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Summer 2020 Class Schedule

Course Title Instructor Day/Time Location
ANTHRO 105-0 Evolution & Social Behavior: The Basics Kate Kanne MW  1pm-3:30pm 1810 Hinman Rm 104
ANTHRO 211-0 Culture & Society Matilda Stubbs  TTh  1pm-3:30pm 1810 Hinman Rm 104
ANTHRO 213-0 Human Origins Aaron Miller TuTh  10am-12:30pm 1810 Hinman Rm 104
ANTHRO 214-0 Archaeology: Unearthing History Roberto Rosado Ramirez MW  10am-12:30pm 1810 Hinman Rm 104
ANTHRO 215-0 The Study of Culture through Language Matilda Stubbs  MW  1pm-3:30pm 1810 Hinman Rm B07
ANTHRO 221-0 Social and Health Inequalities Livia Garofalo MWF 4-6:30pm 1810 Hinman Rm 104
ANTHRO 315-0 Medical Anthropology Maddalena Canna TuTh  2pm-4:30pm 1810 Hinman Rm B07
ANTHRO 341-0 Economic Anthropology Vanessa Opalo TuTh 5-8pm 1810 Hinman Rm 104
ANTHRO 390-0 Topics in Anthropology: Anthropology of Violence William Murphy MW  6:30pm-9pm 1810 Hinman Rm 104

Summer 2020 course descriptions

ANTHRO 105-0: Evolution & Social Behavior: The Basics 

Why do people behave like they do? What do our genes have to do with it? How does culture shape human behavior? In this course, we will explore the evolution and diversity of human behavior through the lens of anthropology. We will discover why we act the way we do by learning about how anthropologists approach human behavior in the four subfields - cultural anthropology, biological anthropology, linguistics, and archaeology. We will cover topics such as aggression, communication, learning, sexuality, religion, and the idea of human nature.

ANTHRO 211-0: Culture and Society

This class is an introduction to cultural anthropology - the study of cultural variation from a global perspective. Readings, lectures, and films explore this diversity through the lens of childhood and adolescence, drawing from the fieldwork of anthropologists and ethnographic research. These cross-cultural studies examine the ways children are socialized, including how childhood and adolescence are conceptualized, embodied, and experienced in different local settings. From Zambian youth delivering in-home healthcare, Senegalese youth practices on social media, to experiences of race, ethnicity, and nationality for Latinx youth in Chicago, all of these examples consider the interrelated factors - social, economic, demographic, and symbolic - that determine the organization of the family, the value and meaning of children, and the place of youth in communities, schools, and the marketplace. As much as people share beliefs and practices in common, historical and cultural constructions, like that of the life stage known as “childhood,” influence domains as varied as morality, intelligence, sexuality, and identity. In order to appreciate how qualitative research can expand understandings on these topics, course activities provide experiential learning opportunities to engage with ethnographic research methods like participant-observation and interviewing, in order to understand how fieldwork observations and interpretive analysis are context-dependent.

ANTHRO 213-0: Human Origins

This course will examine the evolution of the human species and explore the nature of human biological variation in the modern world. Principles of evolutionary theory and genetics will first be presented to provide a framework for the study of human evolutionary biology. The fossil evidence for human evolution will then be considered using comparative data from nonhuman primate ecology to help reconstruct prehistoric lifeways. Finally, the influence of environmental stressors (e.g, climate, nutrition, and disease) on modern human biological variation will be discussed. Particular attention will be given to how human populations utilized biological and behavioral mechanisms to adapt to their environments throughout evolutionary history.

ANTHRO 214-0: Archaeology: Unearthing History

Ancient ruined cities are often associated with buried treasure, lost civilizations, and a forgotten past. But archaeologists look beyond a Romantic view and ask questions about why they were built, and what they tell us about humankind. By learning about past cultures, what made them different and what made them similar, we gain a better understanding of human history and the state of the world today. People in the past acted differently, but they shared one thing in common -- they left behind stones and bones, pottery fragments, monuments and houses. Archaeologists use these fragments of the past to understand what it means to be human. In this class, you will be introduced to the questions, theories, and methods of archaeology. You will learn about how archaeologists locate, record, and excavate ancient cities and monuments; how they study artifacts in the lab; and how they use the stuff they find to piece together stories about the past, and test those stories against the evidence. You will learn about the diversity of ancient and modern peoples, their cultures, and the past they inhabited. You will also learn about the place of archaeology in the modern world -- how archaeologists engage with questions such as long-term climate change and human response, sustainability, inequality, and the diversity of human experience.

