Course Descriptions | Department of Anthropology

Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

ANTH 1010 Introduction to Anthropology
This course surveys and explains the cultural, linguistic and biological legacy of humankind, from antiquity to the present, using the research tools of anthropology. Anthropology is both a scientific and humanistic endeavor that attempts to explain the differences and similarities between and among human groups. Anthropology studies where people come from, who they are, what they do, and why they do it.

ANTH 1100 World Cultures
This course introduces students to the ways humans, past and present, have thrived in three different cultural worlds: tribal, imperial, and commercial, including the interaction between people and their environments and the role of social power in determining the forms that human cultures have taken through history right into the present day. The final third of the course focuses on capitalism as a cultural form and examines its impacts on societies and groups in our increasingly interdependent world.

ANTH 1150 World Cultures Through Film
This course uses the discipline of anthropology to answer the question: How should one view cultural difference? We will explore this question through the theoretical prism of anthropology and the examples provided by ethnographic films. Specifically, we will discuss (a) the problems with ethnocentric portrayals of different cultures in mainstream cinema (ethnocentrism); (b) how cultures see themselves (the emic perspective); (c) whether we can compare cultures to each other (etic perspective); and finally, (d) what happens when different cultures interact with each other in a globalized world.

ANTH 2070 Introduction to Race and Ethnic Studies
This class will provide a general introduction of the interdisciplinary field of ethnic studies. It is designed to help you engage with fundamental concepts that will allow you to understand the relevance of race and ethnicity in contemporary U.S. To achieve these objectives this class will:

  • Introduce you to the basic theories related to the study of race and ethnic relations.
  • Examine the various perspectives relevant to ethnic studies (i.e. anthropology, sociology, history) to analyze how race relations have evolved in the U.S.
  • Explain the tendencies that contribute to foster assimilation or cultural distinctiveness among various groups in the U.S
  • Raise questions about continuing prejudice and racism in our society, and look at applied attempts to rectify racial distrust and alienation.

ANTH 2200 Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective
The construction of both masculinity and femininity in cross-cultural contexts. Also central are the issues and debates important within the last three decades of feminist anthropology that speak to the questions posed by widespread gender asymmetry and yet the abundant cultural diversity in the expression of gender ideology, roles and relations worldwide. Finally, the impact of the globalizing trends of capitalism and neo-colonialism will be addressed in terms of its impact of changing gender roles both in first and third worlds.

ANTH 2300 Culture and Society
Cultural anthropology is the social science that tries to make sense out of people's lifestyles around the world. It encompasses many subjects like law, religion, politics, health, language, economics, and globalization. It involves analyzing human ways of life with a holistic, comparative, global, and relativistic perspective. As we compare and contrast different cultures around the world, we will just as often analyze ourselves.

ANTH 2500 Introduction to Archaeology
A survey of the techniques, method and theory of archaeology. An important focus of the course will be on the reconstruction of the culture and ecology of prehistoric societies in both the Old World and the New World.
This course balances instruction in the methods of archaeology and illustrative examples of their application. The first part of the course deals with finding archaeological sites and excavating them. Examples from Old and New World settings are considered. The analysis of artifacts and reconstructing past environments is considered next, with exercises using actual artifacts, pollen, animal bones, geology and soils analysis. Dating techniques include radiocarbon, potassium-argon, stratigraphy and artifact sequences. The synthesis of past archaeological data is considered from perspectives of cultural ecology, with emphasis on past economics, adaptations to past environments and cultural relations such as trade, migration and warfare. Culture change is considered explicitly, with examples such as domestication, origin of the state, etc.

ANTH 2700 Introduction to Physical Anthropology
Concentrates on the biological evolution and variation of humans from the point of view of physiological and cultural adaptation. Introduces the student to the basic materials, methods, and ideas of physical anthropology. Prerequisites ANTH 1010 or permission of the department.
This course considers the nature and sources of variation in human populations from both contemporary and historical perspectives. The biological basis of life, including human genetics, population dynamics and adaptive mechanisms are considered in detail. The evolutionary history of the primates and human ancestors are evaluated. Modern human variation and adaptations are reviewed, with attention to the notion of race. Detailed study of the fossil evidence for human evolution is done with the assistance of actual casts. Demographic and environmental backgrounds for these events are well developed. Theories of adaptation and change are evaluated in consideration of the fossil/archaeological data. Contemporary primates are studied as contrasts for models of human development, behavior and social organization.

ANTH 3000-3999 Area Studies
Prehistory, history and ethnography of major culture areas of the world; social and cultural adaptations and practices. Among culture areas to be offered North American Indians, American Southwest, Oceania, Latin America, Mediterranean Europe, Alaska, American Culture.

ANTH 3101 American Culture and Society
Culture, cultural diversity and multiculturalism constitute some of the most significant social issues in America today. Oriented around the core concept of culture and cultural groups, the course is designed to introduce the student to the basic concepts of culture and cultural diversity, and develop an awareness and appreciation for the full range of diversity in the American (U.S.) culture. Special time and attention will be devoted to the origins, development and consequences of the diversity that plays such a central role in the lives of people in this nation-state culture.

