Courses in Cultural Anthropology (Division 319)

Fall Term, 1998 (September 8-December 21, 1998)

Take me to the Fall Time Schedule

Courses are arranged by groups:

Introductory Courses,
Ethnology-Regional Courses,
Ethnology-Topical Courses,
Linguistic Anthropology,
Archaeology, and
Museum and Reading and Research Courses.

Introductory Courses

101. Introduction to Anthropology. Primarily for first- and second-year students. (4). (SS). (R&E).
Section 001.
This introductory course exposes and explores the structures of inquiry characteristic of anthropology and surveys the field's four subdisciplines (biological, archaeological, cultural, and linguistic anthropology), providing a first glimpse of the field's overall context, history, present status, and importance. The principal aim of the course is to help students develop a coherent view of the essential concepts, structures, and intellectual methods that typify the discipline. It stresses unifying principles that link the subdisciplines and thereby create anthropology's comprehensive, holistic world view. It teaches students various ways of learning and thinking about the world's many designs for living in time and space. It prepares them to integrate and interpret information, to evaluate conflicting claims about human nature and diversity, and to think critically. Topics covered include: the nature of culture; human genetics, evolution and the fossil record; the concept of race; primate (monkey and ape) behavior; language and culture; systems of marriage, kinship and family organization; sex-gender roles; economics, politics, and religion in global perspective; the cultural dimension of economic development and contemporary social change, and the emergence of a world system. Required readings come from two introductory texts and additional paperbacks. Lectures and discussion-recitation. Two objective exams (multiple choice and true or false questions) cover the two halves of the course. The second exam is given on the last day of class. There is no final exam and no term paper. Section leaders require quizzes and, perhaps a short paper. Cost:2 WL:1,3,4 (Fricke)

