Introduction to Anthropology

Discipline: Anthropology
Instructor: Morris
Credits: 3
Day: C
Start: 1520
End: 1635
Field Work: Day 4 - Dublin - Sunday, 13 July | Ireland Download Syllabus

Broadly conceived, cultural anthropology is the study of how human beings organize their lives as members of a society, and the ways in which they make their lives meaningful as cultural individuals.  Subsequently, cultural anthropology involves encountering, interpreting, and communicating about the human situation in all its variety.  This course endeavors to cover select historical and contemporary theories in cultural anthropology and discusses the nature of fieldwork. We will explore major schools of thought and ethnographic fieldwork in a range of cultures studied by anthropologists.  Topics to be covered in the course include: 1) The concept of culture and methodological approaches to it (fieldwork); 2) Anthropological theory, including: structural-functionalism, early American anthropology, interpretive anthropology, postcolonial theory, feminist anthropology, and political economy; 3) Issues related to poverty, class, violence, development, and globalization.

Field Work

Country: Ireland
Day: 4 - Dublin - Sunday, 13 July

The history of Ireland has been marked by religious and political conflict between Catholics and Protestants, English and Irish, landlords and commoners. The struggle for Irish independence and self-rule has existed since the British conquest; but it only became successful in the 20th century. This Field Lab will involve a tour of Kilmainham Gaol, the jail that was the site of events leadin  g to Ireland emergence as a nation separate from England. From 1796-1924, almost every leader of Irish independence movements were imprisoned there. Following Kilmainham Gaol, we will take a walking tour of Dublin that will center on the modern political history of Ireland (approximately 1.5 hours; wear comfortable walking shoes). A number of important themes from this anthropology course (including gender, class conflict, and ethnicity) will be illustrated through the walking tour and tour of the prison. Academic Objectives: To critically examine (through observation) and articulate (through a reflection paper)

  1. How is/was race, class, gender, or sexual orientation expressed and enacted in these sites of violence?
  2. How can ethnicity be used as an instrument to incite conflict and mobilize people for political ends?
  3. What the cultural artifacts that you observed tell you about the way that race, gender, sexual orientation and expression, religion, and other aspects of identity are expressed under conditions of conflict?