Anthropology Department

The field of anthropology seeks to promote a holistic understanding of social life by offering complex accounts of human histories, societies and cultures. Anthropologists undertake ethnographic, archival, and archaeological research on the varied aspects of individual and collective experience in all time periods and parts of the world. The Department of Anthropology offers a wide range of options for majors and for nonmajors in recognition of the broad interdisciplinary nature of the field. Nonmajors from all classes may choose courses at any level 
with permission of the instructor and without introductory anthropology as a prerequisite.

NRO: One introductory course taken NRO may count towards the major if a letter grade is received. If a student receives a PA for an introductory course taken under the NRO option, that student must complete 13 courses for an anthropology major. No other required courses for the major may be taken NRO.

Recommendations: The field experience is essential to the discipline of anthropology. Therefore, majors are urged to take at least one fieldwork course, to engage in field research during the summer, and/or to undertake independent fieldwork under a study away program.

Anthropological Research Experience: The department also offers students the opportunity for independent fieldwork/research projects through several of its courses and in conjunction with on-going faculty research projects. Opportunities for laboratory research, which is also critical to anthropological inquiry, are available in our archaeology, biological anthropology, sound analysis, and digital video editing labs.

Advisers: The department.



Correlate Sequence in Anthropology


Anthropology: I. Introductory

100a. Archaeology (1)

Popular media depicts archaeology as a search for lost treasures of an explicit or implied monetary value. In reality, an artifact's value lies not in its gold or gemstone content but in the information that object provides about the past. This academic archaeology is a scientific pursuit with artifacts, things made or modified by people, as the primary data source. Instead of searching for ancient astronauts and the lost city of Atlantis, academic archaeologists are searching for evidence about how past communities were organized and how they dealt with cultural or environmental change. The answers to such questions allow us to learn from the past as we face our own challenges. This is the true value of archaeology. This course examines both popular and academic archaeology, critiquing them against the scientific method. Ms. Beisaw.

Two 75-minute periods.

120b. Human Origins (1)

This course introduces current and historical debates in the study of human evolution. Primate studies, genetics, the fossil record and paleoecology are drawn upon to address such issues as the origins and nature of human cognition, sexuality, and population variation. Ms. Pike-Tay.

Two 75-minute periods.

140a or b. Cultural Anthropology (1)

An introduction to central concepts, methods, and findings in cultural anthropology, including culture, cultural difference, the interpretation of culture, and participant-observation. The course uses cross-cultural comparison to question scholarly and commonsense understandings of human nature. Topics may include sexuality, kinship, political and economic systems, myth, ritual and cosmology, and culturally varied ways of constructing race, gender, and ethnicity. Students undertake small research projects and explore different styles of ethnographic writing. Ms. Lowe Swift and Mr. Smith.

Two 75-minute periods.

150a or b. Linguistics and Anthropology (1)

This class introduces students to the multiple senses in which languages constitute "formal systems." There is a focus on both theoretical discussions about, and practical exercises in, the phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics of human languages. We also consider the origins of natural languages in various ways: their ontogenesis, their relationship to non-human primate signaling systems, and their relationship to other, non-linguistic, human semiotic systems. Moreover, we examine the broader social and cultural contexts of natural languages, such as their consequences for socially patterned forms of thinking, and their relationship to ethnic, racial and regional variation. The course is intended both as the College's general introduction to formal linguistics and as a foundation for advanced courses in related areas. Mr. Smith, Mr. Tavarez.

Two 75-minute periods.

170a or b. Topics in Anthropology (1)

Introduction to anthropology through a focus on a particular issue or aspect of human experience. Topics vary, but may include Anthropology through Film, American Popular Culture, Extinctions, Peoples of the World. The department.

Open only to freshmen. Satisfies requirement for a Freshmen Writing Seminar.

Not offered in 2014/15.

Two 75-minute periods.

