Courses

Summer 2019 Field Schools:

University Courses: Fall 2019 Course Descriptions
** Changes (add or delete) can be made at any time
 

UNDEGRADUATE LEVEL COURSES:

 

ANTHRO 103                   Title: Human Origins and Variation GenEd: BS Credit: 4

Day/Time: MW 10:10-11:00am

Instructor: Sarah Reedy email: sreedy@anthro.umass.edu

Description: Lecture and Discussion

The biological aspects of being human. Evolution, how and where the human species originated, and biological similarities and dissimilarities among contemporary human groups.

 

ANTHRO 104                   Title: Culture, Society & People GenEd: SB DG Credit: 4

Day/Time: MW 9:05-9:55am

Instructor: Boone Shear email: bshear@umass.edu

Description: Lecture and Discussion

The nature of culture and its role in creating forms of social, economic, and political life in diverse historical and geographical contexts. Readings drawn from contemporary ethnographies of various peoples, analyzing the persistence of cultural diversity in the midst of global social and socioeconomic forces.

 

ANTHRO 105                   Title: Language, Culture and Communication GenEd: SB DG Credit: 4

Day/Time: MW 10:10-11:00am

Instructor: Lynnette Arnold  email:

Description: Lecture and Discussion

Language from the perspective of the social sciences. Anthropological perspectives on language topics, especially phonetics, phonology, morphology, historical reconstruction, sociolinguistics.

 

ANTHRO 105H                Title: Language, Communication and Culture (Honors) GenEd: SB G Credit: 4

Day/Time: MW 2:30-3:45pm

Instructor: Lynnette Arnold email:

Description: Lecture (CHC first year students only)

Language from the perspective of the social sciences. Anthropological perspectives on language topics, especially phonetics, phonology, morphology, historical reconstruction, sociolinguistics.

 

ANTHRO 150                   Title: Ancient Civilizations         GenEd: HS DG Credit: 4

Day/Time: MW 11:15-12:05

Instructor: Eric Johnson email: ericjohnson@anthro.umass.edu

Description: Lecture and Discussion

The emergence and character of the world's first civilizations: Mesopotamia, Egypt, Indus Valley, Shang China, the Olmec and Maya of Mesoamerica, and the Chavin of Peru. Topics include the Neolithic background to the rise of civilizations and theories on the rise and fall of civilizations.


ANTHRO 150H                Title: Ancient Civilizations         GenEd: HS DG Credit: 4

Day/Time: TuTh 11:30-12:45pm

Instructor: Ventura Perez email: vrperez@anthro.umass.edu

Description: Lecture Open to Incoming CHC Honors Students Only

The emergence and character of the world's first civilizations: Mesopotamia, Egypt, Indus Valley, Shang China, the Olmec and Maya of Mesoamerica, and the Chavin of Peru. Topics include the Neolithic background to the rise of civilizations and theories on the rise and fall of civilizations.
 

ANTHRO 208                   Title: Human Ecology                 GenEd: SB DG Credit: 4

Day/Time: TuTh 4:00-5:15pm

Instructor: Eric Johnson email: ericjohnson@anthro.umass.edu

Description: Lecture

The study of human/environmental interactions. Emphasis on biological and cultural responses by contemporary human groups to pervasive environmental problems. Examples from mountains, grasslands, deserts, and tropical forests.

 

ANTHRO 224                   Title: Hip Hop Cultures              GenEd: Credit: 3

Day/Time: TuTh 1:00-2:15pm

Instructor: Whitney Battle-Baptiste email: wbbaptiste@anthro.umass.edu

Description: Lecture

This course will critically examine issues of race, representation and the sexual politics of hip- hop culture. We will trace the historical implications of race and gender in U. S. culture from slavery onwards and connect how past images of African Americans continue to influence contemporary notions of Black identity. We will trace the early historical moments of the hip- hop movement in order to understand how the culture became synonymous with male dominated spaces and silent women. This course will also explore the role of misogyny, sexual exploitation, and hypermasculinity in current rap music and contrast this with the rise of independent artists challenging and reshaping hip-hop music today. Ultimately, we will look at the role of the internet and alternative forms of media as a means of how hip-hop has moved from the board room to the global stage, giving the power back to the people.

