Anthropology 100 (Section 04): Cultural Anthropology
Department of Anthropology, SUNY Geneseo
Tuesdays & Thursdays 10:00-11:15 am; Bailey 102
Instructor Jennifer R. Guzmán, PhD
Office hours Bailey 108, Mondays 2:30-4:00, Thursdays 11:30-1:00, and by appointment. Feel free to visit office hours to discuss any questions you have about anthropology, course content, assignments, or your academic progress.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to email questions that can be answered briefly. If you have a complex question or situation, please visit me during office hours. I read e-mail once daily Monday-Friday. Allow 1-2 days for a response. When sending email, include ANTH 100 and a topic in the subject line.
Office Phone (585) 245-5174
Course TA Erin Lamouret (email@example.com)
Anthropology is the study of humans, past and present. Within anthropology, the subfield of sociocultural anthropology is specifically concerned with human life in the contemporary world. Researchers in the subfield take a cross-cultural perspective to examine social practices and social patterns. This approach affords insights about universal and particular features of human society. Sociocultural anthropologists are interested in both material and ideological aspects of how people organize themselves in groups. In other words, we are interested in culture! Some of the issues that anthropologists study within and across different societies include: race, class, gender, sexuality, kinship, religion, politics and power, economic systems, health and illness, and migration. In this course you will learn about anthropological theory concerning each of these domains. You will also learn about ethnography, the principal methodology that anthropologists use to investigate these sociocultural phenomena. Class will include lecture, films, small group exercises, and discussion of assigned readings.
This course fulfills a basic requirement of the Bachelor of Arts major in anthropology and the SUNY Geneseo General Education requirement in Social Sciences, as described in the Undergraduate Bulletin. As such, the course is designed “to deepen students’ understanding and awareness of important aspects of human behavior and social organization, to increase students’ understanding of the human condition and human institutions, and to introduce them to the different approaches and methods used by the various social science disciplines. These goals are pursued through theoretically and empirically based course work” (50-51).
The course also fulfills the general education requirement in Other World Civilizations. Courses in this M/ series “focus the student’s attention on ideas, experiences, and concepts existing outside the Western world. The wide variety of applicable courses from across the academic departments offers students numerous perspectives from which to investigate non-Western cultures and ideas…This requirement encourages in students the development of a well-rounded understanding of the various ideas, experiences, and concepts in the world in which they exist and interact.
EXTRA CREDIT: You may earn up to two points extra credit in the following ways:
Midterm 1 (Feb 12)
Midterm 2 (Mar 26)
Final exam (Friday, May 8, 12:00-3:00 pm)
Participation (in-class discussion, journals, activity on ANTH100 FB page)
Essay 1 (due Feb 26) following “Who Is Dayani Cristal?” film screening (Thurs, Feb 19)
Essay 2 (due Mar 5) following talk by author Pia Barros (Monday, Feb 23)
Ethnographic Portrait (due April 16)
Grading: Grading for this class follows the standards for letter grading that appear in the Geneseo Undergraduate Bulletin.
A / A- Excellent work
B+, B, B- Very good work
C / C+ Satisfactory work (i.e. work that fulfills all stipulated requirements for an assignment and is turned in on time)
C- Work demonstrating minimal competence
D Marginal work
E (failure) Inadequate work
Other possible grades are: P (pass), F (fail), S (satisfactory), U (unsatisfactory), and W (withdrawn). Consult the Bulletin for details about these latter grades. Gradebook will generate grades according to the following scheme for exams:
A = 94% +
A-= 90- 93.99%
C+= 77 -79.99%
C = 73 - 76.99 %
D = 58 - 67.99 %
Accommodation: If you need classroom accommodations due to a documented or suspected learning difference, please contact Dean Buggie-Hunt (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the Office of Disability Services (ODS) and bring me a letter outlining the accommodations you require. Do so as early as possible.
Laptop Policy: Use of laptops during class is not permitted. Come to lecture prepared to take notes the old-fashioned way, with pen and paper. Recent studies indicate we learn better during lectures when we are not working on a computer. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, we are more likely to think about, synthesize, and remember information when we write longhand than when we type notes on a computer. Second, with easy access to the internet most of us succumb to the temptation to electronically multi-task during lectures, and this significantly diminishes learning, not to mention distracting others who happen to be nearby. We are incredibly privileged to participate in higher education. Please respect the opportunity that class sessions offer for learning, analyzing, and discussing issues that impact our lives as members of civil society. Keep your laptop and phone stored in your bag during class and turn your cell phone ringer off. Students who violate this policy will be asked to leave the lecture hall for the rest of the class session. If you have extenuating circumstances that require you to keep your ringer on during class, please let me know in advance.
Assignment submission: Students will turn in hard copies of assignments at the beginning of class on the day each assignment is due. Assignments turned in after this deadline will be docked a half-grade per day of lateness (e.g. a grade of B will be registered as a B-). To turn in a late assignment, take it to the Department of Anthropology and ask the department administrator, Beverly Rex-Burley, to put the assignment in my faculty mailbox. LATE ASSIGNMENTS MAY NOT BE SUBMITTED AT LECTURE.
