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This section contains an overview of the college's history, the academic program, the campus and student body; information on admission, fees and financial aid; graduate programs; and a key for deciphering course listings. Select a section from the dropdown menu to start.


This catalog contains policies and program descriptions and should be used solely as an informational guide. The General Information section is accurate as of July. All announcements herein are subject to revision. Students are responsible for informing themselves of current policies and meeting all relevant requirements.

This section details instructors, requirements for the majors and minors, and course offerings for the year (the data is updated annually). The Search for Courses tab enables you to search for courses based on interests and criteria. This tab will enable you to identify if a course can count toward a major, minor, concentration or a certificate.

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Professors
Suzanne K. Gottschang, Ph.D.

Associate Professors
Fernando Armstrong-Fumero, Ph.D. †2
Caroline M. Melly, Ph.D., Chair
Elizabeth A. Klarich, Ph.D. **1, *2

Assistant Professors
Colin Hoag, Ph.D. **2
Pinky Hota, Ph.D.

Associated Faculty
Miranda McCarvel, Ph.D.
Margaret Sarkissian, Ph.D. †2

The Major

Advisers: Fernando Armstrong-Fumero, Suzanne Gottschang, Colin Hoag, Pinky Hota, Elizabeth Klarich, Caroline Melly

Advisers for Study Abroad:  Africa:  Colin Hoag and Caroline Melly; East Asia: Suzanne Gottschang; Latin America: Fernando Armstrong-Fumero and Elizabeth Klarich; South Asia: Pinky Hota

Requirements: Eight courses in anthropology including Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (130), History of Anthropological Theory (233) and Colloquium in Anthropology (200), preferably taken in the sophomore year, and a Smith anthropology seminar. Three additional courses for the major may be in anthropology or in fields linked to the student’s anthropological interests, such as language, math or science with approval of adviser. Students must show a competency in a foreign language equivalent to four semesters of college-level courses. A maximum of two language courses may count toward the three additional courses for the major. Students who wish to focus their major in biological anthropology may replace the language requirement with two courses in mathematics (M) or natural science (N) if the courses serve as an essential foundation for advanced work in this subfield and they are above the 100 level. Any alternative for the language requirement should be developed in consultation with an adviser and must be part of an overall plan of studies approved by the entire department.

Students majoring in anthropology are encouraged to consider an academic program abroad during their junior year. In the past, majors have spent a term or year in Chile, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nepal, Senegal and South Africa. Students planning to study abroad should take at least one but preferably two courses in anthropology during the sophomore year. Students should discuss their study abroad plans with advisers, particularly if they wish to do a special studies or senior thesis upon their return.

Majors interested in biological anthropology or additional courses in archaeology may take advantage of the excellent resources in the Five Colleges.

Honors

Director: Fernando Armstrong-Fumero

Please consult the director of honors or the departmental website for specific requirements and application procedures.

Students are strongly encouraged to complete ANT 130 before enrolling in intermediate courses.

ANT 130 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
This course explores the similarities and differences in the cultural patterning of human experience, compares economic, political, religious and family structures in Africa, the Americas, Asia and Oceania and analyzes the impact of the modern world on traditional societies. Several ethnographic films are viewed in coordination with descriptive case studies. Limited to first-year students and sophomores. Total enrollment of each section limited to 25. {S} Credits: 4
Fernando Armstrong-Fumero, Suzanne K. Gottschang, Pinky Hota, Nadia Latif, Caroline M. Melly
Normally offered both fall and spring semesters

ANT 135 Introduction to Archaeology
Same as ARC 135. This course studies past cultures and societies through their material remains and explores how archaeologists use different field methods, analytical technique and theoretical approaches to investigate, reconstruct and learn from the past. Data from settlement surveys, site excavations and artifact analysis are used to address economic, social, political and ideological questions across time and space. This course is taught from an anthropological perspective, exploring key transitions in human prehistory, including the origins of food production, social inequality and state-level societies across the globe. Relevance of archaeological practice in modern political, economic and social contexts is explored. Limited to first-year students and sophomores. Enrollment limited to 30. {N} {S} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered each academic year

