Classroom hours: T/TR 4:00 PM – 05:15 PM | Clarke Building | Room 106

Office Hours: By appointment

COURSE SUMMARY

This course introduces students to the variability of human behavior cross-culturally and provides an understanding of the holistic approach to human behavior. Explores interrelationships, in a variety of cultural contexts, between beliefs, economic structures, sexuality, eating habits, ecology, politics, living arrangements, psychology, symbolism, and kinship.

Learning Objectives include:

Upon successful completion, students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and recognition of complexities inherent in global and/or intercultural issues.
  2. Interrelate knowledgeably, reflectively, responsibly, and respectfully with a society of increasing intercultural connections.
  3. Apply an understanding of class and contemporary models in anthropology.
  4. Exhibit knowledge of the application of theoretical perspectives to current real-life issues.
  5. Show familiarity with the methods and models currently used in anthropology.
  6. Give evidence of a thorough understanding of cultural analysis and critique.
  7. Analyze research and write an in-depth, thorough, anthropological analysis comprising a variety of theoretical perspectives.

This brief video by Tara Westover summarizes a great deal of how I think we should be approaching education. Please consider her primary point, that an education is not the institution, it is a way of engaging the world. This, too, is the essence of anthropology.

REQUIRED TEXTS (2 BOOKS)

  • Welsch, R.L & L.A. Vivanco (2018). Cultural Anthropology: Asking Questions About Humanity, 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Hurston, Z.N. ([1937]). Their Eyes Were Watching God, Narrated by R. Dee. New York: Harper Audio [ASIN: B000C1X8GK, any print edition works, but I recommend the audiobook].

COURSE INFORMATION

Coursework Standards

Please review Utah Valley University’s Academic Policies and Standards, where is states that for course work should include “One hour of lecture, plus a minimum of two hours of personal work outside of class, regardless of delivery mode.” That means you should be working at least 6 hours a week on assignments outside of our usual seminar/lecture times.

Seminar Readings

Each seminar will have required readings or videos marketed with bullet points. Besides the required text (see above), all other readings will be provided through Canvas.

Note Taking

Many studies have found that allowing laptops, tablets, or smartphones in a classroom drastically affects the learning environment of all students, not just the ones using the technology. Content comprehension and memory retention are also drastically improved if you use a pen or pencil and a simple pad of paper to take notes on during class seminars. Please consider using these skills, instead of browsing on your computer.

  • Watch: Crash Course (2017, Aug.8). Taking Notes: Crash Course Study Skills. Crash Course.

  • Watch: Frank, T. (2014, Oct. 9). How to Take Notes in Class: The 5 Best Methods. College Info Geek.

Media Responses

You may choose to listen to and respond to any of the lecture podcasts before their due dates. Please summarize your thoughts about the podcast. You don’t need to summarize the lecture content, but I do want to know your thoughts about it. If you agree or disagree with the arguments in the lecture, please tell me. However, you must provide your reasons why you agree or disagree. Tell me if you learned anything new and whether you find what you learned helpful for not. Please clarify why it is or is not helpful to you.

Students will not be judged by the length of their responses, but by the depth of their responses. You will be graded according to the thoroughness of any reasons you provide for any assertions. I don’t really care what you think. There are no correct or incorrect answers. What I care about is cultivating critical thought, and you’ll be evaluated by the depth of your reasoning.

Assignment Instructions

More thorough instructions concerning assignments will be given in class. If you have questions about an assignment, please ask for clarifications during class. You will need to attend the course lectures if you want thorough instructions for each assignment.

Class Participation

Class Participation. There are few students enrolled in this course, therefore, it is absolutely essential that you attend and participate in discussions. If you don’t attend lectures then you’ll miss the seminar question given at the end of the lecture.

Email

Please message me directly through Canvas. When composing emails/messages, please follow the instructions from this useful guide. If you do not follow those instructions, I will not respond to your emails. Awaiting my response is never an excuse for not completing the assignments as described in the syllabus. When in doubt, check the syllabus.

