Anthropology (ANTHR)

ANTHR-105 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

Fall and Spring. Credits: 4

Introduces the analysis of cultural diversity, including concepts, methods, and purposes in interpreting social, economic, political, and belief systems found in human societies.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
E. Babül, W. Girard, J. Roth, M. Watson
Restrictions: This course is limited to first years, sophomores and juniors

ANTHR-204 Anthropology of Modern Japan

Fall. Credits: 4

Since the mid-nineteenth century, Americans have viewed Japan as the Orient's most exotic and mysterious recess, alternately enticing and frightening in its difference. Intense economic relations and cultural exchange between Japan and the U.S. have not dispelled the image of Japanese society and culture as fundamentally different from our own. In this course, we will strive for greater understanding of shared experiences as well as historical particularities. Issues covered may vary from one semester to another, but frequently focus on work, women, minorities, and popular culture. Films and anthropological works provide ethnographic examples of some key concepts.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
J. Roth

ANTHR-212 Shopping and Swapping: Cultures of Consumption and Exchange

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

We shop for our food, for our clothes, for our colleges. We purchase cars, manicures, and vacations. It seems that there is little that cannot be bought or sold. But we also give and receive gifts, exchange favors, 'go dutch' in restaurants, and invite friends for potlucks. This course examines exchange systems cross-culturally, in order to understand their cultural significance and social consequences. It explores how our own commodity exchange system, which appears to be no more than an efficient means of distributing goods and services, in fact contains intriguing symbolic dimensions similar to the gift exchange systems of Native North America, Melanesia, and Africa.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
J. Roth
Prereq: ANTHR-105.

ANTHR-216 Special Topics in Anthropology

ANTHR-216AF Special Topics in Anthropology: 'Archaeology of Food'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course explores the study of ancient foodways with a focus on how and why humans across the globe began to domesticate plant and animal resources approximately 10,000 years ago. The first half of the course presents the types of archaeological data and analytical methods used to study the "agricultural revolution" in a variety of regions. The second half explores a number of themes within the archaeology of food that investigate the relationship between agriculture and sedentism, food and gender, the politics of feasting, and methods for integrating archaeological and ethnographic approaches to the study of food.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
E. Klarich
Prereq: ANTHR-105.

ANTHR-216CA Special Topics in Anthropology: 'Collecting the Past: Art and Artifacts of the Ancient Americas'

Fall. Credits: 4

Early European explorers, modern travelers, collectors, curators, and archaeologists have contributed to the development of ancient Latin American collections in museums across the globe. This course traces the history of these collecting practices and uses recent case studies to demonstrate how museums negotiate--successfully and unsuccessfully--the competing interests of scholars, donors, local communities, and international law. Students will learn how archaeologists study a variety of artifact types within museum collections and will have the opportunity to conduct independent research projects using pre-Columbian pottery collections from the Mount Holyoke Art Museum.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
E. Klarich
Restrictions: Course limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors
Prereq: One course in archaeology, anthropology, history of Latin America, museum studies, or art history.

ANTHR-216HP Special Topics in Anthropology: 'Feminist Health Politics'

Spring. Credits: 4

Health is about bodies, selves and politics. We will explore a series of health topics from feminist perspectives. How do gender, sexuality, class, disability, and age influence the ways in which one perceives and experiences health and the access one has to health information and health care? Are heteronormativity, cissexism, or one's place of living related to one's health status or one's health risk? By paying close attention to the relationships between community-based narratives, activities of health networks and organizations and theory, we will develop a solid understanding of the historical, political and cultural specificities of health issues, practices, services and movements.

Crosslisted as: GNDST-241HP
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
J. Luce
Prereq: 4 credits in gender studies.

ANTHR-216HR Special Topics in Anthropology: 'Anthropology and Human Rights: Between Devil's Advocate and Rights Advocacy'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course explores anthropological approaches to human rights--a key theme of transnational politics and international law. Anthropologists have contributed to discussions on human rights since the UN Declaration and the field has provided a vibrant platform to analyze ideologies, politics, and practices surrounding human rights. We will survey an array of anthropological studies that approach human rights from the perspective of cultural relativism, contextualization, advocacy, and practice. Students will gain a critical perspective on the seemingly universal rhetoric of human rights by learning how it produces diverse effects in places such as Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
E. Babül
Prereq: ANTHR-105.

