Course Descriptions for Undergraduate  /  Graduate

To find out when a particular class may be offered, please check Testudo

UMCP students can take courses at other colleges and universities through the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area in place of their classes here at Maryland.

Undergraduate Courses

ANTH220 Introduction to Biological Anthropology (4 credits)

Three hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory per week. Human biological evolution, including the biology of contemporary human groups, non-human primate social behavior, and the fossil, biochemical, and molecular evidence for human evolution. Includes a laboratory study of human population genetics, biochemical variation, and anatomical diversity in modern and fossil human and non-human primate groups.

ANTH221 Forensic Sciences (3)

Provides a brief history of forensic sciences, an introduction to some of the techniques used, and a demonstration of some of the applications of forensic sciences. A survey course designed to give the student some exposure to the kinds of scientific knowledge and techniques applied to the medico-legal investigation of death and other crimes.

ANTH222 Introduction to Ecological and Evolutionary Anthropology (4)

An introduction to the evolution of human physiology and human behavior, the relationship between hominid and non-hominid primates, and the study of relationships between a population of humans and their biophysical environment.

ANTH240 Introduction to Archaeology (3)

Exploration of the variety of past human societies and cultures through archaeology, from the emergence of anatomically modern humans to the more recent historical past.

ANTH241 Controversies in Archaeology (3)

Archaeologists, scholars who study the cultures of previous times, are continually asked to evaluate the evidence for competing stories about the past. This shows how archaeologists use a critical lens and rigorous methods to assess these claims. Students will learn how the archaeological record is formed and transformed, how archaeologists date sites and objects, how they understand ancient environments, and how they can uncover gender, ethnicity, and nationality in artifactual remains.

ANTH260 Introduction to Sociocultural Anthropology and Linguistics (3)
Culture and social relationships in a wide variety of settings from small-scale to complex societies. An overview of how anthropology analyzes human behavior. Particular attention to the relationship between language and culture.

ANTH262 Gender and Anthropology (3)

Utilizing ethnographic work from across the world, students will examine gender constructs across several cultures. The primary focus will be the role of women as gendered actors and participants in their day-to-day lives. Students will develop understandings of gender as distinct from the biological categories of sex, and to gain a working knowledge of variability and similarity in gender across cultural systems.

ANTH263 Sexuality and Culture (3)

An overview of sexuality from an anthropological perspective, looking at aspects of sexuality within our own culture and in cultures around the world. Course topics include the biology and culture of sex, gender, physical attraction, sexual orientation, marriage and mating taboos, fertility control, sexually transmitted diseases, and commercial aspects of sex.


ANTH298D/341 Introduction to Zooarchaeology (3) This course will provide an overview of how osteological material is used in an archaeological context and emphasize the value of this type of analysis. The theories guiding both prehistoric and historic zooarchaeological thought will be discussed. Students will be taught general animal anatomy. Students will handle zooarchaeological assemblages and conduct a basic faunal analysis of them, including identifications, cataloguing, and quantifications.

ANTH298E Anthropological Approaches to Sustainable Development (3)

This course is an introduction to anthropological approaches to sustainable development.  The material will cover an overview the history of sustainable development, major development and environmental theories, and development strategies as they relate to an anthropological concern for an integrated, holistic, comparative, and humane approach to sustainable development.  We will examine the relationship between social well-being and the conservation of natural resources, and we will take a critical approach to common assumptions about this relationship.  We will also look at practical applications of an anthropological approach to project methodology.  The overall aim of this course is to engender a more context-based and culturally aware approach to sustainable development.

ANTH298I/THET289I Subversive Culture: Conformity and Dissidence in Society (3)

Every society has rebels - those who refuse to conform to the mainstream's rigid rules, aesthetics, and beliefs. In this course, students will learn what "subversive" and "dissident" mean in the world and in history, how their definitions and social positions change through time, how our own lives are influenced by the so-called subversive cultures of past generations, and how their actions drive social change. This course is cross-listed with THET289i.

ANTH298L/267 Representations of American Indians in Films and Museums (3)

From different films and museum exhibitions, images of American Indians can sometimes be confusing and stereotypical. Some examples include images found in John Wayne Western films such as "The Searchers" or exhibitions such as George Catlin and His Indian Gallery at the Smithsonian that portray American Indians as both noble and savage. This class will explore these images and others through an analysis of several kinds of representation: representation by non-Natives, representation by American Indians themselves, and representation that includes the perspectives of both non-Natives and American Indians. Through readings, films, discussion, and hands-on projects, the course will consider several issues influencing representation such as historical understandings, notions of authenticity, interactions between different groups, and ethnographic experiences.

ANTH298W Introduction to the Anthropology of Work (3)

Where did the concept of work come from and what are the implications of this for the ways in which we understand different kinds of work and workers in the modern world?  This class is an overview of the ways anthropology examines the idea and value of "work".  We will explore what work as a subject can tell us about about relationships between people and between people and the environment.  Students will develop an understanding of the way anthropologists come to understand work in religious traditions, history and heritage, philosophy, and politics.