 

ANTHRO 236                   Title: Games, Culture and Power  GenEd:SB DG Credit

Day/Time: TuTh 4:00-5:15pm

Instructor: Krista Harper email: kharper@anthro.umass.edu

Description: Lecture

Game designer Eric Zimmerman has proclaimed the 21st century to be the "Ludic Century." Jane McGonigal writes that "reality is broken," and games may be the solution for social problems. In this course, we will use tabletop, card, role-playing, and digital games to explore themes in social, behavioral, and cultural theory such as play, cooperation, social change, symbols, and power. The course presents an introduction to cultural anthropology using games as a focus and medium for learning. We will learn to analyze texts and games anthropologically. As a creative, experiential learning component, we will learn about the basic elements of game design, and as a final culminating project, student teams will develop games based on anthropological concepts which we'll playtest at #AnthropologyConUMass. Previous courses in cultural/linguistic anthropology (such as ANTHRO 100, 104, 105 or 106) is desireable but not required.

 

ANTHRO 269                    Title: North American Archaeology GenEd: HS DU Credit: 4

Day/Time: TuTh 11:30-12:45pm

Instructor: Haeden Stewart email:

Description: Lecture

The history of Native North Americans from their arrival on this continent, sometime between 80,000 and 12,000 years ago, up until their initial contact with Europeans. Archaeology as a source for the telling of history sensitive to voices often excluded from the written record.

 

ANTHRO 270                   Title: North American Indians GenEd: SB DU Credit: 4

Day/Time: TuTh 2:30-3:45

Instructor: Jean Forward email: jforward@anthro.umass.edu

Description: Lecture

Survey of the indigenous people of America north of Mexico; their regional variations and adaptations, their relationship to each other, and the changes taking place in their lifeways.

 

ANTHRO 271                   Title: Human Evolution GenEd: Credit: 3

Day/Time: TuTh 10:00-11:15am

Instructor: Brigitte Holt email: holtb@anthro.umass.edu

Description: Lecture

Reconstruction of the evolution of humans and our nearest relatives, with special emphasis on comparative anatomy as well as the fossil and archaeological records of human evolution. Prerequisite: introductory biological anthropology or biology.

 

ANTHRO 297DM            Title: Dragon Myth: Global Symbols of Power GenEd: Credit: 3

Day/Time: TuTh 10:00-11:15am

Instructor: Jean Forward email: jforward@anthro.umass.edu

Description: Lecture

This course will analyze dragon myths as metaphors of socio-political power dynamics in their specific historical, ecological contexts. Dragon myths exist globally as creation myths, guardian myths and generally ways for people to understand the world around them including shifts in religious orientation, natural disasters, and military conflicts. Students will read a selection of myths each week, starting with the African continent and continuing around the globe. Students will research oral traditions, written literature, archaeological evidence and ecological changes to understand the context of the myths and the ongoing evolution of dragon mythology.

 

ANTHRO 297MR             Title: Forensics: Myth and Reality? GenEd: Credit: 3

Day/Time: MW 2:30-3:45pm

Instructor: Ventura Perez email: vrperez@anthro.umass.edu

Description: Lecture and 2 hour Lab (M-Tu-or W 4-6pm)

Interest in forensics has exploded thanks to programs like CSI as well as Fox's Bones, A&E's Cold Case Files, and Court TV's Forensic Files. But TV shows do not accurately portray the way forensic science is used to solve crimes. In Hollywood portrayals science is most often a gimmick--a technological toy that the hero uses to find evidence the criminal surely hoped was undetectable. In this class, we will critique the methods used in various episodes of these shows and compare them to the actual science of forensics. This will be accomplished in part through the examination of the effects of violence and trauma on the human body. Students will explore key concepts and principles in forensic science, clinical forensic medicine, and medicolegal death investigation. This will include causes and manner of death, postmortem changes, forensic case studies, crime scene investigation, and forensic anthropology. An emphasis will be placed on the analysis of human skeletal remains, which will provide students the opportunity to explore the many fascinating concepts inherent to the study of forensic science, biological anthropology, and archaeology while resolving the conflict between exciting fiction and complex reality.

