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Anthropology Courses


ANTH 391 Archaeology and Popular Culture - Dr. Joshua Samuels (Online/DCE) This course examines the intersections between archaeology and popular culture. By focusing on issues of identity, recreation, conspicuous consumption, and mass media (including film, reality television, print media, and video games), we will explore the following questions: What do mass market stereotypes about archaeology and archaeologists tell us about the discipline, and about our society? How do these popular perceptions of archaeology influence our understanding of the past? What symbolic role do archaeological sites, artifacts, and landscapes play in recreation, consumer culture, and national identity? And how should archaeology, as a profession and academic discipline, respond to the needs and market desires of the public? This course will address these exciting (and often controversial) questions through close readings of scholarly works, and analyses of films, video games, print media, and television programs.

ANTH 391 Edible Anthropology - Jayme L. Job, (M/W/F 3:00-3:50) What’s for dinner?  Surely, the answer to this question will be quite different for the Midwestern college student and the Nepali Sherpa, but why?  Food is central to most people’s daily lives, whether we recognize it or not.  Often overlooked, yet sometimes celebrated and sought after, food has the power not only to sustain and nourish our physical bodies, but to create both sodalities and boundaries between human groups.  Throughout history, food has played an enormous role in the economies, religions, and interactions of cultural groups.  The question of what, where, and how to eat affects our own notions of place and identity; the enormous variety of how these questions can be answered around the globe highlights a very important aspect of human diversity, the focus of cultural anthropology.  Using food as our medium, this course will examine the interplay between human culture and the production, preparation, and consumption of the foods we eat.  Each week of the course will focus on an important anthropological theme that we will explore through the lens of food.  Although small lectures and films will be used to set up each theme and provide background, the majority of class time is allocated for class discussions and student reactions to the week’s readings and assignments; students are encouraged to share experiences, ideas, and yes, even food, from their own edible adventures.

ANTH 491 Dakota Tribal Culture - Clifford Canku (class# 8873)

ANTH 491/690 Ethnographies of Africa and the African Diaspora - Dr. Timothy Landry (491 class# 17145, 690 is 17147): For decades Western media, popular culture, and even scholarship has focused on Africa as a continent that is riddled in war, overcome by poverty, defined by catastrophe, and stuck in the “traditional past” unable to achieve “modernity.” But what if the Africa you knew was a continent of vibrancy; a modern place with highways and skyscrapers? What if the Africa you knew was a continent of endless riches and unbelievable diversity? What if the story of Africa that you have been told your entire lives – the story of war, violence, and poverty – was only part of Africa’s truth? What if there were many Africas and the stories you were told about Africa were vast, complex, and multi-stranded? In this course we will examine the racial, political, and economic dangers of what Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has called the “danger of the single story.” We will explore Africa’s rich history – not as a single place with a single history – but as a place with many stories and many truths. While we will examine critically Africa’s longstanding association with poverty, war, and violence we will also add to your story of Africa by exploring topics such as religion, gender, sexuality, and personhood. Using ethnographic research, memoirs, current events, and literature we will integrate the usefulness and challenges of ethnography as a genre while also consciously working to move beyond the single story of Africa.

ANTH 491/690 Traveling Cultures: Tourism, Heritage, Communities - Dr. Joy Sather-Wagstaff (491 class# 9085, 690 is 9428): What does mean to be a tourist? How does tourism and all of its associated sociocultural practices - photography, shopping, eating, souvenir collection, thrill-seeking, etc. - shape the lives, identities and economies of people around the world, both those who travel and those whose communities are toured? This course provides a critical overview of the anthropology of tourism and interdisciplinary tourism studies. We focus on the historical emergence of travel for leisure and the contemporary sociocultural/economic impacts of tourism worldwide, both positive and negative. Deep inquiry into heritage and local-to-global community impacts will be facilitated through case studies on ecotourism, dark tourism, pilgrimage, world fairs, “voluntourism,” Olympic tourism, and museums as tourist sites.


ANTH 111 Introduction to Anthropology: Introductory overview to anthropology, the holistic study of humans and the diversity of the human experience over space and time. Covers the major fields of anthropology: cultural and biological anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, applied anthropology.

ANTH 204 Archaeology and Prehistory: Introduction to archaeological methods, followed by a survey of world prehistory.

ANTH 205 Human Origins: Examination of the evolution of humans through the investigation of fundamental principles of evolution, human variation, comparative primate behavior, and the fossil record.

ANTH 206 Intro to Cultural Anthropology: Peoples of the World: Core concepts, theories, and practices in cultural anthropology and anthropological knowledge application in a globalizing world. Through rich, engaging ethnographic texts and case studies, focuses on selected societies and culture change in deep sociohistorical contexts. Prereq: ANTH 111.

ANTH 332 Medical Anthropology: Examines cultural conceptions, beliefs, and practices regarding health, illness, disease, and treatment through a cross-cultural and historical perspective. The course includes theoretical, methodological, and case study perspectives from physical anthropology, archaeology, and cultural anthropology.

