ANTH - Cultural Anthropolgy


Course Descriptions

ANTH 1100 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (3)

Explores the concepts of culture, universals and diversities of humanity, transmission of culture, and the role of the anthropologist in modern society.

ANTH 1200 Human Origins (3)

Explores the evolution of humanity and culture: concepts and mechanisms of evolution, Homo sapiens’ place among the primates, and human variation.

ANTH 1300 Introduction to Archaeology (3)

Archaeology, defined simply, is the study of humanity through its material manifestations. It is also about trying to understand something of our common humanity by examining the physical traces of the people of the past. These traces don’t have to be old, and you don’t have to dig for them; the vast majority of archaeological work, however, does involve digging up old materials people have left behind. The key, then, is the method. How do you deal with the material? What kind of conclusions can be drawn from it, and how do you arrive at them? We will examine the scope and usefulness of archaeology, as well as the ethics of doing it at all.

ANTH 1400 Introduction to Geography: World and Regional (3)

Acquaints the student with contemporary and classic issues in geography. Offerings range from the study of demography to the evolution of humanity and culture. Intended for majors and non-majors, including students in teacher education programs. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

ANTH 2000 Issues in Contemporary Anthropology (1-4)

Acquaints the student with the various social and cultural issues of contemporary societies with an emphasis on concerns of living in globalized, industrialized, urban societies. Compares complex societies to gain an understanding of issues that confront their members. Topics vary each semester. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

ANTH 2100 Topics in Archaeology (3)

This course is designed to allow for focused study of special topics in archaeology. Different time periods and areas of the planet will be covered in each manifestation of the course (e.g. Ancient Greece, Dynastic Egypt, Cahokian Missouri and Illinois, etc.). ANTH 1300 is recommended but not required prior to enrollment. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

ANTH 2300 Culture and Communication (3)

Begins with the concept of culture as a means of communicating with others, not only language but with manners, etiquette, dress, rituals and ceremonials, gesture and movement—the entire system of symbols and signs that provide meaning for human behavior. Explores a variety of issues in cross-cultural communication, language use, and symbolic systems.

ANTH 2500 Peoples and Cultures (3)

An introduction to ways in which diverse cultures or specific geographic regions respond to some of the stress points of the contemporary world. Issues we will examine include: violence and warfare, ethnic conflicts, environmental degradation, economic inequalities, cultural imperialism and social change, human rights and the role of governments, and the many conflicts between “traditional” values and modernity. The course is designed to broaden the student’s understanding of the processes taking place in the contemporary world, utilizing the lenses provided by anthropology. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

ANTH 2510 World Musics (3)

Music is one of the most vital of all the arts, drawing together those who share a musical culture, but also bringing us together across the varied musical cultures of the globe. But do we know enough about other people’s styles of music? Ethnomusicologists study mu-sic from around the world, emphasizing that we must take a cultural approach, i.e., we must seek to understand music in its cultural context. This course therefore studies musics, but also the cultures in which we find them.

ANTH 2690 Food and Culture (3)

In this course we will discuss the history of food consumption and its connection to cultural values and attitudes, as well as issues such as power and control. We will explore the following questions: How does culture affect decisions about what is appropriate for consumption and what is not? What are the production, distribution and consumption costs of harvesting certain foods? We will delve into a variety of social issues and food/environment related topics such as: colonial power and manipulation/control of indigenous peoples, food preferences among different ethnic groups, cooking methods, and the connection between food, class and disease. Prerequisite: ANTH 1100 or permission of instructor.

ANTH 2760 Urban Anthropology (3)

The course examines space as an object of social inquiry, paying attention to the cultural, political, and economic processes that transform space into meaningful place. Building upon this theoretical foundation, it explores some central themes and concerns in the study of urban spaces, in particular, the “city” as cultural construct, the “city” as the site and object of local and global social struggles, and the “city” as part of the cultural imagination of the social, inequality, justice and the “good life.” The “city” is an object of contention, complexly entwined class, gender, race, ethnicity, and the “market.” This course will equip students to understand, among other topics, the formations of ethnic and racialized “ghettos,” suburbanization, policing of space, global cities, and urban community politics. Prerequisite: ANTH 1100 or permission of instructor.

