Courses: Current and Upcoming

Current Semester's Courses


The field of anthropology is concerned with the study of humankind. It includes the evolution of the human species and the development and varied nature of the cultures and societies in which people live. For all students at the College, regardless of their major, anthropology offers a holistic and cross-cultural perspective on human culture that is essential to a liberal arts education.

ANTH 10300-all sections Biological Anthropology LA NS 2a SC TIII              
3 credits
Sections 01 & 02: Lisa Corewyn, Gannett G129, Ext. 4-1384,  
Sections 03: Jennifer Muller, Gannett G128, Ext. 4-3327,   
ENROLLMENT: 32 per section
STUDENTS: This course is for students with an interest in human evolution and diversity as well as primate behavior and ecology.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course is designed to introduce the student to the study of biological anthropology.  This course will develop an understanding of humans in the context of 1) their evolution and 2) their interactive processes of human behavior/culture and biology. It is divided into three main sections.  First, the participants learn the basic principles of genetics and evolutionary theory.  Then, we explore the ecology and behavior of extant primates.  This includes addressing the diversity of both nonhuman primates and ourselves.  Finally, we focus on what we have learned from the fossil record, exploring the behavioral and biological characteristics of our ancestors.  Topics covered are mechanism of human evolution; our primate relatives and their evolutionary history; the fossil and artifactual evidence for human evolution over the past several millions of years; the bio-behavioral and bio-cultural variations found in our species today and how they reflect our evolutionary past; and explanations for these variations that may be attributed to evolutionary processes and adaptation to the environment.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Format combines lecture, discussion, powerpoint presentations and video.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Grading based on exams, written work, and other criteria.

ANTH 10400-all sections Cultural Anthropology LA SS 1, g SO TIDE TWOS 
3 credits
Sections 01 & 02: Valerie Foster Githinji, Gannett G131, Ext. 4-1390,  
Sections 03 & 04: Sue-Je Gage, Gannett G121, Ext. 4-3574,
Sections 05 & 06: Denise Nuttall, Gannett G124, Ext. 4-1682, 
Sections 07 & 08: Brooke Hansen, Gannett G125, Ext. 4-1735,  
ENROLLMENT: 32 per section
STUDENTS: Open to students from all areas of the college, and of all years.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Cultural Anthropology explores the diversity of the world's societies, including hunter-gatherer societies, herding pastoralists, peasant agriculturalists, and industrial peoples in rural and urban places. It emphasizes the role of culture in shaping human adaptations and human actions, and promotes understanding of other cultures. This course examines the way anthropologists do fieldwork in varied settings and looks at the contributions anthropology can make to an understanding of modernizations, social change, urbanization, race relations, and cross-cultural communication. Professors of the different sections of this course draw on their own research in such areas as Asia, Africa, Latin America and the United States to illustrate these processes. The course provides an introduction to the field of cultural anthropology and a basis for taking upper level courses in anthropology.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Each professor teaches her/his sections independently, with different emphases, examples, and readings. For each section, the format combines discussions, lectures, fieldwork slides, and films. Grading, readings and specific requirements are set by the professor of each individual section.

ANTH 10700-all sections World Archaeology LA SS 1, g h SO TIII TWOS
3 credits  
INSTRUCTOR: Michael Malpass, Gannett G127, Ext. 4-1363, 
ENROLLMENT: 32 per section
STUDENTS: The course is for the seriously curious – those who know something about the ancient world but who would like to know more and those who know nothing but would like to learn something.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course is an introduction to archaeology and world prehistory. A basic introduction to archaeological methods will highlight the development of this discipline from a romantic discipline into a science. The origins of humans in Africa and our spread into all parts of the earth will be briefly discussed. Our social development from hunter-gatherers to chiefdoms to complex states will then be considered, focusing on important issues of those changes and what they tell us about ourselves. The issue of why did people all over the world settle down and become farmers and herders will be discussed.  The great civilizations of the ancient world will then be individually considered: how were they alike and different? In what ways did they endure or “disappear?" Other issues, like ethics and current controversies, will be addressed throughout the course.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: The course will be taught primarily as lectures, with questions and discussion encouraged. Films and images will supplement the class.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Book and readings. Grading based on exams, written work and other criteria.

