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Anthropology

Anthropology Website

Professor HAUTZINGER, Associate Professor MONTAÑO (chair); Assistant Professors FISH, GÓMEZ, LEZA; Visiting Instructors BIGGS, LINFOOT, O'BRIEN, VONFELDT

Anthropology offers an expansive outlook on human life through time and across space. The anthropology major prepares students for a variety of careers across numerous fields, including but far from limited to academia. Majors are exposed to all four subfields of American anthropology: 1) archaeology, which focuses on the material cultures and peoples of the past; 2) biological anthropology, which examines the evolution of human biology and behavior stressing the influence of culture on evolution; 3) linguistic anthropology, which addresses both the formal complexity of linguistic systems and the role that language plays in the regulating and negotiating of social life; and 4) socio-cultural anthropology, which stresses contemporary peoples, combining ethnography and cross-cultural comparison to portray the variability of human value systems, practices, and organization. 

Major Requirements

Students majoring in anthropology must complete the following requirements:

  1. Two required, discipline-wide courses:
    AN215 Research Design — Method and Theory (taught Block 3)
    AN315 Advanced Integrative Seminar (taught Block 6 and intended as the capstone course for seniors)
  2. An additional 10 units of course work in the department**, distributed in the following categories:
    • A minimum of one course in each of the 4 subfields (archaeological, biological, cultural, and linguistic anthropology)
    • At lease three anthropology courses at the 300-level (in addition to AN315)
      • Note that all 300-level courses have 100-level (and some have 200-level) prerequisites;
      • 2-block courses count as one course, but two units in the major;
      • Up to two ES courses cross-listed with anthropology may count as anthropology units;
      • AN400 Research in Anthropology does not substitute for 300-level courses. 
  3. Writing in anthropology
    • Seniors must submit a writing portfolio as evidence of their progression in the major.

      or

      Students who are eligible may satisfy this requirement by writing an Honors Thesis
      • Honors Thesis eligibility
        • minimum GPA in the major of 3.6
        • faculty thesis advisor approval
        • Honors Thesis proposal accepted by vote of the faculty

**Major requirements may be satisfied by no more than:

  • two units of off-campus credit
  • two units of independent Readings/Research (400), and
  • one cross-listed unit (two units if ES) taught by non-departmental faculty (e.g. folklore, ethnomusicology, cultural ecology).

Note: The department awards Distinction in Anthropology to students who present evidence of distinguished work. Consult the Majors Handbook for Distinction guidelines.

Minor Requirements

A minor in anthropology will consist of a minimum of five units of course work, to include the following:

  • Courses in (at least) two of the four major subdisciplines (biological, cultural, archaeological, and linguistic anthropology) as described in the major requirements.
  • At lease one course at the 300 level.
  • Independent research courses (AN400) may not be counted toward the minimum five units of the minor.
  • Minor requirements may be satisfied by no more than:
    • one cross-listed course unit taught by non-departmental faculty (e.g. folklore, ethnomusicology, cultural ecology)
    • one unit of off-campus credit.

Courses

Anthropology

AN100 Human\Being Anthropological Perspectives

What does it mean to be human? Course addresses this question at the center of anthropology using a holistic approach and drawing on multiple subfields of anthropology: archaeological, biological, cultural, and linguistic anthropology. Each version of the course is organized around a central theme which will be addressed with theory and literature from at least two anthropological fields. Course themes will vary but may include topics such as the body, colonialism, food, sex or violence. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures requirement.

1 unit — Fish, Hautzinger, Leza, Montano

AN123 American Sign Language I

Introduction to American Sign Language. Practice in signing and comprehension in American Sign Language (Ameslan or ASL).

.25 unit — VonFeldt

AN124 American Sign Language I

Introduction to American Sign Language. Practice in signing and comprehension in American Sign Language (Ameslan or ASL).

.25 unit — VonFeldt

AN202 Human Biological Variation

Beginning with the genetic base, this course provides an anthropological approach to understanding biological variation within and between human populations. Traits of known and unknown inheritance, adaptations to different environments, concept of race, variation in biological sex, and interactions of human biology and culture are emphasized. Some laboratory exercises. (Meets the requirement for Natural Science credit.) (Does not meet the divisional requirement in the Social Sciences or the outside unit requirement for students majoring in the Natural Sciences.) 1 unit. (Not offered 2015-16).