ANTH 3110 North American Indians
Examines the common stereotypes and media (mis)representations of Native Americans in order to see beyond such one-dimensional portrayals of American Indian life. Introduction to a number of important themes in the history of Native American peoples over the last 500 years, including colonization and culture change. Students will gain a sense of the richness and diversity of Native American culture and experience.

ANTH 3120 Indian Cultures of the Southwest
The culture history of the Native American populations in the Greater Southwest from prehistoric times to the present, with an emphasis on current cultural, political, and environmental issues. Topics include prehistoric settlement, culture contact, colonialism, cultural identity, intertribal politics, economic development, health issues, indigenous revitalization and sovereignty movements, cultural resource management, and tourism. Particular attention will be given to the influences of Spanish and American political, military, and economic forces, and to the relationship between the Southwest Indians and anthropologists.

ANTH 3130 African-American Anthropology
This class develops a "double consciousness," of knowledge of African American (or Black) culture in the United States, the impact of Blacks on mainstream American culture, and vice versa. It covers the role of U.S. history, politics and economics as having shaped and been shaped by the presence of people of African descent on this continent and in this hemisphere, including historical roots, classic literature, religion, social structural aspects of African-American culture, oral traditions, identity, and representation.

ANTH 3140 Latinos in the US
This course uses identity and resistance theories to explore the various constructions of Latino race, ethnicity, and identity, and the social and political implications of being Latino today. Explores the ways in which Latinos have been excluded from the national imaginary while maintaining and transforming their own cultural identity. We will see how this process of marginalization has deeply changed the racial and cultural landscape for Latinos and non-Latinos.

ANTH 3200 Latin America
The indigenous, colonial, and mestizo cultures of Latin America from prehistoric, historic, and contemporary perspectives. The dominant culture groups that have comprised this region, and specific issues of conquest and colonialism, neo-colonialism, the role of religion, peasants and social movements, and migration.

ANTH 3210 Mesoamerica
The indigenous, colonial, and mestizaje cultures of Middle America from prehistoric to contemporary times. Beginning with the peopling of the Americas and concluding with a review of current issues and politics, students will explore the dominant culture groups that have comprised this region, and specific issues of colonialism, imperialism, neo-colonialism, syncretized Catholicism, peasant rebellions, migration, and globalization.

ANTH 3220 Maya Culture
Holistic understanding of the ancient Maya civilization, illuminating crucial economic, political, and ideological contemporary processes; exploring the intriguing symbolism embedded in ancient Maya culture; and understanding colonial and current Mayan rebellions.

ANTH 3300 Oceania and the Pacific
Survey of the diverse cultures and traditions of the Pacific, each with its own unique style and history covering thousands of years. The course explores geography, politics, history, ethnography and economics of many cultural groups in the region, from the discovery of these islands to the present.

ANTH 3400 Africa
The diversity of African people and culture through a variety of sources -- ethnographies, films, literature, and narratives. The reality of life in contemporary Africa as well as the way it has been portrayed by anthropologists, explorers, historians, and the media. Looks in detail at the continent's rich geography, environment, history, politics, religion, economics, and ethnicities, as well as the challenges that current events in Africa pose for the rest of the world.

ANTH 3500 Middle East
The prehistory, history, and contemporary situation of one of the most unusual areas of cultural diversity and human adaptation in the world. Special attention is given to the Colonial and religious history of the area that underlies much of its current problems. Its unique role in the developing world economic system will be addressed, as well as those current phenomenon which make it such a volatile area.

ANTH 3600 Europe
Investigation of the myriad peoples of Europe within the context of the impact of broader trends and institutional frameworks. Micro and macro-level analyses is used to understand a wide range of issues of both historical and contemporary importance.

ANTH 3700 South Asia
A survey of the culturally rich and diverse cultures and traditions of South Asia, each with its own unique history covering thousands of years. From the days of prehistory to the present period of profound social, economic, political, and technological changes, this course provides an in-depth background and understanding of the peoples and cultures of this area.

ANTH 3710 East Asia
An overview of cultures and contemporary issues in societies in the Far East, in the context of social and political change and development. Compares anthropological and ethnographic studies of the Peoples' Republic of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan, supplemented by selected research from sociology, history, and political science, and specific areas of cultural and social change in each society, including kinship and family, ethnicity, economic and political development, industrialization, urbanization, and health and social policy.

ANTH 3720 Southeast Asia
A survey of mainland and insular areas of Southeast Asia. Covers the development of indigenous cultures, the period of empires influenced by India and China, the merger with the Islamic world, Western colonialism and emerging nationalism, and the modern period of seeking global identity.

ANTH 3900 Special Topics
Designed to develop greater understanding, awareness, appreciation, and sensitivity to global diversity:the prehistory, history, social and cultural adaptations and practices of various cultural groups according to major geographical regions; the relationship among the various systems of culture; and the interconnectedness of peoples throughout the world. Among the cultural areas offered are Circumpolar Region, Eastern Europe, The Great Civilizations of Mexico, Austalia, etc.. May be repeated for course credit as topics vary.

ANTH 3331 Forensic Anthropology
Forensic Anthropology is a one semester course in human identification techniques. The main emphasis is upon identification from human skeletal remains. Fundamental biology of osseous and dental tissues is included. Other topics include forensic botany and entomology, the genetics of human variability, stereotyping, the major histocompatibility systems, analysis of hair and dermatoglyphic lines, and DNA fingerprinting.

