Courses

This page displays the schedule of Bryn Mawr courses in this department for this academic year. It also displays descriptions of courses offered by the department during the last four academic years.

For information about courses offered by other Bryn Mawr departments and programs or about courses offered by Haverford and Swarthmore Colleges, please consult the Course Guides page.

For information about the Academic Calendar, including the dates of first and second quarter courses, please visit the College's calendars page.

Fall 2024 ANTH

Course Title Schedule/Units Meeting Type Times/Days Location Instr(s)
ANTH B101-001 Introduction to Biological and Archaeological Anthropology Semester / 1 Lecture: 10:10 AM-11:30 AM TTH Dalton Hall 300
Barrier,C., Šešelj,M.
ANTH B101-002 Introduction to Biological and Archaeological Anthropology Semester / 1 Lecture: 11:40 AM-1:00 PM TTH Dalton Hall 300
Barrier,C., Šešelj,M.
ANTH B101-00A Introduction to Biological and Archaeological Anthropology Semester / 1 Laboratory: 2:40 PM-4:00 PM T Dalton Hall 315
Kralick,A.
ANTH B101-00B Introduction to Biological and Archaeological Anthropology Semester / 1 Laboratory: 4:10 PM-5:30 PM T Dalton Hall 315
Kralick,A.
ANTH B101-00C Introduction to Biological and Archaeological Anthropology Semester / 1 Laboratory: 1:10 PM-2:30 PM W Dalton Hall 315
Kralick,A.
ANTH B101-00D Introduction to Biological and Archaeological Anthropology Semester / 1 Laboratory: 2:40 PM-4:00 PM W Dalton Hall 315
Kralick,A.
ANTH B101-00Z Introduction to Biological and Archaeological Anthropology 1 Dept. staff, TBA
ANTH B102-001 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology Semester / 1 Lecture: 1:10 PM-2:30 PM TTH Dalton Hall 300
Fioratta,S.
ANTH B223-001 The Global Middle East: Colonialism, Oil, the War on Terror Semester / 1 Lecture: 2:40 PM-4:00 PM TTH Dalton Hall 1
McLaughlin-Alcock,C.
ANTH B287-001 Sex, Gender, Biology and Culture Semester / 1 Lecture: 1:10 PM-4:00 PM F Dalton Hall 6
Kralick,A.
ANTH B303-001 History of Anthropological Theory Semester / 1 Lecture: 10:10 AM-11:30 AM MW Dalton Hall 1
Weidman,A.
ANTH B312-001 Anthropology of Reproduction Semester / 1 Lecture: 12:10 PM-2:00 PM M Dalton Hall 2
Pashigian,M.
ANTH B326-001 Sensory Ethnography Semester / 1 Lecture: 1:10 PM-3:30 PM W Fioratta,S., Weidman,A.
ANTH B398-001 Senior Conference Semester / 1 Lecture: 2:10 PM-4:00 PM M Dalton Hall 2
Dept. staff, TBA
CITY B185-001 Urban Culture and Society Semester / 1 Lecture: 2:40 PM-4:00 PM MW Old Library 110
Restrepo,L.
CITY B185-002 Urban Culture and Society Semester / 1 Lecture: 2:40 PM-4:00 PM MW Old Library 110
Hurley,J.

Spring 2025 ANTH

Course Title Schedule/Units Meeting Type Times/Days Location Instr(s)
ANTH B102-001 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology Semester / 1 Lecture: 1:10 PM-2:30 PM MW Fioratta,S.
ANTH B102-002 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology Semester / 1 Lecture: 10:10 AM-11:30 AM TTH McLaughlin-Alcock,C.
ANTH B213-001 Anthropology of Food Semester / 1 Lecture: 10:10 AM-11:30 AM MW Fioratta,S.
ANTH B234-001 Forensic Anthropology Semester / 1 Lecture: 11:40 AM-1:00 PM TTH Dalton Hall 315
Šešelj,M.
ANTH B354-001 Political Economy, Gender, Ethnicity and Transformation in Vietnam Semester / 1 Lecture: 1:10 PM-3:30 PM F Pashigian,M.
ANTH B364-001 Anthropology of Global Public Health Semester / 1 Lecture: 12:10 PM-2:00 PM M Pashigian,M.
ANTH B399-001 Senior Conference Semester / 1 Lecture: 2:10 PM-4:00 PM M Dalton Hall 2
Dept. staff, TBA
BIOL B236-001 Evolution Semester / 1 Lecture: 10:10 AM-11:30 AM TTH Park 25
Davis,G.
CITY B229-001 Topics in Comparative Urbanism: Metros, Regions, and Belts Semester / 1 LEC: 2:40 PM-4:00 PM TTH Restrepo,L.
CITY B229-002 Topics in Comparative Urbanism: Metros, Regions, and Belts Semester / 1 LEC: 11:40 AM-1:00 PM TTH Restrepo,L.
CITY B365-001 Topics: Techniques of the City: Urban Renewal Semester / 1 LEC: 12:10 PM-2:00 PM W Hurley,J.

