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Spring 2014


ANTH 411.02
Global Perspectives on the Human Condition: An Introduction to Anthropology
Instructor: Dr. Sara Withers
Class Time: Tuesday/Thursday, 11:10-12:30pm
DeMeritt 112
Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 1-2pm
Huddleston 317
Course Description:
This course introduces the principal ideas and methods of social and cultural anthropology by
offering a comparative study of a diverse cross-section of human societies. This course is
designed to examine the ways peoplewithin a range of communities in Africa, Europe, Latin
America, South Asia, and the United Statesmake sense of and order their lives. The course
will consider the effects and relationships between class, caste, ethnicity, race, and gender in
human societies. A key theme running through the course is that of globalization and
transnationalism. How do people around the world interact with, interpret, use, and/or resist
political, economic, and cultural changes that often are associated with participation in todays
world? Are the cultures of the world becoming homogenous or are communities working within
the boundaries of globalization to create new and unique cultural spaces? What is the role of
anthropology/the anthropologist within this context?
In addressing such broad themes, by the end of the course, students should be able to:
Identify a range of key concepts and ideas of cultural anthropology, including the
founding scholars of the discipline.
Identify common areas of research within the discipline: kinship and social organization;
political economy; symbols and language; religion and ritual; gender and sexuality;
resistance and social change; and violence and human rights, and to draw on
ethnographic examples that relate to these topics.
Discuss what makes ethnographic fieldwork unique, and be able to apply these
anthropological methods in practice.
Use anthropological ideas and questions to critically examine their own culture, daily
practices, and ways of life.
Required Texts:
The following books are available at the Durham Book Exchange:
Lee, Richard. The Dobe Ju/hoansi, 4th ed. Thomson Learning (2012).
Kottak, Mirror for Humanity, 9th ed. McGraw Hill (2014).
Additional articles will be available through Blackboard, or will be handed out in class. These
are marked with a (Bb) in the syllabus. Please complete the reading on or before the class date
listed in the syllabus. Films will be viewed in class.

Spring 2014
Course Grading System:
A 93-100
A- 90-92
B+ 87-89
B 83-86





Course Assessments/Assignments:
1. In-class attendance quizzes
2. Reading Quizzes (online)
3. Culture Snapshots (online)
4. Exam I (online)
5. Exam II (online)
6. Final Exam


Below 60

Unscheduled (10x/semester)
Unscheduled (5x/semester)
Unscheduled (5x/semester)
Feb 27 (during class time)
April 15 (during class time)
May 8, 3:30-5:30pm

In-class quizzes:
Over the course of the semester, there will be ten (10) in-class quizzes. The quizzes will take the
form of discussion questions that address the readings, lectures, and films. Many times, after the
quizzes have been completed individually, there will be small group discussions that tackle
similar, thought-provoking questions. I encourage respectful debate; disrespectful comments or
conversations will not be tolerated and will not count towards your final grade. At the end of
each discussion, I will ask various groups to report back to the class as a whole about what they
discussed. Most of the time, you will not receive a letter grade for the quiz, but will simply get
credit for participating in the quiz. Each quiz is worth 2% of your grade, and together, they are
worth 20% of your final grade for the semester.
Reading Quizzes
There will be five (5) on-line quizzes over the course of the semesterthese quizzes will be
announced in class, and will be noted in the lecture slides posted to Blackboard. Quizzes will
test your knowledge about assigned readings, and will be available on Blackboard for two days.
Each quiz will have ten questions, and you will have 15 minutes to take each quiz. You may
take the quiz at your convenience during those two days. If you do not have internet access at
home, you can always take the quiz on the computers in the library. Because they are announced
in class and posted for two days, ABSOLUTELY NO MAKEUPS will be given for missed
quizzes. Each quiz is worth 2% of your final grade; together they are worth 10% of your final
Culture Snapshots
Periodically throughout the semester I will ask you to record visual images of various aspects of
culture, based on that particular weeks topic (e.g. religion, or gender and sexuality), or on a
specific concept (e.g. ethnocentrism). You will take a picture of what ever item, person, event
you think best reflects the assigned idea or concept, and will post them to that snapshot topics
wiki page on our Blackboard site by midnight before the following classalong with a brief, 1-2
sentence description of why and how your photo reflects that particular aspect of culture. If you
meet this deadline, you will receive full credit for the snapshot (NOTE: I have to be able to see
the connection between the image and the assigned concept. If that connection is unclear, or if
the image is overtly offensive or degrading, it will not be accepted). There will be five culture

