Bates College Catalog: 2008-2009
Professors Kemper, Danforth, and Carnegie; Associate Professor Eames (chair); Visting Instructor Lindkvist; Senior Lecturer Bourque
Anthropologists investigate culture and society, the concept of "race," gender, ethnicity, and human evolution. Anthropology is a comprehensive discipline offering students a broad, comparative, and essentially interdisciplinary approach to the study of human life in all its diversity.
Anthropologists are concerned with understanding human universals, on the one hand, and the uniqueness of individual cultures, on the other. At Bates the program includes archeological, biological, and sociocultural perspectives.
Anthropology attempts to make sense, in a nonethnocentric manner, of everyday life in both familiar and "exotic" settings. In this way the discipline enables students to achieve cultural competence in the broadest sense of the term—the ability to function effectively in complex environments, to analyze material from their own and other cultures, and to appreciate the value of the cultural diversity that exists in our world. Some recent graduates have pursued careers in public health and medicine, community organizing, environmental law, international development, teaching, and museum work; some have gone on to graduate work in anthropology and archeology.
Anthropology 101, 103, and 104 are designed as introductions to the discipline of anthropology and as preparation for more advanced courses. Other 100- and 200-level courses also admit first-year students, but more closely reflect a specific field within anthropology. The 300- and 400-level courses are open to all upperclass students, but the latter are especially designed for majors. More information on the anthropology department is available on the Web site (www.bates.edu/ANTH.xml).
Major Requirements. Students majoring in anthropology study the discipline's history and methodology by taking two types of courses: those that focus on a particular cultural area (such as Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, native North America, or South Asia) and courses that focus on a specific theoretical concern. They also conduct individual ethnographic or archeological fieldwork and are encouraged to complement their work in anthropology with participation in a study-abroad program. The chair serves as the study-abroad advisor for anthropology students. Major requirements may include course work in other related departments (such as art and visual culture, biology, geology, languages and literatures, politics, religious studies, or sociology) and programs (such as African American studies, American cultural studies, Asian studies, environmental studies, or women and gender studies). Some departmental funding is available for student research projects, most notably the annually awarded Hamill Fund Grant for fieldwork in anthropology.
Students majoring in anthropology must complete successfully Anthropology 101, 103 or 104, 333, 339, 441, 458, Anthropology s10 or s32, which should be taken during the student's sophomore year; and at least four other courses in anthropology, not including 360. With departmental approval two of these elective courses in anthropology may be replaced by related courses from other departments or programs at Bates or from a junior semester or junior year abroad program.
Minor. A minor in anthropology enables students to develop a basic foundation in the discipline while complementing the perspectives offered in their major area of study. The department has established the following requirements for a minor in anthropology:
1) Anthropology 101 and either 103 or 104.
2) Anthropology 222, 247, 333, or 339.
3) Anthropology s10 or s32.
4) Any two other anthropology courses (including courses cross-listed in anthropology).
Pass/Fail Grading Option. Pass/fail grading may not be elected for courses applied toward the major or the minor.
General Education Information for the Classes of 2009 and 2010. Any two courses listed below may serve as a department-designated set. First-Year Seminar 172, 242, and 325 may be used as an anthropology course in a social science set or as a third course. Short Term units may not be used to satisfy a set requirement, nor may any Short Term unit serve as an option for the third course.
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. Enrollment limited to 50 per section. Normally offered every semester. L. Danforth, S. Kemper, H. Lindkvist. Concentrations.
ANTH 103. Introduction to Archeology.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 archeologists. 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. Normally offered every year. B. Bourque. Concentrations.
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. Normally offered every year. B. Bourque. Concentrations.
ANTH 155. 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. Enrollment limited to 25. Normally offered every year. E. Eames. 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. Offered with varying frequency. H. Lindkvist. 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 while assesing the environmental impact of colonization. Not open to students who have received credit for Anthropology 322. Normally offered every other year. B. Bourque. Concentrations.
AN/RE 225. Gods, Heroes, Magic, and Mysteries: Religion in Ancient Greece.An anthropological approach to ancient Greek religion in which archeological, 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. Normally offered every other year. L. Danforth. 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 postcolonial tensions between communalism and individualism, and explores indigenous and imported notions of power and corruption, prosperity, and disease as they are lived and understood within contemporary West and Southern 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. Normally offered every year. E. Eames. 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. Not open to students who have received credit for AN/SO 325. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. C. Carnegie. Concentrations.