Fall 2025 ANTH

(Class schedules for this semester will be posted at a later date.)

2024-25 Catalog Data: ANTH

ANTH B101 Introduction to Biological and Archaeological Anthropology

Fall 2024

An introduction to the place of humans in nature, evolutionary theory, living 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 agricultural societies in the Americas, Eurasia and Africa. In addition to the lecture/discussion classes, students must select and sign up for one lab section.

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Scientific Investigation (SI)

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ANTH B102 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

Fall 2024, Spring 2025

This course will explore the basic principles and methods of sociocultural anthropology. Through field research, direct observation, and participation in a group's daily life, sociocultural anthropologists examine the many ways that people organize their social institutions and cultural systems, ranging from the dynamics of life in small-scale societies to the transnational circulation of people, commodities, technologies and ideas. Sociocultural anthropology examines how many of the categories we assume to be "natural," such as kinship, gender, or race, are culturally and socially constructed. It examines how people's perceptions, beliefs, values, and actions are shaped by broader historical, economic, and political contexts. It is also a vital tool for understanding and critiquing imbalances of power in our contemporary world. Through a range of topically and geographically diverse course readings and films, and opportunities to practice ethnographic methodology, students will gain new analytical and methodological tools for understanding cultural difference, social organization, and social change.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Counts Toward Child and Family Studies

Counts Toward Gender Sexuality Studies

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ANTH B204 North American Archaeology

Not offered 2024-25

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 complex Pueblos of the Southwest and urban Cahokia in the East, 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.

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

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ANTH B208 Human Biology

Not offered 2024-25

This course will be a survey of modern human biological variation. We will examine the patterns of morphological and genetic variation in modern human populations and discuss the evolutionary explanations for the observed patterns. A major component of the class will be the discussion of the social implications of these patterns of biological variation, particularly in the construction and application of the concept of race. Prerequisite: ANTH 101 or permission of instructor.

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ANTH B213 Anthropology of Food

Spring 2025

Food is part of the universal human experience. But everyday experiences of food also reveal much about human difference. What we eat is intimately connected with who we are, where we belong, and how we see the world. In this course, we will use a socio-cultural perspective to explore how food helps us form families, national and religious communities, and other groups. We will also consider how food may become a source of inequality, a political symbol, and a subject of social discord. Examining both practical and ideological meanings of food and taste, this course will address issues of identity, social difference, and cultural experience.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Counts Toward Child and Family Studies

Counts Toward Gender Sexuality Studies

Counts Toward International Studies

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ANTH B214 Becoming Unfree: Archaeology of Freedom's Ontological Status

Not offered 2024-25

Anthropological archaeologists have long taken part in wider discussions of concepts like egalitarianism, inequality, property, and political-economic stratification. Archaeologists have more rarely approached the past to consider the question of freedom. In their 2021 book The Dawn of Everything, anthropologist David Graeber and archaeologist David Wengrow do just this - they place the question of freedom as a central concern of all (pre)history. Their interest in the past is presented as a guide to the present and future, and they search for three kinds of freedom, which they call "primordial": (1) freedom to move, (2) freedom to disobey, and (3) freedom to change one's social relationships or form of social organization. The importance of the study of the past, in this way, is not about material or social inequalities but becomes one of asking how we have found ourselves recently "stuck" in systems that deny these freedoms? In this course we will engage the long archaeological and ethnographic records, including that of hunter-gatherers as well as states, to assess the material and social conditions that have opened spaces for freedoms and closed doors on others. We will tease apart various notions of freedom and try to locate them in diverse cultural moments under varying relations of kinship, property, labor, egalitarianism, and material inequality. We will question the ontological (or "primordial") status of freedom to consider if mobility, disobedience, and social-organizational shifts could also be experienced as "unfreedoms" in the creation and enforcement of both egalitarian and inegalitarian relations. Students will be encouraged to think about the importance of the past from the vantage of their own political desires for the present and future, and we will force ourselves to consider the enduring question: can we even find our future somewhere in the past? In the background, we will also continuously return to the question of our relationship to nature/environment and what human freedom may mean at this enlarging spatial, temporal, and ecological scale.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

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ANTH B216 Transnational Movements Across the Americas

Not offered 2024-25

Globalization has enabled the movement of people, the trade of goods, and the exchange of culture and ideas but it has also created unprecedented problems such as inequality, exploitation, and environmental crisis. However, the networks formed by globalization have also created exciting opportunities for activists to organize across borders, tackle issues of global concern, and develop creative solutions. This course will introduce students to the study of transnational social movements with a focus on the Americas. We will make use of ethnographic case studies, documentary film, and an interdisciplinary social science literature to examine transnational movements on a variety of themes such as: human rights, the rights of indigenous peoples, the environment, biodiversity conservation, climate justice, the alter-globalization movement, and the rights of nature. Students will learn about the historical context of transnationalism, theories of social movement and collective action, the study of networks of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the strategies mobilized by transnational actors to advocate on issues of social and environmental justice. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing and up; or first years who have taken Anth 102

