Courses offered in the past four years. Courses offered currently are as noted.

Course Description

Diversity and Human Nature: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
This course introduces students to the varieties of human experience in social life and to the differing approaches and levels of analysis used by anthropologists to explain it. Topics include: culture and race, rituals and symbolism, kinship and gender roles, social evolution, political economy, and sociolinguistics. Ethnographic examples are drawn chiefly from non-Western societies, from simple bands to great agrarian states. The ultimate aim is to enable students to think critically about the bases of their own culture and about practices and beliefs previously unanalyzed and unexamined. (formerly SOAN 0103) 2 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

CMP, SOC

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Course Description

Introduction to Archaeology
Archaeology is the scientific analysis and interpretation of cultural remains. Archaeologists examine artifacts, architecture, and even human remains in order to answer questions about the growth and development of societies worldwide. In addressing these issues we not only illuminate the past but also explore patterns relevant to contemporary social concerns. From the tropical lowlands of Central America to the deserts of ancient Egypt, this course provides an introduction to world prehistory. We proceed from humanity's earliest beginnings to the development of complex societies worldwide and use case examples to explore the major topics, methods, and theories of contemporary archaeology. (formerly SOAN 0107) 2 hrs. lect./1 hr. lab.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Spring 2021, Fall 2021

Requirements

CMP, HIS, SOC

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Course Description

Language, Culture and Society
In this course students will be introduced to the comparative, ethnographic study of language in relation to socio-cultural context. Our readings will be drawn from diverse global settings and will focus upon language as the means by which people shape and are shaped by the social worlds in which they live. We will examine contrasts in ways of speaking across different communities, personal identities, and institutions. We will explore the consequences of communicative difference across a range of contact situations, including everyday conversation among peers, service encounters, political elections, and global connections or disconnections made possible through new media. (formerly SOAN 0109) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Spring 2022

Requirements

CMP, SOC

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Course Description

Current Social Issues in Japan (in English)
In this course we will use ethnography, fiction, and historical studies to examine some of the underlying themes of Japanese culture. Japan is a highly developed, post-industrial society renowned across the globe for economic success in the post-World War II period. What historical and social factors have shaped Japan’s contemporary culture, and how have interactions with other countries influenced Japanese society? We will study a number of different spheres of Japanese life including the family and the workplace to better understand contemporary society. We will pay special attention to Japan’s global position and its relationship to the United States. (formerly SOAN 0110) 3 hr. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Fall 2020

Requirements

AAL, NOA, SOC

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Course Description

Language Structure and Function
In this course we will discuss the major issues and findings in the study of human language within theories of modern linguistics, which shares a history with mid-century American anthropology. The main topics include the nature of human language in comparison with other communication systems; sound patterns (phonology); word-formation (morphology); sentence structure (syntax); meaning (semantics); use (pragmatics); language acquisition and socialization. We will also consider language variation and the historical development of languages. Instruction is in English but examples will be drawn from less commonly studied languages around the world. This course is part of the Public Humanities Labs Initiative administered by the Axinn Center for the Humanities. (not open to students who have taken LNGT 0101) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

SOC

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Course Description

Introduction to Biological Anthropology
This course will provide an overview of the field of physical anthropology. The topics to be addressed include the mechanisms of genetics and evolution, human variability and adaptation, our primate relatives and fossil ancestors (hominins), as well as bioarchaeology. Through a combination of lectures and discussions, we will explore human origins and the overall development of the species through time. Likewise, we will look at how language, art, and religion emerge as well as the interplay between environment and biology in human evolution. The course finishes by examining contemporary issues in human biodiversity, from molecular genetics and biotechnology to problematic categories like race, gender, and sexuality. 3 hrs. lect./disc