182a or b. Bones, Bodies, and Forensic Cases (1)

The accidental discovery of an isolated human bone or entire human body occurs more frequently than most people think. How these discoveries are dealt with is often a decision that involves local law enforcement, medical officials, archaeologists, and physical anthropologists. This course examines several such cases, following them from initial discovery to final conclusion. What clues do bones and bodies reveal? What evidence was found on or near these individuals? How do we piece together a narrative? Who decides what happens next? Contrary to what we see on television and in the movies, these cases require patience and cultural awareness and do not always lead to a clear happy ending.

Open only to freshmen; satisfies college requirement for a Freshman Writing Seminar.

Two 75-minute periods.

Anthropology: II. Intermediate

201b. Anthropological Theory (1)

In this course we explore the history of intellectual innovations that make anthropology distinctive among the social sciences. We seek to achieve an analytic perspective on the history of the discipline and also to consider the social and political contexts, and consequences, of anthropology's theory. While the course is historical and chronological in organization, we read major theoretical and ethnographic works that form the background to debates and issues in contemporary anthropology. Ms. Lowe Swift.

Prerequisite or corequisite: ANTH 140. 

Two 75-minute periods.

231a. Topics in Archaeology (1)

An examination of topics of interest in current archaeological analysis. We examine the anthropological reasons for such analyses, how analysis proceeds, what has been discovered to date through such analyses, and what the future of the topic seems to be. Possible topics include tools and human behavior, lithic technology, the archaeology of death, prehistoric settlement systems, origins of material culture.

May be repeated for credit if the topic has changed.

Topic for 2014/15a: Maps, Culture, and Archaeology. Maps are used to document relationships between peoples, places, and the spaces in between. This course examines both the practical and hegemonic uses of maps while providing students with hands-on experiences creating maps from archaeological and historical data. The central case study focuses on the megalithic monument of Stonehenge. This site seems quite mysterious when considered alone, but when Stonehenge is placed within the landscapes of its past, its meaning(s) and purpose(s) become clearer. Nonetheless, most people insist on seeing Stonehenge as an isolated place within the contemporary landscape of England, for that image is central to their worldview, cultural identity, and/or political agenda. If Stonehenge's landscape is as important as the individual site, there are real implications for the rights of local landowners, the obligations of heritage management and tourism, and the patrimony of cultures who see Stonehenge as a sacred site. Additional case studies will include community networks in the Native American southwest, the development of Euro-American towns in Maryland, and the layout of present-day Poughkeepsie. Ms. Beisaw.

Prerequisite: previous coursework in Anthropology or permission of the instructor. "

Two 75-minute periods.

232a. Topics in Biological Anthropology (1)

This course covers topics within the broad field of biological (or physical) anthropology ranging from evolutionary theory to the human fossil record to the identification of human skeletal remains from crime scenes and accidents. Bioanthropology conceptualizes cultural behavior as an integral part of our behavior as a species. Topics covered in this course may include human evolution, primate behavior, population genetics, human demography and variation, or forensic anthropology.

May be repeated for credit if the topic has changed.

Topic for 2014/15a: The Anthropology of Death. Skeletal remains of past populations have been a focus of interest for biological anthropologists, archaeologists, and medical practitioners since the nineteenth century. This course introduces students to (1) biomedical archaeology: the study of health and disease, and the demographic, genetic, and environmental [natural, cultural and social] factors that affect a population's risk for specific diseases; (2) forensic anthropology: the study of identifying the dead and the cause of death; (3) paleopathology: the study of injury and disease in ancient skeletons; and (4) cross-cultural attitudes toward death, including such things as issues of grave goods and monuments, and controversies that arise between bio-anthropologists, archaeologists and communities when the spiritual value of ancestral bones is pitted against their scientific value. Ms. Pike-Tay.

Prerequisites: ANTH 100, ANTH 120, or permission of the instructor. 

Two 75-minute periods.

235b. Area Studies in Archaeology (1)

This course is a detailed, intensive investigation of archaeological remains from a particular geographic region of the world. The area investigated varies from year to year and includes such areas as Eurasia, North America, and the native civilizations of Central and South America.

