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B.A. in Anthropology

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  • Course description
    The curriculum in Anthropology encompasses two overlapping and yet distinct "tracks": (i) cultural and social anthropology and (ii) biological anthropology, archaeology, and material culture studies.

    Cultural and social anthropology explores the social orders and meanings that human actors create. Although in the past, cultural and social anthropologists typically carried out research overseas, today cultural and social anthropologists also work in their own societies, and our course offerings reflect this global and inclusive approach. In addition, the curriculum in cultural and social anthropology reflects the discipline's longstanding practice of joining together the study of how people understand their own experiences with cross-cultural comparison.

    The curriculum in cultural and social anthropology examines a broad range of issues from a number of theoretical perspectives. Our courses examine societies of diverse cultural traditions and economic forms, as well as the movements of people, objects, and ideas among them. We examine such topics as race and ethnicity, medicine, science, gender, sexuality, the environment, religion, law, popular culture, and politics. And we pursue comparisons that look across both history and geography.

    The second curricular track—in biological anthropology, archaeology, and material culture (BAM)—focuses on human physical and cultural evolution, modern human diversity, and the material cultures of historical and contemporary ethnic groupos. The BAM track includes courses from Classics and Environmental Studies, as well as Anthropology. In conjunction with these courses, students gain hands-on experience working with fossil hominid skeletal casts and artifacts from a wide variety of prehistoric and modern cultures in the collections of the Jean M. Pitzer Archaeology Laboratory.

    Both tracks in anthropology (cultural and social anthropology and BAM) are offered within the joint undergraduate program in Anthropology of Pitzer and Scripps Colleges.
    Requirements for the Major

    The major in Anthropology requires a minimum of ten courses. Anthropology includes a variety of subfields, which are incorporated in the major. It is the goal of the major to introduce students to all subfields. However, students often develop special areas of interest within anthropology. To accommodate this diversity, the major offers two alternative tracks. Students interested in combining anthropology with the study of medicine, education, public policy, linguistics, art, or other fields are encouraged to talk to one of the anthropology advisors for recommended courses.

    I. The Sociocultural Track requires all of the following courses:

    1. Introduction to Archaeology and Biological Anthropology

    2. Introduction to Sociocultural Anthropology

    3. Language, Culture, and Society (or another course in linguistic anthropology)

    21. The World Since 1492

    105. Field Methods in Anthropology

    153. History of Anthropological Theory

    2. A minimum of four electives in Anthropology. Courses taken on Pitzer Study Abroad programs may be eligible, if they are approved by the Anthropology Field Group.

    II. The Human Evolution, Prehistory and Material Culture Track requires all of the following courses:

    1. Introduction to Archaeology and Biological Anthropology

    2. Introduction to Sociocultural Anthropology

    21. The World Since 1492

    101. Theory and Method in Archaeology (or Anth 110PO, Field Methods in Archaeology, or an approved summer Field School)

    Two upper level courses selected from the following:

    101. Theory and Method in Archaeology (cannot satisfy two requirements)

    102. Museums and Material Culture

    103. Museums: Behind the Glass

    110. Field Methods in Archeology (Pomona)

    111. Historical Archaeology

    128. Pre-history of the Americas (Pomona)

    161. Greek Art and Archaeology

    164. North American Archaeology

    168. Prehistoric Humans and Their Environments

    170. Human Evolution

    3. A minimum of four electives in anthropology.

    A student may substitute a comparable course for a required course with the permission of the field group. Students majoring in anthropology should consult with their advisor to select for the fulfillment of their formal reasoning requirement a course suited both to their interests in anthropology and their background in mathematics.
    Combined Major

    A combined major in Anthropology (Sociocultural Track) requires at least seven courses, including Introduction to Sociocultural Anthropology (Anth 2), Language, Culture, and Society (Anth 3), and The World Since 1492 (Anth 21). In addition, students will normally take Introduction to Archaeology and Biological Anthropology (Anth 1) or one course primarily in archaeology, biological anthropology, or material culture. A course on field methods (e.g., Anth 105) is strongly recommended. At least two courses for the combined major should be ones at an advanced level in Anthropology that are particularly suited to the interdisciplinary major of the student.

