Spring 2013 Courses


101. Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Kelly Fayard T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 Hubbard-Conf Room West
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
Marcia-Anne Dobres T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 Adams-208
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.
138. Everyday Life in India and Pakistan
Sara Dickey T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25 Adams-208
Focuses on contemporary life in India and Pakistan by looking at everyday experiences and objects. Explores topics such as teen cyberculture, painted truck designs, romance fiction, AIDS activism, and memories of violence. These seemingly mundane topics offer a window onto larger cultural processes and enable us to examine identities and inequalities of gender, religion, caste, class, ethnicity, and nationality. Sources include ethnographic texts, essays, fiction, government documents, newspapers, popular and documentary films, and YouTube videos.
214. Politics and Power
Gregory Beckett T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55 CT-16 Harrison McCann
Introduces the significant issues, concepts, theories, and methods in political anthropology. Explores the major theoretical and ethnographic approaches to the study of politics and power in various social and historical contexts. Introduces foundational approaches in the anthropology of politics, recent transformations in political anthropology, and various methods of studying politics ethnographically. Topics include non-state-based relations of rule and authority; colonialism and imperialism; the nation-state; law and administration; bureaucracy; decolonization and the postcolonial state; rituals of rule and symbolic forms of power; nongovernmental organizations; and human rights.
224. Religion and Social Transformation in South America
Krista Van Vleet T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 Adams-114
Explores the ways various religious beliefs and practices have intersected at particular historical moments, using the Andean region as an exemplary case. Examples from pre-Columbian and Inca, Spanish colonial, and contemporary republican periods highlight the continuities and transformations in local and global religious institutions and the significance of religion to political-economic and social relationships. Uses scholarly readings in anthropology, archaeology, and history as well as novels and films to introduce anthropological theories of religion and globalization; analyze local cosmologies, rituals, and conceptions of the sacred alongside institutionalized global religions such as Catholicism and evangelical Protestanism; social, economic, and political processes.
235. Not Just Cowboys and Indians: Examining Native Americans in Film and Media Beyond Hollywood
Kelly Fayard T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25 Sills-Smith Auditorium
Begins with an examination of the influence Hollywood has had on dominant images of Native Americans. Examines the construction of these images, their consumption, and their influence. Compares these non-Native films with images constructed by Native filmmakers. Analyzes popular films such as Dances with Wolves, Little Big Man, Last of the Mohicans, among others, in contrast to Native films such as Smoke Signals, Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner), and Reel Injun, along with Internet media from a variety of sources to tease out stereotypes and differences.
240. Human Bodies as Evidence: Exploring Health, Nutrition and Race through Biological Anthropology
Emily Renschler T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25 Adams-406
Examines topics relating to how human bodies both past and present can be interpreted to reveal adaptations, variability, and evolutionary heritage. A ìbioculturalî perspective, which takes into account the complex way that behavior and culture interact with our biology, is employed as part of a broader anthropological approach used to understand individuals and societies. Topics include how our evolutionary heritage resonates in our lives today; controversies over how ìraceî has been used in anthropology and the current status of how biological variation is actually patterned; the biocultural ways that humans adapt to their environments; aspects of human diet and nutrition across time and place; and how human burials from archaeological contexts can be interpreted to glean understandings about individuals and societies in the past. The course employs lectures, discussion and skeletal analysis.
254. Understanding Crisis: Anthropological Perspectives on Emergency
Gregory Beckett M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55 Hubbard-22
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.
272. Contemporary Arctic Environmental and Cultural Issues
Susan Kaplan M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55 Sills-207
Throughout the Arctic, northern peoples face major environmental changes and cultural and economic challenges. Landscapes, icescapes, and seascapes on which communities rely are being transformed, and arctic plants and animals are being affected. Many indigenous groups see these dramatic changes as endangering their health and cultural way of life. Others see a warming Arctic as an opportunity for industrial development. Addressing contemporary issues that concern northern peoples in general and Inuit in particular involves understanding connections between leadership, global environment change, human rights, indigenous cultures, and foreign policies, and being able to work on both a global and local level.
277. Children and Youth in Global Perspective
Krista Van Vleet M 10:00 - 11:25, W 10:00 - 11:25 Adams-202
Explores research on children as a window onto issues of individual agency and social, political, and economic inequality in the contemporary world. Children move between families, communities, and nations; claim belonging to divergent communities; create distinct identities; and navigate hierarchies. Highlights the circulation of children as structured by broad relationships of power. Forefronts youth as social actors. Considers culturally specific notions of childhood and methodological and ethical implications of research with children. Topics include adoption, migration, human trafficking, child labor, tourism, and social movements in the Americas, Asia, Oceania, and/or Africa.
310. Contemporary Issues in Anthropology
Sara Dickey M 1:00 - 3:55 Adams-202
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-202
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.
101. Introduction to Sociology
Shaun Golding T 8:30 - 9:55, TH 8:30 - 9:55 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 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25 Sills-117
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.
219. Sociology of Gender
Kat Thomson M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55 Adams-406
Analyzes gender as a culturally-specific set of practices, politics, and social expectations. Content includes: gender socialization in childhood, gender as identity performance, inequality and segregation, violence, sexism in the workplace, feminism, and masculinity studies. Gender is discussed in intersection with race, ethnicity, socioeconomics, age, and sexual orientation.
234. Tractors, Chainsaws, Windmills, and Cul-de-Sacs: Natural Resource-based Development in Our Backyard
Shaun Golding T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55 Adams-406
Conflict around land use, conservation, planning, and development is pervasive. Introduces the central civic, economic, and institutional actors engaged in debates around resource-dependent development. Examines how human interactions shape the environment within the structures of the state, the economy, and community, and in response to changes brought about by globalization. Considers the areas of human health, environmental conservation, community economic vitality, and identity, and is built around the cases of agriculture, energy, and sprawl, placing particular emphasis on examples from Maine and New England.
245. Race and Social Media
Dhiraj Murthy M 6:30 - 9:25 Kanbar Hall-101 Computer Lab
Takes a critical examination at the ways race and racism shape the uses and design of social media. It is both theoretical and practical. The course starts from the premise that social media have become part of our everyday social infrastructure. The readings and activities for this course encourage reflection on how the ubiquity of social media in Western and non-Western cultures have been affected or transformed by interactions with racial groups, constructions of race, and racism. The course uses Twitter as a primary social media case study to explore these themes. The course will make extensive use of statistical and network analysis software packages to work with a data set from Twitter. Background in some data analysis is recommended, but not required.
249. Drugs and Dis-ease
Kat Thomson T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55 Adams-208
Takes historical and social constructionist approaches toward understanding psychotropics in the U.S. We will look at recreational drugs (including alcohol and caffeine) as well as the on- and off-label uses of pharmaceuticals, herbs, and supplements. Topics include: mental health and addiction, paradoxes of social control and empowerment, stereotypes, stigma, and race and class-based inequalities. Special attention will be given to discussions of pharmaceutical conglomerates and government regulation.
310. Advanced Seminar: Current Controversies in Sociology
Dhiraj Murthy M 1:00 - 3:55 Adams-103
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.
310. Advanced Seminar: Current Controversies in Sociology
Ingrid Nelson M 10:00 - 11:25, W 10:00 - 11:25 Buck Center-211
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.