May be repeated for credit if the topic has changed.

Topic for 2014/15b: Historical Archaeology of North America. Historical archaeology differs from history by providing versions of the past that were unintentionally recorded through material remains, such as trash deposits. With historical archaeology we can test the documentary record and add to it. For example, historical archaeology allows us to reconstruct the daily lives of disenfranchised groups, such as illiterate immigrants, who did not leave their own documentary record. Historical archaeology also allows us to evaluate whether privileged groups actually followed their own documented rules and regulations. For example, individual orphanages, poor houses, asylums, and prisons deviated greatly in how they were run. Some orphanages were run like prisons while others provided children with a variety of toys to encourage play and to develop manners. Students learn the general method and theory of historical archaeology and receive hands-on experience analyzing artifacts from one or more sites. Ms. Beisaw.

Prerequisites: previous coursework in Anthropology or permission of the instructor. 

Two 75-minute periods.

240a. Cultural Localities (1)

Detailed study of the cultures of people living in a particular area of the world, including their politics, economy, worldview, religion, expressive practices, and historical transformations. Included is a critical assessment of different approaches to the study of culture. Areas covered vary from year to year and may include Europe, Africa, North America, and India.

May be repeated for credit if the topic has changed.

Topic for 2014/15a: The Indian Ocean. This course is an introduction to the multiple cultures and peoples of the Indian Ocean. Using historical works, ethnographies, travel accounts, manuscript fragments, and film, we explore the complex trade networks and historical processes that have shaped the contemporary economies, cultures, and social problems of the region. We also examine how knowledge about this region has been produced. Although the course concentrates on northern Africa and the southwest Indian Ocean, we approach the region as a cultural, economic, and political sphere whose various regions were closely interconnected. Topics include: imperialism, globalization, labor and trade migrations, religion, race, gender, and creolization. Ms. Lowe Swift.

Two 75-minute periods.

241a. The Caribbean (1)

An overview of the cultures of the Caribbean, tracing the impact of slavery and colonialism on contemporary experiences and expressions of Caribbean identity. Using ethnographies, historical accounts, literature, music, and film, the course explores the multiple meanings of 'Caribbean,' as described in historical travel accounts and contemporary tourist brochures, as experienced in daily social, political, and economic life, and as expressed through cultural events such as calypso contests and Festival, and cultural-political movements such as Rastafarianism. Although the course deals primarily with the English-speaking Caribbean, it also includes materials on the French and Spanish speaking Caribbean and on diasporic Caribbean communities in the U.S. and U.K. Ms. Cohen.

Prerequisite: previous coursework in Anthropology or permission of the instructor. 

Not offered in 2014/15.

243b. Mesoamerican Worlds (1)

(Same as LALS 243) A survey of the ethnography, history, and politics of indigenous societies with deep historical roots in regions now located in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras. This course explores the emergence of Mesoamerican states with a vivid cosmology tied to warfare and human sacrifice, the reconfiguration of these societies under the twin burdens of Christianity and colonial rule, and the strategies that some of these communities adopted in order to preserve local notions of identity and to cope with (or resist) incorporation into nation-states. After a consideration of urbanization, socio-religious hierarchies, and writing and calendrical systems in pre-contact Mesoamerica, we will focus on the adaptations within Mesoamerican communities resulting from their interaction with an evolving colonial order. The course also investigates the relations between native communities and the Mexican and Guatemalan nation-states, and examines current issues---such as indigenous identities in the national and global spheres, the rapport among environmental policies, globalization, and local agricultural practices, and indigenous autonomy in the wake of the EZLN rebellion. Work on Vassar's Mesoamerican collection, and a final research paper and presentation is required; the use of primary sources (in Spanish or in translation) is encouraged. Mr. Tavárez.

Two 75-minute periods.