ANTH 3650 Origins of Civilization
The comparative study of the cultural, technological and ecological patterns of change leading to urban civilizations. Surveys the archaeological evidence of the domestication of plants and animals, and the emergence of villages. The art, architecture, economic, and sociopolitical characteristics of early civilizations in the Near East and Mesoamerica are examined.

ANTH 4000 Applied Anthropology
This course is concerned with the development, theory, methods and approaches of what has been referred to as applied or practical anthropology. Through extensive case materials, the course will examine both the current and historical roles and contributions of the various subfield specialists in the application of anthropology perspectives, methods and techniques, of substantive findings to problems of culture (e.g. culture change, public policy, medical anthropology, cultural resource management, forensics, community development, urban planning, organizational and business culture, transnational activities, etc.). Special attention will be directed at developing some understanding and appreciation of the problems and ethics involved in such applied or practical activities, and to developing the necessary skills for assuming such a role as applied or practical anthropologist.

ANTH 4011 Anthropological Field Methods
Concentrates on the FIELD METHODS of anthropology, in particular, the unique "participant observation" methodology, considered by many as one of the real contributions of anthropology in the study of humans and their behavior. Through practical, experience-based workshops and exposure to the relevant literature, the student will gain an in-depth understanding of the issues and aspects, benefits and limitations, problems and difficulties of the field techniques and methods of date gathering and analysis.

ANTH 4021 Development of Anthropological Thought
An overview of the history of Anthropological thought from its origins to the contemporary schools of Anthropology, with emphasis on the scientific, intellectual, and sociopolitical causes and consequences of changes in major conceptual orientations to man and culture. Prerequisite ANTH 2300 or permission of the instructor.

ANTH 4200 Health, Healing, and Culture: Introduction to Medical Anthropology
This course presents contemporary medical anthropology, with a focus on the biocultural basis of health and global sociocultural variations in illness and healing. Includes study of comparative health systems, political-economic and ethical issues in health and care, health professions, patients' views of illness, and cross-cultural definitions and understandings of disease, illness, and cure.

ANTH 4210 Culture and Human Sexuality
Focuses on human sexuality, and the biological, behavioral and cultural aspects within varied cultural traditions. Students can expect to cover such topics of human sexuality as biological origins of sexuality, psychological and social determinants of sexual behavior, morality and standards, the relation of sex to a variety of social relations, as well as some of the more current issues and aspects of sexuality in the world.

ANTH 4220 Anthropology in Public Health
Introduces students to the contributions of anthropology in public health. It highlights the socio-cultural perspective on the fundamentals of public health, including but not limited to international health, domestic health, epidemiology, infectious disease, child survival, women's and men's health, and health policy.

ANTH 4300 Migrants and Refugees
An anthropological understanding of "uprooted" and displaced social groups who leave their country and culture. Worldwide political, economic, and social issues are analyzed, as are the process of accommodation, adaptation and re-creation of their cultural systems in different socio-economic and political contexts. Beginning with general characteristics of the anthropological discussion on "displacement," the course then ventures into different models for the analysis and understanding of migration and refugee movements. 

ANTH 4400 Environmental Anthropology
This course addresses the major environmental questions, theories, problems, issues, and possible solutions illustrated by case studies from different cultures around the world. We will examine environmental issues pertaining to land, sea and natural resources, food production systems, deforestation, population problems, poverty and environmental justice, natural hazards and risks, resource conflicts and warfare, over-fishing, economic development, mineral and oil extraction, landscapes, and biodiversity conservation.

ANTH 4500 Language and Culture
This course focuses on an introduction to linguistic anthropology, designed to acquaint students with some of the ways in which languages and cultures are connected to each other, in that communication patterns are culturally structured. Three broad areas: 1) how language offers resources to individuals to help them accomplish their goals; 2) how language offers resources to institutions and social groups that help them maintain their power; and 3) how language shapes our thought patterns. Students will learn the basic techniques of analyzing conversations by working on a semester-long project.

ANTH 4550 Race, Ethnicity, and Identity
As anthropologists, we teach that race is a cultural construct. However, it becomes harder to argue that it is "just" a construct when we are faced with such overwhelming discrimination in the U.S. When structural and everyday racisms give rise to a movement that is forced to defend what should go without saying, that black lives matter...too! Frequently taken at "face value", race, ethnicity, and identity are intertwined ideas that figure into our daily lives in ways that are anything but matter-of-fact. Loaded with implications, these cultural constructs carry heady consequences in the real world. Through an anthropological approach, we will deconstruct these categories, exploring how they function as instruments of power and authority all whilst under the semblance of "reality".

ANTH 4601 Anthropology of Education
This class will introduce issues and approaches relevant to the study of education within the field of anthropology, including methods used in the study of education and schooling, and the significance of cultural transmission. Students will be exposed to works in the field of anthropology about cultural difference, minority status, and learning. We will highlight new perspectives and critiques related to contemporary educational "problems" found in societies such as the U.S.

ANTH 4701 Topics in Sociocultural Anthropology
Selected topics of interest and significance in sociocultural anthropology. While this course is offered on a regular basis, particular topics are taught irregularly. Prerequisite(s): ANTH 1010 or 2300, or consent of department. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.

