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Course Descriptions

Check out our 2020 - 2021 course schedule to see our course offerings for the current academic year. For a list of all our in-department courses and crosslisted courses, see our Building Class Schedule.

Anthropology Courses

AN100 - Human\Being Anthropological Perspectives

What does it mean to be human? Course addresses this question at the center of anthropology using a holistic approach and drawing on multiple subfields of anthropology: archaeological, biological, cultural, and linguistic anthropology. Each version of the course is organized around a central theme which will be addressed with theory and literature from at least two anthropological fields. Course themes will vary but may include topics such as the body, colonialism, food, sex or violence. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

1 unit

AN101 - Paleo-fantasies and Other

This course provides an introduction to the field of biological anthropology by investigating both the current scientific understanding of human evolution and the stories that scientists tell in order to communicate their ideas about human evolution. Using data from the fossil record, modern human biology, and our primate relatives, students will gain familiarity with the scientific evidence for human evolution. Students will also utilize narrative analysis to explore how scientists communicate stories about human evolution in “popular science” contexts. Students will examine how those scientific narratives become part of popular culture stories about evolution by examining their influence on evolutionary iconography and trends such as the “paleo-diet.” 1 unit Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World requirement. Meets the Critical Learning: CP requirement.

1 unit — Fish

AN102 - Cultural Anthropology

The study of human societies through the central concept of culture. Explores such topics as meaning, social organization, difference and inequality, adaptation, kinship and gender, religion, environment, technology and conflict. Presents anthropological themes including holism, comparison, dynamism and cultural relativism, as well as methodological approaches to studying human experience in naturally occurring contexts. 1 unit. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement. Meets the Critical Learning: AIM requirement. Meets the Critical Learning: SHB requirement.

1 unit — Hautzinger, Holst

AN105 - Language and Culture

An introduction to linguistic anthropology. Examines the interconnectedness of language and culture from ethnographic and sociolinguistic perspectives. Comparative study of speaking in cultural context aimed at understanding the ways in which people use talk to cooperate, manipulate, structure events, and negotiate identities. Cross-cultural focus, with examples from such languages and language varieties as Japanese, Navajo, Apache, French, African- American English, and Chicano English. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement. 1 unit. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement.

1 unit — Dunn

AN123 - American Sign Language I

Introduction to American Sign Language. Practice in signing and comprehension in American Sign Language (Ameslan or ASL).

.25 unit — Crawford

AN124 - American Sign Language I

Introduction to American Sign Language. Practice in signing and comprehension in American Sign Language (Ameslan or ASL).

.25 unit — Crawford

AN185 - The Rio Grande River: Multi-Cultural Perspectives on Hist

(Summer only 2021-22).

1 to 2 units

AN202 - Human Biological Variation

Beginning with the genetic base, this course provides an anthropological approach to understanding biological variation within and between human populations. Traits of known and unknown inheritance, adaptations to different environments, concept of race, variation in biological sex, and interactions of human biology and culture are emphasized. Some laboratory exercises. (Meets the requirement for Natural Science credit.) (Does not meet the divisional requirement in the Social Sciences or the outside unit requirement for students majoring in the Natural Sciences.) 1 unit. (Not offered 2021-22).

1 unit

AN204 - The Body: Anthropological Perspectives

Explores “the body” with emphasis on theoretical biological and cultural anthropological approaches. Topics may include human adaptations, biocultural evolution, categorization and display of bodies; the body as a basis for metaphors, symbols, and images; individual collective (cultural, social, political) bodies; and embodied experience across the life course We interrogate assumptions of a universal human body, in particular through the study of gender, sexual, ethnic and racialized diversity, as related to both inequality and ethics. 1 unit. (Not offered 2021-22).

1 unit

AN206 - Doing Ethnography

Provides a foundation for understanding and doing ethnographic, contextually based research. Students execute hands-on projects grounded in participant observation and such complements as interviewing, questionnaires and surveys, archival work and projective methodological techniques; final results vary from ethnographic texts or films to exhibits or applied recommendations. Addresses such ethnographic fundamentals as: intellectual history; disciplinary contexts; epistemological validity and reliability; ethics and Institutional Review Boards; using ethnography for cross-cultural comparison; qualitative data analysis and software. Students learn varied forms of ethnographic inquiry such as exploratory, experimental, critical, historical and action/applied.