Terms Taught

Fall 2021

Requirements

SOC

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Course Description

Human Ecology
Environmental issues are also cultural and political conflicts, between competing social groups, economic interests and cultural paradigms. This course introduces students to human ecology, the study of how our adaptations to the environment are mediated by cultural differences and political economy. Topics include: how ecological anthropology has evolved as a subdiscipline, with a focus on systems theory and political ecology; how ritually regulated societies manage resources; how rural communities deal with environmental deterioration; and how contradictions between environmental protection, economic development, and cultural values complicate so many ecological issues. (SOAN 0103 or ANTH 0103 or SOAN 0107 or ANTH 0107, or SOAN 0109 or ANTH 0109, or SOAN 0159 or ANTH 0159 or ENVS 0112 or ENVS 0211 or ENVS 0215 or BIOL 0140, or instructor permission) (formerly SOAN 0211) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

CMP, SOC

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Course Description

Indigenous Peoples of the Americas
This course introduces students to the indigenous peoples of North and South America, from before European conquest to the present. Following a brief look at the mound-builders of North America, we will explore the connection between social stratification, religious ideology, and imperial expansion in the political economy of the Aztecs and the Incas. Ethnographies of Quechua peasants in the Peruvian Andes, Yanomami Indians in the Amazon, and Oglala Sioux in the Dakotas will show how contemporary Native Americans are dealing with the never-ending process of colonialism. How Europeans have imagined indigenous peoples has had a profound impact on how the latter defend themselves. The resulting images of authenticity and resistance have always been double-edged. The course will conclude with the debate over the reservation paradigm in the U.S. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2022

Requirements

AMR, CMP, SOC

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Course Description

Andean Civilizations
Stretching from present-day Ecuador to Chile and consisting of desert coasts, fertile valleys, soaring Andes, and tropical jungle, the Inca Empire was the largest state the Precolumbian Americas had ever seen. Although they claimed to have ‘civilized’ the Andes, the Inka were only the latest in a sequence of complex societies, all of which ultimately fell to the Spanish in the mid-1500s. In this course we will explore the growth and development of social complexity in the region, from the first human occupation of South America to the era of European contact. (formerly SOAN 0223) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Fall 2021

Requirements

AAL, AMR, CMP, SOC

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Course Description

Indigeneity and Colonialism in Native North America
In this course we will approach Native North America and the American political mainstream as dynamically intertwined. Through ethnography, ethno-history, oral literature, and indigenous film we will examine the history of colonial encounters between the Indigenous and the 'Western'. We will examine how indigenous cultural difference and moral claims to land have challenged dominant political cultures across the history of the North American settler states. Our analysis will extend to ongoing questions concerning cultural knowledge, sustainability, and imagined futures. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020

Requirements

AMR, HIS, NOR, SOC

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Course Description

The Aztec Empire and the Spanish Conquest
This course centers around the rise and fall of the Aztecs, the first state-level society encountered by the Spanish in 1519. Although primarily known today for their military exploits for what today is Mexico, the Aztecs produced great artisans, artists, and philosophers whose contributions endure in contemporary Mexican culture. We will trace the origins and development of Aztec civilization to its encounter with the Spanish in 1519. The course also covers the Spanish background for the Conquest, from the martial and political expulsion of Moors and Jews from the Iberian Peninsula in 1492 to the Spanish Inquisition. (formerly SOAN/HIST 0327) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020

Requirements

AAL, AMR, CMP, HIS, SOC

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Course Description

The Rise and Fall of the Ancient Maya
As perhaps the most famous of all of the cultures of Mesoamerica, the Maya are best known for soaring temples, portraits of kings, a complex hieroglyphic writing system, and a dramatic collapse when their ancient kingdoms were abandoned or destroyed. In this course, we will view their accomplishments through the archaeology of the Classic Period (250-850 AD) and examine how the Maya built cities within the tropical jungles of present-day Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, and Honduras. We will also explore the history of the Maya after the “fall,” from their revival in the post-Classic Period to the present day. (formerly SOAN 0328) 3 hrs. lect./disc

