Fall 2014 Courses

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ANTH 1026. Puerto Rico: History and Identity.
Examines the Puerto Rican experience on island and in mainland US. Begins with a review of the history of U.S. –Puerto Rico relations in political and legal spheres. Explores the theory of borderlands (Gloria Anzaldúa) and considers its connections with this history. Next, focuses on language, migration and settlement in the diaspora, and explores the role of these processes in gendering and racializing Puerto Ricans. Creative writings and forms of cultural production on identity by Puerto Ricans will be examined at various intervals over the course of the semester to supplement historical and ethnographic texts.
ANTH 1101. Introduction to Cultural Anthropology.
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.
ANTH 2020. Essentials of Archaeology.
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.
ANTH 2030. History of Anthropological Theory.
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.
ANTH 2116. Ordinary Ethics: Value and Action in Everyday Life.
Focuses on anthropological approaches that treat ethics as a mode of action and value embedded within culture. Treats ethical and moral values as historically, socially, and culturally constituted ways of knowing, thinking, and acting, rather than as universal ideals that we contemplate. Considers how ideas of the right and the good emerge out of everyday social interaction. Explores ethnographic and historical cases from around the world to provide a range of perspectives on ethics, morality, meaning, and action. Also explores contexts in which alternative or competing ethical registers come into contact or conflict. Topics may include the following: virtue, character, and care; gifts and reciprocity; charity, volunteerism, and affective labor; agency and responsibility; medicine and bioethics; and rights, dignity, and respect.
ANTH 2218. The Anthropology of Social Movements: Theories of Justice, Practices of Becoming.
Illuminates the dynamics of contemporary social movements, including those advocating for women and indigenous groups, environmental justice, and cooperative postcapitalist economies. We ask, how are social movements spaces of both theorizing and practicing justice? We survey a range of social theories that propose ways to rethink binaries that structure social life—e.g. mind/body, theory/practice, feeling/thinking. We then consider a series of ethnographies from a range of cross-cultural examples in order to identify similarities and differences between them. Authors include: Chela Sandoval, Maple Rasza, J.K. Gibson-Graham, and Jeffrey Juris.
ANTH 2254. Understanding Crisis: Anthropological Perspectives on Emergency.
Introduces cross-cultural and historical perspectives on crisis. Focuses on the relationship between modern systems of continuity and order and the experience of discontinuity and disorder. Examines the various meanings that communities and individuals give to crises, disasters, and emergencies. Considers a variety of cultural and historical cases from around the world. Topics may include illness and disease; natural disasters; industrial accidents; human insecurity and vulnerability; crises of meaning; law and disorder; social breakdown; state failure; civil war; and military and humanitarian intervention.
ANTH 2533. Peoples and Cultures of Africa.
Introduction to the traditional patterns of livelihood and social institutions of African peoples. Following a brief overview of African geography, habitat, and cultural history, lectures and readings cover a representative range of types of economy, polity, and social organization, from the smallest hunting and gathering societies to the most complex states and empires. Emphasis upon understanding the nature of traditional social forms. Changes in African societies in the colonial and post-colonial periods examined, but are not the principal focus.
ANTH 2601. Bollywood and Beyond: Indian Cinemas and Society.
Explores Indian films, film consumption, and film industries since 1947. Focuses on mainstream cinema in different regions of India, with some attention to the impact of popular film conventions on art cinema and documentary. Topics include the narrative and aesthetic conventions of Indian films, film magazines, fan clubs, cinema and electoral politics, stigmas on acting, filmmakers and filmmaking, rituals of film watching, and audience interpretations of movies. The production, consumption, and content of Indian cinema are examined in social, cultural, and political contexts, particularly with an eye to their relationships to class, gender, and nationalism. Attendance at weekly evening screenings is required. Note: Fulfills the non-US cinema requirement for Cinema Studies minors.
ANTH 2729. Culture and Power in the Andes.
Explores the anthropology and history of the Andes, focusing on questions of cultural transformation and continuity among Native Andeans. Examines ethnography, popular culture, and current events of Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru. Topics include the Inca state and Spanish colonization; Native Andean family and community life; subsistence economies; gender, class, and ethnic inequalities and social movements; domestic and state violence; religion; tourism; coca and cocaine production; and migration.
ANTH 3210. Animal Planet: Humans and Other Animals.
