Anthropology

Spring 1997


Courses in Biological Anthropology (Division 318)

297. Topics in Biological Anthropology. (3). (NS). (BS). May be repeated for a total of 12 credits.
Section 101 Cannibalism in the Past and Present?: An Anthropological Analysis.
In this course, skeletal evidence suggesting cannibalism will be evaluated in the archaeological records of Europe, Africa, Australia, Asia, New Guinea, and North America. Arguments by various scholars accepting and refuting these evidence, and written accounts on cannibalism (with possible biases) will also be discussed. The time period that will be covered is from 2 million years to recent history. In evaluating the skeletal and cultural evidence for cannibalism, an attempt will be made to answer the question, "why cannibalism?" Is it: (1) ritual; (2) warfare/violence; (3) nutritional; and/or (4) survival? Or, is the cannibal interpretation totally wrong? The method of instruction is lecture/discussion. Grades will be based on midterm and final exams. Texts: Course pack available at AccuCopy located at the corner of William and Maynard. Cost:1 WL:4 (Quintyn)


Courses in Cultural Anthropology (Division 319)


Courses are arranged by groups: Introductory Courses, Ethnology-Regional Courses, Ethnology-Theory/Method, Ethnology-Topical Courses, Linguistics, Archaeology, and Museum and Reading and Research Courses.

Introductory Courses

101. Introduction to Anthropology. Primarily for freshmen and sophomores. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 222 or 426. (4). (SS). (This course meets the Race and Ethnicity Requirement).

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 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 may include an introductory text and various paperbacks. 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. Cost:2 WL:1,3,4 (Peters-Golden)

296. Topics in Archaeology. (3). (SS). May be repeated for a total of 12 credits.
Section 101 Technology and Social Change.
How did the use of fire affect the way our ancestors lived? How did the use of metal affect ancient economies? How do computers affect our society today? This course examines the relationship between technology and social change throughout human prehistory and history. Using information from anthropology, archaeology and history, the course introduces the student to some general themes of anthropological and archaeological interest. From tool-use in the animal world to the modern use of computers, the student will learn the general sequence of major technological developments that occurred in the past. Topics covered include: tool-use in the animal world; the first use of fire; the first use of metals; language as technology; agricultural technology; ancient machines; the industrial revolution; the automotive industry; and computer technology. No experience required. Cost:1 WL:3 (Parkinson)

298. Topics in Cultural Anthropology. (3). (SS). May be repeated for a total of 12 credits.
Section 101 Refugees, Immigrants, and Migrants: The Geography of Identity.
We will consider the identity of refugees, immigrants, and migrants from three perspectives: the international political order, anthropological studies, and refugees themselves. First, we will examine how the international system, including the UN and other political bodies, has endeavored to define these identities. Second, we will examine in a critical light anthropologists' use of social categories in describing and analyzing the identities of displaced people. Finally, we will consider how individuals in the refugee and migrant category perceive themselves. A major topic of discussion will be refugees' and immigrants' experience of racial intolerance in the United States, which is not as egalitarian as they imagine before arrival since refugees and immigrants (including those from Africa and Latin America) often find themselves placed in new, "racialized" identities that they did not experience in their country of origin. (Uehling)

Section 102 Observing the World: Culture, Power, Technology. This class will explore observation from the fundamentals of eyesight shared by all humans to culturally-shaped vision, to the current impact of visual technologies on our perception of the world. We will start with the fundamentals: how do the eyes of human beings function? How do we physically perceive light, line, and color? What visual tricks can our eyes play on us? We will then move on to consider the ways in which vision and observation are shaped by culture and power, and consider some of the ways in which different anthropologists or cultural critics have observed the world around them. Finally, we will consider the ways in which new media technologies photographs, film, television, computers - are shaping our perception of the world. (Notar)

Section 103 Gender and Social Change in Latin America. In this course we will examine three models of achieving socioeconomic change which have been influential during the past two decades: free trade, development aid, and community-based social movements. For each of these we will examine how goals are defined, the roles of women and men, and both intended and unintended results. To what extent have efforts at improving the conditions of life for the poor succeeded? To what extent is the involvement of women different from that of men and what issues does gender raise for the implementation of policies promoting change? We will lay the ground work for comparing and evaluating the types of change by examining classical theories of inequality. We will then explore the place of gender in specific cases of social change in Latin America. We will do this through critical readings of recent works by anthropologists including life history, case studies, ethnography, and theory. Cost:2 WL:2 (Hayden)

