Single Semester Course

Anthropology is the study of humankind in its entirety, at all times and in all places. This elective serves as an introduction to anthropology, focusing on cultural anthropology and archaeology to look at human cultures and societies. It provides an understanding of human diversity around the world and a global perspective on humanity while remaining sensitive to local manifestations of cultural diversity. We look at social and cultural differences: how “other” peoples and cultures have been classified, understood, and represented. We will examine a variety of topics including culture; kinship, family, and descent; race and gender; beliefs, religion, rituals, and values; economic and political systems; language; social change and applied anthropology. The class will look at the difference, creativity, and inventiveness expressed through culture as well as some of the destructive aspects of social life such as the effects of class, caste, ethnic, racial, and gender hierarchies. Students will be encouraged to question assumptions about what is “normal” or “natural.” Despite the somewhat fractured nature of the subfields and the necessity of studying them separately at first, the eventual merging of the areas will enable students to form a broader understanding of communities, regions, and the world