Spring 2011 Courses


101. Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Patricia Erikson T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25 Adams-208
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.
102. Introduction to World Prehistory
S MacEachern T 8:30 - 9:55, TH 8:30 - 9:55 Searles-315
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.
204. Globalization and Identity in the Himalayas
Jan Brunson M 6:30 - 9:25 Adams-202
Using contemporary ethnographies, traces the ways notions of identity—including global, national, ethnic, caste, and individual—have changed among groups in the Himalayas in response to recent political, economic, and historical circumstances. Focuses on the influence of culture on identity formation and the deployment of identity in a political fashion in the Himalayan region. Topics include Hindu caste and gender hierarchies, constructions of ethnicity, Tibetans and tourists, Sherpas and mountaineers, development ideologies, and consumerism.
208. Natives, Art, and Stereotype
Chad Uran T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 Adams-114
The appropriation of ideas, arts, techniques, words, and rituals from other cultures is an unavoidable consequence of contact between groups. However, as a part of colonization, the appropriation of these more aesthetic phenomena is inextricably tied up with the expropriation of lands, resources, language, religious practices, and even children of Native peoples. Examines the practice of cultural appropriation from an anthropological perspective; cultural appropriation from its philosophical underpinnings; how and where cultural appropriation takes place in terms of the playing out of power differentials; and how the relationship of the taker and the “giver” reinforce domination across both ideological and practical fields of interaction. Examines appropriations of Native cultures across a variety of media, including literature, film, popular culture, and art. Uncovers how cultural appropriation works between the source culture and the representing culture, looking especially at how stereotypes as simplifications of peoples serve to make Natives “conceivable” to non-Natives.
220. Medical Anthropology
Jan Brunson T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25 Adams-406
Introduces the field of medical anthropology, beginning with an overview of the various theoretical approaches to studying health and well-being in cross-cultural perspective. After this background, remainder of course examines research within the meaning-centered and critically applied medical anthropology traditions. Topics include the phenomenological experience of disability, bipolar disorder, and medical school; global inequalities, local desires, and modern plagues; and biomedicine, authoritative knowledge, and belief. Readings will consist primarily of ethnographies.
221. The Rise of Civilization
S MacEachern M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55 Sills-107
Archaeology began with the study of the great states of the ancient world, with Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, the Maya, and the Aztecs. Examines the origins of civilizations in the Old and New Worlds, using archaeological, historical, and ethnographic data. Reviews the major debates on state formation processes, the question of whether integrated theories of state formation are possible, and the processes leading to the collapse of state societies.
227. Protest Music
Judith Casselberry M 6:30 - 9:25 Adams-406
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.
230. Language, Identity, and Power
Krista Van Vleet T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55 Adams-202
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. Throughout, considers how aspects of an individual’s identity such as gender, race, ethnicity, class, age, and sexual orientation articulate in social and linguistic interactions.
257. Anthropology and the Environment
Jonathan Padwe T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55 Adams-406
Explores anthropological approaches to the natural world and applies anthropological forms of investigation to environmental issues. Topics include indigenous peoples, environmental management practices, common property resource management, deforestation, conflicts over natural resources, and the cultural politics of conservation. Covers a series of approaches, from ecological anthropology and human/cultural ecology to political economy, political ecology, and the politics of representation within environmental struggles. Focuses on environmental issues in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, with specific case studies drawn from India and South America's Amazon Basin providing a comparative perspective.
310. Contemporary Issues in Anthropology
Krista Van Vleet W 1:00 - 3:55 Mass Hall-McKeen Study
Close readings of recent ethnographies and other materials are used to examine current theoretical and methodological developments and concerns in anthropology.


010. Racism
H. Partridge T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55 Adams-114
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. Note: This course counts toward the major and minor in gender and women’s studies.
101. Introduction to Sociology
Susan Bell T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 Adams-208
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.
201. Introduction to Social Research
Ingrid Nelson M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55 Adams-208
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.
203. Race, Gender, and Diversity: Cases in Institutional Transformations
Debra Guckenheimer M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25 Adams-114
Examines three cases to address these questions: gender as an institution, institutionalized racism, and diversity efforts in higher education. How do social institutions, such as education and the economy, reproduce and challenge conventional values, beliefs, and hierarchies? Is it possible to create deep and meaningful change to institutions? How does institutional transformation take place and when are change efforts co-opted?
