Author:
Abigail Wightman
Subject:
Anthropology
Material Type:
Syllabus
Level:
Community College / Lower Division
Tags:
Cultural Anthropology, VGR-social-science, VIVA Grant Recipients, Vgr-syllabus-bank, cultural-anthropology, vgr-social-science, vgr-syllabus-bank
License:
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
Language:
English
Media Formats:
Text/HTML

Education Standards

ANTH 120: Cultural Anthropology

Overview

The syllabus for ANTH 120: Cultural Anthropology, taught at Mary Baldwin University by Dr. Abigail Wightman, PhD.

Syllabus

 

 

ANTH 120: Cultural Anthropology

INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Abby Wightman                             

CLASS LOCATION: ACA 210                                            

CLASS TIME: 10:50-12:05                                                                            

INTRODUCTION:

Cultural anthropology is one of the four subfields of American anthropology, which also includes archaeology, linguistic anthropology, and biological anthropology. As a whole, anthropology focuses on the study of humanity and human origins. Cultural anthropology is the study of contemporary human communities throughout the world. Traditionally, cultural anthropologists have worked to document and understand the cultural beliefs and practices of non-Western, small-scale, indigenous societies. Today, however, the purpose of cultural anthropology is to understand all human beliefs within their particular cultural contexts, in order to systematically explain the ways in which culture influences human behavior and complex social problems. As an introduction to cultural anthropology, this course counts for the social science (S) core curriculum requirement.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

  1. Students will demonstrate knowledge of the conceptual and analytic tools of cultural anthropology as a social science, particularly the concept of culture.
  2. Students will develop a critical awareness of how culture shapes our lives.
  3. Students will develop a critical awareness of cultural and social diversity.
  4. Students will learn to apply anthropological methods and concepts in order to explain contemporary social arrangements and address complex social problems.

REQUIRED READINGS:

  1. Perspectives: An Open Invitation to Cultural Anthropology. Edited by Nina Brown, Laura Tubelle de González, and Thomas McIlwraith. American Anthropological Association: Arlington, VA. Hard copy available on reserve at Grafton Library.

PDF available for free download: http://perspectives.americananthro.org/

  1. Additional readings, available via link or as pdf documents on Blackboard (labeled BB).
  2. Readings labeled as “more context” are optional. Students may want to read these for more information, but they will not be quizzed or tested on them.

 

GRADING SCALE:                                                                    PERCENTAGE OF GRADE

Midterm Exam                 100                                                                               20%

Final Exam                       100                                                                               20%

Quizzes                             90 (10 pts/quiz, lowest dropped)                           18%

Ethnography                    50                                                                                  10%

World Simulation            50 (25 pts individual/25 pts group)                       10%             

Fieldwork Essay              50                                                                                  10%

Reflection                         25                                                                                  5.0%

Presence                           25                                                                                  5.0%

Assessment                      10                                                                                  2.5%                                          

TOTAL                              500                                                                               100%

 

GRADES:

Grades will be calculated on a point basis.  Your grade will be calculated by dividing your total points by 500. There will be no curve. See MBU Catalog for grade scale.

ASSIGNMENTS:

In order to get a good grade in this course, you must keep up with the readings, turning in assignments and attend and participate in class; doing so, especially keeping up with the syllabus, is your responsibility. I will not be able to remind you of readings, exams, or assignments – so make sure you check the syllabus often. I will not accept any assignments via email.

 

                  A.             Quizzes                 

Students will take 10 short quizzes on Blackboard. Each quiz is worth 10 points, with the one lowest score dropped at the end of the semester. Most quizzes are 5 multiple choice questions and due on Sundays at midnight (see schedule below). You may take each quiz once only and must complete it in one hour.

                  B.             Exams:

Students will take two exams, a midterm and a final. The midterm will cover all material up to the date of that exam but the final exam will be cumulative, covering all material taught during the entire class.  Both exams will include essays, map IDs, and vocab IDs. Exams are worth 100 points each.

                  C.              Fieldwork Essay:

                                    Students will write one three-page paper based on their anthropological observations of an event of their choosing.

D.             Ethnography and World Simulation:

These are related group projects that we will work on the entire semester. See Blackboard for details.