ANTH 4701-001 Violence, Terror, and Terrorism: Creating Cultures of Fear
This course will offer a broad examination of violence and terrorism in cross-cultural context. It has been designed to give you grounding in the basic concepts in defining the social creation of fear, as well as the historical perspectives of specific case studies from around the world and within the U.S. We will critically analyze the way that social structures and the media create, maintain, and change the expression and experience of terror. Finally, there will be opportunity for students to divide into groups to pursue and present their own research on issues of violence and terror.

ANTH 4701-002 Psychological Anthropology
This course explores the relationship between the self, culture and society. It compares concepts of self, socialization and behavior in anthropological and psychological theory and research, universal concepts of human nature, and examines processes of interpretation by individuals in diverse cultural and social groups over the life span. Sociocultural contexts of alternative states of consciousness and mental illness re also compared.

ANTH 4701-003 Symbolic Anthropology
The discipline of anthropology provides many theoretical perspectives that can be used in describing and understanding the peoples and cultures of the world. Among these, the anthropological consideration of symbolism provides a unique view of cultural beliefs. All cultures utilize symbols and symbolic constructions to give meaning to their reality. This course is an introduction to symbolic anthropology and the forms and uses of symbolism in a variety of world cultures including modern America. Attention is given to how symbols are used to give meaning to social life, how they define and create belief systems including traditional anthropological concerns with religion, kinship, politics, economics, and business and advertising. This course will draw on examples from several different cultures to illustrate and explain the prominent theories in symbolic anthropology.

ANTH 4701-004 Urban Anthropology
As more of the world's population settles in cities, anthropologists have increasingly shifted their sites of study from rural to urban settings. Our goal in this class is to question how anthropological insights and methods might contribute to our understandings of urban phenomena. In order to do so, we will ask the following big questions: (1) What is a city? What sort of conditions produced this spatial category in different parts of the world throughout history? (2) How did the industrial revolution reshape the city and structure contemporary notions of spatial planning, social engineering and capitalist production? (3) What is the future of the city in the postmodern, post-industrial and post-national global era? Will future cities reduce or exacerbate social and economic inequality? (4) How have social and economic histories shaped the layout and structure of contemporary Denton and Dallas?

ANTH 4701-005 Holistic Health and Alternative Healing
This course provides students with core concepts related to holistic health and alternative medicine. Students will be part of various educational activities aimed to stimulate understanding of cross-cultural principles involved in holistic health. A critical analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of currently available practices of alternative medicine is pursued in this course.

ANTH 4701-006 Ethnicity, Poverty, and Health: Cultural Issues of Health and Disease
This course is designed to provide students with a basic framework of knowledge regarding multicultural issues involved in health care. This course will help students increase their awareness and sensitivity to the health care needs of the various cultural and ethnic groups living in the U.S.

ANTH 4701-007 Anthropology of Business
Anthropologists have developed numerous tools for analyzing culture and culture change. Many of these can be put to use in studying business organizations. This course is a look at business organizations from an anthropological point of view. Often an organization's productivity or lack thereof is directly related to the degree to which its strategy and culture mesh. Methods used in anthropology can aid in defining the specific culture of an organization and in providing strategies for change within it. Thus this course will explore those anthropological tools that can be useful in increasing productivity in business organizations.

ANTH 4701-008 Design Anthropology
Design anthropology is a rapidly growing field of employment for those who wish to work in business contexts. In this course, students learn the fundamentals of this field. By collaborating on an applied project, they gain practice in the research methods of participant observation, interviewing, and videotaping. They learn to engage in collaborative analysis using qualitative software. And they work with designers and customers to translate their research into practical applications.

ANTH 4701-009 Gender and Islam
This course is an introduction to the anthropological study of gender and Islam. Broadly speaking, this course seeks to provoke thought about: 1) what it means to take Islam as an object of anthropological analysis, 2) how gender is mediated by religious discourses and practices, and 3) how feminist theory has grappled with the question of religion - or how the faithful have grappled with the question of feminism. We will be addressing a variety of contemporary issues significant for Muslim women and men. These may include: the practice of veiling, kinship and family, political and intimate violence, education and work, sexualities, religious practice and interpretation, and Islamic feminisms. Islam will be treated as a varying body of discourses and practices, and different Sunni, Shi'I, and Sufi examples will be explored. The course is grounded in ethnographic and historical texts written by and about Muslim women in places as diverse as Egypt, Iran, Turkey, Lebanon, and the US.

ANTH 4701-010 Contemporary Middle East: Society, Culture, and Politics

ANTH 4701-011 Anthropology of Gender and Violence
This course is grounded in the thesis that gender is a cultural construction in all societies. This course unifies different forms of gender violence under the rubric of how children are raised to perpetuate, or be victims of, violence and how an atmosphere conducive to gender violence can become institutionalized within a society. A fundamental argument of the course is that we, in the US, tend to individualize acts of violence but would be better served by analyzing violence as a social product. We explore topics of engendered violence such as: acquaintance and date rape; workplace sexual harassment; domestic violence; rape as a tool of war and militarism; and human trafficking. We apply critical thinking skills in delving into such topics as pornography, bride burning, honor killing, male and female genital cutting, and others. We attempt to challenge conventional wisdom and easy conceptualizations of these topics by looking at insider opinions, historical contexts, colonial influences, and other critical political economic factors.