ANTH320 Method and Theory in Biological Anthropology (3)

Prerequisite: ANTH220 or permission of department. For all Anthropology majors with a focus in biological anthropology or permission of department. Credit will be granted for only one of the following: {ANTH320 and ANTH425} or ANTH625. Theoretical and methodological overview of biological anthropology, including evolutionary anthropology, anthropological genetics, physiological anthropology, human biology, primatology, paleoanthropology, human biodiversity, and contemporary selective challenges to modern humanity. Emphasis on core concepts and their research applications.

ANTH322 Method and Theory in Ecological Anthropology

A theoretical consideration of ecological anthropology, focusing on issues related to cooperation, the management of common property, resilience, and sustainability. Explores the methods of sociocultural anthropology, including ethnology, evolutionary game theory and agent-based modeling; and natural-science approaches including behavioral and systems ecology.

ANTH340 Method and Theory in Archaeology (3)

Prerequisite: ANTH240. For all Anthropology majors with a focus in archaeology or permission of department. Theory, method, and practice which guides modern anthropological archaeology. Includes research design and execution (from survey through excavation and interpretation), the reconstruction of aspects of past cultures, and the understanding of cultural change and meaning.

ANTH358 Undergraduate Teaching Assistant (1-3)

Prerequisite: ANTH220, ANTH240, or ANTH260 for ANTH 358A/B/C respectively. Junior standing. For ANTH majors only. Repeatable to 6 credits if content differs. Individual instruction course: contact department or instructor to obtain section and index numbers.

ANTH360 Method and Theory in Sociocultural Anthropology (3)

Prerequisite: ANTH260. For all Anthropology majors with a focus in cultural anthropology or permission of department. Theoretical approaches and research methods in sociocultural anthropology. Emphasis on current debates, new directions, and their historical antecedents.

ANTH364 The Anthropology of Religion (3)

Prerequisite: ANTH260. Comparative study of religion in social, cultural, political, and economic context. Combines the history of schools of interpretation with a survey of theoretical alternatives and a focus on selected case studies.

ANTH366 Film Images of Native Americans (3)

An examination of how indigenous people of the New World have been presented to film audiences of the world. Development of an ethnographic understanding of Native Americans via the use of videos, films, and classroom discussion.

ANTH380 Culture and Discourse (3)

Prerequisite: ANTH260 or equivalent or permission of department. Recommended: LING200 or equivalent. Contemporary discourse analysis and pragmatics applied to ethnographic research problems with particular attention to roots in recent linguistic anthropological work in ethnographic semantics and ethnography of speaking.

ANTH386 Experiential Learning (1-6)

Prerequisite: permission of department. Recommended: completion of advanced courses in relevant subfield of anthropology. Junior standing. For ANTH majors only.

ANTH398A Independent Study (1-3)

Prerequisite: Permission of department. Repeatable to 6 credits if content differs. Independent interdisciplinary research and reading in specific areas of anthropology.

ANTH398N Career Development for Anthropology Majors (1)

Anthropology majors develop a set of skills that can be used both in the workplace and in the processes of finding meaningful employment. This small seminar course is designed to guide Anthropology majors in reflecting upon themselves, their Anthropology education, and work opportunities. Through short lectures, student presentations, and facilitated discussions, this course will push Anthropology majors to think about how they will use their Anthropology education to form a career. It is open to any Anthropology major.

ANTH410 Theory and Practice of Health and Community Development (3)

Junior standing. Also offered as ANTH610. Credit will be granted for only one of the following: ANTH410 or ANTH610. Introduction to the relationships between culture, health status and practices, and the design of community-based initiatives. The focus is on the use of anthropological knowledge and skills in the analysis of such relationships and in the design of community-based initiatives.

ANTH428N/421 Nutritional Anthropology (3)

Biocultural and global perspectives on food and nutrition.

ANTH428R: Race & Ethnicity: An Anthropological Approach (3)

This introductory course examines the race concept as it has been used to examine biological and cultural variation among humans in a global perspective. Through discussions and out-of-class activities students will become enlightened as to the extent of racism, and other forms of prejudices, in their own communities. Students will develop practical applications for dismantling racism within their sphere of influence.

ANTH428W Primate Social Behavior (3)

The social behavior of primates can assist us in understanding our own behavior and the behavior of our ancestors.  This course focuses on the social behavior of non-human primates.  The main course discussions will be on the closest relatives to human beings, the other great apes:  chimpanzees, bonobos, the two species of gorilla, and the two species of orangutan.  However, we will also discuss the behavior of lesser apes, old world monkeys, new world monkeys, and prosimians.  The course will begin by reviewing taxonomy of living and extinct primates.  We will then learn about primate social behavior in a variety of settings.  These social interactions are examined by looking at behavior during different social settings, such as mating, eating and traveling.