E.              Presence:

Students’ full presence is expected at every class.  Presence is more than just attendance, although being present is a major component. You may miss a total of two absences throughout the semester. Each additional absence after the first two will result in points taken away from your participation grade. You are also expected to participate actively in class discussions and class activities, as well as behave appropriately in a classroom environment. Your presence will be measured through attendance, engagement, discussion, course behavior, and activities.

F.              Reflection Assignment

                  The Reflection Assignment is due on the last class meeting and is worth 25 points. See Blackboard for details.

G.              Self-Assessment:

                  Once during the semester, after the midterm, students will fill submit a self- assessment via Blackboard. Assessments will get a full grade if completed. Follow-up meetings may be required.

 

LATE  POLICY

All assignments are due on the days assigned. After the due date there is a 7 day grace period: late assignments will be accepted but will be automatically reduced by 20% (will receive no higher than an 80%) and may not receive any feedback on the grade. After the grace period, all late assignments will receive either a 50% or a 0 depending on the severity of the lateness and the quality of the work and may not receive any feedback on the grade.

 

RESPECTFUL BEHAVIOR:

You are expected to be on time to class and attend regularly, have read the readings before you come to class, turn in assignments on time, and behave respectfully in class. This means that you should not: text, play on your phones, talk to your neighbors, work on other class assignments, or pass notes in class. Disrespectful behavior, including texting and tardiness, will be deducted from your presence grade.

 

HONOR CODE:

All work is subject to the Mary Baldwin University Honor Code. All honor code violations, including plagiarism, will be reported to the Honor Council and students will receive an automatic F in the course. Understanding plagiarism and how to correctly attribute sources are your responsibilities. A bibliography and brief in-text citation guide is included below. See Blackboard folder Honor Code and Plagiarism for more information.

 

ACCOMMODATIONS:

As required by the Americans with Disabilities Act that was passed by Congress in 1990 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Mary Baldwin University works to assist students with disabilities to remove barriers to academic success. If you are in need of accommodations your first and only necessary stop is to speak with the Director of the Academic Resource Center, where you can self-disclose in a confidential meeting and complete documentation for initiating the accommodations that will help you to be successful in the classroom. Instructors are always willing to accommodate students with special needs; however, the process starts by speaking confidentially with the Disability Services Coordinator at MBU, Dr. Jenny Joczik at vjoczik@marybaldwin.edu. Once out of high school you must be your own advocate and begin the process of accommodation. If you have a disability or think you may have a disability that is precluding your efforts to attain academic success, I urge you to contact Dr. Joczik.

 

READING and ASSIGNMENT SCHEDULE

In general, each course topic will include a day devoted to an informal lecture (including reflection and question time) and a day for films, activities, and more formalized discussion of readings.  Class activities are noted below.  You should complete all assignments, including reading assignments and take-home quizzes, before coming to class, unless otherwise noted.

 

Dates    

Topics 

Readings, Assignments, and Class Activities   

 

Tues

9/03

 

Introductions

Introductions.

What is Anthropology?

Thurs

9/05

 

Anthropology

Readings:

AAA, “What is Anthropology?”

Miner, “Body Ritual of the Nacirema”[BB]

 

Assignments:

Quiz 1 due Sunday 9/08 at midnight [BB]

 

More Context:

Perspectives, “The Development of Anthropological Ideas,” Nader

 

Tues

9/10

 

Culture

Readings:

Spradley, “Ethnography and Culture”[BB]

Landhuis, “Why Don’t More Humans Eat Bugs?”

 

More Context:

Perspectives, “The Culture Concept,” Cowall and Medeiros

 

Thurs

9/12

No Class!

 

Assignments:

Video lecture: Aspects of Culture and the World Sim [BB]

Quiz 2 due Sunday 9/15 at midnight [BB]

 

Tues

9/17      

Ethnography and Ethics

Readings:

Perspectives, “Doing Anthropology,” Nelson

 

Thurs

9/19

Readings:

Nuwer, “The Sad Truth of Uncontacted Tribes”

Kremer, “Return to the Rainforest: A Son’s Search for his Amazonian Mother”

 

Assignments:

Quiz 3 due Sunday 9/222 at midnight [BB]

 

More Context:

The Good Project (website)  

 

Tues

9/24      

Subsistence

Readings:

Perspectives, “Subsistence,” Shearn

 

Thursday

9/26      

Readings:

Mann, “1491”

 

More Contex:

Clement et. al, “The Domestication of Amazonia Before European Conquest” [BB]

 

Assignments:

Quiz 4 due Sunday 9/29 at midnight [BB]

 

Tues

10/01

                 

Apple Day

No Class!

