ANT 110: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

Fall 2003

Phyllis Passariello

H (8am-9:30am), I (9:40am – 11:10am) Blocks, Tu, Thurs................................................................. 124 Olin Hall

Office: Cheek Emeritus House (corner of Fifth and Main Streets, next to book store)
Once inside building, go through door marked ‘2’ to office ‘2c’ at end of hall.

Office Hours: Tuesday, Thurs. 11:15 am – 12:15pm; Wed. 11:30 am – 12:30pm; and other times always by appointment.

Phone: X 8790; home: 236-5717, only before 8 p.m. please. ...............................................................Email:
Email communication is the most reliable and preferred by the instructor.

An introduction to the perspectives and methods of anthropology, focusing on cultural anthropology, noting simultaneously human universals and human diversity. Topics covered include the nature of culture and the implications of biology for culture, the relation of culture to language, the importance of the environment in its largest sense for human societies, and a cross-cultural examination of family structure, social organization, political and economic systems, personality and worldview, religion, arts, folklore, and other expressive culture, the impact of social and cultural change, the implications of cultural relativity, and the responsibility of the informed world citizen in the fight against oppressive inequalities and the quest for universal human rights.


1. Attendance; full participation including completion of reading and other assignments on time(Late papers and other late work will receive grade deduction). Possible pre-assigned and impromptu quizzes. (You are likely to have a quiz on the week’s reading almost every Thursday.) Possible impromptu in-class exercises; each person is required to participate in one and possibly two small group oral presentations related to the class materials as requested by instructor, explanation and guidelines to be announced; a few one-page “reaction papers” as requested by the instructor, guidelines t.b.a. Occasional extra-credit opportunities offered by the instructor. (30% total: 10% oral,extra-credit; 20% quizzes, short papers).

2. Midterm Exam, Tuesday, Oct. 21 (25%)

3. Analytical paper ( 2 – 4 pages, typed; ), issue-oriented, with specific guidelines to be announced by the instructor. (15%)
Paper, due: Tuesday, Nov. 4.

4. Critical ‘book review’ focused very specifically on one topic or issue from the Fernea book: Guests of the Sheik, including at least one outside, contemporary source for comparison and/or contrast. Further guidelines will be announced by the instructor.
(2-4 pp, typed) (15%)
Book Review due: Tuesday Nov. 18

5. Final Exam, during scheduled exam period: (15%)

Required Books:
Quinn, Daniel 1992 Ishmael

Spradley, James and David McCurdy , eds. 10th editiion, 2000 Conformity and Conflict: Readings in Cultural Anthropology,

Yoors, Jan 1987 The Gypsies

Lewis, William F. 1993 Soul Rebels: The Rastafari

Fernea, Elizabeth Warnock 1965 Guests of the Sheik: An Ethnography of an Iraqi Village

Murphy, Robert The Body Silent

Other readings t.b.a., possible reserve readings in the library, handouts.



Week 1: Sept. 9,11
Introduction to course; What is the scope of anthropology? Methodology: What is ethnography? What do anthropologists do?
READ: Spradley and McCurdy, ( S&M hereafter) pp 3-17 and Chapters 1,4,*8.; read Quinn through chapter 8, pp. 3 - 148.
Assignment: one-page, typed “reaction paper” DUE in class on Thursday, Sept. 5;
(See ‘reaction paper guidelines’) Topic: Ishmael, so far, (with optional reference to S&M intro plus ch 1)

Week 2: Sept. 16,18 Culture and Communication. READ: Spradley and McCurdy, chs.,3,5,7,9; finish Quinn pp. 151 - 263. FILM: Sept. 12 in class, Baby Talk.

Week 3: Sept. 23,25 Why focus on foragers and 4th World Peoples? Subsistence behaviors and culture
Sept. 25: FILM: Grits; plus instructor’s slides
Sept. 25: Students’ Presentation groups : Ishmael event, guidelines t.b.a.
READ: S&M chs. 2,*11,12,13,14,*15; start Yoors book, pp 1-107

Week 4: Sept. 30, Oct. 2 Kinship, Family, Gender, Equality, Power
Oct. 2: FILM: N’ai: The Story of a !Kung Woman
READ: S&M chs. 21, 22, 23, 24,* 25, 26; Yoors 108-159;

Week 5: Oct. 7, 9 Equality and Power; economic anthropology, politics and war; discuss Old World/NewWorld; cross-cultural and/or multicultural studies.
Oct. 9: Students’ Presentation groups: event t.b.a.
READ: S&M chs. 20,29.30, 31; finish Yoors, pp.160-256

Week 6: Oct 14, 16 Cultural Relativity, Romanticism, Scapegoating
Oct. 14: Film: Gypsy
Oct. 11: Students’ Presentation groups: Rom event
No new reading: review for midterm.

Week 7: Tuesday, Oct. 21 MIDTERM EXAM in class

******* FALL BREAK, Oct 23 – 26 ********

Week 8: Oct. 28, 30 Psychological Anthropology, Culture and Personality. Integration of Cultural Parts; Rites of Passage and Life Cycle; Mexican ‘Day of the dead’
Oct. 30: FILMS: Beauty Knows No Pain and A Night at the Phi Delt House. Plus
Slides, short film on Day of the Dead
READ: start Fernea, pp. ix - 102

Week 9: Nov, 4, 6 Systems of Meaning: Religion, Worldview, Day of the Dead
******* NOTE: Nov. 4: analytical PAPER DUE, in class **********
Nov. 6: FILM: Afghanistan Through Women’s Eyes (20m)
Nov. 6: event led by Students’ Presentation groups
READ: S&M chs.33,34; Fernea, pp 105 - 255

Week 10: Nov. 11, 13 Syncretism, Revitalization movements
Nov. 13: FILM: Rebel Music: The Bob Marley Story
READ: S&M 32, 35; start Lewis, foreword plus chapters 1 - 8

Week 11: Nov. 18, 20 Expressive Culture; Change
*******NOTE: Nov. 18: book review PAPER DUE in class*****
Nov. 20: FILM: First Contact —and please complete a film worksheet which you will have received, due at the next class
READ: finish Lewis, chapter 9 – 12; start Murphy; work on Rasta Day with your groups,
guidelines t.b.a.

Week 12: Nov. 25: Rasta culture; Post-Colonial anthropology.
Nov. 25: RASTA DAY
READ: S&M 18, 19, 36, 37; start Murphy to p. 136

*********Thanksgiving Break *****Nov. 26 30******

Week 13: Dec. 2, 4 Postmodern anthropology; applied anthropology; semiotics; your professors’ on-going research with SLIDES
Dec. 4: Film: Stranger With A Camera
READ: Finish Murphy to p. 231

Week 14: Dec. 9, 11 Bringing it all back home: Current Debates; working conclusions, relevance of anthropology to our daily lives
Dec. 11: Evaluations; guidelines for Final Exam. Synthesizing Course Themes.
READ: review for exam

Final Exam: during scheduled exam periods:
ANT 110a: Tuesday, Dec. 16
ANT 110b: Wednesday, Dec. 17

NOTE:**YOUR CHOICE VIDEO EXPERIENCES, time and place, to be announced ***

For the Final Exam, you must have seen at least ONE of the following films:

“The Harder They Come”
“Once Were Warriors”
“Rabbit Proof Fence”
“Bowling for Columbine”