Department of Sociology and Anthropology



GA = Global awareness

C = Computer applications

CD = Cultural diversity

R = Independent research

BD = Biological diversity

F = Field experience

GANTH 195. Cultural Anthropology. 3 credits (GA, CD).

An introduction to the nature of culture and its relationship to language, economics, politics, kinship and other institutions in diverse cultures.  The course also provides an overview of the theories, methods and  ethical responsibilities involved in the study of cultural systems and ethnographic writing.

ANTH 196. Biological Anthropology. 3 credits (GA, BD).

An introduction to the origins, evolution and genetic variability of humans and their relationship to nonhuman primates. Examination of the fossil record, the relationship between biology and culture and human genetics are included. Theories and methods used in the study of biological anthropology are also introduced.

ANTH 197. Archaeology. 3 credits (GA, CD).

An introduction to archaeology through a survey of the major developments in human cultural evolution, focusing on the transition from foraging to agricultural and state-level systems. An examination of the origins and nature of Old and New World civilizations and an overview of archaeological methods and theories are also included.

ANTH 265. Peoples and Cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean. 3 credits (GA,CD).

Anthropological and historical perspectives on the cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean through such themes as colonialism, nationalism, ethnicity, development, aesthetic traditions, gender, religion, and urban and rural resistance movements.

ANTH 280. Peoples and Cultures of Sub-Saharan Africa. 3 credits (GA,CD).

This is an introductory course emphasizing cultural diversity of sub-Saharan African societies. Basic anthropological concepts are used in analyzing African economics, political systems, marriage patterns and family organization, religious beliefs, and the impacts of colonialism and postcolonial development practices.

ANTH 300. Anthropology of Diet and Nutrition. 3 credits.

An evolutionary and cross-cultural perspective on diet and nutrition in human populations. Focus on how and why people choose what to eat, the range and significance of cross-cultural variability in diet, how diets have changed in the evolutionary and recent past and the health and social significance of those changes. Prerequisite: Any lower-level course in anthropology or permission of the instructor.

ANTH 310. Prehistoric and Pioneer Virginia. 3 credits (CD).

A study of the development and diversity of Indian society in Virginia, the initial European settlement and westward expansion. Economic and social problems of initial settlement and the interaction between European and Indian cultures is emphasized.

ANTH 312. The Native Americans. 3 credits (CD).

A study of the nature of Indian societies occupying different environmental areas of North America at the time of earliest historic contact. Indian groups such as Shawnee, Mandan, Nuunamiut, Natchez, Creek, Iroquois and Sioux will be considered.

ANTH/SOCI 313. Processes of Social and Cultural Change.  3 credits (GA, CD).

Investigates the procedures through which a society operates and the manner in which it introduces and incorporates changes. Issues considered include belief, innovation, directed change, coercive change, revitalization and revolution.

ANTH 315. Human Evolution. 3 credits (BD).

An examination of the evidence for the emergence of humans and the factors which influenced it. Includes a review of fossil and artifact evidence for biological and cultural evolution.

ANTH 320. Evolution of Human Behavior. 3 credits.

An exploration of human behavior from an evolutionary perspective. Darwinism, life history theory, and the fundamentals of heredity will be reviewed and employed in the analysis of human behavior, from bipedalism to morality. Data from the fossil and archeological records, genetics, non-human primate studies, and ethnographic fieldwork will be used. Prerequisite: ANTH 196 or permission of the instructor.

ANTH 325. Aztec, Maya and Their Predecessors. 3 credits (GA, CD).

Survey of the Olmec, Toltec, Teotihuacan, Maya and Aztec civilizations and the factors leading to their development, persistence and decline.

ANTH 327. Ancient North American Civilizations. 3 credits (CD).

Studies the emergence of Native American societies prior to historic contact. Emphasizes prehistoric developments in the eastern United States.

ANTH/HIST 331. Historical Archaeology. 3 credits.

The course introduces students to the purposes, subject matter, methodology, and historical background of the discipline of historical archaeology. Building on research issues and methodologies of anthropological archaeology and history, the multidisciplinary aspects of this field are introduced through field trips, projects, guest lectures, readings and classroom presentations. Prerequisite: ANTH 197 or HIST equivalent.

ANTH 435. Ethnographic Genres and Methods. 4 credits.

Explores ethnographic methods and conventions of ethnographic writing through close reading, analysis, and production of ethnographic texts.  Students develop critical skills in assessing ethnographic practice by examining how ethnographies are shaped by authors’ fieldwork experiences, intellectual traditions, and theoretical perspectives.  Students engage in fieldwork and craft their own ethnographic accounts.  Prerequisite or corequisite: ANTH 375.

ANTH 340. Race, Nation and Culture. 3 credits (GA, CD).

Comparative study of the historical and cultural construction of “race,” “ethnicity” and “nation.” Uses recent anthropological approaches to examine how those identities are related and why they serve as the basis for social movements, conflicts and inequalities around the world.

ANTH/SOCI/SOWK 348. Third World Societies: An Introduction.  3 credits (GA).

This course will provide a critical examination of Third World societies within the global system. The course will address theoretical frameworks used to analyze Third World problems. Special attention will be given to persistent problems in the areas of population, poverty, health care, housing and social welfare.

ANTH 350. Magic, Witchcraft and Religion. 3 credits (GA).

Anthropological study of religion in society. The influence of religion on the development of social, legal, governmental and economic aspects of culture is emphasized.

ANTH/SOCI 352. Birth, Death, Sex: Exploring Demography.  3 credits.

Fertility (birth) and mortality (death) and their biological and social determinants in cross-cultural and evolutionary/historical frameworks. Exploration of the dynamic between the material constraints on and symbolic significance of, reproduction, sexuality and death within a cultural context. Critical examination of population growth as a global “problem.” Basic demographic methods. Prerequisite: Any lower-level course in anthropology or sociology or permission of the instructor.

