ANTH 290 - Special Topics in Anthropology
Planned Offering: Offered when interest is expressed and departmental resources permit.
A discussion of a series of topics of anthropological concern. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.
Winter 2014 topic:
ANTH 290: Hooking up and Dating on Campus in the Digital Age (3). This class explores how the cell phone has impacted “hooking up” and dating on campus, with particular attention to Washington and Lee University as a case study. We discuss the development of campus sexual culture in America and the influence of digital technology on student sociality. Students use open-source digital research tools to analyze data (interviews, focus groups, statistics) collected during Fall 2011 about dating and “hookup” behavior at W&L. Students work in groups to post their weekly analyses on the class WordPress site, as a digital humanities project. The goal of the course is to create a variety of interpretations of the data that might challenge or reaffirm conclusions drawn in a recent scholarly article. Goluboff.
Fall 2013 topics:
ANTH 290-01: American Indian Ethnography (3). One of the major goals of modern ethnohistory is to use historical and anthropological methods to uncover the understandings that non-western peoples have of their own histories. This seminar will introduce students to the theoretical and methodological principles of ethnohistorical research and their application to North American peoples. Participants will first study American Indian conceptions of time and their relationship to the criteria by which tribal communities selected and comprehended the events comprising their histories. The seminar will then examine how Indian tribes from different parts of North America, including the Southwest, Northeast, Southeast, and Plains interpreted, evaluated, and responded to their encounters with colonial and the United States governments. Markowitz.
ANTH 290-02: Food, Culture, & Society (3). In this course, we discuss the key roles that food plays in culture, society, and individuals’ notions of self and community. We begin by investigating the place of food in religious rituals and the daily practices of believers. We then focus on how the globalization of the food industry has impacted local cultures, the natural environment, and national identities. When studying the influence of the “eat local” movement on shopping and consumption habits, we take a field trip to nearby place(s) of sustainable farming and artisan/heritage food production. Students write a research paper on the trajectory of a food item of their choice, preferably using options available in the local community. Goluboff.
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