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AddRan College of Liberal Arts

Department of Sociology and Anthropology

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In anthropology, you'll study elements of society and culture. From Anthropology and Sports, to Medical Anthropology – we have something for everyone. 

An introduction to the theories and methods of physical anthropology. Scientific study of human origins and evolution as reconstructed from the fossil record; patterns of anatomical, behavioral, and genetic similarities among the primates; applications of physical anthropology, such as forensic anthropology.

An introduction to the theories and methods of cultural anthropology. Comparative study of modern and historic cultures around the globe. Exploration of the meanings ascribed to human experience. Emphasis on such topics as: relativism, culture change, kinship, gender, globalization, identity, religion, sexuality, ritual, social stratification, ethnicity.

An introduction to the theory, methods, and techniques of archaeology and a review of selected findings. History and development of archaeology, field and laboratory methods, the evolution of humanity and culture, reconstruction and processual interpretation.

An introduction to linguistic anthropology. Anthropological analysis of the cultural and social aspects of language. Topics may include: linguistic relativism, performance theory and the ethnography of language, bilingualism and multiculturalism, sociolinguistics, legitimate languages and linguistic variation, and language and the constitution of personhood and structures of authority.

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the concept of sustainability from a multidisciplinary perspective. Sustainability includes a focus on the environment, social justice issues, and economic development that provides the basic needs for sustaining an acceptable quality of life. A focus on the global implications will be stressed and students will explore the connections between sustainability and citizenship and social values.

Food and Culture explores food production, distribution, and consumption for practical and symbolic objectives. The course focuses on the symbolism as an expression of ethics that shape people's individual and collective identities. Toward this end, the course addresses heritage foods and identities at risk due to a change from regional, cottage production to mass production for worldwide distribution. The course also looks at identity in relation to politics and gender. Students learn qualitative research skills, which they apply to a semester-long project in a food-related venue, discovering the ethical moorings of a food micro-culture. Students learn skills for understanding culture through food, applicable to careers and travel in domestic and foreign settings.

Course undertakes a comparative study in transnational migration to explore migrant life as related to economic condition and politics of public policy, state security, citizenship, identity, religion, and nativism.

The course examines expressive culture that reflects and shapes the way people think, behave, and give their lives meaning. The expressive culture includes history, literature, and lore considered as resources for people to address their needs and circumstances, especially in relation to social positions, gender, self-identification, politics, and ethics. Other topics include U.S. Mexico relations, social conflict, resistance movements, religion, and cultural poetics. Student cannot receive credit for ENGL 55713 and ENGL 30713.

Prerequisite: ANTH 20623 or consent of instructor. Cross-cultural survey of cultural diversity and similarity in the interpretation of health, illness, and healing systems. Examines the interrelationship of culture, society, and health from local and global perspectives. Particular emphasis on the interactions of western and other medical systems.

Prerequisites: ANTH 20623 or 20643, or the professor's permission. This course introduces students to the components of qualitative research, including project design, participant observation, interviews, field notes, and the use of oral, archival, and written history. These techniques contribute to student research projects and ethnographic writing.

This course examines topics and perspectives on human-animal relationships (HARE) from multiple disciplines within the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. We will explore the complex relationships between humans and other animals, past and present, including the socially constructed meanings of animals that shape animal/human interactions and relations within institutions and social, cultural, geographic and interactional contexts. We will consider many types of relationships between human and nonhuman animals, both beneficial and detrimental, as well as the trends that are impacting the future of animal/human relations on the planet.

Analysis and methods in the study of traditional customs and beliefs of Mexican-Americans. Topics may include storytelling and joking, popular religion, ethnomedicine, ethnic identity rituals, and folk art.

Prerequisites: C- or better in ANTH 20623 or instructor permission. Explores anthropological and economic perspectives on happiness and human flourishing: the diverse ways in which well-being is conceptualized and experienced in different cultural contexts, the complex relationship between well-being and economic growth, and cross-disciplinary inquiry into the conditions and activities (such as community, ecology, dignity, creativity, generosity, trust, health, and inequality) that engender or impede human flourishing.

