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ANTH 390

Topics in Anthropology

An exploration of selected topics in anthropology, culture and society (see Anthropology of the U.S. and topics listed under ANTH 290.) Prerequisite: sophomore standing. May be repeated for credit with different topics.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Sophomore standing 1/2-1 course

Spring Semester information

Lydia Marshall

390A: Tps:Archaeology and the Politics of the Past

Tps:Archaeology and the Politics of the Past

This course explores how archaeology is used in the political production of narratives about the past. We will consider how "history" is constructed, analyze the close relationship between power and the production of "history," and review how archaeological research is appropriated for nationalist and religious projects. Students will analyze the relationship between archaeologists and the media, consider why Native Americans often reject archaeological knowledge as foreign logic, and explore the public popularity and power of alternative archaeologies such as psychic archaeology and astroarchaeology. A final section of the course--focused on archaeological tourism, collecting, looting, and repatriation--challenges students to more broadly engage the question "who owns the past?"


Ama Boakyewa

390B: Tps:Gender Across Cultures

Tps:Gender Across Cultures

Gender Across Cultures explores the cultural construction of gender and sexuality from a cross-cultural perspective. This course draws on case studies, ethnographies, films and our own experiences to explore the complexities of women's and men's lives and gender hierarchies in a globalized world.


Fall Semester information

Rebecca Schindler

390A: Tps:Who Owns the Past?

The preservation of the world's cultural heritage is increasingly under threat from modern development, environmental degradation, illegal excavation, and military operations. In this course we will examine the ethical and legal dilemmas inherent in dealing with the cultural productions of past populations. There are many stakeholders in the past. From governments and institutions, to descendant communities, archaeologists, and the general public, we will look at the rights and responsibilities that each group claims to have when it comes to using (and perhaps abusing) the past. Topics that we will address include (but are by no means limited to):
What is Cultural Property?: can the past be owned?
Preservation: what are we saving and why?
Research Ethics: what obligations do professionals (archaeologists, curators, etc.) have?
Stewardship: who should be responsible for the past?
Politics and War: what role should modern nation states play in preserving the past?
Meaning: what meanings do people attribute to the past?

As much as possible this course is run as a seminar. The focus is on discussion and critical thinking. Students will present and write-up individual research projects. In addition to the assigned readings, we will also work through a number of case-studies that present difficult ethical dilemmas.


Oscar Gil-Garcia

390B: Tps:The Citizen and the Alien Other: Race, Class, Gender and Immigration Policy in the U.S

This course is framed by a simple contradiction. Race is real, yet it is a myth. Racial categories are very real social and cultural phenomena. They are rooted in history and culturally constructed through laws, the media, and various institutions. These categories are reproduced, subverted, and sometimes changed by people through socialization, media consumption, interaction, dialogue, protest, and political participation. We will explore both its historical construction through immigration law and its contemporary manifestation as a crucial aspect of American culture and an integral component of people's identity. Specifically, in this course, we will learn how race, class, gender shapes immigration policy, and in turn, structures the formation of citizenship and alienage in the U.S. nation state.


Spring Semester information

Angela Castaneda

390A: Ethnographic Perspectives on Reproduction


Rebecca Upton

390B: Public Health in Africa