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Course Instructor: Jordan Haug

Meeting Times: M, W, F. 10am-11am

Classroom: KMBL 262

Office Location: KMBL 862

Office Hours: T 9-10:15am; TR 9-11am; Fri. 9am-11am; or by appointment.

Have you ever wanted to know more about how different societies and cultures organize families and recognize gender? This course explores how kinship, or forms of “relatedness,” varies across the world and how culture influences the roles and statuses assigned to gender. Please take the time to review the Learning Objectives below, and watch this short video for a related introduction to the sociology of the family, which shares striking similarities to anthropological approaches to kinship and gender.

Course Learning Objectives

Students will learn:

  1. Students will be able to discuss the major theorists of religion, the theories they advanced, and their relation to contemporary categories of moral and ritual practice.
  2. Students will analyize classic ethnographic cases to in order better understand moral, ritual, and religious institutions, the significance symbolic practices, and their consequencetial impacts on society and the individual.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Information” tab_id=”1527623588361-e1e6c1d6-f093″][vc_column_text]Required Text (2 books)

  • Godelier, M. (2011). The Metamorphoses of Kinship, Trans. N. Scott. London: Verso.
  • Haug, J., ed. (n.d.). Dictionary of Kinship Concepts and Behaviors.

Study Habits

Please read the newsletter guide, “How to Build a Class Schedule,” which states that “BYU expects students to spend at least 2 hours doing work outside of class” per credit hour. This means you should usually be spending at least 6 hours outside of lecture doing course work for a three credit course. Because we are only meeting as sections for only 1 hour a week, and this is till a 3 credit course, you’re expected to spend even more time working on course work outside of the seminar meeting times for this class. You’ll likely be spending at least 8 hours a week on coursework outside of the lecture.

Weekly Reading Annotations

Many of the assignments in the course use Persuall for text annotation. Please watch the following video for advice on how to annotate a text. In addition to your usual text annotation, you should be asking at least 5 questions and answering at least 2 questions in your Perusall comments.

Class Participation

You’re expected to attend one section meeting every Tuesday. During that section seminar we’ll be discussing the assigned text together. Please come prepared to pose and answer questions. You’ll receive credit for your participation during the seminar, and at the end of each seminar I’ll pose a question that will not be provided on Learning Suite. In the exam posted that afternoon (at 4pm) you’ll have the opportunity to self-grade your preparation for the seminar and answer the question I provided at the end of the seminar. Missed participation points are not recoverable.


Please message me directly through Learning Suite. 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.

Accessibility and Academic Accommodations

See the syllabus on Learning Suite for more information on University Policies.

Point Distribution and Late Assignments

Below is a breakdown of the points available in the course. Late assignments will be accepted, but the grade will be automatically reduced by a whole letter grade. There is no time limit on accepting late assignments, but they are also considered late immediately after the assigned time they are due.


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.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Schedule” tab_id=”1527623779727-9cf68d03-b218″][vc_column_text]


Jan 6 (M)- Seminar: Syllabus and Course Introduction

Jan 8 (W)- Seminar: What is Religion?

  • Everyone: Read— Henninger-Rener, S. (2017). “Religion.” In N. Brown, et al., Perspectives: An Open Invitation to Cultural Anthropology. Arlington: American Anthropological Association.

Jan 10 (F)- Seminar: Freemasonry, A Religion?

  • Everyone: Watch— Hall, M.C. (2006). Mysteries of the Freemasons. New York: A&E Television Networks.
  • Everyone: Read— Selections from MacNulty, W.K. (2006). Freemasonry: Symbols, Secrecy, Significance. London: Thames & Hudson.


Jan 13 (M)- Seminar: Does Religiosity Make Us Moral?

  • Everyone: Listen— Vendatum, R., et al. (2018, Jul. 16). Creating God. The Hidden Brain [53 mins].
  • Everyone: Read— Ely, J. (2017). “‘Religion Makes People Moral’.” In B. Stoddard & C Martin, eds, Stereotyping Religion: Critiquing Clichés. Pp, 41-54. London: Bloomsbury.

