Anthropology 100    
Dr. Judkins
Fall 2014   
CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY


 

                                                                                                               

 

           This course is an introduction to cultural anthropology, which is the study of the variety of shared "ways of life" of the living and recent peoples of the world.  An overview of the development and the practice of cultural anthropology is the body of the semester's work, with a special orientation to acquiring ethnographic skills - learning the content and the logic of specific cultural systems from around the world, as well as learning how to learn that which is essential in any cultural system.  The teaching method is lecture, with ethnographic readings and videos.  Careful note-taking and study of reading assignments is essential for success in the course.

 

GRADING:

 

Required paper, three tests, plus Final Exam, each = 20% of Grade

No extra work permitted; official, written excuse required for make-up exams

Required paper: five pages outside class; topic assigned after mid-semester; due at Final Exam.

 

TEXTS:

 

Mangione. Mount Allegro: A Memoir of Italian American Life. New York Classics Series.

                Syracuse University Press

Turnbull.  The Forest People. Simon & Schuster

Simmons. Sun Chief: The Autobiography of a Hopi Indian. Yale University Press

 

COURSE OBJECTIVES:

 

- The study of the ways of life of the living peoples of the world, AND an overview of the development and practice of Cultural Anthropology.

 

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

 

- Student mastery of the data of the field, particularly in regard to learning about the ways of life of the living peoples of the world, will be tested in examinations and on the required terms paper, and confirmed in a Final Examination.

- Student proficiency re. the development of Cultural Anthropology is demonstrated on exams.

- Students acquisition of knowledge of the practice of the field of Cultural Anthropology will be demonstrated both on examinations and by means of a five page term paper.

 

OFFICE:

Office: Bailey 149       Hours: T/Th: 11:30-1:00        Wed: 11:00-12:30 (by appointment only)

Phone: 245-5433         e-mail: judkins@geneseo.edu

 

 

FINAL EXAM DATE & TIME: Tues Dec. 16 (8:00-11:00)

               CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY - COURSE  PROGRAM

 

INTRODUCTORY PERSPECTIVES & ORIENTATION  [Week 1]

                                                                                                                        (Aug 26 & 28)

                        - Review of syllabus: teaching methods/study methods for course

                        - Introduction to the texts and their authors

                        - Introduction of TA’s and their roles in the course

                        - Introduction to ethnography, what & why: the key to cultural anthropology

                        - Video: “The Return of Navajo Boy” (52 min) – what does anthropology study?

 

 

SECTION 1 - FUNDAMENTALS & CONCEPT OF ETHNOGRAPHY  [Weeks 2-4]

 

                        Text: Mangione, Mount Allegro: A Memoir of Italian American Life 

                           

                        Key concepts: concept of culture (cf. phrasing of Ashley Montagu)

                                           culture vs. society/culture and adaptation

                                                ethnography/holism/fieldwork/objectivity/cultural relativism

                                                culture shock/ethnocentrism/emic/etic/diachronic/synchronic

                                                ethos/world-view

 

 

                        Introduction to Anthropology                                                       (Week 2: Sept 2 & 4)

                                    Major contributions of each of the Four Fields                                                        

                                    Ethnography and field-work: objectivity, observation, comparison

                                    Fieldwork: goals & standards/ethos & accomplishments

                        Reading Mount Allegro as ethnography

                                    Application of “key concepts” to assigned reading in Mount Allegro

 

                        Video: Robert Flaherty, “Nanook of the North” (1922)

 

 

                        Anthropology: history & development                      (Weeks 3 - 5: Sept 9-25)

                                    Anthropological thought: unique origins --> present ubiquity

                                    Morgan; Tylor; Frazer; Durkheim;

                                    Radcliffe-Brown; Malinowski; Boas

                                    [Kroeber; Benedict; Evans-Pritchard; Turner; Levi-Strauss; Geertz]

 

 

                                                                                                                           

Test #1: Thursday, Sept 25

 

                       


SECTION 2 - SUBSISTENCE TYPES: HUNTING-GATHERING BANDS   [Weeks 6-8]

                       

 

            Text: Turnbull, The Forest People  (all)

                     - “Subsistence Types” handout (memorize + apply to this to all the other case

                       study ethnographies we use for the rest of semester)

 

            Videos: “The Pygmies” + “The Hunters” or “Desert People”

                        - Goal #1: visual images of cultural/hunting-gathering activities of the Mbuti

                        - Goal #2: correlation of film notes with ethnographic description in text

 

