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Spring/Summer Academic Term 2003 Course Guide

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Courses in Cultural Anthropology

This page was created at 8:06 PM on Mon, Jul 14, 2003.



Spring Half-Term Courses

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ANTHRCUL 101. Introduction to Anthropology.

Introductory Courses

Section 101.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: Primarily for first- and second-year students. (4). (SS). (R&E). Does not count toward anthropology concentration requirements. May not be repeated for credit.

R&E

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: http://coursetools.ummu.umich.edu/2003/spring/anthrcul/101/101.nsf

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 one introductory text 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.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: 2 Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ANTHRCUL 298. Topics in Cultural Anthropology.

Introductory Courses

Section 101 — Anthropology of Youth.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (SS). May be elected for a maximum of 12 credits. May be elected more than once in the same term.

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course addresses a range of contemporary issues relevant to youth in the United States and around the world. Working from an anthropological perspective, we will explore ways in which the experiences of young people are determined within global and local cultural politics. We will also consider young people as social actors: creative consumers, political activists, and individuals who imagine and construct their own social worlds. Course pack readings and discussion-based classes will cover a variety of topics, including resistance, popular culture, gender, sexuality, family, school, work, politics, and the city. Evaluations will be based on attendance, participation, and written work. Students are responsible for six short writing assignments (2 pages each), as well as a final paper (8-10 pages).

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: 1 Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ANTHRCUL 298. Topics in Cultural Anthropology.

Introductory Courses

Section 102 — The Anthropology of Places and Spaces.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (SS). May be elected for a maximum of 12 credits. May be elected more than once in the same term.

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: http://coursetools.ummu.umich.edu/2003/spring/anthrcul/298/102.nsf

Spaces and places surround us, but most of the time we pay little attention to how they may be influencing us or the meanings they contain. This course will begin by exploring how diverse cultures think about and use a variety of spaces — from the everyday to the sacred, from the built environment to wilderness — and by comparing these ideas and practices to our own. Readings in this section will come from both cultural anthropology and archaeology. By learning about a variety of ways of thinking about space, we will examine some of the oppositions that Americans often use to divide their space: indoors versus outdoors, built versus natural spaces, and sacred versus profane places. In the second part of the course, we will examine some environmental and urban conflicts to better understand how multiple groups sharing the same spaces can understand them differently, and how this can lead to heated political battles. The third section of the class looks at state and colonial powers, and how they may work to influence how spaces are planned or divided among different activities (for example, in prisons and schools). In particular, we will question how they are attempting to shape citizens through particular spatial designs. In the final session of the course, we will turn the lens back toward some ways of thinking about space and place in the United States, and how those ideas can affect the lives of people living in distant places.

Course requirements include three short (4-5 page double spaced) papers, participation in various in-class group activities, and a short final exam. There are no prerequisites and class time will be divided among lecture, discussion, and group activities. Reading loads are heavier during the first couple weeks of the course than in later weeks. Required Books: Arzipe, Lourdes, Fernanda Paz, and Margarita Velázqez, 1996, Culture and Global Change: Social Perceptions of Deforestation in the Lacandona Rain Forest in Mexico, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Basso, Keith H., 1996, Wisdom Sits in Places, Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. Dietrich, William., 1992, The Final Forest: The Battle for the Last Great Trees of the Pacific Northwest, New York: Penguin Books. Course pack with selected readings.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: 2 Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ANTHRCUL 298. Topics in Cultural Anthropology.

Introductory Courses

Section 103 — The Anthropology of Global Popular Culture.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (SS). May be elected for a maximum of 12 credits. May be elected more than once in the same term.

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

In recent decades, globalization has entailed the movement of people, products, and ideas throughout the world to an unprecedented degree and at a feverish pace. It is clear that American cultural products seem to be everywhere, but how the people of the world view, use, and understand them is much more complicated. In this course we will go beyond models of rational consumer choice and cultural imperialism to examine how icons of American culture, like McDonald's, Baywatch, and MTV, have been understood, interpreted, and redefined in other cultural settings. We will also look at how popular culture itself is differently produced and understood in other parts of the world, including film, television, music, and food. Course assignments will include regular reading from and samplings of anthropological studies of globalization, popular culture and consumer culture in Indonesia, Nepal, India, Taiwan, China, South Korea, the Philippines, the Netherlands, England, France, Israel, South Africa, Senegal, Benin, and the USA.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: 2 Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ANTHRCUL 499. Undergraduate Reading and Research in Anthropology.

Museum, Honors, Reading, Research, and Field Courses

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: 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 credit for a maximum of 6 credits.

Credits: (1-3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

Independent reading and research under the direction of a faculty member. Ordinarily available only to students with background in anthropology.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 5, Permission of Department


Spring/Summer Term Courses

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ANTHRCUL 398. Honors in Cultural Anthropology.

Museum, Honors, Reading, Research, and Field Courses

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: Permission of instructor. (3). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT). May not be repeated for credit. Continuing Course. Y grade can be reported at end of the first-term to indicate work in progress. At the end of the second term (ANTHRCUL 399), the final grade is posted for both term's elections.

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

For information about honors work in anthropology, see the Honors Program description preceding the listing of anthropology courses or consult with the honors concentration advisor.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 5, Permission of Department

ANTHRCUL 499. Undergraduate Reading and Research in Anthropology.

Museum, Honors, Reading, Research, and Field Courses

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: 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 credit for a maximum of 6 credits.

Credits: (1-3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

Independent reading and research under the direction of a faculty member. Ordinarily available only to students with background in anthropology.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 5, Permission of Department


Summer Half-Term Courses

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ANTHRCUL 298. Topics in Cultural Anthropology.