ANT 200 Research Methods in Anthropology
This course introduces students to the variety of methods of inquiry used for research in anthropology. Throughout the semester, students are introduced to methods of locating and analyzing information and sources, developing research questions and writing. Normally taken in the spring of the sophomore or junior year. Prerequisite: 130 and permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 20 anthropology majors.  {S} Credits: 4
Colin B. Hoag
Normally offered each spring

ANT 220 Collecting the Past: Art and Artifacts of the Ancient Americas
This course is not taught on the Smith College campus. Same as ANT 216 at Mount Holyoke College and ANT 220 at Amherst College. Early European explorers, modern travelers, collectors, curators and archaeologists have contributed to the development of ancient Latin American collections in museums across the globe. This course traces the history of these collecting practices and uses recent case studies to demonstrate how museums negotiate—successfully and unsuccessfully—the competing interests of scholars, donors, local communities and international law. Students learn how archaeologists study a variety of artifact types within museum collections and have the opportunity to conduct independent research projects using pre-Columbian pottery and textile collections from the Mead Museum at Amherst College.  Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered in alternate years

ANT 221 Archaeological Method, Theory and Practice
This course focuses on the theoretical foundations of archaeological research, the variety of methods available to analyze material culture, the interpretation of results, and ethical considerations of practicing archaeology in the United States and abroad. The course provides students with a solid foundation for evaluating and contextualizing current methodological and theoretical trends within archaeology. Case studies illustrate the diversity of archaeological thought, interdisciplinary approaches to studying material culture, and innovative directions in the field of anthropological archaeology. Discussions of practice address the roles and responsibilities of archaeologists in heritage management, museum development, and community outreach.  Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered in alternate years

ANT 223 ​In Sickness and in Health: Biopolitics, Public Health, and Medicine in East Asia
Same as EAS 223. What happens when states focus on their citizen’s potential productivity and discipline to serve the interests of the nation? Biopolitics or the regulation and optimization of populations relies on biomedicine, science, statistics, laws, and policies to ensure the health and future of the nation. Using an anthropological lens the course examines how trajectories of East Asian history, politics, and science intersect with health in our globally connected futures. From SARS, AIDS, and Avian Flu, the dynamics of public health and medicine in East Asia offer an opportunity to develop insights into the relations between states, populations, and citizens. (E) {S} Credits: 4
Suzanne K. Gottschang
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ANT 224 Anthropos in the Anthropocene: Human-Environment Relations in a Time of Ecological Crisis
Same as ENV 224. Anthropology seeks to understand human life in all its complexity, but what constitutes “the human” is far from straightforward. This course examines the changing ways that “Anthropos” is being understood in an era of rapid global climate change and our planet’s sixth mass extinction event, both driven by human activities. We review perspectives on the relationship between humans and their environment from various cultural perspectives, considering how they engage notions of race, class, and gender, and what they imply for nature conservation. Topics include modernity, pets, cyborgs, kinship, symbiosis, extinction, species invasions, settler colonialism, and the Anthropocene concept. Enrollment limit of 30. {S} Credits: 4
Colin B. Hoag
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ANT 226 Archaeology of Food
This course explores (1) how and why humans across the globe began to domesticate plant and animal resources approximately 10,000 years ago, and (2) new directions in the archaeology of food across time and space. The first part of the semester focuses on the types of archaeological data and analytical methods used to understand the “agricultural revolution.” Case studies from both centers and noncenters of domestication are used to investigate the biological, economic and social implications of changing foodways. During the remainder of the semester, emphasis is placed on exploring a number of food-related topics within archaeology, such as the relationship between agriculture and sedentism, food and gender, the politics of feasting, and methods for integrating archaeological and ethnographic approaches to the study of food across the globe. This course is also offered at Mount Holyoke College in fall 2018 (ANT 216). {S} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ANT 229 Africa and the Environment
In Western discourses, African environments are defined by violence, famine, and degradation—symptoms of African cultures that resist Western values such as private property, democracy, and environmentalism. This course encourages students to think critically about such portrayals by learning about specific environments in Africa and how humans have interacted with them across time. The syllabus is anchored in cultural anthropology, but includes units on human evolution, the origins and spread of pastoralism, the history of colonial conservation science, and more. Topics covered include gender, race, land grabbing, indigenous knowledge, the commons, the “cattle complex,” desertification, oil, dams, and nationalism. {H} {N} {S} Credits: 4
Colin B. Hoag
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ANT 233 History of Anthropological Theory
This course reviews the major theoretical approaches and directions in cultural anthropology from the late 19th century to the present. These approaches include social organization and individual agency, adaptation and evolution of human culture, culture and personality, economic behavior, human ecology, the anthropology of development and change, and postmodern interpretation. The works of major anthropologists are explored, including Franz Boas, Bronislaw Malinowski, Margaret Mead, Evans-Pritchard, Claude Levi-Strauss, Marvin Harris, Eric Wolf, Clifford Geertz, Sherry Ortner and others. Prerequisite: 130 or permission of the instructor. {S} Credits: 4
Fernando Armstrong-Fumero
Normally offered each academic year