LA SS TIII                
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Jack Rossen, Gannett G132, Ext. 4-3326,
ENROLLMENT: Section 01: 50 plus Discussion Section 02 or 03: 25 per section

STUDENTS: Open to all interested students.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Archaeology is a uniquely visual discipline. This course is an introductory level film-based consideration of archaeology and archaeologists. Various films, ranging from the 1920s to the present, are viewed, discussed and critiqued. The foci of inquiry are on how archaeology is portrayed in visual media through time, and how media have affected archaeology, the human past and popular culture. The romanticized image of archaeology will be compared with scientific realities, specifically the nature of archaeological data, theory, field methods and analytical techniques.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion, lecture, and film screenings.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Mid-term and final exams, cultural media essays, and class participation.

3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Brooke Hansen, Gannett G125, Ext. 4-1735,
STUDENTS: Open to all students interested in tourism, culture and globalization.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Examines tourism and travel in their various forms and the issues raised, including tourism's social impact and role in globalization, and introduces an anthropological perspective on the process of crossing cultures. In addition, the course explores such anthropological concepts as culture, ethnocentrism, cultural relativism, value conflict, and culture shock, relying on both first-person and novelistic accounts by anthropologists and other travelers, as well as analyses by tourism professionals. In the process, students consider the qualitative difference between tourism and travel -- from the perspective of both hosts and guests -- with a goal of becoming more introspective tourists and travelers. 
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture, discussion, group presentations and films.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Midterm and final exams; reflective essays on tourism; research reports on global tourism.

ANTH-25500-01 HUMAN EVOLUTION LA NS 2a       
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Lisa Corewyn, Gannett G129, Ext. 4-1384,  
PREREQUISITES: One of the following: ANTH 10300, BIOL 12100, BIOL 12200, BIOL 22700.  
COURSE DESCRIPTION: How have humans evolved anatomically, biologically, behaviorally, and culturally over the last seven million years? The course tracks major events and evidence for human origins, with an emphasis on the reconstruction of behavior from paleontological and anatomical remains, and reviews recent finds, examines casts of fossils, and discusses the evidence for competing theories concerning our hominid ancestors.  
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture and films.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Grading based on exams, written work, and group presentations.

3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Denise Nuttall, Gannett G124, Ext. 4-1682, 
PREREQUISITES: ANTH 10400 and permission of instructor.
STUDENTS: Open to students interested in music and culture, performance, South Asian Studies, and/or World Music.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course, essentially experiential in nature, provides students with an introduction to South Asian classical and folk music making. Focusing on North Indian classical percussion (the art of tabla) and various folk instruments, students will learn basic musical skills of classical Hindustani music (rhythm and melody). While a special emphasis will be placed on the structure and function of rhythm in Indian classical music students may also have the opportunity to participate in world music workshops with guest musicians covering a variety of cultural music making contexts. This course seeks to provide students with some working knowledge of music making in non-western contexts and is open to students with no previous musical training or practical experience.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Classes will predominately be based on music training in the art of tabla, dholak and other percussion instruments and may include some master classes or workshops with world musicians, as well as various listening sessions.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Students will be required to attend all classes and dedicate one hour a day (minimally 4 days a week) towards practice of the various compositions learned in these classes. Students do not need to buy their own set of tabla as they will be eligible to sign out instruments for practice sessions.  Students will be encouraged to learn the theory and practice behind North Indian music by acquiring skills in compositional note taking. Some reading will be required. Assignments include learning basic strokes, compositions, and a variety of rhythmic structures (North and South Indian music systems and others depending on guest musician availability). As this is a performance based music lab students will be examined on their musical development in each class.

