Location: Bowdoin / The College Catalogue / Courses / Sociology and Anthropology / Anthropology Courses

The College Catalogue

Sociology and Anthropology – Anthropology Courses

First-Year Seminars

For a full description of first-year seminars, see the First-Year Seminar section.

1013 {13} b. Beyond Pocahontas: Native American Stereotypes. Spring 2014. Kelly Fayard.

1027 {27} b. Understanding Ourselves in the Digital Age. Fall 2013. Melissa Rosario.

Introductory, Intermediate, and Advanced Courses

1101 {101} b. Introduction to Cultural Anthropology. Fall 2013. Krista Van Vleet. Spring 2014. Greg Beckett.

Cultural anthropology explores the diversities and commonalities of cultures and societies in an increasingly interconnected world. Introduces students to the significant issues, concepts, theories, and methods in cultural anthropology. Topics may include cultural relativism and ethnocentrism, fieldwork and ethics, symbolism, language, religion and ritual, political and economic systems, family and kinship, gender, class, ethnicity and race, nationalism and transnationalism, and ethnographic representation and validity.

1102 b. Introduction to Archaeology. Spring 2014. Scott MacEachern.

An introduction to the practice of archaeology as the study of the human past. Introduces students to the methods and theories through which archaeologists use material traces to analyze the behaviors of people, from our earliest tool-making ancestors to the twenty-first century. Topics covered will include the history of archaeology as a professional discipline, the role of theory in archaeological interpretation, and the archaeological examination of ancient economic, social, and ideological systems. Well-known archaeological field projects will be used as source material for the course.

[1138 {138} b - ESD, IP. Everyday Life in India and Pakistan. (Same as Asian Studies 1625 {138}.)]

1150 {102} b. Introduction to World Prehistory. Fall 2013. Scott MacEachern.

An introduction to the discipline of archaeology and the studies of human biological and cultural evolution. Among the subjects covered are conflicting theories of human biological evolution, debates over the genetic and cultural bases of human behavior, the expansion of human populations into various ecosystems throughout the world, the domestication of plants and animals, the shift from nomadic to settled village life, and the rise of complex societies and the state.

2010 {201} b. Anthropological Research. Fall 2013. Kelly Fayard. Spring 2014. Krista Van Vleet.

Anthropological research methods and perspectives are examined through classic and recent ethnography, statistics and computer literacy, and the student’s own fieldwork experience. Topics include ethics, analytical and methodological techniques, the interpretation of data, and the use and misuse of anthropology.

Prerequisite: Anthropology 1101 {101}.

2020 {202} b. Essentials of Archaeology. Fall 2013. Scott MacEachern.

Introduces students to the methods and concepts that archaeologists use to explore the human past. Shows how concepts from natural science, history, and anthropology help archaeologists investigate past societies, reveal the form and function of ancient cultural remains, and draw inferences about the nature and causes of change in human societies over time. Will include a significant fieldwork component, including excavations on campus.

Prerequisite: Anthropology 1150 {102}, or Archaeology 1101 {101} (same as Art History 2090 {209}) or 1102 (same as Art History 2100 {210}), or permission of the instructor.

2030 {203} b. History of Anthropological Theory. Fall 2013. Sara Dickey.

An examination of the development of various theoretical approaches to the study of culture and society. Anthropology in the United States, Britain, and France is covered from the nineteenth century to the present. Among those considered are Morgan, Tylor, Durkheim, Boas, Malinowski, Mead, Geertz, and Lévi-Strauss.

Prerequisite: Anthropology 1101 {101}.

2105 {205} c - IP. Who Owns the Past? The Roles of Museums in Preserving and Presenting Culture. Fall 2013. Susan A. Kaplan.