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ANTH B218 Activist Imaginaries& Conflict Management

Not offered 2024-25

How do activists understand injustice, and how does this understanding inform activist efforts to imagine and build a more just future? What results from these activist efforts? In this class, we will examine how activists develop a kind of qualitative analysis, similar to anthropology, through which they understand social problems and seek solutions to those problems. In contrast to the frequent description of activist projects as "utopian," we will explore how activists rely on a grounded analysis and, as such, often contribute to change even when they fail to realize their ultimate goal. We will also reflect on our role as anthropologists, asking how we can learn from and/or contribute to activist analyses and their resulting political projects. One 100-level course in any humanities or social sciences field, or permission of the instructor.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Power, Inequity, and Justice (PIJ)

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ANTH B220 Theory and Method in Archaeology

Not offered 2024-25

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 anthropological archaeology are reviewed and the place of archaeology in the general field of anthropology is discussed. Prerequisite: ANTH 101 or permission of instructor.

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ANTH B223 The Global Middle East: Colonialism, Oil, the War on Terror

Fall 2024

A central premise of this course is that European colonial intervention in the Middle East did not just impact the Middle East, but mobilized social, material, and ideological projects which fundamentally transformed Europe itself, producing the modern "West" and the contemporary globe. Challenging tendencies to think of the Middle East as distant and different, students will explore the ways that Euro-American intervention in the Middle East shapes our everyday lives in the contemporary U.S. We will explore how the economy, culture, identity, and social organization of contemporary life in Europe and the U.S. builds off of, and is dependent upon, this history of intervention. We will conclude with an examination of global solidarity movements, with a focus on Black American activists' solidarity work in the Arab world, to ask how this global interconnection makes the Middle East an important site for building and imagining a more just world.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

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ANTH B232 Human Diet and Nutrition

Not offered 2024-25

One of the few truly universal aspects of the human experience is our need to consume food for survival. However, while food serves to nourish our bodies, diet and food choices are deeply embedded in the cultures in which we live. This course will combine archaeological, biological, and cultural anthropology studies to explore human diet and nutrition through history. The course will cover the basics of human nutrition, the evolution of the human diet from our hominin ancestors to now, and modern nutritional and diet culture in the United States.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

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ANTH B234 Forensic Anthropology

Spring 2025

Forensic anthropology is a subfield of biological anthropology that applies methods and techniques developed in skeletal biology, bioarchaeology and forensic sciences to the analysis of human skeletal remains in a medico-legal setting. The goal of this course is to introduce you to the field of forensic anthropology by examining underlying theory and a variety of applied techniques that relate to the challenges of human skeletal identification, while situating the discipline in the broader context of evolutionary theory and ethics. Through practical exercises you will learn the bones of the skeleton, how to create a biological profile of an individual (reconstruct age, sex, ancestry, stature), and identify trauma and pathology. We will also examine broader topics such as crime scene investigation, search and recovery of human remains in various contexts, estimating the postmortem interval, human rights investigations, and ethics and responsibilities of forensic anthropologists.

Scientific Investigation (SI)

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ANTH B246 The Everyday Life of Language: Field Research in Linguistic Anthropology

Not offered 2024-25

The goal of this course is to develop an awareness of how language operates in various interactional and other (eg. ritual, performance, political) contexts that we commonly experience. The focus will be on gaining hands-on experience in doing linguistic anthropological data collection and analysis, and putting the results of individual student projects together as part of initiating an ongoing, multi-year project. Topics that students explore ethnographically may include: language and gender; language, race and social indexicality; sociolinguistic variation; codeswitching; register and social stance; language and social media. Student research will involve ethnographic observation, audio-recording of spoken discourse, conducting interviews, and learning how to create a transcript to use as the basis for ethnographic analysis. Students will work in parallel on individual projects cohering around a particular topic, and class time will be used to discuss the results and synthesize insights that develop from bringing different ethnographic contexts together. For the praxis component of the course, students will use the experience they have gained to generate ideas for components of a middle school/high school language arts curriculum that incorporates linguistic anthropology concepts and student-driven research on language.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Counts Toward Gender Sexuality Studies

Counts Toward Praxis Program

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ANTH B251 Identity, Borders, and Globalization in Southeast Asia

Not offered 2024-25

This course will explore the complexity and diversity of Southeast Asia and the ways political, economic, and environmental concerns bridge borders of countries in the region. We will examine belief systems, family systems, urbanization, economic change, politics and governance, health, and ecological change, among other topics. We will critically examine colonial, anti-colonial, nationalist, and internationalist meanings by looking at lived experiences that question what does it mean to be bound by regional designation and simultaneously participate in processes of one's own making that challenge and transcend locality. Through reading ethnographies of cultures in the region, we also will examine anthropologies and knowledge being produced outside of the Western academy in Southeast Asia, problematize area studies and the Western construction of a geopolitical region of nation-states called Southeast Asia, and examine the limits of such a designation, as well as benefits as countries in the region that engage in ASEAN contend with globalization. Prerequisite: Sophomore Standing and Above.

