Introduction to Anthropology 2016

Introduction to Anthropology 2016

The homepage for Introduction to Anthropology 2016, taught by Jason Antrosio at Hartwick College. For the follow-up course, see Introduction to Anthropology 2017.

Two required books:




Part 1: Human Nature, Race, Evolution


1. Horace Miner, “Body Ritual Among the Nacirema.”

2. L&S, chapter 1, “What is Anthropology?” (3-20) and Laura Bohannan, “Shakespeare in the Bush.”

3. L&S module 1, “Anthropology, Science, and Storytelling” (21-29).
L&S chapter 2, “Why is Evolution Important to Anthropologists?” (31-58).
Barbara J. King, “There’s No Controversy: Let’s Stop Failing Our Children On Evolution.”

4. L&S, chapter 3, “What about Human Variation?” (59-84).
Alan Goodman, “Three Questions about Race, Human Biological Variation and Racism” in Anthropology News (2005).

5. L&S chapter 4, “What Can the Study of Primates Tell Us?” (97-118).
Barbara Smuts, “What are Friends For?” in Natural History (1987).

6. L&S chapter 5 (part 1 of 2), “What Can the Fossil Record Tell Us?” (119-132)
“The Latest on Homo naledi” by John Hawks in American Scientist (2016)

7. Tue 9/20: L&S chapter 5 (part 2 of 2), “What Can the Fossil Record Tell Us?” (133-161)
“Homo naledi shows how biological anthropology is not biology, and can’t be, and shouldn’t be” by Jonathan Marks on Anthropomics (2016)

8. Thu 9/22: L&S module 2, “Dating Methods in Paleoanthropology & Archaeology” (85-95)
*** First Exam

Part 2: Domestication, Agriculture, Culture

9. Tue 9/27: L&S chapter 6, “How Do We Know about the Human Past?” (163-192).
“New Women of the Ice Age” by Heather Pringle in Discover (1998).
“North Dakota Access Pipeline Protests Spark Historic Declaration” by Nicola Jones in Sapiens (2016).

10. Thu 9/29: L&S ch. 7 (pt 1 of 2), “Why Did Humans Settle Down?” (193-212).
“The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race” by Jared Diamond in Discover (1999).

11. Tue 10/4: L&S chapter 7 (part 2 of 2), “Why Did Humans Build Cities, Establish States?” (213-228).
“How do neighborhoods form?” by Michael E. Smith on Wide Urban World (2016).
“The Autonomous Village in Anthropological Theory” by Matthew T. Bradley in The Human Family (2014).

12. Thu 10/6: L&S ch. 8 (part 1 of 2), “How Does the Concept of Culture Help Us?” (229-236).
“Our Babies, Ourselves” by Meredith Small in Natural History (1997)

13. Tue 10/11: L&S chapter 8 (part 2 of 2), “How Does the Idea of Cultural Relativism Help Us?” (237-246)
“The campaign against Female Genital Cutting: empowering women or reinforcing global inequity?” by Susie Latham in Ethics and Social Welfare (2016)

14. Thu 10/13: L&S module 3, “On Ethnographic Methods” (247-259)
“Doing Fieldwork among the Yanomamö” by Napoleon Chagnon. Originally in Yanomamö: The Fierce People (4th edition, 1992)

15. Thu 10/20: L&S chapter 9, “Why Is Understanding Human Language Important?” (261-284)
“Immigration and Language Diversity in the United States” by Rubén G. Rumbaut and Douglas S. Massey in Daedalus (2013)
“How Language Shapes Thought” by Lera Boroditsky in Scientific American (2011)

16. Tue 10/25: L&S chapter 10, “How Do We Make Meaning?” (289-322)
“Envisioning a Pragmatic Approach to the Archaeology of Religion” by Mark Aldenderfer in Archaeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association (2012)

17. Thu 10/27: L&S module 4, “Components of Language” (285-288)
***Second Exam

Part 3: Anthropology 2016 & Jason De León

18. L&S chapter 11, “Why Do Anthropologists Study Economic Relations?” (323-348)
De León, Introduction (1-20)

19. Thu 11/3: L&S chapter 12, “How Do Anthropologists Study Political Relations?” (349-372)
De León, “Prevention through Deterrence” (21-37)

20. Tue 11/8: L&S chapter 13, “Where Do Our Relatives Come From?” (373-414)
De León, “Dangerous Ground” & “Necroviolence” (38-86)

21. Thu 11/10: L&S chapter 14, “What Can Anthropology Tell Us about Social Inequality?” (415-446)
De León, “Memo and Lucho” (87-106)

22. Tue 11/15: L&S module 5, “Background to the Global Political Economy” (475-478)
De León, “Deported” & “Technological Warfare” (107-166)

23. Thu 11/17: L&S ch. 15, “How is Anthropology Applied in the Field of Medicine?” (447-74)
De León, “The Crossing” (167-202)

24. Tue 11/22: L&S 16 (1of2) “What Can Anthropology Tell Us about Globalization?” (479-93)
De León, “Exposure” & “You Can’t Leave Them Behind” (203-237)

25. Tue 11/29: L&S chapter 16, (part 2of2) “What about Globalization?” (494-509)
De León, “Maricela” & “We Will Wait Until You Get Here” (265-279)

26. Thu 12/1: De León, “Epilogue” (280-287)
*** Final Exam for Introduction to Anthropology 2016


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  • Helga Vierich

    I just was reading the papers in Current Anthropology’s report on the Wenner-Gren symposium on Reintegrating Anthropology: from inside out. There are some wonderful papers in there that might be relevant supplemental reading in your course.

    • Hi Helga, many thanks for the heads up. Indeed the Current Anthropology issue on Reintegrating Anthropology: From Inside Out is an interesting volume. I hope it is not breaking anonymity too much to reveal that I was a reviewer for several of the articles. I am glad they are out, and it is also good to know they are free! I will be looking into integrating some of them into the course.

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