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Anthropology

Anthropology represents a broad field of study encompassing four subdivisions: cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, prehistoric archeology, and biological anthropology. Courses listed below offer comprehensive approaches to anthropology's diverse subject matter and provide an important component of a liberal arts education for both majors and non-majors. A major will gain excellent preparation for graduate study in anthropology or as part of a pre-professional education. Additionally, anthropology majors can gain preparation for a wide variety of careers. Students majoring in anthropology are strongly urged to pursue work beyond the introductory level (101, 102, 103) in each of the subfields.

Major. A major in anthropology consists of the following:

1. a. A minimum of 24 hours in the Department, including Anthropology 101, 102, 103.

b. Anthropology 353.

c. At least one seminar in Anthropology.

At least 15 of the 24 hours required for the major must be from courses above the 100 level.

2. Courses in several other disciplines, including those in the social and natural sciences and the humanities, complement a major in Anthropology. The particular pattern of courses chosen will vary, depending on the plans and interests of the students. The particular pattern should be worked out in close consultation with the major advisor.

Minor. A minor in anthropology consists of 15 hours of course work in which at least 9 hours derive from courses at the 200 level or above. No more than 3 transfer credits can be counted in a minor, and two of the three introductory courses must be included.

Honors. The department invites a small number of qualified majors to participate in the honors program. Honors work may begin as early as the sixth semester or may commence at the beginning of the senior year. Students may receive from two to six hours of credit per semester of honors. Honors work requires a thesis based on original research and an oral examination on the thesis.

Off-Campus Programs for Credit. Summer field work in projects sponsored by Oberlin College or by other institutions is encouraged. Such projects may be undertaken in archeology, ethnography, or linguistics. By approval of the department, students may count a maximum of six hours of such work toward the major. Students interested in archeological projects should contact Ms. Grimm. Those interested in ethnographic projects should contact Mr. Glazier. Those interested in linguistics should contact the department chair. Students interested in anthropology credit for programs sponsored by the Great Lakes Colleges Association should also speak with the chair.

Gallaudet Exchange Program. The department sponsors an exchange program with Gallaudet University, the nation's only liberal arts college for the deaf, located in Washington, D.C. In a school of about 500 students, the program offers a unique opportunity for students interested in communication disorders, deaf education, and related issues. The program is open to both majors and non-majors. Sophomores and juniors with good academic standing are eligible to apply. The exchange is for one semester and students receive transfer credit toward their degree at Oberlin College. Tuition is normally billed by Oberlin College; room and board by Gallaudet. Some students find Exco classes offered in sign language to be good preparation for a semester at Gallaudet.

Students interested in this program should speak with Mr. Glazier. Catalogs and applications should be requested directly from Gallaudet University, 800 Florida Avenue, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20001-3695. When writing to Gallaudet, request an application which states "Oberlin Exchange Program." Each student works his/her own way through the application process and can do so in consultation with Mr. Glazier.

Transfer of Credit. Students transferring credits in anthropology from courses taken at other institutions and/or from off-campus programs such as summer field work may apply a maximum of six credit hours toward the major with the approval of the department chair.

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Introductory Courses

101. Introduction to Cultural Anthropology 3 hours
3SS, CD
An introduction to the nature of cultural anthropology through an examination of basic concepts, methods, and theories that anthropologists employ in order to understand the unity and diversity of human thought and action cross-culturally. Kinship and the family, politics and conflict, and religion and belief are some of the topics to be considered in a range of ethnographic contexts. Enrollment Limit: 35.
Sem 1 ANTH-101-01 MWF 10:00-10:50 Mr. Glazier
ANTH-101-02 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Staff
Sem 2 ANTH-101-01 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Staff

102. Introduction to Biological Anthropology (Lecture Only) 3 hours
3SS, CD
This course introduces students to the subfield of anthropology that is concerned with human biological variation and human evolution. The major topics to be covered include the nature of the evolutionary process, the place of humans among the Primates, primate social behavior, the fossil record of human evolution, biological variation in living populations, and the politics of human differences. Enrollment Limit: 40.
Sem 1 ANTH-102-01 TuTh 10:00-10:50 Staff

103. Introduction to Archeology 3 hours
3SS, CD
An introduction to the subfield of anthropology concerned with past human cultures. A basic objective is to acquaint students with both the methods and techniques that archeologists employ in the study and reconstruction of prehistoric societies. Examples will be drawn from a variety of archeological situations ranging from simple hunting and gathering societies to complex chiefdoms and states. Matters of contemporary debate in the area of archeology and the public will also be considered. Enrollment Limit: 40.
Sem 2 ANTH-103-01 MWF 10:00-10:50 Ms. Grimm

