ANTH 100 (SEC4)- Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Instructor: Amanda Buonopane
Class: T, TH 11:30-12:45 Newton 201
Office: Sturges 13F, 245-5174
Office hours: T, TH 10:30-11:30 & 1-2.
“The purpose of anthropology is to make the world safe for human differences.” –Ruth Benedict
This course introduces students to the central topics, concepts and methods in cultural anthropology. We will look at what anthropology does and how we can benefit from an anthropological perspective. It is often said that a goal of anthropology is to view the familiar as strange and the strange as familiar. Such a shift in perspective is necessary not to sensationalize ‘the exotic’, but to gain a better understanding of various realms of meaning and experience through a cross-cultural engagement. In order to undertake this engagement, we will be using films, audio recordings and group discussions to supplement lectures. You will need to come to this class with an open mind.
• Students will demonstrate mastery of cultural anthropology data, particularly in regard to learning about the ways of life of the living peoples of the world. Content mastery will be tested in examinations and on the required papers.
• Students will demonstrate proficiency regarding the development of cultural anthropology through exams.
• Students will demonstrate acquisition of knowledge of the practice of the field of cultural anthropology both on examinations and through the required papers.
University standards for cheating and plagiarism will be followed. If you must leave class early or arrive after class has begun, please try to do so quietly. Silence all cell phones before class begins and no texting during class. If you bring a laptop to class, please be sure to use it only for taking notes or looking up relevant information (no games, facebook, etc.). Come to class with an open mind and respect for your fellow students. Students with disabilities or special needs should speak with me at the beginning of the semester.
Class Participation (10%): Each student is expected to come to class prepared and ready to participate in discussions. You are expected to read the materials assigned for each class PRIOR to that class. There will be regular group discussions and all students are expected to contribute.
Response Papers (20%): These very short writing assignments (1 double-spaced page) are exercises in critical thinking. They will be due as noted in the schedule and will be based on your reactions to the materials covered at that given time. [Note: they should not be summaries, but more of an engagement with the material]. Respond to the article, or other material, and use some concepts from the accompanying text chapter.
Final Project (30%): Final project will consist of conducting a mini-ethnography at a place/event of your choosing. You will present a topic, investigate it and report your findings in an academic paper that utilizes concepts covered throughout the course.
Midterm Exam (20%): The midterm exam will cover all materials from the first half of the semester.
Final Exam (20%): The final exam will not be cumulative. It will focus on materials covered in the second half of the semester, but it may draw on earlier key concepts. The exam will be on May 3.
Nanda, Serena & Richard L Warms
2009 Culture Counts: A Concise Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, 2nd Edition. Wadsworth.
Angeloni, Elvio (ed)
2011 Annual Editions: Anthropology 11/12 (34th Edition). New York, NY. McGraw Hill.
OR 2012 Annual Editions: Anthropology 12/13 (35th Edition). New York, NY McGraw Hill.
Tentative Course Schedule
Week 1---- What is Anthropology? What are Its Objectives?
Jan. 17th: Introduction to the course, Introduction to Anthropology and its Sub-fields
In-class video: ‘Anthropology at Work’
Jan. 19st: The Culture Concept
Readings: Culture Counts Chapter 1 and “Body Ritual Among the Nacirema” in A.E.
Week 2---- Main Currents of Thought in Anthropology
Jan. 24th: Major Anthropological Theories
Readings: Culture Counts Chapter 2 & ‘Eating Christmas in the Kalahari’ in A.E
Jan. 26th: Ethnography, Anthropological Methods and Ethical Issues
Readings: Culture Counts Chapter 3, ‘A Dispute in Donggo: Fieldwork and Ethnography’ in A.E, ‘Tricking and Tipping’ in A.E.
Week 3---- Language and Communication
Jan. 31st: Anthropology and Linguistics
In-class Film: ‘In a Manner of Speaking’
Readings: Culture Counts Chapter 4, ‘Shakespeare in the Bush’ in A.E.
Feb. 2nd: Communication and Enculturation
Readings: ‘Fighting for Our Lives’ in A.E., and listen to ‘A Fish in Your Ear’ audio program on MyCourses
Week 4---- Getting Food & Making a Living
Feb. 7th: Ways of Making a Living
In-class Film: ‘The Hunters’
Readings: Culture Counts Chapter 5
Feb. 9th: Climate Change and Getting Food
Readings: ‘The Inuit Paradox’ in A.E., listen to ‘Alaska Residents Grapple with Changing Climate’ on MyCourses
Writing Assignment: 1st Response Paper due (discuss the above audio program in regards to concepts from text chapter 5)
Week 5---- Economic Systems & Kinship
Feb. 14th: Economic Systems
Readings: Culture Counts Chapter 6, selections from The Gift by Marcel Mauss
Feb. 16th: Kinship Systems and Descent
Culture Counts Chapter 7
Week 6---- Family and Marriage
Feb. 21st: Incest Taboo and Defining Family
Readings: ‘When Cousins Do More Than Kiss’ in A.E. ‘Meet the Alloparents’ in A.E.
