George Mason University 1997-98 Catalog Catalog Index
Course Descriptions

Search the 1997-1998 Catalog:


Anthropology Courses (ANTH)


Sociology and Anthropology

114 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (3:3:0). Introduction to the branch of anthropology that describes people living in societies today, and that seeks to explain human behavior and various aspects of primarily non-Western culture and society. For non-Western credit.

120 Introduction to Archaeology (3:3:0). Introduction to survey of anthropological archaeology. Development and use of contemporary theory and field and lab methods.

135 Human Evolution and Prehistory (3:3:0). Exploration of human origins and nature; of primate social groups and behavior; of fossil evidence for human evolution and for the evolution of culture and human society.

299 Independent Study (1-3:0:0). Prerequisite: ANTH 114 or permission of instructor. Individual study in anthropology on topic organized in advance by student and instructor.

300 Civilizations (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ANTH 114, 60 hours, or permission of instructor. Cross-cultural and trans-temporal examination of complex societies and civilizations. Exploration of developmental schema for rise, articulation, spread, and decline of historic and contemporary civilizations. For non-Western credit.

301 Native North Americans (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ANTH 114, 60 hours, or permission of instructor. Exploration of native North American cultures and of selected aspects of Indian-White historical relations. Emphasis on cultural persistence as well as change. For non-Western credit.

302 Peoples and Cultures of Latin America (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ANTH 114, 60 hours, or permission of instructor. Examination of Latin American cultures and of selected aspects of historical record.

303 Peoples and Cultures of Selected Regions (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ANTH 114, 60 hours, or permission of instructor. Examination of cultures of a specific region (e.g., India, South America).

304 Peoples and Cultures of the Pacific (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ANTH 114, 60 hours, or permission of instructor. Survey of 20th-century Melanesian, Polynesian, and Micronesian cultures. Case studies of interplay between cultural systems and island ecology. For non-Western credit.

305 Hunter-Gatherer Societies (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 60 hours, 6 hours of anthropology including ANTH 120, or permission of instructor. Examination of early human societies with emphasis on environmental, technological, and cultural aspects of hunting and gathering as a successful prehistoric and contemporary means of adaptation. For non-Western credit.

306 Peoples and Cultures of Island Asia (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ANTH 114, 60 hours, or permission of instructor. Examination of cultures of the Island Asia culture region; focus on native cultures of Indonesia, Borneo, and the Philippines. For non-Western credit.

307 Peoples and Cultures of the Middle East (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ANTH 114, 60 hours, or permission of instructor. Examination of cultures in the Middle East and North Africa; focus on articulation of societies in the interplay of ecological and historical factors. For non-Western credit.

308 Peoples and Cultures of Africa (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ANTH 114, 60 hours, or permission of instructor. Examination of cultures in sub-Saharan Africa. Several traditional societies are studied in depth, with attention to their emerging roles in modern African nation-states. For non-Western credit.

310 Social Organization and Kinship (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ANTH 114, 60 hours, or permission of instructor. Examination of social organization, kinship, descent, and kinship terminologies in mainly non-Western cultures, emphasizing both the meaning of specific cultural systems and cross-cultural similarities and differences.

311 Peoples and Cultures of Mainland Southeast Asia (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ANTH 114, 60 hours, or permission of instructor. Survey of societies of mainland Southeast Asia, with emphasis on successive waves of outside cultural influences and relations between contrasting ethnic groups in modern states. Focus on Thailand and Malaysia. For non-Western credit.

312 Comparative Political Systems (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ANTH 114, 60 hours, or permission of instructor. Examination of cultural and ecological contexts of political structures and competition for power in selected societies; a cross-cultural and comparative approach to study of political conflict, leadership, values, and symbolism.

313 Anthropological Perspectives on Religion (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ANTH 114, 60 hours, or permission of instructor. Examination of religion as a cultural system. Topics include mythology, ritual, symbolism, and dogma. Cross-cultural and predominantly non-Western material are emphasized. For non-Western credit.

315 Socialization Processes (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ANTH 114, 60 hours, or permission of instructor. Examination of selected aspects of the cultural transmission process in specific local cultures, selected from various world culture regions, with emphasis on transmission of cultures.

320 Laboratory Techniques in Archaeology (4:3:2). Prerequisite: ANTH 120, 60 hours, or permission of instructor. Study of research techniques by directed group projects in analysis of materials such as ceramics, glass, and lithics through discussions, demonstrations, and participation.