Section 150. Anthropology, from the Greek anthropos (human) and logos (theory) is the scientific study of humankind. This course will introduce students to the four major subfields of anthropology: cultural anthropology, archaeology, linguistic anthropology, and biological anthropology. In the process, we will focus on how each of these subfields helps to explain the cultural, social, and physical aspects of human diversity. The principal aim of the course is to help students develop a coherent view of the essential concepts, structures, and intellectual methods that typify the discipline. It stresses unifying principles that link the sub-disciplines and thereby create anthropology's comprehensive, holistic world view. It teaches students various ways of learning and thinking about the world's many designs for living in time and space. It prepares them to integrate and interpret information, to evaluate conflicting claims about human nature and diversity, and to think critically. Topics covered include: the nature of culture; human genetics, evolution and the fossil record; the concept of race; primate (monkey and ape) behavior; language and culture; systems of marriage, kinship, and family organization; sex and gender roles; economics, politics, and religion in global perspective; the cultural dimension of economic development and contemporary social change, and the emergence of a world system. Required readings include an introductory text, course pack, and several short monographs. (Lansing)
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222. The Comparative Study of Cultures. Students with credit for Anthro. 101 should elect Anthro. 327. (4). (SS).
This course explores non-Western and Western societies as well as the methods, poetics, and politics entailed in the representation of cultural difference and historical change. We will be centrally concerned with the formation and transformation of cultures in the context of colonizing and globalizing processes in the modern period. Our goal is to develop a historical anthropological perspective that will enable us to appreciate the richness of human diversity, the conditions under which cultures develop, and the human potential for transformation. Our work will center on the intensive examination of a group of five or six path-breaking monographs, complemented by articles and movies. These texts will allow us to study with some depth not only a wide range of cultural formations in different societies, but also differing methods and theoretical perspectives used to interpret them. We will pay special attention to the role of fieldwork and archives in the formation of anthropological and historical interpretations, to the procedures and theories that serve to establish scientific claims, and to the effects of power in the formation of knowledge. Classes will be organized around the discussion of texts, and will include student presentations. Students will be required to write short papers about the central texts. (Coronil)
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256(Biol. Anthro. 256)/NR&E 256. Culture, Adaptation, and Environment. (3). (Excl).
This course provides a wide-ranging introduction to the field of ecological anthropology, focusing on issues related to the management of common property. The main goal for the course is to help students acquire an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of competing approaches to the question of the relationship of ecology to the social world. On the natural science side, the major approaches to be considered are behavioral and systems ecology. From the social sciences, we will investigate the basic techniques of social anthropology, as well as evolutionary game theory. Why combine the social and natural sciences in a single course? Traditionally, social scientists study social systems, and natural scientists study ecosystems. But many of the most important problems in environmental studies only come into focus when we are able to combine both perspectives. This is particularly true of one of the most pressing issues of our time the management of common property (resources that are held in common and utilized by a social group). Today, the oceans are our common property, and the recent collapse of many fisheries illustrate the dangers posed by over-exploitation, the so-called "tragedy of the commons." To investigate systems of common property, we need to know something about how they function as ecosystems, as well as how societies relate to them. In this course, we will explore systems of common property utilized by a wide range of societies, including Native American salmon fishermen, African nomads, and Asian rice farmers. (Lansing)
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282. Introduction to Prehistoric Archaeology. (4). (SS).
This course combines an introduction to the techniques, methods, and theories of modern archaeology with a general survey of world prehistory. In the first half of the course we will consider how archaeologists learn about the past. In the second half of the term we will take a 'greatest hits' tour of world prehistory. In this tour we will focus on the culture of early humans, the peopling of the New World, and on the changing character of culture and society in Europe and North America from the earliest inhabitants through to the beginnings of recorded history. The course is designed to be accessible without prerequisites, but students will find previous coursework in Anthropology useful. There will be three one-hour lectures, plus one discussion section, per week. Requirements: two one-hour exams plus three take-home exercises. (O'Shea)
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286. Food in Human Affairs. (4). (SS).
The course will survey the domestication of plants and animals world-wide. It will examine (1) the cultural and ecological contexts for the domestication of each and (2) the genetic and anatomical consequences as they were selected to become productive food staples. The history of domesticated plants and animals will be explored including their introduction and the sociocultural consequences of new plants and animals in the diet of people around the world. The economic and political consequences of food problems will be discussed ranging from maize in the New Word to the Irish potato blight, population increases in China and Africa, and the consequences of global change on the food supply. There will be several textbooks and a course pack. In the lecture there will be a midterm and final. In discussion there will be quizzes and research reports to prepare (2-4 pages in length) about different plants and animals. Cost:1 WL:1 (Ford)
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298. Topics in Cultural Anthropology. (3). (SS). May be repeated for a total of twelve credits.
Section 001 Introduction to Cultural Studies.
Several years ago, civil war broke out between the venerable old dues-paying field of anthropology and the relatively new, patchwork field of cultural studies. Often subterranean and at times rather bitter skirmishes ensued in the pages of academic journals, in classrooms, at conferences, and in seminars. Both were interested in culture as an idea, as an influence, and as a problem. Anthropologists have long been engaged in the tricky and important process of mapping and describing specific cultures as they take shape over time. Cultural studies, "practiced" by a mixed collection of sociologists, historians, scholars of English, comparative literature, and communications, as well as anthropologists, is a newer phenomenon, officially labeled by members of the so-called Birmingham School in the 1970s. According to Richard Johnson their intention, loosely, was to create "an alchemy for producing useful knowledge about the broad domain of human culture." In this class, we will focus on some of the strains that have given rise to something called "cultural studies" over the past 25 years. We will read, discuss, and watch films about some of the fascinating case studies and comments on culture produced by a rich variety of scholars. Particular emphasis will be given to the role of such dominant institutions as schools, the mass media, courts, political structures, and law enforcement in shaping people's attitudes, actions, and responses. Evaluations will be based on attendance, successful completion of readings, class participation, and a series of quizzes and writing assignments. (Hart)
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Ethnology-Regional Courses