1 unit — Hautzinger

AN207 - Primate Behavior, Ecology and Conservation

An overview of the relationships between different groups of primates and their natural history provides a foundation for investigating current hypotheses regarding the evolution of primate behaviors. The influence of the environment on behaviors is explored and its application for modeling the behaviors of humans and our hominin ancestors will be discussed. Finally, conservation threats to primates and primate traits that reduce or promote survival in human-altered habitats will be examined. Meets the Critical Learning: SA requirement.

1 unit — Wren

AN208 - Topics in Anthropology:

Courses taught occasionally by visiting or permanent faculty; topics will vary and may be thematically or geographically focused

1 unit — Chandrani, Guessous, Ingram, Khan, Kimmey, Rubenstein

AN210 - Anthropology and the History of Ideas

The intellectual history of sociocultural anthropology will form the foundation of this course. It will discuss the ideas and intellectuals who contributed to the development of anthropology as a scholarly discipline and will consider the following theoretical perspectives: evolutionism, functionalism, historical particularism, cultural materialism, and interpretive approaches. Also, it will examine field research strategies that shaped anthropology. (Not offered 2021-22).

1 unit

AN212 - The Language of Racism

Focuses on the language of racism across cultures, examining the nature of discourses that communicate and reproduce racist ideologies. A special focus is placed on racist discourse in the United States, New Zealand, and certain societies of Latin America. The course examines the structures and effects of a range of racist discourses, from the extreme discourses of 'white pride' organizations to the everyday language of covert racism. Meets the Critical Learning: SHB requirement. Meets the Equity and Power: EPUS requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

1 unit

AN215 - Anthropological Theory

Explores theory and application of contrasting paradigms (i.e. positivist, interpretivist) across the major subfields of anthropology. Emphasizes commonalities across the discipline in major theoretical currents (i.e. cultural ecology, functionalism, symbolic, historical materialism, postmodernism, feminism, and practice theory).

1 unit — Leza

AN217 - Precolumbian Civilizations of Mesoamerica

Survey of the archaeologically known cultures of Mesoamerica, which include some of archaeology's most celebrated subjects of study, the Olmecs, Mayans and Aztecs. Students will learn the history and geography of the region, the nature of sociopolitical and cultural developments in the region, the material culture distinctive of different times and places within the region and key issues and debates of ongoing concern. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

1 to 2 units

AN219 - Archaeology of the North American Southwest

An introduction to the peoples and places of the ancient North American Southwest. In addition to close attention to the contributions and problems of archaeological practices, we learn from the words, voices, and places of Indigenous peoples of the region. The temporal focus is 500 to 1600 CE, a period of dramatic growth and change in the region. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement.

1 unit — Ingram

AN220 - Doing Archaeology

Archaeology is the scientific study of the ancient and recent human past through the material traces of past human activity. In this hands-on introduction to archaeology, students learn some archaeological and anthropological methods used to reconstruct, document, and interpret aspects of the human past. Meets the Critical Learning: HP requirement.

1 unit — Ingram

AN221 - Topics in Ethnomusicology:

Special topics in ethnomusicology, approached through emphasis on a particular musical area, theoretical issue, genre or repertory, compositional technique, or instrument. The course is devoted to non-western musical cultures.

1 unit — Lasmawan

AN225 - Historical Archaeology

Historical archaeology investigates past peoples using artifacts, documents, and the built landscape. This project-focused course teaches methods used to reveal aspects of the lives of people underrepresented in written records of the past. Projects include site documentation, artifact analysis, and/or dendroarchaeology and focus on the U.S. Southwest, ca. 1850 to 1950 CE. (Not offered 2021-22).

1 unit

AN227 - Collapse and Sustainability of Past Societies

This course investigates social and environmental collapse and sustainability in the past and future. Archaeological documentation of human-environmental interactions over centuries provides insights into conditions contributing to the collapse, sustainability, resilience, and vulnerability of socioecological systems. We investigate the outcomes of these interactions as a source of insights for the future. Meets the Critical Learning: HP requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

1 unit

AN230 - Human Evolution

Examines the fossil and genetic evidence for human evolution. Using the fossil record of early primate evolution as a foundation, the emergence of early hominins and their descendants is investigated. The evolution of human adaptations and hypotheses regarding the selective pressures leading to these adaptations are examined. Current debates such as the position of Neanderthals and Denisovans in the human lineage are emphasized. Students learn basic principles of molecular genetics and discuss the use of genetics in evolutionary research, which requires laboratory work. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

1 unit

AN235 - Global Health: Biosocial Perspectives

Ebola, disaster relief, mental health, aging populations, and primary health care are key issues in a world where diseases cross borders rapidly, but health care resources may not. This course introduces students to the dynamic, complex field of global health. The course examines improvements in global health, growing inequalities, the legacy of colonial medicine, and social justice in health from the perspectives of medical anthropology and public health. We draw from cases across the globe, in wealthy and poor nations, nations with well-functioning health systems and those struggling to meet people’s need for basic health care services to explore the intersection of biological, social, and cultural factors that determine health and well-being. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures requirement.

