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Anthropology Courses


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: This course provides students with an exciting introduction to the prehistoric human past as studied by archaeology.  Students will learn about the diversity and scope of the human career, from our earliest experiments with tool-making some 3 million years ago, to the rich and varied social and political worlds of the first cities and empires.

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

ANTH 446/646 Latin America: 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 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 470/670 Archaeological Theory: 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: What do archaeologists actually do with all the stuff they dig up? How can artifacts tell us about hos people lived their lives in the past? This course provides students with an introduction to the basic methods archaeologists use to analyze and interpret archaeological materials (artifacts, ecofacts, and sediments).  Through a series of lectures and hands-on lab activities, students discover a wide range of analytical techniques and tackle questions about archaeological inferences and interpretation.  Prereq: ANTH 204.

ANTH 480/680 Theory in Cultural Anthropology: 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 Ethnographic Research Methods: 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

ANTH 491/690 - Archaeology of Social Inequality: In the modern world, socio-economic inequality is at an all-time high.  But is social ranking a human universal? Were ancient societies just as rife with inequality as our own? This course offers a broad introduction to the archaeology of social inequality from prehistory to recent times.  We examine when and how our ancestors began to assert and institutionalize forms of social difference along a variety of dimensions, from age and gender, to wealth, rank, class, race and ethnicity.  Students also explore anthropological theories about the causes and consequences of inequality, and consider how social and political hierarchies are developed and maintained through various material and ideological strategies.

ANTH 491/690 - Archaeological Theory: Theory doesn't always get the best rap.  It has a reputation for being dry and distanced from the 'real world'.  But theory isn't something we can do without.  Any statement about what happened in the past depends on theory, because theory is how we make sense of the world.  It provides a framework for understanding, a basis for asking questions, and a guide for how data should be collected and arranged.  Because theory isn't optional, it needs to be critically and carefully thought out.  In this course, we do just that by examining in detail how archaeological theory provides ways of understanding human culture, social relations, and long-term change.

ANTH 491-690 - GIS and Spatial Analysis in Archaeology: Working with spatial data is a fundamental aspect of all archaeological research.  From survey, to excavation, to compliance reporting and academic publishing, archaeologists routinely work to document, manage, and analyze spatial information.  How do archaeologists use all this data to understand things like site formation processes, the economic position of a site in a regional trade network, or how a monument might have been experienced in the past? In this course, students explore the tremendous potential, as well as some common pitfalls, of archaeological spatial information management and analysis using Geographic Information Systems.  

ANTH 491/690 - Archaeology of Households and Landscapes: "We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us" - Winston Churchill
This senior seminar explores the complex relationships between domestic buildings, landscapes, and people.  Specific topics for discussion include: space and the body; space and ideology; gender, sexuality, and power; boundaries and social categorization; landscape history; political spaces; and houses and habitus.  Students will learn the fundamentals of household and landscape archaeology, and, through an active learning assignment, explore the diverse ways in which built environments intersect human lives, past and present.

ANTH 491/690 - North American Archaeology: The site of Cahokia, in present-day Illinois, was a Native American city comprising hundreds of earthen pyramids.  Cahokia flourished on the banks of the Mississippi from AD 1050-1250.  Never heard of it? Want to know more? This course introduces students to the surprising archaeology of North America from the ice age to the first decades of European colonialism.  Topical coverage includes earliest inhabitants, hunter-fisher-gatherer lifeways, the origins of agriculture, mound building and ritual landscapes, long-distance exchange, death and burial, the development of village-based societies, urbanism, and social complexity.  

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: Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Last Updated: Thursday, August 29, 2019 9:36:41 AM
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