EXPLORATION OF HUMAN DIVERSITY
Spring Semester 2015
Instructor: Dr. Marie-Lorraine Pipes
Office and Hours: Bailey room 107, Tuesday and Thursday 3:15-3:45, immediately after class or by appointment Phone x5818 (best to email me)
Class Schedule: Tuesday and Thursday, 4-5:15
Classroom: Newton 214
I. Course Description:
This class is a general introduction to the field of anthropology, the study of humanity. It is designed to pique your interest in the broad diversity of human behavior and lifestyles across the world and throughout time. This course will examine the four major subfields - archaeology, linguistic anthropology, physical anthropology, and cultural anthropology - and include discussions on our "youngest" subfield, applied anthropology. The goals of this class is to understand the wide range of issues covered by the fields of anthropology, the ways in which these issues are studied by specialists in the field, and the practical effects of the questions covered by anthropological study. This course uses texts, articles, video clips, websites and film to explore human diversity as it is understood by each of the subfields of anthropology.
II. Social Science Core:
Besides fulfilling the multi-cultural graduation requirements, this course also fulfills one course in the social science general education requirements. The guidelines for a social science core course stress the development of the following characteristics in a responsible member of society:
• An acquaintance with major empirical, analytical, or theoretical approaches to human behavior, institutions or culture;
• An acquaintance with social, economic, political, or moral alternatives;
• An acquaintance with major problems, issues, institutions, practices or trends in the social world;
• A capacity to express ideas clearly, coherently and grammatically in written form as one component of the evaluation process.
III. Learning Outcomes:
• Students will gain an appreciation of themselves as a product of biology and culture.
• Students will also discover that while some aspects of our behavior can be understood by looking our heritage, most aspects of human behavior can only be understood by examining the relativistic constructs of the particular cultures in which a person is raised. Students will demonstrate appreciation of the basic issues surrounding human diversity through both in and out of class through writing assignments.
• Students will demonstrate their comprehension of human diversity in areas such as language, cultural ecology, social organization, political organization, ideology, and religion through examinations.
• Students will learn the evolutionary history of our species via an exploration of primate and hominid evolution and will demonstrate their understanding of this biological heritage also through examinations.
• Students will learn about one subgroup in society and gain an understanding about social inequality, social codification of ethnic differences and the consequences endured by those in that group by reading a novel written about Thanksgiving from a Native American perspective and writing a reaction paper.
IV. Required Materials Books:
• The Mourning Road to Thanksgiving by Larry Spotted Crow Mann.
• The Exploration of Human Diversity reader consisting of a set of articles selected for the course is required. There will be one copy available for reading in the department. You will have to sign it out with the department secretary. It may be ordered online via: firstname.lastname@example.org
With the Print option, students receive a FREE 30% PDF download accessible immediately after they order. The PDF ensures they can get started reading right away while their order is rapidly processed and shipped.
Print Price: $114.17
Digital Price: $102.75
Print + Digital Price: $142.71
V. Course Requirements and Grade Structure:
Individual Grades Team Grades
2 Tests 20 points/10 ea Team article summary 10 points
1 Final Exam 20 points Team project 35 points
1 Reaction Paper 15 points
Individual grade components 55 points Team grade components 45 points
Each student’s final grade will be based on a combination of individual and team assignments. There will be an opportunity for each team member to evaluate the performance of the other members. If there are at least 3 complaints about a member failing to contribute to either or both assignments that individual will receive a full grade point less than the others: e.g. Team project grade = B+, non-contributor will get a C+.
VI. Individual Assignments:
They will be composed of multiple choice questions and fill in the blank. They will not be cumulative. The tests and final exam will include material from classroom lectures, films, and articles. I expect everyone to read all of the articles in the reader. If you are unable to be present for quizzes or the final exam let me know at least one week in advance so we can make arrangements for you to take it at the testing center.
2) The reaction paper (15pts) will be in response to the novel The Mourning Road to Thanksgiving by Larry Spotted Crow Mann.
‘Larry Spotted Crow Mann’s groundbreaking novel, The Mourning Road to Thanksgiving, challenges the notion of a holiday deeply ingrained in American tradition and folklore both from a historical standpoint as well as cultural. The story is told through the experiences a Native American Nipmuc man who fights to change the future, while coming to terms with his own
troubled past and the acceptance of his family. For Neempau, the ultimate remedy is to challenge and end one of America’s favorite holidays: Thanksgiving. His heart-wrenching, daring, and sometimes humorous journey not only exposes the innermost core of Native American struggles, but also the complexities of the notion of race, tradition, and identity. This brilliant story transcends cultural differences and inspires new thinking while taking readers beyond the boundaries of the past. It’s these very complicated issues that contemporary Native families struggle with for a holiday that most take for granted as a time for feasting and football. While this is a novel that highlights the contradiction of the history and tradition of two cultures, in no way does it exclude either from the well-told tale that Larry spins about one family’s journey to come to terms with Thanksgiving. Neither preachy nor dry, The Mourning Road to Thanksgiving is an engaging read—sometimes deadly serious, sometimes poignant, sometimes humorous, always relevant.’
Each student will write a response to this work, address the issues raised and point out the anthropological viewpoints. Your paper should include a discussion of your own understanding of the issues raised, how you feel about them, if you think they are important and how they might affect your family and the community in which you live. The paper should be 1000 words long. Failure to comply with the word count limit results in a 5 point deduction from your essay grade. You may submit an electronic copy of your paper using Microsoft Word into the appropriate MyCourses drop box (located under Course Materials) or hand me a hardcopy no later than 3:59 P.M. on the day the paper is due. Failure to hand it in by the deadline (April 16) will result in a 5 point deduction from your essay grade, e.g. 90 original grade will drop to an 85.