ANTH 2825 Qualitative Research Methods (3)

Qualitative research is at the heart of anthropology. This course will cover the basics of qualitative research design. In addition, students will be provided with the means to critically analyze and assess the ethics of research design, process and findings. Lastly, students will be given the opportunity to collect data and analyze the results. Prerequisite: ANTH 1100 or permission of the instructor.

ANTH 2890 Culture and Disease (3)

In this course we will explore the relationship between cultural factors and disease. With a focus on infectious diseases, we will examine the ways in which cultural behaviors encourage the growth and spread of disease. The course will cover the reasons for negative public sentiment against certain populations and the diseases they acquire. We will ask questions such as: what social forces contribute to the spread of disease and what are the political factors involved in whether or not a population receives medical treatment: Prerequisite: ANTH 1100 or permission of the instructor.

ANTH 2900 Community Practicum (3)

Students engage in volunteer work at a community agency and have an opportunity to experience firsthand the agency operations. A variety of field placements are available, depending on the student’s background and interests. Classroom component will include discussion of placement experiences and issues. Prerequisites: sophomore standing, permission of the instructor, and approval of placement proposal. May be repeated for credit if content differs. Prerequisites: ANTH 1100, sophomore standing, permission of the instructor, and approval of placement proposal.

ANTH 3000 Topics in Anthropology (3)

An advanced, in-depth analysis of issues and topics in anthropology. Topics vary with the semester. May be repeated for credit if content differs. Prerequisites: ANTH 1100 and 6 credit hours of anthropology, or permission of the instructor.

ANTH 3130 Race and Ethnicity (3)

Examines the anthropological contributions to the idea of race. Compares the problems and issues surrounding racial or ethnic group status in various areas of the world. Explores the historical perspective of present issues confronting the United States and other countries. Prerequisites: ANTH 1100 and 9 credit hours of anthropology; or permission of the instructor.

ANTH 3230 Cross-Cultural Masculinities (3)

How can we know which aspects of men’s behavior are cultural or social, and which are from a biological template for being a man? If we claim that gender is a social and cultural construct, what exactly does that mean? Since the early 1980s, more and more ethno-graphic work has been produced that gives us a firm foundation for investigating cross-cultural methods of being masculine, of being a man. By careful examination of these ethnographies, we will seek to understand the forces and factors that produce a particular masculinity, a particular sexuality, and a particular personality out of the raw material of a boy as he is made into a man. The purpose of this course is 1) to examine cultural variations in the lived experiences of men; 2) to demonstrate the cultural construction of masculinities and men’s lives in specific socio-historical circumstances; and 3) to approach the study of masculinities across disciplines, across cultures, and across time.

ANTH 3250 Applied Social Science (3)

Introduces applied anthropology or sociology and employs a comparative perspective to investigate the importance of utilizing anthropological and sociological concepts in dealing with current social and cultural issues. Prerequisites: ANTH 1100, ANTH 2825, and 6 credit hours of anthropology; or permission of the instructor.

ANTH 3360 Indigenous Peoples, Culture and Globalization (3)

This course will examine the realities facing the indigenous peoples of the planet. We will address the rights to land, to ways of life, to religions, and to other aspects of cultural systems. Can people reject participation in the powerful processes of globalization? Is it condescending or patronizing to help a tribe maintain its way of life? Of what use have the UN statements on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples been? Particular examples will be examined as a class; students will each research an indigenous group of their own. Prerequisites: ANTH 1100 and 9 credit hours of anthropology; or permission of the instructor.

ANTH 3490 Environmental Anthropology (3)

How has the environment shaped various human populations socially, culturally, and economically? What does the history of human/environmental interaction tell us about the choices we have to make in the twenty-first century? In this course, we will examine human ecology from a cross-cultural perspective, seeking to understand the different ways societies throughout human history have perceived and interacted with the natural world. Prerequisites: ANTH 1100 and 9 credit hours of anthropology; or permission of the instructor.