3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Michael Malpass, Gannett G127, Ext. 4-1363,
PREREQUISITES: For Anthropology Majors and Minors: ANTH 10400; For Others: Sophomore standing and permission of instructor.
STUDENTS: Anthropology majors and minors.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will provide a history of the field of Anthropology, from its origins as an academic discipline in the 19th century through the recent trends of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. We will focus on major themes and schools of thought that have influenced the direction and perspective of anthropologists working in all fields of the discipline. The first goal of the course is to provide the historical background and theory that a serious student of Anthropology should have. The second goal of the course is to provide students with reading, writing, and presentation skills that will be useful to them in later courses and after college.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: The semester will be devoted to learning about the history and theory of anthropology. In addition, guest lectures by anthropology faculty will focus on how their ethnographic research is linked to particular theoretical schools or trends. The course will involve lectures, student presentations, and seminar-style discussion.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Reading, oral presentations, collaborative projects, and a variety of writing assignments form the major activities of the course. Grading is based on written assignments, oral presentations, and a final activity. A significant part of the grade will be based on participation in class discussion.

4 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Sue-Je Gage, Gannett G121, Ext. 4-3574,
PREREQUISITES: ANTH 10400 and one 200 level anthropology course. Open to Anthropology majors only.
STUDENTS: This course is a required course for anthropology majors who plan to do a field project within the subdiscipline of socio/cultural anthropology or for students who want to learn the tools for conducting ethnographic research.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Enrolled students learn anthropological field methods by analyzing the use of methodological approaches, by reading methodological manuals and by carrying out field research exercises and projects. We take both a traditional ethnographic approach as well as an applied approach. We consider how traditional ethnographers obtain and interpret data on which they base their monographs. We will also consider how applied anthropologists identify problems, gather cultural data, design research projects and choose appropriate research methods or “instruments,” select study populations, engage people in the design and implementation of the study, monitor and evaluate the progress of their research, and interpret outcomes. Importantly, we will examine professional codes of ethics and the human subject review processes that seek to ensure that ethical boundaries are not crossed. Students will also create their own individual research projects and proposals.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: This course uses a seminar format. Students carry out numerous fieldwork exercises and present these in write-ups as well as through class presentations. Depending on the size of the class students may work alone or in research teams. There are also readings, presentations, guest lectures and films. Teachers reserve the right to assign specific research projects and exercises.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Full participation in local fieldwork exercises, and an original research project and proposal, including writing up, presenting and discussing their results in class.

3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Lisa Corewyn, Gannett G129, Ext. 4-1384,  
PREREQUISITES: ANTH 10300, ANTH 21100 or BIOL 27100 or permission of instructor.
STUDENTS: This course is for students with an interest in primate behavioral ecology, and the theoretical frameworks used to further our understanding of primate social behavior.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Primates are among the most social animals. Why do nonhuman primates behave as they do? This course seeks to answer this question by reviewing the extensive variation in primate behavior and ecology and the evolutionary basis of the differences. The emphasis is on understanding the adaptive significance of the many diverse facets of primate social behavior within an ecological context. This course will begin with an extensive survey of the Primate Order, and cover the fundamentals of primate behavior research and theory, including: evolution, social dynamics, sociobiology, socioecology, dominance, aggression, kinship, sexual behavior, reproductive strategies, cognition, communication, and issues in conservation.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture, discussion, and films
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Grading based on exams, as well as, a zoo laboratory assignment that will comprise of a field trip to the Rosamund Gifford Zoo in Syracuse on a one weekend day. Students will be required to participate in the field trip and will be expected to pay for their entrance fee to the zoo.

