Textbook for an Introduction to Anthropology course. Part I covers cultural anthropology and Part II covers biological anthropology.
Syllabus for ANT 211: Cultural Anthropology using Open Educational Resources. This is designed for a summer session, asynchronous online course.
Movement away from the textbook model has potential to foster equitable access to course materials as well as reduce textbook costs for students. As such, transition to a zero cost/OER classroom included the curation of open access scholarly literature to cover the four-field approach presently taught in introductory anthropology courses.
The following activities use open educational practices to engage students in active and shared learning. The first section discusses a model for creating a more open syllabus, the second section is an assignment where students create a collaborative bulletin board, and the third section is an activity where students first create presentations that are added to an online “video text.” All of these activities are buildable and can be shared with new classes over time, building a larger repository of class materials that are based on students' active participation and authoritative knowledge. While these are intended for an Introductory class in Anthropology, they can be adapted for a variety of disciplines in the social sciences and humanities.
* a free alternative to expensive Introduction to Cultural Anthropology textbooks
* includes a full textbook and several original videos
* includes 10 "challenges" (assignments)
* a hub of original and found resources for teaching and learning anthropology
* a “connected course” of many faculty around the world sharing instructional materials
* an open course freely available to anyone online
* an emerging producer of original anthropological videos and other digital content
Introduction to Cultural Anthropology explores fundamental questions about what it means to be human through a comparative study of different cultures. Anthropology seeks to understand how culture both shapes societies, from the smallest island in the South Pacific to the largest Asian metropolis, and affects the way institutions work, from scientific laboratories to Christian mega-churches. It provides a framework for analyzing diverse facets of human experience such as gender, ethnicity, language, politics, economics, and art.
This course introduces the methods that archaeologists utilize to reconstruct cultural developments of the past and traces the origins of complex social organization in various locations throughout the world. Beginning with the earliest evidence of stone tool production (ca. 2 million years ago), we will examine the interrelationship of complex social organization, population growth, the development of agriculture, writing, social inequality, and cities.
How do we know what we believe to know about the past? This class will dive into this question by introducing students to archaeology, a sub-discipline of anthropology that explores the human past through materiality. An overview of archaeological method and theory and current approaches to the practice. Topics will include history of the discipline, how societies were organized, subsistence patterns, technology and trade, and analytical approaches. In addition, the course will explore some of the present issues within the field of archaeology. Class will use lectures, class discussions, reading materials, visual media, and guest lectures to explore the topics discussed above.
“Eating and food provide some of the most basic ways in which humans define themselves. A cross-cultural consideration of nutrition, food production and food as social practice will help to define the place of food and eating in basic human practice.” (Brooklyn College Course Catalog, 2022)
Food is an essential component for the survival of any living organism. Such as the case with humans, that in order to live, they need to eat. Food gives us an opportunity to see the similarities and differences among cultural groups, one group’s delicacies are another’s taboos. Why is food inherently part of culture? This is one of the main questions we will attempt to respond to in this course. Food is part of an economic system, but also part of a political and symbolic imaginary. In this course, we will cover an array of topics that include: food production, exchange, and consumption; power, politics, migration, labor, race, gender, space, language, nutrition, and eating. This experience will give us an opportunity to see how intrinsic food and eating are, not only for the survival of our species, but as part of culture and society.
As organisms, humans need to eat to live. As cultural beings, eating and food provide some of the most basic ways in which humans define themselves. One group’s delicacies are another’s taboos, and what defines comfort foods and favorite dishes shifts drastically across cultures and individuals. Eating and food are simultaneously profoundly personal, deeply cultural, inherently economic, and increasingly political. This course is organized around the production, circulation, and consumption of food, and the political and economic effects of those processes. Students will learn to use food as an analytical entry point for thinking about relationships among humans and with non-human beings.
This course engages students in the diversity of American urban life and introduces various modes of analyzing socio-cultural scenes, communities, and urban institutions. In the first part of the course, we will lay the foundations for understanding urban processes and communities. We will examine the racial and ethnic diversity in cities and the ways people understand and cope with being in an environment filled with "strangers". We will develop an understanding of urban political economy and the effects of inequality and economic strain on urban life. In the second part of the course, we will focus on the effects of globalization, post-industrial decline, and post-modernism on cities. In this section, we will focus on the production and consumption of urban spaces. We will look at the ways American cities have developed and changed as well as the competing views and political contestations behind these transformations.
