Anthropology Courses

Click here for current Sociology and Anthropology courses.

Fall 2014

We do not offer any courses this term.


Spring 2014

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Imaging Tibet

ANTH 243 - Kerin

An examination of images and imaging practices of the early 1900s to the present in order to define and analyze the ways in which both Western and Asian (particularly Tibetan and Chinese) artists have imagined Tibet and its people.

Field Methods in Archaeology

ANTH 377 - Bell / Gaylord

Fieldwork in archaeology. The student participates in all phases of ongoing archaeological projects. Students who have successfully completed ANTH 205 are assured of a place in ANTH 377. With the supervision of the instructor, students may take ANTH 377 more than once. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.


Winter 2014

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Introduction to Anthropology

ANTH 101 - Goluboff (Multiple Sections)

An examination of people and their cultures. An introduction to the techniques employed by the physical anthropologist, archaeologist, and ethnographer is provided. Specific subjects considered include: the physical prerequisites to the acquisition of culture, archaeological interpretation of cultural behavior, and the influences of culture upon the individual and society.

Language, Culture, and Communication

ANTH 252 - Bell

This course surveys anthropological approaches to understanding the intersections among language, culture and society. Topics include non-human communication systems, the origins of human language, and methods of establishing historical relationships among languages. Formal linguistic analysis receives some attention, but the greatest part of the course concerns language in sociocultural contexts. Examples of linguistic phenomena in ethnographic perspective are drawn from people around the world, including the Gullah, the Apache, and the Bedouin of Egypt.

Seminar in Medical Anthropology

ANTH 277 - Markowitz (Multiple Sections)

Despite radical differences in theory and procedure, the diagnosis and treatment of diseases are human cultural universals. This seminar first examines the beliefs and practices that comprise the medical systems found among a wide variety of non-western peoples. We then investigates the responses of a number of non-western communities to the introduction of western, biomedical practices. We finish by considering such ethical issues as whether or not non-western peoples who supply western doctors and pharmacologists with knowledge of curing agents should be accorded intellectual property rights over this information; in what situations, if any, should western medical personnel impose biomedical treatments on populations; and should anthropologists make use of indigenous peoples as medical trial subjects as was allegedly done by Napoleon Chagnon.

Special Topics in Anthropology

ANTH 290 - Goluboff

A discussion of a series of topics of anthropological concern. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Winter 2014 topic:

ANTH 290: Hooking up and Dating on Campus in the Digital Age (3). This class explores how the cell phone has impacted "hooking up" and dating on campus, with particular attention to Washington and Lee University as a case study. We discuss the development of campus sexual culture in America and the influence of digital technology on student sociality. Students use open-source digital research tools to analyze data (interviews, focus groups, statistics) collected during Fall 2011 about dating and "hookup" behavior at W&L. Students work in groups to post their weekly analyses on the class WordPress site, as a digital humanities project. The goal of the course is to create a variety of interpretations of the data that might challenge or reaffirm conclusions drawn in a recent scholarly article. Goluboff.

Fall 2013 topics:

ANTH 290-01: American Indian Ethnography (3). One of the major goals of modern ethnohistory is to use historical and anthropological methods to uncover the understandings that non-western peoples have of their own histories. This seminar will introduce students to the theoretical and methodological principles of ethnohistorical research and their application to North American peoples. Participants will first study American Indian conceptions of time and their relationship to the criteria by which tribal communities selected and comprehended the events comprising their histories. The seminar will then examine how Indian tribes from different parts of North America, including the Southwest, Northeast, Southeast, and Plains interpreted, evaluated, and responded to their encounters with colonial and the United States governments. Markowitz.

ANTH 290-02: Food, Culture, & Society (3). In this course, we discuss the key roles that food plays in culture, society, and individuals' notions of self and community. We begin by investigating the place of food in religious rituals and the daily practices of believers. We then focus on how the globalization of the food industry has impacted local cultures, the natural environment, and national identities. When studying the influence of the "eat local" movement on shopping and consumption habits, we take a field trip to nearby place(s) of sustainable farming and artisan/heritage food production. Students write a research paper on the trajectory of a food item of their choice, preferably using options available in the local community. Goluboff.

Senior Seminar in Anthropological Analysis

ANTH 395 - Bell

This course provides students with a capstone experience in anthropology. It builds on and expands students' knowledge of anthropological theory, methods, and interpretation by drawing on diverse published case studies in cultural anthropology and archaeology, and on students' experiences in the course. Each student designs and implements an original research project in an area of particular interest within cultural anthropology or archaeology. This process involves students thinking through and choosing among theoretical perspectives, research methods, analytical approaches, and interpretive media individually and collaboratively. Students also reflect on key ethical issues in anthropology, assess their anthropological foundation, and consider the ways in which their educational experiences have encouraged them to think about global cultural diversity and their own positions in western society.

Directed Individual Study

ANTH 403 - Bell

A course for selected students with junior and senior standing, especially for anthropology honors students, with direction by different members of the department. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Honors Thesis

ANTH 493 - Bell

Honors Thesis.