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Courses

Anthropology
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Courses

COURSES

Following is a comprehensive list of courses offered by the Department of Anthropology. For a listing of the courses offered this semester, please check the current course schedule.

The general prerequisite for elective courses is either Anthropology 10100 or sophomore standing, or permission of the instructor. Other prerequisites may be listed under certain courses.

 

CORE COURSES
 

ANTH 10100 - Introduction to Anthropology

This class provides a general overview of the field of anthropology.  As it is a four sub-field discipline providing a holistic understanding of human life, the class will delve into each sub-field.  Students are expected to leave with a fuller appreciation of Anthropology and with knowledge of linguistic anthropology, biological anthropology, archaeology, and socio-cultural anthropology.  Through such an approach, students will have a deeper and more expansive understanding of human history and contemporary matters.  One of the goals of this class is to better our grasp of anthropology and thus give us a socio-scientific toolkit to interpret our social worlds and thus prepare students for advanced classes in the major and in other social science fields.

Credits: 3. Contact Hours: 3 hr./wk.

ANTH 10101 - General Anthropology-Honors

Humankind from its prehistoric beginnings in Africa and its evolution to the present; human nature; cultural bias and fallacies of cultural and racial superiority; society, social groups (ethnic, racial, class, etc.) and social stratification; cultural change and diffusion; the cultural vs. the individual and biological; the interaction among biology, environment, and culture; conflict, culture change and "modernization"; and ritual, symbol, beliefs, values, customs, and language.

Credits: 3. Contact Hours: 3 hr./wk.


INTRODUCTORY COURSES
 

20000: Archaeology: The Past in the Present

Introduces students to archaeological method and thought through an examination of world prehistory from hominid evolution to the development of complex societies. Critical examinations of global heritage and colonialism sheds light on the politics of archaeology and the significance of the past in the present. 3 HR./WK.; 3 CR.

 

20100: Cross-Cultural Perspectives
This class provides a general overview of the field of socio-cultural anthropology.  As this class is an excursion into the field of socio-cultural anthropology, our main goal will be to understand, complicate, and theorize “culture.”  Students are expected to leave with a fuller understanding of socio-cultural anthropology, ethnographic method, and the complexities of cultural life.  The main questions in this class will be: What is culture? How do cultural practices vary across social contexts? How can culture be multiple and contradictory? What does ethnographic method look like to study culture? Students will leave this class with a greater grasp of the “culture” concept and ethnographic methodologies. (W) 3 HR./WK.; 3 CR.
 

20200: Languages and Dialects in Cross-Cultural Perspective

This course introduces students to the study of language from an anthropological perspective. Topics include the structure of language and its relationship to other kinds of communication; language use in face-to-face interactions; the relationship of language to class, race, ethnicity, gender, and other forms of social difference; and the role of language in mass-media. 3 HR./WK.; 3 CR.

 

20300: Human Origins
An introduction to biological anthropology, this course will explore the biological and cultural elements of what makes us human. The fossil record of our hominid ancestors and the behavior of our primate relatives will lead to considerations of human variation and issues of social consequence like race, genetics, and inequality. 3 HR./WK.; 3 CR.

21002: Writing for the Social Sciences
To develop the skills necessary for writing in the social sciences through the methods and techniques used in Anthropology. The focus of the course is on ethnography (a primarily descriptive account of a single cultural scene). Students will explore the steps used to create an ethnography, including reviewing previous research, formulating hypotheses based on this review, gathering data through fieldwork, and writing a research paper on the results. Prereq.: Eng 11000. 3 HR./WK.; 3 CR.
 

ADVANCED COURSES:

ARCHAEOLOGY

20500: Topics in Historical Archaeology

The archaeological study of the modern period, from Columbus’ first colonial contact in the Americas to the present day. This rotating thematic course will focus on essential topics of historical archaeological inquiry including colonialism, slavery, the African Diaspora, gender, social inequality, Indigenous archaeology, heritage, and archaeologies of the contemporary. (W) 3 HR./WK.; 3 CR.

