Cultural Anthropology

Cultural anthropology addresses broad questions about what it means to be human in contemporary societies and cultures, as well as those of the recent past. Cultural anthropologists systematically explore topics such as technology and material culture, social organization, economies, political and legal systems, language, ideologies and religions, health and illness, and social change. Students concentrating in cultural anthropology are strongly advised to take the course in ethnographic research methods, ANTH 18. Students who will pursue graduate work in cultural anthropology are advised to take Main Currents in Anthropology, ANTH 73.


Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

Cultural anthropology is the study of human ways of life in the broadest possible comparative perspective. Cultural anthropologists are interested in all types of societies, from hunting and gathering bands to modern industrial states. The aim of cultural anthropology is to document the full range of human cultural adaptations and achievements and to discern in this great diversity the underlying covariations among and changes in human ecology, institutions and ideologies.

(CULT) Dist: SOC or INT; WCult: NW.

Click here for course syllabus

ANTH 04 (Identical to NAS 10)

Peoples and Cultures of Native North America

The course provides an introduction to the peoples and cultures of Native North America. A single indigenous group (nation) from different "culture areas" is highlighted to emphasize particular forms of economy, social organization, and spirituality. The course focuses on the more traditional American Indian cultures that existed before the establishment of Western domination, as well as on the more recent native culture history and modern-day economic, sociopolitical and cultural continuity, change, and revitalization. Open to all classes.

(CULT) Dist: SOC; WCult: NW.


Language and Culture

This course will introduce students to the study of human language as a species-specific endowment of humankind. In this investigation we will examine such issues as: 1) the relationship between language use (e.g. metaphoric creativity) and cultural values, 2) the relationships between language diversity and ethnic, political, economic stratification, 3) language use and the communicating of individual identity, thoughts, and intentions in face-to-face interaction, 4) the cultural patterning of speech behavior, and 5) whether or not the structure of specific languages affects the characteristics of culture, cognition, and thought in specific ways.

(CULT) Dist: SOC.

ANTH 12.01 (Identical to FILM 41.04)

Ethnographic Film

Ethnographic film crosses the boundaries between academic anthropology, art history, and popular media. This course will address the construction of meaning in ethnographic films in relation to the parallel concerns of anthropology. The course focuses on individual films, analyzing their significance from the perspectives of filmmakers and audiences. This course considers various approaches to film art, the relation of other visual media to ethnographic representation, and the challenges these pose to traditional texts. The class appeals to students of anthropology and film as well as others interested in international studies and the politics of cross-cultural representation.

(CULT) Dist: INT or SOC; WCult: NW.

ANTH 12.14 (Identical to AAAS 87.09

African Popular Culture

This course introduces a global socio-historical framework within which to examine multiple African popular cultures across the continent and as they circulate globally. Considering the historical contexts of contact between Africa, Europe, and the Americas, we examine cultural, economic, and philosophic aspects of African expressive cultures. We will examine music, film, dance, social media, theatre, and literature in various contexts but focus on Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa. We explore how ideas of what it means to be African culturally, racially, and politically are continually produced and contested through various media. The moment of independence of many African nation-states from European colonial rule in the mid 20th century operates as a centering point from which we will consider artistic expression and its economic, gendered, racial, and political angles. We will explore ideas of “tradition” and “modernity,” representations of Africa, more recent processes of commodification, as well as various cultural and political responses to them.  We will consider bodily practices, aesthetics, political ideologies, and social movements in the creative production of African modern worlds and their relationship to contemporary movements of African peoples to the Americas and Europe.

(CULT) Dist: SOC; WCult: NW.