Writing Assignment: 2nd Response Paper Due (discuss one of the above articles, using some concepts from chapter 7 of the text)
Feb.23rd: Forms of Marriage, Endogamy, Exogamy
Readings: ‘Arranging a Marriage in India’ in A.E., listen to ‘Some Muslims in US quietly Engage in Polygamy’ and ‘Philly's Black Muslims Increasingly Turn to Polygamy’ on MyCourses (polygamy part 1 & part 2)
Week 7---- Gender
Feb. 28th: Midterm Exam (normal class time and place)- all materials through week 6
Mar. 1st: Sex and Gender
In-class Film: ‘Kypseli: Women and Men Apart: A Divided Reality’
Readings: Culture Counts Chapter 8, ‘The Berdache Tradition’ in A.E.
Week 8 ----Political Systems
Mar. 6th: Types of Political Systems
Readings: Culture Counts Chapter 9
Mar. 8th: Social Control and Political Change
Readings: ‘The Price of Progress’ in A.E., excerpt ‘The Ju/’hoansi Today: We Still Have Our N/um’ (to be distributed)
Week 9---Spring Break- Enjoy the Break!
Week 10---- Equality and Inequality
Mar. 20th: In-class Film: ‘Born into Brothels’
Reading: Culture Counts Chapter 10
Mar. 22nd: Race and Poverty
Readings: ‘Death without Weeping’ in A.E., ‘Can White Men Jump’ in A.E.
Writing Assignment: 3rd Response Paper due (choose one of the articles for this week to write about, use some concepts from text chapter 10)
Week 11---- Conflict, Violence, Conflict Resolution
Mar. 27th: Violence and Trauma
Readings: ‘Grief and a Headhunter’s Rage’ by Renato Rosaldo (to be distributed)
Topic Due for Ethnography Project- (email re: topic and methods that will be used)
Mar. 29th: Warfare and Avoidance of Conflict
Readings: ‘The Adaptive Value of Religious Ritual’ in A.E., listen to ‘Blood Money and Iraqi Tribal Justice’ under Theme 22 of NPR broadcasts on www.myathrolab.com
Week 12---- Religion
Apr. 3rd: In-class Film: ‘National Geographic Taboo Series- Voodoo’
Readings: Culture Counts Chapter 11, listen to ‘Eboo Patel Addresses Faith-Based Tensions’ on MyCourses
Apr. 5th: Ways of practicing religion
Readings: ‘Understanding Islam’ in A.E., ‘The Secrets of Haiti’s Living Dead’ in A.E.
Writing Assignment: 4th Response Paper Due (Use this week’s film, articles or audio as a topic)
Week 13---- Arts and Entertainment
Apr. 10th: Oral Literature and Sound
Readings: ‘Dislocating Sounds: The Deterritorialization of Indonesian Indie Pop’ (to be distributed), and listen to ‘From Knee- to- Knee to CD: The Evolution of Oral Tradition in Mountain Ballads’ audio program
Apr. 12th: Movement, Entertainment and Sport
Readings: ‘Baseball Magic’ in A.E.
Week 14---- Colonialism and Culture Change
Apr. 17th: Forms of Colonial Rule
Readings: Culture Counts Chapter 12
Apr. 19th: Effects and Legacy of Colonialism
Readings: “’The Arrow of Disease’ in A.E., ‘Why Can’t People Feed Themselves’ in A.E.
Writing Assignment: 5th Response Paper Due (focus on one of the articles for this week, use some concepts from text chapter 12)
Week 15---- Movement, Migration, Transnationalism
Apr. 24th: Migration and Transnationalism
Readings: Culture Counts Chapter 13, ‘The Local and the Global: The Anthropology of Globalization and Transnationalism’ (to be distributed)
Apr. 26th: Applied Anthropology Today
Readings: Culture Counts Chapter 14
Week 16--- TBA
May 1- Final Class
ETHNOGRAPHY PROJECT DUE at the beginning of class
Final Exam: Thursday May 3 at noon