Sensitive Topics

The study of anthropology may address potentially sensitive topics that a broad range of people face throughout the world. These topics may include issues relating to violence, race, gender, sexuality, kinship, inequality, and state oppression, etc. While I will try to guide us through these topics in a careful manner, it is important to recognize that the discussion of these topics is central to understanding how anthropologists seek to better understand our contemporary world. Constructive participation in these discussions means respectful engagement with the issues and sensitivity to how these discussions may impact fellow students. I will be respectful as well. Unfortunately, recent research has confirmed that the use of “trigger-warnings” can actually be harmful to people, especially those dealing with trauma. I believe issues should challenge us and confronting many of the disturbing aspects of the human experience is essential for understanding human cultural diversity.

University Policies

Please review the syllabus on Canvas for university policies regarding accessibility and mental health accommodations, prevention of harassment, and plagiarism.

POSSIBLE COURSE POINT TOTAL: 1200 points

The grade scale is the following– A: 940-1200; A-: 900-929; B+: 870-899; B: 830-869; B-: 800-829; C+: 770-799; C: 730-769; C-: 700-729; D+: 670-699; D: 630-669; and D-: 600-629.

WEEK 1- WHAT IS ANTHROPOLOGY?

Jan. 7 (T)- Seminar: Introduction to the Course

  • Syllabus.
  • Read: Engelke, M. (2017). “Introduction.” In How to Think Like an Anthropologist, Pp. 1-24. Princeton: Princeton University Press [Due Jan. 10th].

WEEK 2- Anthropology’s Tool Kit

Jan. 14 (T)- Seminar: Culture

  • Read: Cowall, E. & Medeiros, P. (2017). “The Culture Concept.” In N. Brown, L. Tubelle de González, & T. McIlwraith, eds., Perspectives: An Open Invitation to Cultural Anthropology.
  • Watch: Crash Course (2017, May 15). Symbols, Values & Norms. Crash Course Sociology [9.32 mins].
  • Watch: Crash Course (2017, May 22). Cultures, Subcultures, and Countercultures. Crash Course Sociology [9.40 mins].
  • Listen: Engelke, M. (2017). How to Think Like an Anthropologist. RSA Events [first 20 mins only].

WEEK 3- What Anthropologists Do

Jan. 21 (T)- Seminar: Fieldwork and Language

  • Read: Nelson, K. (2017). “Doing Fieldwork: Methods in Cultural Anthropology.” In N. Brown, L. Tubelle de González, & T. McIlwraith, eds., Perspectives: An Open Invitation to Cultural Anthropology [http://perspectives.americananthro.org/Chapters/Fieldwork.pdf].
  • Read: Light, L. (2017). “Language.” In N. Brown, L. Tubelle de González, & T. McIlwraith, eds., Perspectives: An Open Invitation to Cultural Anthropology [http://perspectives.americananthro.org/Chapters/Language.pdf].
  • Watch: Boroditsky, L. (2017). How languages shape the way we think. TED [14 mins].

WEEK 4- Food 

Jan. 28 (T)- Seminar: Foodways and Fire

  • Watch film in class.
  • Read: Welsch, R.L & L.A. Vivanco (2018). Chapter 6: “Foodways: Finding, Making, and Eating Food.” In Cultural Anthropology: Asking Questions About Humanity, 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Watch: Bird, D. (2012, Jul. 11). “Fire Hunting in Australia.” Stanford [2 mins].

WEEK 5- The Anthropocene

Feb. 4 (T)- Seminar: Subsistence and Sustainablity

  • Read: Shearn, I. (2017). “Subsistence.” In N. Brown, L. Tubelle de González, & T. McIlwraith, eds., Perspectives: An Open Invitation to Cultural Anthropology.
  • Read: Palmer, P.T. (2017). “Culture and Sustainability: Environmental Anthropology in the Anthropocene.” In N. Brown, L. Tubelle de González, & T. McIlwraith, eds., Perspectives: An Open Invitation to Cultural Anthropology.