 

ANTHRO 312                   Title: Medical Anthropology (On-Line) GenEd: Credit: 3

Day/Time: On-Line

Instructor: Tom Leatherman email: tleatherman@anthro.umass.edu

Description: On-Line course

The course is designed to introduce students to the concepts, approaches, methods, and goals of medical anthropology. In doing so we will undertake an examination of the interplay between biology and culture and how health, illness, medicine and therapy exist in different cultures. Central to this concern is the idea that cultureplays a central role in definitions of health and illness. After establishing a base for examining and defining medical anthropology, as well as taking a look at health, illness, and medicine within a range of different cultures, we will take a closer look at health issues in North America. There will also be particular emphasis on the diversity (plurality) of therapeutic and philosophical approaches to the body and medicine, and how these are culturally infused and reflective. This latter point will involve a critical analysis of biomedicine and various alternative therapies currently in practice in North America.

 

ANTHRO 317                   Title: Primate Behavior GenEd: BS Credit: 4

Day/Time: MW 4:00-5:15pm

Instructor: Jason Kamilar email: jkamilar@umass.edu

Description: Lecture

Analysis of the behavior and ecology of nonhuman primates in their natural habitats. Topics include: the adaptive diversity of primates; ecological niche differentiation in primates; social organization and interactions; social cognition; mating and reproductive behavior; mother-infant interactions; development, life histories, and population survival; and primate conservation. Draws heavily on field studies.

 

ANTHRO 320                   Title: Skeleton Keys: Research Methods GenEd: Credit: 4

Day/Time: Wed 2:30-5:15pm

Instructor: Brigitte Holt email: holtb@anthro.umass.edu

Description: Seminar/Lab 3 hour

This course offers a "hands on" introduction to the human skeleton as a means to reconstruct the lifeways of past populations. We will learn how to reconstruct the biological profile (e.g. age, sex, health), and various aspects of behavior (e.g. diet, physical activity). Anthro 103 preferred.

 

ANTHRO 340                   Title: Other Economies are Possible! GenEd: Credit: 4

Day/Time: TuTh 11:30-12:45

Instructor: Boone Shear email: bshear@umass.edu

Description: Lecture

The conditions that we find ourselves in - extreme social inequalities, dislocations, and violence as part of increasingly unstable ecologies - implore us to rethink the very nature of our economies and ourselves. Yet, even as our economic activity pushes towards runaway climate change, there is a cynical sense of inevitability; the very foundations of our dominant economy are largely taken for granted and often explained away as the result of human nature. At the same time, a multitude of efforts globally and locally are casting aside capitalism's ideological constraints and intentionally building and organizing around alternative economies. This course draws from economic anthropology, political ecology, Marxism, and community economies theory to explore, critically examine, and theorize capitalism and its non-capitalist others. We first examine capitalism as a theoretical construct and lived experience. We contrast this dominant story of capitalism by investigating economic difference across time and place. In the second half of the semester we explore prominent efforts around the world that are making a claim that "other economies are possible," including Solidarity Economies, the Cooperative Movement, Community Economies, and Buen Vivir. Through ethnographic readings, videos, discussions, and guest presentations from activists, organizers, and community developers, we examine the constraints on and possibilities for the cultivation of ethical economies that might enable us to learn how to live well with each other and non-human others.

 

ANTHRO 344                   Title: Italy: Fascism to Fashion   GenEd: SB Credit: 4

Day/Time: TuTh 2:30-3:45pm

Instructor: Elizabeth Krause email: ekrause@anthro.umass.edu

Description: Lecture 

This course complements the Department of Anthropology's strength in the anthropology of Europe. This course uses Italy as a case study to investigate four key themes: 1) the state, civil society, and hegemony; 2) kinship, gender, and reproduction; 3) culture and economy; and 4) immigration and globalization. Throughout, we will consider symbolic as well as materialist approaches to grasping experiences of everyday life as they play out in one of Europe's southern territories.

 

ANTHRO 364                   Title: Problems in Anthropology   GenEd: JYW Credit: 4

Day/Time: TuTh 10:00-11:15am

Instructor: Amanda Walker Johnson email: awjohnson@anthro.umass.edu

Description: Lecture and Discussion

Introduction to major issues in anthropological theory. Focus on key concepts in the discipline, important authors, and development of and debates over theoretical issues. Required for and limited to anthropology majors; satisfies the Junior Year Writing requirement for anthropology majors.

