Courses

ANTH 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 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. 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).

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.

ANTH 103 Introduction to Archaeology

Archaeology is anthropology that looks into the past by examining material remains. 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 dimensions of human culture often not considered.

ANTH 105 Global Circuits: Popular Culture, Migration, and the World Economy

Most of us carry a device that connects us with a virtually infinite number of communities across the globe. From watching Korean drama over Thai takeout to keeping in touch with family members abroad, many of our daily experiences are facilitated by globalization. In this course, students analyze the shifts in modes of production, consumption, and membership precipitated by globalization through an anthropological lens. Anthropology offers a unique set of tools for understanding how macroprocesses such as globalization are made, challenged, and accommodated in the local. Moreover, students consider how power structures relationships of production and consumption on the global scale.

ANTH 112 Production and REproduction: Experimental Archaeology Lab

This lab-based course provides an introduction to archaeology and inference. Students design individual experimental archaeology projects that include background research, hypothesis, test expectations, methods, intellectual merit, and broader impacts. During the course, students carry out their research, followed by a series of revisions and retesting. This hands-on course provides holistic engagement in research design, western-scientific methods, quantitative and qualitative analysis, interpretation, redesign, and connection to scholarly and general public interests. Recommended background: ANTH 103.

ANTH 125 Critical Perspectives on Sport and Society

This course explores the connections between sports and a broad range of anthropological concerns, including colonialism, resistance and domination, race, and gender. Students consider questions such as: Why do we play the sports we do? Why are sporting performances socially significant, and how have groups and political regimes used this significance to suit their needs? What can teams, players, and brands tell us about how we (and others) see the world? Addressing topics from cricket in the Caribbean to boxing in Chicago, students reappraise conventional sporting narratives and use sports to analyze the social and historical conditions in which they occur. In doing so, students think critically about their own sporting experiences and develop a deeper and subtler understanding of the ways that societies make sports and sports make societies.

ANTH 203 Cultural and Creative Expressions of the American Indian

This course examines American Indian expression and settler colonialism in North American through a lens of Tribal Critical Theory and Critical Race Theory. The course establishes an understanding of settler-colonialism and its functions and impacts, including federal “Indian policy,” the development of hegemonic control of all facets of American Indian society and its overreaches regarding tribal affiliation, racial tensions, land allocation, subsistence rights, and access, and their many intersects. Students consider dominant narratives, aided by critical theories, including hypotheses of the “peopling of the Americas,” and the way in which the dominant hegemonic narrative has established regional histories and experiences of North American Indigenous/Native/First Nations people with persistent implications.

ANTH 205 Citizenship, Borders, and Belonging

Increasing levels of globalization have prompted scholars to predict the diminishing importance of national borders. Contrarily, in the age of detention, deportation, and refugee crises, citizenship has gained renewed importance. In this course, students explore different ways of organizing citizenship around the world from multiple perspectives including those of refugees, visa seekers, unauthorized immigrants, soldiers, and mothers, among others. They examine how formal framings of rights are shaped by a politics of representation where the ideal citizen is crafted and contested. They also consider how those excluded from legal and cultural citizenship form alternative structures of belonging.

ANTH 207 Race, Racism, and Redress

Recent events in the United States and around the globe have prompted a re-examination of the role of race in contemporary life. Since its inception, anthropology has been concerned with questions of human origins, diversity, and community. In this course, students examine the origins of racial thought, its transformation over time, and the ways race and intersecting identifications shape everyday life. Through ethnographies of global cultures, students explore how race takes form and meaning in different contexts. Throughout, they learn how to think critically about their own identities and beliefs and engage with strategies for redress.

ANTH 209 Pixelated Parts: Race, Gender, Video Games

This course considers the politics of race, gender, and sexuality as they emerge in video games and their surrounding ecosystems: in games and their conditions and processes of production, in the representations and spaces of identification that come with the play of games, in the communities that players generate among themselves, and in the affective and material interactions that result when players look at a screen, hold a controller, type on a keyboard, and move a mouse.