WEEK 6- Politics and Economics

Feb. 11 (T)- Seminar: Anthropology and Political Economy

  • Read: McDowell, P. (2017). “Political Anthropology: A Cross-Cultural Comparison.” In N. Brown, L. Tubelle de González, & T. McIlwraith, eds., Perspectives: An Open Invitation to Cultural Anthropology.
  • Watch: Crash Course (2017, May 22). Rethinking Civilization. Crash Course World History [13.42 mins].
  • Read: Lyon, S. (2017). “Economics.” In N. Brown, L. Tubelle de González, & T. McIlwraith, eds., Perspectives: An Open Invitation to Cultural Anthropology.
  • Watch: Chang, H.J. (2016, Jul. 14). Economics is for Everyone! RSA Animate [11.20 mins].
  • Watch: Crash Course (2017, Jul. 17). Money & Debt. Crash Course World History [14.03 mins].
  • Watch: What Happens Next? (2017, Oct. 25). Bitcoin, blockchains, and the future of money. Quartz [11.27 mins].

WEEK 7- Globalization and Identity

Feb. 18 (T)- Seminar: Globalization, Race, and Ethnicity

  • Read: Griffith, L.M. & Marion, J.S. (2017). “Globalization.” In N. Brown, L. Tubelle de González, & T. McIlwraith, eds., Perspectives: An Open Invitation to Cultural Anthropology.
  • Read: Garcia, J. (2017). “Race and Ethnicity.” In N. Brown, L. Tubelle de González, & T. McIlwraith, eds., Perspectives: An Open Invitation to Cultural Anthropology.
  • Watch: Harris, J.D. (2015, Jan. 13). “The myth of race, debunked in 3 minutes.” Vox [3mins].
  • Watch: C0nc0rdance (2012, Jul. 16). The Science of Human Races, Part 1 [17.15 mins].
  • Watch: C0nc0rdance (2012, Aug. 9). The Science of Human Races, Part 2 [26.01 mins].
  • Watch: It’s Okay to Be Smart (2017, May 9). Are We All Related? PBS Digital Services [6.25 mins].

WEEK 8- Gender, Sexuality, and the Family

Feb. 25 (T)- Seminar: Anthropology of Kinship

  • Read: Mukhopadhyay, C.C., et al. (2017). “Gender and Sexuality.” In N. Brown, L. Tubelle de González, & T. McIlwraith, eds., Perspectives: An Open Invitation to Cultural Anthropology.
  • Listen: Vedantam, S. (2018, Nov. 19). Nature, Nurture, and Our Evolving Debates about Gender. Hidden Brain [52 mins].
  • Watch: Diamond, L. (2018, Dec. 18). Why the “born this way” argument doesn’t advance LGBT equality. TEDx [14.53 mins].
  • Read: Gilliland, M.K. (2017). “Family and Marriage.” In N. Brown, L. Tubelle de González, & T. McIlwraith, eds., Perspectives: An Open Invitation to Cultural Anthropology.

WEEK 9- Ways Worship and Belonging

Mar. 3 (T)- Seminar: Religion, Performance, and Death

  • Read: Henninger-Rener, S. (2017). “Religion.” In N. Brown, et al., Perspectives: An Open Invitation to Cultural Anthropology.
  • Read: Griffith, L.M. & J.S. Marion (2017). “Performance.” In N. Brown, et al., Perspectives: An Open Invitation to Cultural Anthropology.
  • Watch: Xygalatas, D. (2016, Apr. 1). The power of ritual. TEDx [17.30 mins].
  • Watch: Swazey, K. (2013, Oct. 1). Life that doesn’t end at death. TED [13.54 mins].
  • Listen: Spiegel, A. (2017, Jun. 1). A Man Finds An Explosive Emotion Locked In A Word. Invisibilia [7.04 mins].

