Anthropology Courses

ANTH 101 Cultural Anthropology

4 hours

A study in what it means to be human, this course uses the concept of culture to account for the tremendous variety of practices and beliefs throughout the world. Students will examine patterns in human behavior, addressing cultural similarities as well as cultural differences. Course content provides insight into how cultural anthropologists do what they do—what methods they use to study culture and what ethical issues they may encounter while doing so. Students will be expected to engage some of these anthropological methods by completing a series of ethnographic exercises. Through the study of anthropological works and practice with ethnographic methods, the course will prepare students to apply the anthropological approach as they navigate an increasingly diverse and globalized world. (HBSSM, Intcl)

ANTH 102 Biological Anthropology

4 hours

Biological anthropology focuses primarily on the physical development of the human species. This course serves as an introduction to the various lines of inquiry that comprise this subfield of anthropology. Primary topics include a survey of human biological and cultural evolution, genetics and the mechanics of evolution, nonhuman primates, and forensic anthropology. (HBSSM)

ANTH 103 Linguistic Anthropology

4 hours

An introduction to human language, with an emphasis on the relationship between language and culture. Topics include the origin and evolution of language, primate communication, language acquisition, language and society, and current issues in linguistic anthropology, such as linguistic human rights and language death. Students will gain hands-on experience with the methods and techniques of descriptive and historical-comparative linguistics. (HBSSM, Intcl)

ANTH 104 Archaeology

4 hours

Archaeology is the study of the human past through material remains. This course introduces students to the fundamental techniques employed by archaeologists to reconstruct the past. In addition to exploring the basic methodological foundations of archaeology this course provides an overview of world archaeology, including major developments in human prehistory and significant archaeological sites. (HBSSM, Hist)

ANTH 139, 239, 339, 439 Special Topics

Credit arr.

ANTH 185 First-Year Seminar

4 hours

A variety of seminars for first-year students offered each January Term.

ANTH 203 Environmental Anthropology

4 hours

The study of the environment in anthropology addresses problems that not only threaten our ecology but also human existence on the planet. This course will demonstrate the importance of anthropological theory and practice for solving environmental problems and for understanding people's responses to them. The course will begin by laying the theoretical foundations of environmental/ecological anthropology. Then it will be structured around what are seen in anthropology as the key environmental questions arising from increased interaction and unequal exchange among widely different cultures: population growth, economic development and underdevelopment, the loss of biodiversity, environmental management, the future of indigenous peoples, environmental campaigns and collaborations within the context of the politics of natural resources, and the connections between consumption and globalization. (HB, Intcl)

ANTH 205 Religion and Culture

4 hours

What is religion? When and how did it develop? Is religion a human universal? What features, if any, are common to all religions? How and why do religions change, and what happens when different systems of religious belief and practice come into contact? This introduction to the anthropology of religion explores these questions and others through in-depth case studies from the ethnographic literature, comparisons made across cultures, and the theoretical works of anthropologists and other scholars. Though some attention is given to the world's major religions, the course emphasizes the religious traditions of indigenous peoples around the globe. (Students may use this course to fulfill either the second Religion requirement or the Human Behavior requirement, but not both.) (Rel, HB, Intcl)

ANTH 208 Medical Anthropology

4 hours

Medical Anthropology explores health, illness, disease, and medicine across the globe. Using anthropological principles, we explore interactions between various ethnomedical systems, including biomedicine; healers, healing professions and the production of medical knowledge; ideologies of the body; beginnings and ends of life; the role of new biomedical technologies and the pharmaceutical industry; the social construction of disease and disability; political and moral economies of health in the global context, among other topics. We will discover how medical knowledge and practices are constructed culturally. We will also learn to recognize how transnational exchanges of people, goods, ideas, and capital influence our health and healing practices. Our course will focus on some key texts in medical anthropology theory as well as new ethnographies that address intercultural encounters in medical settings. (HB, Intcl)

ANTH 209 Born to Run

4 hours

Humans possess a capacity for endurance running that is virtually unmatched in the natural world. Understanding this capacity requires consideration of its biological and cultural dimensions. The physiology of long distance running can only be understood by studying the larger environmental and behavioral conditions under which it evolved. Similarly, ethnographic accounts from diverse cultural groups provide essential insights for understanding the meanings of and reasons for running among modern humans. This course uses each perspective to provide insight into the "how" and "why" of this phenomenon and will examine associated topics such as barefoot running, optimal running speed, and the relationship between genetics, gender, and running performance. (HB)

ANTH 210 Qualitative Research Methods in Anthropology

4 hours

This course will introduce students to qualitative research methods in anthropology. The goal is to provide training and hands-on experience in designing a research project, carrying out ethnographic fieldwork, and analyzing the data. Students will get an opportunity to work on projects of their choice and select appropriate methodologies, including participant observation, different types of interviewing, and other systematic observation techniques. Students will learn how to construct interview schedules, administer sorting and ranking surveys, use time recall questionnaires, ethnographic taxonomies, life histories, genealogies, and focus groups. The writing component will include field notes, reports, and personal journals. Students will engage in multiple re-writes of their final reports, aided by peer review. In this process, we will pay special attention to ethics involving research with human subjects. Offered alternate years. Prerequisite: ANTH 101. (HBSSM)

