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Courses

Check out these courses in Anthropology.

Courses
INDS 100. African Perspectives on Justice, Human Rights, and Renewal.This team-taught course introduces students to some of the experiences, cultural beliefs, values, and voices shaping contemporary Africa. Students focus on the impact of climatic, cultural, and geopolitical diversity; the politics of ethnicity, religion, age, race, and gender and their influence on daily life; and the forces behind contemporary education policy and practice in Africa. The course forges students' critical capacity to resist simplistic popular understandings of what is taking place on the continent and works to refocus their attention on distinctively "African perspectives." Students design a research project to augment their knowledge about a specific issue within a particular region. Students interested in education issues focus their research on education policy and practice; their research project includes a field placement in a local school or community organization and participation in a twice-monthly seminar-style reflection session. Students who focus on education issues and complete the field placement and project have the course recorded in their academic record as INDS 100A (African Perspectives on Justice, Human Rights, and Renewal in Education), and may use INDS 100A to fulfill the minor in education studies, but not the minor in teacher education. The course is primarily for first- and second-year students with little critical knowledge of Africa and serves as the introduction to the General Education concentration Considering Africa (C022). Cross-listed in anthropology, education, French and Francophone studies, and politics. Enrollment limited to 40. (Community-Engaged Learning.) (Governance and Conflict.) (Identities and Interests.) Normally offered every year. P. Buck, A. Dauge-Roth, E. Eames, L. Hill.
Concentrations
ANTH 101. Cultural Anthropology.An introduction to the study of a wide variety of social and cultural phenomena. The argument that the reality we inhabit is a cultural construct is explored by examining concepts of race and gender, kinship and religion, the individual life cycle, and the nature of community. Course materials consider societies throughout the world against the background of the emerging global system and the movement of refugees and immigrants. Enrollment limited to 50 per section. Normally offered every semester. L. Danforth, S. Kemper.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

ANTH 103. Introduction to Archaeology.Archaeology is anthropology that looks into the past by examining the remains left by earlier or extinct cultures. This course introduces the theories, methods, and techniques employed by modern archaeologists. It examines such issues as what is left behind, how we find and interpret it, and what it all means to us today. Using hands-on lab exercises, films, computer simulations, and field trips, this course reveals this often-hidden dimension of human culture. Enrollment limited to 32. [S] Normally offered every year. B. Bourque.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

ANTH 104. Introduction to Human Evolution.Humans evolved to their modern form under conditions very different from those we live in today. Thus, a well-informed perspective on modern humanity must be based upon an understanding of our deep biological and cultural history. This course explores what we are learning about that history, from the appearance of the primates to modern times. Students look at how biology and culture evolved together, how humans came to dominate the Earth, and at the true nature of our similarities and differences today. Using hands-on lab exercises, films, and computer simulations, this course explores our rapidly developing understanding of these basic human issues. Enrollment limited to 32. [S] Normally offered every year. B. Bourque.
Concentrations
AN/RE 134. Myth, Folklore, and Popular Culture.A variety of "texts," including ancient Greek myths, Grimms' folktales, Apache jokes, African proverbs, Barbie dolls, Walt Disney movies, and modern Greek folk dances, are examined in light of important theoretical approaches employed by anthropologists interested in understanding the role of expressive forms in cultures throughout the world. Major emphasis is placed on psychoanalytic, feminist, Marxist, structuralist, and cultural-studies approaches. Not open to students who have received credit for AN/RE 234. Enrollment limited to 60. L. Danforth.
Concentrations
INDS 208. Introduction to Medieval Archaeology.The Middle Ages were a time of major cultural changes that laid the groundwork for Northwest Europe's emergence as a global center of political and economic power in subsequent centuries. However, many aspects of life in the period from 1000 to 1500 C.E. were unrecorded in contemporary documents and art, and archaeology has become an important tool for recovering that information. This course introduces the interdisciplinary methods and the findings of archaeological studies of topics including medieval urban and rural lifeways, health, commerce, religion, social hierarchy, warfare, and the effects of global climate change. Cross-listed in anthropology, classical and medieval studies, environmental studies, and history. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. (Premodern.) Staff.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

