The Catholic University of America

Course Descriptions

Anthropology (ANTH)

To view the complete schedule of courses for
each semester, go to Cardinal Station.

ANTH 101: Introduction to Anthropology: Cultures in a Global Society

3.00 Credits

Basic concepts of sociocultural anthropology and study of cultural differences among peoples of the world. Poses questions about how lives are touched by media images and information, transnational markets, consumer desires, global ecology, conflicting aspirations, religious revivals, and rewritten histories.

ANTH 105: Human Evolution

3.00 Credits

An introduction to physical anthropology and the course of human evolution. Topics include cultural adaptation, natural history of the earth, the fossil hominid, human populations, and human ecology. Two hours of lecture and one hour of discussion per week.

ANTH 108: Introduction to Archeology

3.00 Credits

History of human cultural development, from the stone tool and cave art of early modern Homo sapiens, through the growth of complex pre-industrial agricultural societies in the Near East, Europe, Africa, India and East Asia, and North and South America. Emphasis is on cultural forms as adaptations to the biocultural environment. Two hours of lecture and one hour of discussion per week

ANTH 110: Speech and Experience:Anthropology of Language

3.00 Credits

Examines speech as lived-in experience. Looks cross-culturally at communication embedded in particular cultures and imaginations; at code-switching, register, and other context-sensitive aspects of language use; at cultural categories and how they are employed in situations of uncertainty and in contests over meaning. Examines how speech shapes understanding of our humanity, our species' past, our relation to primates, and growth of our young.

ANTH 136: Magic, Witchcraft & Religion

3.00 Credits

Relationships between magic and religion, witchcraft, sorcery, and the occult; taboo, power and the powers, divination, and healing; shamans and divine kings; cargo cults and messianic movements; voodoo and secret societies. Two hours of lecture and one hour of discussion per week. Summer sessions only.

ANTH 200: Core Perspectives in Anthropology

3.00 Credits

Introduces core perspectives that distinguish anthropological approaches, their relation to other social and natural sciences, to philosophy and the humanities, and how they apply across different theories about meaning, structure, and agency in human social life and culture. Fall semesters.

ANTH 201: Research Design and Conduct in Anthropology

3.00 Credits

How anthropologists design and conduct research, form and test propositions about social life and culture, the methods used to gather and organize data, and issues in conducting research with human subjects. Spring semesters.

ANTH 202: Sex & Culture in Modern World

3.00 Credits

This course examines sex and gender issues in societies around the world that have been brought into the web of the modern world. It focuses on the creation, maintenance, and change of cultural differences in gender; the work of culture in sexuality; and equality and inequality between the sexes in different societies. It examines our own commonsense understanding and practices, and the various critical stances of "feminism."

ANTH 204: Forensic Anthropology

3.00 Credits

A survey of archaeological/biological anthropological methods employed by archaeologists and biological anthropologists to investigate and interpret human skeletal remains to uncover causes and circumstances surrounding human death in both archaeological and International Criminal Justice sites. In the Anthropology Department laboratory, students will to learn how forensic scientists analyze the human skeleton (Human Osteology) and interpret clues from human remains. Hands-on, interactive projects will reinforce class concepts; readings will explore basics of forensic science, recent discoveries of human remains worldwide using forensic methods; forensic issues/analytical methods will be studied though various media resources. Students will conduct weekly Internet projects using the vast number of web-sites related to forensic research. Class information will be augmented by field trips to local forensic research facilities (i.e. Smithsonian)

ANTH 206: Exploration, Excavation & Explanation: Laboratory Analysis and Field Investigation Techniques

3.00 Credits

Laboratory analysis and field investigation techniques applied in archaeological recovery and forensic investigations, this course covers survey, excavation, preservation and cataloging of artifacts and human remains from historic and prehistoric sites. Includes in-lab demonstrations, use of Internet resources, and a required Saturday field trip.

ANTH 214: The Anthropology of Food

3.00 Credits

With almost 6 billion people to feed and unprecedented levels of human impact on the environment, many cultural, social, and environmental questions surround the supply of food. Are there ethical and non-ethical ways to produce food? How does food production relate to a healthy environment? What happens to food as it moves from the farmer to the dinner plate? How does food become an expression of our social selves? This course uses an anthropological perspective to assess these and related questions in the production, processing and consumption of food.