Introductory Courses

Section 201 — The Anthropology of Drugs.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (SS). May be elected for a maximum of 12 credits. May be elected more than once in the same term.

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course addresses the consumption, production, and distribution of drugs, as well as the historical representation and treatment of drug users, both in the U.S. and abroad. During the first half of the course, questioning the notion that drugs offer social, political, spiritual or psychological "escape," we will look at how substances move over history and space, taking on different meanings and uses. We will explore the related question of how and why different societies sanction, encourage, and treat different kinds of drug use. Such comparisons will reveal that our responses to drug use have as much to do with social norms and ideologies as they do with the more-or-less deleterious effects of the substances themselves. With this in mind, we will look at how responses, representations, and treatment of drug users and distributors are very much effected by, for example, culturally-specific notions of race, gender, and class. We will also discuss how the cultural authorization of certain drugs in certain settings (e.g., binge drinking on U.S. college campuses) is connected not only to the social positions of users, but also the marketplaces in which these drugs are distributed and exchanged. Thus, in the latter half of the course, we examine the production and distribution of drugs as it relates to processes of global capitalism. While much talk about drugs focuses on the psychology of the drug user and on the pathology of the dealer, the anthropology of drugs will show us that use and exchange are as much cultural and political as they are personal.

This course will follow a lecture/discussion formal and, while a background in anthropology would be useful, there are no pre-requisites to enroll. Students will be evaluated on the basis of class participation, a short book review, and a 10-12 page final paper. A course pack and book review texts will be available for purchase and placed on reserve.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: 1 Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ANTHRCUL 298. Topics in Cultural Anthropology.

Introductory Courses

Section 202 — Racial Stereotyping: An Anthropological Perspective.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (SS). May be elected for a maximum of 12 credits. May be elected more than once in the same term.

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

The Anthropology Department at Michigan is a four-field department, which means that we investigate issues of human diversity from many different perspectives. In this course, we will tackle the issue of racial stereotyping from six angles: biological, historical, cognitive, linguistic, archaeological, and cultural. What does it mean to stereotype a group of people? How do we identify a group? By what characteristics or markers do we attribute membership? If it is inaccurate, from an evolutionary perspective, to say that human 'races' exist, then why is the word still used? When and why did methods of racial categorization develop, and how are those racial taxonomies different from how we talk about 'race' today? Why can we never talk about 'race' without talking about 'racism'? How can we apply an anthropological perspective to contemporary issues in the U.S.?

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ANTHRCUL 298. Topics in Cultural Anthropology.

Introductory Courses

Section 203 — The Anthropology of Humor.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (SS). May be elected for a maximum of 12 credits. May be elected more than once in the same term.

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

It has been said that humans are the only animals that laugh, that being able to laugh is what keeps us sane in a complex world, and that laughter is the best medicine. While humor has often been considered the province of literature or psychology, the topic has been discussed in various ways in anthropology. In recent years, anthropologists have begun to pay close attention to this very important social behavior.

Some studies in classical stuctural/functional ethnology pursued narrowly defined topics, such as joking relationships, trickster tales, and sacred clowns. In this course, we will use these as a springboard into a study of the concept of humor as it might be pursued from an anthropological perspective.

  • What is humor?
  • What are the uses of humor and laughter in society?
  • Why study it in anthropology?
  • What can the tools of anthropology tell us about humor and its social uses?
  • And what are the potential limits of an anthropological study of humor?

To consider these issues, we will not only consider the classic topics as outlined above, but also take a multi-subfield approach, focusing on: biosocial aspects of humor, smiling, and laughter, from evolutionary and child-development perspectives; linguistic studies of competence in communicating humor; ethnic jokes and other jokes of social inequality from a cross-cutural perspective; social satire; organizational humor and its uses in Western capitalism; and the current state of comedy in North American popular culture and its consumption in global markets.

Course assignments will include regular readings, sampling ethnographic and comedy films and videos, and research projects. Grading will be based on in-class participation, including a presentation during the last two weeks of class, and two essays which will analyze the topics presented during the term.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ANTHRCUL 298. Topics in Cultural Anthropology.

Introductory Courses

Section 204 — Welcome to Amexica: The Anthropology of the Borderlands.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (SS). May be elected for a maximum of 12 credits. May be elected more than once in the same term.

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

What are "borders"? Lines on a map? Barriers to travel? Or do borders exist primarily in our minds? Do borders define race, gender, class, and ethnicity, and if so, how? In this course, we will address these questions through an examination of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. In so doing, we will consider several analytical perspectives relevant to the anthropology of the borderlands including: gender, identity, resistance, economics, globalization, migration, and the politics of everyday life. The format will include lectures, group discussions, and student presentations. Grading will be based on a midterm and final examination, a short paper, and class participation. The course is open to undergraduate students of all concentrations and does not require background in anthropology. The materials for this course include a course pack and required text(s).

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: 2 Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ANTHRCUL 298. Topics in Cultural Anthropology.

Introductory Courses

Section 205 — Anthropology of Contemporary Jewish Life. Meets with JUDAIC 317.001.

Instructor(s): Erica Lehrer

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (SS). May be elected for a maximum of 12 credits. May be elected more than once in the same term.

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

See Judaic Studies 317.001.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ANTHRCUL 499. Undergraduate Reading and Research in Anthropology.

Museum, Honors, Reading, Research, and Field Courses

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: 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 credit for a maximum of 6 credits.

Credits: (1-3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

Independent reading and research under the direction of a faculty member. Ordinarily available only to students with background in anthropology.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 5, Permission of Department


Graduate Course Listings for ANTHRCUL.


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