Syllabus (Updated 10/26/08)
Introduction to Anthropology
Autumn 2008 Jennifer Sime
Library 102 Office: 12 Dalrymple
TuTh 10:00 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ 11:20 am Office Hours: TBA
What does it mean to be human? Socio-cultural anthropology attempts to answer that question by analyzing and comparing cultures throughout the world. This course offers an introduction to this cross-cultural approach to studying human diversity and cultural difference using ethnographic examples, theories, and methods. The perspective employed in this course is designed to develop studentsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ abilities to reflect critically upon questions concerning cultural difference in contemporary situations. WeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ll begin by examining two key elements in the field of anthropology: the idea of ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œcultureÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â--the defining feature that sets humans apart from all other animals--and the method of data collection called ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œfieldwork.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â From there, we take up a range of topics (e.g., language, the relationships between culture and individuals, play and ritual, economic exchange, power and control, worldviews associated with witchcraft, religion, and secularism, and forms of relatedness, such as kinship) and consider the issues and approaches important to anthropologists. Class readings will be primarily ethnographic; geographic areas will range from West Africa to Argentina, Spanish Harlem to Bali.
Requirements: Regular class attendance, the thoughtful completion of reading and writing assignments, and active participation in discussions will help you get the most out of this class. Grades will be based on the following:
20% mid-term exam
20% final exam
40% 4 short papers (2 to 3 pages each)
10% presentation of an article or book for class discussion
10% class participation
Attendance: Come to class. Too many unexcused absences (e.g., more than two) will most likely adversely affect the part of your grade based on class participation.
Late policy: Papers are due on the date assigned. Papers will be marked down a grade for each class that they are late (e.g., A to A-). Any requests for extensions need to be cleared with me before the day a paper is due.
Credits: This is a four-credit course and one not easily taken for less. Therefore, no reduction of credits is possible either at the beginning or the end of the semester.
Thursday, 9/2: Introduction to the course
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢Assignment #1 (due Tuesday 9/9): What brings you to anthropology? What do you think it means to center a discussion of what it means to be human on the concept of culture? Write approximately two pages in response to these questions.
Tuesday, 9/9: The Anthropological Perspective: Anthropology and its Subdisciplines
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Chapter 1 in Cultural Anthropology (CA henceforward)
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Assignment #1 due
Thursday, 9/11: The Concept of Culture I
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Chapter 2 in CA
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Laura Bohannan, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œShakespeare in the Bush.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â In Conformity and Conflict. Boston: Pearson Education, 2006. pp. 23-32.
Tuesday, 9/16: The Concept of Culture II
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Clifford Geertz, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThick Description: Toward an Interpretive Theory of Culture.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â In The Interpretation of Cultures. NY: Basic Books, 2000. pp. 3-32.
Thursday, 9/18: Fieldwork I
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Chapter 3 in CA
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Bronislaw Malinowski, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIntroduction: The Subject, Method and Scope of This Enquiry.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â In Argonauts of the Western Pacific. Illinois: Waveland Press, 1984.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ George Marcus, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œEthnography in/of the World System: The Emergence of Multi-Sited Ethnography.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â In Annual Review of Anthropology Vol. 24, (1995) pp. 95-117. (JSTOR)
Tuesday, 9/23: Fieldwork II
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Begin Return to Laughter
Thursday, 9/25: Return to Laughter I
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Finish Return to Laughter
Tuesday, 9/30: Return to Laughter: Discussion
Thursday, 10/2: Anthropology in History I
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Chapter 4 in CA
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Talal Asad, Anthropology and the Colonial Encounter (excerpts)
Tuesday, 10/7: Anthropology in History II
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ George Marcus, Anthropology as Cultural Critique (excerpts)
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Paper #2 due
Thursday, 10/9: Language I
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Chapter 5 in CA
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Deborah Tannen, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œNew York Jewish Conversational StyleÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ John Baugh, Black Street Speech (excerpts)
Tuesday, 10/14: Language II
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ George Lakoff, Metaphors We Live By (excerpts)
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Keith Basso, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œSpeaking with Names,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â in Wisdom Sits in Places
Thursday, 10/16: Midterm Exam
Tuesday, 10/21: Hendricks Days
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Keith Basso, "Speaking with Names" (continued)
Tuesday, 10/28:Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Culture and Individuals
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Chapter 6 in CA
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Arthur Kleinman, Veena Das, and Margaret Lock. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIntroduction.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â In Social Suffering.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Veena Das. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œLanguage and Body: Transactions in the Construction of Pain,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â in Social Suffering
Thursday, 10/30: Play, Art, Myth, and Ritual
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Chapter 7 in CA
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Begin Paper Tangos
Tuesday, 11/4: Paper Tangos: Discussion
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Finish Paper Tangos
Thursday, 11/6: Worldviews: Witchcraft
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Chapter 8 in CA
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Evans-Pritchard, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWitchcraft.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â (JSTOR)
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Jeanne Favret-Saada, Deadly Words (excerpts)
Tuesday, 11/11: Worldviews: Religion
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Chapter 9 in CA
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Roxanne Varzi, Warring Souls (excerpts)
Thursday, 11/13: Worldviews: Secularism
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Caitlin Killian, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe Other Side of the Veil: North African Women in France respond to the Headscarf AffairÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â in Gender and Society. Vol. 17, Num. 4 (Aug. 2003) pp. 567-590.
Tuesday, 11/18: Making a Living I
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Chapter 10 in CA
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Philippe Bourgois, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œCrack in Spanish Harlem: Culture and Economy in the Inner City.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â In Anthropology Today, Vol. 5, No. 4 (Aug. 1989) pp. 6-11. (JSTOR)
Thursday, 11/20: Class cancelled (Jennifer at AAA meeting)
Tuesday, 11/25: Making a Living II
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Michael Taussig, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe Genesis of Capitalism Amongst a South American Peasantry: DevilÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Labor and the Baptism of Money.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â In Comparative Studies in Society and History, Vol. 19, No. 2 (April 1977) pp. 130-155. (JSTOR)
Thursday, 11/27: Thanksgiving
Tuesday, 12/2: Imagined Communities: Kinship
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Chapter 11 in CA
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ David Schneider, American Kinship (excerpts)
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Paper #4 due
Thursday, 12/4: Other Forms of Relatedness: Technologies of Reproduction & Transplantation
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Lesley Sharp, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œOrgan Transplantation as Transformative Experience: Anthropological Insights into the Restructuring of Self.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â In Medical Anthropology Quarterly, Vol. 9, No. 3 (Sep., 1995) pp. 357-389. (JSTOR)
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Cris Shore, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œVirgin Births and Sterile Debates: Anthropology and the New Reproductive Technologies.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â In Current Anthropology, Vol. 33, No. 3 (June 1992) pp. 295 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“314. (JSTOR)
Tuesday, 12/9: Dimensions of Inequality in the Contemporary World: Gender
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Chapter 13 in CA
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Sherry Ortner. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIs Female to Male as Nature Is to Culture?ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â In Woman, Culture, and Society, edited by M. Rosaldo and L. Lamphere. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1974. pp. 67-87.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Emily Martin. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe Egg and the Sperm: How Science Has Constructed a Romance Based on Stereotypical Male-Female Roles.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â In Signs Vol. 16, No. 3 (Spring 1991) pp. 485-501. (JSTOR)