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ANTH B254 Anthropology and Social Science Research Methods

Not offered 2024-25

This course is designed for students interested in learning ethnographic and qualitative social science methods, and how to analyze qualitative results. Through hands on fieldwork, students will learn and practice ethnographic field methods, for example, observation, participant observation, interviewing, use of visual media and drawing, life stories, generating and analyzing data, and ways to productively transform qualitative data into contextual information. Ethics in ethnographic research will be a central theme, as will envisioning and designing projects that protect human subjects. The purpose of this course is to provide anthropology majors and students in social sciences, humanities, as well as STEM majors with interests in multi-method research, an opportunity to learn methods in advance of their thesis proposal and research, Hanna Holborn Gray summer research, and other social science independent research opportunities during their undergraduate experience, and post-graduation.

Course does not meet an Approach

Counts Toward Environmental Studies

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ANTH B259 The Creation of Early Complex Societies

Not offered 2024-25

In the last 10,000 years, humans around the world have transitioned from organizing themselves through small, egalitarian social networks to living within large and socially complex societies. This archaeology course takes an anthropological perspective to seek to understand the ways that human groups created these complex societies. We will explore the archaeological evidence for the development of complexity in the past, including the development of villages and early cities, the institutionalization of social and political-economic inequalities, and the rise of states and empires. Alongside discussion of current theoretical ideas about complexity, the course will compare and contrast the evolutionary trajectories of complex societies in different world regions. Case studies will emphasize the pre-Columbian histories of complex societies in the Americas as well as some of the early complex societies of the Old World. Counts toward Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Studies minor. Approach: Inquiry into the Past (IP) and Cross-Cultural (CC).

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ANTH B287 Sex, Gender, Biology and Culture

Fall 2024

This 200-level anthropology course is an introductory survey of topics in sex, gender, biology, and culture, approached through an intersectional feminist interdisciplinary biocultural anthropological lens. In this course, we delve into the variations of gender in the US and globally, explore the interplay between gender and sex, and examine concepts of biological sex, intersexuality, and sexuality. Students will also explore contemporary issues and research areas where anthropologists and human biologists investigate the intersection of sex and gender. This includes discussions on hormones, sports, and the brain, as well as examinations of sex and gender among non-human animals. This course offers students a unique amalgamation of biocultural anthropology, cultural anthropology, biology research, gender studies, feminist science studies, and health science. Through this course, students will develop skills to discern and assess scientific information and claims and construct a critical feminist toolkit for analyzing scientific knowledge. They will apply these skills to evaluate a diverse array of sources, ranging from peer-reviewed articles to popular media, websites, podcasts, and documentaries. Moreover, students will utilize queer feminist theories to cultivate this intersectional perspective, honing their abilities in analytical and critical thinking. Upon completion of the course, students will leave with enhanced confidence in articulating nuanced thoughts on the complex intersections of sex, gender, sexuality, science, and society.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Counts Toward Gender Sexuality Studies

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ANTH B291 Archaeology of Human-Environment Interaction

Not offered 2024-25

For the entirety of our history, humans have been interacting with, responding to, and shaping our environment. In this course, we will discuss how archaeologists study and think about the ways in which people across the globe have engaged with their environments. We will begin with an overview of how archaeologists and anthropologists have theorized about human-environmental interactions. The course will then focus on three methodological frameworks used by archaeologists to study these interactions: geoarchaeology, zooarchaeology, and paleoethnobotany. Students will have the opportunity to study how archaeologists employ these methods together to better understand the relationships between people and the environments in which they live.

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ANTH B293 Extractive Violence and Environmental Justice

Not offered 2024-25

This course will introduce students to the study of environmental justice and examine questions of race, ethnicity, indigeneity, gender and inequality within the political ecology of extractive capitalism. Through ethnographic accounts, documentary film, graphic novels, photography and other multimedia, we will examine case studies of environmental justice, conflicts over resources, and the impacts of extractive industries on indigenous and other frontline communities across the Global South and North. How does ecological toxicity manifest as a form of racialized violence deployed across post-colonial geographies? Why do hydrocarbons produce "modern democracy" in some places and "petro-despotism" in others? How do we make sense of our position in a global political ecology of resource extraction? This course will unfold in three parts: the first will situate the problem of environmental justice within the broader context of humans' impacts on global ecologies; the second will examine the historical context of extractive capitalism; and the third will examine the problem of environmental justice as a legacy of postcolonialism. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing and up; Anth 102 recommended/suggested.