ANTH 432/632 Human Osteology: The analysis of human bones. Areas of study include skeletal anatomy, human biological individualization and interpretation of archaeological and paleontological skeletal material. Prereq: ANTH 111, 204, 205.

ANTH 433/633 Apes and Human Evolution: A laboratory-oriented survey of living primates describing and comparing the diverse behavioral and morphological adaptations of great apes in a human evolutionary context. Prereq: ANTH 111, 204, 205.

ANTH 441/641 Death and Dying: Examination of research, theories, and case studies on the sociocultural dimensions of death and dying across time and societies. Topics include suicide, funerals, hospice practice, disasters, afterlife beliefs, grief, bereavement and memory, organ donation, death in popular culture, end-of-life issues, cemeteries and body disposition, euthanasia, art, film, music and literature, genocide, and war. Cross-listed with SOC.

ANTH 443/643 Peoples and Cultures of the Middle East & North Africa: Survey of ethnographic research on the Middle East and North Africa. Topics include Islam, colonialism, nation-states, civil society, gender, rights, globalization, economic development, immigration, indigenous peoples, terrorism, youth culture, and revolution. Prereq: ANTH 111.

ANTH 444/644 Peoples of the Pacific Islands: General survey of cultures, past and present, in Melanesia, Polynesia, and Micronesia.

ANTH 446/646 Latin America & Caribbean: Afro-Latino/as, Gender, Indigeneity: Exploration of Latin America and the Caribbean’s diverse societies historically and culturally; focus on gender, indigenous groups, and Afro-Latin Americans. Includes case studies covering social justice movements, political and economic processes, indigenous rights, religion. Prereq: ANTH 206.

ANTH 453/653 Magic and Religion: Comparative anthropological perspectives on religion, religious concepts, practices, and practitioners. Prereq: ANTH 111. Cross-listed with RELS.

ANTH 455/655 Language and Expressive Culture: Examines sociolinguistic and semiotic theories and analysis methods for discourse-centered approaches to communicative culture. Explores the ways in which humans construct and express meaning through written/spoken language, song, folklore, ritual, performance, images, clothing, and food. Prereq: ANTH 111 and at least junior standing.

ANTH 459/659 Global Cultural Heritage: Examines the global relevance of cultural heritage and international cultural resource management. Topics include cultural property, antiquities, UNESCO World Heritage, intangible heritage, landscapes, indigenous peoples, repatriation, rights, conflict, memory, identity, tourism, development. Prereq: ANTH 111.

ANTH 462/662 Anthropology and the Environment: The environment as understood through anthropological research. Focus on ethnographic texts confronting global environmental issues through specific context (place, cultural, historical) and human-environment interactions as shaped by political, economic, and social relations. Prereq: ANTH 111.

ANTH 464/664 Disaster and Culture: Examines human-made and natural disasters through cross-cultural and historical perspectives. Addresses cultural variation across and within relevant communities including those of disaster victims, emergency management systems, and a broad public. Prereq: Junior or Senior standing. Cross-listed with EMGT.

ANTH 470/670 Analysis & Interpretation in Archaeology: Addresses archaeology as both a scientific and interpretive endeavor through historical context and contemporary problem-based approach. Covers basics of a scientific, analytic approach (theories, models, hypotheses, testing) and foundations for interpretation (creativity, preconceptions, contextualization). Prereq: ANTH 204.

ANTH 471/671 Archaeological Research Methods: Overview of the most often used or potentially useful archaeological methods and their applications in fieldwork, laboratory processing, and specialized analytical techniques. Focus on problem-solving skills through the application of different archaeological methods. Prereq: ANTH 204.

ANTH 480/680 Development of Anthropological Theory: Focus on major theoretical orientations in anthropology. Emphasis on the ways in which anthropological theories are used to generate explanations for multicultural phenomena. Prereq: ANTH 111.

ANTH 481/681 Qualitative Methods in Cultural Anthropology: Focuses on qualitative research methods utilized in cultural anthropology and other social sciences. Instruction and application of ethnographic, discourse-centered, visual anthropology, interview/focus group, extended case study, and other qualitative survey methods and forms of analysis. Prereq: ANTH 206 and junior or senior status.

ANTH 489 Senior Capstone In Anthropology: Synthesis of social research methods, anthropological theory, and sub-discipline content material. Emphasis on integrative skills needed to interrelate the basic concepts of the discipline. Prereq: Senior standing.

ANTH 391/491/690 Seminar: Special topics seminars offered in faculty specializations. Past, present, and future topics include:

  • Computer Applications in Human Heritage
  • Cultures of Science & Technology
  • Dakota Tribal Culture
  • Historical Archaeology
  • New World Civilizations
  • North American Archaeology
  • Old World Civilizations
  • Origins and Spread of Agriculture
  • The Ancient Greeks
  • The Romans

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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North Dakota State University
Sociology and Anthropology Department: +1 (701) 231-8657
Fax: +1 (701) 231-5118
Campus Address: Minard Hall 428, Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing Address: Dept. 2350, PO Box 6050, Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Site manager: Kate Ulmer

Last Updated: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 2:41:56 PM