Cultures around the world maintain different stances about non-human animals. People eat meat or avoid doing so. Religions advocate veneration, fear, or loathing of certain animals. Domesticated animals provide us company, labor, and food. Wild animals are protected, studied, photographed, captured, and hunted. Animals inhabit novels, are featured in art, and adorn merchandise. Students read ethnographies, articles, animal rights literature, and children’s books; study museum collections; and examine animal themes in films and on the Web. Employing anthropological perspectives, students consider what distinguishes humans from other animals, how cultures are defined by peoples’ attitudes about animals, and what might be our moral and ethical responsibilities to other creatures.


SOC 1010. Racism.
Examines issues of racism in the United States, with attention to the social psychology of racism, its history, its relationship to social structure, and its ethical and moral implications.
SOC 1026. Landscape, Energy, and Culture.
Explores current controversies in energy, giving particular attention to debates surrounding the implementation of renewable energy in Northern New England. Through both popular and scholarly readings and one mandatory field trip, students will engage with critical perspectives on consumer-oriented culture and identities, and on tensions between urban and rural visions of landscape. The course will also contemplate the social structures governing regional development and planning in which renewable energy strategies are framed.
SOC 1101A. Introduction to Sociology.
The major perspectives of sociology. Application of the scientific method to sociological theory and to current social issues. Theories ranging from social determinism to free will are considered, including the work of Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Merton, and others. Attention is given to such concepts as role, status, society, culture, institution, personality, social organization, the dynamics of change, the social roots of behavior and attitudes, social control, deviance, socialization, and the dialectical relationship between individual and society.
SOC 1101B. Introduction to Sociology.
The major perspectives of sociology. Application of the scientific method to sociological theory and to current social issues. Theories ranging from social determinism to free will are considered, including the work of Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Merton, and others. Attention is given to such concepts as role, status, society, culture, institution, personality, social organization, the dynamics of change, the social roots of behavior and attitudes, social control, deviance, socialization, and the dialectical relationship between individual and society.
SOC 2030. Classics of Sociological Theory.
An analysis of selected works by the founders of modern sociology. Particular emphasis is given to understanding differing approaches to sociological analysis through detailed textual interpretation. Works by Marx, Weber, Durkheim, and selected others are read.
SOC 2204. Families: A Comparative Perspective.
Examines families in different societies. Issues addressed include definition and concept of the “family”; different types of family systems; the interaction of family change and other social, economic, and political change; the relationships between families and other social institutions; the role of gender and age in family relationships; and sources and outcomes of stability, conflict, and dissolution within families.
SOC 2223. Cultural Interpretations of Medicine.
Explores a series of topics in health studies from the perspectives of the humanities and social sciences: medical ethics, the development and use of reproductive technologies, relationships between doctors and patients, disability, public health, and the experience of illness. Encourages reflection about these topics through ethnographies, monographs, novels, plays, poetry, and visual arts, such as Barker’s Regeneration, Squiers’ The Body at Risk: Photography of Disorder, Illness, and Healing, Kafka’s Metamorphosis, Bosk’s Forgive and Remember, and Alvord’s The Scalpel and the Silver Bear.
SOC 2225. Global Politics of Work.
Globally, a large portion of life is devoted to work. The type of work that people perform reflects global inequalities. Introduces the history of wage-labor and theoretical concepts used to understand the shifting dimensions of work and its implication for the global workforce. Particular focus on labor in the U.S., Latin American and Asia, manufacturing and service work, migration and labor trafficking, the body as the site for transforming labor in wage-labor, and forms of labor resistance.
SOC 2240. Media and Popular Culture.
In contemporary American society, we are surrounded by cultural messages that impact us as they are transmitted and consumed through media and technology. This course applies sociological perspectives in examining artifacts of popular culture created and distributed through mass media and their role in shaping our common sense interpretations of our daily lives. Drawing from television, film, music, and sports, this course pursues an academic understanding of how popular culture is produced through and projected upon society and contemplates explanations and repercussions of those processes. Topics include the social organization of the media; depictions of race, class, gender and sexualities in popular culture; and resistance and alternatives to popular culture.
SOC 2253. Constructions of the Body.
Explores the body as a reflection and construction of language, a source of metaphor, and a political and social “space.” Considers historical and cross-cultural studies about men’s and women’s bodies, sexuality, gender, and power. Throughout, draws from and compares theories of the body in sociology, women’s studies, and gay and lesbian studies.
SOC 3300. Reproductive Health and Politics.
Taking account of the interrelationship of health and politics, this course examines how community, national, and international policies and social structures (such as gender, race, economy, or health care) link local and global politics to influence practices, beliefs, meaning, and outcomes related to reproduction. Topics include birth planning and contraception, new reproductive technologies, fertility and infertility, AIDS, abortion, issues of parenthood, and stratified reproduction.