Libguide OER for Prof. Jill Cavanaugh's course: ANTH 3360: Language Loss: Culture, Politics and Self. What does it mean to lose or risk losing your language? What is the value of language, to speakers, to experts like anthropologists, to humanity more broadly? This course explores answers to these questions through thinking about language as a cultural practice and object, a political activity and topic, and something that is deeply entwined with speakers’ senses of self. We will consider case studies from the US immigrant experience as well as cases of language endangerment and loss around the globe. To analyze these issues more immediately, students will do a research project about a language in Brooklyn, which will involve mapping ethnographic research, photographic, interviews, and other evidence to tell a story about a particular language’s current vitality
About Urban Archaeology
Archaeology is undoubtedly most famous for its exploration and discovery of “wonderful things” from the deep past in “exotic” places: Tutankhamun’s tomb! Lost Maya cities! Archaeologists are also keen sift through and ask questions of ancient garbage: What do these tools at Stonehenge suggest about Neolithic and Bronze Age social networks? These discoveries and questions are important for understanding where we came from. However, more and more archaeologists are turning their attention, their theory, and their methods to the recent past and contemporary worlds. This course explores a body of work that advances these efforts in American urban places and considers debates that make the more recent American urban world its object. The course then asks students to assess and evaluate various aspects of American urban life through exposure to a broad range of archaeological case studies.
In this course, we will focus on a survey of topics that will help us hone the discussion on cultural production, manifestations, and contestations. The course will provide an interdisciplinary perspective grounded in Anthropology, but also including materials from other fields in the social sciences, such as History, and Cultural Studies. The course will also introduce students to the four-field approach in Anthropology (Cultural Anthropology, Biological Anthropology, Archaeology, and Linguistics). The geographical region that will be covered in this class will be South America. This will provide students with a context to discuss topics that include culture, race, and ethnicity, connecting it to the main arguments around cultural difference, identity, political economy, political economy, health, food, environment, language, politics, gender, sports, and religion.
This seminar is titled “Brazil: Race, Class, and Gender,” and while the objective of the course is to attend to and explore each of these facets of Brazilian life, the structure of the course in fact reveals the difficulty and indeed impracticality of isolating for study any of the above components – race, class, or gender. Although drawing primarily on the work of anthropologists, we will also read from an interdisciplinary sampling of sociology, social history, literature, and poetry produced by both Brazilian and foreign authors.
The course begins with a brief, historical overview of contemporary Brazil, starting with the region’s indigenous populations, European contact, colonization, and early nation building. We will examine the significance of slavery in Brazil, explore the multiple meanings of “racial democracy” as the term relates to notions of Brazilian national identity, and unpack shifting racial ideologies of the 20th Century. The course will be similarly concerned with shifting notions of masculinity and femininity, sexuality, and of course what all of this might mean in a country that is understood by much of the “outside world” as an epicenter of sensuality. Finally, this course looks to the history of social thought concerning race, class, and gender in Brazil to make sense of current social and political unrest.
Welcome to Africana Folklore. This course explores the oral, customary and material folklore of Africans and their descendants in the Americas and the Caribbean. We will use readings and films to examine various ways West African folklore was transmitted to and survived in the New World, and how Africans in the Americas created new oral, customary and material traditions. We will compare and contrast fictional and historical folk characters from Africa, the Northern and Southern American hemispheres, with a special focus on the English, Spanish and French-speaking Caribbean. We will examine some of the customs and practices that continue to exist in those regions and how all have contributed to global culture. In addition to required readings, there will also be weekly writing exercises. This course is designed to help prepare you for further academic study in general, and African, African-American and Caribbean studies, specifically. It will introduce you to the various disciplines that inform the study of people of African descent worldwide.
The African presence in Latin America has received a disproportionately low level of popular and scholarly attention. By the end of the Atlantic slave trade, an estimated 5.7 million Africans had arrived in Spanish and Portuguese territories as compared to 560,000 in the United States (Klein1999). Additionally, hundreds of thousands of Afro-Caribbean laborers circulated throughout and settled in Latin American countries during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This course syllabus, by Anthropology Prof. Ryan Mann-Hamilton, adopts an interdisciplinary approach in examining processes of identity formation, cultural transformation, and social activism among Afro-Latin@ Americans across national boundaries.