206. Sociology of Education
Ingrid Nelson M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55 Adams-202
Examines the ways that formal schooling influences individuals and the ways that social structures and processes affect educational institutions. Explores the manifest and latent functions of education in modern society, the role education plays in stratification and social reproduction, the relationship between education and cultural capital, the dynamics of race, class and gender in education, and other selected topics.
213. Ending Sexual Violence
Debra Guckenheimer T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55 Adams-406
Compares and contrasts feminist theories of sexual violence. Examines a multitude of forms of sexual violence and their causes from a sociological perspective. Considers how sexual violence is perceived as a global problem and feminist movements against it are described in universal terms. Identifies local instances across the globe to sexual violence as well as local organized resistance. Gives attention to the question of why rape occurs and approaches to reducing its prevalence.
214. Critical Theory and New Media
Dhiraj Murthy T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 Adams-202
Explores theoretical aspects of new media through specific case studies from social media. Students exposed to key readings in German critical theory including Benjamin, Adorno, and Horkheimer. Uses critical theory to uncover sociological understandings of new media. Race/Ethnicity, power, surveillance/privacy, and community are themes used to explore mediated communication. Sociology 211 is recommended but not required.
218. Sociology of Law
Craig McEwen T 8:30 - 9:55, TH 8:30 - 9:55 Sills-107
An analysis of the development and function of law and legal systems in industrial societies. Examines the relationships between law and social change, law and social inequality, and law and social control. Special attention is paid to social influences on the operation of legal systems and the resultant gaps between legal ideals and the “law in action.”
220. "The Wire": Race, Class, Gender and the Urban Crisis
Brian Purnell T 6:30 - 9:25 Searles-223
Postwar U.S. cities were considered social, economic, political, and cultural zones of “crisis.” African Americans—their families, gender relations; their relationship to urban political economy, politics and culture—were at the center of this discourse. Using David Simon’s epic series, The Wire, as a critical source on post-industrial urban life, politics, conflict, and economics, covers the origins of the “urban crisis,” the rise of an “underclass” theory of urban class relations, the evolution of the urban “underground economy,” and the ways the “urban crisis” shaped depictions of African Americans in American popular culture.
224. Global Health Matters
Susan Bell T 2:30 - 3:55 Adams-208
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.
229. Sociology of the Family
Wendy Christensen M 9:30 - 10:25, W 9:30 - 10:25, F 9:30 - 10:25 Adams-406
Examines contemporary American families, paying particular attention to how ideas about family are changing, and the impact of gender, class, and race inequalities on families. Explores common assumptions about the “traditional family,” and compares this image with a brief overview of the history of American family life. Analyzes recent transformations in contemporary American family life: the large-scale entrance of mothers into paid labor, changes to United States family and welfare policies, the distribution of household labor and care work, the increasing number of gay and lesbian families, and the rise in single-parent and unmarried households and childless adults.
236. South Asian Popular Culture
Dhiraj Murthy T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25 Adams-114
Examines transnational South Asian popular culture (encompassing Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka), as a medium to understand larger sociological themes, including diaspora, “homeland,” globalization, identity, class, gender, and exoticization. Music, film, and fashion are the prime cultural modes explored. Largely structured around specific “South Asian” cultural products—such as Bhangra, Asian electronic music, and Bollywood—and their circulation between the subcontinent and South Asian diasporic communities (particularly in Britain).
255. Gender and Politics
Wendy Christensen M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55 Adams-202
Examines the interaction of gender relations and United States politics from a sociological perspective. Explores the effects of politics on women's and men's economic situations, on gender relationships, and on social conflict. Investigates the ways that gender organizes participation in collective decision-making, contributes to the formation and mobilization of specific identities and interests, and infuses our understandings of and participation in political processes. Looks at how politics reflects gender identities and interests, and how the state activities maintain and change gender relations. Employs comparative cases from other countries, and explores the gendered standing of the United States in international relations.
310. Advanced Seminar: Current Controversies in Sociology
Craig McEwen M 10:00 - 11:25, W 10:00 - 11:25 Adams-202
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.