Sociology and Anthropology Courses

Fall 2016

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

SOAN 101 - Bell, Alison K.

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.

Introduction to Anthropology

SOAN 101 - Bell, Alison K.

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.

General Sociology

SOAN 102 - Novack, David R.

Human society: culture, personality, human nature, social groups, associations, and institutions; analysis of major institutions and of modern social trends.

General Sociology

SOAN 102A - Chin, Lynn G. (Lynny)

Human society: culture, personality, human nature, social groups, associations, and institutions; analysis of major institutions and of modern social trends.

Archaeology

SOAN 206 - Gaylord, Donald A.

An examination of anthropologically-oriented archaeology. Specific subjects to be considered will include the history of the subdiscipline, theoretical developments, field techniques, substantive contributions for the prehistoric and historic subareas and recent developments in theory and methodology.

Biological Anthropology

SOAN 207 - Bell, Alison K.

This course considers the emergence and evolution of Homo sapiens from fossil, archaeological, and genetic evidence. The class focuses on evolutionary mechanisms; selective pressures for key human biological and behavioral patterns, such as bipedalism, intelligence, altruism, learned behavior, and expressive culture; relations among prehuman species; the human diaspora; and modern human diversity, particularly "racial" variation. The course also examines theories from sociobiology and evolutionary psychology about motivations for modern human behaviors.

Race and Ethnic Relations

SOAN 228 - Novack, David R.

An analysis of minority groups in America. Theories of ethnicity are examined focusing on the relationship between class and ethnicity, and on the possible social and biological significance of racial differences. Attention is also given to prejudice and discrimination, as well as to consideration of minority strategies to bring about change.

European Politics and Society

SOAN 245 - Jasiewicz, Krzysztof

A comparative analysis of European political systems and social institutions. The course covers the established democracies of western and northern Europe, the new democracies of southern and east-central Europe, and the post-Communist regimes in eastern and southeastern Europe. Mechanisms of European integration are also discussed with attention focused on institutions such as European Union, NATO, OSCE, and Council of Europe.

European Politics and Society

SOAN 245 - Jasiewicz, Krzysztof

A comparative analysis of European political systems and social institutions. The course covers the established democracies of western and northern Europe, the new democracies of southern and east-central Europe, and the post-Communist regimes in eastern and southeastern Europe. Mechanisms of European integration are also discussed with attention focused on institutions such as European Union, NATO, OSCE, and Council of Europe.

Seminar in Medical Anthropology

SOAN 277 - Markowitz, Harvey J.

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.

Seminar in Medical Anthropology

SOAN 277 - Markowitz, Harvey J.

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.

Introduction to American Indian Religions

SOAN 285 - Markowitz, Harvey J.

This class introduces students to some of the dominant themes, values, beliefs, and practices found among the religions of North America's Indian peoples. The first part of the course explores the importance of sacred power, landscape, and community in traditional Indian spiritualities and rituals. It then examines some of the changes that have occurred in these traditions as a result of western expansion and dominance from the 18th through early 20th centuries. Lastly, the course considers some of the issues and problems confronting contemporary American Indian religions.

Theorizing Social Life: Classical Approaches

SOAN 360 - Goluboff, Sascha

Sociologists and anthropologists have traditionally approached their role as students of social and cultural phenomena from two different paradigmatic starting points: a so-called "Galilean" model and an "Aristotelian" model. Practitioners were thought that they could eventually arrive at covering laws as powerful as those of physics or, falling short of this ideal, arrive at significant generalizations about human phenomenon. This class explores the trajectory of this paradigmatic split among some of the founders of sociology and anthropology and how these theorists utilized their chosen paradigms to make sense of social and cultural life. We also explore the assumptions about human nature, society, and culture that informed each of these theorists approaches and the wider historical contexts influenced their thought.

Methods of Social Inquiry

SOAN 375 - Chin, Lynn G. (Lynny)

The rationale and practice of social research methods and their relationship to social theory. Major aspects of social inquiry - such as asking questions, creating hypotheses, measurement and interpretation are examined. The course includes lecture, discussion, and completing a major term-long research project.

Directed Individual Study

SOAN 403 - Goluboff, Sascha

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

Directed Individual Study

SOAN 403 - Bell, Alison K.

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

Honors Thesis

SOAN 493 - Bell, Alison K.

Honors Thesis.

Spring 2016

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.

Land in Lakota Culture, Economics, and History

SOAN 186 - Guse, Aaron J. (Joseph) / Markowitz, Harvey J.