ANTH 4701-012 Ethnoecology
Ethnoecology is the study of how people of all, and of any, cultural tradition(s) interpret, conceptualize, construct, represent, cope with, utilize, and generally manage their knowledge of those domains of environmental experience which encompass living organisms and the interrelationships between them, whose parallel study in the biological sciences is ecology. Ethnoecology is a subfield of ecological and environmental anthropology and has most often been employed in ethnographic understanding of local and native environmental worldviews and how those deeply held values and perceptions are acted out in everyday practices. In this course students will be introduced to a wide variety of non-western approaches to ecology and environmental management in addition to methodologies for understanding and documenting local environmental knowledge.

ANTH 4701-013 Media Anthropology in the 21st Century
Through class readings, websites, and various forms of media employed by anthropologists and ethnographers, this class will examine the history, the use of, and the ethical implications of media in research. And although we will be discussing the use of various media capturing tools in conducting research with the intent of using them in the field, this is not a production class.

ANTH 4701-014 Community-Based Participatory Media (RTVF 4410.003)

ANTH 4701-015 Media Anthropology Form and Practice

ANTH 4701-016/5700-004 Culture and Climate Change
This course takes broad look at anthropological approaches to climate change, from pre-historic times to future models. Case studies from around the world examine cultural conceptualizations and responses to climate change and assess how local viewpoints articulate with scientific models. Special attention is given to the human dimensions of global climate change and the course investigates current and future possibilities in responding to the climate challenge and the unique tools that anthropology has to offer.

ANTH 4701-017 Bollywood: Films and Religions of South Asia (PHIL 3635)
This course is about the ways in which the Hindi cinema recasts Indian religions and cultures, from epics and classical drama, devotional songs, Hindi-Urdu poetry, to the
portrayal of religious communities. From its humble beginnings to contemporary global incarnation with the label "Bollywood", Indian film industry has consistently maintained
its link with the native cultural legends such as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. This course examines the Indian culture as manifested in the Hindi films. The course assumes
no previous knowledge of Indic religions or cinema, and all films will be shown with English subtitles.

ANTH 4701-019 From Mahavira to Mahatma Gandhi: Jain People and Cultures of Non-Violence (PHIL 3630)

Jainism is one of the most ancient philosophical traditions originated in India. Historically, it is traced back to Mahavira, a teacher of the sixth century BCE, a contemporary of the Buddha. Like those of the Buddha, Mahavira's doctrines were formulated as a reaction to and rejection of the Brahmanism, tradition based on the Hindu scriptures and because of this, both Jainism and Buddhism are regarded as the unorthodox philosophies, darsanas. The most renowned nonviolent figure of our times Mahatma Gandhi was inspired by nonviolence and other Jain practices. Gandhi in turn inspired Dr. Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Dalai Lama, and several other nonviolent movements globally.

ANTH 4701-022 Eastern Religions and the Environment (PHIL 3665)

Religious thought in Asia is replete with images of sacred rivers, trees, mountains, stones, animals, plants, stars and planets. From the extraordinarily strict vegetarianism of Jainism, to the daily tending of Tulsi plants regarded as the incarnation of a Hindu goddess, many Eastern religious practices and rituals demonstrate reverence for the earth and nature. And yet, virtually all the countries of Asia, from Tibet to Thailand, are facing environmental crises of monumental proportions. Is it possible to transform people's religious reverence for elements of nature into concrete action to protect and conserve natural resources? Religion is one of the most powerful motivating forces in the world today; it is also among the most divisive. Can and should activists seek to enlist religious sentiments in the service of environmental projects? This class approaches the study of religion and ecology through intensive exploration of the foundational questions that have shaped this emerging field of inter-disciplinary scholarship.

ANTH 4701-023 The Other in Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror
This class will examine how notions of the Other have represented peoples, cultures, and societies both real and imagined as romantic, exotic, alien, unknowable, and often a threat that must be dealt with. In addition, we will also examine works that have critiqued this notion and have presented alternative views that have provided a counterpoint to these representations.

ANTH 4701-027 Community Engagement Through Action Research
Action research is considered both a critique and an alternative way of conducting research. It challenges the separation of expert/scholarly knowledge from non-expert/community knowledge and proposes collaborative frameworks for doing research. Universities have recently made community engagement an important part of their mission as they are challenged to justify their relevance to the public. Anthropologists have engaged the community for some time and in multiple ways by insisting on the relevance of local knowledge. As a result some anthropologists envision their research as applied, public, engaged, or activist. This class is focused on doing anthropology by engaging the community as experts and active collaborators. You will learn about various approaches to action research and do action research. The course requires a commitment to think about and do anthropology differently. As action researchers, we will engage in hands-on learning and research to create social change attempting to democratize the process of research and the relationships between the university and community.

