Anthropology Curriculum

For students entering IWU in fall 2021 and beyond, Anthropology is no longer available as a major or minor.

ANTH 160 Human Origins

An introduction to human biological evolution and prehistory. Principle topics include the nature of modern science, primate adaptation, human variation and adaptation, the human fossil record, history of evolutionary thought, and the mechanics of evolution. Fulfills general education requirements in Life Sciences Issues. Offered each Fall.

ANTH 171 Cultural Anthropology

Introduces the study of cultures and social processes throughout the world today, with attention to anthropological theory and method. Topics include kinship, exchange systems, political organization, religion, and the expressive arts. Case studies from the non-western world as well as the contemporary U.S. Fulfills general education requirements in Contemporary Social Institutions and Global Diversity flag. Offered each semester.

ANTH 176 Introduction to Archaeology

This course introduces students to the basic theories and methods that anthropological archaeologists use in the study of material culture, past and present. Students examine the history and evolution of field archaeology paying close attention to the contemporary excavation methods being used by archaeologists working on active sites in Illinois and around the world. Offered as needed.

ANTH/MUS 245/345  World Music

This course explores how the social production of gender has interacted  with music in select societies around the world and over time. Under  study is the social life of music and the ways in which gender ideology  has impacted how, why, and by whom music is made. Case studies consider  the gendered nature of musical production, interpretation, and  transformation. By tracing changing ideas about the role of women in  society and how those ideas have influenced music and vice versa, the  intellectual traditions that shape and are shaped by music are better  understood. Fulfills general education requirements in Intellectual Traditions and Global Diversity flag. Offered alternate years.

ANTH 252 Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective

Examination of gender and sex cross-culturally and in evolutionary perspective, with emphasis on the developing world. Topics include women and men in prehistory; notions of masculinity, femininity, and sexuality; the sexual division of labor and economic organization; gender roles in ritual contexts; and the impact of sociocultural change on gender issues. Fulfills general education requirements in Contemporary Social Institutions and the Writing Intensive and Global Diversity flags. Offered as needed.

ANTH 270 Special Topics

Selected topics in anthropology open to students in all majors. May be repeated for credit if content is not duplicated. Offered as needed.

ANTH 273 Self and Society in Japan

Aspects of everyday living in social and cultural context, with emphasis on social relations and the social institutions of family, work, education, medicine, and religion. Other topics include gender, play, art, and popular culture. Fulfills general education requirements in Contemporary Social Institutions and Global Diversity flag. Offered alternate years.

ANTH 274 Peoples and Cultures of East Africa (also Environmental Studies 274)

Survey of select east African societies whose cultural adaptations to varied ecosystems make interesting case studies for comparative analysis. Reveals the diversity and the congruity of human social systems. Fulfills general education requirements in Contemporary Social Institutions and Global Diversity flag. Offered annually, Spring.

ANTH 275 Anthropology of Theatre, Performance & Spectacle

Highlights the social significance of public music and dance rituals performed by select societies around the world. Of special interest to majors of anthropology, music, dance, and theater arts. Fulfills general education requirements in Arts and Global Diversity flag. Offered annually, Fall.

ANTH 276 Native Americans and the Environment (also Environmental Studies 276)

Examines the values, principles and laws that Native Americans use to  conceptualize, define, and organize their relationships with the natural  world. Students compare these ideas with their own understanding of the  environment in written and oral assignments. Students interact with  Native Americans, participate in Native American ceremonies, and spend  time outdoors. This course fulfills general education requirements in  Analysis of Values and offers a U.S. Diversity flag. Offered annually, Fall.

ANTH 277 Area Studies

Selected topics in anthropology with regional focus open to students of all majors, particularly sophomores and juniors. May be repeated for credit if content is not duplicated. Offered as needed.

ANTH 288 Consuming Passions: The Anthropology of Food (also Environmental Studies 288)

Considers forms of human eating in historical and cross-cultural perspective and their relationship to the environment. Examines various systems of subsistence, from hunting and gathering to horticulture to pastoralism, as well as the symbolic aspects of food choice. Fulfills general education requirements for a Global Diversity flag. Offered alternate years.

ANTH 295 Travel Course in Anthropology

First hand observations of the social institutions, cultural practices, and daily life of a particular society, of a distinct cultural group or society. Fulfills general education requirements in Global Diversity flag. Offered occasionally in May term.

ANTH 310 Re-imagining Culture and Fieldwork

Examines issues and controversies in classical and contemporary ethnographic literature. Prerequisite: ANTH 171. Fulfills general education requirements for a Global Diversity flag. Writing intensive. Offered alternate years.

ANTH 330 Language, Communication, and Culture

Explores the relationship between language, society, and thought. The topics include the evolutionary origins of human language, multilingualism, non-verbal behavior, and gendered differences in communication styles. Fulfills general education requirements for a Global Diversity flag. Offered alternate years.

ANTH 350 Health and Healing in Cross-Cultural Perspective

Highlights the variety of ways illness and wellness are conceptualized and the practices that frame and give meaning to healing. Healers and scholars with expertise in non-western, alternative, and complementary modalities introduce students to a variety of healing philosophies. Students select a healer with whom to work closely and produce an ethnography documenting their research. Fulfills general education requirements for a Global Diversity flag. Writing intensive. Offered alternate years.

ANTH 355 African Expressive Arts

This course introduces students to a variety of African expressive art forms in historical particularist and cross-cultural perspective. Artists, scholars, and performers, who specialize in specific African media, will share their expertise in lecture-demonstrations and workshops, providing students with hands-on learning experiences. This course fulfills general education requirements in The Arts and offers a Global Diversity flag. Offered alternate years in May Term.

ANTH 360 Race, Racism, and Anthropology

Traces the relationship of anthropology’s role in both inventing the concept of human races, and then challenging that conception. Examines how racial identities emerge from a variety of social and intellectual traditions that attempt to define race. Considers systems of racial classification and racism in non-Western societies, in addition to the U.S. Fulfills general education requirements for Intellectual Traditions and a U.S. Diversity flag. Offered in alternate years.

ANTH 366 That Complex Whole: Co-Evolution of Biology & Culture

Believing behavior cannot be reduced to distinct biological or environmental causes, course seeks a full appreciation of complexity as it applies to the human experience. Analyzes classical debates about the “causes of human behavior” and highlights the relationship of biological evolution of human culture. Offered as needed.

ANTH 370 Special Topics

Specially-designed courses of a topical nature intended for juniors and seniors. May be repeated for credit if content is not duplicated. Offered as needed.

ANTH 380 Visual Ethnographic Methods

Critical analysis of ethnographic photography and film followed by the production of a visual auto-ethnography, and the following collaborative ethnographic research projects: a photo-essay, poster presentation, and short film. Offered alternate years.

ANTH 397 Internship

Directed research and work in an appropriate social agency, lab, or museum. Prerequisites: Junior or senior standing and approval of the Sociology and Anthropology Department. See Career Center for preliminary details and internship forms. Offered each semester.

ANTH 450 Independent Study

Individual study in an area of special interest. Student must devise a plan of study in cooperation with instructor. Limit: two units of credit. Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing. Offered each semester.

Skill Set Acquired through the Anthropology Curriculum

Theoretical Foundations:
*anthropology's intellectual traditions
*reflexive research ethics
*interconnections between biology and culture
*historical  perspective
*cross-cultural awareness

Methodologies:
*ethnographic interviewing
*participant-observation
*production of ethnographic narratives (written and visual)
*using visual media as a tool for ethnographic inquiry
*independent field research (on and off-campus)