Spring 2014


snapshots throughout the semester, each worth 2% of your final grade; together they are worth
10% of your course grade.
***Extra Credit Opportunity***: For three out of the five cultural snapshots, you may choose
to submit a brief analysis (1-2 paragraphs) of your classmates posted pictures. After three of the
cultural snapshots are due, I will post questions on a discussion board on Blackboard, and you
may respond to those questions and submit your analysis there. The discussion boards will be
available for two days. Each response is worth a possible 2 points, for a total of 6 over the
course of the semester. These points will be added to your final grade at the end of the semester
(e.g. if you had an 86 for the course, and received 4 out of 6 extra credit points, your final grade
would be raised to a 90). Partial credit for each response is possible (see the rubric below).
Extra Credit Grading Rubric
0 Points
Did not post a reply; did not address relevant topic or pictures.
1 Point
Analysis was vague and/or incomplete, and responded to only some
parts of professors discussion question; did not refer to specific photos
or to specific concepts from the course.
2 Points
Analysis was detailed and drew on particular photos (2-4) and concepts
from the course. Analysis responded to all parts of professors
discussion question.

There will be three exams. The first two exams are each worth 15% of your grade, for a total of
30% for the course. The final exam is cumulative, and will count for 30% of your course grade.
The exams will have T/F, multiple choice, and/or matching questions. There will not be essays.
The exams will cover lecture, readings, and films. Exam I is online, and will cover material
from weeks 1-6. Exam II is online, and will cover material from weeks 7-12. The Final Exam
will be given in person, and will cover material from the entire course. Review sheets will be
handed out in class, and posted to Blackboard, approximately one week before each exam.
Online Exam Policies
Exams 1 and 2 will be given online on February 27 and April 15 during regularly scheduled class
timereserve this time on your schedule now!
Students can take the exams on any computer but they must ensure they have a strong and
reliable connection to the internet and that Blackboard runs on their computer. Students are
responsible for ensuring these facts BEFORE the day of the exam. If a student has any concerns
about their computer or internet access they should work at a campus computing cluster where
internet and Blackboard access is guaranteed.
The exams will only be available to the students during normally scheduled class time on the
exam days. At that time, a link to the exam will become available under the Exams and
Quizzes tab on Blackboard. Both of these exams will consist of 50 questions each, and will be
a mixture of T/F, multiple choice, and/or matching questions.

Spring 2014


Students will have 60 minutes to take the exams. Blackboard times you but does not cut you off
after 60 minutes, so be diligent about your time. Your time gets recorded, and is reported to me.
For every minute you go over the 60 minute time period, one point will be deducted from your
Students will be shown one question at a time and questions will be randomized. Back tracking
will also be prohibited, so once you enter your answer to a question, it is final.
Students who experience any technical problems while taking the exam MUST IMMEDIATELY
email the instructor at:
Emails received outside of designated exam taking time claiming an inability to take the exam
will not be considered for make-up. That is, if you email me at 5:30 pm saying you could not
take the exam, it will be obvious that you did not follow directions and take the exam during
class time, and you will be excluded from a make-up possibility.
Students who email me during the exam time slot indicating they are having technical problems
will be allowed to take a make-up exam, or if the technical issue can be fixed in a timely manner,
and the professor deems it appropriate, to continue taking the original exam. If a make-up exam
is required, this exam will be taken in hard copy, proctored in the Anthropology Department.
Make-ups will be completely different exams and they will be in Essay and Short-Answer
format. Such make-ups will have to be scheduled within one week of the original exam to count
as a full make-up.
Students must adhere to UNHs standards of academic honesty. You are allowed to use your
As noted above, make-up exams are provided only under very rare circumstances for those
with officially excused absences. The final examThursday, May 8is scheduled by the
University and cannot be changed.
Course Conduct:
Because the exams draw largely from class lectures and discussions based on the readings and
films, attendance and participation will be important. Read the assigned articles or chapters
before the class because they will be required for in-class participation (as well as for the online
reading quizzes).
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion in this course, and I expect that you grant this right to
your classmates. Be respectful of others, even if you disagree. If you do want to voice
disagreement, do so in a constructive, responsible manner. Disruptive or offensive behavior will
not be tolerated.
Use of Electronics:
The use of phones, laptops, etc. is permitted in the class, primarily for the purpose of classrelated work (e.g. taking notes, doing quick in-class research projects, following along with the
PowerPoint lecture slides, etc.). Please, however, use them responsibly. If it is clear that they

Spring 2014


are being used for non-class related activities, or if student use of these devices becomes a
distraction to the professor or others in the class, you will be asked to stop using them. If you do
not comply with this request, you will be asked to leave the classroom.
Student Support: The University is committed to providing students with documented
disabilities equal access to all university programs and facilities. If you think you have a
disability requiring accommodations, you must register with Disability Services for Students
(DSS). Contact DSS at 603-862-2607, in person at 201 Smith Hall, or
disability.office@unh.edu. If you have received Accommodation Letters for this course from
DSS, please provide me with that information privately in my office so that we can review those
Office Hours:
My office hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-2pm in Huddleston 317. If you are unable
to meet with me during these times, please email me to set up a separate time (put ANTH 41102 in the subject header so I can recognize your email). I am always happy to discuss
anthropology, and if you are unclear about the subject matter, it is always better to talk with me
before the exams.

