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.
A major in anthropology consists of the following:
A minimum of 24 hours in the Department, including Anthropology
101, 102, 103.
At least one seminar in Anthropology.
least 15 of the 24 hours required for the major must be from
courses above the 100 level.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
to Cultural Anthropology 3 hours
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:
Introduction to Biological Anthropology (Lecture Only) 3 hours
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:
1 ANTH-102-01 TuTh 10:00-10:50 Staff
to Archeology 3 hours
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.
2 ANTH-103-01 MWF 10:00-10:50 Ms. Grimm
112. Introduction to Biological Anthropology (Laboratory
only) 1 hour
113. Introduction to Archeology (Laboratory only) 1
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.
2 ANTH-113-01 Tu 3:00-4:20 Ms. Grimm MODULE
7:00-8:20 Ms. Grimm MODULE 2
The Idea of the Folk in American Culture
History 3 hours
3SS, CD, WR
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
2 ANTH-110-01 TuTh 3:00-4:15 Mr. Goldsmith
and Film 3 hours
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
1 ANTH-240-01 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Mr. Reyes-Ruiz
250. Introduction to Anthropological Linguistics 3
251. Language in Culture and Society 3 hours
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.
1 ANTH-251-01 MWF 2:30-3:20 Staff
266. Emergence of Urban Societies 3 hours
274. Psychological Anthropology 3 hours
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:
2 ANTH-274-01 MWF 11:00-12:15 Mr. Reyes-Ruiz
Symbol and Meaning 3 hours
288. Immigrant America: Then and Now 3 hours
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
2 ANTH-288-01 MWF 1:30-2:20 Mr. Glazier
292. Museum Anthropology 3 hours
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:
2 ANTH-292-01 MWF 2:30-3:20 Ms. Grimm
335. Identity and Ethnicity in South Asia 3
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
2 ANTH-335-01 MWF 11:00-11:50 Staff
353. Culture Theory 3 hours
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
1 ANTH-353-01 MWF 1:30-2:20 Mr. Glazier
391. Practicum in Anthropology 2-3 hours
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.
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.
on Current Issues in Anthropology: 3 hours
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.
2 ANTH-408-01 Th 1:00-2:45 Mr. Glazier
415. Internships in Teaching 1-2 hours
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
450. Seminar on Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective 3
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
Sem 2 ANTH-450-01 Tu 1:00-2:45 Staff
463. Seminar in Archeology: Gender and Archeology 3
475. Seminar in Anthropology and Multiculturalism 3
Year Honors 2-3 hours
will be offered by Mr. Glazier, Staff and Ms. Grimm. Prerequisites:
Open only to second semester junior majors. Consent of
491. Senior Year Honors 2-6 hours
will be offered by Mr. Glazier, Staff and Ms. Grimm. Consent
of instructor required.
995. Private Reading 1-3 hours
will be offered by Mr. Glazier, Staff and Ms. Grimm. Consent
of instructor required.