1 unit

AN205 Language and Culture

An introduction to linguistic anthropology. Examines the interconnectedness of language and culture from ethnographic and sociolinguistic perspectives. Comparative study of speaking in cultural context aimed at understanding the ways in which people use talk to cooperate, manipulate, structure events, and negotiate identities. Cross-cultural focus, with examples from such languages and language varieties as Japanese, Navajo, Apache, French, African-American English, and Chicano English. (Also listed as Race and Ethnic Studies 200 and Film and New Media Studies 104.) May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement.

1 unit — Leza

AN206 Doing Ethnography

Provides a foundation for understanding and doing ethnographic, contextually based research. Students execute hands-on projects grounded in participant observation and such complements as interviewing, questionnaires and surveys, archival work and projective methodological techniques; final results vary from ethnographic texts or films to exhibits or applied recommendations. Addresses such ethnographic fundamentals as: intellectual history; disciplinary contexts; epistemological validity and reliability; ethics and Institutional Review Boards; using ethnography for cross-cultural comparison; qualitative data analysis and software. Students learn varied forms of ethnographic inquiry such as exploratory, experimental, critical, historical and action/applied.

Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor.

1 unit — Hautzinger

AN207 Primate Behavior, Ecology and Conservation

An overview of the relationships between different groups of primates and their natural history provides a foundation for investigating current hypotheses regarding the evolution of primate behaviors. The influence of the environment on behaviors is explored and its application for modeling the behaviors of humans and our hominin ancestors will be discussed. Finally, conservation threats to primates and primate traits that reduce or promote survival in human-altered habitats will be examined.

1 unit — Fish

AN208 Topics in Anthropology:

Courses taught occasionally by visiting or permanent faculty; topics will vary and may be thematically or geographically focused

Also listed as Race, Ethnicity, & Migration 200 and General Studies 222 and Asian Studies 250 and Religion 200 and Southwest Studies 200 and Southwest Studies 258.

1 unit — Leza, Premawardhana, Scandlyn, Weinstein

AN210 Anthropology and the History of Ideas

The intellectual history of sociocultural anthropology will form the foundation of this course. It will discuss the ideas and intellectuals who contributed to the development of anthropology as a scholarly discipline and will consider the following theoretical perspectives: evolutionism, functionalism, historical particularism, cultural materialism, and interpretive approaches. Also, it will examine field research strategies that shaped anthropology.

Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

1 unit — Montano

AN215 Anthropological Theory

Explores theory and application of contrasting paradigms (i.e. positivist, interpretivist) across the major subfields of anthropology. Emphasizes commonalities across the discipline in major theoretical currents (i.e. cultural ecology, functionalism, symbolic, historical materialism, postmodernism, feminism, and practice theory).

Prerequisite: One previous anthropology course or consent of instructor.

1 unit — Leza

AN217 Precolumbian Civilizations of Mesoamerica

Survey of the archaeologically known cultures of Mesoamerica, which include some of archaeology's most celebrated subjects of study, the Olmecs, Mayans and Aztecs. Students will learn the history and geography of the region, the nature of sociopolitical and cultural developments in the region, the material culture distinctive of different times and places within the region and key issues and debates of ongoing concern. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures requirement.

1 unit

AN219 The Archaeology of the American Southwest

An introduction to the cultures of the American Southwest, from the initial populations of the greater region through the wrenching contact of European conquistadores. With occupation beginning sometime before 12,000 years ago, we have evidence for social and ritual complexity in the archaeological record dating before 2000 B.C.E. Current archaeological research in the American Southwest is redefining our concept of the adoption of agriculture in North America, our view of historically defined culture areas( Hohkam, Salado, Mogollon, Sinagua, Anasazi) with the probability of complex multiethnic communities, and the Southwest's former position as a region defining American archaeological method and theory. Course begins with a historical review of Southwestern archaeology and moves on to the current methodological and theoretical issues. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2015-16).

1 unit

AN220 Doing Archaeology

Focuses on the methods, theories, goals and findings of archaeology, with a primary emphasis on contemporary practice in anthropological archaeology. Using the basic concepts of current archaeology we underline the construction of alternative, pluralistic histories using multiple lines of evidence. Students learn practical skills, such as artifact analysis and site mapping, as well as marginalized histories, from ancient states to the more recent past.

1 unit — Novic

AN221 Topics in Ethnomusicology:

Special topics in ethnomusicology, approached through emphasis on a particular musical area, theoretical issue, genre or repertory, compositional technique, or instrument. The course is devoted to non-western musical cultures. (Not offered 2015-16).

1 unit

AN230 Human Evolution

Examines the fossil and genetic evidence for human evolution. Using the fossil record of early primate evolution as a foundation, the emergence of early hominins and their descendants is investigated. The evolution of human adaptations and hypotheses regarding the selective pressures leading to these adaptations are examined. Current debates such as the position of Neanderthals and Denisovans in the human lineage are emphasized. Students learn basic principles of molecular genetics and discuss the use of genetics in evolutionary research, which requires laboratory work. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World requirement.