ANTHR-216MG Special Topics in Anthropology: 'Migration Through Film'

Spring. Credits: 4

The dramatic increase in transnational migrations has prompted new debates over globalization, diversity, and human rights. In these debates, the fate of migrants is defined by competing visions of them as pawns or pioneers, as passive victims or driven agents. This course explores the key role played by film in such representations, comparing and contrasting film to ethnography as a way to relate migrant experiences and understand migration. We look at how documentaries, feature films in local and world cinema, and ethnographies represent decisions to go abroad and the effects of migration on home and host communities. We ask what can be gleaned from these sources, such as: What it is like to be an undocumented migrant or a member of a "second generation"? What we can learn about the conditions of trafficked women or refugees? How do the politics and policies of bordering work. We also explore how geography, citizenship, class, gender, age, ethnicity, race and religion feature in these representations. Students will critically analyze how migrants are represented in film through active class discussions and several written essays.

Crosslisted as: FLMST-220MG
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
L. Keough

ANTHR-216NF Special Topics in Anthropology: 'The Anthropology of Food'

Fall. Credits: 4

Drawing on a holistic, multidisciplinary perspective, this course considers food as a lens through which issues such as gender, family, community, nationality, religion and class can be more deeply understood. Food and drink are examined not only for the biological needs they fill but also in terms of their spiritual and cultural dimensions. We will explore the journey of food production, preparation, distribution and consumption nationally and internationally. Local, national and global networks are analyzed as we examine the role food plays in creating and mediating socioeconomic and political relationships. Food scarcity, security, sovereignty and sustainability are also considered.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
P. Mangan
Prereq: ANTHR-105.

ANTHR-216PY Special Topics in Anthropology: 'Anthropology of Play'

Spring. Credits: 4

We associate play with childhood, a time of spontaneous and creative activity, in contrast to the boring routine of adult responsibilities. And yet play is more than just fun and games. It is through play that children develop lasting cognitive and social skills. For adults too, there can be serious play -- play that has real consequence -- play that shapes the intimate lives of individuals, as well as entire social formations. In this course, we will explore play cross-culturally, from the Balinese cockfight to American football, from gambling to roll playing. We will design games based on the anthropological readings in order to appreciate the game-like qualities of many domains of life.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
J. Roth
Prereq: ANTHR-105.

ANTHR-216RK Special Topics in Anthropology: 'Risk'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

People in all societies face uncertainty. Dangers, many of our own making, confront us at every turn - in the form of global warming, market collapses, tainted food, epidemics, and accidents at work and on roads. Terrorist attacks and crime have led to the increased control of urban public spaces. Modern institutions and technologies of risk (probability, insurance, audits, sundry regulation) strive to tame chance, to make it manageable, and even potentially profitable, and have contributed to emergent cultures of risk. In this course, we examine these technologies of risk and associated cultural forms, in relation to other means by which people have dealt with uncertainty in the past.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
J. Roth
Prereq: ANTHR-105.

ANTHR-230 Language in Culture and Society

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Every society is held together by systems of interpersonal and institutional communication. This course examines the nature of communication codes, including those based on language (speaking and writing) and those based on visual images (art, advertising, television). To understand communication in its social and historical dimensions, we study the psychological and cultural impact of media revolutions and then look at ways communication systems manipulate individual consciousness. Illustrative examples are drawn from Western and non-Western societies.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
M. Watson
Prereq: ANTHR-105.

ANTHR-235 Development of Anthropological Thought

Fall. Credits: 4

This course will review the key issues and paradigm shifts in the development of anthropology from its foundations in classical thought through its emergence as an independent discipline to its coming-of-age in the 1960s. The readings will include works from the American, British, and Continental traditions.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
M. Watson
Restrictions: Course limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors
Prereq: 8 credits in Anthropology.

ANTHR-240 Medical Anthropology

Fall. Credits: 4

Biocultural aspects of disease and healing are examined through case studies of nonindustrialized societies, including the relationship between malaria and sickle cell anemia in West Africa and ritual cannibalism, AIDS, and a degenerative nervous-system disorder (kuru) in highland New Guinea. This course surveys the cultural construction of suffering and healing, the medicalization of human social problems, and inequities in the distribution of disease and therapy.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
L. Morgan
Prereq: ANTHR-105.

ANTHR-245 Global Health and Humanitarianism

Spring. Credits: 4

This course examines global health disparities and the unequal distribution of disease, focusing on the health consequences of poverty, structural violence, and globalization. In addition, we critically examine the foundations of global humanitarianism and the complexities, constraints, and prospects for working collaboratively across borders to resolve global health problems. Readings will address how global health is constructed and represented, and why humanitarian endeavors (charitable, philanthropic, NGO, religious, etc.) have emerged as the preferred manner of addressing global health problems in the contemporary era.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
L. Morgan
Prereq: ANTHR-105.

