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Richard S. Davis
Philip L. Kilbride, Chair

Assistant Professor:
Melissa Pashigian

Katharine Woodhouse-Beyer
Melissa Murphy

Affiliated Faculty:
Gary W. McDonogh
(on leave, semester II)
Azade Seyhan
Ayumi Takenaka (on leave, 2004-05)

Anthropology is a holistic study of the human condition in both the past and the present. The anthropological lens can bring into focus the social, cultural, biological and linguistic variations that characterize the diversity of humankind throughout time and space. The frontiers of anthropology can encompass many directions: the search for early human fossils in Africa, the excavations of prehistoric societies and ancient civilizations, the analysis of language use and other expressive forms of culture, or the examination of the significance of culture in the context of social life.

Major Requirements

Requirements for the major are Anthropology 101, 102, 303, 398, 399, an ethnographic area course that focuses on the cultures of a single region, and four additional 200- or 300-level courses in anthropology. Students are encouraged to select courses from each of four sub-fields of anthropology (e.g., archaeology, bio-anthropology, linguistics, socio-cultural).
Students may elect to do part of their work away from Bryn Mawr. Courses that must be taken at Bryn Mawr include Anthropology 101, 102 (103 at Haverford), 303, 398 and 399.


Qualified students may do departmental honors in their senior year. Honors are based on the quality of the senior thesis (398, 399). Units of independent work may be taken with the approval of the instructor in the department.

Minor Requirements

Requirements for a minor in anthropology are 101, 102, 303, one ethnographic area course, and two additional 200 or 300 level courses in anthropology.

Concentration in Environmental Studies

The Anthropology Department participates with other departments in offering a concentration within the major in Environmental Studies.

ANTH B101. Introduction to Anthropology: Archaeology and Human Evolution

The place of humans in nature, human evolution and the history of culture to the rise of early civilizations in the Old and New Worlds. In addition to the lecture/discussion classes, there is a one hour weekly lab. (Davis, Murphy, Division I)

ANTH B102. Introduction to Anthropology: Cultural Anthropology

An introduction to the methods and theories of cultural anthropology in order to understand and explain cultural similarities and differences among contemporary societies. (Woodhouse-Beyer, Pashigian, Division I)

ANTH B185. Urban Culture and Society

(Arbona, McDonogh, Division I; cross-listed as Growth and Structure of Cities 185)

ANTH B190. Form of the City

(Hein, Division I or III; cross-listed as Growth and Structure of Cities 190 and History of Art 190)

ANTH B203. Human Ecology

The relationship of humans with their environment; culture as an adaptive mechanism and a dynamic component in ecological systems. Human ecological perspectives are compared with other theoretical orientations in anthropology. Prerequisites: Anthropology 101, 102 or permission of instructor. (Davis, Division I)

ANTH B206. Conflict and Conflict Management: A Cross-Cultural Approach

(Ross, Division I; cross-listed as Political Science 206)

ANTH B208. Human Biology

A traditional focus in physical anthropology, human biology encompasses an overview of how humans, as individuals and populations, are similar and different in their biology, and how this can be studied and understood. We consider the relationships between human populations and their environment, integrating aspects of human physiology, demographic ecology and human genetics, both at the molecular and population levels. Prerequisite: Anthropology 101 or permission of instructor. (staff, Division I) Not offered in 2004-05.

ANTH B209. Human Evolution

The position of humans among primates, processes of bio-cultural evolution, the fossil record and contemporary human variation. Weekly lab. Prerequisite: Anthropology 101 or permission of instructor. (Murphy, Division I)

ANTH B210. Medical Anthropology

An examination of the linkages between culture, society, disease and illness. A wide range and distribution of health-related experiences, discourse, knowledge and practice among different societies and among different positionings within society are considered. Sorcery, witchcraft, herbal remedies, healing rituals, folk illnesses, modern disease, scientific medical perception, clinical technique and epidemiology are examined as diagnoses and therapies embedded within social forms and practices that are culturally informed and anchored in a particular historical moment. Prerequisite: Anthropology 102 or permission of instructor. (Pashigian, Division I)

ANTH B212. Primate Evolution and Behavior

An exploration of the aspects of the biology and behavior of living primates and the evolutionary history of these close relatives. The major focus of this study is to provide the background upon which human evolution is best understood. (staff, Division I) Not offered in 2004-05.