Prerequisite: Biology 131, Molecular Biology 111, or Molecular Biology 131, or Chemistry 108 with consent of instructor.

Also listed as Molecular Biology 230.

1 unit — Bertrand, Fish

AN237 Blacks in the Caribbean and Latin America

Compares the experiences of diverse groups of the African Diaspora, with special emphasis on the Caribbean basin and Brazil. Topics include: race, racism and nation-building; the legacy of slavery and contemporary labor processes, conceptualizing the 'Africa' in African-American cultures; variable social constructions of racial categories; maroons and other communities of resistance; and several African-American religions (Candomble, Umbanda, Voudoun, Santeria, Rastafarianism). May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2015-16).

1 unit

AN238 Gendering Latin America

Explores the role gender plays across diverse sites in South and Central Americas, as well as the Caribbean. Social movements, division of labor, sexualities, power struggles and violence are among areas examined from feminist, ethnographic and comparative perspectives. Emphasis on gender’s intersections with ethnic, national, linguistic, class and geographical diversity demands students’ strong grasp of empirical information about the region. (Also listed as Feminist and Gender Studies 238.) May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement.

Also listed as Feminist & Gender Studies 238.

1 unit — Hautzinger

AN239 Gender Diversity Across Cultures

Emphasizing variability in the ways gender shapes social interaction and organization. Grounded in feminist ethnography on sexes, sexualities and gendering across biological, social and ideological fields. Includes attention to gender systems where 'third' (or more) genders emerge beyond women-or-men, such as hijras in India, two-spirits in diverse Native American peoples, and travestis in Brazil. Anthropological and feminist theoretical frameworks are frequently complemented by community-based projects. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2015-16).

1 unit

AN242 The Anthropology of Food

This course will explore food concepts, analytical methods, and the food habits of different ethnic groups. The class will have a field trip to the San Luis Valley, and to Northern New Mexico to document the production of food among farmers, cattle ranchers and restaurateurs. (Limited to 12 students.) Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement.

Also listed as Race, Ethnicity, & Migration 200.

1 unit — Lomas, Montano

AN243 Hispanic Folklore of the Southwest

(with Emphasis on Writing). This course is designed to introduce students to several approaches in folklore studies and to Mexican material culture, religion, music, and prose narratives in the Southwest region of the United States. We will examine how the different approaches used by historians, literary critics, anthropologists, and folklorists can enhance the study of Hispanic folklore and material culture. (Limited to 12 students.) Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2015-16).

1 unit

AN245 Popular Culture

This course will present students with different concepts related to popular culture, as exemplified by diverse cultural forms: film, music, literature, and material culture. Through the course students will become acquainted with the theories of structuralism and post-structuralism, Marxism, feminism, and post-modernism. These theories will allow students to develop a clear understanding of the different paradigms and their limitations in cultural studies. (Not offered 2015-16).

.5 unit

AN256 Language Socialization

Explore the ways new speakers of a language are socialized through the process of language acquisition to become culturally competent members of their communities. Examine how individuals are taught the knowledge, skills, and attitudes expected in their particular cultural and speech communities. Focus will be placed on the process of language socialization for children learning the languages of their native communities, but the course will also explore issues of language socialization for foreign language learners. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2015-16).

1 unit

AN258 Introduction to Linguistics

Explores the structures and functions of languages throughout the world, seeking to uncover both shared and variable patterns across languages. Introduces the tools of modern linguistics for recording and analyzing sound systems, words, syntactic and semantic structures, and the communicative uses of language. Provides background for understanding contemporary issues relating to language.

1 unit

AN260 Language & Gender

This course will introduce students to the anthropological and cross-disciplinary study of gender and language. It will explore new directions for gender and language studies through the critique of past approaches and the discussion of contemporary research and theory contributing to our understanding of language, society, and the sociocultural construction of gender identities. Gender is conceptualized in terms of sliding scales of sex, sexuality, and gender socialization, with an emphasis on language’s role in gender performativity. Students will collect and analyze samples of gendered language use in a specific sociocultural community. (Not offered 2015-16).

1 unit

AN262 Theory and Methods in Linguistic Anthropology

Introduction to basic research methods and the theoretical development of research methodologies applied in the field of linguistic anthropology. In addition to learning basic interviewing, recording and participant observation techniques applied by linguistic anthropologists, students will be introduced to digital technologies for transcription and linguistic data analysis. Students will collaborate on a small research project to gain experience with the research techniques and technologies.