Examines the storied place of museums in the acquisition, preservation, and display of cultural heritage. The past practices of museums are studied with an eye to how they inform present policies. Aims to examine museums’ responses when confronting national and ethnic claims to items in museums’ permanent collections; the ethical choices involved in deciding what should be exhibited; the impact of politics, conflicts, and war on museum practices; and the alliances between museums, archaeologists, art historians, and anthropologists. Students will benefit from conversations with a number of Bowdoin faculty and staff, as well as a series of guest speakers from other organizations. Selected reading and class discussion are augmented by visits to the college’s two museums and other local museums. (Same as Archaeology 2207 {207}.)

Prerequisite: One course in anthropology, archaeology, art history, or sociology, numbered 2000-2969 {200-289} or permission of the instructor.

[2112 {213} b. Fantastic Archaeology.]

[2114 {214} b. Politics and Power.]

2170 {270} b. Changing Cultures and Dynamic Environments. Spring 2014. Susan Kaplan.

Over the last 20,000 years, the Earth’s environment has changed in both subtle and dramatic ways. Some changes are attributable to natural processes and variation, some have been triggered by human activities. Referring to anthropological and archaeological studies, and research on past and contemporary local, regional, and global environments, the course examines the complex and diverse relationship between cultures and the Earth’s dynamic environment. A previous science course is recommended. (Same as Environmental Studies 2311 {237}.)

Prerequisite: Anthropology 1101 {101} or 1150 {102}, or permission of the instructor.

2227 {227} c - ESD, VPA. Protest Music. Spring 2015. Judith Casselberry.

Focuses on the ways black people have experienced twentieth-century events. Examines social, economic, and political catalysts for processes of protest music production across genres including gospel, blues, folk, soul, funk, rock, reggae, and rap. Analysis of musical and extra-musical elements’ style, form, production, lyrics, intent, reception, commodification, mass media, and the Internet. Explores ways in which people experience, identify, and propose solutions to poverty, segregation, oppressive working conditions, incarceration, sexual exploitation, violence, and war. (Same as Africana Studies 2228 {228} and Music 2292 {227}.)

2230 {230} b - ESD. Language, Identity, and Power. Spring 2014. Krista Van Vleet.

What place does language have in everyday life? How are identities produced and perceived in personal and social interactions? How is language used to reinforce, challenge, or reconfigure relationships of power? Approaches the study of language as a social and historical reality that emerges in the interactions of individuals. Using examples from a variety of social and cultural contexts, discusses the relationship between language, culture, and thought; structure and agency; language and social inequality; language acquisition and socialization; multilingualism and multiculturalism; verbal art and performance. Considers how aspects of an individual’s identity such as gender, race, ethnicity, class, age, and sexual orientation articulate in social and linguistic interactions.

Prerequisite: Anthropology 1101 {101} or Sociology 1101 {101}, or permission of the instructor.

2245 {245} b - ESD, IP. We Are Family: Anthropological Understandings of Kinship. Spring 2014. Kelly Fayard.

Anthropologists have long been fascinated with defining who is related to whom. Students read works by leading anthropologists to gain an understanding of the various ways kinship has been defined in anthropology and in a diversity of cultures. Elucidates various kinship systems throughout the world and explores how anthropologists have worked with the concept of relatedness. Examines contemporary issues and discusses current kinship studies of relatedness and how those apply to new reproductive technologies such as surrogate mothers, in vitro fertilization, the buying and selling of eggs and sperm, and the legal implications of these new ways of having children.

Prerequisite: Anthropology 1101 {101} or Sociology 1101 {101}, or permission of the instructor.

[2254 {254} b. Understanding Crisis: Anthropological Perspectives on Emergency.]

2274 b. The Borderlands of United States Empire: Puerto Rican Identities and Histories. Spring 2014. Melissa Rosario.

