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Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology

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  • Objectives
    The Anthropology Programme aims to prepare students for graduate study, and/or employment in government sponsored regional or overseas development programmes, native affairs, and private sector social (qualitative) research agencies.
  • Academic Title
    Bachelor of Arts in Athropology
  • Course description
    BA Major
    (42 credits)

      3 ANTH 2023*
      3 200-level ANTH credits
      3 200-level ANTH or SOCI credits
      3 200-level SOCI credits
      6 ANTH 3113, 3123
    18 300- or 400-level ANTH credits
      6 400-level ANTH credits

    *Students exempted from ANTH 2023 are required to take three credits from ANTH 200- and 300-level courses.

    BA Specialization
    (60 credits)

      3 ANTH 2023*
      3 SOCI 2123***
      6 200-level ANTH credits
      3 200-level SOCI credits
      3 ANTH 2123
      6 ANTH 3113, 3123
      6 ANTH 3156
      30 300- or 400-level ANTH credits (maximum of 15 credits from the 300 level)

    *Students exempted from ANTH 2023 are required to take three credits from ANTH 200- and 300-level courses.
    ***Students exempted from SOCI 2123 are required to take three credits from SOCI 200- and 300-level courses.

    BA Honours
    (60 credits)

      3 ANTH 2023*
      3 SOCI 2123***
      6 200-level ANTH credits
      3 200-level SOCI credits
      3 ANTH 2123
      6 ANTH 3113, 3123
      6 ANTH 3156
      12 300- or 400-level ANTH credits
      6 ANTH 4956
      12 400-level ANTH credits

    *Students exempted from ANTH 2023 are required to take three credits from ANTH 200- and 300-level courses.
    ***Students exempted from SOCI 2123 are required to take three credits from SOCI 200- and 300-level courses.

    ANTH 202 Introduction to Culture (3 credits)
    An introduction to the anthropological study of culture. The course begins with a consideration of the concepts, models, and methods used by anthropologists. This is followed by an examination of the many ways in which peoples of the world, past and present, have organized the activities, institutions, and belief systems that sustain social life. The course concludes with a discussion of the relevance of cultural anthropology to contemporary issues.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for ANTZ 202 may not take this course for credit.

    ANTH 203 Culture and Biology: An Anthropological Perspective (3 credits)
    This course focuses on the interrelationship between culture and human biology. The first part of the course examines current debates about human origins, human variation, and the influence of cultural adaptation on human biology. This is followed by a critical examination of the strategies of sociobiology for the study of socio-cultural phenomena.

    ANTH 204 Native Peoples of North America (3 credits)
    Focusing primarily on the Native peoples of Canada, this course examines the ecological, economic, social, and religious aspects of Native cultures. A representative society from each geographic area of Canada is studied. This course is primarily ethnographic in emphasis, but it also seeks to provide some of the social and historical background necessary to understand the current situation of Native communities.

    ANTH 212 Elements of Ethno-Linguistics (3 credits)
    This is an introductory course which explores the relationship between language and culture, and the use of language in society. Major issues and debates in ethno-linguistics, socio-linguistics, and philosophy of language are examined.

    ANTH 221 Symbolic Anthropology (3 credits)
    This course examines alternative theoretical approaches to the study of the role of symbols in society. The course is devoted to a consideration of the contributions of structural, psychoanalytic, and interpretive anthropology.

    ANTH 230 Race and Ethnic Relations (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. number (3). Race and ethnicity are examined as bases of social differentiation. Ethnic group relations are analysed in relation to stratification and the exercise of power. The course includes explorations of the phenomena of discrimination, prejudice, and intergroup accommodation.

    ANTH 231 Culture and Commerce (3 credits)
    This course explores the influence of cultural values on the organization of the production, distribution or marketing, and the consumption of goods and services at both the local and global levels of the world economy. It also examines the social and environmental impact of the globalization of the consumer society.