ANTH 215: Archeology of the Biblical Lands

3.00 Credits

Archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean, Near East, and Egypt with a special geographic focus on the Holy Land; cultural and environmental settings of biblical history reconstructed from archaeological evidence from Palaeolithic through Roman times; placing events and customs described in biblical narrative in political, religious, and economic contexts of the larger region. Applies ethnohistory and archaeology to understand the Bible Lands.

ANTH 217: Migrants,Refugees and the Homeless

3.00 Credits

Voluntary and forced movements of peoples, whatever their motivation - ambition, fear, persecution - are examined through case studies of relationships between sending and receiving societies, displacement, and changing cultural identities, impact on families, societies and intercultural values examined. Lectures and community case studies.

ANTH 218: End of Nature? Environmental Degradation in a Globalizing Society

3.00 Credits

Environmental degradation in the form of the deforestation of tropical forests, the agricultural use of marginal lands, soil erosion, overfishing, overgrazing, and declines in the yields of American agriculture is an urgent and growing concern in this world of shrinking resources. This course will draw on current approaches in ecological, cognitive, and development anthropology. Case material will come from the tropical forests of Brazil, the midwest of the United States, the mountains of the Andes and the Himalayas, the Sahel region of West Africa and the seas of North America and South Asia.

ANTH 220: Technology & Society

3.00 Credits

How do technologies help define and change human societies? How are they organized as systems of practice and knowledge in a society? This course takes a comparative approach to understanding the social life of technology, scientific careers and work, how they influence and are influenced by cultural values, unconscious practices, and public policy.

ANTH 230: Sacred Cities of the World

3.00 Credits

From the Stonehenge to Mecca, the towers of ancient Sumer to sites of pilgrimage and royal cities, Machu Picchu to Cambodia's Angkor Wat, cosmic sites have been the pinnacle or nexus of many cultures and civilizations. This course examines and compares the sacred symbolism of built environments where sacred and mundane meet and intertwine in the world.

ANTH 240: Present Pasts: An Introduction to Cultural Heritage Studies

3.00 Credits

no description available

ANTH 250: New Political Anthropology

3.00 Credits

Examines the cultural construction of community, ethnic violence, transnational networks, cultural heritage politics and creolization characterizing our world today. Particular attention to organizations, forms, and settings that are problematic for established government and for classical approaches to freedom and order, domination and resistance, religious fundamentalism and the emergence of virtual communities associated with the communications revolution.

ANTH 254: Ancient Cultures of South America

3.00 Credits

Archeology study of the prehistoric societies, their environment, and cultures that gave rise to pre-Columbian cities and states.

ANTH 259: Ancient Art and Architecture

3.00 Credits

An in-depth analysis of prehistoric imagery through examination of portable art objects and monuments in their archaeological contexts. Emphasizes approaches to uses of style in archaeology, analysis of material culture, and interpretation of material remains of cultures ranging from the Paleotlithic to the colonial era. Formerly ANTH 359.

ANTH 260: Religion, Thought and Moral Imagination

3.00 Credits

What do non-western religions tell about the social nature, context, and reference of cultural idioms of interpretation, symbolism, religious movements? This course also examines how religious belief and practice fare in situations of contact, modernization, and contemporary globalization.

ANTH 270: The Information Society

3.00 Credits

What is the reality of the "information age?" We will look at technological and information cultures constructed in science, media and politics, at attempts to generalize their features into concepts about personal, biological, psychosocial identities and at their relation to issues of "globalization" and transnational cultures that are thrown up by shrinking the contemporary world. Students may anticipate a multidisciplinary set of readings about information and communication as social process with distinctive profiles in our time.

ANTH 310: Islam in the Modern World

3.00 Credits

Examines contemporary social settings of Islam in the Middle East, Africa, and South and Southeast Asia, through case studies of institutions of Muslim belief and practice at the local level. Considers the reception and role of Islam and its cultural significance for the analysis of authority and local communities.