322 Historical Archaeology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ANTH 120, 60 hours, or permission of instructor. Examination of materials, theories, and methods of archaeology derived from and applied to historical sites, as they complement archival records.

325 Field Techniques in Archaeology (3-6:0:0). Prerequisite: ANTH 120, 60 hours, or permission of instructor. Intensive study of archaeological field techniques by directed group projects in site survey, site testing, recording techniques, and stratigraphy through discussions, demonstrations, and hands-on experience. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits.

332 Cultures in Comparative Perspective (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ANTH 114 or permission of instructor. Historical and comparative examination of various theoretical orientations in cultural anthropology and analysis of contrasting explanations of cultural data. Several cultures are studied in depth. For non-Western credit and credit for the sociology and international studies majors.

340 Anthropological Theory (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ANTH 114, 60 hours, or permission of instructor. Review of major theoretical traditions and schools of thought in anthropology. Required for anthropology majors.

360 Biological Aspects of Human Sociality (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ANTH 135, 60 hours, or permission of instructor. Inquiry into the biological dimensions of humans as culture-bearing animals. Topics include altruism, aggression, primate social organization, morphology, comparative ethology, and microevolutionary genetic differentiation.

365 Race and Racism (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ANTH 135, 60 hours, or permission of instructor. Biological dimensions of human variation and the beginnings of "race" as a concept are examined. The evolution of human biodiversity in culturally distinct human groups related to environment, physiology, genetics, nutrition, and disease is discussed. The use of scientific analyses of human biodiversity is explored.

370 Ecology and Culture (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ANTH 114, 60 hours, or permission of instructor. Examination of relationships between environment, culture, and human behavior with an emphasis on cultural ecological explanations in mainly non-Western contexts.

371 Psychological Anthropology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ANTH 114, 60 hours, or permission of instructor. Survey of issues in study of relationships between cultural and psychological variables. Major topics viewed cross-culturally include personality, mental illness, projective systems, cognition, and learning.

375 Anthropological Perspectives on History (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ANTH 114, 60 hours, or permission of instructor. Use of ethnographic, archaeological, linguistic, and documentary data, in light of anthropological theory, to interpret the past and processes of change among indigenous peoples throughout the world.

380 Anthropological Linguistics (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ANTH 114, 60 hours, or permission of instructor. Anthropological analyses of language behavior, origins, and change, emphasizing interplay between language and culture and anthropology and linguistics.

381 Comparative Medical Systems (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ANTH 114, 60 hours, or permission of instructor. Survey of the discipline of medical anthropology with focus on traditional medical beliefs and on the diverse responses to modern scientific medicine both in developing countries and among cultural minorities in the United States.

385 Gender, Class, and Ethnicity in Latin America (3:3:0). Prerequistite: ANTH 114, 60 hours or permission of instructor. This course examines the bases for gender differences and similarities across a variety of societies and cultures in Latin America. Interrelationships among constructions of gender, class, and ethnicity are examined.

399 Issues in Anthropology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ANTH 114, 60 hours, or permission of instructor. A topic of contemporary interest in anthropology, changing from semester to semester, and focusing on topics such as sex roles, anthropology and ethics, and primate social organization. May be repeated for credit.

418 Women's Life History (3:3:0). Prerequisites: Completion of 60 hours and ANTH 114. This course will examine ethnographic life histories of women, generally written to exemplify typical life patterns within a given cultural tradition, and selected autobiographies recording extraordinary lives. These two genres will be considered as keys to the relationship between individual uniqueness and shared culture, and the ways in which particular individuals resolve tensions inherent in a cultural milieu.

420 Interpretation in Archaeology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Six hours of anthropology including ANTH 120 or permission of instructor. Exploration of theoretical and methodological issues encountered in archaeology. Patterns and contexts of archaeological remains, analytic problems, and interpretation of material culture are considered.

425 Public Archaeology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Six hours of anthropology including ANTH 120 or permission of instructor. Consideration of the public significance of archaeology and anthropological contributions to public concerns such as antiquities legislation and cultural resource management.

427 Historic Cemetery Survey (4:4:0). Prerequisite: ANTH 120 or permission of instructor. Exploration of demographic, stylistic, and religious aspects of historic cemeteries. Students learn to survey, record, and analyze gravestone data through field projects.

428 Patterns in Prehistory (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 60 hours or permission of instructor. Exploration of the diversity at prehistoric cultures in light of major cultural developments (hunting-gathering, agriculture, pastoralism, complex societies).