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

AAL, AMR, SOC

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Course Description

Rethinking the Body in Contemporary Japan (In English)
In this course we will examine attitudes toward and tensions related to the human body in Japan. Looking at art, music, style, and social issues we will examine the symbolic as well as material concerns of bodies in contemporary Japan. Religious, historical, martial, and aesthetic understandings of bodies will be addressed. We will analyze Japan's current attitudes toward organ transplantation, treatment of the deceased, plastic surgery, surrogacy, sex change surgery and other embodied practices. Readings will include Twice Dead and Commodifying Bodies. (formerly SOAN 0230) 3 hrs. lect./ disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Fall 2022

Requirements

NOA, SOC

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Course Description

Everyday Life in South Asia
This course offers an introduction to anthropological studies of South Asia. Relying on works of ethnography, journalism, memoir, and film, we examine people’s everyday lived experiences and mediations of globalization, religion, science, popular culture, gender, and the body in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. In taking a close and intersectional look at situations across the region (e.g., new expressions of gender and capitalism in India, narratives of religious pluralism in Pakistan, enactments of media, modernity, and sexuality in Afghanistan), the course aims to give students the opportunity to sharpen their cultural analysis skills as they glean a more complex understanding of people’s ways of living across South Asia and the diaspora.3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Spring 2022

Requirements

AAL, CMP, SOA, SOC

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Course Description

Africa and Anthropology: Power, Continuity, and Change
Sub-Saharan Africa has long represented primitive mysteries for Europeans and North Americans, as a ‘Dark Continent’ full of exotic people and animals. Even now, many Americans learn little about Africa and Africans except for ‘thin’ media reports of political, economic, and ecological upheaval or persistent poverty, disease, and despair. This course provides a ‘thick’ description and analysis of contemporary African conditions using ethnographies and films. We will not be exploring ‘traditional African cultures’ outside of their historical contexts or generalizing about ‘what African culture really is.’ Rather, our focus will be on understanding social continuity and change alongside cultural diversity and commonality. Topics will include colonialism, critical kinship studies, African feminism, environmental management, witchcraft and religion. Throughout the course African ideas of power – what it is, who has it, and why –unify these diverse topics as social relations. (formerly SOAN 0232) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2022

Requirements

HIS, SAF, SOC

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Course Description

The Anthropology of Warfare and Polarization
In this course we will use the anthropology of human evolution, religion and politics to identify the cognitive patterns that justify feuding, warfare, witchcraft, conspiracy theory, and ideological polarization. Beginning with animal behavior and hunting and gathering societies, we will study natural selection for accountability, moralism, and factionalism; how social groups define themselves through mimesis, othering and scapegoating; how scapegoating justifies aggression; how sacrifice and other forms of ritualizing victimhood generate sanctity, sacrilege, and outrage; and how religious and political loyalty tests enforce social boundaries (not open to students who have taken SOAN 0341 or SOAN 0344) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

SOC

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Course Description

Anthropology of Global Corporations
Multinational corporations have become pervasive in the 21st Century global economy. No other social organization matches their ability to increase productivity and multiply wealth. Nor does any other social vehicle match their power to destabilize preexisting relationships. In this course we will learn about the anthropology of exchange and capitalism through ethnographies of corporations, corporate social responsibility, factory production, and financial speculation in the U.S., China, South Africa, and Papua New Guinea. We will also evaluate social-justice critiques of corporate structures: are they meritocracies or exclusionary kin-based networks? Do they build community or merely offload costs? For the final project, students will have the option of doing ethnographic research on a for-profit or not-for-profit enterprise. 3 hours, lct/disc,

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2023

Requirements

CMP, SOC

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Course Description

The Causes, Dynamics, and Consequences of International Migration
Whether they are asylum seekers, undocumented or legal migrants, large-scale movements of people across international borders raises important questions about human rights, nationality, and place. This global flow also presents unique challenges to both newcomers and residents of the receiving society as both sides contend with issues of loyalty, belonging, and identity. In this course we will examine these important issues using the United States as the primary (though not exclusive) context. Drawing upon historical and contemporary material, we will also discuss the social, cultural, political, and economic consequences of global migration.(formerly SOAN 0274) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2021