ANTH 311: Heritage, Archaeology and the Contemporary Middle East

3.00 Credits

This course will explore the influence of the Ancient Near East on the Modern Middle East in terms of the religious, ethnic, social and national identities of indigenous and Diaspora communities and tourists. The goal is to understand today's issues and the current cultural character of the region in terms of its past. It will utilize anthropological and archaeological methodologies to show these connections through examination of people, places, artifacts and ideologies. Among the concepts to be explored in the course will be the significance of sacred sites, migrations, exodus myths, conquest ideologies, East/West conflicts, imperialism, nationalism, identities, dichotomies and archaeology as expressed through heritage sites and symbolism. As a study of archaeology and human heritage ' the curriculum focuses on modern peoples and their connections to the past rather than on the physical remains of past cultures, which is the central concern of traditional archaeology.

ANTH 313: Environment & Society

3.00 Credits

This course considers relations between environment and people. We will use examples from many different cultures, including Euro-American culture, to explore different ways of understanding, relating to, and living in the natural world. We will ask questions such as "What is 'the environment'?" "How do symbolic actions by humans affect the environment?" "What are the implications of this knowledge for biological , individual, social, and cultural sustainability?"

ANTH 315: Globalization and the Culture of Capitalism

3.00 Credits

This course addresses the key elements of the culture of capitalism, examines its historical emergence, and analyzes some of the social, economic, and environmental consequences of its expansion in our globalizing world.

ANTH 322: Lost Cities & Ancient Empires

3.00 Credits

Among the most dramatic archaeological relics are ruins of prehistoric cities in the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe. This course will introduce the archeological documentation of prehistoric states and empires, focusing on changes in settlement patterns, social organization, the establishment of political office, and the evolution of primitive economic and ideological systems that help define early civilization.

ANTH 324: Cultural Heritage of Native America

3.00 Credits

A course on the cultural heritage of Native Americans, their development, and contemporary issues such as preservation, presentation and who owns the past. The course also deals with impacts of European settlement and interactions with the Americas' "First Nations,' cultural borrowings, revivals and their status today.

ANTH 334: The Inca Empire Before and After the Conquest

3.00 Credits

Study of the origins of the Incas and how they organized the largest prehistoric native American empire known, including: Inca social and religious life, politics, economy, architecture, the built environment, and the arts. Shows how to use archeology, ethnography, ethnoarchelogy, and sources that have survived since the Conquest.

ANTH 341: Health Society and Culture

3.00 Credits

Concepts of health and illness in a cross-cultural context. Medical practitioners and treatment of illness. Implications of technological change for health and scientific medicine. Methodological problems in transcultural health research, roles of social scientists in health settings. Review of current trends in research on illness, disease, and culture.

ANTH 351: Archaeological Field Techniques

3.00 Credits

no description available

ANTH 354: Archaeology of Settlements & Landscapes

3.00 Credits

The study of human settlements in their cultural and environmental contexts. Uses concepts in physical geography, geomorphology, and biodiversity to understand changes in the structure of communities and their arrangement on the landscape through time. Modern case studies are included with prehistoric examples drawn from Andean South America, Central America, the Near East and the United States.

ANTH 355: Latinos and Latinas in the U.S.

3.00 Credits

A survey of peoples of Latin American heritage in the United States, particularly Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cuban Americans and new immigrants from Central and South America, with emphasis on ethnohistory, ethnography, current trends, and projects in the Washington community. Dr. Cohen.

ANTH 366: Identity & Community in America

3.00 Credits

What does "American" mean for the lives of people in the US, what makes these meanings "American", and how do Americans use these meanings? The course examines how meanings are organized in myths, rituals, and public discourses; settings where meanings are used, contested, and negotiated in new social movements, Congress and courts, communities, ethnicity and race, families and kinship, violence and its aftermath, and the media.