302. Sex and Gender in Japan. (3). (Excl).
This course is an exploration of the relationship among sex, gender, and sexuality in Japanese culture and society, past and present. Following a brief introduction to both Japan and key theoretical concepts, we will examine critically the various values, norms, and myths invented, evoked, and perpetuated to valorize and/or to censure various sex and gender roles and modes of sexuality in Japan, including same-sex sexual practices and identities. By the same token, we will also consider how sex, gender, and sexuality can be interpreted, performed, and manipulated either to enforce or to subvert the status quo sometimes at the same time. Our exploration is organized along more or less chronological and historical lines and covers topics ranging from kinship, marriage, mythology, colonialism, militarization, race and ethnicity, sex workers in wartime and peacetime, work and play, sports, gay and lesbian life and politics, and images of sexuality in the mass media. Apart from completing the readings for each class meeting, students are responsible for class discussions, an essay-style midterm exam, an eight-page paper, and an essay-style final examination. (Robertson)
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314/Amer. Cult. 313. Cuba and its Diaspora. (4). (Excl).
This course examines Cuban history, literature, and culture since the Revolution both on the island and in the United States diaspora. In political and cultural essays, personal narratives, fiction, poetry, drama, visual art and film, we will seek a comprehensive and diverse view of how Cubans and Cuban-Americans understand their situation as people of the same nation divided for thirty-five years by the Cold War, revolution, and exile. Topics will include: discussions of race, ethnicity, and intolerance in the context of Cuba and the diaspora, the meaning of diasporas in the twentieth century, Fidel Castro and the making of the Cuban Revolution, masculinity and gay sexuality in the Revolution and Cuban diaspora, women's dreams, everyday life under communism, Afrocuban culture and religion, the Cuban arts movement, and construction and deconstruction of exile identity. We will read and discuss the writings of Fidel Castro, Oscar Hijuelos, Edmundo Desnoes, Reinaldo Arenas, Lourdes Casal, Senel Paz, Dolores Prida, and Carmelita Tropicana, among others, and view major Cuban feature and documentary films. Students are expected to participate actively in class discussions and do independent research for a final essay as well as write two short essays and maintain a film journal. Each student will sign up for an oral presentation for one week of the course and will lead the discussion for that day's reading. The class will meet for four hours per week, 3 hours lecture and 1 hour of discussion. There will be additional time (1 to 1-1/2 hours per week) to view documentary films. The intended audience is undergraduates of all levels. (Behar)
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315. Native American Peoples of North America. (4). (SS).
Native American communities, often deeply rooted in traditional places and voices despite relocations and losses of native languages - all involve strong family ties and histories of local and regional power struggles. In this course, we look at cross cultural dynamics and tribal identities in political encounters between Native American peoples and various others: developers, environmentalists, educators, other governmental authorities, poets, and social scientists, to name a few. Key issues include land rights, family relations, alcoholism, and freedom of religion. We also look at contemporary Native American fiction, non-fiction, and film documentaries as cultural forces which challenge others' constructions of who Native American peoples are. A recurrent question: what are the limits and possibilities of self-definition for Native American peoples, in what circumstances? WL:1 (Bierwert)
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409. Peoples and Cultures of the Near East and North Africa. Junior standing. (3). (Excl).
This course provides a survey of cultures in the region extending from Morocco to Iran, with an emphasis on Arabic-speaking, Islamic societies. It is equally a course about a region-focused tradition of anthropological inquiry, one marked by important shifts in topics, theories, and styles of account-making. We will consider changing treatments of recurrent themes, including nomads and tribes, rural and urban lifestyles, saint cultures and popular religion, kinship and gender, and the written tradition of Islamic movements. The course will combine lectures with class discussions, and the readings will be primarily from recent monographs. Assessment will be based on two take-home exams, with an additional short paper for graduate students. (Messick)
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414/CAAS 444. Introduction to Caribbean Societies and Cultures, I. Junior standing. (3). (Excl).
This course provides an introduction to the peoples and cultures of the Caribbean. Topics covered include: the historical origins of the social structure and social organization of contemporary Caribbean states; family and kinship; religion, race, class, ethnicity, and national identity; Caribbean immigration; politics and policies of socioeconomic change. The course is open to both anthropology concentrators and non-concentrators. Films and videos on the Caribbean will be shown when available. Requirements: four 3-5 page typewritten papers, which ask students to synthesize reading and lecture materials; participation in class discussions; regular class attendance. Cost:2 (Owusu)
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416/Hist. 476. Latin America: The Colonial Period. (4). (SS).
See History 476. (Frye)
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427/CAAS 427/WS 427. African Women. One course in African Studies, anthropology, or women's studies. (3). (SS).

