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Undergraduate Course Catalog

Below, find all undergraduate course descriptions.

Please note that not all courses are offered every quarter. See current and upcoming courses below.

Courses primarily for first-year students and sophomores

ANTHRO 101-6 First-Year Seminar

Open to first-year students in Weinberg College; does not satisfy major/minor requirements in Anthropology.

ANTHRO 211- Culture and Society

Introduction to the comparative study of culture, exploring different types of social organization and their economic and political correlates in the context of contemporary globalization.

ANTHRO 213- Human Origins

The emergence of human species through the process of organic evolution, emphasizing genetics, the fossil record, comparison with our nearest living relatives.

ANTHRO 214- Archaeology: Unearthing History

The evolution of culture from its earliest beginnings through the development of urbanism and the state. Principles of archaeological research.

ANTHRO 215- The Study of Culture through Language

The scope of linguistic anthropology from the study of language as an end in itself to the investigation of cultures through the medium of human languages.

ANTHRO 221- Social and Health Inequalities

Bidirectional relationship between social (e.g., class, gender, and racial/ ethnic) and health inequalities, including institutional/ structural, individual/family/psychosocial, and biological mechanisms.

ANTHRO 232- Myth and Symbolism

Introduction to different approaches to the interpretation of myth and symbolism, e.g., Freudian, functionalist and structuralist.

ANTHRO 235-Language in Asian America

Survey of linguistic anthropological topics relevant to Asian American communities, including bilingualism, code switching, language socialization, language shift, style, sociolinguistic variation, indexicality, media, and semiotics. Taught with ASIAN_AM 235-0; may not receive credit for both courses. 

ANTHRO 240- Anthropology of Money

A survey of cultural and ethnographic approaches to money and finance. Topics of investigation include “primitive money,” the uses of money in religious and ritual practices, social and cultural meanings of numbers, mobile money, crypto-currency and other alternative currency systems, and the politics of central banking. Prerequisite: None

ANTHRO 242- Porous Borders? Geography, Power and Techniques of Movement

At the advent of globalization scholars have argued that themovements of capital, commodities and people across nation-stateshave rendered their borders increasingly porous. The death of thenation-state was announced elsewhere. Yet, in the epoch ofoffshored refugee processing centers and border walls, this assumedporosity of borders begs a reexamination of broader geographies ofpower and techniques of movement.

ANTHRO 255- Contemporary African Worlds

Use of key anthropological insights about value judgments and cultural relativism to examine the survival strategies and turbulent histories of contemporary African societies.

ANTHRO 275- Introduction to Forensic Anthropology

This course provides an introductory overview of forensic anthropology by reviewing a range of issues associated with human skeletal identification including recovery techniques, time since death, biological profile development, trauma analysis, mass disasters investigation, and ethical consideration in forensic anthropology. These will serve as a model for understanding the broader aspects of the interaction between anthropology and the medicolegal system.

ANTHRO 290- Topics in Anthropology

Intermediate work in areas of developing interest and special significance. May be repeated for credit with different topic.

Courses primarily for juniors and seniors

ANTHRO 306- Evolution of Life Histories

Evolved strategies for allocating resources among growth, reproduction, and maintenance; emphasis on the biological processes underlying the human life cycle and its evolution.

ANTHRO 307-0 Anthropology of Peace

Cultural and ethnographic approaches to peace, peace building and peace activism. Topics of investigation include the concept of "peaceful societies," cultural mechanisms for conflict resolution, truth and reconciliation, the relationship between peace and commerce, and the role of literature, art and material culture in peace activism.  Prerequisite: None

ANTHRO 309- Human Osteology

Knowledge of human osteology forms the basis of physical and forensic anthropology, bioarchaeology, paleoanthropology and clinical anatomy. This course will provide an intensive introduction to the human skeleton; particularly the identification of complete and fragmentary skeletal remains.


ANTHRO 312- Human Population Biology

Current theory and research in human biological diversity, focusing on the impact of ecological and social factors on human biology; how adaptation to environmental stressors promotes human biological variation.

ANTHRO 313- Evolutionary Medicine 

In this course we explore how evolution has made our bodiessusceptible to the role of environments and social forces, includingfactors like stress, discrimination and inequality. We consider fields atthe interface of the social and biological, including genetics,epigenetics and social epidemiology.

ANTHRO 314- Human Growth and Development

Integrated biological and cultural perspective on human growth and development from infancy through adolescence; cross-cultural variation in developmental processes and outcomes. Prerequisite: 100- or 200-level course in anthropology, psychology, or biology or consent of instructor.

ANTHRO 315- Medical Anthropology

Theories of interactions between culture and biology that affect human health. Beliefs and practices for curing illness and maintaining well-being. The Cross-cultural study of infectious and chronic diseases, mental illness, infant/maternal mortality, poverty, and gender. Prerequisite: 100- or 200-level anthropology or sociology course, or consent of instructor.