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ANTH B294 Culture, Power, and Politics

Not offered 2024-25

What do a country's national politics have to do with culture? Likewise, how are politics hidden below the surface of our everyday social lives? This course explores questions like these through anthropological approaches. Drawing on both classic and contemporary ethnographic studies from the U.S. and around the world, we will examine how social and cultural frameworks help us understand politics in new ways. We will investigate how people perceive the meanings and effects of the state; how nationalism and citizenship shape belonging on the one hand, and exclusion on the other; how understandings of gender, race, and difference converge with political action, ideology, and power; and how politics infuse everyday spaces including schools, businesses, homes, and even the dinner table. Prerequisite: ANTH B102, H103 or permission of the instructor.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Power, Inequity, and Justice (PIJ)

Counts Toward Gender Sexuality Studies

Counts Toward International Studies

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ANTH B303 History of Anthropological Theory

Fall 2024

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. This course qualifies as completion of the writing requirement. Prerequisite: ANTH B102/ANTH H103 and at least one additional anthropology course at the 200 or 300 level.

Writing Attentive

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ANTH B312 Anthropology of Reproduction

Fall 2024

This course will examine how power in everyday life shapes reproductive behavior and how reproduction is culturally constructed. Through an examination of materials from different cultures, this course will look at how often competing interests within households, communities, states and institutions (at both the local and global levels) influence reproduction in society. We will explore the political economy of reproduction cross-culturally, how power and politics shape gendered reproductive behavior and how it is interpreted and used differently by persons, communities and institutions. Topics covered include but are not limited to the politics of family planning, mothering/parenting, abortion, pregnancy, pregnancy loss, fetal testing and biology and social policy in cross-cultural comparison. Prerequisite: ANTH 8102 (or ANTH H103) recommended

Counts Toward Child and Family Studies

Counts Toward Gender Sexuality Studies

Counts Toward Health Studies

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ANTH B317 Disease and Human Evolution

Not offered 2024-25

Pathogens and humans have been having an "evolutionary arms race" since the beginning of our species. In this course, we will examine how natural selection and other evolutionary forces shape our susceptibility to disease, and how we have adapted to resist disease. We will also address how concepts of Darwinian medicine impact our understanding of how people might be treated most effectively. We will focus on infectious and chronic diseases, and the anthropogenic effects contributing to the observed distribution of various diseases and illnesses, such as climate change and racism, and their interactions.

Counts Toward Health Studies

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ANTH B326 Sensory Ethnography

Fall 2024

Life engages all of our senses, but much of our sensory experience is filtered out when we put that experience into words. This course approaches the senses and sensory experience together as both an object of ethnographic study and as a means of ethnographic enquiry. Going beyond the notion of the senses as biologically hard-wired individual perception, we will explore how the senses are instead learned and shaped by culture and socialization, not static but changing and transforming over time. We will also examine how sensory knowledge and experience can be political: that is, shaped by and responding to structures of power. Throughout the semester, we will be asking both what can be learned from taking sensory experience seriously, and how sensory ethnography might go beyond traditional ethnographic approaches. Students will conduct projects that explore and engage taste, touch, vision, hearing, and smell, and then experiment with different ways of producing anthropological knowledge, in addition to writing; possibilities include photography, video, audio recording, curated collections of objects, or guided taste or smell experiences.

Writing Attentive

Course does not meet an Approach

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ANTH B327 Caste and Race: Analogies and Intersections

Not offered 2024-25

With the global spread of the Black Lives Matter movement, and since the publication of American journalist Isabel Wilkerson's Caste: The Origins of our Discontents, there has been a renewed interest in thinking comparatively about caste and race. This course will examine the intertwined histories and legacies of caste and race as imaginaries deployed both to create and enforce social inequality and hierarchy, and to describe and analyze it. In the first half of the course we will examine how analogies and comparisons between caste and race have been made at various moments over the long 20th century. In the second half of the course, we will explore how caste and race have intersected in lived experience, using historical sources, ethnography, and memoir. In tracking intersections of experience and the production of knowledge, our course will bring together history, anthropology, sociology, and related fields, as well as different world areas- India/South Asia and the U.S./Western hemisphere- that have traditionally been held apart in the modern academy. Prerequisite: One course in Anthropology or History or related Social Science or Humanities departments, or permission of the instructors.

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ANTH B329 The politics of belonging and exclusion in India

Not offered 2024-25

Since India's economic liberalization in the early 1990s, the globalizing dynamics of cultural and economic liberalization have been accompanied by renewed articulations of who belongs in the "New India" and who doesn't. In this context, caste, class, religious community, language, and gender have become crucial sites for claiming citizenship, articulating distinctions among people, and constructing senses of what and who can inhabit the public sphere. Using materials from different regions of India, our focus will be on how fine-grained ethnographic study can be a tool to examine the broader dynamics of belonging and exclusion and its political and social effects. This course fulfills the BMC Anthropology major/minor ethnographic area requirement.