ANTH 12.23 (Identical to AAAS 11)

Introduction to African Studies

This course introduces a global socio-historical framework within which to examine Africa in relation to multiple African Diasporas and notions of mobility. Considering the historical contexts of contact between Africa, Europe, and the Americas, we examine cultural, economic, and philosophic aspects of Africa. We will examine how ideas of what it means to be African culturally, racially, and politically are continually produced and contested. The moment of independence of many African nation-states from European colonial rule in the mid 20th century operates as a centering point from which we will examine economics, race, politics, and artistic expressions. We will consider ideas of “tradition” and “modernity,” representations of Africa, more recent processes of commodification, as well as various cultural and political responses to them.

(CULT) Dist: SOC, WCult: NW.

ANTH 12.24 (Identical to AAAS 87.12)

Africa's Time? An Interdisciplinary Survey of Temporality and Power

Centered in Africa, this course explores the theme of temporality through attention to history, anthropology, philosophy, and popular theoretical physics. There will be no mathematical calculation required. However, we will consider difficult formulas of another type. Is time a constant across cultures and reference frames both physical and ontological? How do past, present, and future intersect? How has the perception of time influenced historical encounters on the African continent and within the African diaspora? How does time relate to ancestry and power?

CULT (Dist: SOC; WCult: NW)

ANTH 12.25 (Identical to ARAB 08.01)

Anthropology of the Middle East

This course offers an overview of anthropological literature addressing contemporary cultures and societies in Arab-majority countries as well as Iran and Turkey. The mainstream media in the U.S. tends to use terms like “Middle East”, “the Arab World”, and “the Muslim World” interchangeably, despite huge geographical and political differences between the three categories. We will focus on ethnographies that explore the region’s internal diversity and dynamics. The assigned readings represent both established and recent publications on a host of topics including nationalism, Islamism, religiosity, youth, gender, markets, art, media, mobility, and leisure.
The course emphasizes the advantages of anthropological methods and theories in understanding everyday life and social structures in the Middle East. We will examine ethnographic writing and the ways in which anthropologists intertwine ethnographic narratives and social theory. One major goal of this class is to understand how ethnographic writing is an integral part of the process of asking and answering critical social questions.

(CULT) Dist: SOC, WCult: NW.

ANTH 12.26 (Identical to GEOG 68)

Environmental Justice

Around the world, people suffer because of environmental degradation, from sickening industrial pollution to unnatural disasters to disruptive climate change. This course examines how environmental harms are unequally experienced, as well as how communities organize to protect themselves. We will discuss the concept of “environmental justice” as it has developed through social movements in the United States and elsewhere. We will also explore it as an analytical category that (a) explains how inequality manifests environmentally and (b) enables critical thinking about concepts like the “environment” and mainstream environmentalism and environmental policy. Drawing from Anthropology, Geography, History, Sociology, and other disciplines, we will focus on the lived experiences of environment justice and injustice around the world.

(CULT) Dist: SOC.


Death and Dying

Death is a universal human experience, yet the attitudes and responses toward it develop out of a complex interplay between the personality of the individual and her or his sociocultural background. Using anthropological, historical, and biographical works, as well as novels and films, the course explores the meaning of death in a variety of cultures and religious traditions. Particular attention is paid to understanding native ideas about the person, emotions, life cycle, and the afterlife, as well as the analysis of mortuary rituals and the experience of the dying and the survivors. The course also offers an anthropological perspective on the development of the modern Western (particularly American) mode of dealing with death and dying and addresses the issue of mass death in the twentieth century.

(CULT) Dist: INT or SOC.


Political Anthropology

The political anthropology of non-Western societies raises basic questions concerning the nature of authority, coercion, persuasion, and communication in both small-scale and complex societies. Classical approaches to problems of freedom and order are challenged through examples drawn from various societies. Topics including the ideologies and language of political domination, revolution, wealth, and the transition to post-modern societies are assessed, as are factions, knowledge and control, state secrecy, state and non-state violence, and religious fundamentalism.

(CULT) Dist: INT or SOC; WCult: NW.