ANTHRO 316- Forensic Anthropology

Forensic anthropology focuses traditional skeletal biology on problems of medicolegal significance, primarily in determining the personal identity and trauma analysis from human remains. Prerequisite: 200-level anthropology or biology course or consent of instructor.

ANTHRO 317- Human Evolution  

Fossil record and reconstruction of phylogeny, morphological and behavioral adaptation of early hominids and forebears.

ANTHRO 318- Material Worlds of the Middle Ages

The landscapes, buildings, and material culture of medieval Europe, as seen through archaeology and related disciplines. Villages, fields and peasant communities; castles, houses, and churches great and small; pottery, artifacts, dress and foodways.

ANTHRO 319- Material Life & Culture in Europe, 1500-1800AD

The landscapes, buildings, and material culture of early modern Europe, as seen through archaeology and related disciplines. Villages, fields and rural communities; towns; houses and churches great and small; pottery, artifacts, dress and foodways.

ANTHRO 320- Peoples of Africa

A survey of the cultures of Africa and the significant similarities and differences among the indigenous societies of the continent.

ANTHRO 321- Archaeological Field Methods

Practical training in archaeological field methods and techniques at an excavation site; given with Summer Archaeological Field School.

ANTHRO 322- Introduction to Archaeology Research Design and Methods

Regional and site-specific approaches to the description and analysis of patterns in archaeological data, including settlement survey, site characterization, vertical excavations, and horizontal household excavations.

 ANTHRO 324- Archaeological Survey Methods

Archaeological surveys and their unique contributions to research about past peoples and places. This course will utilize geospatial technologies, such as shallow geophysics and GIS.

ANTHRO 325- Archaeological Methods Laboratory

Analysis of archaeological methods (faunal, botanical, artifact, or soil analysis) with various techniques. May be repeated for credit.

ANTHRO 326- Archaeologies of Sustainability and Collapse 

Archaeological survey of case studies from the past to interrogate human-environment relationships across time and space, including the present and the future. Taught with ENV POL 385-0; may not receive credit for both courses.

ANTHRO 327- Historical Archaeology

History of different ethnic groups in America as shown through living quarters, burials, food remains, tools, jewelry, etc. How groups have been portrayed in museums claiming to depict the American past. Focus on African Americans and Native Americans.

ANTHRO 328- The Maya

The archaeology of the Maya in Latin America; life and society in pre-Columbian Maya civilization.

ANTHRO 330- Peoples of the World

Ethnography and comparative study of a regionally or historically associated group of cultures or a type of community defined in ecological, ideological, or other terms. May be repeated for credit.

ANTHRO 332- The Anthropology of Reproduction

Marriage and reproduction throughout the world, particularly the developing world and Africa. Conjugal strategies, fertility, contraception.

ANTHRO 334- Anthropology of HIV-AIDs

The experiences of HIV-positive people; local and global policies shaping access to treatment; contributions of anthropologists to reducing HIV/AIDS globally. Readings from classic and current ethnographies. Prerequisite: 300-level course in anthropology or sociology.

ANTHRO 339- Material Culture

The relationship between material objects and social life; review of theoretical approaches to gifts and commodities; ethnographic collecting in colonial and postcolonial settings; the relationship between culture and aesthetics. Prerequisite: 211, or consent of instructor.

ANTHRO 340- Visual Anthropology of Africa

Anthropological analysis of techniques, visual rhetoric, and narrative strategies embedded in images of Africa and Africans in a variety of contemporary and digital media. Course includes instruction in video production. Prerequisite: 200-level social science or African studies course or consent of instructor.

ANTHRO 341- Economic Anthropology

Economic organization in small-scale, non-industrialized communities. Traditional structures of primitive and peasant economies.

ANTHRO 343- Anthropology of Race

Anthropological approaches to the analysis of race, racialization, and anti-racism. Human variation, space, segregation, comparative analysis, and language ideologies.

ANTHRO 350- Anthropology of Religion

The human relationship with the supernatural and action patterns accompanying beliefs. Comparison of nonliterate religions and historical religions.

ANTHRO 351/451 Hope and Futurity

An in-depth survey of anthropological, sociological, liteary, philosophical and religious explorations into the problem of hope. Prerequisite: None

NTHRO 353- Shady Business: Informal Economies in Contemporary Capitalism

Taking stock of world economic changes such as the collapse ofsocialism, the advent of globalization as well as the intensification oftransnational labor migration, this course aims to reveal thecategorical distinctions drawn between formal and informaleconomies in contemporary capitalism as historically situated andpolitically charged constructs.

ANTHRO 354- Gender and Anthropology

Cross-cultural survey of women's roles from three perspectives: biosocial, sociocultural, politicoeconomic. Theory of gender inequality; emphasis on the third world.