ANTH 210 Ethnographic Methods

This course is designed to introduce students to ethnographic research methods and ethics. Student begin with a review of early ethnographic “fieldwork” methods-a defining feature of anthropology that includes conducting research in situ to create an in-depth and complex understanding of cultural practices, social processes, and the human condition. While drawing on a variety of interdisciplinary sources, students critically examine cultural anthropology’s primary methods: participant observation, qualitative interviewing, archival research, writing fieldnotes, visual media (photography, drawing, film) and apply some of these tools to ethnographic projects over the course of the semester. This course also builds from decolonial methods from a wide-range of historically marginalized perspectives and, as such, will interrogate the politics of knowledge production, which include research collection, analysis, and representation. Throughout the course, students reflect on the ethical dimensions of conducting research with human subjects, considering how social issues impact a diversity of communities within and outside of the U.S., as well as how communities make sense of and develop responses to social issues. Ultimately, this course seeks not just to provide students with a toolkit of ethnographic methods, but also to enable them to think expansively about the politics of those methods and the conditions in which those methods are used.

ANTH 212 How Music Performs Culture: Introduction to Ethnomusicology

An introduction to the field of ethnomusicology, the study of “music as culture.” Emphasis is on the interdisciplinary character of the field, and the diverse analytical approaches to music making undertaken by ethnomusicologists over time. The centrality of fieldwork and ethnography to the discipline is also a core concept of the course. Through readings, multimedia, and discussion, students examine relationships among ethnomusicology, musicology, anthropology, and world music, and consider the implications of globalization to the field as a whole. Students explore applied music learning as well as performance as a research technique through participation in several hands-on workshops with the Bates Gamelan Ensemble.

ANTH 214 Afro-Latinx Diasporas in the United States

Over the last two decades, Afro-Latinx culture and history has become a rich area of study. Emphasizing ethnographic approaches, this course examines how racial formations, gender and national belonging have historically and recently intersected in the production and representation of Blackness within Latinx spaces. Students draw from decolonial frameworks and use different media to critically analyze how anti-Blackness rooted in the myth of racial democracy shapes Afro-Latinx cultures in the U.S. Recommended background: coursework in Africana, anthropology, gender and sexuality studies, or Latin American and Latinx studies. Crosslisted in Africana, anthropology, and Latin American and Latinx studies.

ANTH 222 Archaeology and Colonial Entanglements in North America

An introduction to the archaeology of North America throughout the past 20,000 years and earlier. Students examine current archaeological hypotheses of the “peopling of the Americas,” and construct the most likely model based on their command of the literature and an independent critical analysis supporting their own hypothesis. Students review and reconcile the archaeological past with indigenous concepts such as oral histories and origin stories, challenging and expanding their world view to include non-Western concepts. The course applies critical theory perspectives, including indigenous-feminist and postcolonial theories, to assess the colonial process that archaeology has at times unwittingly imposed on North American native peoples.

ANTH 231 Money and Magic: Anthropological Exploration of Contemporary Capitalism

This course examines the more magical and relational aspects of contemporary economy, markets, and capitalism. First, students examine ideas often taken for granted about nature, humans, and nonhumans that shape cultural understandings of “economy” in American capitalism. Then they explore economic practices, ideal subjects, and the production of economic “others” in contemporary capitalism(s) around the world, past and present. Through readings and use of various media (film, TikTok, Twitter, etc.) students explore how economy is cultural, relational, and ultimately a bit “magical.”

ANTH 238 Culture, Conflict, and Change in Latin America

Over 400 million Latin Americans share a common language, but the region’s racial, ethnic, geographical, and cultural diversity complicates a singular continental identity. This course surveys the anthropological scholarship on the diverse lifeways in Latin America and the Caribbean. Images and texts drawn from distinct locales considers how contrasting anthropological perspectives from the region’s peoples, histories, and contemporary challenges. Of particular concern are the ways legacies of colonialism shape both Latin America and anthropology. Additional topics of interest include indigenous and Afro-Latinx resistance and expression; immigration, transnationalism, and deportation; sex, gender, and sex work.