See CAAS 427. (E.P. Renne)
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442/ACABS 413/Hist. 440. Ancient Mesopotamia. Junior standing. (3). (HU).
See Ancient Civilizations and Biblical Studies 413. (Yoffee)
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332. Social Forms. Sophomore standing. (4). (SS).
Section 001 Exchange, Possessions, and Value.
A lecture course which introduces core problems in social anthropology, centering on how the organization of societies affects the lives and experiences of the people who live in them. The course takes a variety of topics in succession, exploring the principles central to different societies and showing how anthropologists analyze them. Topics covered may include material possessions and values, family life, and the sense of personal identity. This year's topic concerns the role of material objects in social and subjective life under different economic systems. We ask questions such as these: how do people identify themselves with their valuables? How do goods help people form relations with one another? What is the difference between a gift, a commodity, and money? Why are some things priceless? Open to students of all concentrations. Cost:2 (Keane)
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447. Culture, Racism, and Human Nature. Two courses in the social sciences. (3). (Excl).
This course examines the possible origins of culture to understand the unique behavior and historical development of Homo sapiens and traces the salient features of human history and contemporary modernity to discuss and explain the nature of humans. The understanding of the nature of humans and their development will enable the students to comprehend, explain and resolve racism, part of a pan-human phenomenon. Is racism fundamental to the character of human culture? The course will suggest that many of our modern social problems have a common generation the nature of human culture. That would suggest that the solutions will require a social transformation in the character of human culture. These examinations of human culture will require us to return to the discussions of Leslie White (culture is autonomous) and Alfred Kroeber (culture is superorganic) to determine the possibilities of social transformations that contemporary society may require. Cost:3 WL:3 (Williams)
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Ethnology-Topical Courses

329. The Anthropology of Childhood: Growing Up in Culture. One course in anthropology or psychology. (3). (Excl).
Children don't speak, think, and behave like adults. Nor do people everywhere share the same ideas about what childhood is or should be. Anthropology is largely the enterprise of documenting and interpreting what differences in speech, thought, and behavior mean. How has childhood been conceived in different ways within different cultures and historical epochs? What implications do different notions of childhood have for the developmental pathways of children themselves? To what extent do children resemble each other across cultural and historical divides? How do children acquire knowledge of the cultures in which they live? This lecture/discussion course draws on anthropological research, from Mead's work in the South Pacific to contemporary studies in both complex and small-scale societies, that permits us to formulate answers to these and related questions. Course requirements: weekly journal of notes and queries, active classroom participation, two exams (short answer/essay). Cost:2 (Hirschfeld/Stephens)
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333. Non-Western Legal Systems, I. Sophomore standing. (3). (SS).
The nature, function, and development of law. Law and society. Problems of social control: why is law obeyed in societies without courts and in societies with courts. Dispute settlement procedures and the judicial process; civil and criminal law; principles of liability for legal wrongs; women, class and community; the impact of Western law on customary, tribal, or aboriginal law. Case studies from Africa, Middle East, Asia, Europe, the Americas. A good introduction to comparative law from an anthropological perspective. Requirements: four 3-5 page papers, or three 6-8 page student papers. Lecture/discussion format. Cost:2 WL:2 (Owusu)
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425. Evolution of War and Peace in Unstratified Societies. One course in anthropology. (3). (Excl).
This course explores the origins of war and the early evolutionary development of war alliance and peace-making. It examines the conditions under which warfare is initiated in sociocultural contexts where it did not previously exist and elucidates the origin of war in that sense. The course begins with a delineation of the distinctive characteristics of peaceful (or warless) societies that represent both a prior sociocultural disposition and the context in which primal warfare arises and takes shape. Consideration of peaceful societies illuminates certain key features of the transition from warlessness to warfare and provides a basis for identifying transitional cases. These sociocultural systems exemplify the causes, conduct, and consequences of nascent and early warfare. The subsequent co-evolution of war and pre-state societies is traced, including the development of alliance and peacemaking. Format: lecture and discussion. Requirements: substantial term paper and presentation. Cost:2 WL:2 (Kelly)
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451/CAAS 459. African-American Religion. One introductory course in the social sciences. (3). (Excl).
This course will examine the nature of religion in the lives of humans, within the framework of culture, and as a pervasive social institution. It will focus on the special case of the intensive and involved character of religion in the history and the lives of African-Americans. These special uses of religion create special problems. We will analyze those problems. The course objectives are to: (1) introduce the subject of religion as a social institution, as a pervasive component of culture, and as a contemporary adjustment and adaptation to peculiar social problems; (2) demonstrate how an anthropological analysis can be used to understand religion in contemporary society; (3) develop skills in critical thinking and analysis; (4) present the relationship between culture, institutions, religion, subculture, and the nature of man (humans); and (5) enable students to understand the religious institutions of humans generally and African-Americans specifically. The course is open to all students, and it requires no special background or preparation. There will be two examinations. Class participation and attendance are required. Cost:3 WL:3 (Williams)
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458. Topics in Cultural Anthropology. Permission of instructor. (3). (Excl). May be repeated once for a total of six credits.
Section 001 The Colonial Order of Things in Southeast Asia: A Comparative Perspective.
This seminar on the cultures of colonialism in Southeast Asia is not a regional course. We'll focus on the colonial perceptions, practices, and imperial contexts in which colonial ventures were pursued, and look at select colonial encounters in parts of Southeast Asia, particularly the Dutch East Indies/Indonesia, to address some of the major issues in the study of colonialism, and to familiarize students with the political and analytic dilemmas that arise in studying and identifying "the colonial" in postcolonial politics and in anthropology, history, and cultural studies today. We will examine the historical processes by which the categories of "colonizer" and "colonized" have been created by looking at gender politics, racial thinking, and class vision, with attention given to changes in colonial historiography, the interface of colonial power and the production of colonial knowledge. Undergraduates have the option of doing one book review and two essays, or one book review and a final exam. Graduate students are required to do the book review and a research paper. All students do short weekly commentaries on the readings. Readings are available in a course pack and at Shaman Drum. (Stoler)