ANT 234 Culture, Power and Politics
This course is a general introduction to anthropological analysis of politics and the political. Through a broad survey of anthropological texts and theories, we explore what an ethnographic perspective can offer to our understandings of power and government. Special emphasis is placed on the role of culture, symbols and social networks in the political life of local communities. Examples are drawn from a number of case studies in Africa, East Asia, Latin America and the United States, and range in scale from studies of local politics in small-scale societies to analyses of nationalism and political performance in modern nation-states. Enrollment limited to 30. {S} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered in alternate years

ANT 237 Native South Americans
Archaeology and ethnography are combined to survey the history and cultures of indigenous South America, from the earliest settlements to contemporary communities. Topics include early migration, cultural classifications, pre-Hispanic sociopolitical patterns, native cosmologies and ecological adaptations, challenges to cultural survival and indigenous mobilizations. {N} {S} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered in alternate years

ANT 238 Anthropology of the Body
Anthropology vitally understands bodies as socially meaningful, and as sites for the inculcation of ethical and political identities through processes of embodiment, which break down divides between body as natural and body as socially constituted. In this class, we engage these anthropological understandings to read how bodies are invoked, disclipined and reshaped in prisons and classrooms, market economies and multicultural democracies, religious and ethical movements, and the performance of gender and sexuality, disease and disability. Through these accounts of the body as an object of social analysis and as a vehicle for politics, we learn fundamental social theoretical and anthropological tenets about the embodiment of power, contemporary politics as forms of "biopolitics," and the deconstruction of the normative body. {S} Credits: 4
Pinky Hota
Normally offered in alternate years

ANT 248 Medical Anthropology
This course looks at the cultural construction of illness through an examination of systems of diagnosis, classification and therapy in both non-Western and Western societies. Special attention is given to the role of the traditional healer, the anthropological contribution to international health care and the training of physicians in the United States. Enrollment limited to 30. {N} {S} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered each academic year