112. Introduction to Biological Anthropology (Laboratory only) 1 hour
1SS
Next offered 2002-2003.

113. Introduction to Archeology (Laboratory only) 1 hour
1SS
Laboratory exercises. Discussions, and lab reports are designed to familiarize students with basic methods used in the analysis of archeological materials commonly recovered in excavation such as chipped and ground stone artifacts, ceramics, shell, faunal remains and historical artifacts.
Co-requisite ANTH 103. Enrollment Limit: 20.
Sem 2 ANTH-113-01 Tu 3:00-4:20 Ms. Grimm MODULE 2
ANTH-113-02 Th 7:00-8:20 Ms. Grimm MODULE 2

Colloquium
110. The Idea of the Folk in American Culture History 3 hours
3SS, CD, WR
Throughout much of the twentieth century, the idea of an "American folk" has been articulated, appropriated, and manipulated for a variety of ideological agendas. This course will examine the purposes to which the idea of an American folk has been put in the articulation of an American identity and American identities. We will examine a range of anthropological and historical models for understanding the desire to define a "folk," from Sumner's folkways, Redfield's folk-urban continuum, to more contemporary notions of imagined communities and invented traditions. Special focus will be on the political appropriation of folk forms in the Popular Front era of the 1930s and the Civil Rights era of the 1960s, and on the disintegration of monolithic notions of a "folk" in the era of multiculturalism. Texts will include Andrew Ross's No Respect: Intellectuals and Popular Culture, Denning's Cultural Front: The Laboring of American Culture in the Twentieth Century, and Klein's Woody Guthrie: A Life. Enrollment Limit: 15. Does not serve as a prerequisite for upper-level courses.
Sem 2 ANTH-110-01 TuTh 3:00-4:15 Mr. Goldsmith

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Intermediate Courses

240. Anthropology and Film 3 hours
3SS, CD
This course is an introduction to ethnographic film and its relationship to social anthropology. We will study the varied styles of ethnographic film-making and examine some of their underlying assumptions. Films will be treated as texts whose meanings reside both in their content and in their communicative structures. The objectives and methods of ethnographic film-making will be compared to those of anthropology, with particular reference to the intellectual tradition in which each has evolved. The course will also provide an opportunity to examine the appropriateness of film as a medium of scientific research and to consider whether film-making can offer any useful alternatives to current concepts of anthropological knowledge. Prerequisites: One introductory course (100 level) in Anthropology or equivalent. Enrollment Limit: 30.
Sem 1 ANTH-240-01 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Mr. Reyes-Ruiz

250. Introduction to Anthropological Linguistics 3 hours
3SS, CD
Next offered 2002-2003.

251. Language in Culture and Society 3 hours
3SS, CD
Study of the relationship between language and culture and of the use of languages in socio-cultural context. Attention is focused on ethnosemantic studies of folk classification systems (cognition, taxonomy, meaning, universals) and sociolinguistic studies of variation in linguistic usage in different social and cultural circumstances (speech acts, speech events, code switching, social meaning). Prerequisites: One introductory course (100 level) in Anthropology or consent of instructor. Enrollment Limit: 40.
Sem 1 ANTH-251-01 MWF 2:30-3:20 Staff

266. Emergence of Urban Societies 3 hours
3SS, CD, WR
Next offered 2002-2003.

274. Psychological Anthropology 3 hours
3SS, CD
This course is an introduction to the history, theory, and practice of psychological anthropology. More precisely, it is about ways in which anthropologists have attempted to measure and make sense of psychological diversity, including gender, race, and ethnicity. Differences in concepts of self and personality as expressions of culture will be explored using ethnographic studies from different parts of the world. Prerequisites: One introductory course (100 level) in Anthropology or equivalent. Enrollment Limit: 30.
Sem 2 ANTH-274-01 MWF 11:00-12:15 Mr. Reyes-Ruiz

286. Culture, Symbol and Meaning 3 hours
3SS, CD, WR
Next offered 2002-2003.

288. Immigrant America: Then and Now 3 hours
3SS, CD, WR
The beginning and end of the 20th century were periods of large-scale immigration to the United States, bringing profound changes to the character of the nation. From 1900 until 1924, millions of newcomers from southern and eastern Europe, predominantly Jews, Italians, and Slavs arrived. Immigration since 1965 and continuing to the present has drawn people mostly from Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. This course examines the history of immigration to the U.S. and then compares immigration during each 20th-century period. It focuses on the social, economic, and cultural consequences of immigration for the country, assimilation and cultural persistence, linguistic and environmental implications, immigration advocacy and resistance, welfare and entrepreneurship, and immigrant communities in relationship to other segments of American society. Prerequisites: One introductory course (100-level) in anthropology or equivalent. Enrollment Limit: 30.
Sem 2 ANTH-288-01 MWF 1:30-2:20 Mr. Glazier

