Fall 2017 Courses

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ANTH 001 – Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (Ibrahim & King) – The goal of cultural anthropology is to understand human diversity in all its various manifestations around the world. What does it mean to be human in a particular cultural context? Students will be exposed to a range of approaches and issues such as globalization and cultural change; the social production of class and race; gender, sex, and sexuality; the organization of risk and social exclusion; migration; medical anthropology; stigma and structural violence

ANTH 120 – Visual Anthropology (King) – Visual anthropology enables you to gain new methodological and technical skills as an ethnographer. This course critically examines how we see, what we see, and why we see what we see. The key ethnographic methodology of “participant observation” itself indicates the importance of watching, surveying, and searching for clues to the meaning of human interaction. “Being there” is crucially a matter of seeing there. But do we see in the same ways, or perceive the same things, that our communities of research do? Does anthropology approach the act of seeing from a different perspective than disciplines such as cognitive psychology, art history, and media studies?

ANTH 215 – Anthropology & Youth Culture (Onder) – What is youth culture? This course will take an anthropological and cross-cultural look at topics including: The invention of childhood; child soldiers, refugees, and homeless children; coming of age and puberty; cultural norms about gender, sexuality, and body image; political action and resistance by youth in the US and around the world; youth and crime; cultural imperialism in the realm of education; global musical forms such as punk rock and hip hop; and cultural concepts of the transition to adulthood.

ANTH 240 – African Cultural Modernities (Mikell) – This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of social relations and cultural conceptions of various peoples in sub-Saharan Africa. We will examine modern developments — including historical causations like colonialism — and how these historical processes have determined and continue to shape contemporary life in Africa. The course will also analyze religion and cosmology, politics, economics, trade and agricultural networks, family, kinship and household production, African art, medicine, and perceptions of gender and personhood in Africa. 

ANTH 250 – Introduction to Medical Anthropology (Onder) – Medical anthropology is a fascinating and fast-developing branch of anthropology with great potential for careers in anthropology, medicine, public health, international aid and development, and environmental studies.  We will examine medical systems from a cross-cultural perspective, learning about traditional theories of health and illness while keeping in mind national and international politics and the uneven effects of globalization.

ANTH 279 – Police in the Contemporary World (Ibrahim) – Public protests against police brutality in the United States have renewed interest in questions of reform and oversight with respect to law enforcement. How are we to think about the police as a force of law and order at a time when so much of their own practices seem unlawful, or worse, unjust? Numerous stakeholders, from lawyers to scholars and civil rights activists have made police brutality a necessary and urgent problem that needs immediate attention. In this course, we will study the police: as an institution, as a set of disciplinary practices, as an agent of state power and monopoly, and as a mode of surveillance.

ANTH 320 – The Ethnographic Imagination (Terrio) – An overview of the ways in which anthropologists have studied and written about cultural systems in a number of world regions. Using ethnographic case studies, the course explores the nature of anthropological research, concentrating on various schools of thought and approaches to ethnography, including early functionalism and more contemporary ethnography that focuses on experimental writing, collaborative ethnography, and historical approaches to studying culture. The anthropologists we will be reading examine such issues as “race,” political organization, gender roles, identity politics, the city, and violence.

ANTH 328 – Culture & Globalization (Mikell) – The existence of what we call ‘globalization’ does not mean that cultures around the world are moving toward uniformity. But what are the factors that sustain identity and cultural engagement, even as local areas absorb and exchange ideas with the international community about the family, the community, markets, gender equality, health, and human rights? This course focuses on the US, Africa, Asia, and Europe, examining how anthropologists see globalization, particularly the intersection between culture, power, and history. 

ANTH 358 – Doing Anthropological Fieldwork (Brennan) – In this course we will not only read anthropology, but also do anthropology. Students will learn about field research design and methodology, as well as conduct their own semester-long field-research projects. In order to acquire the skills necessary for participant observation, we will learn how cultural anthropologists select a research topic, survey a field site, design the study, pose theoretical questions, carry out the research, keep field notes, analyze ethnographic data, and then finally, write an ethnography. We will also read examples of ethnography and other forms of anthropological writing such as testimonials and life histories.