ANTH 371: Latin America in the New Millennium

3.00 Credits

A survey of peoples and cultures of Middle America, South America and the Caribbean from an anthropological perspective. For those interested in preparing for travel, business, government service, journalism or volunteer work in Latin America, as well as for elementary or secondary school teaching. Anthropology students will benefit from the discussions of social organization and social structure, class and ethnicity, social identity and other topics. It adopts an historical approach to examine major trends in economy, urbanization and migration, class and ethiniciity, religion and politics.

ANTH 390: Politics & Religion in the Middle East

3.00 Credits

An introduction to cultural patterns in the contemporary Middle East, focusing on relations of religion and politics in everyday life, contemporary Islamic movements, and notions of community and authority. Counts as a major elective in politics.

ANTH 452: Senior Seminar

3.00 Credits

Students utilize their knowledge of anthropology by developing a research design and conducting original research and data analysis. Students organize a research proposal in the first semester and complete the analysis and writing in the second semester. Faculty.

ANTH 493: Student-Faculty Research

3.00 Credits

Opportunity for senior majors to work individually on projects with a faculty member. Prerequisites: ANTH 200, 201.

ANTH 495: Practicum/Internship in Anthropology

3.00 Credits

For students to work and gain first-hand experience in research and applications of Anthropology in service organizations, laboratories, or projects at other Washington area institutions under faculty supervision. Requires permission of the department. Prerequisites: ANTH 200, 201.

ANTH 496: Senior Thesis in Anthropology

3.00 Credits

Open to qualified majors to develop a substantial research thesis in close consultation with a member of the faculty and which may be submitted for honors in anthropology. Spring semesters. Prerequisite: ANTH 200, 201, appropriate courses, and agreement of the instructor.

ANTH 498: Undergraduate Comprehensive Examination

0 Credits

no description available

ANTH 505: Applied Anthropology

3.00 Credits

Examination of practical uses of anthropology through review of a range of cases at home and abroad, emphasizing the translation of research into action in a number of different settings.

ANTH 507: Applied Anthropology in Ministry

3.00 Credits

no description available

ANTH 508: Anthropology, Migration, and Transnationalism: Ethnograpy and Policy

3.00 Credits

This course focuses on the impact of globalization on the migration movements of Salvadorans and Hondurans to the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. Drawing on ethnographic work, policies, social networks and adaptations will be examined. Strategies used by these Central American immigrants to re-build personal and collective identities will address key factors including class, age, and gender. Theoretical and practical implications considered. Summer sessions only.

ANTH 509: Gender and Migration: Central American Women in Greater Washington

3.00 Credits

The number of Central American women immigrants in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area has increased significantly in the last decades. In a global economy, macro structural factors explain their incorporation to this metropolitan region while leaving their families in their home societies. Based on ethnographic work on Salvadoran and Honduran women settled in Greater Washington, this course will focus on how structural, ethnic and gender factors affect this migratory movement led by women and the development of transnationalism as a pattern of adaptation.

ANTH 535: Floral and Faunal Analysis

3.00 Credits

An introduction to methods for recovering, identifying, and interpreting the "ecofacts" in plant and animal remains from archaeological sites. As much as the artifacts that people made and left behind, zooarchaeology and ethnobotany from urban sites to shipwrecks provide valuable additional information about past lifeways, environments, subsistence practices and diet. The course will include fieldtrips to local research facilities and specimen collections that archaeologists consult.

ANTH 580: Selected Topics in Area Studies

3.00 Credits

Examination of selected topics in the ethnography of world regions. Specific time periods and geographic areas vary.

ANTH 600: Anthropological Perspectives

3.00 Credits

Selective examination of core perspectives in anthropology on meaning, structure, and agency in social life and culture. For graduate students only. Requires attendance in lectures for ANTH 200.

ANTH 601: Research Design and Conduct

3.00 Credits

Design and conduct of research with human subjects and material objects including archival records and datasets in anthropology. For graduate students only. Requires attendance in lectures for ANTH 201.

ANTH 608: Anthropology, Migration, and Transnationalism: Ethnograpy and Policy

3.00 Credits

This course focuses on the impact of globalization on the migration movements of Salvadorans and Hondurans to the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. Drawing on ethnographic work, policies, social networks and adaptations will be examined. Strategies used by these Central American immigrants to re-build personal and collective identities will address key factors including class, age, and gender. Theoretical and practical implications considered. Summer Session 2008 .

