Anthropology Courses

Anthropology Course Textbooks

For anthropology courses, the pages and posts of Living Anthropologically can be integrated with four-fields textbooks to create an Introduction to Anthropology. See also the Anthropology Blogs for useful anthropology course resources. The category of Living Anthropologically titled “Anthropology Courses” features related blog posts.

Introduction to Anthropology Courses

Through the Lens of Anthropology, Muckle & González

In 2019-2020, I began using Through the Lens of Anthropology: An Introduction to Human Evolution and Culture by Robert J. Muckle and Laura Tubelle de González. I had been very impressed with the co-authors public anthropological work (they are both on Twitter). I am also a fan of the University of Toronto press and their Teaching Culture blog. The textbook is accessible, readable and not very expensive in comparison to other comprehensive textbooks. I’ve also very much appreciated their focus on Food and Sustainability as unifying themes. Getting Muckle’s perspective as a Canadian archaeologist lends a slightly less US-centric approach to the text, while González is very helpful for promoting different kinds of voices within anthropology. For a 2020 course outline, see Intro-to-Anthropology 2020.

Anthropology: What Does It Mean to Be Human?, Lavenda & Schultz

Lavenda and Schultz, Anthropology: What Does it Mean to be Human? was for many years my preferred textbook in four field Introduction to Anthropology. See Introduction to Anthropology 2018 for a course outline when I used the 4th edition. I previously taught Anthropology 2017 and Anthropology 2016 using the 3rd edition of Lavenda & Schultz. For much of my teaching, I did prefer the Lavenda and Schultz textbook series because of its academic sophistication, manageable length, and reasonable price. I also wrote a review of the 2nd edition.

Cultural Anthropology Courses

Although many anthropologists teach cultural anthropology as a standalone anthropology course that can function as an introduction to anthropology, I prefer to teach it as a follow-up on a more general anthropology course. My Cultural Anthropology 2016 course used Michel-Rolph Trouillot’s Global Transformations. For Cultural Anthropology 2019, I switched to a textbook and reader edited by Kenneth Guest. For Cultural Anthropology 2020, I am planning to use the third edition of Guest’s Cultural Anthropology: A Toolkit for a Global Age, in part because it seems to have a lot of online resources that might be useful for remote learning.

Cultural Ecology

I’ve been especially happy to have been able to develop courses in Environmental Anthropology or Cultural Ecology. From 2005, I began using Tim Ingold’s Tim Ingold’s The Perception of the Environment: Essays on Livelihood, Dwelling and Skill as the backbone of the course. I’ve put two versions of the course online, Cultural Ecology 2017 which is perhaps the most philosophical version, and Cultural Ecology 2020 which attempts to reground the material and explore issues of race and navigating the Anthropocene. Ingold’s Perception of the Environment is hardly an introductory text! However, it can function as a renewal and appreciation of some of the root issues in anthropology. Many of the issues Ingold wrote about in Perception reemerge in his 2018 Anthropology: Why It Matters.


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