Writing Culture

What does fiction have to do with ethnography? What happens when ethnography meets other narrative forms: poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, memoir, graphic novels? What can we learn about the politics of representation within anthropology through such approaches? This class engages critical theory and creative practice to consider the boundaries of anthropological writing and the possibilities for crossing and blurring these lines, while remaining respectful and attentive to the lived experiences of those we write about.




The Anthropology of Health and Illness

This course introduces students to the cross-cultural study and analysis of health, illness, and medical systems, conceptions of the body, the nature of disease, and the values of medicine. We examine pain, suffering, and healing as universal aspects of the human condition, shaped by the cultural, political, and environmental contexts in which they occur. In addition to considering the symbolic dimensions of illness and healing, we discuss issues of global health inequality, human rights, and social suffering.

(CULT) Dist: INT or SOC.


Research Methods in Cultural Anthropology

This course will introduce students to the premier method of empirical research in cultural anthropology: participant observation, and associated informal dialogue and interviewing. We will study techniques for planning and carrying out such research, and for recording, checking validity and reliability, storing, coding, analyzing and writing up of ethnographic data. Students will undertake "mini" research projects, and become familiar with basic ethical issues, informed consent, writing of research proposals, formulating research contracts, and sharing results with cooperating individuals and groups. Prerequisite: Anthropology 1 or 3 or one ethnography/culture area course.

(CULT) Dist: SOC.

ANTH 26 (Identical to WGSS 61.05)

Gender and Global Health

This course will examine the intersection of gender and health. Readings will be from medicine, history, journalism, and the social sciences.  We will interrogate the relationship between biology, science, and culture, focusing our attention on the cultural construction of healing and embodied experience of illness.  We will examine how cultural institutions, ideologies, and practices contribute to health disparities along lines of race, class, and gender, paying attention to medicine's role in gendering the body.

(CULT) Dist: INT or SOC; WCult: CI.


Ethnography of Violence

Violence is widely recognized as a problem in modern society, with policies and interventions to combat violence, or employ it, dominating local and global politics. Yet the meaning of violence is seldom analyzed. Using an ethnographic lens, this course explores violence as both an embodied experience and a culturally and politically mediated event. We examine spectacular and everyday violence forms of violence in terms of manifestations of power, structures of inequality, perceptions of difference, and politics of representation. Ethnographic studies are drawn from, among others, Mozambique, Haiti, and Harlem. An introduction to the cultural anthropology of violence, this course raises key questions about violence in a globalized world and explores how to study it anthropologically. This course is not open to students who have received credit for ANTH 12.03.

(CULT) Dist: INT or SOC; WCult: NW.

Click here for course syllabus

ANTH 31 (Identical to WGSS 36.01)

Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective

Sex (biological differences between men and women) and gender (social constructions of those differences) are not straightforward or natural, and it naturally follows that gender inequalities and gender oppression are also not straightforward and natural. Therefore, we will pay close attention to the issue of power - in terms of control and distribution of resources and the enforcement of gender roles and sexuality. We will also look at how Western gender ideals have been imposed on people in other parts of the world. We will talk about concepts, perceptions, images, stories, encounters, games, connections and disconnections. Finally, we will explore questions of practice and resistance.

(CULT) Dist: INT or SOC; WCult: CI.

ANTH 32 (Identical to AMES 26)

Anthropology of Tibet and the Himalayas

This course introduces students to the peoples and cultures of Tibet and the greater Himalayan region (Nepal, northern India, Bhutan). We examine the cultural, ecological, political, religious, and economic interfaces that define life on the northern and southern slopes of Earth's greatest mountain range. In addition to learning about Himalayan and Tibetan lifeways, we will also learn about how these mountainous parts of Asia have figured into occidental imaginings, from the earliest adventurers to contemporary travelers.

(CULT) Dist: SOC, WCult: NW.