Requirements

AMR, CMP, NOR, SOC

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Course Description

Cities of Hope and Despair
Why have some cities outlasted empires and nation states while others exist on the edge of marginality and loss? In this course, we will use historical and contemporary examples to explore the rise and fall of urban centers around the world. What is the meaning of urbanity across cultures? What different purposes do cities serve? What challenges confront them, from climate change to gang warfare to new forms of human precarity? In this course we will also investigate how processes like colonialism, imperialism, and global migration shape the evolution of cities and how they exist in our imaginaries. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022

Requirements

CMP, SOC

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Course Description

Medical Anthropology: Approaches to Affliction and Healing
In this course, an introduction to medical anthropology, we will explore cultural and political-economic perspectives on health, illness, and disease. Topics covered include: (1) biocultural approaches to understanding health; (2) medical systems, including biomedicine and others; (3) the effects of poverty and inequality on health outcomes; and (4) the social construction of health and illness. Students will apply these concepts in understanding an aspect of health, illness, or healing in their own research project with an ethnographic component. An introductory course in anthropology or familiarity with medical or public health issues is recommended. (formerly SOAN 0387) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

CMP, SOC

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Course Description

The Research Process: Ethnography and Qualitative Methods
The aim of this course is to prepare the student to conduct research, to analyze and present research in a scholarly manner, and to evaluate critically the research of others. Practice and evaluation of such basic techniques as observation, participant-observation, structured and open-ended interviews, and use of documents. Introduction to various methodological and theoretical frameworks. Thesis or essay prospectus is the final product of this course. Strongly recommended for juniors. One-hour research lab required. (SOAN 0103 or ANTH 0103 or SOAN 0105 or SOCI 0105) (formerly SOAN 0302) 3 hrs. lect./disc./1 hr. research lab

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

SOC

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Course Description

Gender, Culture, and Power
This course offers a cross-cultural introduction to the issues involved in the study of women and gender. Such an endeavor raises a number of difficult and delicate issues. What explains the diversities and similarities in women's roles across societies? How do we assess women's status and power, and how do we decide which standards to use in doing so? What forces create changes in women's roles? What is the relationship between gender constructions and the nature of communities, economies, and even nations? Our analysis will concentrate on three primary domains: family and kinship, symbolic systems, and political economy. Course readings will focus primarily on non-Western societies. 3 hrs. lect./disc. (National/Transnational Feminisms)/

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2022

Requirements

CMP, SOC

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Course Description

Topics in Anthropological Theory
This course gives an introduction to some important themes in the development of anthropological thought, primarily in the past century in anglophone and francophone traditions. It emphasizes close comparative reading of selections from influential texts by authors who have shaped recent discourse within the social sciences. (SOAN 0103 or ANTH 0103 or SOAN 0107 or SOCI 0107 or SOAN 0109 or ANTH 0109 or SOAN 0159 or ANTH 0159) (formerly SOAN 0306) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

SOC

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Course Description

Gender, Technology, and the Future
Can technology make the world more just and equitable? Scientific and technological inventions continually surprise us with visions of the future that promise an end to global inequality and injustice: cooking robots, microcredit apps, test–tube babies. We will center these powerful ideas to unpack how they galvanize raced and sexed bodies to articulate the future. Through an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of science and technology studies we will ask how technological imaginations and interventions invent new global futures, examine their impact and implications, and explore the possibilities for new technological horizons.3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020

Requirements

SOC

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Course Description

Ladies at Work: Global Politics of Care, Kinship, and Affect
Why are some forms of work valued more than others? When did people start believing entrepreneurs and innovators when they say, we should “Do What You Love”? Is work life separate from life at home and with friends? This class will journey across global care chains, drawing on feminist writings and ethnographic texts to examine conditions structuring middle class housework in the U.S., garment manufacturing in Sri Lankan factories, call center work in the Philippines, and elite startup innovations in India. Engaging questions of class, race, gender, and heterosexuality, we will learn about forms of feminized work and consider more just alternatives. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019