 

ANTHRO 386                   Title: Critical Pedagogy & Peer Facilitation GenEd: Credit: 4

Day/Time: Tu 2:30-5:15pm

Instructor: Jen Sandler email: jsandler@anthro.umass.edu

Description: Lecture 3 Hour Semianr

This course introduces the practice of critical, engaged pedagogy, and trains students in a methodology of facilitating academically rigorous, community-engaged learning circles in the context of the university. The aim of critical teaching/learning is to promote the practice of critical solidarity, justice and community. Through this course, students will learn to apply theoretical concepts of critical pedagogy as they develop specific skills in preparation for acting as peer facilitators of critical, self-reflective learning about structural injustice and community organizing. This course requires an application process.

 

ANTHRO 394AI               Title: Europe After the Wall GenEd: Credit: 3

Day/Time: TuTh 2:30-3:45pm

Instructor: Julie Hemment email: jhemment@anthro.umass.edu

Description: Lecture

The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 was a seismic event that took the world by storm. It gave rise to dizzy optimism and hope for a new, post-ideological age and greater global unity, within and beyond Europe. Twenty years on, these hopes have not been realized. Cold War hostilities are alive and well and although the EU has expanded, Europe is, arguably, more divided than ever. This course explores the implications of the Wall and its passing for Europe, focusing on anthropological accounts of the (former) East bloc. The course is divided into three main parts: Europe behind the Iron Curtain (the cultural logics of state socialism); What Came Next? (the fall of the wall, international interventions to `democratize? post-socialist space); and a section that explores the post-socialist present. During this last bloc, we will explore themes of gender and generation, nostalgia and the politics of history, and the return of the state. As we go, we?ll be reading some of the most exciting new ethnographies of the region, grounded accounts that explore the transformations in social and cultural logics, power relations and practices that accompanied political and economic change. Through a mixture of group work, collaboratively designed projects and reflection papers, assignments are specifically tailored to enable you to bring the threads of your Gen Ed experience together as you consider the specific topics of the Cold War, state socialism and the global implications of its passing.

 

ANTHRO 394EI                Title: Evolutionary Medicine GenEd: IE Credit: 3

Day/Time: MWF 11:15-12:05

Instructor: Lynnette Sievert email: leidy@anthro.umass.edu

Description: Lecture

In this course we will explore the emerging field of Evolutionary Medicine which seeks to provide evolutionary answers to why humans are vulnerable to certain diseases or conditions. Topics to be examined include human anatomy from an evolutionary perspective, "evolutionary obstetrics", host-pathogen relationships in the evolution of infectious disease, human nutritional needs, the evolutionary context of cancer, and psychiatric conditions. Along the way we will be making comparisons across species, across populations, and between the approaches of evolutionary and clinical medicine. Satisfies the Integrative Experience requirement for BA-Anth majors.

 

ANTHRO 397RE              Title: Race and Education GenEd: Credit: 3

Day/Time: TuTh 1:00-2:15pm

Instructor: Amanda Walker Johnson email: awjohnson@anthro.umass.edu

Description: Lecture

In this course, we will examine four central questions regarding the anthropology of race and education, focusing on issues in the K-12 levels in the United States. First, what assumptions about "education" and "race" impact policy-making and popular understandings? Second, how are the material conditions of education intimately connected to race? Third, what are the struggles, hopes, and dreams forged by racialized communities around education? Finally, what are the obstacles to achieving racial equity in education and how might we propose they be overcome?

 

ANTHRO 494BI               Title: Global Bodies GenEd: IE Credit: 4

Day/Time: TuTh 11:30-12:45pm

Instructor: Elizabeth Krause email: ekrause@anthro.umass.edu

Description: Seminar

The human body has increasingly become an object of anthropological study. The body is rich as a site of meaning and materiality. Similarly, culture inscribes itself on the body in terms of ?normalization? and governance. This course will explore pertinent issues surrounding the body today. Topics such as personhood, natural vs. artificial bodies, identity and subjectivity (nationality, race, class, sex, gender), domination and marginalization, and policy will be discussed. We will focus on the body in three main stages: birth, life, and death, with relevant case studies in each stage (e.g., embryos, reproduction, breastfeeding, organs, immigrant bodies, etc.) The course has a digital ethnography component as a final project option. Satisfies the Integrative Experience requirement for BA-Anth majors.