245a. The Ethnographer's Craft (1)

(Same as URBS 245) This course introduces students to the methods employed in constructing and analyzing ethnographic materials through readings, classroom lectures, and discussions with regular field exercises. Students gain experience in participant-observation, fieldnote-taking, interviewing, survey sampling, symbolic analysis, the use of archival documents, and the use of contemporary media. Attention is also given to current concerns with interpretation and modes of representation. Throughout the semester, students practice skills they learn in the course as they design, carry out, and write up original ethnographic projects. Ms. Lowe Swift.

Two 75-minute periods.

247a. Modern Social Theory: Classical Traditions (1)

(Same as SOCI 247) This course examines underlying assumptions and central concepts and arguments of European and American thinkers who contributed to the making of distinctly sociological perspectives. Readings include selections from Karl Marx, Emile Durheim, Max Weber, Georg Simmel, W.E.B. Du Bois and Erving Goffman. Thematic topics will vary from year to year. Ms. Harriford.

Two 75-minute periods.

250a. Language, Culture, and Society (1)

This course draws on a wide range of theoretical perspectives in exploring a particular problem, emphasizing the contribution of linguistics and linguistic anthropology to issues that bear on research in a number of disciplines. At issue in each selected course topic are the complex ways in which cultures, societies, and individuals are interrelated in the act of using language within and across particular speech communities.

May be repeated for credit if the topic has changed.

Topic for 2014/15a: Language, Culture and Society. This class offers an advanced introduction to the central problems of the relationship between language, culture and society. The first third of the class develops a distinctively anthropological approach to the formal and functional characteristics of human language (i.e., one that is comparative across species and attentive to the meaningfulness and motivated character of signs). The second third of the class provides the theoretical and methodological tools for understanding how linguistically-mediated interaction counts as a power-laden social action. The last third of the class considers how these theories can be used to illuminate the way in which language mediates large-scale social institutions (e.g., the relationship between language, race and prejudice in educational contexts in the United States, etc.) and social processes (e.g., the significance of digital media in processes of globalization). Students will also be trained in the methodology of scholars interested in language, culture, and society: the video-recording, transcription, and analysis of naturally occurring talk. Mr. Smith.

Two 75-minute periods.

255b. Language, Gender, and Media (1)

This course offers a systematic survey of anthropological and linguistic approaches to the ways in which gender identities are implicated in language use, ideas about language, and the dynamic relationship between language and various forms of power and dominance. It is organized as a cross-cultural and cross-ethnic exploration of approaches that range from ground-breaking feminist linguistic anthropology and the study of gender, hegemony, and class, to contemporary debates on gender as performance and on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual/transgender identities. An important topic will be the representation of gender identities in various forms of media. However, we also investigate the multiple rapports among gender identities, socialization, language use in private and public spheres, forms of authority, and class and ethnic identities. Students will learn about transcription and analysis methods used in linguistic anthropology, and complete two projects, one based on spontaneous conversations, and another that focuses on mass media. Mr. Tavárez.

259b. Soundscapes: Anthropology of Music (1)

(Same as MUSI 259) This course investigates a series of questions about the relationship between music and the individuals and societies that perform and listen to it. In other words, music is examined and appreciated as a form of human expression existing within and across specific cultural contexts. The course takes an interdisciplinary approach to the social life of music, addressing historical themes and debates within multiple academic fields via readings, recordings, and films. Mr. Patch.

Prerequisites: previous coursework in Anthropology or Music, or permission of the instructor. 

Not offered in 2014/15.

260a. Current Themes in Anthropological Theory and Method (1)

The focus is upon particular cultural sub-systems and their study in cross-cultural perspective. The sub-system selected varies from year to year. Examples include: kinship systems, political organizations, religious beliefs and practices, verbal and nonverbal communication.

May be repeated for credit if the topic has changed.

