Courses

Hartwick Anthropology offers courses from each subfield of anthropology: archaeology, biological anthropology, cultural anthropology, and linguistic anthropology.

Courses immediately below are offered J-Term and Spring 2014. Please scroll down for complete catalog offerings. Descriptions may be taken from previous offerings. Please contact professors for current information.

J-Term 2014

ANTH-237, Peoples and Cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean (Antrosio). This course reviews anthropological and inter-disciplinary approaches to the peoples of Latin America and the interconnected peoples of North, Central, South America and the Caribbean. We seek to understand processes across the Americas as variations on common themes. Some of these themes include 1) The active role of indigenous peoples in shaping the Americas: these lands were not a "blank slate" or in a "state of nature" when Europeans arrived, and native participation and projects continue; 2) Colonial interactions and the legacy of colonialism; 3) Independence and attempts to create national identities against the backdrop of difference and inequality; 4) Migration and immigration. Please see Teaching Anthropology of Latin America and the Caribbean for more information.

ANTH-355-Off Campus, South Africa: Changes and Challenges (Anderson). Southern Africa has been continuously occupied by humans for at least 4 million years. We are one of the oldest indigenous species there! The oldest complete human skeleton, the oldest "modern" human finds, the oldest art and many other cultural inventions are all from South Africa; it contains hundreds of very significant archaeological sites! It's one of the world's richest countries in mineral resources, fossils, plant, animal, and cultural diversity. The European Imperialist system lasted longer there, until 1994, but despite its evil history, it is a success story today. Every other country, perhaps especially the United States, can learn a great deal from South Africa.

Spring 2014

ANTH-105, Introduction to Anthropology (Anthony, Antrosio). An introduction to anthropology and the study of human culture. Basic concepts, aims, and methods of biological, archaeological, and cultural anthropology. Emphasis on the origins of humankind, the relationship of the human past to present and the comparative study of contemporary cultures. Please see What is Anthropology for a perspective.

ANTH-235-34, Biological Anthropology (Anderson). A review of current evolutionary theory as it applies to the fossil evidence for human evolution; human genetics and natural selection today; genetic and environmental factors in the origin of the human family; introduction to primate behavior and ecology. Biological anthropology focuses on describing and explaining the range of human biological diversity. Our main questions are: What are the differences among us? What causes these differences? What is their significance? How is the human gene pool being changed today? We also contribute to attempts to reconstruct the lives of early hominids, and attempts to identify genetic determinants of human behavior. The main sub-fields are paleontology, genetics, genetic differences and changes in current populations, and primate behavior and ecology. We are distinguished from biology and from medicine in our emphasis on the special nature of culture as both a cause and a result of human evolution, in our understanding of human variation, and in our application of holism and relativism to the explanation of human behavior and biology.

ANTH-241-Gh, Native North American Prehistory (Anthony). Survey of major developments of the prehistory of North America from the peopling of the continent to the arrival of Columbus. Emphasis on the origins of domestication and development of complex societies.

ANTH-250-Ab, Anthropological Linguistics (Antrosio). An introduction to how anthropologists think about language, stressing communicative acts in social context and the relationship of language and perception. Surveys classic questions in linguistic anthropology, including how language interrelates with thought; how beliefs and values influence language; how languages grow and change; language acquisition during childhood; language and power; and to what degree languages form coherent systems. This course emphasizes anthropological and ethnographic approaches to language.

ANTH-305-Ef, Hunters and Gatherers (Anderson). Comparative analysis of hunting and gathering societies in today's world as well as the prehistoric past. Emphasis on specific cultural groups and environments to demonstrate diversity and continuity; examination of such societies as exemplars of "human nature."

ANTH-341-05, Cultural Ecology (Antrosio). At its most basic level, the subject of cultural ecology is the interaction of humans with their environment. Anthropologists have been interested in such interactions from the advent of anthropology as an academic discipline. Early founders of anthropology, such as Franz Boas, initially hypothesized that environmental factors determine human culture. Although strict environmental determinism has been mostly rejected, ecological anthropologists have long focused on how humans adjust and adapt to the natural environment. Therefore, the questions of the degree to which human action is determined by the environment and how human groups might be classified according to the ways in which they interact with their environments are ongoing anthropological concerns. However, there is a deeper level where the concerns of a truly ecological anthropology touch on central issues in Western thought and philosophy. The question of what is distinct about human interaction in an environment is also at the core of how we think and act in the world.

ANTH-381-06, Anthropological Forensics (Anderson). This course is a bare-bones introduction to what we can learn from human bones. Students who hope to attend graduate school in forensic anthropology or who wish to take an intensive summer course can benefit from working with the bones, learning to identify them; they will learn how to identify age and sex, fractures and other injuries, diseases, etc. and how to estimate height in order to identify individuals and/or compile information about past populations.