The Global Caribbean

Paradise or plantation? Cultural destination or economic periphery? Capitalist birthplace or IMF delinquent? From the Columbian conquest to contemporary tourism, the Caribbean has borne the burdens and opportunities of being an intercontinental crossroads. Colonial governments, enslaved Africans, indentured servants, and foreign settlers have all made the Caribbean an exemplar of modernity and globalization—for better or worse. Drawing on social scientific, literary, and policy texts, this course offers an historically deep and geographically broad anthropology of the Caribbean.

(CULT) Dist: SOC; WCult: NW.


Maya Indians Under Mexican and Guatemalan Rule

This course explores the contemporary Maya cultures of Mexico and Guatemala against the backdrop of nearly five hundred years of conquest, colonialism, revolution, and nation-building. Given the contrasting, at times deeply antagonistic, cultures and identities that have resulted, this course focuses on issues of Maya ethnicity, inequality, and nationalism in these two closely related yet historically distinct countries. Prerequisite: One course in Anthropology or Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies. Prerequisite: One course in Anthropology or Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies.

(CULT) Dist: SOC; WCult: CI.

ANTH 36 (Identical to AAAS 44)

Contemporary Africa: Exploring Myths, Engaging Realities

This course focuses on processes, relationships, and experiences that have shaped, and continue to shape, the lives of Africans in many different contexts. These include issues of ecology and food production, age, gender, ethnicity, exchange, colonialism, apartheid, and development. We will then embark on in depth readings of ethnographies that engage these issues and themes. In the processes we will move beyond prevailing stereo-types about Africa, to engage the full complexity of its contemporary realities.

(CULT) Dist: INT or SOC; WCult: CI.


Legacies of Conquest in Latin America

Despite nearly five hundred years of conquest, colonialism, and change, native peoples still survive in culturally distinct enclaves within the dominant Iberian traditions of Latin America. This course examines the roots as well as the endemic social inequalities and prejudices that resulted. Selected case studies will relate to such contemporary problems as international drug trafficking, deforestation of the Amazon basin, and ongoing political repression and revolution in Central America. The course draws on the insights of local ethnographic studies to shed light on global problems, while anthropologically situating native cultures of Latin America in their larger historical and geopolitical context. Prerequisite: One course in anthropology or Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

(CULT). Dist.: SOC; WCult: CI.

ANTH 44 (Identical to WGSS XX)

Language, Gender, and Sexuality

This course explores cultural conceptions of gender and sexuality as they relate to and emerge from language use.  Readings will bring in case studies from around the globe, and topics covered may include:  sexual identity and linguistic practice; gender socialization through language socialization; gender and language in the global economy; and the linguistic construction of gendered selves.  Students will collect their own linguistic data to be analyzed using theoretical and methodological tools acquired in class. 

(CULT) Dist: SOC



Asian Medical Systems

This course investigates systems of healing practiced in, and derived from, Asia. We will focus primarily on three Asian medical systems: Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, and Tibetan medicine. We will strive to understand how these medical systems are based on coherent logics that are not only biologically but also culturally determined. We will also analyze the deployment of these medical systems in non-Asian contexts, and examine the relationship between Asian systems and "western" biomedicine.

(CULT) Dist: SOC; WCult: NW.

ANTH 47 (Identical to NAS 37)

Alaska: American Dreams and Native Realities

Since the time United States "purchased" Alaska from Russia, this land has been seen by many as the "last frontier" - a place where tough and adventurous Euro-Americans could strike it rich or get away from the negative consequences of civilized living. Using anthropological and historical works as well as fiction, film and other media, the seminar explores the mythology surrounding the "land of the midnight sun." This myth of the "last frontier" - in its development-driven as well as conservationist versions -- is also contrasted with the ways Native Alaskans' have viewed and lived on their land.

(CULT) Dist: SOC; WCult: CI.

ANTH 48 (Identical to REL 19.18)

From Sacred to Salvation: The Place of Religion in Human Societies

In this course religions are seen as cultural systems which give shape and meaning to the world in which people live and provide a means, in the form of rituals, by which they can attempt to manipulate those worlds. The emphasis is on understanding non-Western religions, especially those of tribal peoples, through the interpretation of myth, ritual, and expressed beliefs. The role of religion as a social institution is also examined. Alternative approaches to the interpretation of myth, ritual symbolism, deity conceptions, witchcraft, etc., are explored. Prerequisite: One course in anthropology or religion or permission of the instructor.