Jan 15 (W)- Seminar: Religion as a Problem

  • Group A: Read— Pals, D.L. (2006). Chapter 1: “Animism and Magic: E.B. Tylor and J.G. Frazer.” In Eight Theories of Religion, Pp.18-52. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Group B: Read— Pals, D.L. (2006). Chapter 2: “Religion and Personality: Sigmund Freud.” In Eight Theories of Religion, Pp.53-84. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Jan 17 (F)- Seminar: Society, the Sacred, and Social Action

  • Group A: Read— Pals, D.L. (2006). Chapter 3: “Society as Sacred: Émile Durkheim.” In Eight Theories of Religion, Pp. 85-117. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Group B: Read— Pals, D.L. (2006). Chapter 5: “A Source of Social Action: Max Weber.” In Eight Theories of Religion, Pp. 149-192. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Jan 20 (M)- Holiday [No Seminar]

Jan 22 (W)- Seminar: On Magic and Myth

  • Group A: Read— Tambiah, S.J. (1990). Chapter 4: “Malinowski’s demarcations and his exposition of the magical art.” In Magic, science, religion, and the scope of rationality, Pp. 65-83. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Group B: Read— Strenski, I. (1992). “Introduction: Malinowski and Myth,” In Malinowski and the Work of Myth, Pp. xi-xxxii. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Jan 24 (F)- Seminar: Society’s ‘Construct of the Heart’

  • Everyone: Read— Pals, D.L. (2006). Chapter 7: “Society’s ‘Construct of the Heart: E.E. Evans-Pritchard.” In Eight Theories of Religion, Pp. 229-259. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Jan 27 (M)- Seminar: Ritual Practice as Transformation

  • Group A: Read— Turner, V. (1969). “Liminality and Communitas.” In The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure, Pp. 94-113, 125-130. Chicago: Aldine Publishing [Abridged].
  • Group B: Read— Turner, V. (1965). “Ritual Symbolism, Morality, and Social Structure among the Ndembu.” In M. Fortes & G. Dieterlen, eds., African Systems of Thought, Pp. 79-91. London: International African Institute & Oxford University Press.

Jan 31 (W)- Seminar: Problems of Belief, Colonialism, and Madness

  • Group A: Read— Engelke, M. (2003). The problem of belief: Evans–Pritchard and Victor Turner on ‘the inner life’. Anthropology Today 8(3): 3-8.
  • Group B: Read— Stoller, P. (1992). “Les maîtres fous.” In The Cinematic Griot: The Ethnography of Jean Rouch, Pp. 145-160. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Jan 24 (F)- Seminar: Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw Shamanism

  • Everyone: Read— Quesalid (1930). “I Desired to Learn the Ways of the Shaman.” In The Religion of the Kwakiutl Indians, Vol. II, Pp. 1-41. New York: Columbia University Press [Abridged].


Feb 3 (M)- Seminar: Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw Cosmology and Ritual Dances

  • Everyone: Read— Selections from Hawthorn, A. (1979). Kwakiutl Art. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
  • Everyone: Read— Selections from Curtis, E. (1915). The North American Indian, Vol. X. Norwood: Plimpton Press.

Feb 5 (W)- Seminar: The Sorcerer and His Magic

  • Everyone: Read— Lévi-Strauss, C. ([1949] 1963). “The Sorcerer and His Magic.” In Structural Anthropology, Trans. C. Jacobson & B.G. Schoepf, Pp. 167-185. New York: Basic Books.

Feb 7 (F)- Seminar: Totemism, Myth, and Structuralism

  • Everyone: Read— Selections from Wiseman, B. & J. Groves (1997). Introducing Lévi-Strauss. New York: Totem Books.


Feb 10 (M)- Seminar: The Pragmatics of Magic

  • Everyone: Read— Tambiah, S. (1973). “Form and Meaning in Magical Acts.” In R. Horton & R. Finnegan, eds., Modes of Thought: Essays on Thinking in Western and Non-Western Societies, Pp. 199-229. London: Faber & Faber [Abridged].

Feb 12 (W)- Seminar: Content and Form in Myth

  • Group A: Read— Leach, E. (2000 [1967]). “Genesis as Myth.” In S. Hugh-Jones & J. Laidlaw, eds., The Essential Edmund Leach, Vol. II: Culture and Human Nature, Pp. 29-40. New Haven: Yale University Press.
  • Group B: Read— Douglas, M. (1999). “Preface” and “Land Animals, Pure and Impure,” In Leviticus as Literature, Pp. v-viii, 134-151. Oxford: Oxford University Press [Abridged].

Feb 14 (F)- Seminar: Millennarian Movements

  • Everyone: Read— Crooker, W.H. (1967). “The Canela Messianic Movement: An Introduction.” In H. Lent, ed., Atas do Simpósio sobre a Biota Amazônica, Vol. II: Antropologia, Pp. 69-83. Rio de Janeiro: Conselho Nacional de Pesquisas.


