Anthropology (ANTH)

ANTH 1000. Anthropology at Northeastern. 1 Hour.

Intended for first-year students in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities. Introduces students to liberal arts; familiarizes them with their major; develops the academic skills necessary to succeed (analytical ability and critical thinking); provides grounding in the culture and values of the University community; and helps to develop interpersonal skills—in short, familiarizes students with all skills needed to become a successful university student.

ANTH 1101. Peoples and Cultures. 4 Hours.

Surveys basic concepts in cultural anthropology by looking at a range of societies and the issues they face in a globalizing world. Examines the manner in which cultures adapt to, reject, or modify all of the changes they face. These changes impact everything from traditional family structure, to religion, gender, all the way to patterns of joking and concepts of beauty the world over.

ANTH 1990. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

ANTH 2300. Reading Culture through Ethnography. 4 Hours.

Examines culture by reading some of the discipline’s best-known ethnographic works and by revisiting core anthropological themes and methods. Emphasizes critical reading practices within anthropology, how ethnographies and their subjects are constructed, and how anthropologists bring their perspectives to bear upon the study of culture.

ANTH 2302. Gender and Sexuality: A Cross-Cultural Perspective. 4 Hours.

Examines popular and scientific notions about sex, gender relations, family, and kinship. Examines why our images of family, masculinity, and femininity are not universal by analyzing the patterns of sex roles, sexual practices, and kinship in other cultures. Discusses how and why relations between men and women change during times of socioeconomic and political change. ANTH 2302 and WMNS 2302 are cross-listed.

ANTH 2305. Global Markets and Local Culture. 4 Hours.

Examines selected topics in the socioeconomic transformation of other cultures, including urbanization, industrialization, globalization, commodity production, and international labor migration. Focuses on the impact of global capitalist development on contemporary developing and postcolonial societies as well as local responses and/or resistances to those changes.

ANTH 2306. Global Markets and Local Cultures Abroad. 4 Hours.

Examines selected topics in the socioeconomic transformation of other cultures, including urbanization, industrialization, globalization, commodity production, and international labor migration. Focuses on the impact of global capitalist development on contemporary developing and postcolonial societies as well as local responses and/or resistance to those changes. To be taken as part of a Dialogue of Civilizations. May be repeated without limit.

ANTH 2315. Religion and Modernity. 4 Hours.

Introduces a cross-cultural, comparative perspective on religious practice and belief. Explores theoretical definitions of and methodological approaches to the study of religion, as well as more specific concepts of ritual, myth, healing, and identity. Select case studies allow for an in-depth look at the unique formations of a few religious practices and groups.

ANTH 2350. Urban Anthropology. 4 Hours.

Introduces students to the anthropological literature on cities and their subjects. Explores the ways in which cities are seen as places of cultural fascination and exchange, as well as spaces of modernity and futurity. Analyzes the urban character of contemporary cultural, political, economic, and global processes that take place in cities, and provides foundational concepts to understand urban spaces, the construction of urban identities, the complexities of urban living, and the local and global significance of cities.

ANTH 2365. Sport, Culture, and Society. 4 Hours.

Looks at the ways in which sport reflects and obscures social and cultural institutions. Half of the course focuses upon American sport, and the rest upon the global character that modern sport has taken on. Case studies are used from the United States, Dominican Republic, Japan, Brazil, and elsewhere.

ANTH 2990. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

ANTH 3120. Consumer Cultures. 4 Hours.

Introduces students to anthropological theories of consumption and debates about the “social life of things.” Explores the politics invested in material objects ranging from hijab fashions in Teheran to forms of global hipsterism, debates about nationalism and commodity cultures, as well as the political economy of production and consumption. Includes, but is not limited to, commodity fetishism, value, social/cultural capital, distinction, neoliberalism, consumerism, and materiality.

ANTH 3200. Cities in Global Context. 4 Hours.

Examines the roots of the urbanization process, major ways of thinking about it, and the development of world cities and megacities. The 21st century will be a century in which urbanism is a central problem and opportunity. Considers the economic, political, cultural, and environmental dimensions of urbanism across the globe. Includes specific case studies from around the world. Encourages students to develop a knowledge of particular cities in order to examine the key themes of the course. INTL 3200, ANTH 3200, and SOCL 3200 are cross-listed.

ANTH 3410. Ethnographic Field Experience. 4 Hours.

Offers students an opportunity to experience fieldwork while studying current ethnographic methods and theory and to design a semester-long ethnographic field research project. Field sites may include public and outdoor spaces, online communities, cultural centers, schools, immigrant neighborhoods, sports organizations, social service agencies, nonprofit groups, religious institutions, etc.