INDS 219. Environmental Archaeology.Over the past two hundred years archaeologists, scientists, and humanists in many disciplines have worked together to understand the interactions of past human populations with the physical world, including plants, animals, landscapes, and climates. This course outlines the methods and theories used by archaeologists, geologists, biologists, physicists, chemists, and historians in reconstructing past economies and ecologies in diverse areas of the globe. The course also discusses how archaeology contributes to our understanding of contemporary environmental issues such as rapid climate change, shrinking biodiversity, and sustainable use of resources. Cross-listed in anthropology, environmental studies, and history. Recommended background: ANTH 103. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. (Premodern.) Normally offered every year. Staff.
Concentrations
ANTH 220. Medicine and Culture.Within the American context and in much of the West, biomedicine prevails as the dominant ethnomedical system. However, diverse systems of belief and practice about health, illness, and treatment exist within and outside the United States. Students examine how concepts such as health, illness/disease, and the body are culturally constructed and socially produced. Through readings, lectures, and assignments, students engage the theories and methods medical anthropologists use to understand the relationship between individual bodies and the social world. Recommended background: course work in anthropology. Enrollment limited to 30. Staff.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

ANTH 222. First Encounters: European "Discovery" and North American Indians.Columbus's "discovery" of America was a major event in human history because it put Old and New World populations in contact after millennia of isolation. This course examines factors leading up to the "discovery" and the calamitous impact of early colonization upon Native Americans and assesses the environmental impact of colonization. B. Bourque.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

AN/RE 225. Gods, Heroes, Magic, and Mysteries: Religion in Ancient Greece.An anthropological approach to ancient Greek religion in which archaeological, literary, and art-historical sources are examined and compared with evidence from other cultures to gain an understanding of the role of religion in ancient Greek culture and of changing concepts of the relationship between human beings and the sacred. Topics explored include pre-Homeric and Homeric religion, cosmology, mystery cults, civil religion, and manifestations of the irrational, such as dreams, ecstasy, shamanism, and magic. Open to first-year students. L. Danforth.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

ANTH 228. Person and Community in Contemporary Africa.African societies are often characterized as emphasizing the importance of duties to the group—communal ownership and collective responsibility—rather than individual rights or personal conscience. The course focuses on the many dimesions of tension between communalism and individualism, and in so doing explores indigenous and imported notions of power, corruption, prosperity, and disease as they are lived and understood within contemporary West Africa. How do kin-ordered social systems respond to the incursions of global capitalism and the advent of the nation-state? How have such new organizational forms as political parties, religious congregations, ethnic groups, and occupational associations been constructed under changing historical conditions? Open to first-year students. (Community-Engaged Learning.) Normally offered every year. E. Eames.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

AN/SO 232. Ethnicity, Nation, and World Community.The course explores the means by which social identities are constructed as ethnicity and nations. It focuses on how representations taken from categories of everyday life—such as "race," religion, gender, and sexuality—are deployed to give these group loyalties the aura of a natural, timeless authority. This inquiry into ethnicity and nation as cultural fabrications allows for exploration of the possibility of global community not simply in its institutional dimensions, but as a condition of consciousness. Enrollment limited to 15. C. Carnegie.
Concentrations
ANTH 240. Individual and Society in South Asia.A broad survey of the societies of South Asia, focusing especially on India and Sri Lanka. The course considers the genealogical descent of Hindu thinking about society, men and women, young people and old, and the body as well as external forces on these social realities. Open to first-year students. S. Kemper.
Concentrations
AN/ES 242. Environment, Human Rights, and Indigenous Peoples.For decades environmentalists have used the image of the "ecological native" in their critique of industrialization while indigenous activists have framed their struggles for land rights and self-determination in environmental terms. Why and how have environmental and indigenous concerns merged? How are these connections used strategically? This course examines the struggles of the world's indigenous peoples in the context of an accelerating ecological crisis. Topics include Western ideas of indigenous people, indigenous self-representation, indigenous relations to modern nation-states and the United Nations, and the impacts of oil and mining, bio-prospecting, biodiversity conservation and climate change. Prerequisite(s): one of the following: ANTH 101, ENVR 337, ENVR 204, ENVR 350, or PLTC 250. Enrollment limited to 30. S. Pieck.
Concentrations
ANTH 247. New World Archaeology.A topical survey of New-World archaeology emphasizing the entry of humans into North and South America as well as the later prehistoric cultures of North America, Mesoamerica, and the Andes. Not open to students who have received credit for ANTH 347. B. Bourque.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