ANTH429A/422 Plagues, Pathogens and Public Policy: The Anthropological Perspective (3)

The impact of diseases on populations from prehistoric times through  the present will be examined, along with public perceptions of disease, the impact of scientific breakthroughs on the treatment and prevention, and the ways that politics and public health policies can enhance or impede the advancement of disease treatment. The natural history of disease, population structure, and immunity will be discussed. The class will discuss emerging and re-emerging diseases and the ways that first responders, researchers, and policy makers can all affect the outcome of an outbreak.  Although the class will focus on infectious diseases, genetic and chronic illnesses will also be addressed. Two examinations and a short paper will be required.

ANTH429B/423 Anthropology in Forensic Science (3)

The role of the anthropologist in forensic science can be broadly defined in terms of skills, technology, experience, research, and contributions to the literature. This course will provide a brief history of forensic anthropology, an introduction to some of the techniques used, and a demonstration of some of the applications of anthropology to forensic science. Lectures will also cover anthropology's contributions to other forensic fields. There will be some hands-on activities in the classroom.

ANTH429C/424 Human Skeletal Anatomy (3)

In addition to descriptive information about bone identification, the lectures will address the history of human anatomical studies, the development of analytical techniques, and the application of these techniques in paleoanthropology, comparative anatomy, functional anatomy (and related fields, such as physical therapy), and skeletal analysis in museum, historic cemetery, archaeological, and forensic settings. Emphasis will be on the development of the skeleton and recognition of normal variation in bones. The laboratory sessions will allow the students access to human bones for the purpose of identification, documentation of human variation, and application of techniques to obtain information about the living individual from the skeleton.

ANTH429D/426 Exploring Your Family History Anthropologically (3)

This course will give students skills and resources to apply anthropological concepts to the history of their own families. Students will learn how to take oral histories from family members, search archival records, and obtain information from historic cemeteries. Kinship patterns, the culture of the family (including foods, holidays, and family lore), and family identity will be discussed. In addition, students will learn how to recognize medical and genetic information in oral histories, archival documents, and even old photographs. Students will be required to keep a notebook of information presented in class and personal notes relating to the final project. Each student will be responsible for a final project that represents the application of the skills learned in class to the investigation of their own family.

ANTH440 Theory and Practice of Historical Archaeology (3)

Prerequisite: ANTH240. Also offered as ANTH640. Credit will be granted for only one of the following: ANTH440 or ANTH640. Historical archaeology enhances cultural heritage by providing voice for groups who were often unable to record their own histories, such as women, laborers, working class families, and enslaved people. The course provides insight into issues related to race, gender, and ethnicity as they relate to multicultural histories.

ANTH442 Public Archeology (3)

Prerequisite: ANTH240. Credit will be granted for only one of the following: ANTH442, ANTH448V, or ANTH642. Formerly ANTH448V. Explores the uses and environments for archaeological work through a discussion of museum, electronic media, heritage settings, outdoor history museums, including the legal environment that offers protection for archaeological remains. The course exposes students to the majority of cultural media within which archaeology is currently practiced. The interdisciplinary course is a survey of the progress made within and beyond anthropology in understanding the function of heritage, public memory, tourism, and the other popular uses of materials from the past, including the progress made in linguistics psychology and other cognitive disciplines in understanding the purpose of the past.

ANTH445 Laboratory Methods in Archaeology (3)

Prerequisite: ANTH496. Recommended: ANTH240. The processing, curation, cataloging and analysis of data is an important part of any archaeology field project. Students will learn that basics of laboratory techniques necessary for the final analysis and interpretation of field data.

ANTH446 Chesapeake Archeology (3)

Prerequisite: ANTH240. Credit will be granted for only one of the following: ANTH446, ANTH448W, ANTH646 or ANTH689W. Formerly ANTH448W. An overview of the culture and history of the Chesapeake watershed region, and of the issues that archaeologists face working in this region.

ANTH447 Material Culture Studies in Archaeology (3)

Prerequisite: ANTH240. Credit will be granted for only one of the following: ANTH447, ANTH448C, ANTH647, or ANTH689C. Formerly ANTH448C. An in-depth introduction to the world of material culture studies with a focus on the methods and theories in historical archaeology. Students will look at archaeological data as historical documents, commodities and as symbols expressing ideas.

ANTH448A/441: Archaeology of Diaspora (3)

The purpose of this course is to define the term diaspora and see how it is defined, theorized, deconstructed, and employed throughout the social sciences. As will become evident a diaspora is not monolithic, but rather made up of diverse groups. There are context specific relations that define who leaves, when, and how they are received in the new place of settlement. The class will focus on the particular set of social, economic, and political contexts that create and structure the daily lives of diasporic groups. We will draw from a set of theoretical positions to understand the material and historical conditions of the African, Irish, and Chinese Diasporas. The problem structuring the course is that historical archaeologists have not conceived of a theoretical stance to illustrate the experiences, daily lives, and social relations of a diasporic group, much less theorize about the impact of how such groups are accepted or marginalized in the larger social world, through material culture. Over the course of the semester the class will actively and critically examine the relevance of historical archaeology and material culture studies in the understanding of the formation, experiences, and transformation of diasporic groups over time and space.

