Classroom hours: M/W 06:00 PM – 07:15 PM | Clarke Building | Room 415

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 (3 BOOKS)

  • Engelke, M. (2018). How to Think Like an Anthropologist. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Suzman, J. (2017). Affluence without Abundance: The Disappearing World of the Bushmen. New York: Bloomsbury.
  • Kulick, D. (2019). A Death in the Rainforest: How a Language and a Way of Life Came to an End in Papua New Guinea. Chapel Hill: Algonquin Books.

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: 930-1200; 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?

Aug. 19 (M)- Seminar: Introduction to the Course

Aug. 21 (W)- Seminar: “The Familiar and the Strange”

  • Read: Engelke, M. (2018). Introduction: “The Familiar and the Strange.” In How to Think Like an Anthropologist. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

WEEK 2- ANTHROPOLOGY’S HERITAGE

Aug. 26 (M)- Seminar: Culture

  • Read: Engelke, M. (2018). Chapter 1: “Culture.” In How to Think Like an Anthropologist. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Watch: Graslie, E. (2016, Dec. 14). “Shoes.” The Brain Scoop [10 mins].

Aug. 28 (W)- Seminar: Civilization

  • Read: Engelke, M. (2018). Chapter 2: “Civilization.” In How to Think Like an Anthropologist. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Read: Graeber, D. and D. Wengrow. (2018, Mar. 2). “How to change the course of human history.” Eurozine.
  • Watch: Crash Course History (2011, Jul. 11). “Rethinking Civilization.” PBS Studios [14 mins].

WEEK 3- VALUES

Sep. 2 (M)- Seminar: [LABOR DAY]

Sep. 4 (W)- Seminar: Values

  • Read: Engelke, M. (2018). Chapter 3: “Values.” In How to Think Like an Anthropologist. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Watch: Religion and Ethics Newsweekly. (2014, Feb. 7). India’s Sacred Cows. PBS [4.45 mins].

WEEK 4- CIRCULATING VALUE 

Sep. 9 (M)- Seminar: Values

  • Read: Engelke, M. (2018). Chapter 4: “Value.” In How to Think Like an Anthropologist. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Watch- What Happens Next (2017, Oct. 25). “Bitcoin, blockchains, and the future of money.” Quartz [11.5 mins].

Sep. 11 (W)- Seminar: Kinship

  • Read: Gilliland, M.K. (2017). “Family and Marriage.” In Perspectives: An Open Invitation to Cultural Anthropology.

WEEK 5- SEX

Sep. 16 (M)- Seminar: Gender and Sexuality

  • Read: Welsch, R.L. and L.A. Vivanco. (2018). “Gender, Sex, and Sexuality.” In Cultural Anthropology: Asking Questions About Humanity, Pp. 274-276, 283-299. Oxford University Press.
  • Read: Fuentes, A. (2017, Apr. 4). Nature’s Most Creative Copulators. Sapiens.
  • Read: Willingham, E. (2018). “The non-binary brain.” Aeon.

Sep. 18 (W)- Seminar: [No seminar]

WEEK 6- METAPHORS FOR DIFFERENCE

Sep. 23 (M)- Seminar: Blood

  • Read: Engelke, M. (2018). Chapter 5: “Blood.” In How to Think Like an Anthropologist. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Sep. 25 (W)- Seminar: Identity

  • Read: Engelke, M. (2018). Chapter 6: “Identity.” How to Think Like an Anthropologist. In How to Think Like an Anthropologist. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Watch: Harris, J.D. (2015, Jan. 13). “The myth of race, debunked in 3 minutes.” Vox [3mins].

WEEK 7- POWER

Sep. 30 (M)- Seminar: Authority

  • Read: Engelke, M. (2018). Chapter 7: “Authority.” In How to Think Like an Anthropologist. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Oct. 2 (W)- Seminar: The Public Sphere

  • Read: Beard, M. (2017). Selections from Women and Power: A Manifesto. New York: Liveright.

WEEK 8- WAYS OF KNOWING AND BEING

Oct. 7 (M)- Seminar: Reason

  • Read: Engelke, M. (2018). Chapter 8: “Reason.” In How to Think Like an Anthropologist. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Watch: Boroditsky, L. (2017). How languages shape the way we think. TED [14 mins].

Oct. 9 (W)- Seminar: Nature

  • Read: Engelke, M. (2018). Chapter 9: “Nature.” In How to Think Like an Anthropologist. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Watch: Why Nature Doesn’t Exist: The Romantics, Slavoj Žižek and Dark Ecology [4 mins].

WEEK 9- FIELDWORK METHODS

Oct. 14 (M)- Seminar: Anthropological Fieldwork Methodology

  • Read: Nelson, K. (2017). “Doing Fieldwork: Methods in Cultural Anthropology.” In Perspectives: An Open Invitation to Cultural Anthropology.