ANTH 610: Seminar: Islam in the Modern World

3.00 Credits

no description available

ANTH 613: Ecological Anthropology Seminar

3.00 Credits

Advanced reading in work by ecological anthropologists in the relationships between people, culture and the environment. Representations made of these relationships by anthropologists will be examined in terms of their ability to explain stable, expanding, intensifying, and degrading systems. New directions in ecological anthropology incorporating agency, political economy, mental representations and the applications of indigenous ecological knowledge will be discussed. Students attend lectures in ANTH 313.

ANTH 614: Political Ecology of Agriculture

3.00 Credits

Directed reading and research on the political ecology of the production, processing and consumption of food. Students attend lectures in ANTH 214 and participate in a biweekly laboratory/discussion section to be arranged.

ANTH 615: Economic Anthropology Seminar

3.00 Credits

Advanced reading in the social, cultural, political and environmental frameworks of economic activities. Topics will include decision analysis, institutional analysis, economic behavior among non-state peoples and peasants, reciprocal and redistributive exchange, the origin and diffusion of markets, the urban informal economy, globalization and consumption. Students attend lectures in ANTH 315.

ANTH 616: Seminar in Globalization

3.00 Credits

no description available

ANTH 617: Seminar:Migrants and Refugees

3.00 Credits

A seminar of directed readings and case studies of voluntary and forced movements of peoples, laws, theories of relationships between sending and receiving societies, adaptive strategies, assimilation and the maintenance of ethnicity and ties with the motherland, and asylum seeking.

ANTH 618: Environmental Degradation Seminar

3.00 Credits

Advanced reading on current directions in the analysis of environmental degradation. Students attend lectures in ANTH 218.

ANTH 622: Seminar:Early States and Empires

3.00 Credits

Early forms of urbanism, the state and the first prehistoric empires. Ethnographic and ethnohistoric sources on ranked societies in the Americas, Africa, Asia,Europe and Oceania are examined. These sources are then expanded to include the archeological documentation of complex societies. The course focuses on changes in settlement patterns, social organization, the establishment of political office, and on the evolution of primitive economic and ideological systems that help define early development and the demise of chiefdoms of centralized bureaucratic states and empires.

ANTH 624: Archeology of Settlements and Landscapes

3.00 Credits

Analysis of intra- and inter-site structure and relationships to the surrounding landscape. Among the most important analytical issues raised in archeology are site function and an understanding of how space is used. Focus of the course is interdisciplinary.

ANTH 625: Seminar: Cultural Heritage of Native America

3.00 Credits

A course on the cultural heritage of Native Americans, their development, and contemporary issues such as preservation, presentation and who owns the past. The course also deals with impacts of European settlement and interactions with the Americas' "First Nations,' cultural borrowings, revivals and their status today.

ANTH 630: Seminar: Sacred Cities of the World

3.00 Credits

no description available

ANTH 639: Seminar: Anthropology of Gender

3.00 Credits

Anthropological approaches to problematizing gender, social/cultural construction, historical construction. Topics include explanations of gender inequalities within and across cultures (culture/nature, domestic/public sphere, prestige-structure hypotheses) and differences among genders within cultures (various impacts of the state or social/economic transformations upon gender definitions, relations, and ideologies).

ANTH 650: Political Anthropology Seminar

3.00 Credits

An advanced course on recent political anthropology, from "encapsulation" paradigms to the cultural construction of community and ethnicity in settings of violence and cultural heritage politics, transnational networks, globalization, and ambiguous zones such as the Balkans, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Caribbean.

ANTH 654: Seminar :South American Archaeology

3.00 Credits

An archeological study of the evolution of complex society in middle and south America. Environmental and cultural variables compared cross culturally to achieve an understanding of the particular circumstances that gave rise to pre-Columbian cities and states.

ANTH 655: Seminar: Latinos and Latinas in the United States

3.00 Credits

A seminar on studies of the peoples of Latin American heritage in the United States, particularly Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cuban Americans and new immigrants from Central and South America, emphasizing ethnohistory, ethnography, current trends, and projects in the Washington community. Students attend lectures in ANTH 355. Dr. Cohen.

