Skip to main content area Skip to institutional navigation Skip to sub-navigation

Introduction to Cultural Anthropology and Material Culture/Hispanic Folklore of the Southwest


Blocks 1 and 2: Mario Montaño

This two-block course fulfills the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures and Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirements.

Students will be introduced to study of cultural anthropology and Hispanic Folk Arts of the Southwest. We will cover the cultural history of Native-Americans and Hispanics in the Southwest and the examine: (1) the concept of culture and its' multiple meanings, (2) people as social, and cultural beings; (3) the relationship of language and the construction of cultural meaning; (4) the different kinds of ethnographic research, (5) how people make sense of their way of life; (5) the different historical meanings with these concepts and themes to appreciate the human behavior in different periods and places. The course will directly engage students in cultural anthropological work, material culture, and research methods. Students will apply several concepts and theoretical frameworks folk arts and crafts: religious folk art, textiles, domestic folk arts, and occupational folk arts. This course will involve a 7-day fieldtrip during the third week of the first block in Colorado and New Mexico, where students will investigate the folk arts, meet folk artists of the Southwest and conduct detailed analyses of artifacts.

A two-block course with one instructor; one grade will be given for the course as a whole.


• This course serves as a gateway to the Anthropology Major.

• Both blocks, taken together, fulfill two units toward the Anthropology Major.

• There will be afternoon social media labs.

• Course involves a week-long fieldtrip throughout the Southwest: Colorado and New Mexico.