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CASA 1: Introduction to Cultural and Social Anthropology - Syllabus
Winter 2007

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CASA 1Introduction to Cultural and Social Anthropology
Cultural and Social Anthropology 1

Winter 2007          Professor Fernando Armstrong
MWF 9:00-950 (Section Fridays/TBA)                                   Office: 110-112E
Location: CERAS 300  
Aisha Beliso-DeJesus

• What does it mean to be human? Is there a universal human experience?
• What is culture? Where does this idea come from?
• How do anthropologists render human behavior?
• How have humans understood the differences between human societies? What is race and ethnicity?
• What roles have nationalism and colonization played in shaping the world we live in?
• How do we explain the vast disparities in wealth and political power between the “west” and “non-western” worlds?
• How do humans conceptualize the non-material world? Is spirituality the sign of an “unevolved” intellect? Or is it a feature of the human condition?
• What is globalization? What role does the media play in shaping personal, familial and national identities?
• How does the material world of humans, shape and reflect a symbolic universe created by humans?

Course Description:

Some of the most important issues facing human societies today result from differences in ideology, economic and political power, gender, identity and globalization. While we may be more familiar with some of these topics than others, each of these topics and questions have been and continue to be addressed by anthropologists past and present. Cultural and social anthropology can help explain how we socially construct our worlds, introduce us to new and different ways of living, and help us become informed and responsible citizens of an increasingly interconnected world.  

Course Requirements:

You are required to read all assignments in Investigating Culture and FOUR of the Following Five ethnographies in the following order (see syllabus).  Selected readings will also be assigned and available through Coursework.

Return to Laughter, Elenore Bowen

House Of Lim, Margery Wolf

In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio. Phillippe Bourgoise

Guests of the Sheik, Elizabeth Fernea

The Beautiful and the Dangerous, Barbara Tedlock

1) One Mid-term exam and one Final (both in class) Worth 20% each.

2)   Eight Weekly Reflection Papers, (2 double spaced pages minimum 6 max.). (Average score = 45% of grade)

2) Attendance and participation in lectures and sections. Worth 15% of grade.

3) Students are required to attend all lectures and film screenings.  

Letter grades only.  
Late papers will not be accepted.


Week 1:  Introduction:  Recording other people: Orientation and Disorientation, What is Cultural Anthropology?

Due By Wed In Class:
• Read Delaney: “Disorientation and Orientation” and “Shakespeare in the Bush” 1-33

Week 2: Spatial Locations Colonization and Anthropology: Ethnography and Cultural Anthropology Situated

(Mon) January 15   HOLIDAY
(Wed) January 17 Lecture: Mike Wilcox
(Fri) January 19 Film: Trobriand Cricket

Due By Wed In Class:
• Read Delaney: “Spatial Locations” and “The American Front Porch: Women’s Liminal Space”  33-74  
• Begin: Return to Laughter

Week 3: All We Have is Time

(Mon) January 22nd Lecture: Mike Wilcox
(Wed) January 24 Lecture: Mike Wilcox
(Fri) January 26th        Sections meet

Due By Wed In Class:
• Read Delaney: “All We Have is Time”; “Time is for Savoring”; and “The Original Affluent Society”  75-133
• Finish  Return to Laughter
• Due: Delaney Exercises and Return to Laughter Questions

Week 4:  Ethnography and Colonization, Language

(Mon) January 29 Lecture: Ethnography (cont) and Colonization      
(Wed) January 31 Lecture: Language: We are What We Speak
(Fri) Feb 2 Section

Due By Wed In Class:
• Read Delaney “Language: We Are What We Speak” 134-174
• Read: House of Lim
• Due: Delaney Exercises
• Feb 4 Watch the Pre-game of the Super bowl in your House or Dorm (or at Murray House)
6-630 pm on ABC. Assignment: be an ethnographer- take notes, what is going on???

Week 5:  Relatives and Relations: Class, Caste, Family and Kinship  

(Mon) Feb 5   Lecture: Early Kinship (Robert Rollings)
(Wed) Feb 7   Lecture:  Kinship and its Critiques
(Fri) Feb 9 Friday Midterm in class

Due By Wed In Class:
• Read Delaney “Relatives and Relations” and “Symbols of Category Membership” and “Kinship Systems” 175-229  
• Begin In Search of Respect (Selected Chapters To be Announced)
• Due: Delaney Exercises; Super bowl Pre-game Exercise and House of Lim Questions

Film?: Dadi’s family

Week 6:   Political Economy, Class and Culture: Narratives of development and progress

(Mon) Feb 12 Lecture: Political Economy
(Wed) Feb 14 Lecture: Class
(Fri) Feb 16 Section

Due By Wed In Class:
• Read Wolfe Article: “The Bills of Inequality” (on Coursework)
• Selections from In Search of Respect
• Due: In Search of Respect Questions

Film: Born Rich

Week 7:   Anthropological Approaches to Gender

(Mon) Feb 19 HOLIDAY---Begin Reading: Guests of the Sheik
(Wed) Feb 21 Lecture: Gender
(Fri) Feb 23 Section

Due By Wed In Class:
• Read Delaney “Our Bodies, Our Selves” 229-269
• Read Guests of the Sheik (Parts I-III up to p. 216)
• Due: Delaney Questions

Week 8:  Religion Ritual and Culture

(Mon) Feb 26 Lecture
(Wed) Feb 28 Lecture
(Fri) March 2 Section

Due By Wed In Class:
• Read Victor Turner Article (Uploaded on Coursework)
• Finish Guests of the Sheik (Parts IV-VI)
• Due: Guests of the Sheik Questions

Week 9:   Indigenous Peoples and Movements: Representation and the Reformulation of Anthropology

(Mon) Mar 5 Lecture
(Wed) Mar 7 Lecture
(Fri) Mar 9 Section

Due By Wed In Class:
• Read Selection from Rosaldo, Culture and Truth
• Read Article Warren on “Pan-Mayanism”
• Begin Reading: The Beautiful and the Dangerous (Chapters 1-9)
• Due: The Beautiful and the Dangerous Questions

Week 10:  Globalization and Modernity- Questions new and old (Review and Final)

(Mon) Mar  12 Lecture
(Wed) Mar  14 Section
(Fri) Mar  16 Final Exam In-Class

Due by Wed In-Class:
• Finish The Beautiful and the Dangerous

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