    ANTH 270 Anthropology and Contemporary Issues (3 credits)
    This course examines contemporary world issues from a cross-cultural perspective. Discussion ranges from a critical examination of anthropological concepts and methods to a consideration of some of the practical or applied uses of anthropology. Specific topics include the consequences of underdevelopment, modernization, and the place of folk cultures and tradition in an increasingly global society.

    ANTH 272 Comparative Culture (3 credits)
    This course is a general introduction to social and cultural anthropology. It examines the ways in which anthropologists use the comparative method to understand cultures in their unity and diversity. The focus is upon reading ethnographies.

    ANTH 276 Gender and Society (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. number (3). This course explores the social construction of gender categories both historically and in the present. The focus is upon examining the various theoretical perspectives which attempt to explain the ways in which society has organized "masculine" and "feminine" as the basis for social inequalities.

    ANTH 298 Selected Topics in Anthropology (3 credits)

    ANTH 299 Selected Topics in Anthropology (6 credits)

    Specific topics for these courses, and prerequisites relevant in each case, will be stated in the Undergraduate Class Schedule and the Departmental Handbook.

    ANTH 302 Art, Aesthetics, and Anthropology (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. number (1). This course examines the relationship between art and society. It is mainly concerned with analysing how art may function as a means of signifying and perpetuating a given social order. Examples of artistic practice are drawn from diverse North and South American, African, and Melanesian cultures.

    ANTH 303 Indigenous Cultures Today (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. number (1). Through a selection of case studies from the Americas, Australia, and New Zealand, this course focuses on contemporary indigenous political struggles, cultural resurgence, race and identity, language revival, urbanization, transnational organization, indigenous media, and debates concerning tradition.

    ANTH 305 Culture and History (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. number (1). This course analyses some of the ways "history" has been understood both in our own and other cultures, including history as legitimating charter, as repeating cycle, as a scientific inquiry, as a series of unique events, and as a basis for ethical judgements.

    ANTH 307 Understanding Myths (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. number (1). This course presents a survey of current anthropological theories of the nature and function of myths. The course also analyses competing interpretations of some classic Western myths, and concludes with an examination of mythmaking in contemporary Western culture.

    ANTH 311 European Anthropological Theories (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. number (1). This course provides the student with a critical perspective on the historical development of theory in anthropology. Students are introduced to evolutionism, functionalism, structuralism, marxism, and post-modernism by rereading original texts and classical and contemporary ethnography. The role that fieldwork plays in "unmaking" theory in anthropology is explored. Emphasis is placed on the history and critique of British and European anthropological traditions.

    ANTH 312 North-American Anthropological Theories (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. number (1). This course provides the student with a critical perspective on the historical development of theory in anthropology. Students are introduced to evolutionism, functionalism, structuralism, marxism, and post-modernism by rereading original texts and classical and contemporary ethnography. The role that fieldwork plays in "unmaking" theory in anthropology is explored. Emphasis is placed on the history and critique of American anthropological traditions.

    ANTH 315 Field Research (6 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. number (1). This course provides the opportunity to study and practise qualitative research methods as they are used by anthropologists. Students learn systematic procedures for the collection of primary data using methods that include participant-observation and formal and informal interviewing.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for SOCI 315 may not take this course for credit.

    ANTH 322 Popular Culture in the Middle East (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. numbers (1) and (3). This course examines areas of contestation between such social forces in the Middle East as the state, elders, women, and youth as they seek to control and define popular culture and everyday practices which have become highly politicized. Contested domains to be considered include mass media, dance and music, art, rituals, sexuality, and clothing, and their implications for the people
    and societies involved.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for ANTH 323 or SOCI 322, or for this topic under an ANTH 398 or SOCI 398 number, may not take this course for credit.

    ANTH 324 Peoples and Cultures of Oceania (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. number (1). This course presents an overview of the peoples and cultures of Oceania, with particular emphasis on Melanesia. In addition to studying the peopling of the Pacific, the course delves into a range of classic anthropological topics, and addresses contemporary issues of gender, migration, and urbanization.

