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:
1. Define “culture” and discuss some of its strengths and weaknesses as a concept.
2. Employ some of the primary methods used by cultural anthropologists and discuss ethical concerns inherent to anthropological research
3. Identify ways that different aspects of culture – social, economic, political, and religious – relate to another in an integrated system
4. Recognize one’s own cultural biases and beliefs previously taken for granted.
5. Use anthropological concepts to ask new questions about humanity and the 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. Assess biases in anthropological theory throughout its history
5. Apply theoretical concepts of anthropology’s past to contemporary socio-cultural phenomena.
6. 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.)