Topic for 2014/15a: Language, Children, and Culture. This course surveys the ways that children figure into discussions about the relationship between language and culture. After reviewing the central theorists and paradigms that have examined these relationships--such as Lev Vygotsky, Margaret Mead, the language socialization paradigm, and theorists in childhood studies--we consider several topics that show how these proposals can shed light on the relationship between childhood and culture in social interaction: the pragmatics of "motherese," the body-in-interaction in infancy, language usage in play, language and materiality in games, directives and social hierarchy in childhood discourse, multilingualism and identity in childhood, and children's appropriation of mass-mediated forms of communication. In the last third of the class, we take up two case studies that focus on the encompassing political and sociocultural contexts of childhood: race, language and prejudice in the educational context, and the usage of digital media to sustain childhood friendships and communities across institutional or national boundaries. Mr. Smith.

Two 75-minute periods.

262a. Anthropological Approaches to Myth, Ritual and Symbol (1)

What is the place of myth, ritual and symbol in human social life? Do symbols reflect reality, or create it? This course considers answers to these questions in social theory (Marx, Freud and Durkheim) and in major anthropological approaches (functionalism, structuralism, and symbolic anthropology). It then reviews current debates in interpretive anthropology about order and change, power and resistance, the enchantments of capitalism, and the role of ritual in the making of history. Ethnographic and historical studies may include Fiji, Italy, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Seneca, and the U.S. Ms. Kaplan.

Prerequisite: previous coursework in Anthropology or permission of the instructor. 

Not offered in 2014/15.

263a. Anthropology Goes to the Movies: Film, Video, and Ethnography (1)

(Same as MEDS 263) This course examines how film and video are used in ethnography as tools for study and as means of ethnographic documentary and representation. Topics covered include history and theory of visual anthropology, issues of representation and audience, indigenous film, and contemporary ethnographic approaches to popular media. Ms. Cohen.

Prerequisite: previous coursework in Anthropology or Film or Media Studies or permission of the instructor. 

Not offered in 2014/15.

Two 75-minute periods, plus 3-hour preview laboratory.

264a. Anthropology of Art (1)

The Anthropology of Art explores the origins of art and symbolic behavior in human evolution as well as the practices of producing and interpreting art. The course moves from a survey of the earliest art of the Paleolithic (Stone Age) including cave paintings, engravings, body decoration and small portable sculptures to analyses of the form and function of art by early prehistorians and anthropologists through ethnoaesthetics, to the developing world market in the art objects traditionally studied by anthropologists. Among the topics explored in the course are connoisseurship and taste, authenticity, "primitive art," and the ethnographic museum. Ms. Pike-Tay.

Prerequisite: previous coursework in Anthropology or permission of the instructor. 

Not offered in 2014/15.

Two 75-minute periods.

266a. Indigenous and Oppositional Media (1)

(Same as MEDS 266) As audiovisual and digital media technologies proliferate and become more accessible globally, they become important tools for indigenous peoples and activist groups in struggles for recognition and self-determination, for articulating community concerns and for furthering social and political transformations. This course explores the media practices of indigenous peoples and activist groups, and through this exploration achieves a more nuanced and intricate understanding of the relation of the local to the global. In addition to looking at the films, videos, radio and television productions, and Internet interventions of indigenous media makers and activists around the world, the course looks at oppositional practices employed in the consumption and distribution of media. Course readings are augmented by weekly screenings and demonstrations of media studied, and students explore key theoretical concepts through their own interventions, making use of audiovisual and digital technologies. Ms. Cohen.

Not offered in 2014/15.

Two 75-minute periods, plus one 3-hour preview lab.

281b. Theirs or Ours? Repatriating Individuals and Objects (1)

(Same as AMST 281) Collecting Native American objects and human remains was once justified as a way to preserve vanishing cultures. Instead of vanishing, Native Americans organized and asked that their ancestors be returned, along with their grave goods, and other sacred objects. Initially, museums fought against the loss of collections and scientists fought against the loss of data. Governments stepped in and wrote regulations to manage claims, dictating the rights of all parties. Twenty years after the passage of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) repatriation remains a controversial issue with few who are truly satisfied with the adopted process. This course examines the ethics and logistics of repatriation from the perspectives of anthropology, art, history, law, museum studies, Native American studies, philosophy, and religion. Recent U.S. cases are contrasted with repatriation cases in other parts of the world, for repatriation is not just a Native American issue. Ms. Beisaw.