ANTH 355. Culture and Ecology. 3 credits. (GA, BD, CD).

A comparative study of cultures from an ecological perspective. The course focuses on the effects of climate, environment and population interaction on shaping and determining human behavior. Basic ecological concepts and theories are introduced as they relate to the study and explanation of human behavior.

ANTH 360. Medical Anthropology. 3 credits.

The evolutionary, ecological and socio-cultural context of health  and disease. A multi-level, cross-cultural exploration of disease including genetic and macro-level social inputs. Topics include Darwinian  medicine, cultural ecology of infectious disease, including emergent diseases, the biology of poverty, maternal-child health and the history of global health problems. Prerequisite: GANTH 195, ANTH 196 or permission of the instructor.

ANTH 364. U.S./Latin American Borders. 3 credits.

This course examines the experiences of Latin American migrants to the United States. It stresses the cultural expression of those experiences, globalization and its effects on local communities in Latin America, the U.S. responses to migration and migrants. Prerequisite: One course on Latin America.

ANTH/SOCI 368. Modern American Culture. 3 credits (CD).

Analysis of American society as reflected in popular cultural forms. Cultural expressions such as music, literature, theatre, films and sports will be examined as they reflect the values and quality of contemporary life and social structure of the United States.

ANTH 370. Topics in the Anthropology of Gender. 3 credits

This course examines the many ways in which gender is constructed and negotiated in different historical and social contexts. Topics will vary with the instructor to include both cultural and biocultural perspectives.

ANTH 373. Anthropological Perspectives on Environment and Development. 3 credits.

This seminar provides a history of key ideas and figures in environmental anthropology, as well as examines why this field is, by necessity, interdisciplinary. Within this context, we will use specific case studies to examine ways in which the concepts and theories of “development” and “environment” have been produced, perpetuated, manipulated, and challenged in different geographic and politico-economic circumstances. Prerequisite: GANTH 195 or permission of the instructor.

ANTH 375. History of Theory in Sociocultural Anthropology.  3 credits (GA).

An examination of the major theoretical traditions in social and cultural anthropology. Important theoreticians and the historical contexts in which their work emerged are discussed. Fulfills the College of Arts and Letters writing-intensive requirement for the major. Prerequisites: GANTH 195 and junior standing.

ANTH 380. Chinese Society and Culture. 3 credits (GA, CD).

An examination of modern China’s social, cultural, and political structure from the 17th century to the present. Emphasis is placed on local level systems (town, village, lineage, family) and the roles they have played in China’s transition from an agricultural to an industrial society.

ANTH 382. Cultures of Appalachia. 3 credits (CD).

An overview of the peoples, cultures and special problems of the Appalachian region.

ANTH 391. Study Abroad. 1 to 6 credit hours.

Designed to encourage students to enhance their academic programs through studying abroad. Arrangements must be made with a faculty member who will direct the study with preparatory instructions and final requirements. Prerequisites: Permission of Department Head.

ANTH 395. Special Topics in Anthropology. 3 credits.

Examination of selected topics which are of current importance to anthropology. May be taken for a maximum of six hours credit toward the major.

ANTH 435. Ethnographic Genres and Methods. 3 credits (CD).

Explores ethnographic methods and conventions of ethnographic writing through close reading, analysis, and production of ethnographic texts. Students develop critical skills in assessing ethnographic practice by examining how ethnographies are shaped by authors’ fieldwork experiences, intellectual traditions, and theoretical perspectives. Students engage in fieldwork and craft their own ethnographic accounts. Prerequisite or corequisite: ANTH 375.

ANTH 455. Archaeology: Methods of Analysis and  Interpretation. 3 credits (R, F).

A review of the nature of inquiry, recent theory and its practical implications and applications of acquiring, analyzing and interpreting archaeological data. In addition to training in methods of analysis used in contemporary practice, students will gain experience in archaeological report preparation. Prerequisites: GANTH 195 and ANTH 197.

ANTH/SOCI 485. Internship in Anthropology/Sociology.  1-6 credits.

Students participate in internships or as course assistants in anthropology and sociology. Prerequisite: Students seeking credit for internships must secure the approvals of their adviser and department head prior to registration. Students receiving credit as course assistants must have junior/senior standing and can register by faculty invitation only. While a maximum of six credits can be taken under this option, only three credits can be applied toward the major.

ANTH 490. Special Studies in Anthropology. 1-3 credits (R).

Course offers students an opportunity to do independent study under staff supervision. Admission only by recommendation of the instructor and permission of the department head.

ANTH/ARTH/HIST 492. American Material Culture.  3 credits.

A broad introduction to the multidisciplinary “field” of material culture studies through readings, written assignments, in-class exercises, and field trips. The course introduces ways of looking at and learning from objects and examines how scholars from several disciplines have used material culture in their work. Prerequisite: HIST 395. Instructor’s permission required to waive HIST 395 prerequisite for non-history majors.

ANTH 494. Field Techniques in Archaeology. 4 - 8 credits (F, R).

Laboratory course directed at teaching students the basic field techniques and procedures of historic and prehistoric archaeology. Classroom lectures will present techniques and relevant aspects of method and theory.

ANTH 499. Honors. 6 credits. Year course (R).

An independent research topic initiated and completed by qualified senior majors who want to graduate with distinction.


PUBLISHER: University Catalog Office, MSC 8002, Harrisonburg, VA 22807 - PHONE: (540) 568-4064
FOR INFORMATION CONTACT: Kristi Shackelford - Privacy Statement
Last Modified: 6/6/2003