Anthropology is the study of human development, culture, and change in the full range of the world’s socio-cultural systems. Emphasizing cultural variation, anthropology clarifies the dynamics of inter-cultural interaction, communication, transformation, and our biological heritage. Spanning human evolution, the development and heterogeneity of language and culture, human history, and the diversity of cultures past and present, the field has broad scope, utilizes a variety of methods, addresses basic issues about human origins and human life, and maintains a commitment to understanding social life while using this understanding to improve society. Studying anthropology prepares students for a wide range of professional careers, e.g., law, medicine, journalism, Foreign Service, social services, and business.
- The evolution and behavior of human beings as cultural animals are the focus of this course. Students are introduced to the basic concepts and methods of the major divisions of anthropology: physical, social and cultural; archeology and linguistics. Emphasis is placed on preliterate societies to facilitate the study of the interrelation of various aspects of culture.
- In this course students will inquire into the nature of classical traditions of Chinese culture. A range of Chinese texts in translation and associated materials will be explored to develop knowledge of the literary and philosophical foundations of Chinese culture. Lectures and readings are in English.
- This course will introduce students to linguistics, the study of language, and language in multicultural urban settings, including topics such as children's language acquisition, bilingual families and bilingual education, language and gender, different varieties of English and contemporary language use. The readings will draw on works in linguistics, literature, sociology, anthropology, and related topics. Students will improve critical reading and thinking skills and produce reflective and expository writing based on the readings in connection with their own experiences and backgrounds.
- This course studies the emergence of a national culture, folklore and identity. Topics include the Taino, Spanish and African contributions to the creation of a Criollo personality and character and the Puerto Rican family, race relations, the Jibaro, religion, and the arts. It reviews customs, traditions, celebrations, dances, legends, songs, proverbs, and hero/underdog stories as well as the impact of the United States culture.
- This course explores the role of economics, culture, and world diplomacy in the development of the Republic of Haiti since the Revolution of 1791. The impact of Haitian intellectual and popular thought on prose, poetry, and art is examined.
- The changing status of women in African traditional societies is compared with changes in the status of Black women in the United States, the Caribbean, and Brazil.
- This course examines the diverse peoples and cultures that have populated Latin American and the Caribbean region since pre-Columbian times. It discusses the legacy of European colonization and the subsequent struggles for independence, formation of national identities and the quest for modernization today. The course will place particular emphasis on the production of social movements that respond to social inequality, and conflicting ideologies around ethnicity, race and gender among other factors. The readings illustrate case studies that examine a wide range of topics - ecological adaptation, food production, kinship and local politics, medical and religious beliefs and artistic expressions - from small-scale rural society to large complex urban centers throughout the continent. It will also explore how globalization, intense migration, and transnationalism have generated new notions of identity in the US today.
- This course analyzes the status and roles of women in cross-cultural perspective. Particular emphasis is given to the socio-cultural forces underlying the women's rights movements in the 19th century and the present resurgence of feminism.
- This course will investigate health issues related to aging from a global perspective. Students will understand how culture influences individual responses' to the elderly and the aging. The relationship between aging, chronic and degenerative diseases will also be reviewed with special consideration given to the effect of biological changes on elders' process, health functioning and prevention of the effects of physical and mental deterioration of the individual.