1 unit

AN237 - African Descendants in the Caribbean and Latin America

Compares the experiences of diverse groups of the African Diaspora across the Caribbean and Latin America. Topics include: the legacy of slavery and contemporary labor processes; conceptualizing the 'Africa' in Afro-Latinx and –Caribbean cultures; maroons and other communities of resistance; racialization, variable construction of racial categories, and racism; nation-building; gender and sexuality; restitutive measures (e.g. reparations, educational quotas); relevant regional religious practices (e.g. prominent black Catholic saints, Candomblé, Umbanda, Voudoun, Santeria, Rastafarianism,) May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement. Meets the Critical Learning: SHB requirement. Meets the Equity and Power: EPG requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

1 unit

AN238 - Gender and Sexualities in Latin American and the Caribbean

Explores varied gendered and sexual dynamics across selected settings in South and Central Americas, as well as the Caribbean. Social movements, division of labor, non-normative genders and sexualities, power struggles and violence are among areas examined from feminist, queer, ethnographic and comparative perspectives. Emphasis on gender’s intersections with ethnic, national, linguistic, class and geographical diversity demands students’ strong grasp of empirical information about the region. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

1 unit

AN239 - Gender Diversity Across Cultures

Emphasizing variability in the ways gender shapes social interaction and organization. Grounded in feminist ethnography on sexes, sexualities and gendering across biological, social and ideological fields. Includes attention to gender systems where 'third' (or more) genders emerge beyond women-or-men, such as hijras in India, two-spirits in diverse Native American peoples, and travestis in Brazil. Anthropological and feminist theoretical frameworks are frequently complemented by community-based projects. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

1 unit

AN242 - The Anthropology of Food

This course will explore food concepts, analytical methods, and the food habits of different ethnic groups. The class will have a field trip to the San Luis Valley, and to Northern New Mexico to document the production of food among farmers, cattle ranchers and restaurateurs. (Limited to 12 students.) Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement.

1 unit — McFarland

AN243 - Hispanic Folklore of the Southwest

(with Emphasis on Writing). This course is designed to introduce students to several approaches in folklore studies and to Mexican material culture, religion, music, and prose narratives in the Southwest region of the United States. We will examine how the different approaches used by historians, literary critics, anthropologists, and folklorists can enhance the study of Hispanic folklore and material culture. (Limited to 12 students.) Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

1 unit

AN245 - Popular Culture

This course will present students with different concepts related to popular culture, as exemplified by diverse cultural forms: film, music, literature, and material culture. Through the course students will become acquainted with the theories of structuralism and post-structuralism, Marxism, feminism, and post-modernism. These theories will allow students to develop a clear understanding of the different paradigms and their limitations in cultural studies. (Not offered 2021-22).

.5 or 1 unit

AN256 - Language Socialization

Explore the ways new speakers of a language are socialized through the process of language acquisition to become culturally competent members of their communities. Examine how individuals are taught the knowledge, skills, and attitudes expected in their particular cultural and speech communities. Focus will be placed on the process of language socialization for children learning the languages of their native communities, but the course will also explore issues of language socialization for foreign language learners. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement. Meets the Critical Learning: SHB requirement.

1 unit — Leza

AN258 - Introduction to Linguistics

Explores the structures and functions of languages throughout the world, seeking to uncover both shared and variable patterns across languages. Introduces the tools of modern linguistics for recording and analyzing sound systems, words, syntactic and semantic structures, and the communicative uses of language. Provides background for understanding contemporary issues relating to language. (Not offered 2021-22).

1 unit

AN259 - Native Peoples of the Southwest

Provides the fundamental building blocks to understanding the distinctive differences between the major Native Nations of the Southwest including language and culture, respective colonization and resistance experiences, identity and cultural vitality, gender and social roles, and expressive culture and representation. Readings may include ethnographic, ethno-historical, biographical, and linguistic works, as well as critiques of the study of Native peoples by Native scholars. Field Trip Possible. (Not offered 2021-22).