Feb 18 (T)- Seminar: The Logic of Myth, History, and Gender

  • Everyone: Read— Canerio da Cunha, M. (1973). Logique du mythe et de l’action: Le mouvement messianique canela de 1963. L’Homme 13(4): 5-37 [English translation by Jordan Haug].

Feb 19 (W)- Seminar: Phenomenology of Aboriginal Iconography and Myth

  • Group A: Read— Munn, N. (1970). “The Transformation of Subjects into Objects in Walbiri and Pitjantjatjara Myth.” In R.M. Berndt, ed., Australian Aboriginal Anthropology: Modern Studies in the Social Anthropology of the Australian Aborigines, Pp. 141-163. Nedlands: Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies & The University of Western Australia Press.
  • Group B: Read— Munn, N. (1973). “The Spatial Presentation of Cosmic Order in Walbiri Iconography.” In A. Forge, ed., Primitive Art & Society, Pp. 193-220. London: Wenner-Gren Foundation & Oxford University Press.

Feb 21 (F)- Seminar: Ritual in the Making of Humanity

  • Everyone: Read— Segal, R.A. (2009) “Religion as ritual: Roy Rappaport’s changing views from Pigs for the ancestors (1968) to Ritual and religion in the making of humanity (1999).” In M. Strausberg, ed., Contemporary Theories of Religion: Critical Companion, Pp. 66-82. New York: Routledge.


Feb 24 (M)- Seminar: What Ritual Communicates

  • Everyone: Read— Robbins, J. (2001). Ritual Communication and Linguistic Ideology: A Reading and Partial Reformulation of Rappaport’s Theory of Ritual. Current Anthropology 42(5): 591-614.

Feb 26 (W)- Seminar: Ritual and Oratory

  • Everyone: Read— Stasch, R. (2011). Ritual and Oratory Revisited: The Semiotics of Effective Action. Annual Review of Anthropology 40(1): 159–174.
  • Everyone: Read— Knowlton, D. (1991). Belief, Metaphor, and Rhetoric: The Mormon Practice of Testimony Bearing. Sunstone 81(April): 20-27.

Feb 28 (F)- Seminar: The Zafimaniry Question

  • Everyone: Read— Cannell, F. (2007). “How Does Ritual Matter.” In R. Astuti, J. Parry, & C. Stafford, eds., Questions of Anthropology, Pp. 105-136. Oxford: Berg.


Mar 2 (M)- Seminar: The Queen

  • Group A: Read– Leach, E. (2000 [1981]). “Once a Knight is Quite Enough.” In S. Hugh-Jones & J. Laidlaw, eds., The Essential Edmund Leach, Vol II: Anthropology and Society, Pp. 194-209. New Haven: Yale University Press.
  • Group B: Read– Throop, J. & A. Duranti. (2015). Attention, ritual glitches, and attentional pull: the president and the queen. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 14: 1055-1082.

Mar 4 (W)- Seminar: Hierarchy

  • Everyone: Read– Strenski, I. (2008). “A Contrarian’s Most Contrarian Notion: Dumont on Hierarchy.” In Dumont on Religion: Difference, Comparison, Transgression, Pp. 21-49. London: Equinox.

Mar 6 (F)- Seminar: Individualism

  • Everyone: Read– Strenski, I. (2008). “Our Individualism and Its Religious Origins.” In Dumont on Religion: Difference, Comparison, Transgression, Pp. 51-87. London: Equinox.


Mar 9 (M)- Seminar: Morality, Tolerance, and Recognition

  • Everyone: Read– Strenski, I. (2008). “Dumont’s Morality and Social Cosmology.” In Dumont on Religion: Difference, Comparison, Transgression, Pp. 119-135. London: Equinox.

Mar 11 (W)- Seminar: Ordinary Ethics and Moral Values

  • Group A: Read– Das, V. (2013). “Violence and nonviolence at the heart of Hindu ethics.” In M. Jurgensmeyer, M. Kitts & M. Jerryson, eds., The Oxford handbook of religion and violence, Pp., 15-41. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Group B: Read– Robbins, J. (2013). What is the matter with transcendence? On the place of religion in the new anthropology of ethics. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 22(4): 767-781.

Mar 13 (F)- Seminar: Ritual and Shamanism in the Hmong Diaspora

  • Everyone: Watch– McSilver, J. & T. Siegel (2001). The split horn: Life of a Hmong shaman in America. New York: Filmakers Library [57 mins].


Mar 16 (M)- Seminar: Moral Realism

  • Everyone: Read– Hickman, J. (2019). “Culture and Hermeneutic Moral Realism.” In B.D. Slife & S.C. Yanchar, eds., Hermenutic Moral Realism in Psychology: Theory and Practice, Pp. 51-67. New York: Routledge.