ANTH B220. Methods and Theory in Archaeology

Examinations of techniques and theories archaeologists use to transform archaeological data into statements about patterns of prehistoric cultural behavior, adaptation and culture change. Theory development, hypothesis formulation, gathering of archaeological data and their interpretation and evaluation are discussed and illustrated by examples; theoretical debates current in American archaeology are reviewed; and the place of archaeology in the general field of anthropology is discussed. Prerequisite: Anthropology 101 or permission of instructor. (Davis, Division I) Not offered in 2004-05.

ANTH B223. Anthropology of Dance

(Chakravorty, Division I or III; cross-listed as Dance 223)

ANTH B225. Paleolithic Archaeology A study of the Paleolithic archaeological record from Europe, Asia, and Africa focusing on the dynamics of cultural evolution; cultural and natural transformations leading to the Neolithic Revolution are also examined. Laboratory work with prehistoric materials is included. Prerequisite: Anthropology 101 or permission of instructor. (Davis, Division I) Not offered in 2004-05.

ANTH B229. Comparative Urbanism

(McDonogh, Division I; cross-listed as East Asian Studies 229 and Growth and Structure of Cities 229) Not offered in 2004-05.

ANTH B230. Native North American Cultures

This course explores the richness and diversity of Native North American cultures from their emergence on the continent and through the present time, using anthropological monographs, ethnographic film and the media. Coursework will include critiquing production of information on Native cultures from Native and non-Native viewpoints, examining federal policies and the use of institutions in dealing with Native Americans, and discussing issues affecting 21st-century Native North Americans. (Woodhouse-Beyer, Division I) ANTH B231. Cultural Profiles in Modern Exile (Seyhan, Division III; cross-listed as Comparative Literature 231 and German and German Studies 231) Not offered in 2004-05.

ANTH B232. Nutritional Anthropology

This course will explore the complex nature of human experiences in satisfying needs for food and nourishment. The approach is bio-cultural, exploring both the biological basis of human food choices and the cultural context that influences food acquisition and choice. Material covered will primarily be from an evolutionary and cross-cultural perspective. Also included will be a discussion of popular culture in the United States and our current obsession with food, such as dietary fads. (staff, Division I) Not offered in 2004-05.

ANTH B236. Evolution

A lecture/discussion course on the development of evolutionary thought, generally regarded as the most profound scientific event of the 19th century; its foundations in biology and geology; and the extent of its implications to many disciplines. Emphasis is placed on the nature of evolution in terms of process, product, patterns, historical development of the theory, and its applications to interpretations of organic history. Lecture three hours a week. Prerequisite: a 100-level science course or permission of instructors. (Davis, Gardiner, Saunders, Division II; cross-listed as Biology 236 and Geology 236)

ANTH B240. Traditional and Pre-Industrial Technology

An examination of several traditional technologies, including chipped and ground stone, ceramics, textiles, metallurgy (bronze), simple machines and energy production; emphasizing the physical properties of various materials, production processes and cultural contexts both ancient and modern. Weekly laboratory on the production of finished artifacts in the various technologies studied. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. (Davis, Division I)

ANTH B242. Urban Fieldwork

(Takenaka, Division I; cross-listed as Sociology 242) Not offered in 2004-05.

ANTH B246. Women's Narratives on Modern Migrancy, Exile and Diaspora

(Seyhan, Division III; cross-listed as Comparative Literature 245, German and German Studies 245 and Growth and Structure of Cities 246) Not offered in 2004-05.

ANTH B249. Sociological Perspectives on Asian-American Communities (Takenaka, Division I; cross-listed as Sociology 249) Not offered in 2004-05.

ANTH B251. Ethnography of Southeast Asia

An introduction to the social and cultural complexity of Southeast Asia — Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Classic and contemporary ethnographies explore the diversity and similarities among groups living in the region. Topics include contemporary political developments, cultural practices, ethnicity, gender and nationalism. Prerequisite: introductory course in any social science or permission of instructor. (Pashigian, Division I) Not offered in 2004-05.

ANTH B253. Childhood in the African Experience

An overview of cultural contexts and indigenous literatures concerning the richly varied experience and interpretation of infancy and childhood in selected regions of Africa. Cultural practices such as pregnancy customs, naming ceremonies, puberty rituals, sibling relationships and gender identity are included. Modern concerns such as child abuse, street children and other social problems of recent origin involving children are considered in terms of theoretical approaches current in the social sciences. Prerequisites: anthropology major, any social sciences introductory course, Africana Studies concentration, or permission of instructor. (Kilbride, Division I)

