ANTH 112 Syllabus (S24N04)

Section 04–4:00-5:20pm (TR)

Anthropology is divided into four subfields: physical or biological anthropology, archaeology, linguistic anthropology, and cultural anthropology.  In this course, the focus is primarily on cultural anthropology—examining the many social institutions that make us human.  Students will also be introduced to linguistic anthropology for language is the means by which we transmit and share with others both cultural and individual experiences.

The format of instruction is by lecture, although students will be expected to participate in periodic class discussions based on readings, lectures, and films.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand and apply core concepts and principles in anthropology.
  • Engage in different ways of knowing based on the subfields of anthropology.
  • Evaluate the ways in which anthropology can be used to address current social, political, and economic issues.

Rather than have the bulk of the grade based solely on exams, students will be evaluated on participation (20%), opinion piece (5%), two exams (25% each), and one short paper (25% each).  There is NO final exam.

Not submitting an exam or assignment will result in an “F”;
your final grade is based on completing ALL course work.

Required text:
Brown, Nina, Thomas McIlwraith, and Laura Tubelle de González, eds. 2020. Perspectives: An Open Invitation to Cultural Anthropology. Second Edition. Arlington, VA: American Anthropological Association.

Additional readings and films (online) will be listed.  Please check VIULearn for updated material.

Please read the assigned chapter or articles prior to the week’s lecture to facilitate discussion.

Lectures and Readings
Jan 9 AMA & Introduction
11, 16 What is anthropology?
READ: Ch 1 Introduction to Anthropology, pp.4-17
In-class discussion: Things to know
18, 23 The Study of Culture
READ: Ch 2 The Culture Concept, pp.29-41; Ch 3 Doing Fieldwork, Ethical Considerations, pp.63-65
In-class discussion: Stories as a Reflection of Culture
 25, 30 Language
FILM: Our First Voices (2010, 30:00)
READ: Ch 4 Language, pp.70-87, 88-92 [skip Historical Linguistics]
Feb 1 Subsistence
FILM: N!ai, the Story of a !Kung Woman (1980, 57:00)
6 In preparation for Exam #1, watch/listen on your own to Dr. Shari Fox’s lecture, The Meaning of Ice (2022, 1:15:00 min).  It is also available as a CBC Ideas podcast (2023).  NO CLASS.
8 Exam #1: February 8 [take home exam, no class]
Submit through VIULearn
13 Subsistence (cont.)
Ch 5 SubsistenceCh 14 Culture and Sustainability, Ethnoecology, pp.364-367
15 Food and Society
In-class discussion: Back in Time for Dinner 1950s-1970s (BBC 2015; CBC 2018).  See VIULearn for details.
Study Week — No Classes, Feb 19-23
Feb 27, 29 Buy, Sell, Barter, Share: Economic Systems
READ:  Ch 6 Economics, pp.129-139; Potlatch [website]
Short paper DUE: Feb 29  (Submit through VIULearn)
 Mar 5, 7 Kinfolks and Descent
Ch 8 Family and Marriage, pp.182-190; Ch 10 Gender and Sexuuality, Patriarchy…Matriarchy, pp.309-310.
12, 14 Family and Marriage
FILM: Say I Do (2002, 54:00; HQ 1236.5 C3 S329 2002)
READ: Ch 8 Family and Marriage, pp.190-200; Ch 10 Gender and Sexuuality, Family and Marriage, pp.301-305.
19, 21 Gender Roles
Ch 10 Gender and Sexuality, pp.282-301.
26 Connecting People: Ties that Bind
READ:  Ch 7 Political Anthropology, pp.148-168
28 Exam #2: March 28 [take home exam, no class]
Submit through VIULearn
Apr 2, 4 Race and Ethnicity
FILM: Voices in the Clouds (2010, 77:00)
READ: Ch 9 Race and Ethnicity, pp.204-223
9, 11 A Changing World
READ: Ch 12 Globalization, pp.304-316


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Final grade assignment:
Grades will be assigned according to the following scale:

90-100 A+ 64-67 C+
85-89 A 60-63 C
80-84 A- 55-59 C-
76-79 B+ 50-54 D
72-75 B <49 F
68-71 B-

Created 2002-08-29; last updated 2024-03-12