Mar 18 (W)- Seminar: Apocalyptic Ritual

  • Everyone: Read– Hickman, J. & J. Webster (In press). “Millenarianism.” In J. Robbins & S. Coleman, eds., The Oxford Handbood for the Anthropology of Religion.

Mar 20 (F)- Seminar: [No classes]


Mar 23 (M)- Seminar: Melanesian Utopias

  • Everyone: Read– Haug, J. (Forthcoming). “Where, What, and When is Heaven? Desiring Something Different in Papua New Guinea.” Special Issue on Comparative Millenarianisms.

Mar 25 (W)- Seminar: At the Mountains’ Altar, p. 1

  • Everyone: Read– Salomon, F. (2018). Introduction and Chapter 1 of At the Mountains’ Altar: Anthropology of Religion in an Andean Community. New York: Routledge.

Mar 27 (F)- Seminar: At the Mountains’ Altar, p. 2

  • Everyone: Read– Salomon, F. (2018). Chapter 2 of At the Mountains’ Altar: Anthropology of Religion in an Andean Community. New York: Routledge.


Mar 30 (M)- Seminar: At the Mountains’ Altar, p. 3

  • Everyone: Read– Salomon, F. (2018). Chapter 3 of At the Mountains’ Altar: Anthropology of Religion in an Andean Community. New York: Routledge.

Apr 1 (W)- Seminar: At the Mountains’ Altar, p. 4

  • Everyone: Read– Salomon, F. (2018). Chapter 4 of At the Mountains’ Altar: Anthropology of Religion in an Andean Community. New York: Routledge.

Apr 3 (F)- Seminar: At the Mountains’ Altar, p. 5

  • Everyone: Read– Salomon, F. (2018). Chapter 5 of At the Mountains’ Altar: Anthropology of Religion in an Andean Community. New York: Routledge.


Apr 6 (M)- Seminar: At the Mountains’ Altar, p. 6

  • Everyone: Read– Salomon, F. (2018). Chapter 6 of At the Mountains’ Altar: Anthropology of Religion in an Andean Community. New York: Routledge.

Apr 8 (W)- Seminar: At the Mountains’ Altar, p. 7

  • Everyone: Read– Salomon, F. (2018). Chapter 7 of At the Mountains’ Altar: Anthropology of Religion in an Andean Community. New York: Routledge.

Apr 10 (F)- Seminar: What It Means to “Fall in Love”

  • Group A: Read– Haug, J. (forthcoming). “How to Win Friends and Influence People in Papua New Guinea.” Manuscript.
  • Group B: Read– Haug, J. (forthcoming). “Getting Caught By the Holy Spirit, and other Kinds of Fishing.” Manuscript.


Apr 13 (M)- Seminar: Hoodoo

  • Everyone: Read– Selections from Hurston, Z.N. (1995). Folklore, Memoirs, & Other Writings. New York: Library of America.

Apr 8 (W)- Seminar: Vodou

  • Everyone: Read– Selections from Hurston, Z.N. (1995). Folklore, Memoirs, & Other Writings. New York: Library of America.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Assignments” tab_id=”1527624097128-b0a6684a-8f7d”][vc_column_text]For this course you’ll write one paper as your final assignment (due Dec. 18th at 6pm). However, there are assignments that culminate in the final paper. They are:

  1. Paper topic proposal (10 points, due Oct. 8th, 11:59pm).
  2. Response to the Mysteries of Freemasons.
  3. Response to Creating God.
  4. Class participation.
  5. Class presentations.
  6. Azande Witchcraft
  7. Les maîtres fous
  8. The Holy Ghost People
  9. In the Land of the War Canoes
  10. At the Mountain’s Altar Review
  11. Religion, Is It Good or Bad?
  12. Religion and Politics
  13. Creed or Practice?
  14. Religion and the Market
  15. Ritual
  16. Tanya Lurhman voices
  17. Draft of the final paper (40 points, due Nov. 16th, 11:59pm).
  18. Peer review of student paper (30 points, due Nov. 23rd, 11:59pm).
  19. Final paper on Zora Neale Hurston, Maya Deren, and Vodou (100 points).

[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Films” tab_id=”1564102514029-5ba7a02d-6b90″][vc_column_text]Choose which assignments you want to complete.

  1. To Find the Baruya Story (20 points, due Sept. 17th, 9am).
  2. A World Without Fathers or Husbands (20 points, due Oct. 29th, 9am).