Development and characteristics of urban societies and the culture of modern cities. Evaluation of theories and methods for understanding the structure, function and change in the social and cultural systems of urban areas.

The relationship between social science and the study of sports and other play forms; games and play in cross-cultural contexts; American sports and recreation.
A comparative study of the teaching and learning processes in societies of differing complexity and cultural variability. Empirical data is examined from an anthropological perspective and in the context of theories about culture and perception, world view, rites of passage, culture and personality, and change.
Prerequisites: ANTH 20623 or WOST 20003, or consent of the instructor. Explores the anthropological significance of sex and gender as multifaceted and diverse categories of human experience across a broad range of cultures. Studies of sexual orientation, gender identity, reproduction, cultural politics, health, and sociocultural inequalities.
Discusses the intersection of food and justice. Investigates injustices generated by the current U.S. food system and by global agribusiness against farm workers in Mexico and the U.S. against residents of underprivileged communities in U.S. cities. Explores possible solutions to these injustices, including fair trade, urban agriculture, food banks, and food policy councils. Students will design an experiential, service learning group project in conjunction with TCU and community partners. (offered as ANTH or SOCI credit)
Prerequisites: ANTH 20623, RELI 10023 or RELI 10043 or consent of the instructor. Anthropological findings in the comparative study of religion and culture across a broad range of societies. Studies of sacred experience, myth, ritual, magic, witchcraft, religious language, gender and religion, healing, and relationships between social and religious change.
 An archaeological survey of the ancient cultures of Mexico and Andean South America, from the first human migrations into the Americas to the Aztec and Inka empires. Anthropological perspectives on developmental sequences and achievements of major indigenous civilizations in both culture areas are discussed and compared.
Prerequisite: ANTH 20633 or consent of instructor. An in-depth treatment of basic techniques, methods and concepts of archaeology and a continued update in recent archaeological discoveries around the globe. Research using published site reports and professional journals. Site visitations to excavations in process will be initiated whenever applicable.
Origin and distribution of the native populations of selected areas. The historical development and current perspectives of institutions, belief and value systems, and comparative organization of cultural areas. Possible areas to be examined include Native North Americans, peoples of South America, and peoples of Africa.
The course explores globalization's human impacts as understood through the lenses of development, public policy, economics, trade, and migration (among others). The course defines ethics and explores steps toward their realization in three areas in particular: (1) resolutions to social problems, (2) advancement of social justice, and (3) students' career paths.
Comparative approach to exploring the roles of animals in world and indigenous religions, past and present, including Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Native American traditions. Topics include who counts as a religious subject, or person; how focusing on animals can help us better understand religion in general; hunting and farming; animal sacrifice; pets; biotechnology; climate change; conservation; fear & awe; animal theology; and whether other animals themselves might be religious. Discussion-based, coupled with mini-lectures, video screenings, and experiential meditations.:"
Prerequisites: Either one RELI or one ANTH course, or permission of instructor. This course studies the cultures of Syria-Palestine and TransJordan from approximately 1550-332 BCE by identifying and interpreting the relevant archaeological data and anthropological findings. It will explore various aspects of these ancient cultures, including the region's economic, political, environmental, and social relations, as well as its religious expressions and ethnic identities. Additionally, students will consider the significance of archaeological material and anthropological models for reconstructing and interpreting these cultures and for understanding the Hebrew Bible as a cultural and historical document.
Prerequisite: ANTH 20623 or consent of instructor. Anthropological perspectives on the relationship of Latin American pop culture to Latin American societies. Examines everyday cultural productions, such as dance, music, soccer, television, soap opera, Carnival, and other festivals. Particular attention given to popular culture as a key site where national, racial, gender, sexual, and class identities are constructed, commodified, contested, and globally circulated. Cultural case studies may include: Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, and Cuba.