AN/RE 234. 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. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 80. Normally offered every other year. L. Danforth. 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, gender, and the body, as well as external forces on these social realities. Open to first-year students. Offered with varying frequency. 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, the World Bank and the United Nations, and the impacts of oil and mining, bio-prospecting, and biodiversity conservation. Prerequisite(s): Anthropology 101, Environmental Studies 204, Anthropology/Environmental Studies 337, or Politics 250. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every year. S. Pieck. Concentrations.
ANTH 247. New World Archeology.A topical survey of New World archeology 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 Anthropology 347. Normally offered every other year. B. Bourque. Concentrations.
AA/AN 251. History, Agency, and Representation in the Making of 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.
ANTH 252. The Anthropology of Modernity.Where anthropologists have traditionally focused on small-scale, self-sufficient societies, this course considers modernity as a cultural system, part of present-day capitalist enterprise, and a global phenomenon. It does so by focusing on three practices central to modern social life: consumption, nationalism and transnationalism, and postmodernism. Open to first-year students. Offered with varying frequency. S. Kemper. Concentrations.
INDS 262. Ethnomusicology: African Diaspora.For Paul Gilroy, the African diaspora is to be understood as the "Black Atlantic"—a dynamic, politically charged web of interrelationships that links diasporic communities through patterns of migration, movement, and historical contingency. This course explores the musical dimensions of the Black Atlantic, but it also demonstrates how music's flow and dynamism make it uniquely well-suited to embodying these cultural relationships, making them deeply felt as present in the immediacy of the moment. Cross-listed in African American studies, anthropology, and music. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 25. Normally offered every other year. D. Chapman. 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. Normally offered every other year. S. Kemper. Concentrations.
ANTH 264. South Asia and Its World.South Asia has produced a distinctive civilization of considerable antiquity, a pattern which 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 does so by considering the "indianization" of Southeast Asia, the coming of Islam to the subcontinent, and the dispersal of South Asians around the planet. Open to first-year students. Offered with varying frequency. 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. Emphasis is placed on both Western and non-Western religions. Open to first-year students. Offered with varying frequency. S. Kemper. Concentrations.
AN/RE 266. Islam, the Muslim World, and the West.The course examines the challenges Muslims confront as they adapt Islam to everyday life in the West. What does it mean to be a Muslim in a non-Muslim context? The course focuses on Muslim immigrants, tracing their movement from country of origin to settlement in the West. It explores the relationship between religion and culture as Muslims redefine Islam in these new contexts. Topics include social practices, identity formation, gender relations, body and space, and representations of Islam. Not open to students who have received credit for Anthropology 266. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. [W2] Offered with varying frequency. H. Lindkvist. Concentrations.
AN/WS 275. Gender Relations in Comparative Perspective.Comparative analysis of the social construction of gender in a wide range of contemporary societies, focusing on the contrast among African, Asian, and North Atlantic notions of gender identity and gender relations. Students work toward a deeper understanding of gender diversity, confronting our own cultural assumptions. Open to first-year students. Offered with varying frequency. E. Eames. Concentrations.
AN/WS 276. Sex, Desire, and Culture.Is sexuality an innate, universal category of human experience? What determines the object of an individual's desire? How does the body become "sexed," reflecting social and objective notions of sexuality and gender? An introduction to the anthropology of sexuality, this course explores the history of the field—the influential figures and dominant theories—and contemporary perspectives in the cross-cultural study of sexuality. A central premise of this course is the understanding that sexuality is a dynamic force, mediated by historical and cultural factors. Topics include ritualized sexual behavior, sexual identity, alternative sexualities (e.g., two-spirit), and body modifications. Recommended background: course work in anthropology. Offered with varying frequency. H. Lindkvist. 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. Offered with varying frequency. C. Carnegie. Concentrations.
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 coursework in anthropology. Enrollment limited to 20. [W2] Normally offered every year. C. Carnegie, H. Lindkvist. Concentrations.