ANTH 4701-029 The Anthropology of Sport

Like few other social phenomena, sport evokes immense passion across cultures, times, and places. In this course, we will study the historical and cultural contexts of making, playing, and watching sport in order to understand this passion. Students will first define sport in a cross-cultural context. Then we will explore the political and economic conditions of the global spread and popularity of certain 'western' sports. Finally, we will examine the gender, racial, and class prejudices of sport culture and the political structures of social inequality. Keep in mind that students need not enter the class with knowledge of or experience with any particular sport. All they need to be successful is an interest in studying sport as a vehicle to understanding historical, cultural and social dynamics.

ANTH 4701-030

This course will provide an overview of the theoretical ways in which the topic of food can be addressed from an anthropological perspective. Exploring the food and traditions of various cultures will allow us to examine the role food plays in identity, class, gender, technology and globalization

ANTH 4701-031 Anthropology of NGO's

This course utilizes an anthropological lens to understand non-governmental organizations. Students will become conversant with NGO development in Western and non-Western spheres, and will learn the significance of those narratives within transnational, neoliberal contexts. Focusing on sectors of human rights, humanitarian aid, environmental activism, and cultural heritage, students will gain familiarity with the organizational culture of NGOs, and will explore the diverse and sometimes divergent principles, policies, and practices guiding global activism. Referencing ethnographic case studies, students will also explore the other side of the NGO equation, thinking critically about NGO interface with local communities, economies and governing bodies in order to address questions of impact, accountability, and efficacy.

ANTH 4701-034 Anthropology of Christianity

In this course, we will question our understanding of Christianity as simply a religion, and discover its tremendous impact as a social and cultural force throughout history and in the world today. Though Christianity is the largest organized religious movement in the world, anthropology has given it little direct attention. Recent decades however have seen an explosion of anthropological studies of the culture, social practices, and discourse of Christianity. In the first part of this course we explore anthropological concepts such as social power, ritual, cosmology, and prayer within the diverse religion(s) known as Christianity. We will also consider the ethnographic paradox of Christianity, which sees itself as a global, universal force and yet has been radically re-envisioned and localized by specific cultures around the world, several of which we will read about. Within this course we will also examine the intersections of Christianity with other facets of societies, such as U.S. politics, medieval European monarchies, and anthropology itself.

ANTH 4751 The Supernatural: Magic, Witchcraft, and Religion
This course focuses on comparing religious and supernatural belief across cultures, through the perspective of anthropology. The origin, development and function of religions in human societies, as well as classic anthropological concerns about the role of myth, ritual, ethics, magic and shamanism in society. By comparing what is "religious" in many cultures, students will develop a better understanding of the relationship between human beings, religion, and their own religious beliefs.

ANTH 4770 Ethnographic Field School
First hand field methods in anthropology. Students will put in practice the unique field methods used in anthropology, especially "participant observation," by traveling to a domestic or international field site and becoming immersed in the local culture. Students will gain an in-depth understanding of contemporary and historic culture through relevant literature on the area and anthropological field methods, and through practical experience by putting field techniques and methods of data gathering and analysis to work in the field. Must have consent of instructor.

001 Mexico
002 Saudi Arabia
003 Ghana
004 Egypt

ANTH 4801 Topics in Physical Anthropology
Selected topics of interest and significance in physical anthropology, such as human osteology and primate behavior, are covered during different terms/semesters.

ANTH 4801-001 Evolution of Man
This topic section focuses on the evolution of humans. Commencing with the human emergence in the animal kingdom and relying upon the fossil record of past human forms and even pre-human forms, the course attempts to study the reconstruction of the human physical past. This course also utilizes the materials of paleontology (those who study and search for extinct flora and fauna), osteology (the study of bones), geology (the study of geological information, climates, environments and life), primatology (the study of the primate animal), and genetics (the study of how traits are passed from generation to generation) to develop the understanding of how humans came to be through the various mechanisms of change and change that has operated on the human organism throughout its existence. The course will also delve into the concept of physical evolution through the various suggestions, which account for that evolution. The various theories of science proposed for human origin and development, orthogenesis, sociobiology, creationism and others will be discussed.

ANTH 4801-002 Bio-Cultural Perspectives on Health
This course is a survey of the evolution of various human diseases through time and how humans have adapted to them. It focuses on evolution and evolutionary medicine as tools for understanding populations and disease, as well as some of the adaptations humans have made (both genetic and behavioral). Some of these changes are adaptive; some have become maladaptive as culture and environmental change has occurred.

ANTH 4801-003 Human Ecology and Adaptation
Human Behavioral Ecology (HBE) is an attempt to understand the observed diversity in human behavior as arising from common human adaptive goals in diverse environmental settings. It uses anthropological methods of participant observation but is more quantitative than many sociocultural methods. It is based on Darwinian models and also draws from economics and formal decision making. This approach generates testable hypotheses from the more general propositions found in theory. Since it began in the mid 1970's with a strong focus on optimal foraging theory and the foraging economies it has matured with the addition of evolutionary biological models to reproductive and social behavior. It now includes resource distribution, life history characteristics, social hierarchies, the origins of agriculture among other topics and rests on ecological base.

ANTH 4900-4910 Special Problems
Individual study on specific research topics or subject matter not contained within the normal anthropology inventory at UNT. The course allows individuals to pursue research on topics of interests through readings or directed activity under the guidance and supervision of a faculty member on a one-to-one basis.