ANT 249 Visual Anthropology
This course considers the unique perspectives, techniques and theories that anthropology offers for understanding the visual world. We focus on the production of visual materials (photographs and films, in particular) by anthropologists, as well as on the anthropological analysis of visual artifacts produced by other people. We consider the historical (particularly colonial) legacies of visual anthropology as well as its current manifestations and contemporary debates. Particular attention is paid to issues of representation, authority, authenticity, and circulation of visual materials. Enrollment limited to 30. {S} Credits: 4
Caroline M. Melly
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ANT 250 The Anthropology of Reproduction
This course uses anthropological approaches and theories to understand reproduction as a social, cultural and biological process. Drawing on cross-cultural studies of pregnancy and childbirth, new reproductive technologies, infertility and family planning, the course examines how society and culture shape biological experiences of reproduction. We also explore how anthropological studies and theories of reproduction intersect with larger questions about nature and culture, kinship and citizenship among others. {S} Credits: 4
Suzanne K. Gottschang
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ANT 251 Women and Modernity in China and Vietnam
This course explores the roles, representations and experiences of women in 20th-century China and Vietnam in the context of the modernization projects of these countries. Through ethnographic and historical readings, film and discussion, this course examines how issues pertaining to women and gender relations have been highlighted in political, economic and cultural institutions. The course compares the ways that Asian women have experienced these processes through three major topics: war and revolution, the gendered aspects of work and women in relation to the family. This course is co-sponsored by, and cross-listed in, the East Asian Studies Program. {S} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ANT 252 The City and the Countryside in China
With more than 80 percent of its population based in rural areas, China is usually viewed as a primarily agrarian society. However, economic reforms in the past 20 years have brought about dramatic growth in China’s urban areas. This course examines the conceptualization of urban and rural China in terms of political and economic processes and social relations from the Communist revolution in 1949 to the present day. Against this background, the course explores how broader social theoretical concerns with concepts such as tradition/modernity and state/society have been taken up in the anthropology of China. {S} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered in alternate years

ANT 253 Introduction to East Asian Societies and Cultures
This course provides a survey of the anthropology of contemporary East Asian societies. We examine the effects of modernization and development on the cultures of China, Japan and Korea. Such topics as the individual, household and family; marriage and reproduction; religion and ritual; and political economic systems are introduced through ethnographic accounts of these cultures. This course provides students with sufficient information to understand important social and cultural aspects of modern East Asia. {S} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ANT 257 Urban Anthropology
This course considers the city as both a setting for anthropological research and as an ethnographic object of study in itself. We aim to think critically about the theoretical and methodological possibilities, challenges and limitations that are posed by urban anthropology. We consider concepts and themes such as urbanization and migration; urban space and mobility; gender, race and ethnicity; technology and virtual space; markets and economies; citizenship and belonging; and production and consumption. {S} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered in alternate years

ANT 258 Performing Culture
Same as MUS 258. This course analyzes cultural performances as sites for the expression and formation of social identity. Students study various performance genres such as rituals, festivals, parades, cultural shows, music, dance and theater. Topics include expressive culture as resistance; debates around authenticity and heritage; the performance of race, class and ethnic identities; the construction of national identity; and the effects of globalization on indigenous performances. Enrollment limited to 30. {A} {S} Credits: 4
Margaret Sarkissian
Normally offered in alternate years

ANT 267 Contemporary South Asia
This course introduces students to the culture, politics and everyday life of South Asia. Topics covered include religion, community, nation, caste, gender and development, as well as some of the key conceptual problems in the study of South Asia, such as the colonial construction of social scientific knowledge, and debates over “tradition” and “modernity.” In this way, we address both the varieties in lived experience in the subcontinent and the key scholarly, popular and political debates that have constituted the terms through which we understand South Asian culture. Along with ethnographies, we study and discuss novels, historical analysis, primary historical texts and popular (Bollywood) and documentary film. {S} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered each academic year

ANT 269 Indigenous Cultures and the State in Mesoamerica
This course is a general introduction to the relationship between indigenous societies and the state in Mesoamerica. Taking a broad historical perspective, we explore the rise of native state-level societies, the transformations that marked the process of European colonization, and the relationship of local indigenous communities to post-colonial states and transnational social movements. Texts used in the course place special emphasis on continuities and changes in language, social organization, cosmology and identity that have marked the historical experience of native groups in the region. {S} Credits: 4
Fernando Armstrong-Fumero
Normally offered in alternate years