ANTHRO 355- Sexualities

Cross-cultural survey of sexuality from an anthropological perspective.  Focus on the first half of the 20th century, the 1970s, 1980s, and the turn of the century.

ANTHRO 358- Primate Behavior and Ecology

This course provides an introductory overview of non-human primate behavior and ecology, covering topics nutrition, cognition, sociality, and conservation. No prerequisites.

ANTHRO 359- The Human Microbiome and Health

Discussion-based analysis of cutting edge research on the microbes associated with the human body and their impacts on health. Consideration of historical, social, and political influences on observed patterns.

ANTHRO 360- Language and Culture

The relationship between language and culture: language as the vehicle of culture and as the manifestation of thought.

ANTHRO 361- Talk as Social Action

Analysis of talk in interaction based on examination of audio and video recorded data and associated transcripts. Conversation, action, turn, sequence, relevance, social structure, qualitative methodologies. Prerequisite: 215 or consent of instructor.

ANTHRO 362- Advanced Methods in Quantitative of Analysis

A broad range of classical statistical methods, univariate and multivariate, currently being applied to anthropological data. Prerequisite: 200-level statistics course or consent of instructor.

ANTHRO 365- Language, Race, and Ethnicity in the United States

Analysis of connections between language ideologies, language use, and meanings of race and ethnicity. Bilingualism, immigration, identity, accented English, African American English, language policy, "English only" movement, education, social change. Taught with ASIAN AM 365; students may not earn credit for both courses.

ANTHRO 368- Latina & Latino Ethnography

The Sociocultural analysis of U.S. Latina/o communities.  Examines ethnographies by and about Latina/os based in the United States.  Draws on a broad disciplinary basis, to critique and elaborate on ethnographic methods and epistemologies.  Prerequisite: 211, Latin AM 251, or consent of instructor.

ANTHRO 369- Contemporary Immigration to the United States

Major theories in immigration studies; contemporary processes of immigration and immigrant "community building" in the United States. Prerequisite: 1 300- level course in anthropology or sociology.

ANTHRO 370- Anthropology in Historical Perspective

Major schools of thought in social, archaeological and biological anthropology over the last century. Prerequisite: one 200-level course in anthropology or consent of instructor.

ANTHRO 373- Power and Culture in American Cities

Overview of history and present realities of American urban life, with a focus on ethnographic knowledge and stratification by class, race, ethnicity, gender, nationality, and sexuality. Prerequisite: 100- or 200-level cultural anthropology or sociology course or consent of instructor.

ANTHRO 375- Advanced Methods in Forensic Anthropology

This course provides a review of advanced methods in forensic anthropology. We will discuss the full range of issues associated with human skeletal identification from biological profile construction to trauma analysis. This class will include discussion of relevant literature in forensic anthropology and hands-on, dry lab activity to better appreciate the reality of practitioners in the field.

ANTHRO 377- Psychological Anthropology

Contemporary approaches to cross-cultural behavior: ecocultural aspects of behavior development through maturation and socialization in human and nonhuman primates. Prerequisite: introductory survey courses in psychology or anthropology, or consent of instructor.

ANTHRO 378- Law and Culture

Introduction to the anthropology of law; institutional knowledge as seen in material culture and legal documents; colonial and post-colonial settings; examines the relationships between law and culture, colonialism, evidence, and globalization. Prerequisite: 200-level course in anthropology or consent of instructor.

ANTHRO 382- Political Ecology 

Introduction to a multidisciplinary body of theory and research that analyzes the environmental articulations of political, economic, and social difference and inequality. Topics include environmental scarcity and degradation, sustainability, resilience and conservation. Taught with ENV POL 385-0; may not receive credit for both courses.

ANTHRO 383- Environmental Anthropology

How humans have changed and are changing the environment and what can be done to halt environmental deterioration. Topics include population trends, food supplies, consumerism, environmental regulation, and ecological consciousness.

ANTHRO 384- Traveling While Muslim: Islam, Mobility, and Security after 9/11

What are the stakes of traveling while Muslim in that post 9/11 era ofracing Islam? How do we come to understand such mobility? Inprobing these questions, amongst others, in this seminar we aim toexamine the interlocked relationship between Islam, mobility andsecurity.

ANTHRO 386- Methods in Human Biology Research

A laboratory-based introduction to international research in human biology and health; methods for assessing nutritional status, physical activity, growth, cardiovascular health, endocrine and immune function.

ANTHRO 389- Ethnographic Methods and Analysis

Descriptive, naturalistic study of the culture of human social groups. Data gathering through observation and interview. Data analysis for ethnographic reporting. Prerequisites: 211 or 215.

ANTHRO 390- Topics in Anthropology

Advanced work in areas of developing interest and special significance. Can be repeated for credit with a different topic.

ANTHRO 398- Senior Seminar

Supervised group discussion of research during preparation of the senior capstone project.