ANTH 4920Cooperative Education in Anthropology
Supervised work in a job directly related to the student's major, professional field of study or career objectives. Prerequisite(s) 12 hours credit in anthropology; student must meet the employer's requirements and have consent of the department chair. May be repeated for credit.

Graduate Courses

ANTH 5000 Seminar in Sociocultural Anthropology
A survey of anthropological attempts to understand and explain the similarities and differences in culture and humans. This course serves as a high level introduction (review) to the discipline of anthropology with a primary emphasis on sociocultural anthropology, that also allows individuals to pursue their own particular or specific interests. The course is designed for graduate students combining anthropology with other fields as part of their graduate programs but whose exposure and background in the discipline is limited, and undergraduate seniors bringing their undergraduate program to a conclusion and planning on pursuing further additional training and careers in anthropology.

ANTH 5010 Anthropological Thought and Praxis I
Considers the history of anthropological concepts, the major historical debates in anthropological theory, and historical tensions between applied and theoretical knowledge. Special emphasis is given to critical examination of concept and theory formation, and the application of anthropological ideas to the problems of everyday life. Prerequisite: ANTH 5000 or 12 hours in anthropology.

ANTH 5021 Anthropological Thought and Praxis II
Considers contemporary anthropological concepts and theories and the major debates that have been produced by them. Special emphasis is given to the most recent tensions and debates on the relationships between theoretical and applied knowledge. Specific attention is paid to the relationships between social theory and social policy formation. Prerequisite: ANTH 5010.

ANTH 5031 Ethnographic and Qualitative Methods
Focuses on ethnographic and qualitative methods and the development of the skills necessary for the practice of anthropology. Special emphasis is given to qualitative techniques of data collection and analysis, grant writing, the use of computers to analyze qualitative data, and ethical problems in conducting qualitative research.

ANTH 5032 Ethnographic and Qualitative Methods for Non-Majors
Designed to teach non-majors the basics of ethnographic and qualitative methods. Students develop the skills necessary to conduct qualitative research through reviewing and applying the relationship of research to theory, research ethics, project design, data collection (observation, interviewing and focus groups), coding, analysis of data through the use of computer software, and presentation of findings.

ANTH 5041 Quantitative Methods in Anthropology
Provides quantitative and statistical skills to complement those used in qualitative and ethnographic research: research design, sampling and scaling techniques, tests for reliability and validity, and tests of association and significance. Special emphasis is given to the use of SPSS.

ANTH 5050 Preparation for Practice and the Applied Thesis
Emphasis on planning the applied thesis project, professional development, and bringing students into the community of practice of applied/practicing anthropologists. Students learn skills in client development, project design, proposal writing, informational interviews, how to obtain a job, how to succeed in the workplace, and networking. In addition, students are exposed to contested issues in the field and career trajectories of practitioners. A number of practitioners are invited as guest speakers.

ANTH 5100 Organizational Anthropology
Anthropologists have developed numerous tools for analyzing culture and culture change. Many of these can be put to use in studying business organizations. This course is a look at business organizations from an anthropological point of view. Often an organization's productivity or lack thereof is directly related to the degree to which its strategy and culture mesh. Methods used in anthropology can aid in defining the specific culture of an organization and in providing strategies for change within it. Thus this course will explore those anthropological

ANTH 5110 Design Anthropology
Design anthropology is a rapidly growing field of employment for those who wish to work in business contexts. In this course, students learn the fundamentals of this field. By collaborating on an applied project, they gain practice in the research methods of participant observation, interviewing, and videotaping. They learn to engage in collaborative analysis using qualitative software. And they work with designers and customers to translate their research into practical applications.

ANTH 5201 Medical Anthropology
This course presents information central to understanding the area of medical anthropology, the focus of practitioners of this area, and the major concepts which guide the activities of cultural anthropologists working in different societies. The linkage between culture and health is central toward understanding human adaptations to a variety of environments around the world. The preparations which humans make in response to illness, sickness, and disease are examined in the context of the climates, geographies, flora and fauna in which populations live. Presented are the research methodology, terminology and outcomes of health/medical projects attempted by anthropologists in other western and non-western cultures.

ANTH 5210 Anthropology in Public Health
This course will introduce students to the contributions of anthropology in public health. It highlights the socio-cultural perspective on the fundamentals of public health, including but not limited to international health, domestic health, epidemiology, infectious disease, child survival, women's and men's health, and health policy.

ANTH 5220 Introduction to Health Services Research
This course surveys the history of the development of the field of health services research; the interdisciplinary contributions of the disciplines of sociology, economics, anthropology, gerontology, political science, and public health to the field; and the use of survey research to collect information on health status and health services utilization.

ANTH 5300 Migrants and Refugees
This course focuses on the social groups of migrants and refugees who have significantly contributed to the development of human cultures from Paleolithic times to the current world situation of dramatic refugee movements that number close to twenty million people worldwide. It examines the migratory effects on enculturation, socialization, adaptation and assimilation. The course offers an anthropological perspective of migration by utilizing longitudinal frameworks, rather than acute episodes.