    ANTH 325 Magic, Science, Religion, and Ideology (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. number (1). This course analyses belief systems and their attendant rituals and practices. The focus is on how anthropologists differentiate between magic, science, religion, and ideology, and how anthropologists understand the relationship between belief systems and reality.

    ANTH 326 Peoples and Cultures of Sub-Saharan Africa (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. number (1). The course gives a broad historical and geographical survey of the region, and discusses, through case studies, older and contemporary topics, debates, and issues of African anthropology.

    ANTH 332 Health, Illness and Healing in Cross-Cultural Perspective (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. number (1). This course involves the exploration of a series of alternatives to Western ways of defining health and treating sickness, with particular emphasis on shamanistic and East Asian medicine. The major part of the course is devoted to the study of ethnomedicine, and exploring some of the central questions of transcultural psychiatry. The course concludes with a discussion of the role of the anthropologist in international health-planning.

    ANTH 345 Anthropology of Movement and Travel (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. number (1). Using anthropological literature, this course examines the processes, policies, and issues that may be common to different categories of travel and movement as well as those that can distinguish between them.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for this topic under an ANTH 398 number may not take this course for credit.

    ANTH 352 Population and Environment (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. numbers (1) and (3); SOCI 212. Population and environment have become two of the most contested areas for theory, research, policy and public action. The course critically examines the pillars of the population and the environment discourses with attention to differences between developed and developing countries. It provides an overview of the evolution of demands for population control to a common acceptance of a reproductive rights perspective. Similarly, the course focuses on current debates on environment and the management of the global commons from both the industrialized and developing countries’ perspectives.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for SOCI 352 may not take this course for credit.

    ANTH 353 (also listed as SOCI 353; SCPA 353) Community Studies (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. numbers (1) and (3). This course involves the study of communities both as locales and as symbolic constructions. The major theoretical approaches used in community studies are evaluated in relation to research and applied interests. Special attention is given to sensitizing students to issues concerning gender, race, ethnicity, and class at the local level.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for SOCI 353 or SCPA 353 may not take this course for credit.

    ANTH 355 (also listed as SOCI 355; SCPA 355) Urban Regions (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. numbers (1) and (3). This course reviews the work of anthropologists and sociologists in cities. The focus is on the social organization of social life in First and Third World urban spaces. Consideration is also given to the particular dynamics of fieldwork in urban settings.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for SOCI 355 or SCPA 355 may not take this course for credit.

    ANTH 361 Kinship (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. number (1). This course addresses both classical and contemporary issues in kinship studies, with particular emphasis on the following areas: filiation, adoption, descent, genealogies; rules of residency, private and public spheres; incest, sex, and marriage; terminologies and attitudes.

    ANTH 363 Law and Society (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. numbers (1) and (3). This course situates the study of law in cross-cultural perspective. It involves an examination of the kinds of institutions found in place of courts in non-Western societies. The course also explores numerous issues of relevance to the legitimacy of contemporary Western legal systems, such as the relationship between law and morality, the idea of right prior to good, and the nature of legal reasoning.

    ANTH 375 Social Construction of Sexualities (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. numbers (1) and (3). This course provides a cross-cultural, interdisciplinary approach to the study of human sexuality. There are three major components. One explores the validity of contemporary sexual beliefs and attitudes. Another focuses on the extent to which sexual beliefs and behaviours are socially organized. A third provides an introduction to theories which examine how biological and/or social forces shape our sexual lives.

    ANTH 377 Visual Anthropology (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. number (1). In looking at the history of ethnographers’ visual documentation of non-Western peoples as well as indigenous self-representations, this course primarily concerns itself with power and the development of professional anthropology, focusing on photography and film. It explores paradigms and case studies in the history of visual anthropology by highlighting the stylistic, social scientific, commercial, and political agendas that influence the production of visual documents. Starting with colonial exhibitions of "exotic natives," the course progresses to classic and contemporary ethnographic film with a focus on Curtis, Flaherty, Mead, Gardner, Rouch, and MacDougall.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for this topic under an ANTH 398 number may not take this course for credit.

