400 Level Courses

400 Level Courses

AN 401, 402 Senior Independent Work

Prereq: Approval of the Honors Committee. SS or NS 4 cr.

AN 438/738 Ethnography of American Culture (Area)

This course offers an overview of the anthropological study of American culture. After a general introduction to what can be considered American culture and American cultural identities the course focuses on specific aspects of social and cultural life — in particular, ethnicity and the negotiation of ethnic identities. Applying the cultural anthropological perspective to the United States, the course takes up not only accounts and descriptions of different dimensions of life in the selected area but also epistemological, theoretical and methodological issues. Course readings and lectures emphasize themes of American exceptionalism, immigration and ethnic identities, the Beat Generation, and the countercultures of the 60s and 70s. SS 4 cr.

AN 461 Ethnography and Anthropological Theory I

Prereq: AN 101 or equivalent; required of all majors in the Socio-cultural track. This is the first of a two-course sequence dedicated to exploring the history of anthropological theory and method. The course examines some of the early texts and theories that have had a major, lasting impact on anthropological thought over the last century. The course begins with the late 19th century thinkers who helped lay the groundwork for the emergence of the discipline of anthropology. Following a roughly chronological order, lectures then trace out the lines of continuity and discontinuity in the theoretical and methodological approaches that developed over the first half of the 20th century. Readings touch on a number of basic schools of anthropological thought, including evolutionism, materialism, functionalism, structural-functionalism, linguistic and symbolic structuralism, and American cultural psychology. In the process, the course considers changes in conceptions of the individual, society, exchange, ritual, and history. SS 4 cr.

Anthropology majors in the Socio-cultural track are encouraged to take this course during their junior year. .

AN 462 Ethnography and Anthropological Theory II

Prereq: CAS AN 461 and completion of principal courses for Socio-cultural concentrators or consent of instructor; required of all majors in the Socio-cultural track. This seminar is designed to build on students’ understanding of the foundations of social and cultural anthropology and theory introduced in AN 461. The course examines anthropological theory and approaches from the 1970s to the present. Lectures and discussion take up a number of recent approaches in the field: interpretive anthropology, practice theory, post-modernism, feminist anthropology, the anthropology of knowledge, political anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and anthropology and cultural reproduction. Course readings also examine issues of representation and the presentation of ethnographic data. Theoretical essays and recent ethnographies trace several underlying themes that have been the subject of debates in recent anthropological theory: the problem of cultural meaning, (re)production and change, the role of action in the world, and the concern with other subjectivities (gendered, minority, religious, linguistic). SS 4 cr.

Anthropology majors in the Socio-cultural track are encouraged to take AN 461 before AN 462..

AN 491, 492 Directed Study in Anthropology

Prereq: concentration in department, junior or senior status, consent of instructor, and approval of the Academic Advising Center. Individual instruction and directed research in anthropology. SS or NS Variable credit.