ANTH 3418. Wired/Unwired: Cybercultures and Technopolitics. 4 Hours.

Explores the impacts of technology and new media on politics, society, and culture. Emphasizes the socioeconomic and political frameworks within which technologies are embedded as well as the role of technology and the Internet in contemporary political and cultural movements. Topics may include the political and cultural effects of the census, the radio, and the camera; the history of the Internet; virtual worlds and communities; online politics and activism; as well as blogging, gaming, and social networking.

ANTH 3421. Foundations of Anthropological Theory. 4 Hours.

Introduces the foundations of anthropological theory. Examines recurring themes surrounding structure and agency, culture and power, and the tension between the individual and society. Addresses these questions by returning to anthropology’s Enlightenment roots, early evolutionary thought, classic and contemporary theories, as well as ongoing critiques of the discipline. Explores different schools of thought, including functionalism, structural functionalism, symbolism, interpretivism, and more recent theoretical developments that address history, political economy, reflexivity, poststructuralism, and feminism, as well as transnational/global and activist approaches. Requires prior completion of two ANTH courses numbered 1000 or above.

ANTH 3990. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

ANTH 4350. Ethnography of Southeast Asia. 4 Hours.

Offers a seminar on the societies and cultures of Southeast Asia. Uses an interdisciplinary approach to this diverse and dynamic geopolitical region, with readings from anthropology, history, political science, and literature. Covers the major political and cultural changes that have shaped Southeast Asia in relation to the world—from the age of colonial expansion, to the rise of nation-states, to the present global era. Examines central questions in the ethnography of Southeast Asia, emphasizing the postcolonial legacies of Southeast Asia, states and violence, culture and mobility, and pressing contemporary issues in globalizing Southeast Asia. ANTH 4350 and INTL 4350 are cross-listed.

ANTH 4500. Latin American Society and Development. 4 Hours.

Explores the processes of social, economic, and cultural change in Latin America. While concentrating on the present, traces class formation, agrarian structures, ethnic identity, ceremonial organization, gender roles, and political conflict since the colonial era in a range of countries. Emphasizes the relationship of communities and national political and economic systems. May emphasize Central America and Mexico or countries in South America through case studies. ANTH 4500 and INTL 4500 are cross-listed.

ANTH 4505. Native North Americans. 4 Hours.

Examines Native American cultures and their reactions to Anglo-American attempts to, first, remove them from their lands and, then, incorporate them into the contemporary framework of modern America. Selects specific groups to explore contemporary issues, including native gaming, racism, gender, cultural appropriation, and economic development.

ANTH 4510. Anthropology of Africa. 4 Hours.

Explores Africa’s changing place in the world. Studies the history of Africa and explores the role of ethnography in the making of colonial Africa and the cultural transformations and continuities produced by the emergence of African cities during and after colonialism. Studies postcolonial Africa to critically and comparatively engage with contemporary issues facing African societies. Considers the efflorescence of new cultural forms of music, art, film, and literature, in conjunction with new sources of identity such as nationality, religion, ethnicity, consumption, and migration. ANTH 4510 and INTL 4510 are cross-listed.

ANTH 4515. Culture and Politics in Modern India. 4 Hours.

Introduces the histories, cultures, and peoples of India. Seeks to convey a sense of how knowledge has been constructed about the region and how the subcontinent has been shaped by its engagements with the world through such processes as colonization, state building, and globalization. Uses readings, films, and class discussions to examine themes and topics that include Orientalism, postcolonialism, caste and community, gender and sexualities, conflict and violence, development and resistance, and transnational structures and processes. Critically evaluates some commonly held assumptions, including classical understandings of tradition and modernity, cohesion and conflict, and nation and identity. ANTH 4515 and INTL 4515 are cross-listed.

ANTH 4580. Special Topics in Anthropology. 4 Hours.

Designed as a specialized themes course for students with prior experience in anthropology and/or sociology. Offers unique opportunities—visiting guests, special thematic interests—which are not part of the regular curriculum. May be repeated without limit.

ANTH 4600. Senior Seminar. 4 Hours.

Designed to deal with anthropological theory and work with students who are asked to apply these theories to some of their own work. Content may vary.

ANTH 4990. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

ANTH 4992. Directed Study. 1-4 Hours.

Offers independent work under the direction of members of the department on a chosen topic. Course content depends on instructor. May be repeated without limit.