Current Anthropology Courses: Fall 2019
Anthropology 387: Ethnographic Methods, Professor Mike Woost
In this course students will examine the theoretical foundations and debates about the conduct of ethnographic field research including recent innovations aimed at discovering how local experiences are shaped by larger, sometimes global, structures that exist beyond the local setting. However, the primary goal of the course is to familiarize students with the methods of conducting qualitative research. In that vein students will put together and carry out their own ethnographic research project in the course of which they will get practical experience conducting interviews, collecting case histories, and mapping social relationships. They will also learn how to organize and write up field notes. They will then learn how to organize their data in order to produce a written analysis/interpretation of the data they collected.
Anthropology 367: Anthropology of Violence, Professor Mike Woost
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.
Anthropology 237: Peoples & Cultures of South Asia Professor Mike Woost
This class is an examination of societies in South Asia both past and present. Throughout the course we will examine the history and culture of this region, as well as some of the significant contemporary issues faced by the modern nation states of South Asia today.
Anthropology 237: Peoples & Cultures of Africa Professor Connie Anderson
Africa is home to more than 55 countries and countless cultures and the greatest genetic diversity of any continent, the home of all humanity. This course will survey general types of ecological adaptations in Africa, several representative cultures at the time of conquest by Europe and today, the colonial history of Africa and its effects on the continent today, and continuing problems and solutions to them.
Anthropology 225: Fundamentals of Archaeology, Professor Namita Sugandhi
How do archaeologists find ancient cities and tombs? How do they know how old they are? What can they learn from ancient animal bones? Stone tools? How are human bodies preserved in bogs, or in glaciers? This course answers those questions. Our goal is to understand the how-to of archaeology: why archaeologists do what they do, what methods they use in the field and in the laboratory, and how they interpret how prehistoric people lived. Archaeologists use a distinct set of methods to find, test, excavate, and analyze archaeological sites. Many of our methods were invented by archaeologists–in many ways it is methods that define archaeology and make it distinct from ancient history or cultural anthropology. There will be field and lab-based exercises in this course where students will have the opportunity to learn some of the techniques of archaeological exploration and analysis.
Anthropology 223: Cultural Anthropology, Professor Jason Antrosio
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, kinship, economic, political and religious institutions of different peoples; and their interpretations.
Anthropology 181: Introduction to Forensic Osteology (First Year Seminar), Professor Connie Anderson
Working in the Anthropology Laboratory of Hartwick’s Yager Hall, students will receive a whole or partial skeleton which they will analyze and describe. They will learn what information can be gleaned from bones and study some important cases, including remains from Stonehenge, Inca tombs in the Andes, 1607 Jamestown, and other examples. We will discuss contentious issues in forensic osteology, and each student will share a presentation on an issue, method or discovery near the end of the semester. Evaluation will consist of regular quizzes dealing with the bones themselves, the description of their skeletons, the final presentation, and three essay exams combining casework and theory.
Anthropology 150: Experiencing Archaeology (First Year Seminar), Professor Namita Sugandhi
This class is about the science of investigating the past. Throughout the semester, students will learn about the archaeological study of major turning points in early human history, from the evolution of our species to the emergence of agriculture, cities and writing. This examination of developing human complexity will center on questions about the origins of social inequality and the sustainability of modern life. Students will also have hands-on experience in some of the major techniques and practices used to construct narratives of the human story. During the semester, students will participate in an archaeological dig, and will learn important skills such as survey and mapping, artifact documentation, and presentation of research.
Anthropology 105: Introduction to Anthropology, Sections taught by Professor Jason Antrosio or Professor Namita Sugandhi
This class is an introduction to the discipline of Anthropology–the study of humans and human society. Throughout the course we will explore numerous dimensions of the human condition including the biological evolution of our species, the development of social complexity and cultural variation over time and space, and the way in which contemporary processes impact different communities around the world.
Anthropology Courses, Regular Offerings
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. (DR)
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. (DR)
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 archaeological 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 Ancient Civilization and Empire (3 credits) This class is an introduction to the rise and fall of early complex societies around the world. Throughout the semester we will survey the development of ancient states and empires in both the Old and New Worlds, and examine the archaeological evidence that is used to study these societies. From the rise of Ancient Egypt to the collapse of the Mayan civilization, we will examine questions such as the definition of states and civilizations as well as the reasons for their change over time. No prerequisite.
250 Topics in Anthropology (credits vary by specific course) 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)
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)
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. 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)
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)
381 Anthropological Forensics (3 credits) 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.
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 History 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.
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.