Oct. 16 (W)- Seminar: Thinking Like an Anthropologist

  • Read: Engelke, M. (2018). Conclusion: “Think Like an Anthropologist.” In How to Think Like an Anthropologist. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Selections from Tett, G. (2015). The Silo Effect: The Peril of Expertise and the Promise of Breaking Down Barriers Actions.New York: Simon and Schuster.

WEEK 10- Affluence Without Abundance, Part I

Oct. 21 (M)- Seminar: The Old Times

  • Read: Chapters 1-3 of Affluence Without Abundance.

Oct. 23 (W)- Seminar: The Settlers

  • Read: Chapters 4-6 of Affluence Without Abundance.

WEEK 11- Affluence Without Abundance, Part II

Oct. 28 (M)- Seminar: The Provident Environment

  • Read: Chapters 7-10 of Affluence Without Abundance.

Oct. 30 (W)- Seminar: Hunting

  • Read: Chapters 11-13 of Affluence Without Abundance.

WEEK 12- Affluence Without Abundance, Part III

Nov. 4 (M)- Seminar: New Times

  • Read: Chapters 14-16 of Affluence Without Abundance.

Nov. 6 (W)- Seminar: The Promised Land

  • Read: Chapters 17-18 of Affluence Without Abundance.

WEEK 13- A DEATH IN THE RAINFOREST, Part I

Nov. 11 (M)- Seminar: The Air We Breathe

  • Read: Chapters 1-4 of A Death In the Rainforest.

Nov. 13 (W)- Seminar: The Burden of Giving

  • Read: Chapters 5-8 of A Death In the Rainforest.

WEEK 14- A DEATH IN THE RAINFOREST, Part II

Nov. 18 (M)- Seminar: The Politics of Swearing

  • Read: Chapters 9-13 of A Death In the Rainforest.

Nov. 20 (W)- Seminar: What Actually Dies When a Language Dies?

  • Read: Chapters 14-Postscript of A Death In the Rainforest.

WEEK 15- [Thanksgiving Break]

WEEK 16- COURSE SUMMARY

Dec. 2 (M)- Seminar: Class Presentations

Dec. 4 (W)- Seminar: Class Presentations

Quizzes (400 points):

  • Quiz 1: Aug. 21 (20 points, due on Aug. 21, 6pm).
  • Quiz 2: Aug. 26 (20 points, due on Aug. 26, 6pm).
  • Quiz 3: Aug. 28 (20 points, due on Aug. 28, 6pm).
  • Quiz 4: Sep. 4 (20 points, due on Sep. 4, 6pm).
  • Quiz 5: Sep. 9 (20 points, due on Sep. 9, 6pm).
  • Quiz 6: Sep. 11 (20 points, due on Sep. 11, 6pm).
  • Quiz 7: Sep. 16 (20 points, due on Sep. 16, 6pm).
  • Quiz 8: Sep. 23 (20 points, due on Sep. 23, 6pm).
  • Quiz 9: Sep. 25 (20 points, due on Sep. 25, 6pm).
  • Quiz 10: Sep. 30 (20 points, due on Sep. 30, 6pm).
  • Quiz 11: Oct. 2 (20 points, due on Oct. 2, 6pm).
  • Quiz 12: Oct. 7 (20 points, due on Oct. 7, 6pm).
  • Quiz 13: Oct. 9 (20 points, due on Oct. 9, 6pm).
  • Quiz 14: Oct. 14 (20 points, due on Oct. 14, 6pm).
  • Quiz 15: Oct. 16 (20 points, due on Oct. 16, 6pm).
  • Quiz 16: Oct. 21 (10 points, due on Oct. 21, 6pm).
  • Quiz 17: Oct. 23 (10 points, due on Oct. 23, 6pm).
  • Quiz 18: Oct. 28 (10 points, due on Oct. 28, 6pm).
  • Quiz 19: Oct. 30 (10 points, due on Oct. 30, 6pm).
  • Quiz 20: Nov. 4 (10 points, due on Nov. 4, 6pm).
  • Quiz 21: Nov. 6 (10 points, due on Nov. 6, 6pm).
  • Quiz 22: Nov. 11 (10 points, due on Nov. 11, 16pm).
  • Quiz 23: Nov. 13 (10 points, due on Nov. 13, 6pm).
  • Quiz 24: Nov. 18 (10 points, due on Nov. 18, 6pm).
  • Quiz 25: Nov. 20 (10 points, due on Nov. 20, 6pm).

