Roanoke College

Anthropology Course Descriptions

Back

ANTH 101: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
An introduction to the concepts and methods used by anthropologists to study human societies and cultures. Case studies from primarily non-Western cultures will provide an overview of the culture concept and its relationship to institutions of kinship, marriage, gender, language, race and ethnicity, production, exchange, political organization, magic, religion and the arts. The course will also demonstrate the relevance of anthropology to the modern world. This course is an elective in the Sociology major and minor programs and a requirement in the Anthropology concentration.

ANTH 212: Food and Culture
The consumption of food is not merely a human biological need, but also a means of defining ourselves according to culture. To understand what and how a people eat is to understand part of the history and values of that group. This course will explore the production, distribution, and consumption of food in different human societies, examining the influential role food has played in human governance, economy, spiritual belief, and gender roles. We'll also examine modern foodways, paying careful attention to issues of identity, food security, and globalized food production. Finally, we'll focus on our own foodways, examining the rise of "nutritionism" in the United States, along with its implications for our health, economy, and, of course, culture. This course is an elective in the Sociology major and minor programs as well as in the Anthropology concentration.

ANTH/HIST 218: Introduction to Archaeology
An introduction to the various theories of excavation and survey techniques, culture change, dating methods, and reconstruction of economic, social and religious practices or prehistoric societies. Case studies focus on both old- and new-world cultures. This course is an elective in the subfield category in the Anthropology concentration.

ANTH 240: Race and Human Evolution
The goal of this course is to create a broad understanding of the human existence from a biological standpoint: Where did we come from? How can the physical differences between us be explained? This introduction to the basic concepts of physical/biological anthropology discusses scientific theories of human evolution and biodiversity alongside detailed discussion of the cultural origins of human racial classifications. Topics covered include basic genetic and evolutionary theory, human biological adaptation, primate evolution and behavior, fossil and other evidence of human evolution, the inherent fallacy associated with biologically-driven racial classification, and the history of "race" as a concept in popular and academic discourse. This course is designed to be accessible to both non-science and science majors. This course is an elective in the subfield category in the Anthropology concentration.

ANTH 310: Global Storytelling: Exploring the Ethnographic Process
Ethnography is anthropology's hallmark methodology; a dynamic way of seeing and living in the world of the other. This is a project-intensive course examining the ways in which anthropologists conduct ethnographic research and write ethnography. Students will practice a variety of ethnographic fieldwork techniques including, but not limited to, participant observation, field note-taking, interviewing, mapping, photography, and film production. We will examine a few key ethnographic works, several anthropologists' reflections on the practice of ethnography, and a variety of analytic and interpretive approaches to the production of ethnography. (1) 3 hr/wk. Instructor: Leeson. This course is an upper level (300) elective in the Sociology major and minor programs as well as an elective in the fieldwork category in the Anthropology concentration.

ANTH/ENGL/LING 320: Basic Linguistics
The scientific study and description of language according to the principles of modern linguistics. This course is an elective in the subfield category in the Anthropology concentration.

ANTH 380: Creating Community Change: Applied Anthropology
How can the anthropological worldview be used to improve the lives of individuals and communities? Why do some development programs work, while others fail? The purpose of this course is to allow you to recognize the role of culture in contemporary human problems, and to use this recognition to identify means of creating positive, sustainable, and minimally biased change. The course will include overviews of the history of applied anthropology and of the current state of the field in several different domains of application, including health, the environment, business, and education. Importantly, the course will also contain considerable discussion of the ethical quandaries inherent in applied work. Finally, the course includes an active community research component, which is designed to provide some field experience in applying course material. As such, you will be exposed to some training in the anthropological methods of participant observation and interviewing. This course is an upper level (300) elective in the Sociology major and minor programs as well as in the fieldwork category in the Anthropology concentration.

ANTH 406: Independent Study
A supervised research project or extensive literature review. Pre-requisite: Approved written proposal. This course will be an elective within the Anthropology concentration. Instructors: Leeson, Morris.

ANTH 416: Internship
Practical experience in a community or field setting in which anthropology is applied. Pre-requisite: Approve written proposal. This course will be an elective within the Anthropology concentration. Instructors: Leeson, Morris.

Three of the following: ANTH 101, ANTH 212, ANTH 310, and ANTH 380 may count as electives in the Sociology major (but only one 300-level ANTH course).

Two of the following: ANTH 101, ANTH 212, ANTH 310, and ANTH 380 may count as electives in the Sociology minor (but only one 300-level ANTH course).