 

20501: Historical Archaeology Field School

Basic field methodologies including research design, survey, excavation, and laboratory methods. While special accommodations can be made, the course requires physical activity and the ability to undertake manual labor at active archaeological sites. Location of course determined in consultation with instructor. Credits: 3-6. Contact Hours: 3-6 hr./wk

21500: The Origins of Civilization and the State
The advent of urban centers and complex societies from the origins of agriculture. State societies will be explored from the Neolithic period. Life in the early cities of Africa, Asia and the Mediterranean to the Americas to address social life, political organization, economics, inequality, and everyday life in the earliest state societies as seen through the written and archaeological record.  (W) 3 HR./WK., 3 CR.
 

33100 - History of Anthropological Theory

History of the field of Anthropology. Nineteenth century evolutionary theories, and early 20th century historical particularism and structural functionalism. The personality and culture school. Colonialism and politics of anthropological theory. (W) 3 HR./WK., 3 CR. . Prerequisite: ANTH 20100 and at least two electives in Anthropology, or instructor's permission


SOCIOCULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY


22500: Class, Ethnicity and Gender
Interrelationship of social organization with economical, political, and religious structures in selected societies chosen to represent various levels of integration in different parts of the world. Modern issues facing increasingly heterogeneous urban societies. (W) 3 HR./WK.; 3 CR.

22800: Anthropology of Urban Areas
Anthropological perspectives on the understanding of the urban experience. Urbanization and urbanism from an international perspective. The forces that shape people's lives in the metropolis. Topics will include the role of ethnicity, race, class, poverty and culture in urban life. Emphasis on urban institutions, ethnicity, race and class in New York City. (W) 3 HR./WK.; 3 CR.
 

22804: Urban Anthropology

Anthropological perspectives on the understanding of the urban experience. Urbanization and urbanism from an international perspective. The forces that shape people's lives in the metropolis. Topics will include the role of institutions, landscapes, ethnicity, race, class, poverty, gender, and culture in urban life with an emphasis on New York City. This course is offered as a HYBRID and students must be prepared to use online resources and participate in weekly online discussions. 

Credits: 4. Contact Hours: 4hr/wk Prerequisite: IAS 10300 or IAS 10400 or equivalent.

 

22900: Cultural Change and Modernization
The impact of Western colonial systems on the politics and cultures of the Third World. The growth of new nations and national institutions in Africa, Asia and Latin America. (W). 3 HR./WK.; 3 CR.

23100: Anthropology of Law
The comparison of legal institutions and practices and of cultural concepts of danger and crime, conformity and conflict, and dispute management and settlement in non-Western societies and in the urban United States. Topics include law and social change; ordeals and verbal dueling; the relationship of legal practices to class, status and power with emphasis on the position of marginal groups and individuals; American family law; and American Indian law. (W) 3 HR./WK.; 3 CR.

23200: Witchcraft, Magic and Religion
The relationship between social behavior and ideas about supernatural forces. Topics include the origin and role of religion in society; comparison of types of supernatural beings, powers, and religious practitioners; the practice of witchcraft and magic in different societies and ethnic groups; the interpretation of ritual symbols and mythology. (W) 3 HR./WK.; 3 CR.

35000 - Race and Racism

An examination of the idea of race from biological, sociocultural, and historical standpoints, particularly as it arose in support of the development of western European colonialism and imperialism. Also investigated will be the role of race/racism via-a-vis socioeconomic inequality, gender, class, ethnicity, and sexuality.  (W) 3 HR./WK.; 3 CR.

 

23600: Anthropology of Gender and Sexuality
This course explores how gender and sexuality are iterated, performed, challenged, and managed. Instead of seeing gender and sexuality as coherent and easily quantifiable categories, this class delves into the many contradictions in the categories of gender and sexuality in order to unpack everyday taken for granted assumptions. Furthermore, students will examine how these categories intersect, how they inform each other, and how they gain traction with race, class, and ethnicity. (W) 3 HR./WK.; 3 CR.

24000-24700: Special Area Studies
A group of courses devoted to the study of the cultures and societies of major world areas. Economic patterns, social structures, political organization and religious life. Relation of traditional cultures to contemporary politics. (W)

24000: Peoples of Africa
Traditional and modern African cultures viewed on their own terms; African roots of all humanity; the nature of pre-colonial societies; legacy of slavery and colonialism. Special topics include apartheid, African arts and music, African descendants in the Americas, alternate healing systems, and communal religion and trance. (W) 3 HR./WK.; 3 CR.