 

ANTHRO 497AM             Title: Advanced Medical Anthropology: Culture, Illness & Healing GenEd: Credit: 3

 

Day/Time: TuTh 1:00-2:15pm

Instructor: Felicity Aulino email: felicity@anthro.umass.edu

Description: Lecture; Meets with 697AM
This class explores exciting developments in medical anthropology. We will read a series of new ethnographies, along with supplemental materials to help place current debates in historical context. Topics will include: mental health, the politics of science, cultures of medicine, care and caregiving, indigenous theory and decolonizing methodologies, ecologies of interconnection and planetary wellness, and more.

 

ANTHRO 497CR              Title: Comics, Cartoons & Communicating Anthropology GenEd: Credit: 3

Day/Time: MW 2:30-3:45pm

Instructor: Sonya Atalay email: satalay@anthro.umass.edu

Description: Lecture

This course focuses on the potential of comics, animation and other visual approaches as a valuable part of the research toolkit. We will read what others have said about this topic, but will spend the bulk of our time learning to create comics and animations that communicate research. You will be required to produce a graphic novel and an animation about your dissertation, thesis, or a research topic that interests you. You will also be required to write reflections about the readings and about your comic/animation production process. Drawing skills are not required - many of the methods we explore don't rely on any form of drawing, other methods involve simple stick figure sketching. In our hyper-visual culture, presenting research in a visually engaging way can have a powerful impact. Visual methods, like comics and animation, aid us in telling engaging, memorable stories about our work. Storytelling is an important skill in the research toolkit ? successful grant writing, giving a compelling presentation, or authoring books and articles all require us to communicate the story of our research in a compelling way.

Furthermore, creating visual stories through comics and animation is fun; it brings much needed creativity to our work lives and to our research, while at the same time helping to democratize knowledge, and fulfilling our ethical responsibilities to share scholarship outside the academy. These tools allow us to move academic knowledge into the hands and minds of public audiences, policy makers, community partners, and other scholars, in our own field and across disciplines.

 

ANTHRO 499C                Title: Honors Capstone: Seminar 1st year Conquest by Law GenEd: Credit: 4

Day/Time: TuTu 10:00-11:15am

Instructor: Kathleen Brown-Perez email: brown-perez@honors.umass.edu

Description: Honors Capstone, Must have Instructor Permission

Title: Conquest by Law: The Use of Law to Subjugate and Marginalize on the US.

This year-long senior honors thesis course looks at current and past legal structures that have marginalized certain groups in the U.S. - including American Indians, immigrants, African Americans, and the poor - while perpetuating inequality. It also looks at how state and federal laws have been used over the centuries to perpetuate inequalities while addressing the potential to legislate equality and social justice. From the time Europeans first arrived on this continent, there was competition for resources and control. First the colonies, then the U.S. government, enacted laws to ensure that resources and control remained in the hands of a select few. Even today, the top 1% of Americans own 40% of the wealth in this country while the bottom 80% owns just 7%.

However, marginalization affects more than just wealth. Its effects are also evident in social justice issue such as access to health care, access to a healthy space to live and work, and access to clean air and water. While there are state and federal laws in place that address some of these issues, not every aspect of social justice can simply be legislated. In addition to looking at the legal aspects of social justice, this course considers the potential for other means of leveling the playing field. Enrollment limited to CHC students working on their honors thesis.

Permission of professor required for enrollment. Email Prof. Brown-Perez at brown-perez@honors.umass.edu. Enrollment limited to 10.

GRADUATE LEVEL COURSES:

 

ANTHRO 546                   Title: Critical Knowledge Practices GenEd: Credit: 2

Day/Time: Mon 5:30-6:45pm

Instructor: Jen Sandler email: jsandler@anthro.umass.edu

Description: Seminar

This course is designed for people who are actively attempting to teach, conduct research, or do social change work in a way that engages and cultivates the knowledge of marginalized communities. Organized efforts of marginalized people to produce collective knowledge and to make their knowledge matter have bubbled up in and been transported to many places and spaces across the globe, from rural Chiapas to rural Denmark, Appalachia to the Bronx, Brazil to Tanzania, the World Bank to the World Social Forum. This course provides a structure for weekly learning and dialogue about the contexts and implications of such diverse critical knowledge practices, and invites students to consider how the course materials might inform their own practices.

