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Anthropology Course Descriptions

All courses are one course unit unless otherwise specified. 


ANT 110 / Intro to Cultural Anthropology

A survey of the major concepts of social-cultural anthropology.  Cross-cultural comparison will be a central concern of the course, as will the process of cultural change.

ANT 111 / Intro to Biological Anthropology

What makes us human?  Is it the use of language, the ability to manipulate material culture or the fact that we are bipedal?  This course will focus on evolutionary theory and the theory of natural selection, the behavior and anatomy of non-human primates, and the evolution of modern humans.  Students will also learn how anthropology is directly related to other disciplines including sociology, biology, ecology and geology. (Note:  this course has no lab, and while it satisfies the liberal learning requirement for a natural science course, it does NOT satisfy the requirement for a natural science with lab).

ANT 112 / Intro to Archaeology

How do anthropologists learn about people and the worlds in which they live when they can’t talk with those people or observe their day-to-day activities?  Archaeology is the sub-discipline of anthropology that explores what it means to be human by examining the material things that people made, modified, and left behind.  Students in this course will learn to explain how archaeologists use the material remains of human activities to understand past human relationships, behaviors, and beliefs.  Simultaneously, they will grow to appreciate how interpretations and presentations of the past affect people living today.

ANT 170 / Topics in Anthropology

Current or specialized topics proposed by faculty or students and approved by the department.  Open to and appropriate for first-year students.  May be taken for credit several times if content differs each time.

ANT 171 / Contemporary Japan          

This course is an interdisciplinary survey course that does not require any knowledge of Japanese. Students will learn about Japanese culture, establish connections with other disciplines such as history, sociology, film studies, and literature, and gain a nuanced understanding of the social practices and expectations of native speakers of different varieties of Japanese within their own speech communities. Students will develop and practice critical thinking skills in analyzing stereotypical ideas of Japan and Japanese culture. Students with Japanese-language expertise can opt to take the course for LAC (Language Across the Curriculum) credit with readings and papers in Japanese. Cross-listed with JPN 171.

ANT 213 / Language and Culture: An Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology

An introduction to the Anthropological subfield of Linguistic Anthropology, which investigates the relationship between language and culture. Language permeates our lives, and yet most of us take it for granted. This course is intended to clarify your ideas about language as it is used by speakers in various social contexts across a wide range of cultures. By the end of the course you should be familiar with some of the terminology and techniques of linguistic anthropological analysis and be able to apply this knowledge to the description of different languages.

ANT 246 / Climate Justice & Social Action

This course provides the opportunity for students to develop skills to take collective action on climate change and other social issues.   Students will learn how to bring about social change by carrying out a policy change campaign over the course of the semester.  The course is based on the framework of climate justice: the acknowledgment that the people affected most by climate change are the least responsible for causing it and that addressing climate change requires addressing the societal inequalities–racial, economic, gender, among others–that force vulnerable people to bear the brunt of the effects of climate change.

ANT 270 / Topics in Anthropology

Current or specialized topics proposed by faculty or students and approved by the department.  Offered primarily for sophomores, juniors, and seniors.  It may not be appropriate for freshmen.  The class may be taken for credit several times if content differs each time. 

ANT 271 / Gender and Language

Since its inception in the 1970’s, the field of gender and language has grown to encompass a broad range of disciplines (sociolinguistics, anthropology, psychology, communication studies, literature, women’s studies, etc.) and theoretical interests. This course will provide an overview of key themes in gender and language research. From this overview we will see that there is ongoing discussion about both the most effective approach to the study of gender and language, and about the theoretical underpinnings which are evoked by, for example, various definitions of key concepts such as “gender.” Particular attention will be given in the course to approaches to language and gender that have developed within sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology and which focus on the way in which both language and gender are embedded in structures of power, authority, and social inequality, and with conflicts over these social structures. Cross-listed with WGS 271 and WLC 271.

ANT 305 / Human Evolution

The study of human evolutionary past, using various methods, including archaeology and the interpretation of skeletal morphology. Evolutionary principles and processes of change  are used as a theoretical background to examine our non-human primate relatives, the human fossil record, and biological variation in modern human populations. It is recommended, but not required, that students complete ANT 111 prior to enrolling in this course.

ANT 311 / Gender and Migration

Examines the role of gender in migration both past and present.  The course takes a comparative approach, exploring the divergent ways in which migration is gendered for men and women. It also considers the experiences of migrants in various societies and with different national, ethnic, racial and class backgrounds. Cross-listed with WGS 311.

ANT 313 / Vampires, Werewolves, and Witches

Not a how-to course, but a survey of the careers of the more notable monsters in Western societies.  This course, which focuses on the social construction of the “Other,” includes the history and development of monsters, the circumstances in which they arise, and the audience(s) they continue to attract and intrigue.

ANT 315 / Ethnicity, Race, and Nation

This course explores the reasons why people categorize themselves and others into ethnic and racial groups and investigates the effects of these categorizations.  The relationship between ethnicity and the creation and perpetuation of nation-states, the roles of indigenous peoples within nation-states, and the implications of migration upon processes of ethnicity and constructions of race are all important themes.

ANT 335 / Global Urbanization

This course will focus on how cities are changing along with the development and global penetration of industrial capitalism.  Special emphasis will be placed on the social problems created by mass urbanization, the movement of peoples within and between nation-states, and on the dynamic interchange between local cultures and the forces of globalization.