1 unit

AN260 - Language & Gender

This course will introduce students to the anthropological and cross-disciplinary study of gender and language. It will explore new directions for gender and language studies through the critique of past approaches and the discussion of contemporary research and theory contributing to our understanding of language, society, and the sociocultural construction of gender identities. Gender is conceptualized in terms of sliding scales of sex, sexuality, and gender socialization, with an emphasis on language's role in gender performativity. Students will collect and analyze samples of gendered language use in a specific sociocultural community. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement. Meets the Critical Learning: AIM requirement. Meets the Critical Learning: SHB requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

1 unit

AN262 - Studying Language as Social Action

Introduction to basic research methods and the theoretical development of research methodologies applied in the field of linguistic anthropology and related fields that explore language as a resource for sociocultural expression and change. In addition to learning basic interviewing, recording and participant observation techniques applied by linguistic anthropologists, students will be introduced to digital technologies for transcription and linguistic data analysis. Typical course themes include language in social movement, media in society, racialized language discrimination, language in identity performance, and language activism. Students carry out an ethnographic research project to gain experience with research techniques and technologies. (Not offered 2021-22).

1 unit

AN270 - Anthropocene

What does it mean to be human in the Anthropocene – a time when we know human-caused climate change challenges lifeways and ecosystems globally? This course brings anthropological lenses to understand this epoch. We address such questions as how human pasts inform the present, how mitigation and adaptation guide resiliency, and how equitable social ecologies – of self, communities and systems, and interdependency beyond the human require holistic strategies. Different versions of the course stress cultural or archaeological perspectives, yet all involve community-based learning, whether grounded in field study at the Baca Campus, engaging UN climate negotiations, or convening dialogues on sustainability. 1 unit. Meets the Critical Learning: SHB requirement.

1 unit — Hautzinger

AN301 - Human Osteology

This lab-based course is a detailed study of the anatomy of the human skeleton as a dynamic, living system. Consideration is given to the growth, structure, and function of bones, and to bioarchaeological and forensic skills such as the determination of age, sex, stature, and pathology from skeletal remains. We will combine theory, its applications, and the limitation of osteological methods with laboratory analysis. The relevant techniques for the reconstruction of past populations and the assessment of human biological variation will be introduced. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World lab or field requirement. Meets the Critical Learning: SA requirement.

1 unit — Fish

AN302 - Human Ecology and Biology

This lab and field-based course provides an overview of the methods used by biological anthropologists in studying the ecology and biology of living humans. Emphasis will be placed on anthropometry, human nutrition, and ethical considerations surrounding human biology research. Students will gain a historical perspective on the discipline through literature review and practical experience through laboratories and a research project Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World requirement. Meets the Writing in the Discipline requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

1 unit

AN306 - Primatology

This field and lab-based course exposes students to a range of methods for investigating the ecology, behavior, and biology of living primates. Techniques for assessing habitat quality and monitoring resource availability will be examined. Using a comparative approach, students will examine the anatomy of living primates in order to understand how physical adaptations influence behavior. Standard procedures for collecting and analyzing behavioral data on living primates will be explored. Inferences about behaviors of earliest humans made from our understanding of contemporary non-human primates. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World requirement. Meets the Writing in the Discipline requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

1 to 3 units

AN308 - Topics in Anthropology:

Advanced study on themes in anthropology or between anthropology and other disciplines. Examples may involve politics, religion, cognition, folklore, materiality, environment or cultural ecology.

1 unit — Fish, Ingram, Jabaily, Wren

AN311 - Language in Culture and Mind: Cognitive Anthropology

Explores cognitive anthropology, which is concerned with the relationship between language and mind, how cultural worlds are created and structured through language, and how individual languages shape the attitudes and behaviors of their speakers. We will consider both potential universals in human thought as expressed through language and the diversity of worldviews and behaviors between language communities. Meets the Critical Learning: SA requirement.

1 unit — Leza

AN315 - Senior Capstone

Students complete and present senior capstone projects, with the help of workshops, scaffolded submission deadlines, and peer review. A professional development component prepares students for graduation through structured reflection about their work in the major, and guiding them to generate individual goals and portfolio materials

1 unit — Ingram

AN320 - Field Archaeology

A project-focused and advanced field research opportunity to document and interpret the past using archaeological methods. Research may include cultural resource survey, GIS mapping, artifact analysis and documentation, archaeological site recording, dendroarchaeology, and/or excavation. Meets the Critical Learning: SA requirement.

