Peoples and Cultures: An Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (ANTH2202)
The purpose of this course is to provide students with a broad introduction to cultural anthropology. In the most general sense, cultural anthropology is the study of contemporary human cultures and their variation. At the start of the course, we will dissect the concept of culture and discuss some of its strengths and weaknesses. We will also examine different theoretical approaches and methods that cultural anthropologists employ when studying human groups. From there, we will turn our focus to many themes and topics of relevance for understanding contemporary humanity and its variation including race, ethnicity, gender, health, communication, social organization, and religion. Lastly, we will consider how globalization and human-induced environmental changes are challenging the way we study people and cultures today. By the end of the course, each student should be able to provide thoughtful responses to the following questions:
1. How is “culture” defined anthropologically? What are some of its strengths and weaknesses as a concept?
2. What are the primary methods used by cultural anthropologists and what ethical concerns are inherent to anthropological research?
3. What are some of the major debates and themes in the study of human culture?
4. How is cultural anthropology relevant for addressing contemporary problems in an increasingly globalized world?
History of Anthropological Theory (ANTH4525)
This course serves as an overview of the history of anthropological thought and the study of anthropological theory in general. The organization of the course is chronological, tracing the early history of anthropology up to the present while highlighting major thinkers and theoretical perspectives that have defined the discipline. Throughout the course, we will apply these theories to contemporary cultural phenomena, including social media use, emerging digital languages, and transnational online activism. By the end of the course, each student should be able to:
1. Recognize major thinkers and schools of thought in anthropology in the 19th and 20th centuries
2. Identify principal themes and topics of inquiry in the history of the discipline
3. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different theoretical orientations
4. Engage in debates of contemporary theory and relate them to the history of anthropological thought
Past Courses and Syllabi:
ANTH459 – Ethnographic Methods and Theory (Ball State Univ.)
ANTH101 – Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (Ball State Univ.)
ANTH312 – Ecological Dimensions of Culture (Ball State Univ.)
ANT3230 – Magic, Myth, and Religion (U. of Akron)
ANT3472 – Amazonia: People and the Environment (U. of Akron)
ANT3230 – Anthropological Theory (U. of Akron)
ANT 2000 – Introduction to General Anthropology (Univ. of Florida)
ANT111 – Anthropology, Culture, and Globalization (Ball State Univ.)