ANT 337 / Food, Biology, and Culture

This three-part course explores the relationship between humans and food from our earliest ancestors to present day. Emphases include (1) using an evolutionary framework to review the role of food in the development of human biology, anatomy, and behavior, (2) exploring cross-cultural variation in attitudes toward food and patterns of food consumption in contemporary human societies, and (3) focusing on the link between nutrition and human health. The final component introduces health problems associated with nutritional deprivation and critically examines dietary patterns in industrialized nations, emphasizing the implications of the disconnect between current habits and human evolutionary biology.

ANT 340 / Social Change in Latin America

Latin America has been the subject for much debate about development in social theory.  This course examines the theoretical debates about development and provides empirical case studies to highlight how social change occurs in Latin America.  These themes include:  economic globalization, gender, migration, resistance to social change, urbanization, environmental degradation, corruption, social movements, structural adjustment, and race relations.

ANT 341 / Environmental Anthropology      

This course reviews classic perspectives in cultural ecology, but focuses on the more recent scholarship, especially scholarship that addresses human ecology, political ecology and urban ethnography to give the student perspective on how the environment is experienced in multiple cultural contexts, and how the environment affects different cultures in various ways.

ANT 355 / American Genocide & Indigenous Resurgence

Genocide is commonly understood as organized violence with the intent to root out a distinct group of people through mass-murder, expulsion, or forced acculturation. Since the European conquest of the Americas colonizing groups have attempted diverse forms of systematic violence against indigenous Americans. Yet indigenous people frequently resisted and subverted colonial violence. In this course, we will examine these historical and contemporary genocidal processes by examining case studies from the United States, the Andes, and Mexico. We will also learn about 20th and 21st century indigenous social movements, including Standing Rock Lakota, the Zapatista movement, and “decolonization” in Bolivia.

ANT 361 / Human Osteology & Forensic Anthropology

The study of the human skeleton can reveal  human origins as well as support the recovery, analysis, and identification of human skeletal remains in a medicolegal context. Students in this course will be introduced to the macro- and micro-anatomy of bone, techniques for identifying and siding individual bones, and methods used to develop a biological profile from human skeletal remains. The course also examines the role of forensic anthropologists in aspects of medicolegal death investigation that include personal identification, analysis of skeletal trauma, mass disasters, and human rights violations.

ANT 370 / Topics in Anthropology

Current or specialized topics proposed by faculty or students and approved by the department.  Offered primarily for juniors and seniors.  It may not be appropriate for freshmen and sophomores.  The class may be taken for credit several times if content differs each time.

ANT 371 / Culture, Health, and Illness

Provides a critical perspective in understanding how values, beliefs, conflict, economic and social condition influence how illness is defined, how healthcare is viewed and delivered.  Social epidemiology, the sick role, bio-ethics, unequal access to health care, women’s health issues and cross-cultural approaches to medicine are discussed.

ANT 390 / Research Course in Anthropology

A small group of students work closely with a faculty member on his/her ongoing research.  Students will learn to use the data collection and analysis methods used for the project and be offered opportunities to present the findings on campus or at a regional professional meeting.

ANT 391 / Independent Study in Anthropology

For advanced students. In-depth study of specific topic in anthropology. Formal proposal must be submitted to department and approved before the student can register for independent study.

ANT 393 / Independent Research in Anthropology

For advanced students undertaking an independent research project in anthropology with the guidance of department faculty.  Formal proposal must be submitted to the sponsoring faculty for department approval.  The project should culminate in a paper to be presented on campus or a regional conference.

ANT 398 / Senior Capstone Internship in Anthropology

Capstone internship constituting a culminating experience for anthropology majors. Course draws on skills and knowledge of anthropology courses as well as knowledge gained from the liberal arts broadly construed to be applied to reflect deeply and examine experiences and the social world at the internship site. Must be taken as a bundle with ANT  499 Senior Seminar in Anthropology (of the same section number) to fulfill the capstone requirements of the anthropology major.  (0.5 course unit; Co-requisite: ANT 499; Prerequisites:  SOC 301 (C or above) & SOC 302 (C or above) or 200-level language (B- or above) or study abroad & ANT 361 or ANT 390 or ANT 401 (B- or above)

ANT 399 / Internship in Anthropology

Applied experience in major field of study for credit. Consult department for details.

ANT 401 / Urban Ethnography

Survey of anthropology methods, including traditional and reflexive ethnography, life-history interviewing, and structuralist and post-structuralist analysis of textual and visual materials. Team or individual research project required.

ANT 493 / Senior Independent Capstone Research

This is a one-semester Senior Research project and paper that serves as one of the options for the Capstone experience for the Anthropology major. It provides an opportunity for exceptional students to pursue individual or collaborative research projects, with the guidance of the department faculty. Department Consent required.

ANT 499 / Senior Capstone Seminar

Senior seminar constituting a culminating experience for anthropology majors. Course draws on skills and knowledge of anthropology courses as well as knowledge gained from the liberal arts broadly construed. Must be taken as a bundle with ANT 398 Anthropology Capstone Internship (of the same section number) to fulfill the capstone requirements of the anthropology major. (0.5 course unit; Co-requisite: ANT 398; Prerequisites:  SOC301 (C or above) & SOC 302 (C or above) or 200-level language (B- or above) or study abroad & ANT 361 or ANT 390 or ANT 401 (B- or above).