Fall Anthropology Courses

Fall Courses 2021

ANTH 102 - Introduction to Human Origins (5 credits)

Description of scientific evidence for the evolution of the human lineage from its primitive primate ancestors to the origins of civilization. Emphasis on analytical methods employed to reconstruct history from fossils, geological context and cultural remains.

ANTH 104 - American Mosaic: The Cultures of the United States (4 credits)

The study of the cultures of the United States from the perspectives of ethnicity, race, gender and class. Special emphasis on anthropological methods and approaches to enhance understanding of contemporary socio-cultural lifeways.

ANTH 201 - Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (5 credits)

Introduction to the concepts, methods and practical application of cultural anthropology. The focus is on explanations for social and cultural variation around the world and over time and the significance of holistic and comparative understanding.

ANTH 210 - Introduction to Archaeology (5 credits)

The historical roots and current goals of archaeology. Principles of archaeological inference, including formation of the archaeological record, data collection and analysis, and interpretive frameworks.

ANTH 215 - Introductory Biological Anthropology (5 credits)

The biological side of anthropology; human osteology, primate paleontology, human variation, human evolution and primate behavior.

ANTH 247 - Intro to Linguistic Anthropology (5 credits)

The study of language from an anthropological perspective. Includes an introduction to the structure and patterning of language, the study of language as it is used in daily life, and the role of language in human evolution.

ANTH 301 - Anthropological Theory (5 credits)

The development of anthropological thought from the late 1800s to the present. Emphasis is placed on the major theoretical developments in the discipline.

ANTH 303 - Qualitative Methods in Anthropology (5 credits)

This course will familiarize students with perspectives, methods and techniques of qualitative research in anthropology. The course will cover the theoretical background of qualitative research, major research traditions, methods of data collection, analysis of textual data and the write-up of findings.

ANTH 335 - Quantitative Methods in Anthropology (5 credits)

Mathematics and statistics as applied to anthropological problems.

ANTH 350 - The Ecology of Human Variation (5 credits)

Examines global contemporary sociopolitical, health and related environmental issues with an evolutionary perspective that emphasizes changes in human physiology, development, and the genome and epigenome relative to local ecology (disease, diet, demography) and cultural adaptations.

ANTH 353 - Sex and Gender in Culture (5 credits)

Cross-cultural study of gender stereotypes, gender and language, gender and work roles, gender and religion.

ANTH 361 - American Indian Perspectives (5 credits)

Ethnographic survey of the peoples and cultures.

ANTH 362 - Anthropological Perspectives on Asia (5 credits)

Ethnographic survey of the region, with attention to the diversity of human experience.

ANTH 366 - Perspectives on Africa (5 credits)

This course focuses on the diversity of African societies from an African perspective. We will explore the changing relationships between African cultures and globalized and often neo-colonial contexts, largely within the 21st century. A few resources relate specifically to the African Diaspora. After a brief geographical and historical overview we will cover key critical concepts to decolonialize the materials including stereotypes about Africa.  We will proceed to only a few specific geographical regions, given the immensity of the African continent and variety of cultures and experiences.

ANTH 406 - Archaeological Method and Theory (5 credits)

History of theory and method in North American archaeology and the legacy of earlier goals. Current goals and the development of appropriate theory, method and empirical applications.

ANTH 410 - Archaeological Analysis and Interpretation (5 credits)

Archaeological laboratory methods; artifact identification, classification, measurement; map reproduction, soil and feature profiles; use of photographs and other graphic methods.

ANTH 420 - Human Osteology and Forensic Anthropology (5 credits)

After learning the human skeleton, the student will be trained in techniques for recovery of the body, reconstruction of the body’s history (age, sex, race, etc.) and how to aid the crime investigator.

ANTH 422 - Nutritional Anthropology (5 credits)

The study of human nutrition and metabolism from an anthropological perspective. Topics include the structure and function of the digestive system, the chemical composition of nutrients and the regulation by the body of nutrient stores and body composition. Focuses on using a comparative approach to elucidate a naturalistic human diet and the health consequences when this ideal is not met.