ANTH B255. Ethnohistory Seminar

Ethnohistory is an important area in anthropology and it allows the study of culture contact and change by means of a variety of methods and sources. It is truly an interdisciplinary study and combines history, anthropology, archaeology and linguistics. Prerequisite: Introduction to Anthropology, Introduction to History or permission of instructor. (Woodhouse-Beyer, Division I or III)

ANTH B286. Cultural Perspectives on Ethnic Identity in the Post Famine Irish Diaspora

Theoretical perspectives on assimilation and the social construction of Irish ethnic identity in response to social exclusion in the United States will be considered. Symbolic expressions of Irish ethnicity such as St. Patrick's Day celebrations will consider race and gender. The colonial model, especially in Africa, is a contrasting case for Irish adjustment there through immigration. Methodologically, the course will highlight a cultural perspective through use of ethnographies, personal biographies and literary products such as novels and films. Prerequisite: introductory course in a social science or permission of instructor. (Kilbride, Division I)

ANTH B303. History of Anthropological Theory

A consideration of the history of anthropological theories and the discipline of anthropology as an academic discipline that seeks to understand and explain society and culture as its subjects of study. Several vantage points on the history of anthropological theory are engaged to enact a historically charged anthropology of a disciplinary history. Anthropological theories are considered not only as a series of models, paradigms or orientations, but as configurations of thought, technique, knowledge and power that reflect the ever-changing relationships among the societies and cultures of the world. Prerequisite: at least one additional anthropology course at the 200 or 300 level. (Kilbride, Division I)

ANTH B312. Anthropology of Reproduction

An examination of social and cultural constructions of reproduction, and how power in everyday life shapes reproductive behavior and its meaning in Western and non-Western cultures. The influence of competing interests within households, communities, states and institutions on reproduction is considered. Prerequisite: at least one 200-level ethnographic area course or permission of instructor. (Pashigian, Division I) Not offered in 2004-05.

ANTH B335. Elite and Popular Culture

(McDonogh, Division I; cross-listed as Growth and Structure of Cities 335) Not offered in 2004-05.

ANTH B336. Evolutionary Biology: Advanced Topics

(Gardiner, Saunders, Murphy; cross-listed as Biology 336 and Geology 336)

ANTH B341. Cultural Perspectives on Sexuality, Marriage and Family

This course considers various theoretical perspectives that inform our understanding of cross-cultural constructions of sexuality, marriage and the family. Sociobiology, deviance, feminism, social constructionism and cultural evolutionary approaches will be compared using primarily anthropological-ethnographic case examples. Applications will emphasize current U.S. socially contested categories such as AIDS, plural marriage, gender diversity, divorce and rape. Prerequisites: any History, Biology, Social Science major. (Kilbride, Division I)

ANTH B354. Identity, Ritual and Cultural Practices in Contemporary Vietnam

This course focuses on ways in which recent economic and political changes in Vietnam influence and shape everyday lives, meanings and practices there. It explores construction of identity in Vietnam through topics including ritual and marriage practices, gendered socialization, social reproduction and memory. Prerequisite: at least one ethnographic anthropology course at the 200 or 300 level or permission of instructor. (Pashigian, Division I)

ANTH B359. Topics in Urban Culture and Society

(Hein, Division I or III; cross-listed as German and German Studies 321, Growth and Structure of Cities 360 and History of Art 359)

ANTH B397. Senior Seminar in Environmental Studies

(staff; cross-listed as Biology 397 and Geology 397)

ANTH B398, B399. Senior Conferences The topic of each seminar is determined in advance in discussion with seniors. Sections normally run through the entire year and have an emphasis on empirical research techniques and analysis of original material. Class discussions of work in progress and oral and written presentations of the analysis and results of research are important. A senior's thesis is the most significant writing experience in the seminar. (Davis, Pashigian, Woodhouse-Beyer, Division I)

ANTH B403. Supervised Work Independent work is usually open to junior and senior majors who wish to work in a special area under the supervision of a member of the faculty and is subject to faculty time and interest. (staff)

Haverford College currently offers the following courses in anthropology:

103a. Introduction to Anthropology
201a. Human Rights, Development and International Activism
204b. Anthropology of Gender
210b. History and Theory of Anthropology
218a. Culture in the Global Economy
234b. Violence, Terror and Trauma
247b. Anthropology and Literature: Ethnography of Black South African Writing 1888-1988
257a. Political Anthropology
325b. Anthropology of Hearsay and the Politics of Knowledge
340b. Theory and Ethnography of Material Culture and Consumption
350a. Social and Cultural Theory: Writing Self and Society
450a. Senior Seminar: Research and Writing
450b. Senior Seminar: Research and Writing

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