Class Schedule:
The schedule and syllabus is subject to reasonable modification by the instructor in response to
the needs of the class. Changes will be communicated in a timely manner.
An Introduction to Cultural Anthropology/History/Important Concepts and Issues
Week 1
T 1/21

Introduction to the course and to Anthropology

Introduction to the course. What is anthropology? Anthropology and the concept
of cultureintroduction to cultural relativism.
READ: Kottak, Chapt. 1

R 1/23

Culture revisited. How to explain cultural difference? Ethnocentrism and

Cultural Relativism.
READ: Miner, Body Ritual Among the Nacirema (B)

Week 2
T 1/28

Who are we? Where do we come from? History of anthropology.

Alternatives to cultural relativism.
READ: Kottak, Chapt. 2

R 1/30

READ: Abu-Lughod, Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving? (B)

Week 3

Encountering the Other. Anthropological Fieldwork and Methods. Ethical

FILM: First Contact
READ: Kottak, Chapt. 3

T 2/4

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R 2/6

READ: Sterk, Tricking and Tripping (B)
Lee, Eating Christmas in the Kalahari, Appendix A (pp. 245-251)
Cross-Cultural Diversity: Peoples everyday lives?

Week 4
T 2/11

Kinship and Family

FILM: N!ai
READ: Lee, Chapters 1-3
Kottak, Chapt. 7 (skim)

R 2/13

READ: Lee, Chapter 5 and pp. 85-93

Week 5
T 2/18

Kinship and Family/Making a Living: Economic and Political Systems

READ: Goldstein, When Brothers Share a Wife (B)
Small, How Many Fathers are Best for a Child? (B)

R 2/20

READ: Kottak, Chapt 5 (skim)

Lee, Chapter 4, and pp. 130-136, pp. 171-176, and pp. 184-190

Week 6
T 2/25

Making a Living: Economic and Political Systems

READ: Gibbs, The Kpelle Moot (B)
Kottak, Chapt 6

R 2/27

EXAM 1 (online)
Cross-Cultural Diversity: Constructing Social Relationships and Categories

Week 7
T 3/4

Religion and Ritual

READ: Kottak, Chapt 9

R 3/6

READ: Lee, Chapter 9

Gmelch, Baseball Magic (B)

Week 8


Week 9
T 3/18

Anthropology of Sport and Entertainment/Medical Anthropology

Anthropology of Sport

R 3/20

Medical Anthropology
READ: Farmer, Culture, Poverty and HIV Transmission (B)
Kottak, Chapter 11only pp. 252-256

Week 10

Race and Ethnicity


Spring 2014


T 3/25

READ: Kottak, Chapt. 10

R 3/27

READ: McIntosh, White Privilege (B)

Week 11
T 4/1

Gender and Sexuality

READ: Kottak, Chapt. 8

R 4/3

READ: Roscoe, Strange Country This (B)

FILM: 1 in 2000

Week 12
T 4/8

Language and Communication

READ: Kottak, Chapt. 4

R 4/10

READ: Basso, To Give Up on Words (B)

Tannen, Talk in the Intimate Relationship: His and Hers (B)
Anthropology of Globalization: Our Changing World

Week 13
T 4/15

The Global and the Local: Anthropology of Immigrants and Refugees

EXAM 2 (online)

R 4/17

FILM: Uprooted: Heartache and Hope in NH

Week 14
T 4/22

The Global and the Local: Structural Violence and Cultural Change
READ: Kottak, Chapt 13
Bodley, The Price of Progress (B)

R 4/24

READ: Lee, Chapters 12, 13 and pp. 229-236

Applied Anthropology: Anthropology in the Real World

Week 15
T 4/29

Applied Anthropology. A reflection on ethics.

READ: Kottak, Chapt 11
Rohde, Army Enlists Anthropology in War Zones (B)

R 5/1

A Recap: What is the aim of anthropology? Wrap-up the course and review.

***FINAL EXAM: Thursday, May 8, 1-3pm***