ANTH 424 - Medical Anthropology (5 credits)

Introduction to an area where biological and cultural anthropology interface. Includes health and disease in evolution, the relationships between disease and world view, the healer and the cultural milieu, and comparative studies of healing practices.

ANTH 456 - Anthropology of War and Human Rights (4 credits)

The course focuses on emic and etic perspectives of war and human rights. Investigates cultural relativism and anthropology with regard to war and violence. Cultural constructions of war and definitions of human rights are fundamental to an understanding of what it means to be human.

ANTH 470 - Museology Studies (3-5 credits)

Internship at the Whatcom Museum of History and Art or other local museums. Students may select an area of museum specialization in most cases; essay questions and a paper are also required. Repeatable to a maximum of 10 cr.

ANTH 479 - People of the Sea and Cedar Internship (1-6 credits)

This is an internship at the Whatcom Museum, specifically to prepare students for workshops/tours for a program titled The People of the Sea and Cedar, which focuses on Northwest Coast Native peoples. The student will conduct workshops/tours for third and fourth grade students studying Native American history and culture. Interns will also learn about broader museum topics through readings and demonstrate their understandings through weekly short essays. A self-evaluation and Summary of Learning is also required. Interns should be comfortable working with people and hold an interest in Native American culture. Interns will need to be available for certain hours and make a two consecutive quarter commitment. Repeatable up to 7 credits including original course.

ANTH 490 - Senior Seminar in Anthropology (5 credits)

Capstone seminar in anthropology. Topics vary, emphasis is on current research questions in anthropology. Students write a research proposal, conduct a research project and present the findings. Repeatable to a maximum of 10 credits.

Endangered Languages – Judy Pine

Many linguists predict that by the year 2050 over half of the world’s languages will be dead or dying. As many scholars have noted, the figures used in these predictions are difficult to verify. Nevertheless, language loss is occurring and this projected loss of linguistic diversity is of deep concern, not only for those whose languages are at risk, but also to those who use dominant languages as their primary form of communication. 

Through the lens of language revitalization, or Reversing Language Shift (RLS), this class explores the phenomenon of language loss, the relationship between political and economic factors and language maintenance, and the resiliency of human languages in the face of homogenizing forces. 

The core of the course is the concept of language revitalization. We’ll explore the motivation(s) behind this process, the methods and the obstacles encountered in efforts to revive and maintain endangered languages. We will consider the impact of language ideology on the process of language revitalization, and explore the various methods with which linguistic anthropologists, linguists and speakers of endangered languages are working to return these languages to vitality, with special attention to the role of new technologies in work on language shift. 

The class will culminate in poster presentations based on your research papers, allowing each of you to present your research to your peers and colleagues both within and outside our class.

New Imperialism – Josh Fisher

In a thousand years, students of human history will look back at the present moment as a threshold for the world to come. The 20th century witnessed a world brought together by the spread and eventual collapse of colonialism, by the moral refutation of slavery, and by the rise of democratic governance premised upon principles of basic equality and human dignity. Yet, even as we are firmly within the 21st century, it is clear that imperialism is alive and well. From nation-states that continue to assert political and military and political control over resources in foreign lands, to global corporations that control access to medicine, food, and communications; from appeals to violence to unify new territories and to control movements of people, to capitalist ventures aimed at expanding global markets under the banner of freedom, liberation, and development, empire shapes each of our lives. The terrain is the same as it always was - the minds, bodies, communities, and environments of living beings - but the struggle is very different.

This course asks: How should we understand imperialism today? How might we understand the perspectives and experiences of those who are on the outside of empire looking in? How can we approach the new imperialism as extensions of cultural projects of power and control that were formed in an era of colonialism and that still run deep in modern ways of knowing and being? Finally, how might the study of imperialism, past and present, help us to build a more nuanced, anthropological understanding of modernity’s globalizing and totalizing ambition? In posing such questions, the course reframes the traditional focus on particular locales, cultures, or regions in order to engage themes that span space and time.