Spring 2012 Courses

Anthropology

101. Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Kelly Fayard M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25
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
A MacEachern T 8:30 - 9:55, TH 8:30 - 9:55
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 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25
Focuses on contemporary life in India and Pakistan by looking at everyday experiences and objects. We explore 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 will include ethnographic texts, essays, fiction, government documents, newspapers, popular and documentary films, and youtube videos.
217. Ethical Controversies in Social Science Research
Aaron Thornburg T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25
Considers a range of ethical controversies/debates from the sub-disciplines of anthropology. Participation in research sponsored by the military or governmental agencies, the controversy initiated by publication of Patrick Tierney's Darkness in El Dorado, human-subjects protections, animal care issues associated with research, archaeology and cultural patrimony protections, questions regarding applied research, the representation of the "other" in social-scientific writing, and questions regarding the recording and presentation of ethnographic film will be explored.
226. Language and Culture
Aaron Thornburg T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25
Explores the discipline of linguistics and its application in the field of anthropology. One of four sub-fields of the discipline of anthropology, linguistic anthropology focuses on the connections between language, culture, and society. Provides an introduction to the basic elements of descriptive linguistics before surveying how linguistics has been applied in anthropology and cognate disciplines. Particular attention will be paid to the ways in which language affects (perhaps even effects) socio-cultural categories like age, class, ethnicity, gender, nationality, and race.
227. Protest Music
Judith Casselberry T 6:30 - 9:25
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.
229. Maya Archaeology and Ethnohistory
Leslie Shaw M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25
Focuses on the Maya civilization of Central America using archaeological data and Spanish accounts of traditional Maya life at the time of conquest. Topics will include Maya adaptations to diverse tropical environments, the decipherment of Maya writing, political instability and warfare, and Maya cosmology and the continuation of these beliefs into modern times. Semester projects will be sued for intensive research into selected issues in Maya archaeology.
233. Peoples and Cultures of Africa
A MacEachern T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55
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.
310. Contemporary Issues in Anthropology
Krista Van Vleet W 1:00 - 3:55
Close readings of recent ethnographies and other materials are used to examine current theoretical and methodological developments and concerns in anthropology.

Sociology

010. Racism
H. Partridge T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55
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
Wendy Christensen T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55
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.
101. Introduction to Sociology
Maria Rivera-Beckstrom T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55
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 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55
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.
208. Race and Ethnicity
Ingrid Nelson M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55
The social and cultural meaning of race and ethnicity, with emphasis on the politics of events and processes in contemporary America. Analysis of the causes and consequences of prejudice and discrimination. Examination of the relationships between race and class. Comparisons among racial and ethnic minorities in the United States.
212. Ethical Controversies in Social Science Research
Aaron Thornburg T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25
Considers a range of ethical controversies/debates from the sub-disciplines of anthropology. Participation in research sponsored by the military or governmental agencies, the controversy initiated by publication of Patrick Tierney's Darkness in El Dorado, human-subjects protections, animal care issues associated with research, archaeology and cultural patrimony protections, questions regarding applied research, the representation of the "other" in social-scientific writing, and questions regarding the recording and presentation of ethnographic film will be explored.
218. Sociology of Law
Maria Rivera-Beckstrom T 8:30 - 9:55, TH 8:30 - 9:55
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 W 2:30 - 3:55, F 2:30 - 3:55
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 postindustrial 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.
226. War and Media
Wendy Christensen T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55
The role of the media is perhaps never more crucial or contentious than during times of war. Uses sociological communications theory to examine how the media shapes war, military conflicts, homeland security, patriotism, and the United States as an international superpower. Includes a history of U.S. news coverage of war and war in popular films (from World War I to the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan). Particular attention paid to the military’s use of the media to shape public opinion (propaganda posters and recruitment advertisements), and how new media technologies change the relationship between the media and the military. Takes an intersectional approach to understanding the relationship between the media and the military, looking at how assumptions about class, gender, and race shape media coverage of war. Not open to students who have credit for Sociology 120.
242. Activism
  M 1:00 - 3:55
What inspires people to take action for social change? What strategies and tactics do activists use to mobilize others, to draw attention to issues and to achieve their goals? How do we determine effectiveness in social change activity? What are the challenges that activists report in their work and lives? Students in this course will design a project that examines social change at Bowdoin, while reading social movement theory and other theories of social change. Topics will include individual mobilization, issue framing, non-violent protest, cultural jamming, new social media and burn-out prevention. Case studies will largely be drawn from contemporary movements for social justice, including the environmental, feminist, economic justice and peace movements.
250. Epidemiology: Principles and Practices
Nancy Riley W 8:00 - 9:25, F 8:00 - 9:25
Introduces epidemiology, the study of the patterns and influences of disease (and health) in populations and communities. Focusing on the social, political, and economic influences and consequences of patterns of disease and death, considers how these patterns reflect and affect the demographics, social structure, economy, and culture of societies, and how societies mobilize to combat disease and promote health. Focuses particularly on the role of socioeconomic inequality—both within and between countries—in how diseases spread and are managed.
310. Advanced Seminar: Current Controversies in Sociology
Nancy Riley W 10:00 - 11:25, F 10:00 - 11:25
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.