2014–2015 Anthropology Courses

 

ANTH 160 Introduction to Anthropology, LE (4)
The four sub-fields in anthropology are examined. Sociocultural anthropology studies modern humans; archeology is concerned with human material remains; linguistics looks at human communication; and physical anthropology emphasizes human biology and includes the study of human variation and fossils. Offered once a year.
 
ANTH 200/300 Special Topics in Anthropology (1–4)
Illustrates the importance of a holistic, cross-cultural approach to the study of human behavior. Highlights a specific topic and then makes use of all the sub-fields of anthropology in the study of this topic.
 
ANTH 252 Cultural Anthropology, LE (4)
Focuses on the different ways cultures adapt to the conditions of the environment. Examines subsistence strategies, economic and political systems, religious beliefs, and gender distinctions. Some topics include ethnographic field methods, enculturation, cultural relativism, ethnocentrism, ethnolinguistics, sociolinguistics, environmental adaptation, and symbols.
 
ANTH 311 Human Evolution and Archeology (4)
Combines two of the four sub-fields that make up the discipline of anthropology. Its biological component illustrates that humankind cannot be adequately understood without taking into account the biological basis of behavior. Combined with archeology, or the study of material remains, it explores prehistory and the evolutionary development of our species. Required for minor and only offered once every two years.
 
ANTH 322 Myth, Magic and the Supernatural (4)
The study of religion from an anthropological perspective with an emphasis on non-ecclesiastical religions and new religious movements found in simple societies. Similarities and differences are identified and discussed within the context of such components as myth, ritual, belief, symbolism, magic, ancestor worship, healing, religious specialists, revitalization movements, and alternative states of consciousness.
 
ANTH 355 Indian  Peoples in the United States (4)
Discusses prehistoric, historic, and modern day American Indian populations. Includes a survey of major archeological sites and historical reports of the effects of European expansion on indigenous populations. Topics also include the social impact of 20th century policy changes, issues surrounding sovereignty, and cultural differences and similarities among groups, generations and urban/rural dwellers.
ANTH 377 Environmental Anthropology (4)
Looks at the environment from a bio-cultural perspective, exploring the interconnections of the social, biotic and natural environments. Prehistoric, historic and present day cross-cultural evidence is examined to understand how social categories such as class, ethnicity, gender and religion shape human activity, which in turn affects other species and the physical environment. These relationships cause environmental change leading to a further shaping of human society. Specific issues are addressed, such as how ideas about the environment differ in different cultures and are related to power relations affecting the use of the environment, or the impact of the changing environment on human diseases. Ecotourism and the environmental movement are other topics of interest. Students work in groups to apply policy solutions to environmental problems. They also work to identify and carry out an individual research project on a particular environmental area of interest, making use of anthropological methods and theory.
 
ANTH 388 Anthropology of Globalization (4)
Students learn about global stratification and how power relations and population pressures affect the movement of people, information, symbols and commodities under different circumstances, in different parts of the world. They become aware of the meanings of culture and how they create identity by providing various populations a way to build on nationalism, or to develop and maintain transnational groups. Social categories, such as ethnicity, class, sexuality, gender and religion are discussed, and how they affect the experience of migration and globalization, along with the politics of rebellion, warfare, and peace. Students work in groups to apply policy solutions to concerns resulting from globalization. They also work individually on a research project combining social theory and contemporary case studies in areas of interest. These studies might consist of an analysis on patterns of migration, patterns of consumption, patterns of wealth and poverty, or on patterns of aggressive and peaceful behavior.
 
ANTH 390 Qualitative Research Methods (4)
This is a hands-on course that teaches students how to make use of qualitative research methods as a research strategy to collect and analyze empirical evidence to form explanations about human behavior. First, students learn how qualitative methods differ from quantitative methods and how they can complement each other. They then learn about different types of qualitative research such as ethno-historical documentation, analysis of archival records, interviews, direct observation, participant observation, and analysis of cultural artifacts are discussed. At this point they work in groups to choose a particular question(s) of interest, collect data from multiple sources of qualitative evidence, and then link their data to an analysis of social phenomena. Designed for juniors and seniors in the social sciences, but others can take this course with the consent of the instructor.
 
ANTH 399 Anthropology of Tourism  (4)
This course looks at tourism from a holistic, anthropological perspective.  This study of tourism allows for the investigation of many interrelated areas of human behavior, some of which are acculturation, authenticity, identity construction and consumption.  It explores incentives and impacts for both the tourist and the local populations who come in contact with the tourists.  For example, tourism generates social, economic and environmental changes, both positive and negative communities, while at the same time it also creates transformative experiences for tourists.   Many different types of tourism have been identified including slum, sex, nautical, sacred, disaster, archeological, wildlife, war, heritage, to name only a few, all of which act as mediums of cultural exchange which both affects and constructs the worlds of those involved.  Students who  are concerned with globalization, environmental sustainability, and social stratification will find this course of particular interest. 
       
ANTH 401 Directed Studies (1–4)
This tutorial-based course is used only for student-initiated proposals for intensive individual study of topics not otherwise offered in the Anthropology Program. Prerequisite: consent of instructor and school dean.
 
ANTH 430 Undergraduate Research in Anthropology (1–3)
Students develop a research proposal describing a study in the community making use of anthropological methods of investigation which include a literature review, participant observation, and interviews. A journal must be kept detailing the research activities, along with a final paper or project that summarizes the literature, the methodology and the findings. These results must be presented at the spring undergraduate Research Fair or some other venue approved by the instructor. Prerequisite: ANTH 390 and approval by the instructor.
 
ANTH 440 Internship (1–4)
Offers students the opportunity to integrate classroom knowledge with practical experience. Prerequisites: junior or senior standing (for transfer students, at least 15 hours completed at Westminster or permission of instructor), minimum 2.5 GPA, and consent of program director and Career Center internship coordinator.