430 Research Methods in Archaeology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ANTH 120, 60 hours, or permission of instructor. The archaeological research process is studied through discussions of current archaeological methodologies and through student participation in designing and critiquing research projects.

435, 436 Special Projects in Archaeology (1-3:0:0). Prerequisites: ANTH 320, 325, or 430 and permission of instructor. Lab or field project leading to a written report of the research. Research and paper are completed under the instructor's guidance.

440 Applied Anthropology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ANTH 114, 60 hours, or permission of instructor. Focus on anthropologists' contributions to major policy issues in development agencies in the United States and abroad. Attention to techniques that lead to prevention or management of social and cultural conflict.

450 Qualitative Methods in Sociocultural Research (3:3:0). Prerequisites: 60 hours and 6 hours of anthropology including ANTH 114, or permission of instructor. Exploration of some of the most useful nonquantitative research techniques used in social sciences and practice in their application.

488 Gender, Sexuality, and Culture (3:3:0). Prerequisties: ANTH 340, 60 hours, or permission of instructor. Examination of how gender, sexualtity, race, and class come together as analytically distinct, yet practically interwined systems of meaning and practice. Examples highlight questions of political economy and history while focusing on specific ethnographic or historical readings.

490 Classics in Anthropology (3:3:0). Prerequisites: 60 hours and 9 hours of anthropology including ANTH 340, or permission of instructor. Examination of some of the most important works in anthropological theory and explanation. Explores merits of works recognized as classics and assesses their impact on the field. Required for anthropology majors and usually taken as a senior-junior seminar.

492 Contemporary Anthropology (3:3:0). Prerequisites: 60 hours and 9 hours of anthropology including ANTH 340, or permission of instructor. Examination of some important recent works in anthropology. Required for anthropology majors and usually taken as a senior seminar.

495 Internship (3-6:0:0). Prerequisite: ANTH 120, 60 hours, or permission of instructor. Supervised project in applying anthropology (i.e., public archaeology, development anthropology, museums). May be repeated for a maximum of six credits.

496 On Evolution (4:2:2). Prerequistites: 60 hours and nine hours of anthropology including ANTH 340, or permission of instructor. Course considers evolution as a biological as well as cultural concept. Parallels and contrasts among conceptual approaches allow a critique of the potential of evolution as a unifying biosocial theory.

499 Independent Research (1-3:0:0). Prerequisite: 60 hours, 9 hours of anthropology, or permission of instructor. Individual research on a topic to be organized in advance by student and instructor. May be repeated for credit.

535 Anthropology and the Human Condition (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor. Examination of contemporary human problems from crosscultural and biocultural perspectives. Historical background and future implications of current cultural and biocultural issues will be discussed.

560 Human Osteology (4:3:3). Prerequisites: Course in human evolution or anatomy and senior status or graduate standing, or permission of instructor. Examination of the structure and function of the human skeletal system. Discussions include age criteria, pathology, epigenetic traits, biomechanics, and phylogenetic relationships.

568 Human Origins (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor. Detailed survey of the genetic, morphological, and behavioral origins of hominids. Current interpretations and debates are discussed.

580 Evolution and Human Ecology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor. Examination of the complex relationships between human cultures, biocultural adaption, and the natural world from an evolutionary perspective.

620 Theory: Archaeology and Biological Anthropology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Course in archaeology or permission of instructor. Examination of theoretical approaches in archaeology, paleoanthropology, and biological anthropology.

625 Research Design and Methods in Archaeology and Biological Anthropology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Course in archaeology or permission of instructor. Examination of the research strategies and methods in archaeology, paleoanthropology, and biological anthropology.

670 Regional Studies in Archaeology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Regional survey of specific culture area in archaeology to be chosen by student and instructor.

675 Laboratory Techniques (4:3:3). Prerequisite: Course in archaeology and permission of instructor. Techniques of data collection, analysis, and management in archaeology and biological anthropology.

680 Readings in Archaeology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Directed readings and research on a specific topic archaeology to be chosen by student and instructor. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

682 Readings in Biological Anthropology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Directed readings and research on a specific topic in biological anthropology chosen by student and instructor. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

684 Readings in Cultural Anthropology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Directed reading and research on a specific topic in cultural anthropology chosen by student and instructor. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

710 Contemporary Issues in Archaeology and Biological Anthropology (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ANTH 620, ANTH 625, completion of 24 hours of graduate work, and approval of graduate adviser. Course considers contemporary research developments and explores the ways in which various scientific disciplines and theoretical approaches are integrated in the study of biocultural evolution, adaption, and diversity.


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