Courses

Undergraduate Courses

ANTH 2: Introductory Cultural Anthropology- WINTER 2018

This course provides an introduction to the field of cultural anthropology and its history, methods, concepts, and contemporary debates.  We survey the rich diversity of social and cultural life throughout the world, from arranged marriage in India and livelihood strategies in the Amazon to the unwritten cultural rules governing surfing etiquette and courtship rituals among UCSB students.  Through a combination of readings, lectures, discussions, and primary research, students will acquire a comparative anthropological perspective with which to better understand social and cultural differences around the world and to see the many ways in which we are similar.

ANTH 115: Language, Culture, and Place- FALL 2017

This course focuses on the interplay between language, culture, and place. Specifically, we examine the manner in which the environment structures language and culture, and the ways that humans give the world meaning through mapping, classification, and the creation of places and landscapes. We will read texts on a range of topics, from California accents to an endangered language in Amazonia, and analyze them to see how researchers use linguistic and anthropological methods to understand the role of language in different societies, cultures, and contexts. We will also learn about the power that language has to structure our interactions with people and places and how it is used to justify interventions and actions.

ANTH 152/ ENV S 151: Environmental Anthropology- SPRING 2017 (next  time offered- SPRING 2019)

Examines the ways that human beings interact with, use, and perceive the environment and nature.  Beginning with contemporary American views of the environment and ideas of environmentalism, we explore the social, historical, political, and economic foundations of human-environment relationships across time and in different parts of the world.  We maintain a sustained focus on two settings: one local-- the North Campus Open Space, and the other a contested global landscape-- the Amazon rainforest.  Through readings, in-class activities and discussions, field trips, and research projects, engaged students will leave this class with: a better understanding of the complexity of contemporary environmental issues; a grasp of core social scientific theoretical approaches to the study of the environment; and skills in research design, critical analysis of texts, and the execution and presentation of scholarly and applied research.

ANTH 197 JH: Gauchos, Cowboys & Indians

Analysis of the nature-culture dichotomy through a focus on South American gauchos, cowboys of the American west, and American Indigenous groups.   We examine the ways in which Western and Indigenous relationships with the environment are represented in history, myth, popular culture, and contemporary debates about environmental sustainability. Students will conduct research on local landscapes and cultural sites to uncover the ways that the nature-culture dichotomy continues to structure our perceptions of and engagement with the natural world.


Graduate courses

ANTH 235B: Issues in Contemporary Anthropology- WINTER 2017

This course is a survey of major theoretical trends in the field of cultural anthropology since the 1960s.  We will read and discuss a range of ethnographies and articles in order to connect contemporary scholarship with foundational anthropological thought, and to chart a course for the future of anthropology-- your research.  Writing assignments and in-class activities are designed to support this overarching goal, and to help students situate their research in relation to historical, methodological, theoretical, and applied concerns.  

ANTH 240A: Research Methods in Cultural Anthropology- FALL 2017

This course is designed to give students an overview of basic research methods in cultural anthropology.   We will discuss epistemology, the relationship between anthropology and science, and the logic of social scientific inquiry, with an emphasis on connecting research questions, data collection methods, and knowledge production.  Foundational anthropological research methods will be covered, including interviews, cognitive methods, text analysis, and participant observation.  Students will practice these methods and related skills, such as coding, transcription, and database management, as part of weekly assignments.  Throughout the course we will also focus on key issues and topics of importance for conducting fieldwork, including ethics, safety, gender, and power.  Success in the course requires completing weekly assignments and readings prior to class and participating in discussions in class. 

ANTH 240C: Research Seminar in Cultural Anthropology- SPRING 2017

This course is dedicated to the preparation of the MA paper required in the sociocultural anthropology program. It is a “capstone” seminar during which students will work on the completion of an already drafted paper. As explained in the sociocultural graduate guidelines, the MA paper can take one of two forms: an article-length work based on original, primary source research or a detailed draft of the PhD research proposal. Those who have opted to write a research proposal will have drafted that document in a prior proposal-writing class; those who have opted to write the article-length paper will have already conducted the research and prepared a working rough draft of that paper.

ANTH 252: Political Ecology- WINTER 2016

This course focuses on the anthropological study of human-environment interactions across cultures and contexts, with an emphasis on the ways that humans create, degrade, and are affected by the environment. The three main themes are: the material and discursive features of the environment, nature, and human-environment relations; the dialectical interplay between structure and agency in environmental practices; and the integration of anthropology and culture in contemporary multidisciplinary environmental research.