292. Museum Anthropology 3 hours
3SS, CD, WR
This course examines the historical context of museums, emphasizing various modes of collection and exploring some of the diverse agendas under which museums have operated from the past to the highly contentious present-day exhibition environment. Looking mainly, but not exclusively, at museums with anthropological (ethnological, archeological) collections, we will explore, among other topics, the ideological relationship between museums and their collections as well as the intellectual and social relationships of museums to the public. In addition, students will have an opportunity to work hands-on with museum collections and materials. Prerequisites: Two among ANTH 101, 102, 103. Enrollment Limit: 15.
Sem 2 ANTH-292-01 MWF 2:30-3:20 Ms. Grimm

335. Identity and Ethnicity in South Asia 3 hours
Sociocultural re-alignments and re-definitions of identity, in concert with the political and economic goals of "modernization" over the last half-century, pose a major challenge to the nation-states of the Indian subcontinent. This course shall explore, from anthropological interpretations, the ongoing complexities of individual and group identity construction based on language, class, caste, nation, and religion in India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Prerequisites: 2 courses in Cultural Anthropology; prior coursework on South Asia. Consent of instructor required.
Sem 2 ANTH-335-01 MWF 11:00-11:50 Staff

353. Culture Theory 3 hours
3SS, CD, WR
A critical examination of major issues in the study of culture over the past century and a quarter through a discussion of such theoretical topics as cultural evolution and neo-evolution, materialism and cultural ecology, functionalism and ecosystems theory, interpretive and symbolic anthropology, structuralism, and political economy. The role of ethnography, the scientific and humanistic dimensions of anthropology, and the relationships between various theories are also considered. Recent multicultural and postmodernist efforts at cultural explanation on the part of anthropologists and other scholars will be examined. Prerequisites: Junior- or senior-level standing, ANTH 101, and one additional course in anthropology. Enrollment Limit: 25.
Sem 1 ANTH-353-01 MWF 1:30-2:20 Mr. Glazier

391. Practicum in Anthropology 2-3 hours
2-3SS
Junior or senior majors in the department may receive up to three hours of credit for applied field work in anthropology. The work should be carried out in connection with a systematic course of reading and the writing of a paper on the topic of the project. The purpose of the paper is to tie the field experience to relevant anthropological principles. The program should be worked out in advance with a department faculty sponsor: Ms. Mazumdar, Mr. Glazier, Ms. Fisher and Ms. Grimm. Consent of instructor required.

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Upper-Level Seminars and Honors Courses

Upper-level seminars are open to juniors and seniors who have completed four courses in anthropology. In some instances this requirement will be reduced for non-majors otherwise qualified. Please note also specific course prerequisites for some seminars. Enrollment Limit: 10 per seminar.

408. Seminar on Current Issues in Anthropology: 3 hours
Postmodernism
3SS, CD, WR
This seminar for advanced majors will explore postmodernism and its impact on anthropology over the last two decades. The class will examine the assumptions underlying the postmodernist perspective, the relationship of postmodernism to empirical and scientific anthropology, the nature of research and writing produced in a postmodernist framework, and how conceptions of ethnography and the role of the anthropologist have changed. Related issues concerning ethics and theory vs. practice will also be considered. Consent of instructor required. Enrollment Limit: 10.
Sem 2 ANTH-408-01 Th 1:00-2:45 Mr. Glazier

415. Internships in Teaching 1-2 hours
1-2SS
Qualified seniors who wish to assist in the teaching of specific courses may, upon consent of the instructor, achieve one or two credits for their work in such courses. Assistance with laboratory sessions, data analysis, and the research concerns of students in the class compose the major activities of the teaching internships. Sections will be offered by Staff, Mr. Glazier and Ms. Grimm. Consent of instructor required.

445. Seminar on Topics in the Anthropology of Religion 3 hours
3SS
Next offered 2002-2003.

450. Seminar on Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective 3 hours
3SS
This course explores cross-cultural constructs (ideologies) of female, make, and "alternative" genders as a foundation for understanding gender roles in different (mostly non-western) societies represented in the ethnographic literature. A major question that the course seeks to answer is "What are the linkages between gender at the cultural and behavioral levels?" The course perspective centers on notions that 1) status and power are variable, and 2) there is a necessary complementarily and correlation of gender in different cultural domains. Prerequisite: Anthropology 101 and one additional course in anthropology, or consent of instructor. Enrollment Limit: 10
Sem 2 ANTH-450-01 Tu 1:00-2:45 Staff

463. Seminar in Archeology: Gender and Archeology 3 hours
3SS, CD, WR
Next offered 2002-2003.

475. Seminar in Anthropology and Multiculturalism 3 hours
3SS, CD, WR
Next offered 2002-2003.

490. Junior Year Honors 2-3 hours
2-3SS
Sections will be offered by Mr. Glazier, Staff and Ms. Grimm. Prerequisites: Open only to second semester junior majors. Consent of instructor required.

491. Senior Year Honors 2-6 hours
2-6SS
Sections will be offered by Mr. Glazier, Staff and Ms. Grimm. Consent of instructor required.

995. Private Reading 1-3 hours
1-3SS
Sections will be offered by Mr. Glazier, Staff and Ms. Grimm. Consent of instructor required.

 

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