ANTHRO 215-0: The Study of Culture through Language

Next to breathing and eating, communication is fundamental to social life. This course explores how and why people talk, write, and interact in the ways that they do, in order to establish, convey, and negotiate meaning with others. Drawing from ethnographic studies of culture through language use in different social settings, the assigned readings and films survey the contributions of linguistic anthropology. From language socialization and storytelling, to multilingualism and language ideologies, communication performs as social action to influence dynamics of power, agency, representation, and identity. Semiotic theory is also examined – the study of signs and sign systems - as a conceptual approach to understanding the linguistic practices that structure the socio-material world. Cross-cultural examples include e-chat and graphic design, Marshallese and Senegalese production of age and time, landscape and memory for the Western Apache, as well as experiences of race, ethnicity, and nationality for Latinx youth in Chicago.

ANTHRO 221-0: Social and Health Inequalities

How can a virus-like COVID bring to the fore major health and social inequalities? What do the effects and responses to the pandemic in different communities reveal about health and society? In this class, we will take the pandemic and its far-reaching effects to reflect on how, more than ever, social disparities and health disparities are intimately connected. We will examine different cultural and political contexts to understand how health outcomes, experiences of illness and disease, and healthcare systems reflect and shape broader social, racial, and gender inequities. Case studies will be drawn from contexts all around the globe, including the United States, Europe, and Latin America. We will engage with a broad range of disciplines and materials, including scientific articles, ethnographic pieces, op-eds, and multimedia. The course will provide an anthropological perspective on how people experience and are affected by health inequalities in their everyday lives, providing tools to make sense of the contemporary world.

ANTHRO 315-0: Medical Anthropology

How do Anthropologists understand and investigate the social and cultural contexts of health and illness? This course will examine the diverse ways in which humans use cultural resources to cope with pain, illness, suffering and healing in diverse cultural contexts. In addition, we will analyze various kinds of medical practices as cultural systems, examining how disease, health, body, and mind are socially constructed, how these constructions articulate with human biology, and vice versa. The course will provide an introduction to the major theoretical frameworks that guide anthropological approaches to studying human health-related behavior. Theory will be combined with case studies from a number of societies, from India, Japan, Brazil, and Haiti to the U.S. and Canada, enabling students to identify similarities across seemingly disparate cultural systems, while at the same time demonstrating the ways in which American health behaviors and practices are socially embedded and culturally specific. The course will emphasize the overall social, political, and economic contexts in which health behavior and health systems are shaped, and within which they must be understood.

ANTHRO 341-0: Economic Anthropology

This course takes ‘the economy’ as an object of anthropological analysis. When we say phrases such as the national economy, an informal economy, the global economy, the gig economy, or a sharing economy—what do we actually mean? Who is included in these different formulations of an ‘economy’ and who is excluded across nationality, gender, race, and class? How do cultural values and religious beliefs motivate different ideas and aspirations about what “the economy” should look like? And how do different formations of political power and labor impact how “an economy” functions and who profits from it? In this course, we will explore these questions through key texts in economic anthropology. We will read excerpts of ethnographies, articles, and theoretical writings from scholars focused on understanding ‘the economy’ from a social and cultural perspective. By the end of this course, students will be familiar with key concepts in economic anthropology—Exchange, Gift, Money, Labor, Development, Commodity, Debt, Finance, and Crisis—and able to critically analyze and apply these concepts to both historical and contemporary contexts. Finally, in reference to the current global pandemic, we will conclude this course by examining how concerns about “the economy” are motivating political argumentation, legislation, and protest around the world, and interrogate the different responses by politicians, local leaders, and community groups using our economic anthropology toolkit.

ANTHRO 390-0: Topics in Anthropology: Anthropology of Violence

This course addresses a fundamental anthropological problem of understanding violent behavior as structured by (1) the institutions of a society, e.g., patriarchal norms; (2) the formal organizations that use violence to achieve particular goals; and (3) the communicative practices that give meaning to violence through the cultural forms of social norms, legitimating beliefs and values, or organizational plans, decisions, and authoritative commands. The course examines a wide range of ethnographic case material, including the instructor’s research on the civil war and child soldiers in Liberia and Sierra Leone. The methodological focus in all the case material – e.g., genocide in Nazi concentration camps, rape as a weapon of war in Darfur and Sierra Leone, ethnic riots in India, etc. -- is to integrate micro-level analysis of acts and meanings of violence with macro-level analysis of social, political, and economic structures.

Cross-listed with AFST 390-0-20

 

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