(CULT) Dist: INT or TMV; WCult: NW.


Environment, Culture, and Sustainability

Environmental issues and problems cannot be understood without reference to the cultural values that shape the way people perceive and interact with their environment. This course examines the ways in which different cultures conceptualize and interact with their environment, but with special emphasis on American cultures and values. We will examine how the American experience has shaped the ways in which Americans imagine and interact with the environment and how this has been exported to the rest of the world. We will pay close attention to issues of consumption and conservation and how they have impacted ecologies and human livelihoods in different parts of the world.

(CULT) Dist: INT or SOC; WCult: W

ANTH 50.06 (Identical to COCO 02)

HIV/AIDS Through a Biosocial Lens: 30 Years of a Modern Plague

HIV Continues to elude a cure, and its multifaceted social impacts continue grow daily. Using material from the three decades of this modern plague, students will learn about the HIV / AIDS pandemic using case studies, clinical research and ethnography drawn from around the world. Biomedical topics like the HIV viral life cycle and the epidemiology of HIV / AIDS will be paired with topics from the social sciences such as stigma and social marginalization. The Juxtaposition of biomedical and social sciences topics will provide students with an opportunity to synthesize a "bio-social" perspective that unifies the many facets of the HIV / AIDS epidemic.

(CULT) Dist: INT, WCult: CI

ANTH 50.16

Anthropology of Science

As a form of social science inquiry, the anthropology of science examines the social, political and cultural worlds within which scientific theories, debates and controversies emerge.  Through readings of ethnographic writings about varied fields such as neuroscience, genetics, microbiology and physics, this introductory course provides students with the tools to analyze scientific work as a form of meaningful social and cultural action.

(CULT) Dist: SOC; WCult: CI

ANTH 50.17

Rites of Passage: The Biology and Culture of Life's Transitions

This course explores the “rites of passage” concept across time and space, and with close attention to the ways that our bodies shape and are shaped by our social selves. A response to avid student desire to learn more about the intersections of biology and culture within the context of anthropology, this course promotes learning about human biology and the medical humanities.

(CULT) Dist: SOC, WCult: CI

ANTH 50.20 (Identical to MUS 17.05)

The Poetics and Politics of Sounds and Words

This course explores how music and language shape our social worlds and help us imagine new futures. Students will study how music and language are summoned in the service of power but are also used by people to craft and express their own personal and political identities and experiences. The course is designed to give students an introduction to anthropological approaches to language, music, and the dynamic relationship between them in a variety of cultural contexts.

(CULT) Dist: INT or SOC

ANTH 50.21 (Identical to AAAS 88.17)

Visual Culture

This class examines visual art, sound, film, and digital media. We will learn how to think about and make sounds and images in historically and ethnographically rich ways. In the process we examine notions of power, difference, history, culture, race, class, gender. Twentieth-century politics and culture were intimately linked to the rapid development of radio, television, film, video, and digital media. These media have creatively engaged with local cultural practices around the world in reshaping the nature of artistic expression, national, gendered, and racial difference, and political power. This course explores the politics and pragmatics of art, photography, and film in order to delineate visual and embodied ways of presenting and experiencing the world particularly in relation to race and gender.

(CULT)  Dist: SOC, WCult: NW.

ANTH 50.22 (Identical to AAAS 88.16)

Sovereignty, Race, and Rights

This course examines the colonial legacies of rights, race, gender, and difference and their significance for contemporary global politics and development. By taking an socio-historical approach to the idea of rights we will make connections between sovereignty, the rule of law, representational practices, economy, and citizenship. We will use a critical eye to explore the conditions of possibility that allow states, development organizations, donor agencies, and individuals to unwittingly reproduce centuries-old tropes of poverty, degradation, and helplessness of non-Western peoples. Examining various institutionally structured encounters between Europeans and non-Western peoples we unpack assumptions about the naturalness of power. In postcolonial societies the tensions between ideas of tradition and modernity structure many conflicts over rights, citizenship, and the role of the individual in society.