1 unit — Ingram

AN321 - Rio Grande - Culture, History and Region

An interdisciplinary field-based course based on history, culture, and water issues. It will explore the cultural heritage and creativity of groups whose historical experience has been shaped by the Rio Grande basin from its origin in Colorado to its mouth in the Gulf of Mexico. The course will engage a broad American and international public in the exploration of how the river basin and the people who live within it change, evolve, and develop together, and can affect each other. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

2 units

AN322 - Archaeoligicl Field Methods

(Summer only 2021-22).

1 to 1.5 units

AN326 - Religion & Ritual

Anthropological approaches to religion and ritual emphasize lived experience, practice, related social, political and economic formations, along with expression, belief, and meaning-creation. Cases encompass both “traditional,” and complex societies, and more often religious pluralism shaped by migration and globalization. Themes include notions of the sacred, supernatural, and good or evil; religion as embodied; shamanic and spiritual healing; place and environment. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures requirement. Meets the Critical Learning: AIM requirement.

1 unit — Hautzinger

AN328 - Climate and Human Behavior

An advanced research and methods course on reconstructing past climates through tree-rings and understanding anthropological and archaeological perspectives on climate-human behavior relationships. Students will sample living trees, measure ring-widths, use specialized software to create a climate reconstruction, and compare the reconstruction to a proximate human history. (Not offered 2021-22).

1 unit

AN331 - Evolution, Science, and Society

Traces the development of evolutionary thought and its impacts beyond the scientific community. The nature of science, scientism, and scientific fundamentalism will be examined and the political, religious, and ethical implications of these views will be discussed. This course also explores the history of anti-intellectual traditions and the conditions under which creationist and anti-science movements have developed in both the US and abroad (Not offered 2021-22).

1 unit

AN333 - Evolution of Human Life Histories

Life history theory examines how the “decisions” that individuals make at different life stages impact their survival and reproductive success. Information from studies of human evolution, modern human biology, human ecology, and primate behavior will be used to model the evolution of human life histories. Life history strategies involving sexual behaviors, reproductive biology, investment in offspring, childhood, and adolescence will be investigated in order to identify traits that are uniquely human and when these traits may have first appeared in the human lineage. Meets the Writing in the Discipline requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

1 unit

AN371 - Culture Contact and Writing Cultures

This course will incorporate the work of anthropology and cultural studies to introduce students to how foreign cultures were experienced and represented by travelers, explorers, colonial administrators and anthropologists and will focus on forms of writing associated with conquest and colonialism. Students will then be introduced to the travel and tourism genre of representation and will analyze travel writing as cultural politics and the politics of tourism. The course will conclude with an examination of the new ethnography and writing cultures. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

1 unit

AN376 - Culture and Power: Political Anthropology

A comparative, holistic study of formal and informal politics in diverse societies. The course focuses on three major themes: examining diverse political systems with emphasis on the emergence of the state; the relationship between power, ideology, and symbolic systems; power and controlling processes, with special attention to dominance, hegemony and resistance. Emphasis on full-length ethnographies. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

1 unit

AN377 - Living in the Material World--Economic Anthropology

Examines how people organize their material world to survive and to create meaningful systems of value. A variety of economic forms - small-scale societies with limited accumulation, gift economics, and commodity-based capitalism - are considered from a holistic, comparative perspective. The course concludes with as anthropological critique of colonialism, core-periphery relations, diverse forms of 'capital,' and globalization. This one-block course prepares interested students for a follow-up field course. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

1 unit

AN380 - Community-Based Field Course:

An opportunity for students to engage in team-based, applied anthropological work on a focused project, this course is intended as a linked block that follows up advanced coursework in such areas of study as food, religion and ritual, political, economic, NAGPRA issues, or museum curatorial work. Sites for field-work will vary from year to year, but generally will be grounded in the Rocky Mountain West and/or Southwest Regions. Incorporates such hands-on activities as participant observation, interviewing, policy development and/or collections management, as well as training in qualitative and/or quantitative data analysis. (Not offered 2021-22).

1 unit

AN400 - Research in Anthropology

Student research projects, either independent or in collaboration with ongoing faculty research, based on field, laboratory or library research. Projects must be approved at least one block in advance of the actual block of research.

1 unit — Fish, Hautzinger, Ingram, Leza

Report an issue - Last updated: 02/09/2021