ANT 270 Native American Linguistics
North America is linguistically diverse and was home to more than 300 languages prior to the arrival of Europeans; since the arrival of Europeans, over half of these languages have gone extinct. This course examines the languages currently and historically spoken by the indigenous peoples of North America, focusing on linguistic diversity and language endangerment, preservation, and revitalization. We examine early linguistic work by anthropologists; the language families of North America; the typology of Native American languages, including phonology, morphology, and syntax; the impact of colonialism on Native American language and culture; and current documentary and revitalization work. Prerequisite: ANT 200 level or higher.  Enrollment limited to 25. (E) {S} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered each spring

ANT 271 Globalization and Transnationalism in Africa
This course considers the shifting place of Africa in a global context from various perspectives. Our goal is to understand the global connections and exclusions that constitute the African continent in the new millennium. We explore such topics as historical connections, gender, popular culture, the global economy, development, commodities, health and medicine, global institutions, violence and the body, the postcolonial state, religion, science and knowledge, migration and the diaspora, the Internet, and communications and modernity. Enrollment limited to 30. {S} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ANT 274 The Anthropology of Religion
What can anthropologists teach us about religion as a social phenomenon? This course traces significant anthropological approaches to the study of religion, asking what these approaches contribute to our understanding of religion in the contemporary world. Topics include religious experience and rationality; myth, ritual and magic; rites of passage; function and meaning; power and alienation; religion and politics. Readings are drawn from important texts in the history of anthropology and from contemporary ethnographies of religion. {S} Credits: 4
Pinky Hota
Normally offered each academic year

Seminars



ANT 300 Ethnographic Design
This course harnesses students’ current and previous coursework to address a “real life” ethnographic design problem. Working in conjunction with students enrolled in ANT 200, students will help to design and carry out a qualitative research project led by an anthropology faculty member and will gain insight into anthropology’s practical applications. Students are expected to take leadership roles, think creatively and concretely, work well collaboratively, and see projects through to completion. Regular meetings, progress reports, interim and final reports, and presentations are required. Permission of instructor required. Enrollment limit of 10. (E) Credits: 4
Colin B. Hoag
Normally offered each spring

ANT 317 Seminar: The Anthropology of Landscape – Space, Place, Nature
Landscapes have long figured as a backdrop for anthropological studies, but recently the landscape has emerged as an object of deeper interest. From abandoned city blocks in Detroit, the shores of Walden Pond, the savannas of Eastern Africa, or the Chernobyl exclusion zone, landscapes are potent social and material phenomena. In this course, we explore theories of landscape from different disciplinary perspectives, and then use them to think through the ways that landscapes present themselves to anthropologists and their subjects. Topics include post-industry, colonial gardens, the US “West,” invasive species, environmental racism, time, capitalism, cartography and counter-mapping, and environmental conservation. Enrollment limit 12. {N} {S} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered in alternate years

ANT 340 Seminar: Topics in Anthropology
Topics course.

Topic: Ethnographic Writing
Anthropological writing must convey the life-worlds of people and the textures of ethnographic encounters and fieldwork, and engage with and refine anthropological theories. How can writing do all of this at once? And as we craft a narrative, what do we leave out? Do we really describe ethnographic “reality” or do we create anthropological fictions? Why then do we look to ethnographic accounts to understand societies and cultures? Anthropological writing has dealt with these questions and more since its inception but most profoundly since the 1980s. In this class, we read pieces that reflect on and innovate with writing as anthropological praxis, the doubts that have riddled it and the larger developments these doubts have engendered around issues of fact versus fiction, representation, narrative style, writing as a form of political action and the creation of knowledge. We also workshop ethnographic writing in class to observe these tensions in our own work, understand them as rites in the creation of anthropological knowledge and work through them to craft anthropological narratives. {S} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered in alternate years

ANT 342 Seminar: Topics in Anthropology
Topics course.

