Preview of Courses

The following are courses that have been offered or are usually offered by the Department of Anthropology. For a comprehensive list of courses, please refer to the current Schedule of Classes or Course Catalog

ANTH 250. Understanding Cultures
For over a century, the “ethnography” has been the often unique, staple product of Anthropology. In the early 20th century, the West began to understand the workings and structures of different cultures in large part through the fieldwork and subsequent books published by anthropologists. Even in the 21st century, Anthropology distinguishes itself as a field through our reliance on both the ethnographic method, and the writing of ethnographies. Noted anthropologists like Boas, mead, Evans-Pritchard, Malinowski and Lévi-Strauss developed diverse ethnographic styles still essential to the field today. In this course, students will gain skills in reading and analyzing ethnographies. Classic and new ethnographic texts will be closely read for their contributions to theory and method in Anthropology. Prerequisite: ANTH 200 or ANTH 210

ANTH 350. Religion, Magic, and Witchcraft
Focuses on understanding how the religious, magical, and witchcraft practices found in diverse cultures relate to an overall attempt to explain the world beyond ordinary human understanding and to the pattern of social, psychological, or ecological needs of a society. We are not concerned with the competing notions of God and gods that are part of various traditional religions, rather we aim to understand the cultural circumstances that foster certain religious beliefs and practices, the use of magical rituals in confronting social problems, and the role of witchcraft in shaping the behaviors and responses of people within cultural groups.

ANTH 327. Sex & Gender in Anthropology
This course will familiarize students with the cultural and analytical categories of sex and gender and the way anthropologists have approached research on sex and gender in a number of ethnographic contexts. Students will explore how sex, gender and sexuality, rather than being natural or biological inevitabilities, are culturally and historically contingent identities.

ANTH 323. Environmental Anthropology
The changes that humans make in the natural environment are related to their worldviews and to their ideas about what the relationship between humans and nature should be. This course will explore these relationships cross-culturally through the readings of ethnographies and the viewing of films.