ANTH448B Archaeological Law and Preservation (3)

This course emphasizes the historical development and continued  evolution of laws designed to protect archaeological resources in the  United States.  Through an analysis of significant national, state,  and local preservation laws, the course will introduce students to the  basic concepts involved in the field of archaeology law.  The goals of  the course include: (1) establishing a basic understanding of the  American legal system and legal concepts; (2) promoting a sense of  familiarity with legal principles and case law; and (3) achieving a workable knowledge of archaeology law issues.

ANTH448D/443 GIS for Anthropologists (3)

This course will introduce anthropology students to the fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and the use of these tools in site mapping and analysis. GIS enables researchers and scholars the ability to effectively combine maps and databases to analyze both geographic (spatial) and historic (temporal) relationships. Techniques from field photography to radar data collection to satellite remote sensing will be covered.  The lecture portion of the class will cover GIS concepts and their specific use in anthropology while the practical exercises will introduce the student to the specific hands-on capabilities and functionality of the software.  The ESRI ArcGIS software package (the industry standard) will be primarily used, but a survey of other software platforms will be presented.  This class is designed for those with no previous GIS experience. 

ANTH448F/451 Environmental Archaeology (3)

This course aims to provide the student with an overview of modern environmental archaeology as a tool for the interdisciplinary investigation of past and present global change and to engage the long term past with current issues of sustainability and rapid environmental change. Past human impact on environment, climate impacts, and the environmental components of culture contact, imperial expansion, and early globalization are all major topics for discussion.  Case studies will be used to focus discussion and as subjects for student led presentations.

ANTH448P/444 Theories of the Past (3)

The purpose of this course is to locate the past. Why do societies use precedent, citations to the past, histories, oral traditions, or invocations of former customs, worlds, or events? We will attempt to learn how to answer these questions. The class will be structured as a seminar, with the once weekly meetings focused on the analysis of assigned readings. Students, rather than the professor, will lead the seminar discussions. The majority of the grade will be based on a term paper. This paper will be the culmination of a semester’s worth of investigation into a problem that shows how the past is located. From the point of view of the readings, students will analyze this problem thoroughly, having been given assistance by the professor in its definition. The final project will consist of a description of the research and the write-up of the conclusions. Students will also share their projects in a 10-12 minute presentation during the last third of the term. A fellow student discussant will lead talk after the presentation.

ANTH448Q/453 Archaeology of the Modern City (3)

The course provides an overview of how social scientists, in particular historical archaeologists, approach modern cities as being part of the materiality of the social structure and order. It uses a multidisciplinary approach that includes various aspects of social history, anthropology, sociology, to understand the use of space, living conditions, and the material remains of past communities. The history of cities and accompanying social issues provide the grounding to understand how the creation and use of urban landscapes can segregate ethnic, class, and racial factions. The outcome of the course is to show how such social policies and concepts of space within a city can have an impact on the type of materials recovered during the course of archaeological inquiry.

ANTH449A/649A: Critical Heritage: Rights & Justice (3)

Increasingly cultural heritage is being mobilized by individuals and communities for making rights-based claims and pursuing justice. The category of “cultural heritage” bears deep roots to the conception of rights in the liberal tradition, and today marks an emerging field of human rights, alongside social practices of redemption, healing, reconciliation, and renewal in response to injustice and past trauma.

ANTH450 Theory and Practice of Environmental Anthropology (3)

Junior standing. Also offered as ANTH650. Credit will be granted for only one of the following: ANTH450 or ANTH650. An overview of contemporary application of cultural theory and methods to environmental problems. Topics include the use of theories of culture, cognitive approaches, discourse analysis, and political ecology. Case studies from anthropology, other social sciences, humanities, conservation, and environmental history are used to demonstrate the applied value of a cultural-environmental approach.

ANTH454 Anthropology of Travel and Tourism (3)

Also offered as ANTH654. Credit will be granted for only one of the following: ANTH454 or ANTH654. Review of recent anthropological contributions to the study of travel and tourism development. Topics include the history of travel, political economy of tourism, gender in tourism, the built environment, ecotourism, and heritage tourism.

ANTH491: Applied Urban Ethnography (3)

This is a research methods seminar in “applied ethnography.” The focus of the course is on the use of applied ethnographic field methods in community assessment research in urban settings. This course will extend beyond most ethnographic training in which the emphasis is on “being there,” and relying predominantly on the classical ethnographic methods of recursive observations, participant observations, and a variety of approaches to interviewing. While these methods are also the cornerstone of applied ethnography, and wifi also be the prhnary methods of focus in the present course, they will be complemented by other methods that are frequently included in the toolkit of the applied anthropologists such as focus group interviews, archival, document, statistical, and other secondary (existing) data analysis, and to a much lesser extent, survey research methods. The course will also focus on the use of applied ethnographic research methods in community based health and social initiatives, the professor’s particular area of expertise.