Two 75-minute periods.

290a or b. Field Work (1/2to1.5)

Individual or group field projects or internships. May be elected during the college year or during the summer. Open to all students. The department.

297b. Reading Course in Archaeological Field Methods (1/2)

Ms. Johnson.

298a or b. Independent Work (1/2to1)

Individual or group project of reading or research. May be elected during the college year or during the summer. The department.

386b. Situating Blackness, Situating Vassar: Experience, Documentation, Transformation (1)

(Same as AFRS 386) This course encourages students to explore the meanings of blackness (and raced identity categories) as lived experience at Vassar College and beyond. It provides methodological tools for students to explore self-knowledge, conduct social analyses of current contexts, and represent blackness as a lived experience today. The uses of historical literature, ethnography, film, guest speakers, social justice workshops, and first-hand accounts of experiences at Vassar and other institutions (by former students and existing members of the community)  help contextualize local experiences in the broader world and also explore the meanings of blackness. The course addresses how raced identity is experienced, and
how it can be transformed in, and transformative to, social life at Vassar. A primary goal is to help students link pain and suffering to systemic inequality, social privilege, and collective transformation. Ms. Lowe Swift.

Prerequisite: open to all qualified students with the permission of the instructor. 

One 3-hour period.

Anthropology: III. Advanced

300a or b. Senior Thesis (1)

The department.

301a. Senior Seminar (1)

A close examination of current theory in anthropology, oriented around a topic of general interest, such as history and anthropology, the writing of ethnography, or the theory of practice. Students write a substantial paper applying one or more of the theories discussed in class. Readings change from year to year. Ms. Cohen.

305b. Topics in Advanced Biological Anthropology (1)

An examination of such topics as primate structure and behavior, the Plio-Pleistocene hominids, the final evolution of Homo sapiens sapiens, forensic anthropology, and human biological diversity.

May be repeated for credit if the topic has changed.

Topic for 2014/15b: Forensic Anthropology. Forensic anthropology is the application of physical anthropology to medical or legal issues, such as crimes. This course introduces students to the basic methods of forensic anthropology, including how age, sex, race, and height of an individual can be determined from their bones. Recognition of skeletal anomalies can also reveal past health conditions and the cause and manner of death. Students gain experience in applying these methods by working with real and synthetic human bones. Special attention is given to the accuracy of each method and how to develop a biological profile that would stand up in a court of law. Ms. Beisaw.

Prerequisite: ANTH 232 or permission of the instructor. 

One 3-hour period.

331a. Topics in Archaeological Theory and Method (1)

(Same as AMST 331) The theoretical underpinnings of anthropological archaeology and the use of theory in studying particular bodies of data. The focus ranges from examination of published data covering topics such as architecture and society, the origin of complex society, the relationship between technology and ecology to more laboratory-oriented examination of such topics as archaeometry, archaeozoology, or lithic technology.

May be repeated for credit if the topic has changed.

Topic for 2014/15a: From the Natural History Museum to Ecotourism: The Collection of Nature. From the rise of the Natural History Museum, the Bureau of Ethnology, and early endeavors to create a national literature, the appropriation of American Indian lands and American Indians (as natural objects) offered Euro- Americans a means to realize their new national identity. Today, the American consumer-collector goes beyond the boundaries of the museum, national park, and zoo and into ecotourism, which claims to make a low impact on the environment and local culture, while helping to generate money, jobs, and the conservation of wildlife and vegetation. This course investigates historical and current trends in the way North Americans recover, appropriate, and represent non-western cultures, 'exotic' animals, and natural environments from theoretical and ideological perspectives. Course readings draw from the fields of anthropology, archaeology, museology, literature, and environmental studies. Ms. Pike-Tay.

