanding that genre but also to knowing how to understand other forms. We will tap into the expertise of class members and special guests as well as take advantage of performances, classes, rehearsals.
COLL Topics Courses taught by Anthropology Faculty:
C104 Chocolate, Food of the Gods
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, the Zapotec, and the Aztec. They introduced the custom of chocolate parties; of 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 artisan 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, its appearance in literature and art, the social life of chocolate, its preparation, the romantic aspects of chocolate, the lives of some of the great chocolate producers (Hershey’s, Cadbury’s, Mars, and Lindt), the fine art of chocolate (luxury chocolate producers), Fair Trade chocolate, new markets and new producers.
Readings will include a biography of Milton Hershey, a general history of chocolate, and short articles available on Oncourse. Requirements will include a short field project on Valentine’s Day and a longer report on a chocolate company.
C105 Darwinian Medicine
Darwinian medicine may be defined as the application of modern evolutionary theory to considerations of human health and illness. Also called "evolutionary" medicine, it represents the intersection of medical knowledge and practice with disciplines such as human biology, medical anthropology, psychology, and physiology. This course will begin with an examination of both the evolutionary and medical explanatory models for human health and illness. It will proceed through a series of topics designed to show the breadth of impact that evolutionary theory may have on our lives today. A persistent theme will be the difference between proximate or immediate causes of disease (the medical model) and the possibility that there may also be ultimate or very long-term causes best understood through an evolutionary interpretation.
One goal of the course is to demonstrate the utility of the scientific method in suggesting answers to complex questions such as those mentioned above. How do scientists from diverse disciplines use data to support their arguments? What does it mean to test an hypothesis?
A second goal of this course is to try to emphasize those situations and conditions of health (or illness) that appear to require both proximate and ultimate explanations, rather than simply one or the other. In reality, it is the complex interplay of genes, environment, and human behavior that affects much of our health and illness experience today. A third goal of this course is to reduce the fear or uneasiness that many students feel toward data (numbers) that appear in tables or graphs in material that they are reading. We will devote time to the presentation and discussion of data and how the numbers can be interpreted and used to bolster or challenge an argument.