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Anthropology Courses

The Anthropology program is offering four new classes spring 2016 – descriptions are provided below. If you have any questions, feel free to contact the instructor of the course (email addresses are listed directly below the course title). All of these courses are being offered as seminars, so be sure to make note of the Class Number – this will make the class easier to find when you go to register.

Feminist Anthropology

Dr. Kristen R. Fellows –
ANTH 391-02                         T/TH 12:30pm – 1:45pm                               Class No.: 21852

The women’s liberation movement of the late-1960s and early 1970s led to the explicit discussion of feminist scholarship within the academy. Anthropology is one field which has changed dramatically in the past five decades. Feminist critique and research has led to an anthropological inclusion and oftentimes focus on women around the world. In the 1970s and 1980s ethnographic research was pushed to explore, incorporate, and value women and what their lives expose about any given culture/society. Feminist anthropology of today has evolved and expanded, offering a myriad of topics and contributions, many of which are not focused solely on gender or sex differences.

While this course is not centered on women in one particular society or geopolitical region, it takes feminist anthropology as a starting point. In one sense we will use the field of anthropology as a case study in how women have fared as both practitioners and subjects of academic research.  From there we will engage in a discussion of current feminist research within anthropology. Although ethnographic studies will serve as our primary focus, we will also look at research from other subfields. Topics to be discussed include: women as political actors/activists; nationalisms; sexual and global divisions of labor; reproductive politics; and genders and sexualities.

Introduction to Regional Indigenous and Tribal Peoples

Dr. Michael Yellow Bird –
ANTH 391-01                         T/TH 9:30am – 10:45am                                Class No.: 16864
SOC 391-01                            T/TH 9:30am – 10:45am                                Class No.: 16865

This course provides students with an overview of Native American Northern Plains, River, and Woodlands cultures and societies, as well as with the historical background to understand issues that contemporary societies are facing. The class focuses on understanding and upholding Native Peoples sovereignty (Self-Determination). The major purpose of the course is to promote awareness of the colonization and decolonization processes affecting Indigenous Peoples in these regions. Contemporary struggles being waged by Indigenous Peoples, including protection of land and resources development; intellectual, cultural, and property rights; biodiversity; and social problems relating to health, education, role of women, etc., will be examined. 

Students are encouraged to think critically and to understand what it means to live in a culturally diverse society and speculate upon the ways that a just society might emerge and develop in the twenty-first century through a broader definition of cultural difference. 

GIS and Spatial Analysis for Archaeology

Dr. John Creese –
ANTH 491-02                         T/TH 11:00am – 12:15pm                             Class No.: 16845
ANTH 690-01                         T/TH 11:00am – 12:15pm                             Class No.: 16844

This course is intended to introduce students to spatial information management and analysis in archaeology using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Through a series of seminar discussions, weekly lab assignments, and a final practical project, students will learn about how to design and implement spatial research projects that address topics in landscape and settlement archaeology. Topics covered include survey and reconnaissance, activity area research, site catchments, settlement hierarchies, and visibility analysis. Along the way, students will learn the basics of geodatabase design, cartographic principles, surface modeling, network analysis, and some simple spatial statistics.

Anthro majors and graduate students: This class will fulfill your Methods requirement.

Race and Class in the Americas

Dr. Kristen R. Fellows –
ANTH 491-01                         T/TH 3:30pm – 4:45pm                                 Class No.: 16842
ANTH 690-01                         T/TH 3:30pm – 4:45pm                                 Class No.: 16843

Although the “Americas” encompass a plethora of ecological zones, language groups, nation-states, and societies (each unique in its own right), there are striking similarities in terms of power dynamics throughout the region due to shared histories of colonialism, oppression of native peoples, chattel slavery, and the rise and integration of capitalist economic systems. This course will approach the sociohistoric constructs of race and class in the Americas from an anthropological perspective.  A broadly framed discussion of the theorization of these concepts will provide a foundation from which we can think through and discuss a variety of ethnographic examples. Readings for the course will include case studies spanning the geographical range of the Americas and will push students to explore both similarities and differences within the variations of these classificatory systems. We will also address the intersections of race and class with one another and with other identity categories. As the reading list is not exhaustive, the final paper will encourage students to investigate how race and class play out in an area/country/culture/society in which they are particularly interested. The main goal for this class is that students will gain a critical understanding of these sociohistoric constructs and will become more aware of the realities of race and class; such understandings will hopefully push students to be more fully engaged in societal discussions beyond the classroom.


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: Wednesday, October 21, 2015 11:06:15 AM