ANTHR-246 Magic, Witchcraft, and Religion

Spring. Credits: 4

Religion counts among anthropology's most central and enduring areas of interest. This course traces a history of anthropological attention to belief and ritual from the nineteenth century to the present. We will read classic and contemporary ethnographic studies of religious systems, covering topics that include spirits and animism, totemism, magic, witchcraft, mythology, taboo, sacrilege, orthodoxy and orthopraxy, religion and modernity, and secularism. The course will scrutinize "religion" itself as a cultural and analytical category, and it will question how an anthropological perspective alters perceptions of the global politics of religion today.

Crosslisted as: RELIG-225MG
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
M. Watson
Prereq: ANTHR-105.

ANTHR-275 Research Methods in Cultural Anthropology

Spring. Credits: 4

This course examines anthropological fieldwork techniques, including interviewing and participant observation, as well as qualitative approaches to the analysis of cultural data. Topics include cross-cultural field techniques, research design, ethical dilemmas, and the difference between academic and applied research. Research projects are an integral part of this course.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Community-Based Learning
E. Babül
Restrictions: This course is limited to Anthropology majors.
Coreq: ANTHR-275L.

ANTHR-295 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 4

The department
Instructor permission required.

ANTHR-306 Anthropology of Reproduction

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course covers major issues in the anthropology of reproduction, including the relationship between production and reproduction, the gendered division of labor, the state and reproductive policy, embodied metaphors of procreation and parenthood, fertility control and abortion, crosscultural reproductive ethics, and the social implications of new reproductive technologies. We examine the social construction of reproduction in a variety of cultural contexts.

Crosslisted as: GNDST-333AR
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
L. Morgan
Prereq: 8 credits in Anthropology or Gender Studies.

ANTHR-316 Special Topics in Anthropology

ANTHR-316EG Special Topics in Anthropology: 'Eggs and Embryos: Innovations in Reproductive and Genetic Technologies'

Fall. Credits: 4

This seminar will focus on emerging innovations in the development, use and governance of reproductive and genetic technologies (RGTs). How do novel developments at the interface of fertility treatment and biomedical research raise both new and enduring questions about the'naturalness' of procreation, the politics of queer families, the im/possibilities of disabilities, and transnational citizenship? Who has a say in what can be done and for which purposes? We will engage with ethnographic texts, documentaries, policy statements, citizen science activist projects, and social media in order to closely explore the diversity of perspectives in this field.

Crosslisted as: GNDST-333EG
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
J. Luce
Prereq: 8 credits in gender studies or anthropology.

ANTHR-316LW Special Topics in Anthropology: 'Ethnographies of Law'

Fall. Credits: 4

This seminar focuses on the anthropological study of the legal field. The class will begin with a survey of some classical texts that underpin the legal thought in the modern era. We will then see how anthropologists contributed to the study of law by conceptualizing it as part of larger socio-political processes and as a field that includes social relations, processes, and practices. The students will learn how some key legal issues such as dispute management, decision making, and reconciliation are actualized in diverse cultural and social settings, to think critically and evaluate legal processes in a multicultural setting and in plural societies.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
E. Babül
Prereq: 8 credits in Anthropology.

ANTHR-316PG Special Topics in Anthropology: 'Who's Involved?: Participatory Governance, Emerging Technologies and Feminism'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Deep brain stimulation, genome sequencing, regenerative medicine...Exploring practices of 'participatory governance' of emerging technologies, we will examine the formal and informal involvement of citizens, patients, health professionals, scientists and policy makers. What initiatives exist at local, national and transnational levels to foster science literacy? How do lived experiences of nationality, ability, class, race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality become visible and/or disappear within constructed frameworks of participatory governance? How can feminist ethnographic research and feminist theory contribute to a larger project of democratizing knowledge production and governance?

Crosslisted as: GNDST-333PG
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
J. Luce
Prereq: 8 credits in gender studies or anthropology.

ANTHR-316RN Special Topics in Anthropology: 'Race / Nation / Gender: Feminist Studies of Scientific, Medical and 'Patient' Mobility'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This seminar explores the potentially novel entanglements of 'race', 'nation' and 'gender' through the increasing transnationalization of scientific and medical practices, the mobility of practitioners and consumers, and the mobilization of scientific and medical knowledge by individuals and communities, as well as governmental and civil society organizations. We will engage with the multiple tensions in feminist research on topics such as diversity, population and medical genomics, and reproductive and medical tourism as the multiple and shifting identities of experts and 'lay' individuals call attention to the power and problematics of scientific, medical and patient 'diasporas'.