ANTH 211 Quantitative Research Methods in Anthropology

4 hours

Effectively understanding cultural behavior requires asking the right questions and correctly interpreting the resulting answers. Often, the best way to address these questions requires the collection of quantitative data. This course will use case studies from cultural anthropology, archaeology, and physical anthropology, as well as student-generated research as means for learning how to design anthropologically relevant research questions, identifying the appropriate ways of acquiring the data required to successfully address these questions, and evaluating the results. Finally, we will address the ethics of anthropological research. Prerequisite: ANTH 102 or 104. (HBSSM)

ANTH 221 Anthropology in East Africa: Culture Change Among the Maasai

4 hours

The Maasai pastoralists of Tanzania and Kenya are experiencing rapid culture change in response to global, national, and local forces. In this course we will study "traditional" Maasai culture and examine the ways in which the Maasai of northern Tanzania are adapting to changing social, political, economic, and environmental conditions. Topics to be explored include the shift from herding to agropastoralism; the tension between traditional and formal modes of education; the adoption of Christianity in place of or alongside traditional religion; changes in coming-of-age rituals; cultural dimensions of health, illness and healing; challenges to traditional gender ideology; the Maasai relationship to their environment; and the impacts of ecotourism, cultural tourism, and wildlife conservation programs on the pastoral way of life. From bases near the city of Arusha and the small town of Monduli students will interact with Maasai people in urban and rural marketplaces; in schools, medical facilities, and places of worship; and at Maasai bomas (family compounds) in the bush. We will also visit the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation area and the Oldoinyo Lengai volcano and pilgrimage routes in order to explore the tension between pastoralism, wildlife conservation programs, and tourism. Offered January Term. (Same as AFRS 221) (HBSSM, Intcl)

ANTH 264 Pre-Columbian and Native American Art

4 hours

This course will examine the diverse artistic traditions of the Americas from the precontact period to the present day. Emphasis will be placed on situating artistic production within its cultural context and examining how precontact practices continue to inform contemporary artistic production. No prerequisite. (Same as ART 264) (HEPT, Intcl)

ANTH 285/295 Directed Study

2,4 hours

An opportunity to pursue individualized or experiential learning with a faculty member, at the sophomore level or above, either within or outside the major. ANTH 285 can be taken only during January Term, ANTH 295 can be taken during the fall, spring, or summer terms.

ANTH 301 Experimental Archaeology

4 hours

The anthropological study of material culture and technology provides a wealth of information about human behavior. This course will use ethnographic analogy and experimental archaeology as tools for reconstructing a specific example of prehistoric technology. We will search for and analyze relevant ethnographic data, design and implement replicative experiments based on this data, and evaluate the effectiveness of the results for interpreting the archaeological record. In the process of recreating past technology we will explore how the analysis of material culture and technology can be used to understand topics such as cognition, social boundaries, gender, and symbolism. Prerequisite: ANTH 104.

ANTH 302 Field Methods in Archaeology

6 hours

This is a hands-on experience in archaeological field techniques offered in the summer. Students will be instructed in the fundamental skills required to do field archaeology while conducting surveys, mapping, and excavations on real archaeological sites. This is a labor-intensive course that requires students to participate in field work and data management procedures daily, possibly including some evenings (depending on weather conditions). This course is the equivalent of a full-time job and synthesizes classroom study with real world experiences. Offered alternate summers (even years). Prerequisite: ANTH 104 or consent of instructor. (HBSSM)

ANTH 380 Internship

4-8 hours

Extended field study of another culture on an individual basis representing a one-semester journey into a different cultural reality whereby the total perspective of its members is experienced. Course graded credit/no credit.

ANTH 381 Internship

1, 2, or 4 hours

Course graded A–F.

ANTH 395 Independent Study

1, 2, or 4 hours

ANTH 401 Anthropological Theory

4 hours

This course explores the rise of modern anthropology and the various schools of thought that have shaped the discipline, including an in-depth treatment of contemporary anthropological discourse. We will discuss the issues and approaches that define the anthropological approach as well as the ethical considerations involved in anthropological inquiry. The ultimate goal of this course is to provide students with comprehensive understanding of the field of anthropology and the skills required to negotiate current trends in the discipline. This course should be taken during the junior year. Prerequisites: ANTH 101, 104, and junior standing. (R, S, W)

ANTH 485 Seminar

4 hours

ANTH 490 Senior Project

1, 2, or 4 hours

ANTH 493 Senior Honors Project

4 hours

A yearlong independent research project. Applications are completed on the Honors Program form available at the registrar's office, requiring the signatures of a faculty supervisor, the department head, the honors program director, and the registrar. Interdisciplinary projects require the signatures of two faculty supervisors. The project must be completed by the due date for senior projects. The completed project is evaluated by a review committee consisting of the faculty supervisor, another faculty member from the major department, and a faculty member from outside the major department. All projects must be presented publicly. Only projects awarded an "A-" or "A" qualify for "department honors" designation. The honors project fulfills the all-college senior project requirement. (R)