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New Courses

Anthropology

Dr. Liam Buckley

ANTH 395: Economic Anthropology

This course examines the cross-cultural logics by which humans make sense of and engage in economic activity, work, wage labor, consumerism, exchange, gifting, and world systems.  Topics will include the relationship of economics and gender, race, class, and kinship.  Texts will include selections from Marx's "Capital," Taussig's "Devil and Commodity Fetishism in South America," Bourgois' "In Search of Respect:  Selling Crack in Spanish Harlem," and Rubin's "The Traffic in Women: Notes on the 'Political Economy' of Sex."

Dr. Richard Lawler

ANTH 395: Monkey Love

This course surveys nonhuman primate sexuality, and specifically the sexual behaviors, sexual anatomy, and sociosexual interactions of nonhuman primate species from a comparative perspective.  Almost all topics pertaining to sexuality will be covered in some form: physiological and endocrinological bases of sexuality; courtship behaviors, neurological foundations of sexuality; homosexuality; genital morphology; autoerotic behaviors; mating systems; male and female reproductive strategies; and various topics emanating from the theory of sexual selection including sperm competition, infanticide, sexual coercion, and the evolution of sexual 

dimorphism.  Where appropriate, we will also make comparisons with human sexuality.

Dr. Megan Tracy

ANTH 395-005 Pastoral Landscapes and Mobilities

The world appears to be in constant motion. News, people, goods, money, diseases, images, and ideas flow in every direction across the globe. Words like globalization, the network society, cosmopolitanism, and others have entered into our everyday lives and seek to capture the ways in the world is being (re)configured by the ways in which people move. We tend to forget that mobility has long been a focus of anthropological interest. Not only did ethnographic practice—fieldwork in distant locations—shape anthropologists’ own experiences as travelers, but also the experiences of the peoples that they described presented diverse examples of  movement across landscapes. In this seminar, we will develop a broad understanding of current anthropological concepts and theories regarding social and geographic mobility by examining classic forms of mobility in contemporary contexts (such as pastoralism and other nomadic populations such as the Roma) together with new social and cultural practices of mobility (produced in changing modes of transportation, tourism, and the nomadic objects of everyday life such as cell phones, iPads and laptops). Drawing on a diverse set of theoretical and ethnographic texts, this course focuses on the ways in which mobility is imagined and the practices that both enable movement and obstruct it.

Dr. Amy Paugh

ANTH 405: Anthropology of Language

This course examines current issues in the anthropology of language. Topics vary by semester, but each course will include hands-on analysis of social interaction and/or investigation of contemporary case studies of language policy, ideologies, and use.

 

Sociology

Dr. Keo Cavalcanti

SOCI 395: The Social Animal

The class is built around David Brooks’ book, The Social Animal . Sociological readings will be used to respond to his summary of the latest development in biological and psychological research on human development.

Dr. Beth Eck

Sociology 480: Senior Seminar in Families, Cultures and Societies

This course introduces students to family life in societies and cultures outside of the United States. As your capstone course in the sociology major, it aims to help you depart JMU thinking like a sociologist about a specific topic, and in so doing, sharpen your sociological lens as you think about and investigate all aspects of social life.   Toward that end, we will be centrally focused on how social forces and social institutions (i.e., the economy, religion, technology, migration, etc.) influence the composition of families, roles and identities within the family, and ideologies of what family “should” be.  In turn, we will explore how interactions within individual families and communities reproduce or reinvent “Family” and identities within it. 

 

 

 

Anthropology
Dr. Liam Buckley
ANTH 395: Economic Anthropology
This course examines the cross-cultural logics by which humans make sense of and engage in economic activity, work, wage labor, consumerism, exchange, gifting, and world systems.  Topics will include the relationship of economics and gender, race, class, and kinship.  Texts will include selections from Marx's "Capital," Taussig's "Devil and Commodity Fetishism in South America," Bourgois' "In Search of Respect:  Selling Crack in Spanish Harlem," and Rubin's "The Traffic in Women: Notes on the 'Political Economy' of Sex."
Dr. Richard Lawler
ANTH 395: Monkey Love
This course surveys nonhuman primate sexuality, and specifically the sexual behaviors, sexual anatomy, and sociosexual interactions of nonhuman primate species from a comparative perspective.  Almost all topics pertaining to sexuality will be covered in some form: physiological and endocrinological bases of sexuality; courtship behaviors, neurological foundations of sexuality; homosexuality; genital morphology; autoerotic behaviors; mating systems; male and female reproductive strategies; and various topics emanating from the theory of sexual selection including sperm competition, infanticide, sexual coercion, and the evolution of sexual 
dimorphism.  Where appropriate, we will also make comparisons with human sexuality.
Dr. Megan Tracy
ANTH 395-005 Pastoral Landscapes and Mobilities
The world appears to be in constant motion. News, people, goods, money, diseases, images, and ideas flow in every direction across the globe. Words like globalization, the network society, cosmopolitanism, and others have entered into our everyday lives and seek to capture the ways in the world is being (re)configured by the ways in which people move. We tend to forget that mobility has long been a focus of anthropological interest. Not only did ethnographic practice—fieldwork in distant locations—shape anthropologists’ own experiences as travelers, but also the experiences of the peoples that they described presented diverse examples of  movement across landscapes. In this seminar, we will develop a broad understanding of current anthropological concepts and theories regarding social and geographic mobility by examining classic forms of mobility in contemporary contexts (such as pastoralism and other nomadic populations such as the Roma) together with new social and cultural practices of mobility (produced in changing modes of transportation, tourism, and the nomadic objects of everyday life such as cell phones, iPads and laptops). Drawing on a diverse set of theoretical and ethnographic texts, this course focuses on the ways in which mobility is imagined and the practices that both enable movement and obstruct it.
Dr. Amy Paugh
ANTH 405: Anthropology of Language
This course examines current issues in the anthropology of language. Topics vary by semester, but each course will include hands-on analysis of social interaction and/or investigation of contemporary case studies of language policy, ideologies, and use.
Sociology
Dr. Keo Cavalcanti
SOCI 395: The Social Animal
The class is built around David Brooks’ book, The Social Animal . Sociological readings will be used to respond to his summary of the latest development in biological and psychological research on human development.
Dr. Beth Eck
Sociology 480: Senior Seminar in Families, Cultures and Societies
This course introduces students to family life in societies and cultures outside of the United States. As your capstone course in the sociology major, it aims to help you depart JMU thinking like a sociologist about a specific topic, and in so doing, sharpen your sociological lens as you think about and investigate all aspects of social life.   Toward that end, we will be centrally focused on how social forces and social institutions (i.e., the economy, religion, technology, migration, etc.) influence the composition of families, roles and identities within the family, and ideologies of what family “should” be.  In turn, we will explore how interactions within individual families and communities reproduce or reinvent “Family” and identities within it.