Prerequisite: previous coursework in Anthropology, or permission of the instructor. 

One 3-hour period.

351b. Language and Expressive Culture (1)

This seminar provides the advanced student with an intensive investigation of theoretical and practical problems in specific areas of research that relate language and linguistics to expressive activity. Although emphasizing linguistic modes of analysis and argumentation, the course is situated at the intersection of important intellectual crosscurrents in the arts, humanities, and social sciences that focus on how culture is produced and projected through not only verbal, but also musical, material, kinaesthetic, and dramatic arts. Each topic culminates in independent research projects.

May be repeated for credit if the topic has changed.

Topic for 2014/15a: Language, Medicine, and Healing. This class examines the ways in which language mediates medical institutions and practices, with a special emphasis on healing. In the first third of the class, we consider the role that language has played in the historical emergence of Western biomedical practice, and focus on its characteristic textual/graphic routines and modes of classifying persons and disease, a practice we will understand as a form of governing persons and populations. In the second third of the class, we consider the varieties of language-mediated interaction understood across cultures as healing practices, such as psychotherapeutic discourse, Yucatec Mayan and Central American shamanism, herbalist practices in the Andes, and doctor/patient interactions. In the last third of the class, we consider some cases that reveal the ironies and political consequences of healing interventions into the subjectivities of vulnerable persons and populations. Students write a research paper and present their work in class. Mr. Smith.

Prerequisite: ANTH 150, ANTH 250 or permission of the instructor. 

One 3-hour period.

360b. Problems in Cultural Analysis (1)

(Same as INTL 360) Covers a variety of current issues in modern anthropology in terms of ongoing discussion among scholars of diverse opinions rather than a rigid body of fact and theory. The department.

May be repeated for credit if topic has changed.

Topic for 2014/15b: Global Diasporas. This course highlights aspects of globalization that put waves of people, ideas and money on the move, paying specific attention to diaspora and migration. Theories of globalization, diaspora, and transnationalism provide students with frameworks for analyzing what happens when people move across state boundaries, and for considering the "push and pull" factors influencing movements from the South to North, and from East to West and vice versa. The use of ethnography, film, and the novel help students better understand how such flows are experienced locally, how connections across space and time are sustained, and how "culture" is continually (re)made in and through movement and as a consequence of contact rather than isolation. The question that animates and organizes our inquiries is: How do global flows of human interaction challenge or complicate our understandings of such constructs as "culture", "race" and "nation-state"? Ms. Lowe Swift.

Prerequisites: previous coursework in Anthropology or International Studies, or permission of the instructor. 

One 3-hour seminar.

361a. Consumer Culture (1)

An examination of classic and recent work on the culture of consumption. Among the topics we study are gender and consumption, the creation of value, commodity fetishism, the history of the department store, and the effect of Western goods on non-Western societies. Ms. Goldstein.

Prerequisite: previous coursework in Anthropology or permission of the instructor. "

363a. Nations, Globalization, and Post-Coloniality (1)

(Same as INTL 363) How do conditions of globalization and dilemmas of post-coloniality challenge the nation-state? Do they also reinforce and reinvent it? This course engages three related topics and literatures; recent anthropology of the nation-state; the anthropology of colonial and post-colonial societies; and the anthropology of global institutions and global flows. Ms. Kaplan.

Prerequisite: previous coursework in Anthropology or permission of the instructor. 

Not offered in 2014/15.

364a. Travelers and Tourists (1)

The seminar explores tourism in the context of a Western tradition of travel and as a complex cultural, economic and political phenomenon with profound impacts locally and globally. Using contemporary tourism theory, ethnographic studies of tourist locales, contemporary and historical travel narratives, travelogues, works of fiction, post cards and travel brochures, we consider tourism as a historically specific cultural practice whose meaning and relation to structures of power varies over time and context; as a performance; as one of many global mobilities; as embodied activity; as it is informed by mythic and iconic representations and embedded in Western notions of self and other. We also address issues pertaining to the culture of contemporary tourism, the commoditization of culture, the relation between tourism development and national identity and the prospects for an environmentally and culturally sustainable tourism. Ms. Cohen.