    A combined major in Anthropology (Human Evolution, Prehistory and Material Culture Track) requires at least eight courses, including Introduction to Archaeology and Biological Anthropology (Anth 1), either Introduction to Sociocultural Anthropology (Anth 2) or the World Since 1492 (Anth 21), Theory and Method in Archaeology (Anth 101 or the PO field methods course, or an approved summer field school). In addition, students will take two courses from the advanced courses listed in the catalogue for the major; normally, this will include Historical Archaeology (Anth 111). Finally, students will take at least three other courses in Anthropology, chosen in consultation with the advisor.

    For either track, up to two courses may be counted for both fields of the combined major. Where no specific courses are listed in the above requirements, the advisor and student will make a determination of what courses will be taken, and the advisor will then circulate that outcome to the Field Group for approval.
    Minor in Anthropology

    Students who wish to graduate with a minor in anthropology must satisfactorily complete at least six graded Anthropology courses, at least two of which are listed in the requirements for one or both of the anthropology tracks.

    Students planning to continue studies on the graduate level should pay particular attention to the need for faculty consultation, especially with respect to preparation in statistics and foreign languages. Normally, courses in the student's major cannot be taken on a credit/non-credit basis.

    As part of their Pitzer experience, students are encouraged to undertake internships or Pitzer Study Abroad. In the senior year, students may undertake a senior exercise with the guidance of the Anthropology faculty.
    Honors

    Students who compile extraordinary records in Field Group and other Pitzer courses, and whose senior exercise is deemed outstanding, will be recommended for Honors in Anthropology.
    Courses

    1. Introduction to Archaelogy and Biological Anthropology

    2. Introduction to Sociocultural Anthropology

    3. Language, Culture & Society

    12. Native Americans and Their Environments

    16. Introduction to Nepal

    21. The World Since 1492

    23. China and Japan Through Film and Ethnography

    24. Women of the Historic American West

    26. Introduction to Multicultural Europe

    33. Caribbean Cultures, Societies, and Histories

    34. White and Off-White: Historical-Anthropological Studies of Racial Privilege and Demarcation

    36. Malls, Museums, and Other Amusements: The Public Sphere in the Modern U.S.

    50. Sex, Body, Reproduction

    62. Embodying the Voice of History

    70. Psychological Anthropology

    74. The City: An Anthropological Examination

    75. Cognitive Anthropology

    80. Comparative Religious Systems

    81. Media Discourse

    84. Representing Middle Eastern Minorities in Europe and North America

    86. Anthropology of Policy

    88. China: Gender, Cosmology, and the State

    90. Schooling

    95. Folk Arts in Cultural Context

    101. Theory and Method in Archaeology

    102. Museums and Material Culture

    104. Anthropological Perspectives in Migration and Diaspora

    105. Field Methods in Anthropology

    106. Anthropological Statistics

    107. The Social Life of Statistics

    108. Kinship and Social Organization

    111. Historical Archaeology

    112. Introduction to China, Tibet and Nepal

    117. Language and Power

    121. Classical Mythology

    122. Research: An Apprenticeship Program

    131. Anthropology of Ritual and Performance: Asia and Pacific

    132. Stigma: Culture, Deviance and Identity

    134. Colonial Societies

    136. Humor: Culture, Gender, Deviance

    140. The Desert As a Place

    141. Progress and Oppression: Ecology, Human Rights, and Development

    143. Exhibiting Nature

    144. Visual Ecology

    148. Ethnoecology

    149. Ecology and Culture Change

    151. Methods and Discourse Analysis

    153. History of Antrhopological Theory

    161. Greek Art and Archaeology

    164. North American Archaeology

    168. Humans and Their Environments: The Prehistoric Perspective

    170. Seminar in Human Evolution

    190. Writing Culture: Seminar in Ethonographic Writing

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