Using Puerto Rico as a case study from which to study borderlands theory, focuses on Puerto Rico’s unique political status in history, describing how its relationship to the United States as “foreign in a domestic sense” has shaped Puerto Rican identity and community formation. Topical focus placed on questions of language and representation, migration patterns, and relationships between mainland and island-based populations, as well as the psychological effects of colonialism. Develops students’ understanding that borders are both literal and metaphorical, but have real material effects on the unequal treatment of certain groups, even those purported to be part of the same nation-state. (Same as Latin American Studies 2774.)

Prerequisite: Anthropology 1101 {101} or Sociology 1101 {101}; or permission of the instructor.

[2350 {235} b - ESD. Not Just Cowboys and Indians: Examining Native Americans in Film and Media Beyond Hollywood. (Same as Film Studies 2350 {235}.)]

[2371 {277} b. Children and Youth in Global Perspective. (Same as Latin American Studies 2771 {277}.)]

2449 {249} b - IP. Alienation and Repression: The Figure of the Zombie in Haiti and the United States. Spring 2014. Greg Beckett.

What do monsters tell us about society? Liminal figures have the capacity to reveal underlying social fears and anxieties and to help us think critically about existing systems of oppression and inequality. Explores the deep history of the zombie in Haitian culture and the recent emergence of the figure of the zombie as a popular modern American monster. To contrast the meaning of the zombie in Haiti and the United States, students explore two critical concepts from social theory—Karl Marx’s concept of alienation and Sigmund Freud’s concept of repression. Students engage substantively with these theories as they explore the place of zombies in oral histories, folktales, travel writing, film, comics, and other imaginative narrative forms. Topics to be discussed include life, death, the body, free will, resistance, exploitation, knowledge, desire, race, gender, and violence.

Prerequisite: Anthropology 1101 {101} or 1150 {102}, or Sociology 1101 {101}; or permission of the instructor.

[2533 {233} b - ESD, IP. Peoples and Cultures of Africa. (Same as Africana Studies 2233 {233}.)]

[2601 {232} b - ESD, IP. Bollywood, Kollywood, and Beyond: Indian Cinema and Society. (Same as Asian Studies 2561 {247} and Film Studies 2232 {232}.)]

2647 {248} b. Activist Voices in India. Fall 2013. Sara Dickey.

Examines contemporary social and political activism in India. Focuses on film, essays, and fiction to investigate the ways that political messages are constructed through different media and for specific audiences. Case studies include activism concerning religious conflict, gender inequalities, gay and lesbian identities, and environmental issues. (Same as Asian Studies 2562 {248}, Film Studies 2248 {248}, and Gender and Women’s Studies 2250 {246}.)

Prerequisite: Anthropology 1101 {101} or Sociology 1101 {101}, and one previous course on contemporary South Asian societies from the following: Anthropology 1138 {138} (same as Asian Studies 1625 {138}); Anthropology 2601 {232} (same as Asian Studies 2561 {247}); Anthropology 2643 {243} (same as Asian Studies 2560 {232}); Asian Studies 2501 {289} (same as Gender and Women’s Studies 2289 {289} and Religion 2289 {289}); History 1038 {26} (same as Asian Studies 1035 {26}); History 2341 {282} (same as Asian Studies 2580 {236}); History 2342 {261} (same as Asian Studies 2581 {256}); History 2343 {263} (same as Asian Studies 2582 {258}); History 2344 {280} (same as Asian Studies 2230 {230}); History 2801 {259} (same as Asian Studies 2583 {237} and Gender and Women’s Studies 2259 {259}); History 2809 {241} (same as Asian Studies 2239 {239}); Religion 2219 {219} (same as Asian Studies 2550 {219}); Religion 2221 {221} (same as Asian Studies 2553 {241}); Religion 2222 {222} (same as Asian Studies 2554 {242}); Sociology 2227 {227} (same as Africana Studies 2227 {227} and Asian Studies 2840 {263}); Sociology 2236 {236} (same as Asian Studies 2570 {233}); or permission of the instructor.

[2711 {271} b. The Caribbean in the Atlantic World. (Same as Latin American Studies 2711 {271}.)]