Prerequisite: previous coursework in Anthropology or permission of the instructor. 

Not offered in 2014/15.

One 3-hour period.

365a. Imagining Asia and the Pacific (1)

(Same as ASIA 365) Does "the Orient" exist? Is the Pacific really a Paradise? On the other hand, does the "West" exist? If it does, is it the opposite of Paradise? Asia is often imagined as an ancient, complex challenger and the Pacific is often imagined as a simple, idyllic paradise. This course explores Western scholarly images of Asia (East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia) and of the island Pacific. It also traces the impact of Asian and Pacific ideas and institutions on the West. Each time offered, the seminar has at least three foci, on topics such as: Asia, the Pacific and capitalism; Asia, the Pacific and the concept of culture; Asia, the Pacific and the nation-state; Asia, the Pacific and feminism; Asia, the Pacific and knowledge. Ms. Kaplan.

Prerequisite: previous coursework in Asian Studies/Anthropology or permission of the instructor. 

Not offered in 2014/15.

366a. Memoirs, Modernities, and Revolutions (1)

(Same as JWST 366) Autobiographical narratives of growing up have been a popular way for Jewish and non-Jewish writers of Middle Eastern origin to address central questions of identity and change. How do young adults frame and question their attachments to their families and to their countries of birth? For the authors and subjects of the memoirs, ethnographies and films we consider in this class, growing up and momentous historical events coincide, just as they did for young people during the recent revolutions in the Middle East. In this seminar, the autobiographical narratives-- contextualized with historical, political, and visual material--allow us to see recent events through the eyes of people in their twenties. A major focus of the course will be post-revolutionary Iran (readings include Hakkakian, Journey from the Land of No; Khosravi, Young and Defiant in Tehran, Sofer, The Septembers of Shiraz, and Varzi, Warring Souls). Ms. Goldstein.

Prerequisite: previous coursework in Anthropology or Jewish Studies. 

Not offered in 2014/15.

One 2-hour seminar.

384a. Indigenous Religions of the Americas (1)

(Same as LALS 384) The conquest of the Americas was accompanied by various intellectual and sociopolitical projects devised to translate, implant, or impose Christian beliefs in Amerindian societies. This course examines modes of resistance and accommodation, among other indigenous responses, to the introduction of Christianity as part of larger colonial projects. Through a succession of case studies from North America, Mesoamerica, the Caribbean, the Andes, and Paraguay, we analyze the impact of Christian colonial and postcolonial evangelization projects on indigenous languages, religious practices, literary genres, social organization and gender roles, and examine contemporary indigenous religious practices. Mr. Tavarez.

Prerequisite: prior coursework in Anthropology or Latin American Latino/a Studies or permission of the instructor. 

Not offered in 2014/15.

One 2-hour period.

389a. Identities and Historical Consciousness in Latin America (1)

(Same as LALS 389) This senior seminar explores in a highly strategic fashion the emergence and constant renovation of historical narratives that have supported various beliefs and claims about local, regional, national and transnational identities in Latin America and Latino(a) societies since the rise of the Mexica and Inca empires until the present. By means of a variety of anthropological and historical approaches, we examine indigenous forms of historical consciousness and the emergence of new identity discourses after the Spanish conquest, major changes in collective identities before and after the emergence of independent nation-states, and some crucial shifts in national, regional and ethnic identity claims that preceded and followed revolutions and social movements between the late nineteenth century and the present. Students will complete an original research project, and the use of primary sources in Spanish or Portuguese is encouraged. Mr. Tavárez.

Prerequisite: Senior Seminar. Open to juniors with permission of the instructor. 

One 2-hour period.

399a or b. Senior Independent Work (1/2to1)

Individual or group project of reading or research. May be elected during the college year or during the summer. The department