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CAS AN 101: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
An introduction to the basic concepts, principles, and problems of cultural anthropology, emphasizing study of both traditional and complex societies. Special attention to the evolution of human societies and culture; the changing organization and meaning of religion, economic life, kinship, and political order; and the problem of cultural variation in the modern world. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS.
CAS AN 102: Human Biology, Behavior, and Evolution
Biology relevant to the behavioral sciences. Introduces basic principles of evolutionary biology, animal social behavior, primate adaptions, human origins, genetic/hormonal/neural bases of behavior, and issues of human socioecology and adaptions. Discussions highlight nature-vs-nurture issues. Carries natural science divisional credit (with lab) in CAS.
CAS AN 210: Medical Anthropology
Examines the influence of culture on health care beliefs, practices, and institutions. Special topics include cross-cultural approaches to birth, aging, and death; drug use and abuse; health care in developing countries; and socialist models of health-care service.
CAS AN 220: Urban Anthropology
Survey of urban phenomena in evolutionary perspective using illustrative materials from records of the past and from current description in all world areas; contrasting social processes under different historical, geographical, political, and economic circumstances.
CAS AN 240: Legal Anthropology
An introduction to the anthropologist's approaches to law. Investigation of the relationship among society, culture, and law focuses on how different societies generate and structure competition and conflict. Examines the range of social and symbolic mechanisms for regulating dispute. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS.
CAS AN 243: Shamans and Shamanism
Shamans in global and theoretical perspectives. The origins and construction of the category of shamanism. Modern theories and debates about the category and the appropriateness of applying it cross-culturally. Also offered as CAS RN 243.
CAS AN 250: Understanding Folklore and Folklife
The ways individuals, families, and communities express themselves, their beliefs, and their values within their own culture. Emphasis on meaning carried by oral literature, folk arts and crafts, social customs and festivals, and family folklore.
CAS AN 252: Ethnicity and Identity
Political and cultural factors underlying ethnic and nationalist sentiments examined through case studies drawn from Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Discusses factors underlying ethnic boundaries, as well as such boundary-transcending influences as the media. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS.
CAS AN 260: Sex and Gender in Anthropological Perspective
Cross-cultural examination of changing gender roles, expectations, and activities. Focuses on economic, social, political, and ideological determinants that structure the hierarchy of power and privileges accorded the thoughts, activities, and experiences of women and men in various societies. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS.
CAS AN 263: The Behavioral Biology of Women
An exploration of female behavioral biology focusing on evolutionary, physiological, and biosocial aspects of women's lives from puberty through pregnancy, birth, lactation, menopause, and aging. Examples are drawn from traditional and industrialized societies, and data from nonhuman primates are considered.
CAS AN 285: Coping with Crisis in Contemporary Africa (area)
Undergraduate Prerequisites: consent of instructor
Explores the ways ordinary Africans are coping with problems of security, environmental degradation, forced migration, economic decline, and disease. Readings and lectures contrast outsiders' interpretations of these "crises" with the way they are experienced by those they affect.
CAS AN 290: Children and Culture
Explores the way various cultures shape the lives and social development of children. Topics include cultural concepts of childhood; the acquisition of culture; socialization and moral development; cognition, emotion, and behavior in childhood; children's language and play; and the cultural shaping of personality.
CAS AN 307: Turkey and Middle East in Comparative Perspective (area)
Social and cultural diversity of the modern Middle East with particular attention to Turkey. Focus on the interplay of tradition and socio-economic changes that have occured during the twentieth century and their implications for the future.
CAS AN 308: Food, Culture, and Society
Study of foodways, culinary social history, and diet and food ecology with special attention to Asian societies and Boston's food culture. Examines the use of food and cuisine as a focus for identity, national development, and social change.
CAS AN 310: Studies in North American Ethnography
A survey including an appreciation of the traditional background and heritage of native North Americans, and analysis of the history and contact with Europeans and governmental policies, and an examination and evaluation of the contemporary situation.
CAS AN 312: Peoples and Cultures of Africa (area)
Survey of the continent with attention to ethnohistory, traditional cultures, and cultural change.
CAS AN 314: Cultures of Latin America
From the effects of European colonization to the causes of transnational migration, anthropologists have found Latin America a rich place to study key themes for the discipline. Contemporary ethnography is used to trace the region's contribution to anthropological debates.
CAS AN 316: Contemporary European Ethnography
Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS AN 101.
Approaches Europe and European societies through an exploration of significant social shifts: the creation of the European Union, the decline of the national welfare state, the rise of regionalist movements, and the socio-political transformation of post-socialist states.
CAS AN 317: Power and Society in the Middle East (area)
Peoples and cultures of the Middle East from Afghanistan to Morocco and from the Caucasus to Yemen. Focuses on social organization, family structure, the relationship between the sexes, and the development and maintenance of authority.
CAS AN 319: Anthropology of Muslim Cultures and Politics
Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS AN 101; or another anthropology course is strongly recommended
Examines Muslim societies' ongoing struggle over the forms and meanings of Muslim culture and politics, as well as its implications for religious authority, gender ideals, and new notions of citizenship, civil society, and democracy.