24200: Peoples of the Caribbean
This course examines the cultural formation of the Caribbean and the diversity of contemporary Caribbean societies. Both the colonial and post-colonial experience of the Afro-Caribbean and the Hispanic Caribbean will be explored. Among the topics to be discussed will be family, religion, rural and urban life, race, color and class, and international migration. (W) 3 HR./WK.; 3 CR.
 

24300: Peoples of Latin America

This course offers a comparative perspective on contemporary Latin American societies and cultures and places those societies and cultures in historical perspective. Topics include the politics of indigeneity, race, and ethnicity; social movements and human rights; economic and environmental inequality; post-conflict and post-dictatorship political dynamics; and migration and the Diaspora. (W). 3 HR./WK.; 3 CR.

 

24600: Peoples of the Middle East
This course explores Middle Eastern societies through an anthropological lens. It begins with a review of this area’s main sub-regions, social traditions and changing cultural institutions. The effect of colonization, independence movements and ongoing political-economic struggles on selected societies will be covered. Finally, the course will examine Middle Eastern culture, development and migration through various contemporary crises. (W). 3 HR./WK.; 3 CR.

24800: Field Work Methods in Cultural Anthropology
First hand experience with cultural diversity in New York City, with emphasis on direct observation in various neighborhoods and institutional settings. Problems of gathering and analyzing qualitative and quantitative data, framing research questions, and the ethics of research in culturally unfamiliar settings. (W) 3 HR./WK.; 3 CR.

24900: Visual Anthropology
Selected world cultures and societies as viewed through the camera lens. Comparisons are drawn between visual and
printed records, different styles of filmmaking, and changing cultural patterns. The evolution of anthropology as a discipline. Selected film topics include patterns of work, ritual, the construction of gender roles, and child socialization. (W) 3 HR./WK.; 3 CR.


25400: American Cultural Patterns
Anthropological perspectives on contemporary United States culture: ethnic and class variations; effect of mass communication on cultural expression; impact of business and commercial enterprise on the development of culture. Critiques of American culture from national and foreign sources. (W) 3 HR./WK.; 3 CR.

25500: Anthropology of Health and Healing
This course explores the relationship between illness, suffering and healing across a range of medical systems, including biomedicine. Cultural practices and belief systems are analyzed with specific attention to the ways in which political and economic power shape illness and suffering around the world. Students are introduced to key concepts in medical anthropology and address challenging material on health, illness and the body cross-culturally. (W) 3 HR./WK.; 3 CR.


27200: Anthropology of Popular Culture
This class explores the ways in which communities use popular culture as a means of identification.  Instead of looking solely at the politics of reception, this course aims to show the multiple process of production, reception, and appropriation of popular cultural forms.  Instead of dismissing popular cultural as trivial, students will critically evaluate local popular cultural products. (W) 3 HR./WK.; 3 CR.

27300: Black English: Structure and Use

The grammatical structure of Black American English and how it is used in Black culture and the educational system. (W) 3 HR./WK.; 3 CR.


33000: Contemporary Culture Theory
The theories underlying the analysis of archaeological and cultural data and differing explanations for cultural regularities: evolutionary, ecological, symbolic, Marxist, structuralist, political, and ethical issues and anthropological theory. Prereq.: Anth. 20100 and two additional elective courses in Anthropology or instructor's permission. (W) 3 HR./WK.; 3 CR.

33100: History of Anthropological Theory
History of the field of Anthropology. Nineteenth century evolutionary theories, and early 20th century historical particularism and structural functionalism. The personality and culture school. Colonialism and politics of anthropological theory. Prereq.: 20100 and at least two electives in Anthropology, or instructor's permission. (W) 3 HR./WK.; 3 CR.

35000: Race and Racism
An examination of the idea of race from biological, sociocultural, and historical standpoints, particularly as it arose in support of the development of western European colonialism and imperialism. Also investigated will be the role of race/racism via-a-vis socioeconomic inequality, gender, class, ethnicity, and sexuality. (W) 3 HR./WK.; 3 CR.