 

 

Thurs

10/03   

World Sim Work Day

Class:

Pick groups and inspiration cultures.

Assign individual ethnography section.

 

Assignments:

Fieldwork Essay due by class [BB]

 

Tues

10/08   

Political Organization

 

Readings:

Perspectives, “Political Anthropology,” McDowell, pp 1-8, 11-23

 

More Context:

Ongka’s Big Moka (film)

 

Thurs

10/10

Readings:

Lee, “Eating Christmas in the Kalahari” [BB]

 

Assignments:

Quiz 5 due Sunday 10/13 at midnight [BB]

 

More Context:

Eckert and Newmark, “Central Eskimo Song Duels” [BB]

 

Tues

10/15   

Kinship and Marriage

Readings:

Perspectives, “Family and Marriage,” Gilliland

 

Thurs

10/17

 

Readings:

Basu, “Why These Indian Millennials Are Choosing Arranged Marriage”

 

Assignments:

Quiz 6 due Sunday 10/20 at midnight [BB]

 

Tues

10/22   

World Sim Work Day

Class:

Work on Subsistence, Political Organization, Kinship, Marriage ethnography sections.

 

Thurs

10/24   

Midterm

Midterm

Tues

10/29

 

Gender and Sexuality

 

Readings:

Perspectives, “Gender and Sexuality,” Mukhopadhyay et. al.

Thurs

10/31

 

Readings:

Diavolo, “Gender Variance Around the World Over Time”

Dance, “How Halloween Has Traveled the Globe”

 

Assignments:

Quiz 7 due Sunday 11/03 at midnight [BB]

 

More Context:

Nanda, “The Hijras of India” [BB]

 

Tues

11/05   

Religion

Readings:

Perspectives, “Religion,” Henninger-Rener

 

Thurs

11/07   

Readings:

Gmelch, “Baseball Magic” [BB]

 

Assignments:

Quiz 8 due Sunday 11/10 at midnight [BB]

 

Tues

11/12   

World Sim Work Day

Class:

Work on Gender and Religion ethnography sections.

 

Assignments:

Self-Assessment  due [BB]

 

Thurs

11/14

 

Colonialism and Globalization

Readings:

Perspectives, “Globalization,” Griffith and Marion

 

Tues

11/19

Readings:

Shannon, “What’s the Cost of Quinoa?” Sapiens Podcast

 

More Context:

McDonell, “The Quinoa Boom Goes Bust in the Andes”

 

Thurs

11/21   

Ethnography

Class:

Ethnography group presentations in class.

 

Assignments:

Ethnography due on wiki by class time.

 

Quiz 9 due Sunday 11/24 at midnight [BB]

 

Tues

11/26   

World Sim Work Day

Class:

Go over World Simulation rules and prep as a group.

World Sim practice.

 

Assignments:

Quiz 10 due Sunday 12/01 at midnight [BB]

 

Thurs

11/28

 

Thanksgiving

No Class!

Tues

12/03

World Simulation

Class:

World Simulation! Location TBD.

 

Thurs

12/05

Culture Change and Applied Anthropology

Readings:

Learn, “A New Generation is Reviving Indigenous Tattooing”

Bolin, “The Glaciers of the Andes are Melting” [BB]

 

Assignments:

Reflection due before class

 

More Context

Cultural Survival (website)

 

 

Final Exams December 9-13, 2019

 

 

REFERENCES

Basu, Moni. 2018. “Why These Indian Millennials Are Choosing Arranged Marriage.” CNN, March 24, 2018.  https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/21/world/arranged-marriage-christiane-amanpour-sex-love-around-world-delhi/index.html

 

Bolin, Inge. 2012. “The Glaciers of the Andes are Melting: Indigenous and Anthropological Knowledge Merge in Restoring Water Resources.” In Classic Readings in Cultural Anthropology, Third Edition, edited by Gary Ferraro, 118-127. Wadsworth: Belmont, CA.