    ANTH 378 The Family (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. numbers (1) and (3). This course examines the family as an institution in relation to its evolution from kinship societies up to the present. The course first introduces elementary structures of kinship and examines the family institution in the context of traditional societies. Special attention is devoted to the development of the modern family and to its current transformation.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for SOCI 378 may not take this course for credit.

    ANTH 379 Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Gender (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. number (1). The course explores through different theoretical perspectives and ethnographic examples, cross-cultural differences in sex/gender systems. A comparative analysis of gender relations in band, tribal, and state societies is undertaken. Topics discussed include the sexual division of labour, the cultural and social construction of gender, and the impact of economic development.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for SOCI 379 may not take this course for credit.

    ANTH 380 Contemporary Issues in Human Rights (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. numbers (1) and (3). The course develops, through case analysis, insight into the differing priorities and competing concepts of human rights and human dignity in "non-Western" cultural traditions as well as in "Western" societies. It explores the significance of religious and other ideological positions in the use and abuse of human rights by governments, extra-governments, international bodies, as well as the general public. The course also examines topics such as women’s human rights, sexuality and human rights, and human rights in development, the limits of sovereignty, and state accountability.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for ANTZ or SOCI 380 may not take this course for credit.

    ANTH 381 Ethnic Communities in Canada (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. numbers (1) and (3). This course aims at familiarizing students with the social factors and dynamics of contemporary ethno-cultural communities in Canada. Topics may include the immigration process and settlement; community development, structures, and organizations; the ethnic family; socio-economic status and achievement; cultural continuity and change; minority-majority relations and relations with other ethno-cultural communities.

    ANTH 385 Globalization and Transnationality (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. number (1). Globalization has been used generally to denote the increasingly rapid and far-flung circulation of people, money, commodities, and images around the world. This course introduces students to a sample of issues covered by anthropologists and sociologists in respect to this process, while at the same time also exploring transnational social networks that cross state borders but are not neccessarily global in scope.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for SOCI 385 may not take this course for credit.

    ANTH 398 Selected Topics in Anthropology (3 credits)

    ANTH 399 Selected Topics in Anthropology (6 credits)

    Prerequisite: See N.B. number (1). Specific topics for these courses will be stated in the Undergraduate Class Schedule and the Departmental Handbook.

    ANTH 420 Psychological Anthropology (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. number (2). This course examines and critiques the theoretical concepts of Western academic and folk psychology from the perspective of the psychologies of other cultures. Topics considered include the cultural construction of the emotions, personality development, perception, culture-bound psychiatric syndromes (such as windigo psychosis, amok), and altered states of consciousness, and indigenous theories of dream interpretation.

    ANTH 423 Political Anthropology (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. number (2). This course examines the political process and political organization in cross-cultural perspective. The focus is on how order is achieved in the absence of the state, as well as questions of leadership, power, and authority in different social contexts.

    ANTH 424 Experiments and Experience in Ethnographic Writing (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. number (2). This course examines debates that stemmed from the post-modern critique of representation in anthropology in the mid-1980s. This critique has highlighted new politics for the writing of ethnographic texts, as well as raised a number of epistemological questions relating to the ontological status of truth. The course focuses on recent experiments in ethnographic writing and on dynamics of fieldwork experience.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for ANTH 422 may not take this course for credit.

    ANTH 425 Religions in the Twenty-First Century (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. number (2). This course examines the contemporary roles of religion as systems of meaning, a focus of social claims, and as elements of self-expression. This discussion is set within the historical trajectories of instances of globalization, such as colonization and the spread of world religions, conversions to Christianity and liberation theories, the politicization of Islam, or the emergence of New Age religions as new forms of identity.

    ANTH 430 Development Debates (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. numbers (2) and (3). This course considers the systematic reduction of poverty and powerlessness at individual and societal levels. Several development problems are examined, including national debt crisis, population growth, urbanization, and various degrees of state withdrawal from regulating the market. Special emphasis is given to case studies from major regions of the Third World on the varied impact of development on gender relations and on the eradication of social and economic inequalities.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for SOCI 430 may not take this course for credit.