ANTH468C/452: Anthropology and Climate Change (3)

Climatic changes have helped shape hominin evolution, contributed to the rise and fall of complex societies, and affected socio-ecological systems. Human activities now influence ongoing climatic change, and the outcome remains uncertain for communities and cultures around the world. This interaction between humans and climate provides a rich area of study for anthropologists in an interdisciplinary context. In this course, we will explore past, present, and future interactions between humans and climate. Discussions, methods-oriented activities, case study analyses, and a final project provide students a foundation for appreciating the role of anthropology in understanding, responding to, and preparing for climate change.

ANTH468D/462 The Amazon through Film (3)

This is an interdisciplinary course that utilizes film to consider the Amazon basin, its history, peoples, and landscapes through cinematic representations. The course places the films in the context of film history and critical theory. Films range from the imaginative re-enactments of early exploration; first contacts between Europeans and native Americans; rubber boom extravagances; rainforest ecology and threats to rainforest survival; as well as complex social interactions in modern Amazonia. Representation through film is a motif throughout the course, culminating in fully fictionalized accounts of Amazonia. The course takes into consideration the Brazilian, North American, Mexican, European and Argentine creators of the films and their visions of Amazonia, as well as the audiences and markets to which the films are intended. It considers images of Amazonia over four decades through dramatic and visual depictions.

ANTH468E Behavioral Ecology and Anthropological Economics (3)

Human Behavioral Ecology (HBE) integrates recent developments in ethology (the biological study of behavior — of both organisms and societies) and ecological anthropology, both biological and cultural. HBE attempts to understand the diversity of human behavior in the context of adaptation to socio-environinental circumstances. Building on models from theoretical biological ecology, HBE employs anthropological ethnographic methods, particularly participant observation with local populations. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods are employed. Topics to be considered will include: modes of subsistence, life history, historical demography, optimal foraging, parental investment, mating systems, cooperation, morality, social stratification, ethnocentrism, and sociocultural evolution. We shall draw on models of rationality, optimization, and evolutionarily stable strategies, and shall consider analytical concepts such as marginal value and opportunity costs. As one colleague, Monique Borgerhoff Mulder, of UC-Davis, has put it, the goal of Human Behavioral Ecology is “to explore the role of evolutionary biology, specifically behavioral ecological theory, in the study of human cultural variation.”In this course we shall consider topics central to anthropology (food production and distribution, settlement patterns, social organization, demography, social organization and social change) are explored from the perspective of optimal foraging theory, evolutionary game theory, sexual selection, life history theory and models for the evolution of cooperation. The course focuses both on the theoretical foundations of behavioral ecology, as well as ethnographic and comparative studies.Attention is given to the relative strengths of evolutionary biological and more conventional anthropological explanations for cultural variability, with particular focus on how biological and social perspectives on the study of human culture can be integrated.

ANTH468F/AMST328N Introduction to Native American Cultures of the United States (3)

This course offers a survey of the cultures of American Indian peoples of the U.S.  The focus of the course is on identifying and understanding the historical and contemporary importance of key elements of sacred worldviews shared by indigenous peoples of the U.S. and beyond.  

ANTH468I/461- Language as Practice (3)

An introduction to linguistic variation and the construction of identity, relationship, and community membership through language use. The approach emphasizes language as community-based practice and examines the dynamic construction of social relations through linguistic interactions.

ANTH468L/463/LASC458L: Conservation and Indigenous People in Latin America (3)

This course considers indigenous peoples and their relation to the lands on which they live. The course considers issues of traditional indigenousknowledge and land management as well as new contributions by indigenous peoples to changing landscapes. It reviews legal mechanisms and instruments through which indigenous peoples have rights to the resources they occupy and utilize. Taking specific cases and examining them through the lens of political and social ecology, the class considers the role of indigenous peoples in local and worldwide conservation efforts. Case studies will emphasize the indigenous peoples and conservation policies of Latin America.

ANTH468N/615: The Anthropology of the African-American Family (3)

There has been more research done on the African American family than the family systems of all other American ethnic groups combined. Several models have emerged from such studies, including deficit/pathological models, strength models, adaptation/resiliency models, and ecological models. The perspective taken in this course might be included as one of the latter in that it surveys the AA family from a historical and ecological perspective, in which the history of black people in America has been one of periods of high environmental stress interposed with adaptive responses. The AA family will be explored through such high stress periods as slavery, the post-bellum period, the period of urban migration and adaptation, the period of civil rights, desegregation and the crystallization of racialized urban ghettoes, the period of high drug infestation (e.g., crack cocaine), the period of welfare reform and other federal policies, and today, the period of post-9/11 negligence. Attention will also be given to defining family, the types of family and kinship systems that existed among African groups that lost members to American slavery, and the relationship of AA family systems to the black church, and to the formation of black institutions and community. A key question underlying the explorations in this seminar is whether there are lessons from earlier AA organizational structures (family, church, and community), that might be applicable to black families overcoming more recent periods of high environmental stress (i.e., the problems of racialized urban ghettoes, the impact of crack and other drugs, welfare reform and other policies, and post 911 negligence): or does such a concept as the AA family even have relevance in today’s multicultural world? Students will be expected to find a topic within the course’s various themes to explore in depth as a final requirement.