Additional fee. A review of the history of Lakota land from 1851 to present and its importance to Lakota cultural identity, political sovereignty, and economic development. We examine specific federal policies including the treaties of 1851 and 1868, the extermination of the buffalo herds, the confiscation of the Black Hills, the creation of the reservation system, and the Dawes Act among others. Students spend nine days off-campus to participate in workshops at the Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies and to visit sites in and around the Pine Ridge Reservation, the Rosebud reservation, and the Black Hills.

Laboratory Methods in Archaeology

SOAN 211 - Gaylord, Donald A.

This course introduces students to archaeological lab methods through hands-on experience. readings. and fieldtrips. Students process and catalogue archaeological finds ensuring they maintain the archaeological provenience of these materials. Activities include washing, labeling, photographing, measuring, and recording pertinent aspects of each artifact in an archaeological database. Students then use the archaeological data to test hypotheses about the sites under consideration and produce a report of their research, which may take the form of a standard archaeological report, an academic poster, or a conference-style presented paper.

Exploring Social Networks

SOAN 265 - Eastwood, Jonathan R. (Jon)

This course is an introduction to network analysis. Students learn some of the major network analysis literature in sociology and related fields and develop their skills as network analysts in laboratory sessions. Social science, humanities, business, and public health applications are emphasized.

Adolescence Under the Microscope

SOAN 281 - Novack, David R. / Novack, Lesley L.

This course focuses on adolescence through the lens of social psychology. Insights from sociology, anthropology, and psychology are employed to explicate the adolescent experience in the United States in contrast to other societies. Topics include: the impact of liminality on adolescent identity in cross-cultural perspective; adolescence as objective reality or cultural fiction; adolescence and peer relations, gender and suicide; and new technologies and virtual adolescence. Each student engages in a research project focusing on adolescence and identity through either interviews or observational techniques. The final project is a group analysis of adolescence as reflected in Facebook.

Special Topics in Anthropology

SOAN 291 - Bell, Alison K.

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

Spring 2016, SOAN 291-01: Domains of The Dead: Anthropologies of Cemeteries (4). This course teaches students how to think anthropologically about cemeteries, querying them in theory-grounded, systematic, testable ways for information about past and current people's social relations, cultural dispositions, values, beliefs, and aspirations. Assigned readings expose students to key theoretical texts from the anthropology of death and mourning as well as to historical surveys of cemeteries as they vary throughout the United States. Of special interest in the course is the recently documented proliferation of idiosyncratic forms of commemoration diverging considerably from previous centuries of more somber practice. Examples of this florescence and of its more restrained predecessors abound in the Valley of Virginia, and students investigate first-hand a range of cemeteries in Rockbridge, Augusta, and Rockingham Counties. Students record decorative motifs and epitaphs on gravestones as well as objects left on gravesites and work to read them as evidence of cultural expression and change. (SS4) Bell.

Seminar: 9/11 & Modern Terrorism

SOAN 367 - Senechal, Roberta H.

Terrorism is a form of collective violence famously illustrated in the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon near Washington on September 11, 2001. This course provides an intensive interdisciplinary examination of the origins of the 9/11 attacks and the terrorist organization that launched them. The course also addresses the impact of the attacks and the future prospects of mass violence against civilians, as well as the role of the media in covering (and dramatizing) terrorism. Much of the course focuses on the social divisions and conflicts that lead to terrorism and its increasingly lethal nature over time. Topics include "old terrorism" (as seen in Northern Ireland and Algeria), "new terrorism" (such as that associated with Al Qaeda), the logic of terrorist recruitment, and the nature of and spread of weapons of mass destruction.

Winter 2016

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

SOAN 101 - Goluboff, Sascha

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.

Introduction to Anthropology

SOAN 101 - Markowitz, Harvey J.

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.

Introduction to Anthropology

SOAN 101 - Bell, Alison K.

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.

American Indian Religions, Landscapes, and Identities

SOAN 224 - Markowitz, Harvey J.

Drawing on a combination of scholarly essays, native accounts, videos, guest lectures, and student presentations, this seminar examines the religious assumptions and practices that bind American Indian communities to their traditional homelands. The seminar elucidates and illustrates those principles concerning human environmental interactions common to most Indian tribes; focuses on the traditional beliefs and practices of a particular Indian community that reflected and reinforced the community's understanding of the relationship to be maintained with the land and its creatures; and examines the moral and legal disputes that have arisen out of the very different presuppositions which Indians and non-Indians hold regarding the environment.

Discovering W&L's Origins Using Historical Archaeology

SOAN 230 - Gaylord, Donald A.