(CULT) Dist: Int or SOC, WCult: NW.

ANTH 50.23

DNA, Identity, and Power

DNA has become a powerful but sometimes controversial tool for making knowledge about humans and our connections to one another. As both scientists and the public gain access to unprecedented amounts of genomic information, DNA evidence has become increasingly incorporated into political claims about race, gender and sexual identities, as well as issues of group belonging, cultural heritage, and the basis of complex traits and behaviors. This course is centered around critical engagement with the various identity politics that are unfolding around genomics, and discerning the ways that culture and history shape how knowledge is produced in and through DNA.

(BIOL or CULT) Dist: SOC

ANTH 50.24 (Identical to ARAB 08.02)

Cultures of Media in the Middle East

This course explores the intersection of media, politics, and everyday life through the lens of anthropology in the Middle East. Technologies of mass media have been shaping our “modern” world since Gutenberg's press up until Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, affecting cultures, social interactions, and everyday life around the world. In this course we will explore alternative understandings of media and modernity beyond the western world, by examining ethnographic literature on the Middle East. We will focus on the ways in which media cultures have been shaped by local histories and cultures in the Middle East, investigating the entanglements of national imaginaries, religious practices, social traditions, cultural intimacies, and the 2011 revolutions. The course spans across different media and cultural forms: TV soap operas, religious cassettes, graffiti, selfies, memes, video games, cyber activism, music performances, poetry, social media, cinema, and journalism. The overall aim of this course is to be able to examine the social forces and cultural contexts shaping cultures of media and to investigate the effects of media in everyday life, challenging the dominant understandings of media in the West. By doing so we illuminate more effective analytical contours of media. The course emphasizes the advantages of anthropological methods and theories in understanding media. We will focus on ethnographic writing and the ways in which anthropologists intertwine ethnographic narratives and social theory to analyze media.

(CULT) Dist: SOC, WCult: NW.

ANTH 50.25

Law, Power & Society

What is law? In this course, we will explore this seemingly simple question, and look at how scholars from anthropology and other disciplines have addressed it. We will look at law as a means of ordering societies, as an exercise of power, and as a cultural phenomenon that helps us better understand the world around us. We will survey foundational and philosophical thought, delve into law’s role in the United States, and study its manifestations in colonial and postcolonial societies, such as South Africa and Brazil. We will explore the law as both a means of social control and of social change.

(CULT) Dist: SOC.

ANTH 50.26

Art and Activism in the Americas: Performance, Protest, and the Social Imagination

In this course, we will explore how people have summoned art to protest forces of oppression in a variety of historical and geographic contexts:from resistance to dictatorships in Latin America to present-day political movements, such as Black Lives Matter, DACA protests, the #metoo movement, among others. Drawing on readings in anthropology, philosophy, music, and literature we will study why people appeal to the arts to find shelter from or mobilize against racism, sexism, and political repression. We will also explore how cultural expression may be coopted by the very forces it aims to oppose. We will think about these issues through students’ collaborative ethnographic projects with artists and organizers in the Upper Valley community and beyond.


Colonialism and Its Legacies in Anthropological Perspective (FSP)

Between the early 16th and mid 20th centuries, European nations and Japan colonized much of the rest of the world. This course looks at the history of colonialism in various parts of the world, focusing on the similarities and differences between colonialism as practiced by different colonial rulers in different regions at different times. It also traces the ways in which the colonial process and experience has shaped the world we live in today, both in developed and developing nations, in such areas as political systems, economic systems, religions, and interethnic relations. Prerequisite: Any two courses in anthropology.