ANTH 659: Prehistoric Art and Architecture

3.00 Credits

An in-depth analysis of prehistoric imagery, portable art objects and monuments in their archaeological contexts, approaches to uses of style in archaeology, in analysis of material culture, and interpretations of material remains of cultures ranging from the Paleolithic to the colonial era.

ANTH 660: Seminar:Anthropology of Religion

3.00 Credits

Critical examination of key works and recent trends in anthropological studies of religion, symbolism and ritual. Requires also attending lectures in ANTH 260.

ANTH 664: Incas Seminar

3.00 Credits

Examines different perspectives on Inca social and religious life, politics, and economy, using sources of information that have survived since the Conquest. Reconstruction of Inca life through historical documents, archeology, ethnography, ethnoarcheology, landscape architecture, the arts, and contemporary film. Colonial documents, contemporary ethnographies, and literary sources written by Andean authors will be consulted to provide insights to traditional customs and community life.

ANTH 666: Seminar: Ethnography of the United States

3.00 Credits

Anthropological perspectives on social and symbolic life in the United States. Includes reassessing classic works such as Warner's on Yankee City and critically analyzing current trends in studies of such topics as American communities, families, occupations, religions, and subcultures.

ANTH 670: Seminar: Information Technology and Culture

3.00 Credits

Examines how information technologies are constructed in science, media, politics, lodged within contemporary processes of `globalization', and refracted in thinking about psycho-social identities from cyborgs to knowledge workers to Facebook kids both in the US and internationally.

ANTH 671: Cultural Analysis Seminar: Religions Thought in Action

3.00 Credits

A working seminar on methods of cultural analysis. Examines the relation between the comparison of cultures and the translation of cultures with hermeneutic and structuralist methods. Stresses contextualization of cultural data. Methodological emphasis on naturally occurring rather than analytically induced similarities and differences in contexts. Seminar topics vary with the semester but include modules on culture and communication and cultural epistemologies.

ANTH 673: Cultural Materials Analysis Seminar

3.00 Credits

no description available

ANTH 676: Near East Archaeology Seminar

3.00 Credits

no description available

ANTH 680: Seminar: Social Anthropology of Latin America

3.00 Credits

Advanced readings in the social anthropology of Latin America. Topics will include religion, urbanization and migration, class and ethnicity, agrarian adaptation and movements, and political structures. Students attend lectures in ANTH 371.

ANTH 690: Middle East Seminar

3.00 Credits

Directed reading and research on the contemporary Middle East

ANTH 693: Student-Faculty Research

3.00 Credits

An opportunity for one or more advanced students to pursue, with a faculty member, research of mutual interest, with the aim of furthering the professional growth of students and faculty.Credit arranged as appropriate. For students taking this course for the first time: 793, 795, 797; for students taking it for the second time: 794, 796, 798.

ANTH 696: Master's Thesis Research

0 Credits

This course bills at the equivalent of one credit hour.

ANTH 698A: Master's Comprehensive Examination (w/Classes)

0 Credits

no description available

ANTH 698B: Master's Comprehensive Examination (w/o Classes)

0 Credits

Enrollment in this course bills at the equivalent of one credit hour.

ANTH 741: Health, Society and Culture

3.00 Credits

Concepts of health and illness in a cross-cultural context. Medical practitioners and treatment of illness. Implications of technological change for health and scientific medicine. Methodological problems in transcultural health research, roles of social scientists in health settings. Review of current trends in research on illness, disease, and culture.

ANTH 875: Supervised Teaching

3.00 Credits

A senior graduate student may teach a substantial portion of one course in coordination with a faculty member and with a seminar of those undergoing this phase of training. Credit given as appropriate to time spent.

ANTH 881: Special Projects

3.00 Credits

When a substantial number of students wish to pursue a subject not already being taught and faculty supervision can be arranged, special courses may be organized. Credit given according to class and laboratory time spent.

ANTH 887: Dissertation Seminar

3.00 Credits

For doctoral students in anthropology.