Not open to students who have taken SOAN 181 with the same description. This course introduces students to the practice of historical archaeology using W&L's Liberty Hall campus and ongoing excavations there as a case study. With archaeological excavation and documentary research as our primary sources of data. we use the methods of these two disciplines to analyze our data using tools from the digital humanities to present our findings. Critically, we explore the range of questions and answers that these data and methods of analysis make possible. Hands-on experience with data collection and analysis is the focus of this course, with students working together in groups deciding how to interpret their findings to a public audience about the university's early history. The final project varies by term but might include a short video documentary. a museum display, or a web page.

Language, Culture, and Communication

SOAN 252 - Bell, Alison K.

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.

Neighborhoods, Culture, and Poverty

SOAN 266 - Eastwood, Jonathan R. (Jon)

This course examines social-scientific research on the determinants of poverty, crime, and ill health by focusing on neighborhoods as the sites where many of the mechanisms impacting these outcomes operate. In addition to engaging with key readings and participating in seminar discussions, students conduct their own exploratory analyses of neighborhood level processes using ArcGIS and related software.

Deviance

SOAN 270 - Novack, David R.

An examination of theories of deviance from a sociological perspective. Particular emphasis is placed on the causes of deviant acts and on the social processes utilized in evaluating these behaviors. Theoretical applications are made to crime and mental illness.

Gender and Sexuality

SOAN 280 - Novack, David R.

An anthropological and sociological investigation of sex roles in preliterate and modern societies. Special consideration is given to the role of innate sexual differences, cultural variation, technology, and power in determining patterns of male dominance. Emphasis is placed on real and mythical female and male power in the context of changing relationships between men and women in American society.

Childhood

SOAN 288 - Goluboff, Sascha

This course explores the experience of childhood cross culturally, investigating how different societies conceptualize what it means to be a child. Our readings progress through representations of the lifecycle, starting with a discussion of conception, and moving through issues pertaining to the fetus, infants, children, and adolescents. We discuss socialization, discipline, emotion, education, gender, and sexuality, with special attention given to the effects of war, poverty, social inequality, and disease on children and youth.

Senior Seminar in Social Analysis

SOAN 395 - Jasiewicz, Krzysztof

This course is designed as a capstone experience for majors with the sociology emphasis. Students, utilizing their knowledge of sociological theory and research methods, design and execute independent research projects, typically involving secondary analysis of survey data. Working on a subject of their choice, students learn how to present research questions and arguments, formulate research hypotheses, test hypotheses through univariate, bivariate, and multivariate analyses (utilizing appropriate statistical packages such as SPSS), and write research reports.

Senior Seminar in Social Analysis

SOAN 395 - Jasiewicz, Krzysztof

This course is designed as a capstone experience for majors with the sociology emphasis. Students, utilizing their knowledge of sociological theory and research methods, design and execute independent research projects, typically involving secondary analysis of survey data. Working on a subject of their choice, students learn how to present research questions and arguments, formulate research hypotheses, test hypotheses through univariate, bivariate, and multivariate analyses (utilizing appropriate statistical packages such as SPSS), and write research reports.

Senior Seminar in Anthropological Analysis

SOAN 396 - Bell, Alison K.

In this course, senior SOAN majors with an emphasis in anthropology review, augment, and synthesize their understandings of anthropological theory, methods, substantive findings, and ethical issues. To do so, we share common readings on research methods and the integration of anthropological method and theory, and we sustain a term-long workshop focused on students' research projects and papers. Each student identifies a topic of interest. Consulting with peers and the instructor, each student considers analytical methods and theoretical orientations, identifies appropriate sources, and proposes a course of research and writing. Once the proposal is vetted, students pursue their research designs and circulate partial drafts for peer and instructor review. They produce a final paper and present their findings orally with visual accompaniment to the class.

Directed Individual Study

SOAN 401 - Bell, Alison K.

A course for selected students, typically with junior or senior standing, who are preparing papers for presentation to professional meetings or for publication. May be repeated for degree credit with permission and if the topics are different.

Directed Individual Study

SOAN 403 - Eastwood, Jonathan R. (Jon)

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

Fall 2015 topic:

Fall 2015, SOAN 403-01: Directed Individual Study:Cemetery Studies: Oral History and Theoretical Context (3). Bell.

Fall 2015, SOAN 403-02: Directed Individual Study:Anthropological Perspectives on Hoarding (3). Bell.

Honors Thesis

SOAN 493 - Eastwood, Jonathan R. (Jon)

Honors Thesis.

Honors Thesis

SOAN 493 - Bell, Alison K.

Honors Thesis.