Spring 2014 Courses

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Anthropology

ANTH 1013. Beyond Pocahontas: Native American Stereotypes.
Kelly Fayard.
Traces the development of Native American stereotypes perpetuated by popular media both historically and presently. Considers effects of such stereotypes in contemporary media and popular culture. Analyzes films, literature, advertisements, cartoons, newspapers, magazines, and sports team mascots, among other forms of popular media and culture. Explores the diversity and variety of Native American peoples that are in opposition to media produced stereotypical images.
ANTH 1101. Introduction to Cultural Anthropology.
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.
ANTH 1102. Introduction to Archaeology.
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 20th 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. Three well-known archaeological field projects will be used as source material for the course.
ANTH 2010. Anthropological Research.
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.
ANTH 2170. Changing Cultures and Dynamic Environments.
Susan Kaplan.
Over the last 20,000 years, the Earth's environment has changed in both subtle and dramatic ways. Some changes and 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.
ANTH 2230. Language, Identity, and Power.
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.
ANTH 2245. We are Family: Anthropological Understandings of Kinship.
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.
ANTH 2274. The Borderlands of United States Empire: Puerto Rican Identities and Histories.
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 U.S. 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.
ANTH 2449. Alienation and Repression: The Figure of the Zombie in Haiti and the US.
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. Students will explore 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 will explore two critical concepts from social theory—Karl Marx’s concept of alienation and Sigmund Freud’s concept of repression. Students will 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.
ANTH 2901. Archaeology of the Black Atlantic.
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.
ANTH 3010. Contemporary Issues in Anthropology.
Sara Dickey.
Close readings of recent ethnographies and other materials are used to examine current theoretical and methodological developments and concerns in anthropology.

Sociology

SOC 1101. Introduction to Sociology.
Ingrid Nelson.
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 2010. Introduction to Social Research.
Nancy Riley.
Provides firsthand experience with the specific procedures through which social science knowledge is developed. Emphasizes the interaction between theory and research, and examines the ethics of social research and the uses and abuses of research in policy making. Reading and methodological analysis of a variety of case studies from the sociological literature. Field and laboratory exercises that include observation, interviewing, use of available data (e.g., historical documents, statistical archives, computerized data banks, cultural artifacts), sampling, coding, use of computer, elementary data analysis and interpretation. Lectures, laboratory sessions, and small-group conferences.
SOC 2221. Environmental Sociology.
Shaun Golding.
Applies sociological insights to investigating the ways that humans shape and are shaped by their ecological surroundings. Introduces theories and concepts for exploring how western society and more specifically contemporary American society interact with nature. Reviews central academic questions, including social constructions of nature and perceptions of ecological risks, and drawing from complementary readings and student-led dialogue, examines in greater depth ongoing struggles over conservation, sustainability, development, and social justice.
SOC 2224. Global Health Matters.
Susan Bell.
Introduces students to international health, healing, and medicine from individual experiences in local contexts to global practices. Locates health and health care within particular cultural, social, historical, and political circumstances. How do these diverse forces shape the organization of healthcare providers and systems of health care delivery? How do these forces influence people’s symptoms, health beliefs, utilization of healthcare, and interactions with healthcare providers? How are local practices of health and healthcare linked to large-scale social and economic structures? Topics include structural violence; global pharmaceuticals; the commodification of bodies, organ trafficking, and organ transplantation; pregnancy and reproduction.
SOC 2256. Visual Studies of Social Life.
Susan Bell.
Visual sociology is a way of doing research that analyzes visual material, generates data as a research tool, and employs visual materials to represent results in the study of organizations, institutions, communities, and individuals. Develops a visual sociological imagination with readings as well as the study of photographs, documentary and popular films and other media. Students will use visual tools to study how activities from making scrapbooks, family albums and home movies, to renting self-storage areas reflect and produce social life. Assignments will include analysis of photographs and other objects in the Museum of Art and the production of digital stories.
SOC 2320. Latinas/os in the United States.
Marcos Lopez.
Latinas/os are the largest minority group in the United States. Analyzes the Latina/o experience in the United States with special focus on migration, incorporation, and strategies for economic and social empowerment. Explores diversity within the U.S. Latina/o community by drawing on comparative lessons from Cuban-American, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Chicano/Mexican, and Central American patterns of economic participation, political mobilization, and cultural integration.
SOC 2350. Applied Demography for Planning and Policy Analysis.
Shaun Golding.
An introduction to basic demographic techniques for use in applications related to public and private-sector planning and policy situations. Students will gain skills and analytic insights useful for understanding research, planning, and policy development in government, nonprofits, healthcare, and business. Learning and using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) will be a central component of the course. The course will also consist of readings, lectures, discussions, laboratory sessions, homework assignments, and a final project.
SOC 3010A. Advanced Seminar: Current Controversies in Sociology.
Ingrid Nelson.
Draws together different theoretical and substantive issues in sociology in the United States, primarily since 1950. Discusses current controversies in the discipline, e.g., quantitative versus qualitative methodologies, micro versus macro perspectives, and pure versus applied work.
SOC 3010B. Advanced Seminar: Current Controversies in Sociology.
Nancy Riley.
Draws together different theoretical and substantive issues in sociology in the United States, primarily since 1950. Discusses current controversies in the discipline, e.g., quantitative versus qualitative methodologies, micro versus macro perspectives, and pure versus applied work.