Prerequisite: Anthropology 205 or 256 or 258 or 260 or consent of instructor.

Also listed as Race, Ethnicity, & Migration 215.

1 unit — Leza

AN301 Human Osteology

This lab-based course is a detailed study of the anatomy of the human skeleton as a dynamic, living system. Consideration is given to the growth, structure, and function of bones, and to bioarchaeological and forensic skills such as the determination of age, sex, stature, and pathology from skeletal remains. We will combine theory, its applications, and the limitation of osteological methods with laboratory analysis. The relevant techniques for the reconstruction of past populations and the assessment of human biological variation will be introduced. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World lab or field requirement. (Not offered 2015-16).

Prerequisite: Anthropology 202 or 230, statistics suggested.

1 to 2 units

AN302 Human Ecology and Biology

This lab and field-based course provides an overview of the methods used by biological anthropologists in studying the ecology and biology of living humans. Emphasis will be placed on anthropometry, human nutrition, and ethical considerations surrounding human biology research. Students will gain a historical perspective on the discipline through literature review and practical experience through laboratories and a research project Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World requirement. (Not offered 2015-16).

Prerequisite: Anthropology 202 or 207, statistics suggested.

1 unit

AN306 Primatology

This field and lab-based course exposes students to a range of methods for investigating the ecology, behavior, and biology of living primates. Techniques for assessing habitat quality and monitoring resource availability will be examined. Using a comparative approach, students will examine the anatomy of living primates in order to understand how physical adaptations influence behavior. Standard procedures for collecting and analyzing behavioral data on living primates will be explored. Inferences about behaviors of earliest humans made from our understanding of contemporary non-human primates. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World requirement.

Prerequisite: Anthropology 207..

1 unit — Fish

AN308 Topics in Anthropology:

Advanced study on themes in anthropology or between anthropology and other disciplines. Examples may involve politics, religion, cognition, folklore, materiality, environment or cultural ecology.

Prerequisite: One previous anthropology course or consent of instructor.

1 unit — Montano

AN311 Language in Culture and Mind: Cognitive Anthropology

Explores cognitive anthropology, which is concerned with the relationship between language and mind, how cultural worlds are created and structured through language, and how individual languages shape the attitudes and behaviors of their speakers. We will consider both potential universals in human thought as expressed through language and the diversity of worldviews and behaviors between language communities. (Not offered 2015-16).

Prerequisite: Anthropology 205 or 256 or 258 or consent of instructor.

1 unit

AN312 The Language of Racism

Focuses on the language of racism across cultures, examining the nature of discourses that communicate and reproduce racist ideologies. A special focus will be placed on racist discourse in the United States, New Zealand, and certain societies of Latin America. We will examine the structures and effects of a range of racist discourses, from the extreme discourses of 'white pride' organizations to the everyday language of covert racism.

Also listed as Race, Ethnicity, & Migration 300.

1 unit — Leza

AN315 Senior Seminar in Anthropology

Students complete and present senior capstone projects, with the help of workshops, scaffolded submission deadlines, and peer review. A professional development component prepares students for graduation through structured reflection about their work in the major, and guiding them to generate individual goals and portfolio materials.

Prerequisite: Anthropology 215 or consent of instructor.

1 unit — Fish

AN317 The Anthropology of Place-Making

Covers a wide range of theoretical and methodological approaches in anthropology that relate to studies and interpretations of place making. Encourages wide-ranging curiosity about the social construction of places and spaces, from small-scale structures to large-scale landscapes. Involves close readings and critical discussions of written works that analyze the ways in which people use spaces and places (such as rooms, buildings, street grids, fields, or regions) to articulate social relations.

Prerequisite: Any 100 level anthropology course.

1 unit — Novic

AN318 The Archaeology of Colonial Entanglements

Explores the multifaceted nature of colonial encounters between Europeans and indigenous people, using the Americas as the geographical focus. Special attention to the analytical and theoretical discourse shaping anthropological approaches to colonialism through the topics of material culture, gender, ideology, ethnicity, race, identity, labor, class, and resistance. Readings and discussions will draw on data and perspectives from ethno-history, historical archaeology, and cultural anthropology to tackle the simultaneously global ad local nature of colonialism. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures requirement. (Not offered 2015-16).

1 unit

AN320 Field Archaeology

Design, implementation, analysis and interpretation of archaeological field research. Students construct a research design and spend four weeks collection archaeological data in the field. Field techniques may include survey, mapping, artifact analysis, and excavation. Upon return to campus, students complete analysis and produce a written report detailing the results of their research. (Also listed SW 320.)