 

Brown, Nina, Laura Tubelle de González, and Thomas McIlwraith, eds. 2017. Perspectives: An Open Invitation to Cultural Anthropology. American Anthropological Association: Arlington, VA. http://perspectives.americananthro.org/ *

 

Clement, Charles R et al. 2015. “The Domestication of Amazonia Before European Conquest.” Proceedings: Biological Sciences 282 (1812): 1-9.

 

Dance, Amber. 2018. “How Halloween Has Traveled the Globe.” Sapiens, October 26, 2018. https://www.sapiens.org/culture/halloween-history-global/

 

Diavolo, Lucy. 2017. “Gender Variance Around the World Over Time.” Teen Vogue, June 21, 2017. https://www.teenvogue.com/story/gender-variance-around-the-world

 

Eckett, Penelope and Russell Newmark. 1980. “Central Eskimo Song Duels: A Contextual Analysis of Ritual Ambiguity.” Ethnology 19(2): 191-211.

 

Gmelch, George. 2013. “Baseball Magic.” In Magic, Witchcraft, and Religion: A Reader in the Anthropology of Religion, Ninth Edition, edited by Pamela Moro, 323-329. McGraw Hill: New York. Originally published in 1971.

 

Kremer, Richard. 2013. “Return to the Rainforest: A Son's Search for his Amazonian Mother.” BBC, August 29, 2013. https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-23758087

 

Landuis, Esther. 2018. “Why Don’t More Humans Eat Bugs?” Sapiens, November 30, 2018. https://www.sapiens.org/culture/eat-bugs/

 

Learn, Joseph Rapp. 2019. “A New Generation is Reviving Indigenous Tattooing.” Sapiens, March 13, 2019. https://www.sapiens.org/body/native-american-tattoos/

 

Lee, Richard Borshay. 2006. “Eating Christmas in the Kalahari.” In Annual Editions: Anthropology 2006/2007, edited by Elvio Angeloni, 20-23. McGraw Hill: New York. Originally published in 1969.

 

McDonell, Emma. 2018. “The Quinoa Boom Goes Bust in the Andes.” NACLA, March 12, 2018. https://nacla.org/news/2018/03/12/quinoa-boom-goes-bust-andes

 

Mann, Charles C. 2002. “1491.” The Atlantic, March 2002. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2002/03/1491/302445/

 

Miner, Horace. 1956. "Body Ritual Among the Nacirema." American Anthropologist 58 (3): 503-07. http://proxy.marybaldwin.edu:2069/stable/665280

 

Nanda, Serena. 1986. “The Hijras of India: Cultural and Individual Dimensions of an Institutionalized Third Gender Role.” Journal of Homosexuality 11(3): 33-54.

 

Nuwer, Rachel. 2014. “Anthropology: The Sad Truth About Uncontacted Tribes.” BBC, August 4, 2014. http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20140804-sad-truth-of-uncontacted-tribes

 

Shannon, Jen. 2018. “What’s the Cost of Quinoa?” Sapiens. Podcast audio. December 4, 2018. https://www.sapiens.org/culture/where-does-quinoa-come-from/

 

Spradley, James P. 2012. “Ethnography and Culture.” In Conformity and Conflict: Readings in Cultural Anthropology, Fourteenth Edition, edited by James Spradley and David W. McCurdy, 6-12. Pearson: Boston. Originally published in 1980.

 

CITATIONS

Perspectives is an edited volume, since each chapter has a different author(s). When you are citing it, you should cite the author of the chapter you are using (not the editors of the entire volume). For example, if you wanted to cite the fieldwork chapter of Perspectives, your citations would look like this:

 

Nelson, Katie. 2017. “Doing Fieldwork: Methods in Cultural Anthropology.” In Perspectives: An Open Invitation to Cultural Anthropology, edited by Nina Brown, Laura Tubelle de González, and Thomas McIlwraith, 1-24.  American Anthropological Association: Arlington, VA.

 

If you are citing one aspect, quote, specific data or part of a work, you must provide an in-text citation that includes author, date, and the page number(s). For example (Nelson 2017, 5). In the rare instance that you are referring to the entire text, you can just provide the author and year published: (Nelson 2017).