Biopower, Biopolitics, and Governance
The obesity epidemic, personalized cancer treatments, and the commercialization of surrogate pregnancy represent manifestations of Foucault's conception of biopower or the regulation of the lives of individuals and populations.  While institutions like law, medicine, and public health can make visible state interests in bodies and population, more indirect social processes operate to the same ends.  For example, advertising and consumer products indirectly shape norms and ideals convergent with government interests.  This seminar explores the workings and limitations of biopower, biopolitics, and governance through case studies drawn from anthropology. Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered in alternate years

Traditional Chinese Medicine: Transformations and Transitions in China, Japan and the U.S.
With a history of over 4,000 years, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is often perceived as a timeless, unchanging medical tradition. TCM, however, has undergone numerous transitions and transformations throughout its history. TCM has also traveled throughout the world where its principles and theories have been adopted in the development of medical systems in Japan and Korea among others. In the past 30 years, TCM has gained increasing popularity and credibility in the U.S. and Europe. This course examines how Traditional Chinese Medicine, much as any medical system of theory and practice, responds to historical and contemporary social, economic and political forces within China and in countries such as Japan and the U.S. Students explore the broad question as to what constitutes TCM through time and across cultures as a means to better understand the processes of translation and transformation of theories, beliefs and practices in different cultural, political, economic and social contexts. Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered in alternate years

ANT 347 Seminar: Topics in Anthropology
Topics course.

Prehistory of Food
This course explores how and why humans across the globe began to domesticate plant and animal resources approximately 10,000 years ago. The first half of the course presents the types of archaeological data and analytical methods used to study the “agricultural revolution.” The second half examines case studies from the major centers of domestication in order to investigate the biological, economic and social implications of these processes. Special emphasis is placed on exploring the relationship between agriculture and sedentism, food and gender, the politics of feasting, and methods for integrating archaeological and ethnographic approaches to the study of food. {S} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered in alternate years

ANT 352 Seminar: Topics in Anthropology
Topics course.

The Anthropology of Multiculturalism
In the United States, the idea of multiculturalism has come to symbolize the right of communities with distinct cultures to maintain their own ways of living in a diverse national society. Similar politics of difference have developed in other countries in the world. But is multiculturalism the same idea in every national context? How do the different histories of countries in North or South America, Europe, Asia or Africa influence the way that these different national multiculturalisms develop? How do trans-national trends in the politics of culture and diversity get adapted to work in these different contexts? The course will focus on specific historic and ethnographic studies that document the relationship between the culture and history of different national and local communities and trends of contemporary multicultural traditions. A range of readings will introduce general topics which students will apply to specific contexts for their own research. {S} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered in alternate years

Politics of Language
Language policies have emerged as a particularly contentious space in which national and minority groups express their sense of collective identity and rights. Demanding respect for minority languages, and promoting their use in daily life or mass media, becomes especially important in cases where language loss is associated with forced cultural assimilation or different forms of discrimination. In this seminar, each student develops a case study of language rights issues based on a particular language or language group. Topics can include the politics of bilingual education, the representation of minority languages in different media, the relationship to language and human rights, and the practical work of language revitalization. {S} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered in alternate years

ANT 353 Seminar: Topics in Anthropology
Topics course.

Citizenship and Belonging
What does it mean to belong—to a city, a nation, a global community—from an anthropological perspective? How do passports, blood tests, border checkpoints, and voting ballots produce and reinforce ideas about citizenship? How are global movements of people and capital transforming notions of belonging? How does globalization challenge conventional understandings of citizenship as a particular relationship to a nation-state? This seminar considers the political, cultural and economic dimensions of citizenship and belonging. Our perspective is global and takes into account both national and transnational identities and practices. {S} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered in alternate years

General Courses



ANT 400 Special Studies
By permission of the department, for junior and senior majors. Credits: 2-4
Members of the department


ANT 408D Special Studies
This is a full-year course. Credits: 8
Members of the department


ANT 430D Honors Project
Credits: 8
Members of the department


ANT 432D Honors Project
Credits: 12
Members of the department

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