ANTH468O/688O: Researching Culture & Environment (3)

In this applied course, students use mixed methods to research a locally-based, environmental sustainability issue.  Classroom time will be split between seminar discussions of theory, methods, and relevant case studies, and lab work focused on project development, data analysis, and report write up.  Students are expected to spend additional time outside class on data collection, analysis, and writing.  In the Fall 2015 course, students will use an anthropological lens to assess environmental and community sustainability and change in Columbia, MD over the past half century.

ANTH468P/466: Anthropology, War, and Security (3)

This course will examine interactions between anthropologists and military and intelligence agencies, with attention to three particular periods in U.S. history.  The course will look first at World War II, when more than half of the nation’s anthropologists were utilizing their professional skills in some capacity to advance the war effort—gathering military intelligence, writing training documents, and working for government agencies.  The course will then look at the Cold War, during which time, American anthropologists again worked closely with the U.S. government, sometimes resulting in troubled relationships, including incidences of FBI monitoring of U.S. anthropologists, CIA funding of anthropological research (sometimes without the scholars’ knowledge), and realignment of the discipline’s research agenda to serve U.S. national security objectives.  Finally, the course will look at global events of the early twenty-first century and the manners in which they have created new relationships between anthropologists and national security personnel.  In the face of prolonged insurgencies, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan, segments of the U.S. military have taken renewed interest in anthropology, evidenced in part by the Pentagon’s Counterinsurgency Field Manual which called for the mobilization of anthropologists to conduct field research that would serve the needs of military strategy.  In addition to these historical moments, the course will examine the ongoing and evolving ethical debates surrounding anthropologists’ collaborations with the U.S. national security apparatus.

ANTH468Q/688Q:Self, Health Disparities in the United States

This course examines health care disparities in the United States from an anthropological perspective. Sociopolitical and economic forces powerfully shape who gets sick, what illnesses/diseases they get, how they are treated while seeking care, what treatment options they have, and ultimate health outcomes. The course explores well-established social determinants of health such as race/ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status, but also others like immigration status through ethnographic writings on health disparities.

ANTH468V/688V: Global Health, Society, and Culture: Perspectives from Medical Anthropology (3)

Contemporary challenges to global health are not biological and technical, but rather social, economic and political. This course is aimed at understanding the complex interplay of the economic, social, ethical, behavioral and biomedical dimensions of global health from the perspective of medical anthropology. Students will develop theoretical and methodological grounding in medical anthropology and its focus on capturing the lived experience of and structured possibilities of suffering, disease, and healing. The course will give a selective overview of major movements and topics within medical anthropology (epistemologies of the nature and causes of affliction, theorizing the locations of affliction, political economy, medical pluralism, anthropology of the body and critiques of intervention as intervention).  It will also focus on contemporary global health topics and problems, including new biomedical technologies and global health inequalities. Throughout the course, students will be exposed to the range of serious health problems facing people at home and around the globe and the intersecting economic, political and cultural factors that determine them. The goal here is to educate students in methods of critical analysis that enhance their understanding of the global conjunctures that both arouse and attempt to alleviate human suffering and to develop insights about the field of medical anthropology and the methods of ethnography in this process.

ANTH468X/688X:Self, Health, and Sexuality in Contemporary Africa Students will cultivate an understanding of the historic, economic, political, and social factors that shape expressions of selfhood and sexuality in sub-Saharan Africa. Self and sexuality, in turn, present a powerful lens for examining health-related phenomena in contemporary African societies.This course will explore theories of selfhood and sexuality in relation to topics such as Pentecostalism and spiritual healing, global health and family planning, HIV/AIDS, and homosexuality/homophobia.

 ANTH469C/689C Language and Culture (3)

This course focuses on key issues in the study of language in its cultural context.  We will highlight some contemporary ethnographic approaches in linguistic anthropology, by considering the phenomenon of bilingualism and multilingualism, focusing on linguistic diversity in the U.S. and internationally, through the study of the use and structure of such codes as African American speech, Spanish, Native American Languages, American Sign Language, and Pidgins and Creoles.  Students will learn about the importance of the oral tradition and verbal art in cultures (i.e. African-American and indigenous cultures).  This online class will also study technology-mediated communication, including language and internet cultures.  We will consider the implications of linguistic diversity for education, and the effects of language change over time, sometimes culminating in the language endangerment and potential death of minority (heritage & native) languages.  We will consider communication that is both verbal and non-verbal, can vary according to gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, and other social factors.