AA/AN 251. Imagining the Caribbean.One anthropologist writing about the Caribbean asserts: "Nowhere else in the universe can one look with such certainty into the past and discern the outlines of an undisclosed future." Caribbean social systems bore the full impact of Western imperial expansion yet have adjusted to it in resilient and creative ways. The course surveys and interprets aspects of Caribbean life, and the ways in which they have been represented, drawing on a variety of sources—historical, ethnographic, literary, and visual. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 20. Normally offered every year. C. Carnegie.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

ANTH 255. Cinematic Portraits of Africa.Most Americans have "seen" Africa only through non-African eyes, coming to "know" about African society through such characters as Tarzan and such genres as the "jungle melodrama" or the "nature show." In this course, films from the North Atlantic are juxtaposed with ethnographic and art films made by Africans in order to examine how to read these cinematic texts. Related written texts help to answer central questions not about "Africa" but rather about the politics of representation: What are the differences in how African societies are depicted? Why are particular issues and points of view privileged? Recommended background: two or more courses from the following fields: anthropology, African studies, cultural studies, or film. Not open to students who have received credit for FYS 172. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 25. Normally offered every year. E. Eames.
Concentrations
AN/RE 263. Buddhism and the Social Order.The West looks upon Buddhism as an otherworldly religion with little interest in activity in this world. Such has not been the case historically. The Dhamma (Buddhist doctrine) has two wheels, one of righteousness and one of power, one for the other world and one for this world. Lectures and discussions use this paradigm to consider the several accommodations Buddhism has struck with the realities of power in various Theravada Buddhist societies in ancient India, Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asia. Open to first-year students. S. Kemper.
Concentrations
ANTH 264. South Asia and Its World: Business, Bhangra, Bollywood, and Buddhism.South Asia has produced a distinctive civilization of considerable antiquity, a pattern geographers sometimes attribute to the subcontinent's isolation. But a strong argument can be made for the region's economic, social, and religious entanglement with other parts of Asia and the world beyond. This course also considers the dispersal of South Asian people and culture around the globe. Open to first-year students. S. Kemper.
Concentrations
AN/RE 265. Anthropological Approaches to the Study of Religion.As human societies change, so do the religious beliefs and practices these societies follow. The course examines the symbolic forms and acts that relate human beings to the ultimate conditions of their existence, against the background of the rise of science. Students consider both Western and non-Western religions. Open to first-year students. S. Kemper.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

ANTH 330. The Development of Underdevelopment.The waning of the modern colonial era in the mid-twentieth century coincided with the rise of "developmentalism," an ideology and set of practices that held out the promise of social and economic uplift and progress for poor peoples worldwide. This course examines, from the perspective of anthropology, the circumstances that gave rise to this widespread movement and the modes of its implementation. Students reflect on the assumptions on which developmentalism was based, the expectations it ignited, and the reasons for its failures. Based on this assessment, students seek to identify new approaches and possibilities for improving the well-being of the world's impoverished, marginalized peoples. C. Carnegie.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

ANTH 333. Culture and Interpretation.Beginning with a consideration of symbolic anthropology as it developed in the 1960s and 1970s, this course surveys critiques of the symbolic turn in anthropology and its use of the culture concept. Emphasis is given to history, political economy, and transnational social currents. Prerequisite(s): prior course work in anthropology. Enrollment limited to 20. [W2] Normally offered every year. C. Carnegie.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

