Courses

This is a current list of courses being offered in the Anthropology program, and also listed in the 2010-2012 Wagner College Undergraduate Bulletin. The following list also reflects recent changes in the schedule of course availability.
Anthropology

AN 101 Introduction to Anthropology
One unit. A survey course to acquaint students with the basic principles of anthropological thinking, as well as with some of the discipline's research techniques. These will be explored through work in the four traditional subfields of anthropology: human biology, archaeology, linguistic and cultural anthropology. Offered fall and spring semesters.

AN 106 Cultural Geography (I)
One Unit. Cultural Geography is differentiated from physical geography by focusing on the distribution and impact of humans on the earth. This introductory course will review the physical structure of the planet’s surface, history and techniques of cartography and mapping, and survey the subdisciplines of economic, political, and urban geography. Students will be introduced to geographic theory, complete exercises in basic mapping techniques, and become familiar with national political divisions. Each student will adopt a nation and make regular reports on current events in English-speaking news outlets. Offered as needed.
May be used to fulfill the minor in Environmental Studies.

AN 201 Comparative Cultures (I)
One unit. This course will introduce basic concepts and theories of cultural anthropology, engaging students in an ongoing discussion of what culture means and how it is enacted and reflected in everyday life. The course will focus on the in-depth reading of /ethnographic research/ (case studies of how people live in the world and the kinds of problems they face). Through hands-on activities students will also learn how cultural anthropologists formulate their questions, and how they gather and process ethnographic information, paying particular attention to ethical issues. Students will learn how to think critically about present-day debates on diversity, cultural relativism, the social invention of categories, and other common areas in which the idea of culture is often used. This course provides a foundation for students in fields that utilize or benefit from cultural analysis, including, though not limited to, those majoring or minoring in Anthropology. Offered spring semester.

AN 202 Biological Anthropology and Human Evolution
One unit. An introduction to the study of biological anthropology. This course explores the role evolutionary processes that account for modern human biological variability and adaptation, including the concept of race. Students will examine the evolutionary history of the human species through the study of the fossil record, DNA, and comparative anatomy with our closest relatives, the primates. Current debates in human evolution will be discussed. Offered fall semester.

AN 206 People and the Environment (I)
One Unit. Discussions of our environmental relations are now common as many are concerned with renewable energy, conservation of natural resources, and food supplies. In order to inform discussions of our current condition, the class surveys ecological method and theory and examines the ways in which people throughout the world relate to the environment. Participants examine the practices of people who live by hunting and gathering, horticulture, fishing, herding, and agriculture within the context of human biology, culture and archaeology. These materials will provide insights into other means of subsistence and offer a qualitative yardstick against which our own practices can be evaluated. Offered as needed.
May be used to fulfill the minor in Environmental Studies.

AN 212 Archaeology
One unit. An introduction to archaeology as a method of studying the human past. This course explores field methods, data interpretation, archaeological theory, and the relevance of archaeology to the modern world. Offered spring semester.

AN 234 Land of the Inca: Peru Past and Present (I)
One unit. The rugged Andes Mountain range of South America provides an exceptionally difficult environment for human settlement and survival. Yet over the course of thousands of years, this area has produced some of the world's greatest civilizations and a unique and distinct cultural adaptation. This course focuses on the culture of the Peruvian Andes and traces its evolution from prehistoric to modern times. Themes explored include the development of Andean culture, a cultural description of the Incas and their empire which represent the zenith of independent Andean social evolution, and the survival and persistence of this culture to the present day despite nearly five hundred years of vigorous attempts to destroy it. Offered as required.
May be used to fulfill the minor in Environmental Studies.

AN 235 North American Archaeology: The Prehistory of Native Americans (D)
One unit. This course is an introduction to prehistory and early history of North America. Using the tools of archaeology and anthropology we will explore Native American cultures and economies from the earliest colonization of North America through the early period of European contact. Throughout the course we will focus on how human cultural, social, and political activities shaped and were shaped by the environment. This information will provide a context for understanding more recent historical and present day conditions of Native Americans. Offered alternate spring semesters.
May be used to fulfill the minor in Environmental Studies.

AN 236 Cultures of the Caribbean (I)
One unit. This course is an introductory-level cultural anthropology course in which students will learn about the diverse societies of the Caribbean region through history, music, literature, film, ethnography, and current events research. The course will cover English, French, and Spanish-speaking countries and the Diaspora, including the experiences of Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, and Haitians. Offered alternate spring semesters.

