ANTH 201 Anthropology of Sex and Gender

Professor: M. Dominy

CRN: 11689

Distribution: A/C

Time: W F 10:30 am - 12:00 noon OLIN 205

cross-listed: Gender Studies
An examination of the ways in which sex and gender are socially organized, and culturally interpreted in a variety of cultural systems, from kin-based nonstratified systems to the nation state. We examine what it means to be a gendered person in relation to culturally variable, locally imagined and transnational systems of power and prestige. For example, in Asia, Africa and the Pacific, we study imperial gender politics and their domestic arrangements and encompassing political structures, the constitution and coding of racial differences in gendered terms, the effects of development on indigenous women's lives, and indigenous sovereignty and female agency in postcolonial contexts. We examine how kinship, economics, politics, belief and ideology are experienced and structured through gender by asking the following questions: What are universals in the relative position of women and men and how might they be explained? What factors determine women's status in particular societies? What specific strategies do women use to achieve power or influence in different social systems? We ask what cultures make of sex, how bodies are constructed historically, medically and politically, and how new reproductive technologies are reshaping our understandings of kinship and family forms, sexualities, and concepts of personhood, especially in Europe and North America. Throughout we examine processes of knowledge production in feminist anthropology by tracing the evolution of the field to include archaeology, sociolinguistics and primatology. Topics include Australian Aboriginal gatherer-hunters, the sexual division of labor and the origin of the family, historical matriarchies, Mediterranean concepts of honor and shame, concepts of purity and pollution in highland New Guinea, veiling and seclusion in South and West Asia, West African female solidarity groups, and lesbian and gay kinship in the United States.


ANTH 208B American Anthroplogy: The Professionalization of Research and Theory 1850-1970

Professor: M. Bick

CRN: 11691

Distribution: A/C

Time: M W 10:30 am - 12:20 pm OLIN 308

cross-listed: American Studies
American anthropology to the Second World War had three central concerns: (1) the description and understanding of Native American peoples based on participant observation through residential fieldwork. This concern began in the early nineteenth century, and was mainly directed from the Smithsonian Institution. This research focus was carried on in the twentieth century by the European-influenced Boasian school of anthropology, centered at Columbia University, which was also responsible for the modernization of anthropology, and the efforts of American anthropology to (2) defeat scientific racism, and (3) to place the concept of culture at the center of anthropological thought. This course examines this history, in the Boasian centenary year, as well as the rise of sociological, psychological and neomarxist evolutionist thought in American anthropology in this period. Works by such anthropologists as Frank Cushing, James Mooney, Frank Boas, Ruth Benedict, Margaret Mead, Robert Lowie, Alfred Kroeber, Paul Radin, Melville Herskovits, Robert Redfield, Clyde Kluckhohn, Leslie White and Julian Steward will be read and discussed.


ANTH 214 Northeastern Native Peoples: The Wendat (Huron) of Ontario

Professor: C. Lindner

CRN: 11692

Distribution: C

Time: Tu Th 1:20 pm - 2:50 pm LC 208

cross-listed: American Studies, CRES, History, MES
An interdisciplinary approach to this confederacy that was shattered militarily by the Iroquois of New York in 1649. From 1615 French explorers and missionaries had recorded Wendat culture more fully than was the case with any other indigenous group in North America this early in the colonial period. Archaeology, biocultural and linguistic anthropology, folklore studies, history, and ethnohistory combine to reveal environmental adaptation and political organization, family and religious life. The class will read scholarly texts in each subfield, with concentration on the writings of the ethnohistorian/archaeologist Bruce Trigger. Seminar presentations and written exams will enhance comprehension. Open to first-year students.


ANTH 217 Elites, Ruling Classes and Upper Classes in Latin America

Professor: M. Bick

CRN: 11690

Distribution: C/D

Time: Tu Th 10:30 am - 12:20 pm OLIN 306

cross-listed: LAIS
of related interest: MES

This course will begin by studying theories of elite and ruling class structure, and how these sectors are formed, maintain their boundaries, and are implicated in the political and economic power distributions of modern nation states. The remainder of the course will examine these sectors in Latin America through readings in anthropology, sociology, political science, history and literature. Emphasis will be on the understanding of the mechanisms by which these sectors are perpetuated, particularly in regard to social life, marriage, leisure, associational activities, and consumption patterns (including those related to the arts).


ANTH 238 Myth, Ritual and Symbol

Professor: M. Dominy

CRN: 11693

Distribution: A/C

Time: W F 1:15 pm - 2:45 pm OLIN 205

cross-listed: Religion

A consideration of the theoretical approaches anthropologists use to analyze religious and symbolic systems comparatively, this course attempts to understand the function and meaning of religious practice and belief rather than to examine particular religious traditions. While focusing primarily on functional, structuralist, and interpretive approaches to the indigenous cosmologies, myths, rituals and social structures of peoples in small-scale societies, the course also considers local variants of world traditions such as Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Topics will include: rites of passage and death rituals; curing, trance and divination; religious practitioners; witchcraft beliefs; ritual symbolism, ethnic politics, pilgrimage, religious movements (prophetic traditions), and sociolinguistic aspects of religious communication and conversion. Readings will draw from theorists Malinowski, Durkheim, Levi-Strauss, Turner, Douglas, Weber and Geertz among others, as well as classic and contemporary ethnographies. Prerequisite: Anthropology 101, or 100-level course in religion.


ANTH 301 Seminar in Contemporary Theory: The Anthropology of Medicine

Professor: D. Brown

CRN: 11695

Distribution: A/C

Time: M 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm OLIN 304

cross-listed: History of Science
of related interest: Gender Studies

Through a series of readings this seminar will explore sociocultural constructions of health and illness, juxtaposing and critiquing western biomedical constructs and those of other societies and healing traditions. The body will serve as an analytic lens for examining how health, illness and healing have been conceptualized and socially patterned crossculturally, and will be used to challenge the "natural" facts of our own ways of understanding the construction, classification and maintenance of bodies. We will explore how political economic systems and the inequalities they engender--poverty, violence, discrimination--impact upon human well-being. We will use the readings to consider how bridges may be constructed across the present theoretical gap between positions that privilege material and biomedical approaches to health and the alleviation of human suffering, and those that draw on constructions of health and illness primarily for their symbolic meanings. Readings will include case studies of the sociocultural construction of biomedically recognized conditions, infectious diseases such as TB and AIDS, depression and schizophrenia, and many illnesses less amenable to analysis through western disease categories, such as susto (magical fright), and illnesses of spirit possession. Limited to upper-college students or permission of instructor.


ANTH 308 Italy Through Ethnographic Eyes

Professor: M. Bick

CRN: 11694

Distribution: C/D

Time: Tu 3:40 pm - 5:40 pm OLIN 306

cross-listed: Italian Studies
This seminar will study the portrayals of Italy and Italian communities as they emerged through the fieldwork-based research of anthropologists and other social scientists after World War II. Included in our reading will be some studies of Italian-American communities. Our goal of this seminar is to come to some understanding of how the romantic sense of Italy, and being Italian, relates to empirically oriented social-science research and theory.