 

ANTHRO 597CM             Title: Community Based Methods GenEd: Credit: 1

Day/Time: Wed 4:30-6:30pm

Instructor: Boone Shear email: bshear@umass.edu

Description: Seminar; Instructor Permission Required

This course is organized around a series of methods workshops. These workshops are designed to develop and teach practical methods and skills that are useful for community engaged research and practice. Workshops are likely to include digital shorts, focus groups, grant writing, animated shorts, and more. Concurremt enrollment with Anthro 603 recommended but not required.

 

ANTHRO 600                   Title: Intro to Graduate School GenEd: Credit: 3

Day/Time: Mon 12:20-2:20pm

Instructor: Jackie Urla email: jurla@anthro.umass.edu

Description: Seminar; Required for New Graduate Students

his course ontroduces incoming gradute students in anthropology to the philosophies, research issues, and day- today practices of the department of Anthropology at UMass Amherst. Enrollment is restricted to incoming students in the Department.

 

ANTHRO 603                   Title: Community Based Research and Practices GenEd: Credit: 4

Day/Time: Tue 10:00-12:45pm

Instructor: Julie Hemment email: jhemment@anthro.umass.edu

Description: Seminar

This course will introduce students to theoretical frameworks, controversies, methods, and other topics of community-based research and practice in the anthropological tradition. Students will understand the history of applied anthropology, critiques of anthropology coming from the global south, and critical epistemological approaches of contemporary engaged researchers and practitioners. Through studies of theoretical debates as well as case studies of engaged research and scholarly practice, students will leave this class with a foundation for thinking about their own work with diverse community-engaged projects. In addition to historical and theoretical foundations, this course will provide an introductory framework for thinking about ethics, evaluation, communication of research, and professional development in the field. Finally, this course will introduce methods and tools of community-engaged and applied research and action.

 

ANTHRO 652                   Title: Indigenous Archaeologies GenEd: Credit: 3

Day/Time: Wed 4:00-6:30pm

Instructor: Sonya Atalay email: satalay@anthro.umass.edu

Description: Seminar

Hybrid seminar/service learning course examining theories, methods, and ethics related to Indigenous archaeology. Explores knowledge mobilizations methods to understand how research moves out of the academy in ways that are useful and meet community-defined needs. Prerequisite: Introduction to Archaeology of equivalent.

 

ANTHRO 697AM             Title: Advanced Medical Anthropology: Culture, Illness & Healing GenEd: Credit: 3

Day/Time: TuTh 1:00-2:15pm

Instructor: Felicity Aulino email: felicity@anthro.umass.edu

Description: Lecture; Meets with 497AM
This class explores exciting developments in medical anthropology. We will read a series of new ethnographies, along with supplemental materials to help place current debates in historical context. Topics will include: mental health, the politics of science, cultures of medicine, care and caregiving, indigenous theory and decolonizing methodologies, ecologies of interconnection and planetary wellness, and more.


ANTHRO 697D Title: Reproductive Ecology Credit: 3

Day/Time: Mon 1:00-2:15pm

Instructor: Lynnette Sievert email: felicity@anthro.umass.edu

Description: Seminar

Using a workshop format of cross-species and cross-population comparisons, this course examines life history and reproductive events within specific environmental contexts. We will compare and contrast information from populations around the world to identify similarities and differences in proximate determinants of fertility. We will also discuss unresolved topics related to reproductive ecology, such as whether human females have concealed ovulation, whether menstruation is adaptive, whether morning sickness is adaptive, whether humans evolved "obligate midwifery," and why males die young.

 

Anthro 610                      Title: Teaching Anthropology                                         GenEd: Credit: 3

Day/Time: Wed. 12:20-2:20pm

Instructor: Krista Harper email: kharper@anthro.umass.edu

Description: Seminar for Incoming Anthro Graduate Students