INDS 338. Race, Sport, and American Life.This seminar explores the relationship between sports and race in American life. Students consider questions such as: How are sports involved in the racialization of bodies? How do gender, history, and class shape how Americans experience and negotiate race in the context of sport? What kinds of "race talk" do sports allow and forbid? Examining topics that range from a boxing gym in New York to Major League Baseball’s economic and political presence in Latin America, students develop a deeper and subtler understanding of the ways that sports have influenced, and have been influenced by, social and political life in the United States. Cross-listed in African American studies, American cultural studies, and anthropology. Enrollment limited to 20. One-time offering. J. Rubin.
ANTH 339. Production and Reproduction.Economic anthropology challenges the assumptions of conventional economics by analyzing economic behavior from a cross-cultural perspective. Designed for upper-level economics and/or anthropology majors, this course looks at the relation between economy and society through a critical examination of neoclassical, substantivist, Marxist, and feminist approaches in anthropology. The relative merits of these explanatory paradigms are assessed as students engage ethnographic case material. Such "economic facts" as production, exchange, land tenure, marriage transactions, state formation, and social change in the modern world system are addressed, always in comparative perspective. Economics majors may select this course for major credit and are encouraged to enroll. Prerequisite(s): two courses in economics and/or anthropology. (Community-Engaged Learning.) [W2] Normally offered every year. E. Eames.
Concentrations
INDS 342. Performance, Narrative, and the Body.This course examines the politics of the body through the inter/transdisciplinary frames of the narrative and performance, including the specific ways performance and narrative theories of the body and cultural practices operate in everyday life and social formations. Students examine how the "body" is performed and how narrative is constructed in a variety of different contexts such as race, gender, disease, sexuality, and culture. The course places narrative and performance at the center (rather than the margins) of inquiry, asking how far and how deeply performativity reaches into our lives and how performances construct our identities, differences, and our bodies: who we are and who we can become. Cross-listed in African American studies, anthropology, and women and gender studies. Prerequisite(s): WGST 100. Recommended background: course work in African American studies, American cultural studies, anthropology, politics, sociology, or women and gender studies. Enrollment limited to 15. M. Beasley.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

ANTH 360. Independent Study.Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, individually design and plan a course of study or research not offered in the curriculum. Course work includes a reflective component, evaluation, and completion of an agreed-upon product. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the program/department, a course prospectus, and permission of the chair are required. Students may register for no more than one independent study per semester. Normally offered every semester. Staff.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

ANTH 365. Special Topics.A course or seminar offered from time to time and reserved for a special topic selected by the department. Normally offered every year. Staff.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

INDS 390A. Sex and the Modern City: European Cultures at the Fin-de-Siècle .Economic and political change during the 1800s revolutionized the daily lives of Europeans more profoundly than any previous century. By the last third of the century, the modern city became the stage for exploring and enacting new roles, new gender identities in particular. This course examines the cultural reverberations of these cataclysmic changes by focusing on sex, gender, and new urban spaces the decades around the turn of the twentieth century. Students consider the writings of Zola and Freud, investigate middle-class flirtations with the occult, and read about sensational crimes like those of Jack the Ripper. Not open to students who have received credit for HIST 390A. Enrollment limited to 15. [W2] Normally offered every other year. C. Shaw.
ANTH 441. History of Anthropological Theory.A consideration of some of the major theories in the development of the field of anthropology, with an emphasis on the fundamental issues of orientation and definition that have shaped and continue to influence anthropological thought. Topics include cultural evolution, the relationship between the individual and culture, the nature-nurture debate, British social anthropology, feminist anthropology, and anthropology as cultural critique. Normally offered every year. L. Danforth.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

ANTH 457. Senior Thesis.Students participate in individual and group conferences in connection with the writing of the senior thesis. Majors writing an honors thesis register for ANTH 457 in the fall semester and 458 in the winter semester. Prerequisite(s): approval by the department of a thesis prospectus prior to registration. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