ANTHROPOLOGICAL LINGUISTICS

26500 - Language and Power

This class examines the politics of language--how people use language as a political tool and how language can become the object of political struggle. Politicians, activists, citizens, journalists, diplomats, pundits, and celebrities all use language to pursue political goals. We will explore these uses as well as the ways that language can itself become the topic of political concern, as in debates over what counts as hate speech or in struggles for the recognition of certain dialects as legitimate. 

 (W) 3 HR./WK.; 3 CR.


27300: Black English: Structure and Use
The grammatical structure of Black American English and how it is used in Black culture and the educational system. (W) 3 HR./WK.; 3 CR.

27500: Creole Sociolinguistics
The origin, history, and grammar of Haitian (French Creole) and related languages such as St. Lucian, Jamaican (Patois), and Guyanese. Topics include the use of Creole in education, Creole orthography, and the relationship of Creole languages to their European language lexifiers. (W) 3 HR./WK., PLUS CONF.; 3 CR.

PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY

28500: Human Heredity, Race and Intelligence
Environmental, cultural, and genetic interaction in human diversity and evolution. Topics: detecting inherited traits by pedigree, twins, population, chromosome and genetic code methods. Race, intelligence, sex roles, retardation, schizophrenia. Importance of culture and genetics in inherited diseases (sickle-cell trait, lactase deficiency), aggression and war. (W) 3 HR./WK.; 3 CR.

29000: Dynamics of Human Ecology
Interactions of environmental, cultural, and biological factors in human adaptation. Topics: proxemics, privacy; personal space, territory, crowding, population problems; kinesics (gestures); pollution, food, energy crises, aggression and war causes. (W) 3 HR./WK.; 3 CR.

29500: Bio-Cultural Anthropology

Interactions between humans and their environment in the past and present. Topics include climate change, the Anthropocene, health disparities and inequality, food politics, gender roles, population studies, and human ecology. A bio-cultural approaches to our world will be foregrounded to explore the complex relationship between nature and culture. (W) 3 HR./WK.; 3 CR.

 

INDEPENDENT STUDY AND SELECTED TOPICS

13300-13600: Anthropological Research Laboratory
The Anthropological Research Laboratory offers students an opportunity to do independent research in any of the four fields of anthropology or in applied anthropology, and to have individual advisement in the collection, analysis, and summarizing of data. A project is chosen in cooperation with a faculty member with whom the student meets in one hour conferences each week. In addition the student is expected to devote three hours a week for each credit taken, to be spent in reading and/or data collection, analysis, and writing a report. One or 2 credits of ARL can be taken in conjunction with an Anthropology course in which a student is enrolled, enabling the student to do extra work on a project or term paper connected with that course. Coreq: any other Anthropology or related course. For detailed information contact the Department of Anthropology (NAC 7/112). 1-3 CR. WITH A MAXIMUM OF 6 CR. ALLOWED FOR THE SERIES.

Note: No more than six credits in any one department and no more than nine credits total will be permitted in the following courses: Anthropology 13300-13600, Asian Studies 20402, Black Studies 20000-20400, Psychology 23300-23600, Sociology 23300- 23600.

30100-30400: Honors I-IV
Approval of Dean and department Honors Supervisor required. Apply in NAC 4/144 no later than December 10 in the Fall term or May 1 in the Spring term. VARIABLE CR., USUALLY 3 CR./SEM.

31000: Independent Study
An opportunity for an individual or small group to develop a research project or explore some topic in depth through directed readings with a faculty member chosen by the student(s). Research project: a problem will be developed (over several semesters, if necessary) leading to the completion of a research paper based on either library or field data. Tutorial: content of readings will be determined by all the participants, and weekly sessions will provide tutorial style discussion. Students are required to make arrangements for each course well in advance of the registration period. Prereq.: junior or senior standing and permission of instructor. 2-3 CR. EACH COURSE WITH A MAXIMUM OF 6 CREDITS TO BE DETERMINED BEFORE REGISTRATION BY THE INSTRUCTOR WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE DEPARTMENT CHAIR.

31100-32000: Selected Topics
Departmental and interdepartmental cooperative courses of advanced study in selected subjects. Prereq.: junior or senior standing, and permission of the department. HRS. AND CR. FLEXIBLE BUT USUALLY 3 HR./WK.; 3 CR.