200 Level Courses
200 Level Courses
AN 210 Medical Anthropology
An investigation of the social dimensions of health and illness, exploring the diverse ways in which humans use cultural resources to cope with disease and develop medical and healing systems. The course also examines variations in the definition, diagnosis, experience, and treatment of illnesses across cultures, including the critical examination of biomedicine. Course materials facilitate the exploration of beliefs regarding some common assumptions about health and human behavior, using the tools provided by anthropological theories and concepts. SS 4 cr. [Required for Medical Anthropology Minor]
AN 220 Urban Anthropology
Urban anthropology is the study of human beings and their cultural institutions and practices in the dense, complex, demanding settlements we call cities. This course takes up issues of space and power as they emerge in colonial practices, nationalist and middle-class reconstructions of the cityscape and suburbs, gendered space, and the consequences of ethnicity, race and poverty. It examines the intersection of global and local identities and the “imaginary” cities of postmodernity, drawing examples from many areas of the world. SS 4 cr.
AN 233/WS 233 The Evolutionary Biology of Human Variation
An exploration of human variation through the examination of the evolution of traits used in the construction of identity. The course first establishes a firm foundation in evolutionary biology and methods of analyzing human variation and then focuses on several key case studies concerning the evolution and biology of traits often associated with identity. These traits include but are not limited to race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, body type, and personality. The course interrogates how individuals, societies, medicine, and politics make meaning from these biological realities and how these cultural interactions, in turn, may influence our biology. NS 4 cr. [Counts towards Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Minor]
AN 234 Evolutionary Psychology
This course stands at the intersection of biological anthropology, with its focus on human evolution, and psychology, and an emphasis on human thought, emotion and behavior. It explores the extent to which the explanatory approaches of biological anthropology, based in modern evolutionary and genetic theory, can be usefully applied to the study of psychological traits. The course begins by laying a firm grounding in the relevant biological theories, and then uses these theories to dissect a wide range of psychological topics, including sensation and perception, consciousness, emotion and motivation, cognition, learning, individual differences, and various aspects of social behavior, including mating and parenting. NS 4 cr.
AN 240 Legal Anthropology
This course focuses on the development of anthropological interest in processes of social control, law and order in societies at various levels of political, economic, and social complexity. The course explores the relationships between authority and power; negotiation and coercion; retribution and restitution; and legal structures, social forces, and cultural values. It examines the variety of ways in which societies – with or without courts or written codes – maintain order; structure, regulate, and mediate conflict; provide forms of order and authority; and offer inducements or coercion to elicit action or restraint. SS 4 cr. [Counts towards African Studies Minor.]
AN 243 Shamanism
This course is devoted to the exploration of shamanism from a global and theoretical perspective, from the initial construction of the notion of shamanism in Western writings to its modern understanding in both academic and non-academic settings. The focus of the course is on the development of a deeper understanding of shamanism, the problems that surround the use of this notion as it is applied to multiple cultures, and an awareness of and sensitivity to the religious practices that surround shamanism on all sides. SS 4 cr.
AN 250 Understanding Folklore and Folklife
An introduction to folkloric genres including folk customs (holidays, rites of passage, festivals); oral literature (folktales, folk sayings, jokes, and poetry; the aesthetically subtle performing folk arts such as singing and dancing; and material culture, comprising both the individual skills and techniques displayed by craftspeople and artists and the products resulting from their application. Active participation in class discussion and activities, including several field experiences, and a personal report of family or community folklore are required. SS 4 cr.
AN 252 Ethnicity and Identity
This course explores major ethnographic and theoretical approaches to ethnic identification. It attempts to understand the difference between ethnicity as an analytical and as an experiential concept, exploring why it is in fact so hard to do just that. It takes up questions of when, why, and how people unknown to one another come to experience each other as part of (or alien to) a “naturally” bounded community. Through social science texts and case studies drawn from Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, and the United States, the course examines the forms of daily practice that inspire and precipitate feelings of ethnic attachment and commonality and those that mitigate such sentiments. SS 4 cr.
AN 260 Sex and Gender in Anthropological Perspective
An examination of the cultural construction and diverse understandings of sex and gender in a variety of the world’s societies, including the United States, India, Thailand, Egypt, New Guinea, China, and Japan. Specific topics to be considered include the place of the body and biology in theories of sex and gender, commonalities in understandings of masculinity around the world, the vexing question of the universality of women’s subordination, gender and the division of labor, the complex relationship between sexual and gendered identities, perspectives on same-sex sexualities and transgenders cross-culturally, and the impact of globalization on gender and sexuality systems. SS 4 cr. [Counts towards Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Minor]
AN 263 The Behavioral Biology of Women
An exploration of female behavioral biology from an evolutionary and biosocial perspective. This course focuses on physiological, ecological, and social aspects of women’s development from puberty through reproductive processes such as pregnancy, birth and lactation, to menopause and aging. The course also explores female life history strategies in a variety of cultural settings. Topics include cognitive and behavioral differences between men and women and male and female reproductive strategies. Examples are drawn primarily from traditional and modern human societies; data from studies of nonhuman primates are also considered. NS 4 cr. [Counts towards Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Minor]
AN 280 English Ritual Dance and Drama
A movement-oriented course focused on the performance styles, history, and folklore of the seasonal Morris dances and mummers’ plays that traditionally thrive in England. SS 4 cr.
AN 285 Coping with Crisis in Contemporary Africa (Area
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. SS 4 cr. [Counts towards African Studies Minor]
AN 290 Children and Culture
This course explores the ideas, practices, and outcomes of child development and socialization across cultures. Lectures draw on a body of cross-cultural research to ask: What is universal and what is culturally relative in socialization and human development? The course begins by examining infant-parent interaction and language socialization, and continues on to look at play, social learning (including gender identities), and moral development from middle childhood to adolescence. It considers the “great transformation” in socialization brought about by modern education and its implications for gender, individual identity, and social hierarchy. These and related issues are explored through readings on childhood in diverse societies, among them: Japan, China, East Africa, and the United States and Western Europe. SS 4 cr. [Counts towards Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Minor; Required for Early Childhood Program, School of Ed.]