 ANTH469G/689G Gender and Islam (3)

An introduction to the anthropological study of gender and Islam in the contemporary Middle East and North Africa.  We will begin the course by critically thinking about the colonial and orientalist legacies that mediate contemporary debates on and representations of women and gender in Islam and in the Middle East and North Africa.  We will also explore what it means to take Islam as an object of anthropological analysis and the kinds of normative assumptions that underlie references to “religion” and “tradition”.  We will spend the rest of the course reading richly contextualized autobiographical, fictional, and ethnographic accounts from places as diverse as Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iran and Yemen.  These readings, combined with the films that we will be screening in class, will provide us with a comparative and critical perspective on the varieties of ways in which Muslim men and women of different backgrounds and generations fashion, inhabit and conceptualize their gendered, religious and secular identities in the contemporary Middle East and North Africa.  These books will also introduce us to the variety of ways, some more successful then others, in which Muslim women of the Middle East and North Africa have been written about by academics.  We will end the class by thinking about the question of difference in feminist thought and the difficult work entailed in going beyond toleration. Students are expected to leave the course having acquired not only a familiarity with new directions in the anthropological study of gender and Islam in the Middle East and North Africa, but also with the ability to think critically about dominant representations of the region and to parochialize their own normative assumptions about tradition, modernity, religion, secularism, law, gender and sexuality. Students should bear in mind that this course is not an introduction to Islam or the Middle East/North Africa, but one that is guided by a set of analytical questions concerned with key concepts, assumptions and representations that frame contemporary discussions of gender in Islam and in the Middle East/North Africa.  Although no prior familiarity is required, students might wish to do supplemental background reading about Islam and the Middle East.

 ANTH469I/688B: Transnational Islam (3)

September 11th has changed the way Americans view the world and how the world views Islam and Muslims. However, more and more Muslims are immigrating and settling in Europe and other Western countries. What does the cohabitation of Muslims and non-Muslims in the West mean for the future of secular Western societies, and for the future of Islam? TRANSNATIONAL ISLAM, examines Islam and Muslims from an anthropological perspective and focuses on the transnational aspect of the religion and its believers. The course begins with how anthropologists study Islam and the methods used in examining beliefs, society, and politics. The second part explores Muslim identity, education, and representation. The last section covers gender, Muslim immigrants, their communities and their reception by Western societies.

ANTH469M: Culture, Society & Mental Health (3)

This course surveys mental health and healing in global perspective. In particular, the course offers a critical examination of mental health and illness as a set of subjective experiences, social processes and objects of knowledge and intervention. Questions explored include: Does mental illness vary across social and cultural settings? How are experiences of people suffering from mental illness shaped by psychiatry’s knowledge of their afflictions? Topics for this course include: cultural models of mental illness and healing; psychology and psychiatry as a cultural practice; environmental stressors and disaster, substance abuse and addiction; mental health and relations of power; and the social and cultural dimensions of psychotropic forms of treatment.

ANTH469P: Culture, Cognition and the Environment  (3) 

In this course, students will learn how anthropologists have used insights from cognitive studies to understand culture and in turn how a cognitive approach to culture can be used to study environmental issues.   A cognitive approach to the environment helps advance our understanding of culture, and it helps reframe environmental issues, particularly when those issues involve conflict among stakeholders and involve issues at multiple scales.   The course material is targeted at the advanced undergraduates and graduate student level.

ANTH469T/464: Anthropology of Cultural Heritage

Why is the past still so important today? In this course we will explore globally how the past is remade in the present, and the present remade in the past. We will examine western relationships to the past as intimately tied to property and the drive to plunder, collect, and catalogue. Still, connections to the past are not exclusively material, as heritage also includes the ‘intangibles’ of language, folklore, music, dance, festivals, and knowledge. Similarly, heritage infuses landscapes, from canyons to mountain peaks, cityscapes to pastures. In part this broadened definition of heritage honors the great diversity of present-day relations to the past. However, this diversity strains at the seams of heritage models organized around lists, definitions, conventions and international organizations, especially when coupled with the weight of historical inequality and injustice borne on certain communities. Heritage across the globe spans a much greater and more complicated mix of rights, identities, memories, ethics, redemptions, politics, and economies. Embedded in everyday life, heritage complicates what is past, over and done with, versus what continues to live on.

ANTH469X/689X: Global Sexual Economies

The Beatles once sang, “Money can’t buy me love.” This truism pervades Western approaches to governance, jurisprudence, and social welfare.But how accurate is the assumption? This course will unpack the Beatles’ statement by tracing the development of Western understandings of love, money, and morality. We will cover key intellectual debates surrounding reciprocity and exchange, the social construction of emotion, exploitation versus agency, and theories of materiality. How do material objects (including money) compel emotion? ‘Make’ people? Substantiate relationships and social structure? Manifest power? Students will explore these questions through examination of ethnographic evidence from Russia, East Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and the United States. In our analyses of transnational mail-order brides, strip club regulars, sugar daddies, “kept” men, and sex trafficking, students will deconstruct fundamental social categories and develop a critical stance towards the study of capital, sexuality, and emotion.

ANTH472 Medical Anthropology (3)

Prerequisite: ANTH360 or permission of department. Credit will be granted for only one of the following: ANTH472, ANTH468, ANTH672,or ANTH688L. Formerly ANTH468L. An exploration of the cultural, social, economic and political dimensions of health, disease, and illness. These dimensions will be examined through both the health-seeker's and the care-provider's perspectives.