Ethnology-Regional Courses

315. Native American Peoples of North America. (3). (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 (Norder)


Summer 1997
Courses in Biological Anthropology (Division 318)

161. Introduction to Biological Anthropology. (4). (NS). (BS).

Biological anthropology is a subfield of anthropology dealing with human biology and evolution. This course presents a survey of the major topics in the subfield: evolution and human genetics, human adaptation and other aspects of human variation, and the fossil record for human evolution. Special emphasis will be placed on how all these issues relate to both social and biological concepts of race. Grading will be based on two one-hour exams. No special background knowledge is required or assumed. (Caspari)


Courses in Cultural Anthropology (Division 319)


Introductory Courses

296. Topics in Archaeology. (3). (SS). May be repeated for a total of 12 credits.
Section 201 Resurrecting Silent Voices: Race, Gender, Ethnicity, and Age in Historical Archaeology.
The history of America, though told by few, is shared by many. Historical archaeologists have actively engaged in research to tell the stories of those groups and individuals who were largely ignored or forgotten by written history. This course will present archaeological case studies relating to many such groups: the overseas Chinese, African Americans, Native Americans, ethnic immigrants, women, and children. By studying the material remains of these groups, much may be learned about their daily lives and their everyday experiences. In learning more about these people and how they lived, a greater understanding of our shared American history may come to light. No prerequisite knowledge of archaeology is required, as an introduction to archaeological methods and research will also be presented. Cost:2 WL:2 (Baxter)

Section 202 Sickness and Health in Prehistory. This course examines sickness and health from earliest prehistory to modern times, with a focus on what and how we learn from the perspective of anthropological archaeology. "Sickness" is defined broadly to include injury and violence as well as disease. We will begin with an introduction to anthropological approaches to societies, health and disease, then look specifically at archaeology and human osteology (the study of human bone) and use these techniques to examine patterns of health and sickness in different kinds of societies throughout prehistory. We will also examine medicinal and healing practices, the ethics of studying human remains, and the ways in which archaeological studies of health and sickness are useful for present day problems. There are no prerequisites for this class, and no special background is expected. Grades are based on two exams, a short paper, and class participation. Cost:1 WL:1 (Gold)

298. Topics in Cultural Anthropology. (3). (SS). May be repeated for a total of 12 credits.

Section 201 American Indians of Michigan: People of the Three Fires. Long before Europeans ever "discovered" the region that is now the state of Michigan, American Indian societies thrived here. This course introduces the three main Native American cultures indigenous to Michigan Chippewa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi, focusing on: the traditional culture of the indigenous peoples; the history of interactions between Native people and people of European descent; and the contemporary issues that concern present-day Indian people in Michigan. Furthermore, we will consider how American Indians have been defined by European-Americans in terms of "race," and how Indian people are seeking to define themselves in terms of their unique cultural heritage, or "ethnicity." There are no prerequisites for this course, and no previous knowledge of anthropology or Native American Studies is necessary. Grades will be based on three quizzes, three brief reflective essays (1 to 2 pages), and one 6-page paper. There will be no final exam. Cost:2 WL:4 (Jackson)

Section 202 Anthropology of Spirit Possession. Why do people believe in spirits? What happens to the body, the mind, and society during spirit possession? This course will provide an overview of anthropological approaches to spirit beliefs and spirit possession, focusing on two major domains of analysis: "culture" and "the mind." Drawing on a wide range of ethnographic writing from areas such as Brazil, Ethiopia, India, and Malaysia, we will discuss how individuals and communities have used spirits in bodily healing, psychotherapy, resistance to oppression, and social change. We will also explore how spirits and spirit possession challenge Western conceptions of selfhood and open the door to alternative communicative and expressive forms. Finally, we will ask whether there are equivalents to spirit beliefs or spirit possession in secular American culture, exploring such diverse phenomena as pregnancy, rock concerts, and multiple personality disorder. This course will draw on lecture and discussion formats, and use ethnographic and popular films to stimulate discussion. Cost:1 WL:1 (McIntosh)


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