ANTH 242 Environment, Human Rights, and Indigenous Peoples

This course looks at the complex intersection between environmentalism, the human rights movement, and indigenous politics. Starting with the premise that settler colonialism is not a past event but rather a structure that continues to shape societies worldwide, students consider topics including the emergence and growth of the global indigenous movement; the politics of (environmental) representation; resource conflicts such as bioprospecting and biopiracy, climate change, wildlife conservation, and extractive industries; and indigenous calls for self-determination and decolonization. Prerequisite(s): one of the following: ANTH 101 or ENVR 204.

ANTH 298 Musical Ethnography: Writing Music Culture

This course focuses on ethnomusicological research methods with an emphasis on the fieldwork experience. Students design and undertake an innovative field research project that reflects an understanding of the current philosophical underpinnings, ethical considerations, and approaches to ethnography within the discipline. Developing a feasible research problem and forging logical relationships between project design components are emphasized. Processes of participant observation, interviewing, and various techniques of documentation become part of the student ethnographer’s toolkit. Students analyze and interpret their gathered materials from within a selected theoretical perspective, culminating in a final multimedia document. Recommended background: course work in anthropology, ethnomusicology, or music.

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.

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.

ANTH 365 Special Topics

A course or seminar offered from time to time and reserved for a special topic selected by the department.

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.

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.

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.

ANTH S11 Bordering Hispaniola: Blackness, Mixture, and Nation in the Dominican Republic

This course explores Dominican identity and its relation to ideas of nation vis-à-vis the island’s shared border with Haiti. Before departing for Santo Domingo, students consider the contexts of colonialism, state formation, and labor migration that shape contemporary Dominican identities. In the Dominican Republic, students visit key sites in the African and Haitian diasporas in the country. Further, they examine performance and popular culture as key sites of antiracist engagement. Students employ participatory ethnographic methods and map making to examine key themes of identity, performance, and resistance. Cross-listed in Africana, anthropology, and Latin American and Latinx studies.

ANTHS 22 Culture and Power

This course explores the relationship between cultural practices and power through media that range from academic texts and photography to graphic novels and theater. The course draws from global, cross-cultural examples to address topics such as the afterlives of slavery, postcolonialism, immigration, obstetric violence, racial inequality, and media representations. Students gain an understanding of the key interests and methods driving cultural anthropology. In the final project, students have the opportunity to expand on a course topic through the medium of their choice.

ANTHS 32 Introduction to Archaeological Fieldwork

This field course offers basic training in indigenous archaeological field survey, data collection, analysis, and community engagement at precolonial and colonial-era sites in Alaska, Maine, or other locations, depending on the year. The course requires a fee to cover transportation costs, room, and board.

ANTHS 50 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.

FYS 484 Making Sense: The Social Significance of Sensory Perception

How do our senses help us to order and organize our world? How are our senses themselves ordered and organized? In what ways might our senses be intertwined with the world in which we live? This course considers these questions in a range of different contexts, and it challenges students to think about the senses as socially and culturally constructed pathways between bodies and worlds. In doing so, this course directs attention to the politics of the senses: how worlds of perception and experience are opened for us, closed to us, and shaped by forces beyond our immediate control.

FYS 549 Race and Gender in Biomedicine

This course explores conceptualizations and representations of race and gender in health and medicine. Students begin by looking at the history of race, sex, and sexuality in Western science, especially in terms of how they have been articulated through multiple contexts involving infectious diseases. How does scientific thought and practice intersect with larger political and economic movements including colonization and imperialism? Then they discuss the uses of race and sex in contemporary biomedicine focusing on the following questions: How is inequality “written on the body”? How are categories of risk and susceptibility racialized and biologized? How are racism and sexism considered “underlying conditions” that powerfully shape whether or not people contract infectious diseases and who lives and who dies? The course focuses on global health disparities.