                        Key concept: subsistence strategies, levels & organizational correlates

                                                hunting-gathering, band-level organization, and “mobility”                 

 

 

 

                        Universal subsistence strategies/political correlates    (Week 6: Sept 30 & Oct 2)

 

                                    Hunting-Gathering Bands: adaptive efficacy of “generalization”

                                                temporal duration: ca. 40,000 years plus

                                                adaptive costs vs. benefits of the hunting-gathering model
                                                evolutionary definitions of “success:” maintenance, expansion of territory

                        functional roles of demography, nuclear households, age and gender distinctions (“division of labor,” plus generalized hunter-gatherer model,
                        re. evolutionary and temporal success of H. sapiens

 

 

                        Mbuti as hunters-gatherers                                (Weeks 7&8: Oct 7-16)

                                    Mbuti culture - Mbuti society

                                    Ethnography of the BaMbuti

                                    Ethnography and the ethnographer: rules, limits and insights

                                   molimo: social solidarity, collective experience, world view, core rituals

                                   key symbols: layers of meaning, significance and reference

  

Test #2: Tuesday, Oct. 21

SECTION 3 - HORTICULTURALIST/AGRICULTURALIST TRIBES   [Weeks 9-12]

 

            Reading: Simmons, Sun Chief, pp. 1 - 298, Appendix B                   

            Videos: “Hopi: Songs of the Fourth World” + “Seasons of the Navajo”

 

 

                        Key concepts: “Culture Areas” (A.L. Kroeber) & the Southwest as a culture area

                                        Horticulture and social organization

                                        Kinship studies in anthropology:

                                                descent systems (clans/lineages/UDG)

                                                cognatic systems (bilaterality)

                                                social corporation

                                                pedigree charts/lineage diagrams: logic and kinship

 

                        Culture Area Concept - case study: American SW                    (Week 9: Oct 23)

                                         Language, culture and ethnicity

                                         Prehistory, including Mesoamerican influences and interactions

                                         Landscape and adaptation, patterns of change in the Southwest

                                         Settlement patterns, economics, architecture

                                         Subsistence patterns: kinship and religion

                                         Major SW culture patterns: Pueblo, valley farming, hunter-gatherer

                                         Convergence toward “Southwestern culture core”

 

                        Kinship: Descent/Cognatic                              (Weeks 10-12: Oct 28-Nov 13)

                                         Video: “Hopi: Songs of the Fourth World”

                                         Introduction to Hopi geography, ecology & ethnography

                                         Subsistence systems and adaptive perspectives

                                         Video: “Seasons of the Navajo” (cultural range and adaptation in SW)

                                         Descent: lineage, clan, social corporation, “stasis,” group-focus

                                         Cognatic systems: kindred, “mobility,” individual-focus

                                         Family, marriage, and household

                                         Cousin terminology systems

 

 

Test #3: Thursday, Nov 13

 

(Topic assignment for required papers)

SECTION 4 – RELIGIOUS SYSTEMS & PERSONALITY & CULTURE  [Weeks 13-15]

 

                                                                                               

            Videos: “Trance and Dance in Bali” (Indonesia) + “Three Worlds of Bali”

 

                        Key concepts: rites of passage/sacred and profane/rituals of reversal

                                            Cultural systems of modification and maintenance of meaning

                                                Systems Theory & self-regulating systems, thermostatic controls

                                                process vs. structure: culture as adaptation revisited/change

                                                culture-bound syndromes

 

 

 

                        Classical Myth, ritual and symbol analysis           (Week 13: Nov 18 & 20)

                                    - Arnold van Gennep: rites of passage

                                    - Emile Durkheim: sacred & profane        

                                    - Marcel Mauss: prestation: exchange and reciprocity

                                    - Functionalism and SES (Socio-Ecological Systems) analysis

 

 

                        Complex Societies: Bali 1                                             (Week 14: Nov 25)

                                    - SE Asia/Indonesia/Bali: Jane Belo and “The Balinese Temper”

                                    - Video: Bateson & Mead, “Trance and Dance in Bali”

                                    - Rituals of Reversal: renewal/re-set, maintenance mechanisms

 

                        Complex Societies: Bali 2                                          (Week 15: Dec 2 & 4)

                      - J. Stephen Lansing & SES

                      - Video: “Three Worlds of Bali”

 

            

 

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FINAL EXAM: Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014 (8:00-11:00)

 

 

Papers DUE at the start of the Final Exam; those received more than ten minutes after the Exam period begins will be Late and penalized at least one full letter grade.