WEEK 10- Media and Materality

Mar. 10 (T)- Seminar: Anthropology of Media and Materality

  • Read: Peake, B. (2017). “Media Anthropology: Meaning, Embodiment, Infrastructure, and Activism.” In N. Brown, et al., Perspectives: An Open Invitation to Cultural Anthropology.
  • Watch: Gantz, N. Cartwright, S., Latuff, C. (2017, Mar. 2). Roland Barthes – How to Read the Signs in the News. Al Jazeera English [2.58 mins].
  • Watch: Samura, S. & Takenova, E. (2017, Mar. 2). Edward Said – Framed: The Politics of Stereotypes in News. Al Jazeera English [2.29 mins].
  • Watch: Goodman, A. & Pirak, P. (2017, Mar. 2). Noam Chomsky – The 5 Filters of the Mass Media Machine. Al Jazeera English [4.46 mins].
  • Watch: Jeffers, N. Juhnevica, I. & Warsame, Z. (2017, Mar. 2). Stuart Hall – Race, Gender, Class in the Media. Al Jazeera English [3.20 mins].
  • Watch: Chow, A. & Savage, D. (2017, Mar. 2). Marshall McLuhan – Digital Prophecies: The Medium is the Message. Al Jazeera English[2.14 mins].
  • Read: Welsch, R.L & L.A. Vivanco (2018). Chapter 15: “Materiality: Constructing Social Relationships and Meaning with Things.” In Cultural Anthropology: Asking Questions About Humanity, 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Watch: TheBrainScoop (2014, Dec. 14). Shoes. The Field Museum [10.04 mins].

WEEK 11- Spring Break

Mar. 17 (T)- NO CLASSES

WEEK 12- Medical and Applied Anthropology

Mar. 24 (T)- Seminar: Anthropology in Practice

  • Read: Henninger-Rener, S. (2017). “Health and Medicine.” In N. Brown, et al., Perspectives: An Open Invitation to Cultural Anthropology.
  • Read: Cochran, V. (2017). “Seeing Like an Anthropologist: Anthropology in Practice.” In N. Brown, et al., Perspectives: An Open Invitation to Cultural Anthropology.
  • Watch: Lewis, J. (2012, Jul. 4). Extreme citizen science in the Congo Basin. TEDx [19.22 mins].

WEEK 13- Understanding Balinese Culture

Mar. 31 (T)- Seminar: Ritual Drama in Bali

  • Read: Selections from Geertz, H. (1994). Images of Power: Balinese Paintings Made for Gregory Bateson and Margaret Mead. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.
  • Watch: Trance and Dance in Bali.

WEEK 14- Balinese Cockfights

Apr. 7 (T)- Seminar: Balinese Cockfights

  • Read: Geertz, C. (1972). Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight. Daedalus 101(1): 1-37 [Abridged].
  • Watch: Tajen.
  • Discussion on Tajen Interactive.

WEEK 15- Who is Anthropology For?

Apr. 14 (T)- Seminar: Zora Neale Hurston, African American Folklore, and Vodou

  • Read: Selections from Bagge, P. (2017). Fire!!! The Zora Neale Hurston Story. Drawn & Quarterly.
  • Read: Selections from Hurston, Z.N. (1995). Folklore, Memoirs, & Other Writings. New York: Library of America.
  • Begin reading: Their Eyes Were Watching God.

WEEK 16- COURSE SUMMARY

Apr. 21 (T)- Seminar: Their Eyes Were Watching God

  • Read, Their Eyes Were Watching God.

Attendance (500 points):

  • Attendance 1: Jan. 14 (40 points, due on Jan. 14, 11:59pm).
  • Attendance 2: Jan. 21 (40 points, due on Jan. 21, 11:59pm).
  • Attendance 3: Jan. 28 (40 points, due on Jan. 28, 11:59pm).
  • Attendance 4: Feb. 4 (40 points, due on Feb. 4, 11:59pm).
  • Attendance 5: Feb. 11 (40 points, due on Feb. 11, 11:59pm).
  • Attendance 6: Feb. 18 (40 points, due on Feb. 18, 11:59pm).
  • Attendance 7: Feb. 25 (40 points, due on Feb. 25, 11:59pm).
  • Attendance 8: Mar. 3 (40 points, due on Mar. 3, 11:59pm).
  • Attendance 9: Mar. 10 (40 points, due on Mar. 10, 11:59pm).
  • Attendance 10: Mar. 24 (40 points, due on Mar. 24, 11:59pm).
  • Attendance 11: Mar. 31 (30 points, due on Mar. 31, 11:59pm).
  • Attendance 12: Apr. 2 (30 points, due on Apr. 2, 11:59pm).
  • Attendance 13: Apr. 7 (30 points, due on Apr. 7, 11:59pm).
  • Attendance 14: Apr. 14 (30 points, due on Apr. 14, 11:59pm).
  • Attendance 15: Apr. 21 (30 points, due on Apr. 21, 11:59pm).

