Students may complete a major or a minor in Anthropology. Within the major, students may complete a concentration in environmental studies or geoarchaeology.
Richard S. Davis, Professor, Chair
Philip L. Kilbride, Professor
Tamara Neuman, Visiting Assistant Professor (on leave semester I)
Melissa J. Pashigian, Assistant Professor
Jill Rhodes, Visiting Assistant Professor
Ayumi Takenaka, Assistant Professor
Amanda Weidman, Assistant Professor
Gina Velasco, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Predoctoral Fellow in the Humanities
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.
Requirements for the major are ANTH 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 subfields of anthropology: archaeology, bioanthropology, linguistics or sociocultural.
Students may elect to do part of their work away from Bryn Mawr. Courses that must be taken at Bryn Mawr include ANTH 101, 102, 303, 398 and 399.
Qualified students may earn 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.
Requirements for a minor in anthropology are ANTH 101, 102, 303, one ethnographic area course and two additional 200- or 300-level courses in anthropology.
Concentration in Environmental Studies
The Department of Anthropology participates with other departments in offering a concentration within the major in environmental studies.
Concentration in Geoarchaeology
The Department of Anthropology participates with other departments in offering a concentration within the major in geoarchaeology.
An introduction to the place of humans in nature, primates, the fossil record for human evolution, human variation and the issue of race, and the archaeological investigation of culture change from the Old Stone Age to the rise of early civilizations in the Americas, Eurasia and Africa. In addition to the lecture/discussion classes, there is a one-hour weekly lab. (Davis, Rhodes, Division I)
An introduction to the methods and theories of cultural anthropology in order to understand and explain cultural similarities and differences among contemporary societies. (Kilbride, Weidman, Division I)
(Neuman, Division I; cross-listed as POLS B111)
(Arbona, McDonogh, Division I; cross-listed as CITY B185)
(Cohen, Hein, Sandler, Division I or III; cross-listed as CITY B190 and HART B190)
(Gallup-Diaz, Division I or III; cross-listed as HIST B200)
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: ANTH 101, 102 or permission of instructor. (Davis, Division I)
For millennia, the North American continent has been home to a vast diversity of Native Americans. From the initial migration of big game hunters who spread throughout the continent more than 12,000 years ago to the high civilizations of the Maya, Teotihuacan and Aztec, there remains a rich archaeological record that reflects the ways of life of these cultures. This course will introduce the culture history of North America as well as explanations for culture change and diversification. The class will include laboratory study of North American archaeological and ethnographic artifacts from the College’s Art and Archaeology collections. (Davis, Division I)
(Ross, Division I; cross-listed as POLS B206) Not offered in 2008-09.
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: ANTH 101 or permission of instructor. (staff, Division I) Not offered in 2008-09.
The position of humans among the primates, processes of biocultural evolution, the fossil record and contemporary human variation. Prerequisite: ANTH 101 or permission of instructor. (Rhodes, Division I)
This course examines the relationships between culture, society, disease and illness. It considers a broad range of health-related experiences, discourses, knowledge and practice among different cultures and among individuals and groups in different positions of power. Topics covered include sorcery, herbal remedies, healing rituals, folk illnesses, modern disease, scientific medical perceptions, clinical technique, epidemiology and political economy of medicine. Prerequisite: ANTH 102 or permission of instructor. (Pashigian, Division I; cross-listed as CITY B209)
An examination 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: ANTH 101 or permission of instructor. (Davis, Division I) Not offered in 2008-09.
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: ANTH 101 or permission of instructor. (Davis, Division I) Not offered in 2008-09.
Examines contemporary music scenes of South Asia and the South Asian diaspora. Approaches music and performance anthropologically, examining the historical, social and cultural contexts of different genres including north and south Indian art musics, film songs, experimental fusion music, bhangra and rap through a combination of written material, sound recordings, live performances and films. Prerequisite: one course in music, dance or anthropology or consent of the instructor. (Weidman) Not offered in 2008-09.
(McDonogh, Division I; cross-listed as CITY B229 and EAST B229) Not offered in 2008-09.
(Seyhan, Division III; cross-listed as COML B231 and GERM B231) Not offered in 2008-09.
