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1 Proposal: number 5

5. ANTH 101: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

Contact:John Collins
Abstract:This course provides a general introduction to major topics in cultural
anthropology. Cultural anthropology addresses and attempts to explicate
cultural, social, religious, economic, political and other characteristics and
systems of societies from various parts of the world. In other words,
anthropology is, at base, a discipline concerned with what it is to be human
and students are expected to develop the ability to examine social phenomena
from a cross-cultural point of view while developing critical perspectives on
their own culture(s). Over the course of the semester we therefore concentrate
on theory and methods related to approaches to human unity and diversity, with
some attention to language as developed in linguistic anthropology. Readings
typically include three to four ethnographies, (an ethnography is a written
description and often analysis of a community, institution, or group of people
in which data is obtained through firsthand field research). Some instructors
also include a coursepack which contains articles and primary source documents.

As becomes apparent to students as a result of the diversity of ethnographies
read, anthropology is a diverse field concerned with values, social structures,
attempts to find meaning in a complex universe, and, especially, with human
variability across space and time. Lectures and readings are intended to help
students become aware that anthropology is not simply the study of primitive,
simple, or marginal peoples but rather a way of seeing, being in, and
representing a world constantly in transition even it may also be united by
certain shared traits and experiences. And as part of our
study of
this
extraordinary diversity and these tensions between the general and the
particular, we look closely in this class at issues of religion and magic;
marriage and family; race, gender, and class; public and private space and
their ostensible divisions; semiotics and the production of meaning; tradition
and perspectives on the past; state power; urban planning; health and illness;
politics; social structures; material culture; technology; space/time; and
conceptions of personhood and community.

Submissions and Approvals

Course Date Requirement Action By Whom Notes
ANTH 101 2008-01-15 SS Submitted Dept
ANTH 101 2008-01-15 WC Submitted Dept
ANTH 101 2008-01-15 PI Submitted Dept
ANTH 101 2008-02-06 SS Approved GEAC
ANTH 101 2008-02-06 WC Approved GEAC
ANTH 101 2008-02-06 PI Approved GEAC
ANTH 101 2008-03-13 SS Approved UCC
ANTH 101 2008-03-13 WC Approved UCC
ANTH 101 2008-03-13 PI Approved UCC
ANTH 101 2008-04-10 SS Approved Senate
ANTH 101 2008-04-10 WC Approved Senate
ANTH 101 2008-04-10 PI Approved Senate