Regularly Scheduled Assignments (110 points):

  • Perusall: Welsch & Vivanco, Chapter 1: Anthropology (due Jan. 9, 4pm).
  • Perusall: Welsch & Vivanco, Chapter 2: Culture (due Jan. 14, 4pm).
  • Perusall: Welsch & Vivanco, Chapter 3: Ethnography (due Jan. 16, 4pm).
  • Perusall: Welsch & Vivanco, Chapter 4: Linguistic Anthropology (due Jan. 21, 4pm).
  • Perusall: Welsch & Vivanco, Chapter 5: Globalization and Culture (due Jan. 23, 4pm).
  • Film Review: Cooked-Fire (20 points, due Jan. 29th at 11:59pm).
  • Perusall: Welsch & Vivanco, Chapter 6: Foodways (due Jan. 30, 4pm).
  • Perusall: Welsch & Vivanco, Chapter 7: Environmental Anthropology (due Feb. 4, 4pm).
  • Perusall: Welsch & Vivanco, Chapter 8: Economics (due Feb. 6, 4pm).
  • Perusall: Welsch & Vivanco, Chapter 9: Politics (due Feb. 11, 4pm).
  • Perusall: Welsch & Vivanco, Chapter 10: Race, Ethnicity, and Class (due Feb. 13, 4pm).
  • Perusall: Welsch & Vivanco, Chapter 11: Gender, Sex, and Sexuality (due Feb. 18, 4pm).
  • Perusall: Welsch & Vivanco, Chapter 12: Kinship, Marriage, and the Family (due Feb. 20, 4pm).
  • Perusall: Welsch & Vivanco, Chapter 13: Religion (due Feb. 25, 4pm).
  • Perusall: Griffith & Marion, “Performance” (due Feb. 27, 4pm).
  • Perusall: Peake, “Media Anthropology” (due Mar. 3, 4pm).
  • Perusall: Welsch & Vivanco, Chapter 14: The Body (due Feb. 27, 4pm).
  • Perusall: Welsch & Vivanco, Chapter 15: Materiality (due Mar. 10, 4pm).
  • Perusall: Cochran, “Seeing Like an Anthropologist” (due Mar. 12, 4pm).
  • Perusall: Geertz, Images of Power (due Mar. 24, 4pm).
  • Film Discussions: Trance and Dance in Bali (due Mar. 26, 4pm).
  • Perusall: Geertz, “Deep Play” (due Mar. 31, 4pm).
  • Review of Interactive Material: Tajen (due Mar. 31, 4pm).
  • Discussion: Fire!!! (due Apr. 7, 4pm).
  • Perusall: Hurston, Mules and Men, Part 1 (due Apr. 7, 4pm).
  • Perusall: Hurston, Mules and Men, Part 2 (due Apr. 9, 4pm).
  • Perusall: Hurston, Folklore, Memoirs & Other Writings (due Apr. 14, 4pm).
  • Film Review: Zora Neale Hurston: Jump at the Sun (due Apr. 16, 4pm).

Independent Work (110 points):

  • Discussions: “Gods of the Upper Air [Fresh Air]” (20 points, due Mar. 26th at 11:59pm).
  • Discussions: From Savage to Self. BBC 4 Omnibus, Part 1.
  • Discussions: From Savage to Self. BBC 4 Omnibus, Part 2.
  • Discussions: “Mistaken identities” (60 points, due Oct. 18th at 11:59pm).

Film Reviews (110 points):

  • Discussions: Trance and Dance in Bali (20 points, due Mar. 26 at 11:59pm).
  • Discussions: Tajen (60 points, due Oct. 18th at 11:59pm).
  • Discussions: Zora Neale Hurston: Jump at the Sun (50 points, due Dec. 9th at 7pm).

Final (200 points):

  • Their Eyes Were Watching God (200 points, due Dec. 9th 7pm).