The paper will be formatted as follows:
Use 1" margins, single-spacing, and 12 point font to format the paper.
Use your last name and the assignment as the file name for the electronic version of the paper, e.g. Pipes_Reaction_Paper.doc.
The paper will be graded based on the following five components from which so many points may deducted:
Format: length 1000 words (5pts), 1” margins, no quotations and 12 point font (2pts)
Grammar: spelling errors and typos (5pts)
Structure: sentence construction and organization (5pts)
Clarity: expression of ideas (5pts)
Content: exploration of significant issues (5pts)
Please note that all writing assignments function as part of the writing requirement for Social Science core, which means that grading emphasizes your writing in ad
VII. Team Assignments:
All students are required to join teams with a minimum of up to 6 members. You will sign up for a team by the end of the second class (January 22). If you do not join a team I will appoint you to one that day.
Team rules. You will exchange contact information with team members and you will respond to each other when contacted. You might consider setting up a GoogleDoc to work collectively on your projects.
If you don’t like your team, you can switch but keep in mind that the teams are limited to 6 members. If you switch you must notify me. Each team will appoint one member to correspond with me directly.
Your team must sign up for two events: an article summary (10 pts) and a research project resulting in a PowerPoint presentation (35 pts).
1) Team Article Summary
Your team must sign up for an article on January 22. If your team does not sign up that day I will assign one.
If the team does not prepare the article on the date it is due every member of the team will receive 0 points for the assignment– no exceptions.
The article summaries begin on January 27. These articles are in the reader assembled for this course and are listed in the agenda by date. All students are required to read them. The quizzes include material from them. The summaries will be prepared by each team but read in class by one team member. Summaries should be 5 minutes long. The team should consider what is being discussed in the article and contribute few independent thoughts, e.g. why is the article important, how does it fit in with class lectures, why is it relevant?
2) The Team Project (35pts) will consist of a research topic selected by the team (a list of suggestions is provided at the end of the syllabus). The team will produce a PowerPoint presentation that examines a current issue in the news and applies anthropological concepts for explaining conflict and or resolution of social problems.
For example, Ebola is a global health threat. Why? It seems so simple to quarantine infected people and yet this deadly disease continues to spread. What’s the problem, who are the players, what are the cultural traditions interfering with containment of the disease, what are the policies being designed and can they be effectively applied?
PowerPoint presentations are scheduled for the last half of the semester. Your team must sign up for a date on January 22. If your team does not select a date I will assign it one. Each team must consult with me either in person during my office hours or electronically to discuss the topic selected. If your team wishes to change date then it is your responsibility to swap with another team and to let me know ahead. The presentations should be about 10 minutes long. They must clearly explain what social issue you selected. Your presentation should take the form of a narrative, in other words, a story.
If your team does not present the PowerPoint on the date its due every member of the team will get 0 points for the assignment – no exceptions.
VIII. Grades will be assigned on a percentage basis as follows:
A = 94% + C+ = 79.99 – 77%
A- = 90 - 93.99% C = 76.99 – 73%
B+ = 89.99 – 87% C - = 72.99 – 68%
B = 86.99 – 83% D = 67.99 – 58%
B- = 82.99 – 80% E = 57.99 –
IX. Classroom Rules:
• No Cell phones, no Laptops, no Ipads, or other electronic devices permitted except if you are presenting. You can take notes on paper by
• Classroom Behavior: If you must show up to class late, please seat yourself quietly and try not to disturb the lecture, discussion, or activity. Please take out trash and recycling. Class lectures are all "informal" and you are encouraged to stop and ask questions. Please keep your questions and comments polite.
o However, you may not engage in private conversation with other students during lectures or discussions. This is not your living room. It is a place designated for learning. Feel free to leave if you can’t resist talking to your friend.
o If I have to ask you to stop talking more than once you will be required to leave the classroom. If you persist in the behavior over more than one class I will contact your advisor and discuss appropriate action which may include dropping you from the course.
• Attendance: Show up for class.
• No late work will be accepted unless you get an extension from me.
• Plagiarism: Presenting another person's work as your own is a federal offense and will result in a 0 grade on the assignment and/or a failing grade in the course.
• Students with disabilities or special needs should contact the Office of Disability Services. Based on recommendations from that office, students may receive needed assistance, such as additional time or a quiet space to take exams, a reader for exams, and so on.
• Teaching Philosophy: I teach my introductory classes with the broadest possible examples and try to tie them in to your everyday life and ordinary experiences. I believe that the best educational experiences occur in an open and participatory environment. There will be no "trick questions" on the exams or assignments, and I will make every effort to ensure that you understand exactly what is expected of you.
• Discussion guidelines: Everyone is expected to comport themselves in a manner that does not convey to others in this classroom any disrespect, intolerance, or rude behavior based on age, race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, physical attributes, disability, or marital, veteran, or socioeconomic status. Bottom line: if it's rude or intended to be rude, don't say it.
• Be aware that if you cannot follow any of these simple rules you will be asked to leave the room and if you persist in the behavior(s) you will un-enrolled from the course.
NOTE: The course content is subject to change as necessary throughout the semester. All students are responsible for attending class for information in this regard. Check MyCourses regularly