ANTH 355 Advanced Theories in Anthropology

In this course, we will survey foundational theories in cultural anthropology. We will follow a historical arc, looking at theorists over a span of 150 years. These theorists provide frameworks to study anthropological concepts such as race, gender, religion, and family. Questions that the course will interrogate include: how do anthropologists conceptualize the construction and reinforcement of “culture” in specific locations? How do anthropologists theorize the relationship between power and identity through a nexus of geographic and cultural specificity? In what ways do anthropological theories grapple with structural violence and agency? Theories structure a discipline’s inquiry and define what is important. Through a comparative analysis of the similarities and differences among major anthropological theories and theorists, we discuss how these have changed or remained consistent over time adapting to the social, political, and economic trends in science, society, and the world. We will focus on contemporary theories and explore the history of ideas and theorists that guide anthropological inquiry, applications and public discourse today. On successful completion of the course you should be able to articulate a theoretical perspective you can use to understand contemporary issues and problems within the field of anthropology.



Cross Listed Courses

PECO 310


ANTH 105 and Third or Fourth year standing, or instructor's permission

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