    ANTH 431 Neo-Marxism and Cultures (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. number (2). This course analyses the relationships between economy and cultural systems. The first section is devoted to the concept of economic base and superstructure in the industrial world; the second section focuses on selected case studies of non-industrial cultures and industrial cultures. The course concludes with an appraisal of the quality of economic life in non-industrial cultures.

    ANTH 433 Theories of Identity (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. numbers (2) and (3). This course discusses theories of difference, pluralism, exclusion, nationalism, and racism within broader frameworks such as citizenship, multiculturalism, diaspora or transnationalism. This course will therefore review related theories of identity as these are currently addressed within anthropology/sociology and related disciplines.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for SOCI 433 may not take this course for credit.

    ANTH 440 Culture, Language, and Mind (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. number (2); ANTH 212. This course looks at the relationship between linguistics and anthropology, and examines some of the issues in the linkage between language, culture, and thought.

    ANTH 441 Material Culture (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. numbers (2) and (3). This course studies material objects and technologies and their role in the production of everyday social life and culture.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for SOCI 441 may not take this course for credit.

    ANTH 463 Current Debates in Kinship (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. number (2). From its inception, the anthropological investigation of kinship has been centred around organization and regulation of so-called biological facts such as procreation and genetic relatedness or "consanguinity". The course examines how international adoption, new reproductive technologies, and gay and lesbian kinship reshape the way people think about kinship.

    ANTH 465 Legal Anthropology (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. number (2). This course analyses the legal system as an institutionalized system of social control and meanings, using historical and comparative data. Special attention is given to the study of the interface of law and other areas of sociological inquiry, including social change, conflict, and decision-making.

    ANTH 471 Anthropology of Food (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. number (2). This course approaches food through four main themes: archaeology of food production (domestication of plants and animals); class, cuisine, and the development of taste; cosmic and other symbolism of food; and the political economy of food and hunger.

    ANTH 472 Childhood and Youth (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. number (2). This course examines the increasingly diverse field of anthropological research on children and youths. This field of interest has recently been expanded to consider a wide range of arenas in which children and youth may be implicated across the world, such as consumption, mobility, media, work, and conflict.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for SOCI 472 may not take this course for credit.

    ANTH 474 Symbols, Rituals, and the Body (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. numbers (2) and (3). This course examines the social roles of the body. Topics include body image and self-esteem, the symbolism of beauty and ugliness, height, hair, dress, the face, body language, health and fitness, eating and drinking patterns. The subject is considered in anthropological and sociological perspectives.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for SOCI 474 may not take this course for credit.

    ANTH 475 Men and Masculinist Theory (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. numbers (2) and (3). This course is a review of the various and changing roles of men, the meanings of masculinity across cultures and the emerging men’s movements. In a dialogue with feminism, the course moves towards humanism.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for SOCI 475 may not take this course for credit.

    ANTH 477 Elites, Privilege and Relative Advantage (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. number (1). This course reviews the analytical and comparative challenges posed by the study of the elites such as scientists, entrepreneurs, and politicians. More modest forms of relative advantage and privilege are also addressed.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for this topic under an ANTH 498 number may not take this course for credit.

    ANTH 479 Feminism and Anthropology (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. number (2). This course explores the dialogue between feminist theory and anthropology. Topics discussed include "feminist standpoint" theory and the critique of "objectivity" in feminist philosophy of science; feminist contributions to the historical development of anthropological theory; and the relationship between feminism and postmodernism in current debates on ethnography and fieldwork.

    ANTH 495 Honours Essay (6 credits)
    Prerequisite: See N.B. number (2); ANTH 315; and permission of the Honours advisor. Under the supervision of an Anthropology staff member, the student prepares an Honours essay on a subject chosen in consultation with and approved by the professor.

    ANTH 498 Advanced Topics in Anthropology (3 credits)

    ANTH 499 Advanced Topics in Anthropology (6 credits)

    Prerequisite: See N.B. number (2). Specific topics for these courses will be stated in the Undergraduate Class Schedule and the Departmental Handbook.

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