Writing Attentive

Course does not meet an Approach

Counts Toward Gender Sexuality Studies

Counts Toward International Studies

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ANTH B331 Medical Anthro Seminar: Critical Thinking for Critical Times

Not offered 2024-25

Advanced Medical Anthropology: Critical Thinking for Critical Times explores theoretical and applied frameworks used in medical anthropology to tackle pressing problems in our world today. Coupled with topical subjects and ethnographic examples, this seminar will enable students to delve deeply into sub-specialization areas in the field of medical anthropology, including: global health inequalities, cross-border disease transmission, genomics, science and technology studies, ethnomedicine, cross-cultural psychiatry/psychology, cross-cultural bioethics, and ecological approaches to studying health and behavior, among others. No prior experience in medical anthropology is required. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing and higher.

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ANTH B343 Human Growth and Development and Life History

Not offered 2024-25

In this seminar we will examine various aspects of the human life history pattern, highly unusual among mammals, from a comparative evolutionary perspective. First, we will survey the fundamentals of life history theory, with an emphasis on primate life histories and socioecological pressures that influence them. Secondly, we will focus on unique aspects of human life history, including secondary altriciality of human infants, the inclusion of childhood and pubertal life stages in our pattern of growth and development, and the presence of a post-reproductive life span. Finally, we will examine fossil evidence from the hominin lineage used in reconstructing the evolution of the modern human life history pattern. Prerequisite: ANTH B101 or permission of instructor.

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ANTH B345 Voices of the Dead: Seminar in Bioarchaeology

Not offered 2024-25

Bioarchaeology is the study of human skeletal remains from archaeological sites, with the goals of reconstructing the lifeways of past peoples. In this course we will learn about the methods used to reconstruct both individual lives and collective population histories, including human osteology, paleopathology, stable isotope analysis, mortuary analysis, and demography. We will study processes that leave their marks in/on bones and teeth, including behavioral features (such as occupation, inequality and social hierarchies, and interpersonal violence); ecological features (e.g., differences in landscape, diet, and naturally available resources); and biological features (e.g., growth and development, and physiological stress). This exploration will be firmly rooted in the contemporary cross-cultural ethical and legal frameworks surrounding research using human remains, from excavation to repatriation.

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ANTH B346 Human Rights and Citizenship in Global Perspective

Not offered 2024-25

This course examines the history of "decolonization." In the 20th century, the global world order transformed from one organized around empires and imperial domination to one of nation-states, self-determination, and human rights. In three parts, this course will explore the history of colonization and imperialism; examine the historical significance and legacy of anti-colonial struggles, global decolonization in the 20th century, and the movement for human rights; as well as investigate the significance of these legacies to contemporary struggles over nationalism, migration, racial justice and citizenship.

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ANTH B352 Humans and Non-Humans

Not offered 2024-25

Anthropology is the study of humans, but the idea of the "human" always implies the category of the "non-human." Humanity is defined in its relation to "non-humans": ranging from tools and technology, to domesticated (and undomesticated) animals, to agricultural crops, our local ecologies, and the global environment. What does it mean to be human? What is the agency of non-humans in human worlds? Do forests think? Do dogs dream? What is the agency of a mountain? What are the rights of a river? What is the cultural significance of DNA? This course will trace Anthropological debates over the "human" and "non-human" in contexts ranging from Amerindian cosmology, to political ecology, and science and technology studies.

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ANTH B354 Political Economy, Gender, Ethnicity and Transformation in Vietnam

Spring 2025

Today, Vietnam is in the midst of dramatic social, economic and political changes brought about through a shift from a central economy to a market/capitalist economy since the late 1980s. These changes have resulted in urbanization, a rise in consumption, changes in land use, movement of people, environmental consequences of economic development, and shifts in social and economic relationships and cultural practices as the country has moved from low income to middle income status. This course examines culture and society in Vietnam focusing largely on contemporary Vietnam, but with a view to continuities and historical precedent in past centuries. In this course, we will draw on anthropological studies of Vietnam, as well as literature and historical studies. Relationships between the individual, family, gender, ethnicity, community, land, and state will pervade the topics addressed in the course, as will the importance of political economy, nation, and globalization. In addition to class seminar discussions, students will view documentary and fictional films about Vietnamese culture. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or higher or first years with ANTH 102.

Writing Attentive

Counts Toward Gender Sexuality Studies

Counts Toward International Studies

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ANTH B355 Archaeology of Landscapes

Not offered 2024-25

Traditional archaeology has focused on the "archaeological site" in our attempts to understand past human practices. However, people in the past as with today did not live their lives within the small confines of an archaeological site but rather in the broader landscape surrounding them. In this seminar, students will gain an understanding of different theoretical and methodological approaches to studying the landscape. Using case studies from around the world, we will explore how archaeologists study the ways past people interacted with, modified, and experienced the landscapes in which they dwelt. In doing so, students will gain an appreciation for how the study of landscapes can improve our understanding of peoples lived experiences.