[2723 {224} b - ESD. Religion and Social Transformation in South America. (Same as Latin American Studies 2724 {223}.)]

[2729 {238} b - IP. Culture and Power in the Andes. (Same as Latin American Studies 2738 {238}.)]

2840 {240} b - ESD. Contemporary Issues of Native North America. Fall 2013. Kelly Fayard.

Explores contemporary issues within Native American communities to gain a better understanding of legal issues between tribal governments and the Federal government, reservations, and urban Indian populations. Analyzes issues facing contemporary Native American nations, including Indian gaming and casinos, federal recognition and sovereignty, blood quantum and biological race, religious freedom and sacred sites, mascots, and repatriation of human remains and important artifacts. Efforts to reclaim traditional languages, hunting grounds, and arts discussed.

Prerequisite: Anthropology 1101{101}.

2901 b. Archaeology of the Black Atlantic. Spring 2014. Scott MacEachern.

Uses archaeology to explore the experience of Africans and their descendants in the Atlantic World from the fifteenth century onward. Examines archaeological sites in Africa, the New World, and the Atlantic islands that are implicated in the trans-Atlantic slave trade and in other forms of interaction between African and non-African communities. Particular topics to be explored will include comparisons between archaeological and historical documentation, archaeological evidence for domination and resistance, and the material traces of cultural contacts and hybridity.

Prerequisite: Anthropology 1101 {101} or 1150 {102}, or permission of the instructor.

2970–2973 {291–294} b. Intermediate Independent Study in Anthropology. The Department.

2999 {299} b. Intermediate Collaborative Study in Anthropology. The Department.

3010 {310} b. Contemporary Issues in Anthropology. Spring 2014. Sara Dickey.

Close readings of recent ethnographies and other materials are used to examine current theoretical and methodological developments and concerns in anthropology.

Prerequisite: Anthropology 1101 {101}, 1150 {102}, 2010 {201}, and 2030 {203}; or permission of the instructor.

3100 {313} b - ESD, IP. Global Sexualities/Local Desires. Fall 2013. Krista Van Vleet.

Explores the variety of practices, performances, and ideologies of sexuality through a cross-cultural perspective. Focusing on contemporary anthropological scholarship on sexuality and gender, asks how Western conceptions of “sexuality,” “sex,” and “gender” help (or hinder) our understanding of the lives and desires of people in other social and cultural contexts. Topics may include “third gendered” individuals; intersexuality and the naturalization of sex; language and the performance of sexuality; drag; global media and the construction of identity; lesbian and gay families; sex work; AIDS and HIV and health policy; migration, asylum and human rights issues; ethical issues and activism. Ethnographic examples are drawn from United States, Latin America (Brazil, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Argentina, Cuba); Asia (India, Japan, Indonesia) and Oceania (Papua New Guinea); and Africa (Nigeria, South Africa). Presents issues of contemporary significance along with key theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches used by anthropologists. Integrates perspectives on globalization and the intersection of multiple social differences (including class, race, and ethnicity) with discussion of sexuality and gender. Not open to students who have credit for Anthropology 2110 {210} (same as Gay and Lesbian Studies 2110 {210} and Gender and Women’s Studies 2210 {210}). (Same as Gay and Lesbian Studies 3100 {313}, Gender and Women’s Studies 3100 {313}, and Latin American Studies 3711 {311}.)

Prerequisite: Anthropology 1101 {101} or Sociology 1101 {101}, or permission of the instructor.

[3210 {321} b. Animal Planet: Humans and Other Animals. (Same as Environmental Studies 3920 {320}.)]

4000–4003 {401–404} b. Advanced Independent Study in Anthropology. The Department.

4029 {405} b. Advanced Collaborative Study in Anthropology. The Department.

4050–4051 b. Honors Project in Anthropology. The Department.

Online Catalogue content is current as of August 1, 2013. For most current course information, use the online course finder. Also see Addenda.