ANTH 458. Senior Thesis.Individual and group conferences in connection with the writing of the senior thesis. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both ANTH 457 in the fall semester and 458 in the winter semester. One course credit is given for each registration. Majors writing a one semester thesis normally register for ANTH 458. Prerequisite(s): approval by the department of a thesis prospectus prior to registration. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

Short Term Courses
ANTH s10. Encountering Community: Ethnographic Fieldwork and Service-Learning.This course offers students an opportunity to explore cultural diversity in the Lewiston-Auburn community. Students are trained to conduct original ethnographic fieldwork by doing both interviews and participant-observation research. Students may also carry out service-learning projects in conjunction with their fieldwork. In some years, the course has a particular focus such as refugees, ethnicity, or religion. Recommended background: some course work in anthropology. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. Normally offered every year. L. Danforth.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

INDS s15. Health, Culture, and Community.This course examines dimensions of health through classroom and community-based experiences, with a special emphasis on current public health issues. The course covers the history and organization of public health; methods associated with health-related research; disparities in health, including those related to race, class, and gender; public policy and health; population-based approaches to public health; and cultural constructions of health and illness. The course is designed to be integrative: expertise from different disciplines is used to address current challenges in public health. Cross-listed in anthropology, biology, and psychology. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. (Diversity.) K. Low.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

ANTH s18. Saudi Arabia.This course explores the history and culture of Saudi Arabia though a combination of library research on campus and a two-week trip to Saudi Arabia. Students explore such topics as the impact of modernization on traditional Saudi society, the role of oil in the economic development of the country, and the impact of Islam on Saudi culture, the role of women, health care, and education. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. L. Danforth.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

INDS s19. Food, Culture, and Performance.This interdisciplinary seminar examines the idea of cultural engagement through food. Students explore the meanings of food and eating across cultures, with particular attention to how people define themselves socially, symbolically, and politically through food consumption practices. Students in this community-based course collaborate with Nezinscot Farm exploring themes of gathering, homesteading, and biodynamic farming. The course develops research and writing skills, introduces visual and performance theories of culture, and fosters an understanding of the importance of food and its relationship to identity construction, histories, and cultural literacy. The course culminates in a performative meal. Cross-listed in African American studies, American cultural studies, anthropology, and women and gender studies. Enrollment limited to 20. M. Beasley.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

INDS s25. Introduction to Contemporary Cuban Culture.Students explore selected themes such as contemporary perceptions of race, the cultural politics of music, questions of sexual identity, and implications of the "Special Period" following collapse of the Soviet Union. During the second half of the course, students visit significant cultural sites, attend guest lectures, and experience everyday life in Cuba; they learn to process their experiences using basic ethnographic techniques. Cross-listed in African American studies, American cultural studies, anthropology, and Spanish. Enrollment limited to 20. C. Carnegie, M. Pettway.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

ANTH s27. Decoding Disney: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Animated Blockbuster.This course uses the full-length cartoons so formative for this generation of students as "cultural texts" subject to anthropological analysis. Students learn to discern America's contested beliefs and values by unearthing cultural politics embedded in Disney Corporation's mainstay, feature-length animated motion pictures. Such demystification entails delving beyond surface messages to reveal underlying tensions, recurring contradictions, even counter-hegemonic themes. With respect to the particular intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, and nation, what distinguishes millennial popular culture from animated productions of the early twentieth century? What continuities do we detect? What are the implications of Disney's increasingly global reach? Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every year. E. Eames.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

ANTH s32. Introduction to Archaeological Fieldwork.This field course offers basic training in archaeological survey, excavation, and analysis through work on prehistoric sites in the area. The course requires a fee to cover transportation costs. Enrollment limited to 15. Normally offered every year. B. Bourque.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

ANTH s50. Independent Study.Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, individually design and plan a course of study or research not offered in the curriculum. Course work includes a reflective component, evaluation, and completion of an agreed-upon product. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the program/department, a course prospectus, and permission of the chair are required. Students may register for no more than one independent study during a Short Term. Normally offered every year. Staff.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations


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