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ANTH B356 The Politics of Public Art

Not offered 2024-25

In this class we will explore the politics of public art. While we will look at the political messaging of public art, we will also seek to understand how public art, through its integration into a social geography, has a political impact beyond its meaning. We will see how art claims public space and structures social action, how art shapes social groups, and how art channels economic flows or government power. By tracing the ways that art is situated in public space, we will examine how art enters into urban contest and global inequality. Class activity will include exploration of public art and students will be introduced to key concepts of urban spatial analysis to help interrogate this art. One 200-level course in Social Sciences, Humanities, or Arts fields, or permission of the instructor

Course does not meet an Approach

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ANTH B357 Narratives of Illness, Healing, and Medicine

Not offered 2024-25

This course will explore the construction of narratives around illness, healing, and medicine cross-culturally and across a variety of media including through graphic novels, video drama series, primary source diaries, audio accounts, and anthropological texts. Illness narratives have figured prominently in the study and practice of medical anthropology, and increasingly in the teaching of medicine. We will ask: What is the role of illness narratives in the healing process for patients, healers, and caregivers in cross-cultural comparison? How can illness narratives destabilize dominant discourses, and provide an avenue of expression for those who are unable to easily speak or be heard, particularly in biomedical contexts? Who gets to speak, in what ways, and who remains unheard? What does it mean to tell a story of illness? What roles do illness stories play in illuminating and complicating understandings of illness, disability, trauma, and caregiving? How do illness narratives relate to suffering, hope, and healing, and how they differ for chronic or terminal illness? What do they tell us about making and remaking the self? Students will have the opportunity to explore frameworks and cross-cultural experiences through media beyond standard text. Prerequisite: ANTH B102 or permission of instructor.

Course does not meet an Approach

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ANTH B364 Anthropology of Global Public Health

Spring 2025

This course will use an anthropological lens to explore the field of contemporary global health. Through readings and case studies in cultural anthropology, medical anthropology, applied and critical anthropology, and related social sciences, the class will examine the participants and institutions that makeup the production of global health, as well as the knowledge and value production that have shaped agendas, policies and practices in global health, both historically and in the contemporary. The course will also explore anthropology's relationship to and perspectives on the history of global health. Through the use of ethnographic case-studies we will examine how local communities, local knowledge and political forces intersect with, shape, and are shaped by global initiatives to impact diseases, treatments, and health care delivery. Among other topics, the course will explore health disparities, epidemics/pandemics, global mental health, climate change and infectious diseases, chronic illness, violence, health systems, and communicable diseases such as polio, HIV/AIDS, Covid-19, Tuberculosis, etc. Prerequisite(s): ANTH B102/H103 recommended; sophomore standing or higher

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ANTH B366 Waves of Power: Sound in Culture, Politics, and Society

Not offered 2024-25

From the chants of protesters to the hum of engines, from the ring of church bells to the background tracks of our favorite songs, sound matters. It is not just a background to what we see, but a crucial and powerful part of social life. This course builds an understanding of sound through anthropological investigation, as a product of human creativity, human conflict, and human interaction with the material world. We will explore the ways that sound is conceptualized and endowed with meaning; how sound becomes linked to identity; and how sound can become a call to action in different cultural and historical contexts. The kinds of sounds we will encounter in this course include, but are not limited to, music and spoken language; we will also be studying environmental, industrial, and religious sounds. You will also be learning about different ways to record, document, and write about sound by engaging in your own sound-based ethnographic research. Prerequisite: Sophomore Standing or higher.

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ANTH B398 Senior Conference

Research design, proposal writing, research ethics, 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 thesis proposal is the most significant writing experience in the seminar. Prerequisite: Senior Anthropology majors only.

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ANTH B399 Senior Conference

Coding research notes, discussion of ongoing field work and research. A senior's thesis is the most significant writing experience in the seminar. Senior requirement.

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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.

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ANTH B425 Praxis III: Independent Study

Praxis III courses are Independent Study courses and are developed by individual students, in collaboration with faculty and field supervisors. A Praxis courses is distinguished by genuine collaboration with fieldsite organizations and by a dynamic process of reflection that incorporates lessons learned in the field into the classroom setting and applies theoretical understanding gained through classroom study to work done in the broader community.

Counts Toward Praxis Program

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ARCH B260 Daily Life in Ancient Greece and Rome

Not offered 2024-25

The often-praised achievements of the classical cultures arose from the realities of day-to-day life. This course surveys the rich body of material and textual evidence pertaining to how ancient Greeks and Romans -- famous and obscure alike -- lived and died. Topics include housing, food, clothing, work, leisure, and family and social life.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

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BIOL B236 Evolution

Spring 2025

A lecture/discussion course on evolutionary biology. This course will cover the history of evolutionary theory, population genetics, molecular and developmental evolution, paleontology, and phylogenetic analysis. Lecture three hours a week.