Requirements

AAL, SOA, SOC

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Course Description

Global Japanese Culture - In English
In this course we will examine the transformation of Japanese cultural identity (Japanese-ness) as products, ideas, and people move across the borders in and out of Japan. Social scientists have been particularly interested in the Japanizing of non-Japanese practices and products such as hip hop and hamburgers, as well as the popularity of Japanese styles and products on the global scene. We will take an anthropological approach using texts such as Millennial Monsters, Remade in Japan, and Hip Hop Japan to examine the issues of cultural hybridity, identity, and globalization. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022

Requirements

AAL, CMP, SOC

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Course Description

The Anthropology of China
China serves as a case study in the anthropological analysis of a complex rapidly changing non-Western society. This course will be a survey of the principal institutions and ideas that form the background to modern Chinese society. Areas covered include: family and kinship, ritual, transformations of class hierarchies, and the impact of globalization. Materials will be drawn from descriptions of traditional, contemporary (including both mainland and Taiwanese settings), and overseas contexts. (formerly SOAN 0335) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2023

Requirements

HIS, NOA, SOC

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Course Description

Love, Sex, and Marriage
What are the social terms for sexual agency in countries around the world? How is marriage understood through idealizations of romance as well as familial expectations of duty or status? In this course we consider how other cultures’ views on love, sex, and partnership are made legible and illegible within broader cultural, moral, and state interests. The course asks for in-depth participation, short weekly writings, and a longer final paper that each engage ethnographic works on a range of topics, from critical studies of love and globalization to queer kinmaking, rituals of the ‘lavish wedding,’ and everyday ways of hooking up and breaking up online. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

CMP, SOC

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Course Description

The Traveling Tonic: Geographies of Medicine, Science, and the Body
Medical practice does not operate within bounded systems but moves in highly transactional and molten ways—from the circulation of classical Chinese and Indian manuscripts to transnational movements of genes, gametes, and drugs. In this seminar we draw on ethnographic examples to grasp the importance of migration in producing science. The metaphor of travel enables us to pivot from Eurocentric histories of science to disrupt what we mean by global medicine. At the same time, the figure of the tonic enables us to think about the many sorts of life (plants, distillates, vectors, etc.) that make up medicine today. (ANTH 0287) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

SOC

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Course Description

The Anthropology of Food
Food not only sustains bodies, but also reflects and shapes cultures, social identities, and systems of power. In this course we examine the relationship between food and culture. Beginning with an examination of the origins of cooking, we will go on to analyze a variety of approaches to understanding the food/culture/society relationship. These include the symbolic meanings of food, the role of food in constructing social and cultural identities, and the relationship between food and political and economic systems. Our examples will be cross-cultural (Africa, South and East Asia, Europe, and the Americas). 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022

Requirements

AAL, CMP, SOC

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Course Description

Education and Social Policy
School choice programs like charter and magnet schools are dramatically altering the educational landscape in the United States. In this course we will examine the premise that we can overcome the challenges of children living in poor neighborhoods by severing the traditional link between neighborhoods and schools and by providing access to extralocal high-quality schools. But who gets to exercise such choice? Does school choice result in better educational outcomes? We will also explore the relationship between school and neighborhood inequality. How do these two contexts work together to reproduce, intensify, or ameliorate spatial and educational inequities? (formerly SOAN/SOCI 0351) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020

Requirements

AMR, NOR, SOC

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Course Description

Race and Ethnicity Across Cultures
Ethnicity and race are social phenomena that influence group relations, as well as personal identity, in many areas of the world. But what is "ethnicity" and what is "race"? In this course we will explore the varied approaches that have been utilized to understand race and ethnicity across diverse cultural settings. No single explanation of race and ethnicity is all encompassing, and so we will explore a number of different approaches. Among the issues we will examine are: alternative explanations of ethnic and racial identity formation; the causes and consequences of ethnic violence and competition; the connections among ethnicity, gender, and class; and the processes through which distinctions between self and other are created. (formerly SOAN 0355) 3 hrs. lect./disc

