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Hartwick Anthropology 2016 Courses

by Jason Antrosio

Teaching Hartwick Anthropology courses is what launched and sustains Living Anthropologically. These were our Hartwick Anthropology 2016 courses. For a list of current offerings, see the Hartwick Anthropology Courses. See also the Introduction to Anthropology pages.

New Course, Anthropology 250: Ancient Civilization and Empire
Professor Namita Sugandhi
This class is an introduction to the rise and fall of early complex societies around the world. Throughout the semester we will survey the development of ancient states and empires in both the Old and New Worlds, and examine the archaeological evidence that is used to study these societies. From the rise of Ancient Egypt to the collapse of the Mayan civilization, we will examine questions such as the definition of states and civilizations as well as the reasons for their change over time.

Anthropology 405: Capstone in Anthropological Issues
Professor Mike Woost
As a capstone this course is meant to test advanced majors’ knowledge of the discipline and their skills in applying that knowledge to the world around them. At this advanced stage of study students are expected to be able to take what they have learned and enter reasonably into debates about current events and about issues in their chosen discipline. In short, this course is meant to be a mechanism through which students become more acutely aware of the difficulties and rewards they will encounter while attempting to apply their anthropological knowledge in everyday life. As part of this endeavor, students will have to make decisions about where they stand on issues and events in the world. In making a decision they must understand that anthropology itself is not of one mind, that anthropologists themselves often vehemently disagree with one another about “what is to be done” (to borrow the famous phrase from V.I. Lenin). Thus they should leave this course with the ability to take a position in a given debate and be able to provide empirical support for their decision.

Anthropology 388: Classics of Anthropological Thought
Professor Mike Woost
LEARNING OUTCOMES: 1) To acquire basic knowledge about the history of anthropological theory from the 19th century to the present. 2) To acquire basic knowledge about how theory has been used in the effort to understand social life and societal change over time. 3) To understand how anthropological theories and practices are embedded in the historically shifting the social, political and ideological milieu. 4) To acquire practical experience in the use of anthropological concepts for the interpretation of social events and their representation in the contemporary world.

Anthropology 341: Cultural Ecology
Professor Jason Antrosio
The concerns of a truly ecological anthropology touch on central issues in Western thought and philosophy. The question of what is distinct about human interaction in an environment is also at the core of how we think and act in the world. This course is based on a close reading of Tim Ingold’s The Perception of the Environment: Essays on Livelihood, Dwelling and Skill. Ingold’s work is like a textbook for the course, compared first against Hugh Brody’s Maps & Dreams: Indians and the British Columbia Frontier. Recently I’ve begun using Eduardo Kohn’s How Forests Think: Toward an Anthropology Beyond the Human. For this semester, I’m also excited to debut Anna Tsing’s newest, The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins.

Anthropology 267: Resistance and Rebellion
Professor Mike Woost
This course examines the ways in which anthropologists have drawn on the writings of Marx and other critical theorists in their efforts to understand major social upheavals as well as resistance in everyday life. The course offers students the opportunity to learn about foundational theory in the discipline that goes beyond Introduction to Anthropology. It draws on both historical and contemporary ethnographic case studies (readings and film) of resistance, rebellion and civil war, from a range of geographical areas.

Anthropology 250: Pop Archaeology
Professor David Anthony
The past is not dead and gone. We constantly use and manipulate the past for our own purposes in the present. One of the most common and fascinating uses of the past is to create or recreate myths concerning who we are, where we came from, and why the world acts the way it does. A great number of such myths have been created, some quite harmful (the myth of the Aryan super-race) and some relatively benign (the myth that each of the ancient Scottish clans had its own distinctive plaid, or tartan, that clan members wore is not true!). We will examine the nature of myths, and the motives of myth-makers.

Anthropology 241: Native North American Prehistory
Professor David Anthony
Before Columbus, Native American Indians had already been living in the Americas for at least 12,000 years. This course is about those 12 millennia before Europeans came, when the whole continent belonged to Native Americans. Because they left no written records or inscriptions, archaeology and indigenous oral history are the only ways to learn about Native North American prehistory. Archaeologists have emphasized three themes repeatedly: 1. the discovery and colonization of America by the first Native Americans; 2. the development of economies and social organizations to make life easier, to trade for valuable and magical things, and to build political communities; and later in the story, 3. the evolution of complex political organizations, alliances, fortified centers of rulers, and an accompanying tradition of elite ritual art and powerful iconography.

Anthropology 237: Peoples and Cultures of Africa
Professor Connie Anderson
Africa is home to more than 55 countries and countless cultures and the greatest genetic diversity of any continent, the home of all humanity. This course will survey general types of ecological adaptations in Africa, several representative cultures at the time of conquest by Europe and today, the colonial history of Africa and its effects on the continent today, and continuing problems and solutions to them.
This course satisfies the prerequisite for the J Term program in South Africa.

Anthropology 237 (J Term): Peoples and Cultures of Latin America
Professor Jason Antrosio
This course explores anthropological and inter-disciplinary approaches to the peoples of the places that have come to be called Latin America and the Caribbean. I’ve made some previous comments on Teaching Anthropology of Latin America and the Caribbean. For this course, I’m especially excited to be teaching my new co-authored book, Fast, Easy, and In Cash: Artisan Hardship and Hope in the Global Economy.

Anthropology 235: Biological Anthropology
Professor Connie Anderson
Biological anthropology focuses on describing and explaining the range of human biological diversity. Our main questions are: What are the differences among us? What causes these differences? What is their significance? How is the human gene pool being
changed today? We also contribute to attempts to reconstruct the lives of early hominids, and attempts to identify genetic determinants of human behavior. The main subfields are paleontology, genetics, genetic differences and changes in current populations, and primate behavior and ecology. We are distinguished from biology and from medicine in our emphasis on the special nature of culture as both a cause and a result of human evolution, in our understanding of human variation, and in our application of holism and relativism to the explanation of human behavior and biology.

Anthropology 105: Introduction to Anthropology
Sections taught by Professor Connie Anderson and Professor Namita Sugandhi
This class is an introduction to the discipline of Anthropology–-the study of humans and human society. Throughout the course we will explore numerous dimensions of the human condition including the biological evolution of our species, the development of social complexity and cultural variation over time and space, and the way in which contemporary processes impact different communities around the world.


A note that I did not for Hartwick Anthropology 2016 teach an Introduction to Anthropology course. My thanks to University of Toronto Press for letting me make a few comments about a four-field anthropology course. Their new Through the Lens of Anthropology: An Introduction to Human Evolution and Culture launched at the American Anthropological Association meetings in November 2016.



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