AN 238 Pre-Inca Cultures of the Ancient Andes (I)
One unit. This is a survey course that will introduce students to the prehistory of one of the major cradles of civilization: the Central Andes of South America. Over the course of millennia numerous elaborate and exotic cultures rose and fell in this region of South American in apparent isolation from the rest of the world. The unique cultures that developed in the Andes and followed their own paths to civilization have had an enormous impact on the modern world. Their contributions include a large portion of the modern diet as well as numerous medicinal discoveries that continue to impact us today. The descendants of these peoples are still with us today and form a very large part of the populations of the Western Hemisphere. Offered alternate fall semesters.
May be used to fulfill the minor in Environmental Studies.

AN 240 The Raw and the Cooked: Anthropological Perspectives on Food (I)
One unit. Everybody eats, but how do we choose what to eat? The answers to this question are constrained by our metabolic needs, the foods that are available to us, and our beliefs about food and nutrition. Using a biocultural perspective we will examine the ways in which foods have shaped our evolution, our history and environment, and our current world. We will investigate the complex activities through which people produce, prepare, present, consume, and think about food. This course provides an introduction the discipline of anthropology and the methods and questions of its main subdisciplines. Offered alternate spring semesters.
May be used to fulfill the minor in Environmental Studies.

AN 241 Forensic Anthropology and Human Osteology
One unit. Five hours combined lecture and laboratory weekly. This course is an introduction to the field of forensic anthropology, the application of biological anthropology in legal contexts. This course will also introduce students to human osteology, the study of the human skeleton. Students will explore the principles and methods of forensic anthropology through lecture, reading, and laboratory experience. The course will focus not only on the sciences of human osteology and forensic anthropology, but will examine the legal framework in which they are applied, including criminal contexts, mass disasters, and human rights violations. Offered alternate spring semesters.

AN 245 Wagner College Archaeology Project
One Unit. The Wagner College archaeology is a long-term project to locate and study cultural deposits relating to the past uses of the campus. The class offers an introduction to the history of Wagner Campus and Staten Island and hands-on experience sampling archeological sites, processing artifacts, and building pictures of the past. Offered as required.

AN 251 Sex, Gender and Culture
One unit. This comparative course emphasizes the varying ways in which sex and gender are culturally interpreted and socially organized among different human groups. An initial brief investigation of the biological foundations of human sexuality will provide the background for considering such culturally determined elements as: what defines masculinity verses femininity and heterosexuality verses homosexuality in various cultures; the roles and rituals that may be assigned to each gender; and the meanings attached to sexual behavior. Data will be drawn from both Western and non-Western societies. Offered as required.
May be used to fulfill the minor in Gender Studies.

AN 252 Culture, Health, and the Body: Introduction to Medical Anthropology (I)
One unit. This course is an introduction to the comparative study of health and illness through time and cross-culturally. Topics addressed include the roles of disease in human evolution and history, sociocultural factors in contemporary world health problems, the comparative cultures of ethnomedicine and biomedicine, and ethnicity and health care (including applied issues of "cultural competence" in clinical practice). Case studies from the major geographic regions of the world (including the industrialized North/West) are explored through in-depth ethnographic case studies, and critically compared with one another. This course is appropriate for undergraduate students at any level, but especially those studying any of the health sciences, including those in the Physician Assistant program, Nursing, Pre-Health, as well as majors and minors in Anthropology. Offered fall semester.

AN 291 Special Topics in Anthropology
One unit. May be repeated once. Discussion and analysis of problems not covered in regular course work. The specific content of the course will remain flexible in response to student and departmental interests. Offered as required.

AN 306 Methods in GIS and Geomatics (TC)
One unit. This class is an introduction to Geographic Information Software (GIS) and geomatics, the method and theory of collecting, managing, and using spatially referenced data. Geomatics is a transformative technology which is shaping the ways in which researchers from across the social, natural and physical sciences manage and combine multi-disciplinary data. Students will learn to find and make appropriate selection of pre-existing sets of data from public depositories. After an introduction to the basic methods of manipulating demographic, topographic and environmental information, students will develop and present a small project of their own design. Working with big data and complex computer programs can be difficult. However, careful control of the scope of project and practical considerations of available data will help produce successful projects. Offered as required.
May be used to fulfill the minor in Environmental Studies.

AN 325 Culture, Power and Place (I)
One unit. This course introduces the student to the field of political anthropology, the study of power in situated cultural contexts, with an emphasis in international examples. Case studies examine a variety of social movements, notably environmentalism and nationalism. We will consider the importance of ecology, religion, symbolism, and local politics in the context of a long and continuing process of globalization. Offered alternate spring semesters.
May be used to fulfill the minor in Environmental Studies.