(CULT) Dist: INT or SOC; WCult: CI.


Introduction to Maori Society (FSP)

This course is an introduction to the study of traditional and contemporary Maori society and culture. topics for study include: pre-European Maori history, origin and migration traditions, land ownership and use, religion, leadership, meeting ground (marae) protocols, the colonial experience, struggles of resistance and of cultural recovery.

(CULT) Dist: SOC; WCult: NW.


Foreign Study in Anthropology

Credit for this course is awarded to students who have successfully completed the designated course in the department of Anthropology at the University of Auckland during the Dartmouth foreign study program in Anthropology and Linguistics and Cognitive Science. Prerequisite: Two courses in Anthropology. 

(CULT) Dist: SOC.


Anthropology of Global Health

This medical anthropology course explores human responses to disease and illness, focusing on international/global health. We will consider plural health care systems, medical practices, and ideas about illness and the body in cross-cultural contexts, and learn about issues of health-development paradigms, culture and epidemiology, global health equity and human rights issues. Sections of the course focus on the global pharmaceutical industry, women's health, and experiences of trauma-related disorders across diverse social, cultural, and political realities.

(CULT) Dist: INT or SOC.


Sustainable Cities

Today, over half of the world’s population lives in cities, and by extension, cities have become the norm for other forms of life as well.  For the past fifty years, this normalization of urban life has continued at an exponential pace around the globe, while rates of inequality for urban communities of all kinds (human and non-human) keeps pace.  In order to tackle these concerns and others, we will read texts from cultural anthropology and related disciplines like geography, history, and ecology. First, we examine and compare the trajectories of urbanization in the contemporary Global North and the Global South.  Second, we apply this comparative perspective to understanding several key issues related to environmental politics and justice in cities.  Third, we look to urban ecology and urban political ecology for theoretical insights into cities as a form of social-ecological life.  Last, we focus attention on examples of successful urban sustainability initiatives.

(CULT) Dist: INT or SOC.


Psychological Anthropology

This course examines key concepts and core debates within the field of psychological anthropology. The course draws on the historical roots of the field as well as contemporary theoretical developments in psychological anthropology. Central questions addressed in the course include: What is the relationship of the individual to culture?  How do categories of the person, self, thought, and emotions vary cross-culturally? What do extraordinary psychological experiences reveal about fundamental human processes?

(CULT) WCult: CI


Conservation and Development

The terms ‘conservation’ and ‘development’ are ubiquitous, but there is little agreement on their meanings or their efficacy. We study how these processes impact ‘traditional’ cultures and how indigenous peoples have responded. Development and conservation have cultures of their own so we will examine their worldviews, discourses, and practices. We explore how anthropological methods can be used to analyze resource conflicts, understand the limits of dominant approaches, and think constructively about alternatives.

(CULT) Dist: INT or SOC. WCult: CI.


Ethnicity and Nationalism

Ethnic politics and nationalist movements play a major role in modern-day life.  This course explores these important subjects through an anthropological lens by examining such topics as symbols, rituals and myths of ethnic and national identity; state nationalism and ethnic minorities; diaspora nationalism versus homeland; nationalism with and without violence; indigeneity; and several others.  Readings include theoretical works by anthropologists and several historians.  Requirements include a book review, a research paper and active participation in class discussion.

(CULT) Dist: INT or SOC; WCult: CI.


Main Currents in Anthropology

This course examines the theoretical concerns that define anthropology as a discipline. These include the nature and extent of human social and cultural variation; the relationship of institutional arrangements in society to systems of meaning; the material and moral determinants of human social life; the dynamics of change within and between ways of life otherwise taken by their practitioners as given; the place of power in maintaining, challenging, and representing meaningfully constituted human orders. Readings by major theorists past and present will be treated as neither canonical texts nor dead-letter formulations but as part of an ongoing inquiry into the myriad dimensions-and possibilities-of being human.

(CULT) Dist: SOC.