This course introduces the student to the study of culture—our learned, shared ideas about behavior—through topics such as: the variable roles of men and women; beliefs about magic, science, and religion; human relationships with the environment; and the words and objects people create and use to express their identities. Students explore and better appreciate the diversity of past and present human experience. Spring 2013 and alternate years.
Communicating Identities in the Global Culture
This course focuses on communication as the hub that interrelates people, commodities, and ideas in the global era. Through topics such as mass media, tourism, advertising, and indigenous forms of cultural expression, we look at the ways in which people build and maintain unique identities, while also participating in a global environment that has erased traditional cultural borders and boundaries. Offered selectively.
Group: IDS or II.
Culture, Health, and Healing
By looking at ways various cultures define diseases and prescribe cures, both within Western society and in other societies, this course works toward an appreciation of the interplay of disease and cultural responses to this universal phenomenon. The course addresses the meaning of sickness, the nature of relationships between patients and healers, the morality of illness, the effects of culture on emotional states, and how the knowledge of non-Western practices can inform the management of our own health problems. Spring 2013 and alternate years.
Prerequisites: AN 101, CHC 101, SPS 101, or permission. Group: II.
Making Monsters: Manifestations of Fear
From the origins of Western literature to the most contemporary blockbuster films, the monster has been a cross-genre mainstay of storytelling. Monsters have taken a variety of forms, from prehistoric beasts running rampage in the modern world to the terrifying results of scientific experiments gone wrong. This course will examine the cultural and historical roots of a variety of monsters, from Beowulf to Frankenstein. We will discover how monsters represent culturally-specific fears, and for each monster we will consider what those fears are. Through a broad sampling of literature and film, we will develop an understanding that monsters do not emerge from thin air, but are instead manifestations of racial, sexual, and scientific anxieties. Fall 2011.
Prerequisites: AN 101, SPS 101, or permission. Group: II.
Courses offered selectively:
AN 320 Topics in Developing Areas Studies