ANTH-388-78, Classics of Anthropological Thought (Woost). The history and integration of anthropological theory as social science. An introduction to anthropology's great thinkers; major issues of 19th and 20th century thought. Required core course for anthropology majors. Prerequisite: ANTH 105, 223 and 237.

ANTH-405-9W, Capstone in Anthropological Issues (Woost). As a capstone this course is meant to test advanced majorsʼ knowledge of the discipline and their skills in applying that knowledge to the world around them. At this advanced stage of study students are expected to be able to take what they have learned and enter reasonably into debates about current events and about issues in their chosen discipline. In short, this course is meant to be a mechanism through which students become more acutely aware of difficulties and rewards of taking anthropological knowledge into the world they live in. As part of this endeavor, students will be faced with making decisions about where they should stand on issues and events in the world. In this process of decision-making they must face the realization head on that anthropology itself is not of one mind, that anthropologists themselves often vehemently disagree with one another about "what is to be done" (to borrow a phrase from V.I. Lenin) in this world. Thus they should leave this course with the ability to take a position in a given debate and be able to provide empirical support their decision.

Introductory, 100-level courses

105 Introduction to Anthropology (4 credits) An introduction to anthropology and the study of human culture. Basic concepts, aims, and methods of biological, archaeological, and cultural anthropology. Emphasis on the origins of humankind, the relationship of the human past to present and the comparative study of contemporary cultures. Required preparatory course for anthropology majors and minors.

Intermediate, 200-level courses (ANTH 105 Prerequisite unless otherwise indicated)

223 Cultural Anthropology (3 credits) The comparative study of cultures and societies. The nature of culture and its relation to society; patterns, similarities and differences found in material culture, language, and kinship; economic, political, and religious institutions of different peoples; and their interpretations.

225 Fundamentals of Archaeology (3 credits) The systematic study of the fundamental principles of method and theory in archaeology: establishing cultural chronologies, reconstructing extinct life ways and interpreting the archeological record. General theory in archaeology. Contemporary archaeology.

235 Biological Anthropology (4 credits) A review of current evolutionary theory as it applies to the fossil evidence of human evolution; human genetics and natural selection today; genetics and environmental factors in the origin of humans; introduction to primate behavior and ecology. Lectures and laboratory. (EL, QFR)

237 Peoples and Cultures (of selected areas) (credits vary by specific course, 3 to 4 credits) Survey of peoples and cultures of different regions of the world including: Native North America, Mesoamerica, South America, Pacific Islands, Africa, the Middle East, Caribbean, American Southwest, Asia. Specific emphases vary by instructor. May be taken more than once for credit.

239 Old World Prehistory (3 credits) A survey of major developments in Old World prehistory including: the origin of technology, food production, and complex civilizations. Emphasis on Near East and Europe. No prerequisite.

241 Native North American Prehistory (3 credits) Survey of major developments of the prehistory of North America from the peopling of the continent to the arrival of Columbus. Emphasis on the origins of domestication and development of complex societies. No prerequisite.

250 Topics in Anthropology (credits vary by specific course, 3 to 4 credits) Special topics of current interest are considered in depth. Examples have included South African Culture, History and Ecology; Language and Culture; South Africa and the Media; Political Anthropology; Anthropology of Development; Ethnic Conflict; Subcultures; Contract Archaeology; Pop Archaeology. More than one topics course may be taken for credit.

267 Anthropology of Resistance, Rebellion, and Civil War (3 credits) This course examines the ways in which anthropologists have drawn on the writings of Marx and other critical theorists in their efforts to understand major social upheavals as well as resistance in everyday life. The course offers students the opportunity to learn about foundational theory in the discipline that goes beyond Introduction to Anthropology. It draws on both historical and contemporary ethnographic case studies (readings and film) of resistance, rebellion and civil war, from a range of geographical areas.

Seminars, 300-level courses. (ANTH 105 Prerequisite unless otherwise indicated)

305 Hunters and Gatherers (3 credits) Comparative analysis of hunting and gathering societies in today's world as well as the prehistoric past. Emphasis on specific cultural groups and environments to demonstrate diversity and continuity; examination of such societies as exemplars of "human nature." (ILS)

307 Sex and Gender (3 credits) A critical examination of anthropological data and theory on sex and gender, comparison of biological and social explanations, stereotyping of sex roles in different societies, and the gender component in social relations.

322 The Anthropology of War (4 credits) Cross-cultural description of warfare and organized violence, critical evaluation of explanations of causes of war. Consequences of war for demography, biology, and culture. Peaceful and violent means of conflict resolution. (ILS)

326 The Anthropology of Religion (3 credits) The relation of religious belief and practice to patterns of culture and society; mythology, magic, soccer, witchcraft, sacrifice, supernatural beings, shamanism, divination, and totemics in traditional and modern societies with focus on non-Western traditions; religion and culture change.