Familiarize yourself with the SUNY Geneseo policies on academic honesty. You are responsible for abiding by them. http://bulletin.geneseo.edu/first/?pg=01_Student_Affairs_policies.html
Studying tips: Research shows we learn best when we make learning active. Due to the large size of this course, a lot of information will be presented in a lecture format. As a result, you will need to take a proactive role to ensure you learn the material well. Helpful hints: refer to the list of key terms at the end of each textbook chapter; you may wish to quiz yourself on defining these terms and identifying examples for each; attend lecture regularly and keep organized, legible notes in a single notebook that you can review easily; find a study partner or group; ask questions during lecture or visit Dr. Guzmán during office hours when you need clarification; keep up with course readings and assignments. Writing assistance: Academic writing is a skill that, like any other, requires a lot of practice. Becoming a better writer involves persistence and the help of others. Please avail yourself of the excellent assistance that is available at the Writing Learning Center on campus. For information or to schedule a one-on-one appointment with a writing consultant visit: http://www.geneseo.edu/english/writing_center
Students should complete each required reading assignment prior to class on the day the reading is listed. The relevant material from readings that are listed as “recommended” will be covered in lecture. Reading recommended texts is not required but will reinforce information presented in lecture.
January 20 INTRODUCTION
Cultural Anthropology ch. 1 “Anthropology in a Global Age” (recommended)
In class: “The Danger of the Single Story” (TED talk by Chimamanda Adichie)
January 22 Cultural Anthropology ch. 2 “Culture”
“Advertising Missionaries” clip
Week 2 FIELDWORK AND ETHNOGRAPHY
January 27 “Bodywork among the Nacirema”
In class: “Franz Boas” clip
January 29 Cultural Anthropology ch. 3 “Fieldwork and Ethnography”
In class: “A Wife among Wives” clip
Week 3 RACE AND RACISM
February 3 Cultural Anthropology ch. 6 “Race and Racism”
In class: “Breaking the Illusion of Skin Color” (TED talk)
February 5 Visit the “RACE: Are We So Different?” (http://www.understandingrace.org) website and review the materials available there. View/do at least two of the activities in the “Lived Experience” section. Come to class prepared to discuss what you learned.
In class: “Multiracial Identity” clip
Week 4 ETHNICITY AND NATIONALISM
February 10 Cultural Anthropology ch. 7 “Ethnicity and Nationalism”
In class: excerpts from “Returning Home: Revival of a Bosnian Village” (film)
February 12 MIDTERM 1
Week 5 MIGRATION
February 17 Cultural Anthropology ch. 13 “Migration”
In class: “Brother Towns” clip
February 19 Introduction to Seth Holmes’s Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies (pp 1-29)
ATTEND film screening “Who is Dayani Cristal” 7:00 pm (location TBA)
Week 6 POLITICS AND POWER
February 23 ATTEND Talk by feminist Chilean author Pía Barros (time and location TBA)
February 24 “Introduction” & Ch. 1 “Symptoms of Another Life” Life in Debt
February 26 Cultural Anthropology ch. 11 “Politics and Power” (recommended)
DUE: Essay 1
Week 7 HEALTH AND ILLNESS
March 3 Cultural Anthropology ch. 5 “Health and Illness” (recommended)
Ch. 2 “Social Debt, Silent Gift” Life in Debt
In class: “The Most Distant Places” clip
March 5 Ch. 3 “Torture, Love, and the Everyday” Life in Debt
In class: “Dead Mums Don’t Cry” clip
DUE: Essay 2
Week 8 CLASS AND INEQUALITY
March 10 Cultural Anthropology ch. 11 “Class and Inequality”
Ch. 4 “Neoliberal Depression” Life in Debt
In class: “Homeless in Paradise” clip
March 12 Ch. 5 “Community Experiments” Life in Debt
In-class: “Machuca” film
March 17, 19 – No classes - SPRING BREAK
March 24 Ch. 6 “Life and Death, Care and Neglect” & Conclusion “Relations and Time” Life in Debt
March 26 MIDTERM 2
Week 10 GLOBAL ECONOMY
March 31 Cultural Anthropology ch. 12 “The Global Economy”
In class: “Birdsong and Coffee” clip
April 2 Jeanne Arnold (2012) Mountains of Things. In Fast Forward Family. University of California Press.
In class: excerpts from “China Blue” (film)
Week 11 RELIGION
April 7 Cultural Anthropology ch. 15 “Religion”
In class: “For Those Who Sail to Heaven” clip
April 9 Visit “The Pluralism Project” website (www.pluralism.org) and review the materials there. Be sure to visit the “On Common Ground” section of the website and read about at least three of the religions featured in the “Religion” section. Come to class prepared to discuss what you learned.
In class: “The Great Gathering” clip
Week 12 GENDER
April 14 Cultural Anthropology ch. 8 “Gender”
In class: “Community” clip
April 16 Abu-Lughod, Lila. 2002. Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving? Anthropological Reflections on Cultural Relativism and Its Others. American Anthropologist 104(3): 783-790.
DUE: Ethnographic Portrait
Week 13 SEXUALITY
April 21 GREAT Day (no class)
April 23 Cultural Anthropology ch. 9 “Sexuality”
Week 14 KINSHIP
April 28 Cultural Anthropology ch. 10 “Kinship, Family, and Marriage”
In class: “Marriages in Heaven” clip
April 30 Yarris, Kristin. 2014. “Quiero ir y no quiero ir” (I want to go and I don’t want to go): Nicaraguan Children’s Ambivalent Experiences of Transnational Family Life. The Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology 19(2):284-309.
In class: “A Wife among Wives” clip
DUE: Journal of in-class writing assignments
May 5 Review for final exam
FINAL EXAM Friday, May 8, 12:00-3:00 pm, Bailey 102
 Mueller, P. A. and D. M. Oppenheimer (2014). "The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard: Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note Taking." Psychological Science. DOI: 10.1177/0956797614524581.
 Hembrooke, H. and G. Gay (2003). "The Laptop and the Lecture: The Effects of Multitasking in Learning Environments." Journal of Computing in Higher Education 15(1): 46-64.
 This schedule is subject to change as necessary according to course progress.