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Fall 2021, Spring 2023

Requirements

CMP, SOC

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Course Description

Death and the Body
This course will provide an overview of how archaeologists and anthropologists encounter and interpret death in societies worldwide. We will look at death and the body from the perspective of burials and tombs, discussing ancient and modern conceptions of souls, afterlives, and identities. Drawing upon my own research in the tropical lowlands of Guatemala and Honduras, we will compare Maya attitudes towards death with those of other world societies, from the mummies of ancient Egypt to modern jazz funerals in New Orleans. We will explore different ideas about death, social boundaries, and even what it is to be human. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020

Requirements

AAL, AMR, CMP, SOC

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Course Description

International and Cross Cultural Education
Who gets to own knowledge? Who can acquire it? How do we construct advantage and disadvantage? Comparative and international education examines the intersection of culture and education and the ways they are inextricably related through history, politics, and literature. In this course we will explore major concepts, trends, and methodologies across disciplines, focusing on the effects of globalization, the maintenance and dissolution of borders, the commodification of knowledge, the social creation of meaning, and the consequences of those constructions. We will examine global educational traditions and realities on the ground in case studies of Western and developing nations.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022

Requirements

CMP, SOC

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Course Description

Global Political Ecology
From global land grabs and agrarian revolutionary movements to clashes over energy infrastructure and the establishment of protected areas, today’s “environmental issues” are suffused with political relations and deeply entangled with the historical formations of capitalism, colonialism, the state, and science. In this seminar we will analyze how “social” questions of power, political economy, and social struggle, pervade the “natural” (and vice versa). Such questions are invariably messy and full of surprises, confounding reduction to universal theories extended from afar. Often, they require a close in-the-weeds look. That is what this class will invite you to do. The field of political ecology offers a rich repertoire of approaches for developing empirically grounded, historically contextualized, and theoretically nuanced forms of analysis that grapple with the situated complexities of resource and environmental issues. (ENVS 0208 or ENVS 0211 or PSCI 0214) 3 hrs. sem

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

CMP, SOC

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Course Description

Environmental Communication
Do languages simply put different labels on the environment, from rocks to trees to carbon, or are what we see and what we value shaped by the ways that we talk about it? Drawing upon ethnography, linguistics, and critical discourse analysis, we will explore how environmental perceptions and modes of action are formed in and through language. We will bring an appreciation of language differences to the analysis of ongoing environmental controversies, where the various stakeholders draw contrasting boundaries between nature and culture and define human involvement with nature in different ways. (formerly SOAN 0395) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Spring 2021

Requirements

CMP, SOC

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Course Description

Linguistic Anthropology Methods
In this course we will work with a method and theory known as the “ethnography of communication” to examine language use in socio-cultural context. Students will learn to form research questions and collect different kinds of data, including everyday spoken interactions, archival print sources, and social media. Students will learn how to document, annotate, and analyze their samples as speech events linked to broader discursive contexts and social relations. Students will also turn ethnography of communication upon social science research itself, examining interviews and surveys as communicative interactions. The course provides an empirical pathway to questions of cultural difference and social inequality. (formerly SOAN 0396) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Fall 2021

Requirements

SOC

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Course Description

Sorcery in Mesoamerica
Sorcery was fundamental to religious life in ancient Mesoamerica. Though removed from one another in time and space, the different cultures and civilizations of this region practiced magic and witchcraft. Civilizations like the Aztecs (1300-1521 CE), the Classic Maya (250-850 CE) and the Olmecs (1200-400 BCE) flourished in different environments, spoke unrelated languages, and worshipped separate gods; however, they were all fascinated by the occult. This course compares their magical traditions from a variety of viewpoints, including analytical, anthropological, and historical perspectives. It also considers the impact of European witchcraft on Mesoamerica, from the Colonial Period to the present.3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022

Requirements

AMR, CMP, CW, NOR, PHL, SOC

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Course Description

The Traveling Tonic: Geographies of Medicine, Science, and the Body
Medical practice does not operate within bounded systems but moves in highly transactional and molten ways—from the circulation of classical Chinese and Indian manuscripts to transnational movements of genes, gametes, and drugs. In this seminar we draw on ethnographic examples to grasp the importance of migration in producing science. The metaphor of travel enables us to pivot from Eurocentric histories of science to disrupt what we mean by global medicine. At the same time, the figure of the tonic enables us to think about the many sorts of life (plants, distillates, vectors, etc.) that make up medicine today. (ANTH 0287) 3 hrs. sem. (Formerly ANTH 0340) (Not open to students who have already taken ANTH 0340.)