335 Third World Studies (3 credits) Studies in selected areas such as: Africa south of the Sahara, China, India, the Islamic world, Latin America, the Pacific, and Southeast Asia. An examination of the pre-colonial kinship, economic, political, and religious systems and related ecological and population patterns; the impact of European expansion upon them; the rise and fulfillment of independence movements; and contemporary political, economic, social, ecological, and population patterns--all viewed in the perspective of the world as a system of interdependent societies and states. Prerequisite: ANTH 105 or SOCI 105. May be taken more than once for credit. (ILS)

340 Primate Behavior and Ecology (4 credits) Comparative analysis of non-human primates, and application to questions of human evolution and biological bases for human behavior. Primate taxonomy, evolution, and ecology are studied for their relevance to primate behavior and adaptation. (ILS)

341 Cultural Ecology (3 credits) Analysis of the relationships between culture and environment: the ways in which populations adapt to and transform their environments; ways in which environments condition cultural developments. (ILS)

346 Race and Human Variability (3 credits) Scientific and popular conceptions of "race." Genetics and adaptation to environmental (and social) stress, including intense cold and heat, high altitudes, and disease. Survival through natural and cultural selection.

347 Human Evolution (3 credits) Human biological and cultural evolution from 5 million to 20,000 years ago: what happened, why, and what kinds of evidence are appropriate and available? A review of the evidence and interpretations drawn from it.

348 Anthropology of Development (3 credits) The analysis and interpretation of the historical expansion of the world economic system and its cultural foundations. The notion of development also is examined from a variety of critical perspectives. The relation of development practices to the problems currently facing the global system such as environmental degradation, population expansion, Third World debt, famine, etc., also are explored. This exploration ultimately leads to questions about whether prevailing notions of development have any relevance in the contemporary world system, particularly for members of the underdeveloped world. (ILS)

350 Topics in Anthropology (credits vary by course, 3 to 4 credits) For description see ANTH 250. (ILS)

361 Medical Anthropology (3 credits) Anthropological approach to the study of health problems. The use of clinical, ecological, and ethnographic material to study causes and effects of disease on humans. The impact of population growth and migration; human contact through time and space on societies around the world. A bridge between the health sciences and anthropology. (ILS)

367 Anthropology of Violence and State Terror (3 credits) This course examines the "continuum of violence" that stretches from the intimate context of domestic violence, to the more obvious forms of state terror and genocide. Emphasis is given to: 1) the ways in which violence takes on meaning in everyday life; 2) the ways in which violence is supported and reproduced materially and ideologically by the state and its many agents, and by anti-state agents. These context of violence will be examined through case studies and analyses produced by anthropologists. The overall goal of the course is not simply to read through an inventory of violence, but to see how an understanding of the "continuum of violence" can provide tools for making a difference in the world. (ILS)

387 Ethnographic Methods (4 credits) Problems, theories, and techniques of anthropological fieldwork. Students conduct field studies in the local area. Methods of building rapport with subjects. Data collection, analysis, and interpretation. Cross-cultural comparisons. Class presentations.

388 Classics of Anthropological Thought (3 credits) The history and integration of anthropological theory as social science. An introduction to anthropology's great thinkers; major issues of 19th and 20th century thought. Required core course for anthropology majors. Prerequisite: ANTH 105, 223 and 237. (ILS)

Advanced seminars, 400-level courses

405 Capstone in Anthropological Issues (3 credits) This course focuses on contemporary anthropological theory, seeking to introduce students to the process and emergence of anthropological discovery and debate. The emphasis is on process rather than content, with three primary features: (1) concentrating on anthropology that has been produced in the last decade; (2) relating student interests to this material through an independent research project or commentary; and (3) discussing materials that have been assembled by students, especially in the latter portions of the course. Each version of the course will be individually titled under a broad contemporary issue theme. It is therefore possible that students could take this course two times, with instructor permission. It is assumed that students will already be familiar with the history of anthropological thought, as well as an understanding of the theories and methods from the major anthropological subdisciplines. Prerequisites: Junior standing and at least 20 completed credits in Anthropology.

421 Field Research in Archaeology (6 credits) Methods in field archaeology, taught through actual field excavation. Prerequisite: ANTH 105, 225, or permission of instructor.

487 Junior Seminar in Cultural Dynamics (3 credits) Seminar focused on the application of classical and modern theories of social change and continuity. At the end of the course, students submit a research proposal for their senior thesis for departmental approval. Required core course for anthropology majors. Prerequisite: Near completion of major in anthropology, especially 223 and 388.

490 Senior Thesis in Anthropology (3 credits) Student-initiated project of substantial scope done under faculty guidance. Integration of theory, method, and fact in cultural, biological, or archaeological anthropology. Prerequisite: Consent of anthropology faculty supervisor.