AN 335 An Archaeological Perspective on the Origins of Social Complexity (I)
One unit. Why do we find the modern world composed of state-level complex societies? What processes and factors have caused human societies to organize in increasingly complex ways, often at the expense of individual autonomy and freedoms? Through written works, videos, and discussion, participants in this course will examine theories of the origin of complex society and its evolutionary trajectory. Pre-requisites: AN 101, AN 201, or 212, restricted to juniors and seniors except by special permission of the instructor. Offered alternate fall semesters.

AN 342 The Dead Speak: Bioarchaeology and the Archaeology of Death (D)
One unit. This course explores death using the biocultural perspective, emphasizing the interactions among the biological, cultural, social, and environmental contexts in which people live and lived. To this end we will use the theory and methods of both biological anthropology and archaeology. The class is divided into three sections: 1) paleopathology - the examination of what can learn about diet, health, and behavior of past people by analyzing their physical remains; 2)paleodemography -the analysis of what age, sex, and status differences in mortality can tell us about how societies are organized; 3) mortuary analysis - the exploration of what we can learn about culture by studying how people treat their dead. Throughout this course we will focus primarily on the practices of Native and Euro-American groups. This course fulfills the College's American Diversity (D) requirement. Offered alternate spring semesters.

AN 345 Practicum in Archeology (I)
One unit. This is an intensive exposure designed to provide the student with practical experience in archaeological field methods. Students will participate in an actual archaeological project and explore a number of facets of archaeological fieldwork. Surveying, mapping, excavation, photography, scientific recording, and data analysis are among topics to be addressed. Offered summer session as required.

AN 346 Advanced Practicum in Archaeology (I)
One Unit. This is an advanced hands-on course in field archaeology. Students will participate in an archaeological dig learning techniques and principles of archaeology. This will include working with a Quechua Indian field crew and participation in activities such as surveying, mapping, excavation, photography, scientific recoding and cataloging. Offered summer session as required.

AN 393: Professionalization in Anthropology
Zero Units.This course is designed to help students in anthropology develop professional skills in order to prepare them for graduate school and employment, research and volunteer opportunities post-graduation. The course is open to anthropology majors only, or by permission of the instructor. Junior status recommended. Offered as needed.

AN 397G Internship in Anthropology
One Unit. This is a faculty supervised placement in the field of anthropology. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Offered as required.

AN 400E Experiential Component of Senior Reflective Tutorial
Zero Units. The experiential component may occur, before, during, or after enrollment in the Senior Learning Community courses (AN 491 and AN 400). In seeking experiential opportunities students work in close consultation with their professors to find the most appropriate activity, whether in New York City, in their home town, or abroad. These experiences can include 100 hours of participation in any of the following: 1) an anthropological or archaeological field school, 2) an archaeological excavation, 3) a bioanthropological or archaeological laboratory analysis, 4) museum or heritage work, or 5) work with a community partner or government agency. Offered as required.

AN 400 Senior Reflective Tutorial (W)
One unit. This course consists of reflective and writing components. Students will reflect in academic and practical ways on both their research and lived experiences as relevant to their area of academic interest, exploring the connections between their experience, disciplinary knowledge, and professional practice. In consultation with faculty and peers, students will work on a project of their own design, which will intersect topically with the activities of their experiential component. Their efforts will result in the authoring of a research paper or grant proposal that will be presented to the department, both their professors and their peers, in a conference-style seminar. Offered alternate spring semesters.

AN 491 Seminar in Anthropological Theory
One Unit. This course is the summative course for the major. Students critically examine high points in the development of anthropological theory from the nineteenth century through the twenty-first century, reflecting on the broad influence of many of these theories outside of academia. Among the major schools of thought included are nineteenth century evolutionism, the Boasian reaction and the focus on culture, British and French social anthropology, cultural materialism, symbolic-interpretive anthropology, political economy and ecology, feminist and gender theories, practice theories, and post-modern responses. The course emphasizes small group discussions. Students write a series of short comparative papers throughout the semester which serve as a framework for a major literature review related to their own research and career goals, and which integrates with their final project for AN 400. Pre-requisites: AN 201. Offered alternate spring semesters.

AN 493: Undergraduate Research in Anthropology
One Unit. A minimum of 8 hours a week, supervised research on a selected topic culminating in a research paper using the format of an topically appropriate anthropological journal. A minimum of 10 references to the selected topic are required. Students taking this course for credit may not use the research experience to meet requirements for the Senior Learning Community. Offered as needed. Permission of instructor and sophomore standing required.

AN 593 Independent Study in Anthropology
One unit. Designed to provide the advanced student an opportunity to pursue an anthropological problem in a relatively independent manner. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Offered fall and spring semesters.