Terms Taught

Spring 2023

Requirements

SOC

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Course Description

Anthropology of Development
Is development about growing an economy or fostering justice? This course investigates efforts to alleviate poverty and build sustainable communities. Why do so many development interventions fail? Anthropologists show how aid projects are often undermined by structural, institutional, and cultural hierarchies. In this course we will examine the history of state-led and NGO development strategies and the role of anthropology in development design and evaluation. Our study of what ‘does not work’ will contrast with ‘what does’ by asking the critical social question of ‘for whom.’ Students will learn to write and present policy briefs, project proposals, and program evaluations. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020

Requirements

SOC

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Course Description

Archaeological Method and Theory
Archaeology is more than just excavation. It is interpretation. As a discipline, archaeology relies upon different methods and theories in order to 'read' human prehistory from the remains of past societies. In this seminar we will survey archaeological methods and theories, with an emphasis on field techniques and the intellectual history of the discipline. We will explore the problems archaeologists face when confronted with incomplete data, the ways in which sites are researched and excavated, and the complex ethical issues that arise from simply asking the question, "who owns the past?" As a result, in this seminar we will look behind the intellectual curtain, where past societies are revealed, interpreted, and even contested. (formerly SOAN 0492) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020

Requirements

PHL, SOC

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Course Description

Prior to registering for ANTH 0500, a student must enlist the support of a faculty advisor from the Department of Anthropology. (Open to Majors only) (Approval Required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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Course Description

One-Semester Senior Project
Under the guidance of a faculty member, a student will carry out an independent, one-semester research project, often based on original data. The student must also participate in a senior seminar that begins the first week of fall semester and meets as necessary during the rest of the year. The final product must be presented in a written report of 25-40 pages, due the last day of classes.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Multi-Semester Senior Project
Under the guidance of a faculty member, a senior will carry out an independent multi-semester research project, often based on original data. The student must also participate in a senior seminar that begins the first week of fall semester and meets as necessary during the rest of the year. The final product must be presented in a written report of 60-100 pages, due either at the end of the Winter Term or the Friday after spring break.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Collaborative Film-making
This course offers students an opportunity to collaboratively make videos with a group of young women workers in Bangalore, India who were the first in their families to get professional jobs and join the city’s growing startup economy. However, with job cuts, many workers lost their jobs. Others stayed on, knowing their jobs were precarious. How do the workers make meaningful lives amidst this uncertainty? Through a transnational and collaborative project, Middlebury students will connect with workers, read about the ethics and challenges of collaborative research and develop 5-minute films of their lives through videos, photographs, and audio files shared online. No prior experience with filmmaking is required.

Terms Taught

Winter 2022

Requirements

CW, SOC, WTR

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Course Description

The Roaring Twenties
What will relationships look like at Middlebury and beyond, post-pandemic? Drawing on fiction, film, theory, and art, we will produce a collaborative exhibit on American sex and sociality in the 2020s. Our goal will be to depict the ideas and desires of Gen Zers, a generation more racially diverse, gender fluid, and well-educated than older Americans but facing higher social and economic uncertainty. What do Gen Z dreams and concerns look like in the context of #MeToo, BLM, and other movements? This course will be a place to study and understand shifts in dating, sex, solidarity, and citizenship—what those shifts are, and what they could be.

Terms Taught

Winter 2022

Requirements

SOC, WTR

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Course Description

Skull Wars: Sordid True Tales of Rapacity, Revenge, and Racism in the Search for Human Origins
Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey. Richard Leakey and Don Johanson. Lee Berger and Tim White. In this course we will examine how jealousy, competition, and racism drive knowledge production and sabotage in the hunt for human ancestors. We’ll do so by exploring how these personalities, and others, have leveraged the media, from the New York Times to National Geographic, to push forward their vision and status in science. Through scientific articles, popular books, and film, we will also explore how settler colonialism and racism have plagued, and continue to plague, the science of paleoanthropology.