Prerequisite: Any previous archaeology course at any level or consent of instructor.

1 unit — Van Dyke

AN321 Rio Grande - Culture, History and Region

An interdisciplinary field-based course based on history, culture, and water issues. It will explore the cultural heritage and creativity of groups whose historical experience has been shaped by the Rio Grande basin from its origin in Colorado to its mouth in the Gulf of Mexico. The course will engage a broad American and international public in the exploration of how the river basin and the people who live within it change, evolve, and develop together, and can affect each other. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2015-16).

Prerequisite: Anthropology 215 or Anthropology 202 or 206 or Anthropology 220 or Anthropology 262.

2 units

AN326 Religion & Ritual

Anthropological approaches to religion and ritual emphasize lived experience, practice, related social, political and economic formations, along with expression, belief, and meaning-creation. Cases encompass both “traditional,” and complex societies, and more often religious pluralism shaped by migration and globalization. Themes include notions of the sacred, supernatural, and good or evil; religion as embodied; shamanic and spiritual healing; place and environment. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures requirement.

Prerequisite: One cultural anthropology course or consent of instructor.

Also listed as Religion 208.

1 unit — Hautzinger

AN331 Evolution, Science, and Society

Traces the development of evolutionary thought and its impacts beyond the scientific community. The nature of science, scientism, and scientific fundamentalism will be examined and the political, religious, and ethical implications of these views will be discussed. This course also explores the history of anti-intellectual traditions and the conditions under which creationist and anti-science movements have developed in both the US and abroad

Prerequisite: Anthropology 202 or 207 and 230, or consent of instructor.

1 unit — Fish

AN333 Evolution of Human Life Histories

Life history theory examines how the “decisions” that individuals make at different life stages impact their survival and reproductive success. Information from studies of human evolution, modern human biology, human ecology, and primate behavior will be used to model the evolution of human life histories. Life history strategies involving sexual behaviors, reproductive biology, investment in offspring, childhood, and adolescence will be investigated in order to identify traits that are uniquely human and when these traits may have first appeared in the human lineage. (Not offered 2015-16).

Prerequisite: Anthropology 202 or 207, or consent of instructor.

1 unit

AN371 Culture Contact and Writing Cultures

This course will incorporate the work of anthropology and cultural studies to introduce students to how foreign cultures were experienced and represented by travelers, explorers, colonial administrators and anthropologists and will focus on forms of writing associated with conquest and colonialism. Students will then be introduced to the travel and tourism genre of representation and will analyze travel writing as cultural politics and the politics of tourism. The course will conclude with an examination of the new ethnography and writing cultures. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement.

Prerequisite: one previous cultural anthropology course or consent of instructor.

1 unit — Montano

AN376 Culture and Power: Political Anthropology

A comparative, holistic study of formal and informal politics in diverse societies. The course focuses on three major themes: examining diverse political systems with emphasis on the emergence of the state; the relationship between power, ideology, and symbolic systems; power and controlling processes, with special attention to dominance, hegemony and resistance. Emphasis on full-length ethnographies. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement.

Prerequisite: One previous cultural anthropology course or consent of instructor.

1 unit — Hautzinger

AN377 Living in the Material World--Economic Anthropology

Examines how people organize their material world to survive and to create meaningful systems of value. A variety of economic forms - small-scale societies with limited accumulation, gift economics, and commodity-based capitalism - are considered from a holistic, comparative perspective. The course concludes with as anthropological critique of colonialism, core-periphery relations, diverse forms of 'capital,' and globalization. This one-block course prepares interested students for a follow-up field course. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2015-16).

Prerequisite: One previous cultural anthropology course or consent of instructor.

1 unit

AN380 Community-Based Field Course

An opportunity for students to engage in team-based, applied anthropological work on a focused project, this course is intended as a linked block that follows up advanced coursework in such areas of study as food, religion and ritual, political, economic, NAGPRA issues, or museum curatorial work. Sites for field-work will vary from year to year, but generally will be grounded in the Rocky Mountain West and/or Southwest Regions. Incorporates such hands-on activities as participant observation, interviewing, policy development and/or collections management, as well as training in qualitative and/or quantitative data analysis. (Not offered 2015-16).

Prerequisite: Related 200-level or 300-level course or consent of instructor.

1 unit

AN400 Research in Anthropology

Student research projects, either independent or in collaboration with ongoing faculty research, based on field, laboratory or library research. Projects must be approved at least one block in advance of the actual block of research.

Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor.

1 unit — Hautzinger