ANTH 3550 Anthropological History and Theory (3)

This course will examine the history of anthropological theory, reading works of ethnography, significant arguments in theory, central definitions of culture, perspectives on fieldwork, and seek to discover the ways “new” ethnography, post-modernity, transnationalism, and global movements for integration and distinctiveness are transforming the discipline today. Prerequisites: ANTH 1100 and 9 credits of anthropology; or permission of the instructor.

ANTH 3610 Independent Reading Course (1-5)

Designed for individual student exploration of a given body of knowledge or a specific area of interest. Selected topics agreed upon between student and a member of the departmental faculty. Topic of the course, detailed learning outcomes, and means of evaluation to be negotiated between student and faculty member. Intended for majors. May be repeated for credit if content differs. Prerequisites: Junior standing in anthropology and permission of the department.

ANTH 3730 Kinship and Family (3)

Examines patterns of family life in the context of the larger society. Organized around major questions, such as: What are the universal functions of the family and kinship in society? How do families differ in various societies? Prerequisites: ANTH 1100 and 9 credit hours of anthropology; or permission of the instructor.

ANTH 3875 Anthropology Lab (1-3)

Lab is designed to complement a 3000-level core course allowing the instructor and student to work collaboratively towards the development of a course related project. May be repeated for credit if content differs. Prerequisites: ANTH 1100 and 9 credit hours of anthropology; or permission of the instructor.

ANTH 4000 Advanced Studies in Anthropology (3)

Designed for in-depth study of a specific area or issue in anthropology. May be repeated for credit if content differs. Prerequisites: ANTH 1100 and12 credit hours in anthropology; or permission of the instructor.

ANTH 4260 Nationalism and Transnationalism (3)

Provides the critical foundation to interrogate and understand the diffuse and diverse social-cultural-economic processes that constitute the “global” and “globalization.” It will examine the continuing salience of nationalism, ethno-national identities, state sovereignty, and citizenship in the uneven mobility of labor, cultural forms (commodities, images, music, news, etc.), and people. Through case studies, the course will reflect upon the cultural politics of immigration, the disruption of notions of nation-bound citizenship and national belonging by transnational connections, and the formation of global imaginaries and desires. Prerequisites: ANTH 1100, ANTH 2825, and 9 credit hours in anthropology; or permission of the instructor.

ANTH 4330 Global Sex/Gender Systems (3)

Explores assigned gender practices of women and men from cross-cultural and historical perspectives. Among the enduring issues to be examined are the varied cultural concepts of masculinity and femininity, gender acculturation, sexual practices, and the connections among sex/gender ideologies, the organization of work and family, unequal sex statuses. Prerequisites: ANTH 1100, ANTH 2825, and 9 credit hours in anthropology; or permission of the instructor.

ANTH 4610 Advanced Independent Reading Course (1-5)

Designed for individual student exploration of a given body of knowledge or a specific area of interest. Selected topics agreed upon between student and a member of the departmental faculty. Topic of the course, detailed learning outcomes, and means of evaluation to be negotiated between student and faculty member. Intended for majors. May be repeated for credit if content differs. Prerequisites: Senior standing in anthropology and permission of the department.

ANTH 4825 Senior Thesis (3)

This capstone course offers each student the opportunity to carry out a unique line of research under the guidance of a faculty member. The final product should demonstrate the sum of the student’s anthropological knowledge: comprehension and application of relevant theories; appreciation of the diverse body of anthropological work done on chosen topic; and capacity to critique the methodological choices, representational strategies, and ethical implications of anthropological research. May be repeated for credit if content differs. Prerequisite: ANTH 1100, ANTH 2825, ANTH 3550, 6 credit hours in anthropology, and senior status in anthropology; or permission of instructor.

ANTH 4875 Advanced Anthropology Lab (1-3)

Lab is designed to complement a 4000-level core course allowing the instructor and student to work collaboratively towards the development of a course related project. May be repeated for credit if content differs. Prerequisite: ANTH 1100 and 12 credit hours of anthropology; or permission of the instructor.

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