Explores the complex interrelationships between people's spiritual beliefs and the environment. Comparative, cross-cultural approach to key features of selected work and indigenous religions, such as cosmologies, sacred lands, agriculture, and animals. Also examines emerging approaches to environment and religion, including ecofeminist spirituality; environmentalism as spiritual practice and civic religion; new green religious movements; and contemporary religious responses to the environmental crisis.
Explores religious beliefs related to the environment and subsistence among Native North American Indian peoples. Investigates topics such as sacred stories and folktales, art and dance, rites of passage, health and healing, and hunting and agricultural rituals. Discusses the changing roles Native American religious beliefs have plays among both native and Euro-American peoples since the time of first contact, from the crafting of pan-tribal native identities to New Age appropriations of sweat lodges and vision quests.
Prerequisites: ANTH 20623, or consent of the instructor. An examination of applied anthropology, the use of anthropological perspectives, values, data, theories, methodologies and skills for practical purposes n the real world. Explores the varied domains in which anthropologists practice, the methodologies employed in their work and the ethical and practical problems they face. Surveys potential work sites for anthropologists, examines the skills necessitated by such jobs and explores resources on career preparation and development.
An overview of Japanese history and major cultural traditions. Japanese society will be looked at from its origins through the Tokugawa period and onto modern Japan. Religious traditions and cultural perspectives will be highlighted. Additionally, the place of modern Japan in the global community will be examined.
The course explores French and migrant culture from diverse perspectives. It incorporates readings and films about migration history, economies of labor, politics, identity, citizenship, and civic responsibilities.
Prerequisite: ANTH 20623, ANTH 20633 or permission of instructor. This course is offered as either a cultural anthropology or archaeology field school. Phases, methods, and problems of collection and processing in field and laboratory of ethnographic and archaeological data. Issues of public interaction, participant-observation, interviewing, survey, and excavation are addressed as appropriate to the setting.
In-depth introduction to human skeletal anatomy including how to identify individual bones, important morphological features on them, and soft tissues that attach to them. Also covers using bones to recover sex, age at death, ancestry, etc., and explores applications in bioarchaeology, forensic anthropology, and other disciplines. Primarily intended for archaeologists and biological anthropologists, but also of interest to students considering careers in forensics, paleontology, or medicine. Weekly laboratory section is required.
Prerequisites: ANTH 20623 or consent of instructor. An anthropological examination of the relationship between violence and culture. Ethnographic cases of violence in many different regions, such as Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Western Europe. Topics may include: civil war, ethnic conflict, crime and the structural 'violences' of poverty, racism, gendered violence, famine and disease, and the cultural construction and social consequences of fear.
Prerequisite: Junior standing or permission of instructor. This course explores ongoing processes that link economic systems, multinationals, supranational institutions, armed conflict, poverty, and prosperity in different parts of the world, combining macro and local, native perspectives. Students learn theoretical frameworks and their application to develop ethics that may orient future endeavors in graduate training and professional life.
Prerequisite: ANTH 20623 or consent of instructor. An anthropological examination of the relationship between mass media and culture. Particular emphasis on the impact of mass media on the production and consumption of cultural meaning and identities. Inquiry into representations of gender, sexuality, the body, ethnicity, social race, and nationhood in mass media discourses. Case studies of mass media in local spaces and global contexts.
An overview of the field, including archaeology, linguistics, ethnology, and physical anthropology. Description and analysis of the profession, its history, theoretical foci, intellectual leaders and current ethical dilemmas. For advanced undergraduates and graduate students with opportunities to pursue individual interests within the field.
 Prerequisite: ANTH 20623 or permission of instructor. Principles of descent, kinship terminology and formation of descent groups, including an examination of specific terminological systems in relation to other features of social organization; the adaptive dynamics of family, groups, kinship, and extra-familial associations in simple and complex societies.


Explore all of the courses we offer on the TCU Course Catalog.