EXPLORATION OF HUMAN DIVERSITY
Spring Semester 2014
Class time: T. Th. 4-5:15 pm
Instructor: Marie-Lorraine Pipes
Classroom: Newton 214
Office and Hours: Fraser Sturges 13F
MF 10:30-12, or by appointment
FINAL: Thursday, May 8th, 3:30-6:30 pm
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.
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. This written work must total at least 1500 words, at least half of which must be prepared outside of class.
• 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 an
ethnography and writing a reaction paper.
Anthropology for Dummies, Cameron M. Smith, with Evan T. Davies. Required
Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farm Workers in the United States, Seth M. Holmes. Required
Required Articles will be posted on my courses:
Primate Cognition (Hopper and Brasnan)
Out of Africa Again and Again (Templeton)
Creatures of the Dream Time (Weisburd)
Early European Farmers (Fagan)
A Bioarchaeological Perspective on the History of Violence (Walker)
Cognitive Linguistics: An Introductory Sketch (Hilferty)
The Nacireme and Every Day Rituals (Miner)
Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief (Kurin)
Eating Christmas in the Kalahari(Lee)
Where we gonna go now?(Povinelli)
There will be three exams. All exams are closed book. The exams will be composed of multiple choice and short answer questions. They will not be cumulative.
There will be four homework assignments, one in each section of the class. For each of the four major topic areas we discuss — cultural, linguistic, archaeological and physical — you are expected to prepare a 250-word review essay. The review must be in your own words — see further in the syllabus for information on plagiarism. The essay may be written on any article assigned or film watched in class (these are listed under the schedule). No late homework will be accepted.
Our ethnography for this course is Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farm Workers in The United States.
“Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies weds the theoretical analysis of the anthropologist with the intimacy of the journalist to provide a compelling examination of structural and symbolic violence, medicalization, and the clinical gaze as they affect the experiences and perceptions of a vertical slice of indigenous Mexican migrant farm workers, farm owners, doctors, and nurses. This reflexive, embodied anthropology deepens our theoretical understanding of the ways in which socially structured suffering comes to be perceived as normal and natural in society and in health care, especially through imputations of ethnic body difference. In the vehement debates on immigration reform and health reform, this book provides the necessary stories of real people and insights into our food system and health care system for us to move forward to fair policies and solutions.” Review source: University of California Press
You will write a response to this work. In your analysis and response you will 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 prevalent they are in your life and the community in which you live, and whether you are aware of the issues and accept them as either valid or not.
Your paper will be 1000 words long; no exceptions. Failure to comply with the word count limit results in a 15 point deduction from your essay grade. The title page and references cited, should you include them, do not count towards the word count limit. You must submit an electronic copy of your paper using Microsoft Word into the appropriate myCourses drop box (located under Course Materials) no later than 3:59 P.M. on the day the paper is due. Failure to drop your essay in the drop box by the deadline results in a 10 point deduction from your essay grade.
All writing assignments will be formatted as follows:
Use your last name and the assignment as the file name for the electronic version of the paper
Use 1" margins, single-spacing, and 12 point font to format the paper.
No late papers will be accepted.
All writing assignments will be graded based on the following five components:
Format, outlined above
Structure, sentence construction and organization
Grammar, spelling errors and typos
Clarity, expression of ideas
Content, exploration of significant issues
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 addition to content.
You can earn extra credit by bringing news articles, interesting weblinks, or photographs that relate to topics under discussion. You must stand in front of the class and present whatever you wish to share with the class in 2 minutes max.
3 presentations = 1 point towards your final grade.
You can earn a total of 2 points for the semester.
Course Requirements and Grading
3 exams 45% (15% each)
4 topical essays 40% (10% each)
1 reaction paper 15%
Deadlines: No late work will be accepted.
Plagiarism: Presenting another person's work as your own is unacceptable and will result in a 0 grade on the assignment and/or a failing grade in the course.
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, and please do not engage in private conversation with other students during lectures or discussions — these are distracting and disrespectful to other students who are also trying to learn.
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.
Attendance: Show up for class.
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.
Cell phones: Turn them off. Text messaging during class is rude and out of the question.
Laptop use in the classroom creates new and exciting possibilities for teachers and students when used appropriately. Please use your laptop ethically and for educational purposes and activities permitted by the instructor — these include viewing online notes and note-taking, looking up material on our discussion topic for the day, or research while in group work.