Section 002 Time and Space. Different groups have different ways of thinking about the world and of acting upon and in it. Anthropologists, historians, and others have shown this to be true even for what we might think the most basic frameworks of all human activity: time and space. Anthropologists study differences in concepts of time and space from one society/culture to another, while historians look for how such concepts change through time. The task of this course is to encourage students to think about time and space in ways one ordinarily does not, so as to stop taking for granted our own notions of these concepts as the only "natural" way of thinking about them. By thinking of time and space as concepts instead of as natural and given, the instructors aim to present these as things human beings make up. There will be a lecture session for this course, then students will migrate into smaller discussion sections led by the instructors. Undergraduates will have an exam; graduate students a paper as requirement for the final grade. There will also be a midterm. (Verdery/Cohen)
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Linguistic Anthropology

472/Ling. 409. Language and Culture. (3). (HU).
Language and culture have often been described as mutually reinforcing and constraining systems of meaningful coherence. This course will explore not only parallels, but also tensions between linguistic and sociocultural forms and practices. Readings will probe, among other things, how language informs cultural categories (such as time and space, agency and affect), and how participants frame verbal communication (as ritual or "everyday," engaged or ironic). We will devote particular attention to assumptions, in a variety of societies, about how comprehension and misunderstanding work, and to ways in which such assumptions reproduce inclusion or exclusion. (Lemon)
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473/Ling. 473. Ethnopoetics: Cross-Cultural Approaches to Verbal Art. Two courses in anthropology, linguistics, or literature. (3). (Excl).
How do we listen to the verbal arts of nonwestern peoples without imposing our preconceived folk ideas about form, performance, authorship, and textuality? And if we do manage to hear and study these arts in their own "terms," can we translate and represent them without making a caricature of these sources? This course will consider efforts by anthropologists, linguists, poets, folklorists, and literary theorists to address these questions at several levels: (1) working our methodologies which allows us to see the poetics in others' arts; (2) critically assessing the methodologies; and (3) exploring theories about differences between oral literatures and written traditions as well as the cultural shaping of literatures. We will also consider what ways this work contributes to reshaping anthropology itself. (Bierwert)
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474/Ling. 410. Language and Discrimination: Language as Social Statement. (3). (SS).
See Linguistics 410. (Milroy)
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572(478)/Ling. 542. Introduction to Sociolinguistics. Ling. 414 or graduate standing. (3). (Excl).
See Linguistics 542. (Milroy)
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488. Prehistory of Mexico. Anthro. 101, 282, or junior standing. (3). (Excl).
This course covers the Prehispanic culture sequence for Mesoamerica outside the Maya region. It begins with the first evidence for humans in late Pleistocene Mexico, and proceeds to a discussion of Archaic hunting-and-gathering period of 8000-2000 B.C. The origins of agriculture during this preceramic period are documented, as well as the rise of sedentary agricultural villages by 1500 B.C. The course then considers the evolution of ranked societies during the Formative Period (1500 B.C.-A.D. 100) and of urban stratified societies during the Classic Period (A.D. 100-800). The evolution of Mexico's ethnohistorically documented Postclassic societies the Toltec, Aztec, Mixtec, Zapotec, Huastec, and Tarascans - is then traced up to the Spanish Conquest of A.D. 1519. There will be two lectures a week, accompanied by reading of a course pack of relevant journal articles and book chapters. Cost:1 WL:1 TTh 1:00-2:30, 2009 Museums Building. (Flannery)
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492. Prehistory of Oceania. Anthro. 101, 282, or junior standing. (3). (Excl).