This course will explore the complex nature of human experiences in satisfying needs for food and nourishment. The approach is biocultural, 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. (Rhodes, Division I)
Introduces the forensic subfield of biological anthropology, which applies techniques of osteology and biomechanics to questions of forensic science, with practical applications for criminal justice. Examines the challenges of human skeletal identification and trauma analysis, as well as the broader ethical considerations and implications of the field. Topics will include: human osteology; crime scene investigation; search and recovery of human remains; taphonomy; postmortem interval; trauma analysis; the development and application of innovative and specialized techniques; and the analysis and review of current forensic case studies and media representations. (staff, Division I) Not offered in 2008-09.
This course explores the successes, challenges, and future of transitional justice, where post-conflict societies use formal institutions to address the legacy of political violence to build sustainable peace. Case studies of countries which have used a variety of approaches will help us consider concepts like human rights, justice, reconciliation and peace, and how these principles might be achieved through initiatives such as UN-directed tribunals, national courts, truth commissions and/or locally-based systems deriving from ritual or customary law. Prerequisite: One course in Anthropology, Political Science or Peace and Conflict Studies. (Doughty, Division I; cross-listed as POLS B235)
(Gardiner, Saunders; cross-listed as BIOL B236 and GEOL B236)
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)
(Takenaka, Division I; cross-listed as CITY B242 and SOCL B242) Not offered in 2008-09.
Examines the impact of technologies such as photography, film, sound recording and the internet on ideas of authenticity and cultural value. Using readings on Western and non-Western contexts, considers how such technologies affect notions of space and time, the conceptualization of the body and the definition and status of the “human” itself. Prerequisite: ANTH 102 or permission of the instructor. (Weidman, Division I) Not offered in 2008-09.
(Takenaka, Division I; cross-listed as CITY B249 and SOCL B249)
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)
An introduction to the application of anthropological knowledge in the contemporary world. Applied anthropologists work in government, NGO and corporate settings around the world and advise and implement development projects, commercial ventures and mediate cultural relations. Ethical implications of this work will be discussed and new applications of anthropology explored. Prerequisite: ANTH B102 or permission of the instructor. (staff, Division I) Not offered in 2008-09.
(Takenaka, Division I; cross-listed as SOCL B246)
Considers the legacy of Palestine and the centrality of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as key in the formation of Israeli society, shaped by ongoing political conflict. New ethnographic writings disclose themes like Zionism, Holocaust, immigration, religion, Palestinian citizenry, Middle Eastern Jews and military occupation and resulting emerging debates among different social sectors and populations. Also considers constitution of ethnographic fields and the shaping of anthropological investigations by arenas of conflict. Prerequisites: sophomore standing and POLS B111 or ANTH B101 or B102 or permission of the instructor. (Neuman, Division I; cross-listed as HEBR B261 and HIST B261) Not offered in 2008-09.
Recent anthropological work on South Asia has been motivated by a concern for issues of ethnographic representation and a heightened awareness of the relationship between power, whether colonial or state power, and the production of knowledge. This stems from historiographical discussions that call for a critical examination of categories such as “tradition,” “modernity,” “community” and “nation.” This course will focus on the ways in which such critiques have been taken up as inspirations for ethnographic research in contemporary South Asia. Topics may include the legacy of colonialist ideas about tradition and modernity or the constructions of gender, community and nation. (Weidman, Division I) Not offered in 2008-09.
(Chakravorty, Division I or III; cross-listed as ARTD B266) Not offered in 2008-09.
(Takenaka, Division I; cross-listed as EAST B267 and SOCL B267) Not offered in 2008-09.
(Barber, Magee; cross-listed as ARCH B270 and GEOL B270) Not offered in 2008-09.
An overview of Latin America focusing on social conflict and inequality through consideration of the construction and operation of ethnic boundaries, the “neo-colonial” role of the United States, and the ecological, social, economic and political problems in the region. Studies the dynamics of contemporary Latin American societies and the nature of their inequality and power relations. Prerequisite: ANTH B102 or permission of instructor. (staff, Division I) Not offered in 2008-09.
An introduction to the pre-Columbian cultures of the Central Andes, from the initial peopling of the New World through the conquest of the Incas and the aftermath of the Spanish conquest. Integrates the four-fields of anthropology in its specific examination of the Central Andes while exploring themes that are broadly anthropological, such as the origin of civilization, power, ideology, cosmology and ritual, the role of art and iconography, warfare and resistance, death and ancestor worship. Prerequisite: ANTH B101. (staff, Division I) Not offered in 2008-09.