ANTH476 Senior Research (3-4)

For ANTH majors only. Credit will be granted for only one of the following: ANTH476 or ANTH486. Capstone course in which students pursue independent research into a current problem in anthropology, selected with assistance of a committee of faculty. Research leads to the writing of a senior thesis in anthropology.

ANTH 477 Senior Thesis (3-4)

Prerequisite: ANTH476; permission of department. For ANTH majors only. Credit will be granted for only one of the following: ANTH477 or ANTH487. Capstone course in which students write a senior thesis on independent research into a current problem in anthropology. The thesis is defined before a committee of faculty.

ANTH 486 Honors Research (3-4)

Prerequisites: permission of department; admission to University Honors Program or Anthropology Honors Program. For ANTH majors only. Credit will be granted for only one of the following: ANTH486 or ANTH476. Capstone course in which students pursue independent research into a current problem in anthropology, selected with assistance of a committee of faculty. Research leads to the writing of an honors thesis in anthropology.

ANTH 487 Honors Thesis (3-4)

Prerequisites: ANTH486; permission of department; admission to University Honors Program or Anthropology Honors Program. For ANTH majors only. Credit will be granted for only one of the following: ANTH487 or ANTH477. Capstone course in which students write a thesis on the results of independent research into a current problem in anthropology.

ANTH 493 Anthropological Fieldwork and Experience in Argentina: The Relevance of Context and Place (3)

Credit will be granted for only one of the following: ANTH493, ANTH468Q, ANTH688Q, ANTH693, CPSP379, or HONR348E. A three week intensive course in Argentina that examines anthropological fieldwork and experiences to understand the relevance of context and place in the identification and implementation of projects on health, development, and heritage. Students will learn to contextualize the production and dissemination of knowledge within political-economic, historical, socio-cultural and policy realms. Participant-observation of the local culture and exposure to the regional varieties of anthropological practice will also be carried out through comparison of projects in the U.S. and Argentina, visits to selected sites of anthropological production, and homestays with families.

ANTH 496 Field Methods in Archaeology (6)

Field training in the techniques of archaeological survey and excavation.

ANTH498B: Ethnographic Evaluations of Community-Based Intervention Projects (3)

This course will explore some of the principles and tools that might be involved in the evaluation of community based intervention (CBIs) from an anthropological and ethnographic perspective. Ethnographic perspectives and methods will be discussed in terms of their application to formative, process, outcome or summative, and impact evaluation strategies. The features of participatory and empowerment evaluation, areas in which ethnographic methods have made significant contributions will be examined. Students will also be introduced to the instructor’s Ethnographic Assessment & Evaluation Systems (EAES), which will be used as a guide in helping students design a CBI evaluation proposal as a final course requirement. Those students who are already involved in the evaluation of CBIs are encouraged to focus on using the skills and knowledge gained in this seminar in strengthening their work on their own projects.

ANTH498C: Service Learning for Applied Urban Ethnography (1)

Requires 4 hours/week of off-campus service learning. Can only be taken concurrently with ANTH491 or ANTH617.

ANTH498I: Experiential Learning in Community Health Anthropology (1)

This is a professional development course in which students work with Dr. Whitehead on one or more projects at the time conducting research or providing technical assistance to public agencies or community based organizations.  The course includes classroom time of 1 ½ hour bi-weekly (every two weeks) in meetings with Dr. Whitehead in which the focus is on the design, implementation, and/or evaluation of a community health project, as well as practicum fieldwork opportunities with the various researchers and community partners with whom Dr. Whitehead works. Students registered for this course will have the opportunity to also register for Dr. Whitehead’s ANTH 491, a 3 credit course in which students learn to apply ethnographic methods to the various community, organizations, or event settings in which community health anthropologists work.

ANTH498O: Teaching Anthropology (1)

Discussion, readings, guest speakers, and short assignments/activities will provide students opportunities to develop practical and pedagogical skills for classroom instruction.  Topics will include, but are not limited to: classroom management, presenting information, creating instructional materials and assignments, evaluation and testing, mentoring, curriculum standards and learning objectives, syllabi development, online instruction, teaching and learning styles, teaching portfolios, and additional instructional resources.  While this one-credit course will focus on teaching anthropology in a university classroom, many of these same skills are useful in nonacademic settings, anthropological fieldwork, and other non-traditional education forums.

ANTH492 Ethnology of Immigrant Life (4)

This course will explore social issues affecting local immigrant populations through readings, research and service learning. Theorizing immigration as a social policy issue in the U.S. culture, we will learn about the specific contributions that anthropology has made to the understanding of immigration, from two different yet interrelated perspectives: globalization on the one hand, and the context of daily life in local neighborhoods on the other. The course intends to explore and understand the barriers to access human and social services that immigrants experience through service-learning placements in community organizations that address immigrants’ needs in neighborhoods surrounding campus. Through fieldwork and service we will entertain major questions such as : What are the major characteristics of the contemporary immigration to neighborhoods adjacent to campus? What are the similarities and differences between the old and new immigration to those localities? Have the modes of immigrant incorporation into the social structure changes? Is there a relationship between immigrant well-being and access to health and social services?