ANTH 5400 Environmental Anthropology
Environmental anthropology may be considered the study of applied, action, and/or advocacy research addressing practical environmental issues, problems, concerns, and questions. Typically, such study involves the dynamic interaction between human beings and their ecosystems with an emphasis on the cultural dimension. This course in environmental anthropology will focus on major environmental questions, problems, and issues in the world with an emphasis on methods for applied research illustrated by selected case studies from different parts of the globe. Some of the topics to be covered will include land/sea and natural resources, food production systems, deforestation, range destruction, population problems, poverty and environmental justice, natural hazards and risks, resource conflicts and warfare, over fishing, economic development, mineral and oil extraction, cultural landscapes, and environmental and bio-diversity conservation.

ANTH 5620 Anthropology of Education
This class will introduce students to issues and approaches relevant to the study of education within the field of anthropology. The course will be divided into three analytical sections. The first section will provide an introduction to anthropological concepts and anthropological methods used in the study of education and schooling. This section will examine the relation between anthropology and education by emphasizing the significance of cultural transmission. The second section will be devoted to an examination of cultural transmission and appropriate approaches. In this section, students will be exposed to works in the field of anthropology of education that examine cultural difference, minority status, and learning. The third and last section of the course will emphasize recent approaches to questions of cultural transmission. In particular, this section will highlight new perspectives and critiques related to current and relevant educational "problems" found in societies such as the U.S.

ANTH 5700 Topics in Sociocultural Anthropology
Cross-cultural and ethnographic investigation, analysis and discussion of a significant, contemporary topic of interest to students in various graduate programs. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.

ANTH 5700.002 Nature and Culture
In this intensive, interdisciplinary graduate seminar, students will investigate one of the greatest questions of our time. Namely, how to traverse the nature/culture divide? Much recent work in the environmental social sciences has focused on overcoming western nature/culture dualistic thinking that originates as early as Plato and Aristotle, was crystallized in the Early Modern Era by Rene Descartes, and manifests itself throughout the ideological and material expressions of our modern industrial world system. Concerns over peak oil, environmental degradation and pollution, and global climate change are have made this project ever more pressing and relevant. Yet, there is no general framework or even a useful overview of the history and current expression of the nature/culture dualism. Work in this vein has remained piecemeal and largely only suggestive. In this class we will research what work exists and attempt to synthesize what we find into a useful narrative with which to approach what many think is the greatest problem facing our contemporary world.

ANTH 5700.810/820 Ethno-Racial Diversity Management: Applying Anthropology for a Competitive Business Edge
This graduate seminar explores contemporary notions of race and ethnicity in the U.S. marketplace, and their impact on a diverse range of business activities such as strategy formulation, workforce diversity management, market research, marketing, retail sales and new product development. Discussion topics focus on unique and valuable contributions from applied anthropology and other social sciences to understand the relationship between current ethno-racial categorization practices in the United States and corporate America's approaches to improve productivity and market performance. By the end of this course, you will be able to identify opportunities for applying anthropology to gain insights on market demographic shifts and manage ethno-racial diversity for a competitive business edge. The course is recommended for both applied anthropology and business majors.

ANTH 5700.810/820 Evaluation in Anthropological Practice
Anthropological theory and method are increasingly in demand for evaluations because of the capacity of anthropology to delineate cultural positions of individuals and organizations around key issues of needs assessment, service delivery, equity and justice in the design and implementation of both public and private programs. This course builds on a five-year project within the National Association for the Practice of Anthropology to define and promulgate a specifically anthropological component to a solid basis of research and method already existing in evaluation. The approach taken will link evaluation and anthropological method and theory and will address common methodological, logistic and theoretical issues that occur in the course of conducting evaluation projects using holistic, mixed method and qualitative designs.

ANTH 5710 Symbolic/Cognitive Anthropology
The discipline of Anthropology provides many theoretical perspectives that can be used in describing and understanding the peoples and cultures of the world. Among these, the anthropological consideration of symbolism provides a unique view of cultural beliefs. All cultures utilize symbols and symbolic constructions to give meaning to their reality. This course is an introduction to Symbolic Anthropology and the forms and uses of symbolism in a variety of world cultures including modern America. Attention is given to how symbols are used to give meaning to social life, how they define and create belief systems including traditional anthropological concerns with religion, kinship, politics, economics, and business and advertising. This course draws on examples from several different cultures to illustrate and explain the prominent theories in Symbolic Anthropology.

ANTH 5900 Special Problems
Individuals study on specific research topics or subject matter not contained within the normal Anthropology inventory at UNT. The course allows individuals to pursue research on topics of interests through readings or directed activity under the guidance and supervision of a faculty member on a one-to-one basis.

ANTH 5910 Special Problems
Individuals study on specific research topics or subject matter not contained within the normal Anthropology inventory at UNT. The course allows individuals to pursue research on topics of interests through readings or directed activity under the guidance and supervision of a faculty member on a one-to-one basis.

ANTH 5950 Applied Thesis
3 or 6 hours. To be scheduled with consent of department. 6 hour required. No credit assigned until thesis has been completed and filed with the graduate dean. Continuous enrollment required once work on thesis has begun. May be repeated for credit. ANTH 5010, 5021, 5031, 5041, 5050.

Thinking about UNT?

It's easy to apply online. Join us and discover why we're the choice of over 37,000 students.

Apply now