Self-Grading (120 points):

  • Self-Grade 1: Aug. 26 (5 points, due on Aug. 26, 6pm).
  • Self-Grade 2: Aug. 28 (5 points, due on Aug. 28, 6pm).
  • Self-Grade 3: Sep. 4 (5 points, due on Sep. 4, 6pm).
  • Self-Grade 4: Sep. 9 (5 points, due on Sep. 9, 6pm).
  • Self-Grade 5: Sep. 11 (5 points, due on Sep. 11, 6pm).
  • Self-Grade 6: Sep. 16 (5 points, due on Sep. 16, 6pm).
  • Self-Grade 7: Sep. 23 (5 points, due on Sep. 23, 6pm).
  • Self-Grade 8: Sep. 25 (5 points, due on Sep. 25, 6pm).
  • Self-Grade 9: Sep. 30 (5 points, due on Sep. 30, 6pm).
  • Self-Grade 10: Oct. 2 (5 points, due on Oct. 2, 6pm).
  • Self-Grade 11 Oct. 7 (5 points, due on Oct. 7, 6pm).
  • Self-Grade 12: Oct. 9 (5 points, due on Oct. 9, 6pm).
  • Self-Grade 13: Oct. 14 (5 points, due on Oct. 14, 6pm).
  • Self-Grade 14: Oct. 16 (5 points, due on Oct. 16, 6pm).
  • Self-Grade 15: Oct. 21 (5 points, due on Oct. 21, 6pm).
  • Self-Grade 16: Oct. 23 (5 points, due on Oct. 23, 6pm).
  • Self-Grade 17: Oct. 28 (5 points, due on Oct. 28, 6pm).
  • Self-Grade 18: Oct. 30 (5 points, due on Oct. 30, 6pm).
  • Self-Grade 19: Nov. 4 (5 points, due on Nov. 4, 6pm).
  • Self-Grade 20: Nov. 6 (5 points, due on Nov. 6, 6pm).
  • Self-Grade 21: Nov. 11 (5 points, due on Nov. 11, 16pm).
  • Self-Grade 22: Nov. 13 (5 points, due on Nov. 13, 6pm).
  • Self-Grade 23: Nov. 18 (5 points, due on Nov. 18, 6pm).
  • Self-Grade 24: Nov. 20 (5 points, due on Nov. 20, 6pm).

Seminar Questions (250 points):

  • Seminar Question 1: Aug. 21 (10 points, due on Aug. 22, 12pm).
  • Seminar Question 2: Aug. 26 (10 points, due on Aug. 27, 12pm).
  • Seminar Question 3: Aug. 28 (10 points, due on Aug. 29, 12pm).
  • Seminar Question 4: Sep. 4 (10 points, due on Aug. 5, 12pm).
  • Seminar Question 5: Sep. 9 (10 points, due on Sep. 10, 12pm).
  • Seminar Question 6: Sep. 11 (10 points, due on Sep. 12, 12pm).
  • Seminar Question 7: Sep. 16 (10 points, due on Sep. 17, 12pm).
  • Seminar Question 8: Sep. 23 (10 points, due on Sep. 24, 12pm).
  • Seminar Question 9: Sep. 25 (10 points, due on Sep. 26, 12pm).
  • Seminar Question 10: Sep. 30 (10 points, due on Oct. 1, 12pm).
  • Seminar Question 11: Oct. 2 (10 points, due on Oct. 3, 12pm).
  • Seminar Question 12: Oct. 7 (10 points, due on Oct. 8, 12pm).
  • Seminar Question 13: Oct. 9 (10 points, due on Oct. 10, 12pm).
  • Seminar Question 14: Oct. 14 (10 points, due on Oct. 15, 12pm).
  • Seminar Question 15: Oct. 16 (10 points, due on Oct. 17, 12pm).
  • Seminar Question 16: Oct. 21 (10 points, due on Oct. 22, 12pm).
  • Seminar Question 17: Oct. 23 (10 points, due on Oct. 24, 12pm).
  • Seminar Question 18: Oct. 28 (10 points, due on Oct. 29, 12pm).
  • Seminar Question 19: Oct. 30 (10 points, due on Oct. 31, 12pm).
  • Seminar Question 20: Nov. 4 (10 points, due on Nov. 5, 12pm).
  • Seminar Question 21: Nov. 6 (10 points, due on Nov. 7, 12pm).
  • Seminar Question 22: Nov. 11 (10 points, due on Nov. 12, 12pm).
  • Seminar Question 23: Nov. 13 (10 points, due on Nov. 14, 12pm).
  • Seminar Question 24: Nov. 18 (10 points, due on Nov. 19, 12pm).
  • Seminar Question 25: Nov. 20 (10 points, due on Nov. 21, 12pm).

Discussions (110 points):

  • Discussions: “Gods of the Upper Air” (20 points, due Oct. 18th at 11:59pm).
  • Discussions: “Mistaken identities” (60 points, due Oct. 18th at 11:59pm).
  • Discussions: “Internet Culture” (50 points, due Dec. 9th at 7pm).

Written Assignments (300 points):

  • Affluence without Abundance (50 points, due Nov. 15th at 11:59 pm).
  • A Death in the Rainforest (50 points, due Dec 2nd 11:59pm).
  • Ethnographic Fieldwork Prospectus (50 points, due Oct. 25th 11:59pm).
  • Class Presentations (50 points, due Dec. 2nd & 4th during class).
  • Ethnographic Fieldwork Assignment (100 points, due Dec. 9th 7pm).