Terms Taught

Winter 2021

Requirements

SOC, WTR

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Course Description

Refugees or Labor Migrants: The Anthropology of South-North Migration
Millions of people from low-income countries are moving to high-income countries without work visas. If they seek to escape poverty and government corruption, do they deserve to be classified as refugees with a human right to cross international borders? Heightened border enforcement has led to thousands of deaths in the American Southwest and the Mediterranean, and now anxious voters are electing politicians who promise even harsher crackdowns. Based on research with international migration streams, this course will explore debates over asylum rights, border enforcement, the deportation industry, the migration industry, low-wage labor markets and remittance economies, with a focus on Latin American and Chinese migration to the U.S., as well as African and Mideastern migration to Western Europe (Not open to students who have taken SOAN 1021 or SOAN 329)

Terms Taught

Winter 2021

Requirements

AAL, AMR, CMP, SOC, WTR

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Course Description

School Lunches
In this course we will chew through critical analysis on the production and consumption of school lunches. We will examine how diverse actors—state and national governments, big corporations, food service companies, celebrity chefs, community activists, and concerned parents—battle over what lands on the cafeteria tray. Using readings from the social sciences as well as food documentaries, we will explore how initiatives like school gardens and cooking classes shape child development and socialization. The laboratory component of this class will look beyond the U.S. context by making and eating meals served up to students around the world. Food preparation and consumption practices will be adjusted, as necessary, to comply with COVID restriction guidelines. (There will be a $50 lab fee for this course to cover the cost of ingredients needed for making school lunches from around the globe.)

Terms Taught

Winter 2022

Requirements

WTR

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Course Description

Empowerment or Exploitation? Engaging Communities in the Pursuit of Better Health
Sustained progress in global health and development requires the participation of target communities. Vaccines, for instance, will themselves do no good if caregivers refuse to vaccinate their children. In this course, we will explore the role of communities in the pursuit of improved health – a state often pre-defined by outsiders without direct community consultation. The course will focus specifically on the evolving role of community health workers within global health and development agendas, emphasizing therein the fine line we tread (as global health policy makers, implementers, and donors) between empowering and exploiting the communities on whose participation our success relies. (not open to students who have taken INTD 1224)

Terms Taught

Winter 2021, Winter 2022, Winter 2023

Requirements

SOC, WTR

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Course Description

Introduction to the Maghreb: Culture, History and Society
The Maghreb (the “farthest west” in Arabic)—encompassing Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya—has been an important crossroads throughout history, serving as a connection between Africa, Asia, and Europe. In recent years, the region has become a center of interest not just for specialists but for also for the general, educated public. This course serves as a general introductory overview of the Maghreb and offers students the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the historical, cultural, and social processes that have affected and transformed the region. Students will be also introduced to some of the important pressing cultural and social issues in the region as well as to various forms of literary and artistic expression. Important topics include the role of colonial powers in the region, postcolonial Maghrebian societies and nation states, the impact of the Cold War, the political systems in the region, religion in the Maghreb, social movements for democracy, literature and arts in the Maghreb, educational systems, gender relations and family, food and drink, sports and media.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

MDE, SOC

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Course Description

Sustainability, indigenous peoples and global pandemics: What have we learned so far?
This class will examine the links between indigenous knowledge, environmental management and the lessons derived from the effects of massive catastrophic events on the ideal of sustainability in our society. In this new pandemic context, ensuring the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations can lead to unexpected results. Although numerous pandemics have occurred throughout human history, causing important transformations in the relationship between our natural and social environment, the affected geographic has never been this large scale before. Currently, we are trying to adapt to new environmental and social, economic, and political relationships whose scope we do not know until now. Within this framework, indigenous peoples can pass on their own lifetime experiences to us, as well as the lessons they have accumulated, especially about their relationships with natural resources and the environment.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

AMR, SOC

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