3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: David Turkon, Gannett G120, Ext. 4-1782,
PREREQUISITES: ANTH 10400 or ANTH 12900 and either one 200-level anthropology course or junior standing and one other social science course.
STUDENTS: Open to students with interests in global, multicultural and environmental studies as well as anthropology. This course counts towards the theory requirement for anthropology majors.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course tracks how the development of environmental anthropology has led to a unique perspective on how people interact with environments. Topics include territorial and property issues, customary vs. formal law, relationships between people and natural resources, and distinctions between culture and nature. Theoretical perspectives from environmental anthropology, cultural ecology and political ecology are used to explore themes such as global economic interests shape local environmental uses, private property rights vs. common pool resources, tensions between “environmentalism” and indigenous rights, the environmental justice movement and sustainable development. We also examine how less powerful states and indigenous groups are used by transnational interests as sources of cheap labor, “cultures of consumption,” and as agents in shaping global environmental awareness and policy agendas. The course has a strong applied focus, dealing with the relevance and contributions of anthropology and other disciplines to effecting positive change locally and across the globe.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lectures, discussions, films, strong emphasis on student participation, possible guest lectures and field trips.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Readings include books as well as articles. The final grade will be based on exams, a research paper and presentation, several short written assignments, and the quality of class participation.

ANTH-37700-01 BIOLOGY OF POVERTY LA SS                       
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Jennifer Muller, Gannett G128, Ext. 4-3327,
PREREQUISITES: ANTH 10300; two courses in social sciences or permission of instructor
STUDENTS: Students with an interest in biological anthropology, social stratification, biology, and epidemiology. This is a “Theory (T) Designated Course” that counts towards fulfilling the requirements for an anthropology major.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Biological anthropology postulates that much of biological variation results from our ability to adapt to our environment. Culture, however, has a strong influence on our adaptability and may guide our decisions in ways that do not necessarily support biological health and well-being.  Particular groups may exert power over others leading to poverty and inequality.  Such relations inevitably lead to disparities in health between these groups. In taking a biocultural perspective, we examine how socioeconomic status and other forms of political and economic stratification, such as racism, affect environment and contribute to biological health. This course offers a cross-cultural examination of the biological effects of poverty, i.e., morbidity and mortality from infectious disease, occupation-related injury, and violence, in historic and modern human populations.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture and seminar-style discussion.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Articles and research/service projects. Assignments, projects, and class participation.

3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Jack Rossen, Gannett G132, Ext. 4-3326,
PREREQUISITES: ANTH 10400, ANTH 10700, or BIOL 12200 and either one 200-level anthropology course or junior standing and one additional social science course.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: The development and spread of agriculture arguably changed the course of human history more than any other single cultural process. This seminar reviews the history of thought and debate concerning the development of prehistoric agriculture and the processes of plant cultivation and domestication. Emphasis is place on recent interdisciplinary developments in ethnobotany and archaeobotany that allow detailed, complex scientific evidence to be considered. Readings and discussion include historical pieces, theoretical treaties, and regional case studies from around the world. Students will learn of the diversity of anthropological theory in the context of the study and analysis of one of humanity’s fundamental lifeway changes.

Variable credit (may be repeated up to a maximum of 6 credits)
PREREQUISITES: ANTH 30200, ANTH 30500, or ANTH 30600 and completion of H&S Dean’s independent study/internship form.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Provides students an opportunity to conduct individual research in any of the subfields that are not fieldwork, such as laboratory analysis, text analysis, tape transcription, or library research on a specific topic.|

Variable credit (may be repeated to a maximum of 6 credits)
PREREQUISITES: ANTH 10300, ANTH 10400, or ANTH 10700, permission of instructor, and completion of H & S Dean’s internship form.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Provides students an opportunity to conduct individual research that is not fieldwork in any of the subfields and under the supervision of a professional. Internships are arranged individually at the student’s request with an instructor and a sponsoring agency.

Variable credit
PREREQUISITES: ANTH 10400 and three other anthropology courses and permission of instructor.
STUDENTS: Majors and upper level students who have made prior arrangements with the individual professor for the desired topic.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: For individual advanced work in topics not covered in regular course offerings.

Variable credit (1 to 6)
PREREQUISITES: ANTH 30200 and consultation with and permission of instructor.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: An alternative to ANTH 47000 for advanced anthropology students with a focus in cultural anthropology whose research plans would benefit from a more individualized approach. The research may be conducted within or away from the Ithaca area under supervision by an anthropology faculty member.

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