ANT 302H • Cultural Anthropology - Honors
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
Today we continually hear that we live in a global world that is multicultural and interconnected. If that is the case, we have never been in a greater need to understand our cultural differences. This is an introductory course that seeks to develop students' skills in the understanding and interpretation of cultural difference. It guides the students through some key anthropological approaches to the problem of culture and tries to help the students develop a critical sense of this concept. While we will traverse other cultural worlds through the writings of different anthropologists, the aim of the course will not be to develop a chest of trivia on other cultures. Rather, the effort will be to gain a perspective on the limits and possibilities of thinking about other worlds while developing an ability to re-examine our own cultural understandings and assumptions about the way social life is organized in the United States.
The course has three sections: the first will deal with the historical contexts of the emergence of anthropology and let us understand how one actually becomes and practices cultural anthropology. The second section will focus on one of the classics of post-war anthropology - Tristes Tropiques-that many non-anthropologists understand the discipline through. The final section will look at the most recent phase of cultural anthropology post-1960s when the field grapples with new voices, new powers and new problems of living.