S/M/Anthropology 100 (Section 04): Cultural Anthropology
Department of Anthropology, SUNY Geneseo
Mondays & Wednesdays 10:00-11:15 am; Bailey 102
Instructor Jennifer R. Guzmán, PhD
Office hours Bailey 108, Mondays 2:30-4:00, Tuesdays 12:45-2:15, and by appointment. Feel free to visit office hours to discuss any questions you have about 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 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
In our increasingly interconnected world, many of our most intractable social problems stem from differences in ideology as well as from inequalities related to race and ethnicity, gender, political and economic processes, and globalization. Addressing the pressing social problems of our time will require that we first learn about these facets of human social life and explore how they vary in communities that are similar to and different from our own. This course introduces students to cultural anthropology, the branch of the social sciences that uses a cross-cultural comparative approach to study contemporary human society and culture. Through readings, films, and assignments, students will gain familiarity with findings from anthropological research about globalization, race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, religion, political systems, economic systems, and health and illness. Students will also learn about ethnographic fieldwork, the principal methodology that cultural anthropologists use to investigate these issues. Class sessions will include lecture, quizzes, 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.
Participation (class discussion/activities, journals)
Final exam (Wednesday, May 11, 8:00-10:30 am)
Essay following all-college speaker presentation by Dr. Hirsch
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 (note that work that fulfills all stipulated requirements and is turned in on time may fall into this category)
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, disability, or medical condition, including in relation to pregnancy or parenting, please contact Dean Buggie-Hunt (email@example.com) at the Office of Disability Services (ODS) as soon as possible, and bring me a letter outlining the accommodations you require.
Electronics policy: Use of laptops during class is permitted, but I encourage you 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. Limit laptop use to class-related work and put your phone away during class. If you have extenuating circumstances that require you to keep the ringer on your phone turned on during class, please let me know in advance.
Assignment submission: Students will turn in the essay and the ethnographic portrait to Dropboxes on the MyCourses page. Assignments turned in after the deadline will be docked a half-grade per day of lateness (e.g. a grade of B will be registered as a B-).
Familiarize yourself with the SUNY Geneseo policies on academic honesty: http://bulletin.geneseo.edu/first/?pg=01_Student_Affairs_policies.html
If you have any questions about whether something is permissible or whether writing in a particular way would constitute plagiarism, feel free to ask me over email or in person. I appreciate your questions and will not judge anyone negatively for seeking clarification. If you find yourself in a personal crisis and are unable to finish assigned work by a deadline, please contact me to work out a solution for turning in a late assignment, rather than resorting to plagiarism. In order to maintain the integrity of the course, everyone will be held responsible for their actions.
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 place, so that you can review easily before exams; 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 as scheduled.
Writing excellence: 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 at the Writing Learning Center on campus. For information or to make an appointment for a one-on-one meeting for feedback on a piece of writing go to: http://www.geneseo.edu/english/writing_center
Schedule - subject to change as necessary according to class progress
Week 1 INTRODUCTION
Jan 20 -Review syllabus
-In class: “The Danger of the Single Story” (TED talk by Chimamanda Adichie)
Week 2 ANTHROPOLOGY IN A GLOBAL AGE
Jan 25 & 27 -Cultural Anthropology ch. 1
-In class: “Advertising Missionaries” clip
Week 3 CULTURE
Feb 1 & 3 -Cultural Anthropology ch. 2
-“Bodywork among the Nacirema”
-In class: “Franz Boas” clip
Week 4 FIELDWORK AND ETHNOGRAPHY
Feb 8 -Cultural Anthropology ch. 3
-Introduction to Seth Holmes’s Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies (pp 1-29)
-In class: “A Wife among Wives” clip
Feb 10 MIDTERM 1
Week 5 RACE AND RACISM
Feb 15 & 17 -Cultural Anthropology ch. 5
-Visit the “RACE: Are We So Different?” (http://www.understandingrace.org) website and review the materials available there. View/do two of the activities in the “Lived Experience” section. Be prepared to discuss what you learned.
-In class: “Breaking the Illusion of Skin Color” (TED talk)
-In class: “Multiracial Identity”
Week 6 ETHNICITY AND NATIONALISM
Feb 22 & 24 -Cultural Anthropology ch. 6
-In class: excerpts from “Returning Home: Revival of a Bosnian Village”
Week 7 GENDER
Feb 29 -Cultural Anthropology ch. 7
-In class: “Community” clip
Mar 2 Abu-Lughod, Lila. 2002. Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving? Anthropological Reflections on Cultural Relativism and Its Others. American Anthropologist 104(3): 783-790.
Fri., Mar 4 Essay on Hirsch’s all-college lecture due to dropbox by end of calendar day
Week 8 SEXUALITY
Mar 7 -Cultural Anthropology ch. 8
Mar 9 MIDTERM II
March 14, 16 – No classes - SPRING BREAK
Week 9 CASE STUDY: SANTIAGO’S CHILDREN
Mar 21 & 23 -Read Chs. 1-6 of Santiago’s Children
-Lecture on historical, political, and cultural backgroun for Santiago’s Children
Week 10 CLASS AND INEQUALITY
Mar 28 & 30 -Cultural Anthropology ch. 10
-Read Chs. 7-12 of Santiago’s Children
-In class: “Homeless in Paradise” clip
Week 11 THE GLOBAL ECONOMY
Apr 4 & 6 -Cultural Anthropology ch. 11
-Read Chs. 13-18 of Santiago’s Children
-In class: “Birdsong and Coffee” clip
-In class: excerpts from “China Blue” (film)
Week 12 POLITICS AND POWER
Apr 11 & 13 -Cultural Anthropology ch. 12
-Read Chs. 19-Epilogue of Santiago’s Children
Fri., Apr 15 -DUE: Ethnographic portrait (turn in to dropbox by end of calendar day)
Week 13 RELIGION
Apr 18 & 20 -Cultural Anthropology ch. 13
-In class: “For Those Who Sail to Heaven” clip
-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 14 HEALTH AND ILLNESS
Apr 25 & 27 -Cultural Anthropology ch. 14 “Health and Illness”
-In class: “The Most Distant Places” clip
-In class: “Dead Mums Don’t Cry” clip
-Journal of in-class writing assignments (due in class on Wed., April 27)
Week 15 SYNTHESIS
May 2 Review for final exam
FINAL EXAM - Wednesday, May 11, 8:00-10:30 am, 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.