Scientific Investigation (SI)

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CITY B185 Urban Culture and Society

Fall 2024

Examines techniques and questions of the social sciences as tools for studying historical and contemporary cities. Topics include political-economic organization, conflict and social differentiation (class, ethnicity and gender), and cultural production and representation. Philadelphia features prominently in discussion, reading and exploration as do global metropolitan comparisons through papers involving fieldwork, critical reading and planning/problem solving using qualitative and quantitative methods.

Course does not meet an Approach

Power, Inequity, and Justice (PIJ)

Counts Toward International Studies

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CITY B229 Topics in Comparative Urbanism

Section 001 (Spring 2024): Colonial & Post Colonial Reflections
Section 001 (Spring 2025): Metros, Regions, and Belts
Section 002 (Spring 2025): Metros, Regions, and Belts

Spring 2025

This is a topics course. Course content varies.

Current topic description: The fight for spatial justice in contemporary cities is a demand for recognition, representation, and a more equitable redistribution of scarce public resources. In practice, however, both the formal institutions and informal power relations of urban governance are often supra-local. This writing-intensive class employs a comparative case-study approach to study the role of metropolitan areas, larger urban regions, and even expansive regional belts in the growth, governance, and experience of everyday life in cities. We will study the Delaware Valley (Philadelphia) and compare the discursive and material roles of regional planning, governance, and activism there with cases in East Asia and Latin America.

Current topic description: The fight for spatial justice in contemporary cities is a demand for recognition, representation, and a more equitable redistribution of scarce public resources. In practice, however, both the formal institutions and informal power relations of urban governance are often supra-local. This writing-intensive class employs a comparative case-study approach to study the role of metropolitan areas, larger urban regions, and even expansive regional belts in the growth, governance, and experience of everyday life in cities. We will study the Delaware Valley (Philadelphia) and compare the discursive and material roles of regional planning, governance, and activism there with cases in East Asia and Latin America.

Writing Intensive

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Counts Toward International Studies

Counts Toward Latin American Iberian Latinx

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CITY B365 Topics: Techniques of the City

Section 001 (Spring 2024): Making & Remaking Philadelphia
Section 001 (Spring 2025): Urban Renewal

Spring 2025

This is a topics course. Course content varies.

Current topic description: This course explores physical, social, economic, and political aspects of neighborhood change, with a particular emphasis on the 1950-1970 urban renewal and interstate highway programs in the US. These large-scale government-led efforts will be compared with more incremental neighborhood change from neighborhood-based community development efforts, gentrification, market actors, and grassroots advocacy.

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HIST B200 The Atlantic World 1492-1800

Not offered 2024-25

The aim of this course is to provide an understanding of the way in which peoples, goods, and ideas from Africa, Europe. and the Americas came together to form an interconnected Atlantic World system. The course is designed to chart the manner in which an integrated system was created in the Americas in the early modern period, rather than to treat the history of the Atlantic World as nothing more than an expanded version of North American, Caribbean, or Latin American history.

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Counts Toward Africana Studies

Counts Toward International Studies

Counts Toward Latin American Iberian Latinx

Counts Toward Peace Justice and Human Rights

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INST B201 Themes in International Studies

Not offered 2024-25

This is a topics course. Course content varies.

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INST B210 Popular Uprisings in Global Perspective

Not offered 2024-25

In recent years, popular uprisings and protest movements have mobilized hundreds and thousands of people in different parts of the world to demand a radical overhauling of existing systems and changes in political leadership. These uprisings have raised a series of questions that will be the focus of this class. What are the catalysts, underlying causes and demands of these protest movements? What can we learn from the grassroots organizing that allowed these movements to gain momentum? All too often popular uprisings in the Global South in particular, are seen as representing the failures and limits of revolutionary action and politics rather than their potential and promise. What then, do recent popular uprisings reveal about the limitations and relevance of various theoretical approaches to explaining revolutionary phenomena and action? How might local scholars and activists analyzing the popular uprisings taking place in their countries, allow us to develop new vocabularies and frameworks for understanding popular protests and revolutionary action elsewhere? Students will explore these questions through a series of case studies including Sudan, Hong Kong, Chile, Lebanon, France, Ethiopia and India.

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INST B315 Humans & Non-Humans

Not offered 2024-25

Anthropology is the study of humans, but the idea of the "human" always implies the category of the "non-human." Humanity is defined in its relation to "non-humans": ranging from tools and technology, to domesticated (and undomesticated) animals, to agricultural crops, our local ecologies, and the global environment. What does it mean to be human? What is the agency of non-humans in human worlds? Do forests think? Do dogs dream? What is the agency of a mountain? What are the rights of a river? What is the cultural significance of DNA? This course will trace Anthropological debates over the "human" and "non-human" in contexts ranging from Amerindian cosmology, to political ecology, and science and technology studies.

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Contact Us

Department of Anthropology

Dalton Hall
Bryn Mawr College
101 N. Merion Avenue
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

Phone: 610-526-5030
Fax: 610-526-5655