This course explores the spread of people into the islands of the Pacific Ocean, beginning with the colonization of Australia about 50,000 years ago and continuing up to the spread of the Polynesians to the most distant isles. Ecological, Human Biological, Linguistic, and Archaeological data will be brought to bear on both specific historical problems and some of the broad anthropological concerns that have made Oceania a source of new ideas for anthropologists for almost a century. The basis of student evaluation includes an in-class essay midterm and final, or original independent research paper. Required texts: A course pack and a book by Patrick Vinton Kirch The Evolution of Polynesian Chiefdoms (NY, C.U.P., 1984). The method of instruction is lecture and illustrative materials. Cost:1 WL:3 (Wright)
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593. Archaeological Systematics. Senior concentrators, graduates, with permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).
This course is designed principally for graduate students in anthropology. It examines the epistemological basis for archaeology, major theoretical frameworks for reconstructing past human organization and studying its change, and methodological approaches appropriate for such investigations. The course is designed as a seminar, with strong emphasis on active student participation. There are no exams, but a paper is required at the end of the term. Prerequisites include graduate standing in anthropology, or permission of the instructor. (O'Shea)
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Museum, Honors, Reading, Research, and Field Courses

398. Honors in Cultural Anthropology. Permission of instructor. (3). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for a total of six credits with permission of concentration advisor.
Section 001 Honors Ethnology.
This Honors course sequence in cultural anthropology is designed for undergraduate anthropology concentrators who are specializing in cultural anthropology and have applied for senior Honors in the Department of Anthropology. This course is divided into two parts. In the Fall Term, the students will meet once a week in seminar to read and discuss a selection of significant monographs and papers in ethnology, and a selection of writings on fieldwork methods and research strategies in ethnology. This seminar provides background for the students to define their own senior Honors thesis project. By the end of the term, the students will have decided on a project, and begun preliminary work on it. In consultation with the Honors advisor the student may request any member of the Anthropology Department to serve as a main thesis advisor or second reader. In the Winter Term, the students will convene periodically in seminar with the Honors advisor to discuss their research projects and get feedback from the group, as well as staying in contact with the Honors advisor and second reader. By the end of the term, each student should have completed the research and write-up for their thesis so that they can make a formal summary presentation of it for the group. Original field research or library work may be used for Honors projects. (Feeley-Harnik)

Section 002 Honors Archaeology. This Honors course sequence in archaeology is designed for undergraduate anthropology concentrators who are specializing in archaeology and who have applied for senior Honors in the Department of Anthropology. In 398, the students will meet in seminar to discuss the construction of analytical models appropriate for archaeology and to analyze methods for solving problems. This seminar provides the intellectual and historical background to enable a senior Honors thesis. In 399, students work on an original thesis topic. A student, in consultation with the Honors advisor, may request any Department of Anthropology faculty member to serve as a thesis advisor. Periodically students convene to discuss their research progress. At the end of the term, each student completes a written Honors thesis and presents a seminar summarizing it. Original field research, library sources, or collections in the Museum of Anthropology may be used for Honors projects. Prior excavation or archaeological laboratory experience is not required for participation. (Ford)
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499. Undergraduate Reading and Research in Anthropology. Permission of instructor. (1-3). (Excl). A maximum of three credits of independent reading may be included in a concentration plan in anthropology. (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for a total of six credits
Independent reading and research under the direction of a faculty member. Ordinarily available only to students with background in anthropology.
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Courses in Biological Anthropology (Division 318)

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