Crosslisted as: GNDST-333RN
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
J. Luce
Prereq: 8 credits in gender studies or anthropology.

ANTHR-316SP Special Topics in Anthropology: 'Space, Place, and Way-finding'

Spring. Credits: 4

What makes a home feel like home? What makes a neighborhood feel alive and vibrant? Architects and urban planners develop elaborate designs meant for specific kinds of human uses, and yet we find that people often use spaces for purposes quite different from those that planners intended. In this course, we will explore the ways in which people dwell in the abstract spaces of planners, turning them into inhabited places. We will also explore the ways that people navigate through and between these spaces that have been compartmentalized into politically and socially bounded units. A variety of theoretical perspectives will be applied in diverse cultural cases to better understand the ways in which peoples inhabit the world.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
J. Roth
Prereq: 8 credits in Anthropology department.

ANTHR-316SV Special Topics in Anthropology: 'Anthropology of Structural Violence: From Resistance to Liberation'

Fall. Credits: 4

This course examines anthropological theories of inequality and structural violence, using ethnographic examples from the global south with an emphasis on Latin America. Anthropologists have provided insights into the political-economy of 20th century peasant wars, struggles for indigenous autonomy and land rights, the racial politics of migration and refugee resettlement, and feminist and queer movements for gender justice. This seminar will examine their theories, ethics, and tactics, with an eye toward understanding anthropological interventions in contemporary forms of political mobilization.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
L. Morgan
Prereq: 8 credits in Anthropology.

ANTHR-316TX Special Topics in Anthropology: 'Image, Text, and Performance'

Spring. Credits: 4

There is little in our lives and the lives of others that is not imbued with creative spirit that is often, though not always, earmarked as Art, as being beautiful or poetic. Whether as ritual performance, gallery exhibit, concert, story time or bodily decorations, all cultures engage in the production of symbolic forms. This advanced seminar in the anthropology of art draws on recent developments in a range of art and aesthetic theories and takes a close look at meaning making creativity across cultures and a variety of expressive genres, past and present, pleasing or not.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
A. Lass
Restrictions: This course is limited to seniors.
Prereq: 8 credits in Anthropology.

ANTHR-316WC Special Topics in Anthropology: 'Writing Capitalism's Ruins'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

There's a low buzz; we feel nervous. Is this capitalism's end? Have zombie silhouettes hit the horizon yet? Keep checking. Anthropology narrates collective feelings, gives form to the ambience. But what's the ambience of late industrialism; what's it feel like to collapse? As we watch factory buildings crumble, we wonder whether the tap water's clean. The question of how to write the world (anthropologically-speaking) must also be a question of how to survive, thrive, and even flourish. Archaeologists have long explored decadence, collapse, and ruins. Cultural anthropologists now find themselves in the archaeologists' shoes. Drawing from archaeology, cultural anthropology, ecology, and literary theory, this course will be an open-ended, writing-oriented examination of contemporary experiences of ruins and ruination. One area of focus is the effects of capitalism and post-industrialism on people of color and non-English speakers in North America.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
M. Watson
Prereq: ANTHR-105.

ANTHR-342 Science as Culture

Fall. Credits: 4

What is science? The progressive discovery of Nature's laws? The process of honing claims about the universe? Is science the act of postulating and testing hypotheses? Or is it tinkering, experimentation? This course offers an advanced introduction to cultural and anthropological studies of science. Through careful readings of work in areas such as the sociology of scientific knowledge, actor-network theory, feminist science studies, and affect theory, we will explore the sciences as complex systems of cultural production. The course will culminate in a series of critical ethnographic studies of how the sciences shape concepts and experiences of race, the body, gender, and sexuality.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
M. Watson
Prereq: 8 credits in the department.

ANTHR-350 Issues in Contemporary Anthropological Theory

Spring. Credits: 4

This course offers an appraisal of the core questions and theoretical frameworks of the past two decades. It covers the relationship of fieldwork to theory building, new trends in anthropological analysis, and critical examinations of the uses and abuses of anthropological data.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
A. Lass
Restrictions: This course is limited to seniors.
Prereq: 8 credits in Anthropology.

ANTHR-395 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 8

The department
Instructor permission required.