AN/ES 337. Social Movements, NGOs, and the Environment.As emerging transnational actors, social movements and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) challenge state-centered paradigms with regard to environmental and other issues. But why do environmental movements arise in the first place? Do NGOs necessarily "do environmental good"? What solutions to the environment-development quandary do these forms of activism offer? The course first locates the context for NGOs and social movements within neoliberal globalization and the resource conflicts that emerge from its processes. Students consider topics and case studies in developed and developing countries, using them as a lens through which to understand the complexities of social and environmental change. Prerequisite(s): Anthropology 101 or Environmental Studies 204. Enrollment limited to 20. [W2] Normally offered every year. S. Pieck.
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, feminist, and ecological 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. [W2] Normally offered every year. E. Eames. Concentrations.
AN/SP 340. Indigenismo versus Indigenous Voices in Latin American Literature.This course contrasts the mode of representation of indigenous people in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Latin American literature known as indigenismo—which considers the role assumed by the mestizo and white writers as spokespersons/translators for the Indians—with representations offered by the Indians themselves in the contemporary era. Indigenista literary production is linked to the state's policies of exclusion of the Indians in postcolonial Latin America. The increasing power that indigenous movements have gained since the 1970s in their struggle for autonomy, self-determination, and the defense of their land and cultures has challenged the very essence of the Latin American nation-states and discourses about the Indians. Conducted in English. Prerequisite(s): Spanish 215 or 216. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. M. Ortiz.
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. Recommended background: course work in African American studies, American cultural studies, anthropology, politics, sociology, or women and gender studies. Cross-listed in African American studies, anthropology, and women and gender studies. Enrollment limited to 15. Normally offered every other year. M. Beasley.
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.
AN/ED 378. Ethnographic Approaches to Education.This course provides an introduction to fieldwork for those planning to conduct qualitative research for a thesis in the social sciences. Ethnography focuses on the daily lives and meaning-making processes of people who associate regularly in local networks, institutions, or communities. Ethnographers observe, interview, and participate in the routine activities of the people they study. They also explore the connections between locally situated activity and broader realms of symbolic meaning and social organization. This course introduces students to interpretive methods with which to examine the webs of meaning that give shape to educational spaces. Through active engagement in empirical research in educational settings across the Lewiston-Auburn community, students grapple with theoretical assumptions, procedures, and standards of quality in ethnographic research. A thirty-hour field experience is required. Enrollment limited to 15. [W2] Normally offered every year. P. Buck. Concentrations.
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.
ANTH 457. Senior Thesis.Students participate in individual and group conferences in connection with the writing of the senior thesis. Majors writing a one-semester thesis normally register for Anthropology 458. Majors writing an honors thesis register for Anthropology 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.
ANTH 457, 458. Senior Thesis.Students participate in individual and group conferences in connection with the writing of the senior thesis. Majors writing a one-semester thesis normally register for Anthropology 458. Majors writing an honors thesis register for Anthropology 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.
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 Anthropology 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 Anthropology 458. Prerequisite(s): approval by the department of a thesis prospectus prior to registration. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff.Short Term Courses
ANTH s10. Encountering Community: Ethnographic Fieldwork and Service-Learning.This unit offers students an opportunity to explore the cultural diversity that exists 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 unit has a particular focus such as refugees, ethnicity, or religion. Recommended background: some course work in anthropology. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. Normally offered every year. Staff. 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. Drawing from cultural, critical, and performance theories, students engage in the dialectics of cultural exchange and the fluidity of identity; they interrogate conceptions of desire and consumption. The unit 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. Cross-listed in African American studies, American cultural studies, anthropology, and women and gender studies. Enrollment limited to 20. Normally offered every year. Staff.
AA/AN s28. Cultural Production and Social Context, Jamaica.Although Jamaica's artistic and popular culture enjoys international acclaim, it is at the same time often misunderstood. This unit affords students an opportunity to investigate a range of Jamaican cultural practices within the context of the specific social, historical, and political matrices in which they are generated and received. This unit begins with a preliminary introduction/orientation in Lewiston. In Jamaica, regular seminar meetings are supplemented by guest speakers and visits with writers and artists. In addition, each student carries out an individual research project using both textual and ethnographic methods of inquiry. Recommended background: coursework on the Caribbean or in African American studies. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. Offered with varying frequency. C. Carnegie. Concentrations.
ANTH s32. Introduction to Archeological Fieldwork.This field course offers basic training in archeological survey, excavation, and analysis through work on prehistoric sites in the area. This unit requires a fee to cover transportation costs. Enrollment limited to 15. Normally offered every year. B. Bourque. Concentrations.
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.