Negative participation (surfing, gaming, chatting, emailing) in class is prohibited. Any student found to violate this policy will be asked to discontinue use of the laptop (or PDA, phone, etc) for the remainder of the class period. A second occurrence will result in the removal of the student's laptop privileges for the remainder of the semester and will reduce your attendance/participation grade by at least 5 points because you are a distraction to others sitting nearby, and to me.
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 these simple rules you will be asked to leave the room.
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 for regularly.
The Exploration of Human Diversity
Segment 1 – Introduction to Anthropology
1/21 Introduction to the course: review of the syllabus, course requirements
1/23 What is anthropology, overview of the major sub-disciplines, goals, resources, methods of investigation, history of anthropological theory
Smith Ch. 3
Segment 2 - Physical Anthropology
1/28 Human Evolution – timeline, environment, habitat, bipedalism, hominids –Lower and Middle Paleolithic
Film: Becoming Human Part 1 (51 min)
1/30 Primate studies –shared attributes, comparative behaviors, biology versus culture, primate groups
Film: Ape Genius (52 min)
2/4 Primate intelligence – language, communication
Article: Primate Cognition (Hopper and Brasnan)
2/6 Upper Paleolithic, Homo erectus, first out migration
Smith Ch.7, 8
Article: Out of Africa Again and Again (Templeton)
2/11 Upper Paleolithic, Homo Neanderthals, Homo sapiens, second migration out of Africa
2/13 Expansion into Asia, Pacific and New World, changing climate and environments, mass extinctions
2/18 Increasing social complexity – the invention of art
Film: Prehistoric Europeans. People Who Invented Art (56m)
2/20 EXAM 1 FIRST ESSAY DUE
Segment 3 – Archaeology
2/25 Methods and concepts of the trade
Smith Ch 5.
2/27 Hunter/gatherers, transition to sedentism, beginnings of art
Article: Creatures of the Dream Time (Weisburd)
3/4 Domestication of plants and animals, rise of food production and social consequences
Article: Early European Farmers (Fagan)
Film: Göbekli Tepe: A new wonder of the ancient world! (46m)
Bronze and Iron Ages – Transformative Technologies
3/6 Old World - Complex societies, Bronze Age, organized warfare, property, territory, religion,
Article: A Bioarchaeological Perspective on the History of Violence (Walker)
3/11 Old World State Societies – Iron Age, Romans
Film:TheOther Pompeii: Life andDeath inHerculaneum(58m)
3/13 North American civilizations
ESSAY 2 DUE
The Exploration of Human Diversity
3/18 No Class - Break
3/20 No Class – Break
Segment 4 – Linguistics
3/25 The structure of language
Film: Steven Pinker: Linguistics as aWindowtoUnderstanding theBrain (50m)
Article: Cognitive Linguistics: An Introductory Sketch (Hilferty)
3/27 Historical Linguistics, symbols, writing
4/1 EXAM 2
Segment 5 - Cultural and Social Anthropology
4/3 Defining culture, cultural systems
Article: The Nacireme and every day rituals (Miner
4/8 Doing ethnographic research
Film: Strange Beliefs: Sir Edward Evans-Pritchard (52m)
ESSAY 3 DUE
4/10 Enculturation, identity, gender
4/15 Kinship, marriage, residence patterns
Article: Doctor, lawyer, Indian chief (Kurin)
4/17 Adaptive patterns, subsistence and economy
Article: Eating Christmas in the Kalahari (Lee)
4/22 Religion and ritual
Film:Around theWorld in 80 Faiths,Episode 1 (59m)
4/24 Impacts of colonialism on native peoples, the legacy of colonialism
Article: Where we gonna go now?(Povinelli)
4/29 Social Conflict, war, refugees
Smith Ch. 17
REACTION PAPER DUE
5/1 Culture change, impacts of globalization, multi-vocality, patrimony
Smith Ch.18, 20
Film: Islands. Fiji (45m)
5/6 Opportunities in Applied Anthropology
Smith Ch. 21-23
5/8 EXAM 3 ESSAY 4 DUE
The Exploration of Human Diversity
I have read the course syllabus and understand what my obligations are. If I fail to turn in all of the assignments or miss a test it is my responsibility to contact the professor prior to the end of the semester and make arrangements to satisfy the requirements of the course.
If the professor notifies me before final grades are submitted stating that some materials are missing I will respond, even if I know I sent everything in. If the professor asks me to resend materials I will do so within the allotted time, even if I have already done so.