Through a close reading of ethnographic, historical and literary materials, this course will introduce students to some of the key conceptual issues and regional distinctions that have emerged from classic and contemporary studies of culture and society in the Middle East. The course will survey the following themes: orientalism; gender and patriarchy; democracy and state-formation; political Islam; oil and Western dominance; media and religion; violence and nationalism; identity and diaspora. Prerequisite: Introduction to Anthropology or equivalent. No knowledge of the Middle East is assumed. (Neuman, Division I) Not offered in 2008-09.
Studies of language in society have moved from the idea that language reflects social position/identity to the idea that language plays an active role in shaping and negotiating social position, identity and experience. This course will explore the implications of this shift by providing an introduction to the fields of sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology. We will be particularly concerned with the ways in which language is implicated in the social construction of gender, race, class and cultural/national identity. The course will develop students’ skills in the ethnographic analysis of communication through several short ethnographic projects. (Weidman, Division I; cross-listed as LING B281)
(staff, Division III) Not offered in 2008-09.
Theoretical perspectives and case studies on exclusion and assimilation in the social construction of Irish ethnic identity in the United States and elsewhere in the Irish diaspora. Symbolic expressions of Irish ethnicity such as St. Patrick’s Day celebrations will consider race and gender. A colonial model in various nations will be considered concerning Irish adjustment in Africa and elsewhere. Racism and benevolence in the Irish experience will highlight a cultural perspective through use of ethnographies, personal biographies and literary products such as novels and films. Prerequisite: introductory course in social science or permission of instructor. (Kilbride, Division I) Not offered in 2008-09.
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 an 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)
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)
(Gallup-Diaz; cross-listed as HIST B327) Not offered in 2008-09.
Anthropological demography examines human population structure and dynamics through the understanding of birth, death and migration processes. It includes study of the individual’s life history. Population dynamics in small- and large-scale societies, the history of human populations and policy implications of demographic processes in the developed and developing world will be discussed through a cross-cultural perspective. (Davis, Division I) Not offered in 2008-09.
(McDonogh, Division I; cross-listed as CITY B335) Not offered in 2008-09.
Focuses on Middle Eastern diasporas, particularly Arab, especially Palestinian, Turkish, Iranian and Jewish communities living outside the Middle East or to the transnational communities within the region. Examines the range of experiences covered by the term “diaspora.” Seeks to understand how ethnic identities and social bonds are created, extended and perpetuated in relation to Middle Eastern places of origin, and how plurality of experiences forge real and imagined links to various homelands. Prerequisites: sophomore standing, POLS B111 or ANTH B101 or B102 or permission of the instructor. (Neuman, Division I; cross-listed as HEBR B342) Not offered in 2008-09.
(Neuman, Division I; cross-listed as POLS B347)
A gendered perspective on selected topics in the experiences of children and youth in Africa concerning indigenous cultural practices such as initiation ceremonies and sexual orientation. The extended family, sibling relationships and infancy rituals will be portrayed. Postcolonial concerns such as HIV/AIDS, street children and formal education also involving gender will be considered from a social, cultural and economic perspective. Life stories, case studies and ethnographic methodology will be featured. (Kilbride, Division I) Not offered in 2008-09.
This course focuses on the 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 cultural anthropology course at the 200 or 300 level, or permission of the instructor. (Pashigian, Division I; cross-listed as EAST B354)
(Arbona, Division I or III; cross-listed as CITY B360 and HART B359)
(Oze, Stroud; cross-listed as BIOL B397, CITY B397 and GEOL B397)
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 (Kilbride, Pashigian, Weidman, Division I)
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)
ANTH B425 Praxis III: Independent Study
Haverford College currently offers the following courses in Anthropology:
ANTH H103 Introduction to Anthropology
ANTH H204 Anthropology of Gender
ANTH H207 Visual Anthropology
ANTH H218 Culture in the Global Economy
ANTH H244 Anthropology of China
ANTH H247 Anthropology and Literature: Ethnography of Black South African Writing 1888-1988
ANTH H263 Anthropology of Space and Architecture
ANTH H303 History and Theory of Anthropology
ANTH H322 Ethnographic Methods
ANTH H327 Ritual, Performance and Symbolic Practice
ANTH H350 Social and Cultural Theory: Contemporary Ethnography
ANTH H361 Culture and Society in Modern Turkey
ANTH H450 Senior Seminar: Research and Writing
ANTH H451 Senior Seminar: Supervised Research and Writing