A) North America; B) South America; C) Middle East and North Africa; D) Sub-Saharan Africa; E) Asia; F) Oceania; G) Caribbean; Z) Other. Characteristic ecological, historical, and socio-cultural factors in the major ethnographic regions of the globe. Analysis of selected societies and institutions. Offered in the following sections as staff is available and student needs dictate. North America: Study of the economy, society, religion, art, and ideas of North American Indians from pre-colonial times to the present. South America: A survey of the indigenous cultures and selected studies of the relationship between environment and culture. Changes in culture and social organizations since the 16th century will be considered where historical data permit. Middle East and North Africa: The role of ecological, social, cultural, and historical factors in shaping Middle Eastern and North African culture today. Special attention will be paid to family, values, and religion; to nomadic, village, and urban ways of life; and to issues of unity, diversity, colonialism, and culture change. Sub-Saharan Africa: Study of Sub-Saharan economy, society, and culture from pre-colonial times to the present. South Asia: Emphasis on India, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. Traditional and changing South Asian cultures, including caste, family, economy, and religious traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism. Southeast Asia: Geographical, historical, ethnic, and socio-cultural factors characteristic of the region. Impact of Indian, Chinese, Islamic, and European civilizations. Analysis of selected indigenous social, political, economic, and religious institutions. Oceania: Study of the economy, society, religion, art, and ideology of Pacific Island cultures from pre-colonial times to the present. Caribbean: The history and contemporary situation of diverse cultures of the Caribbean are examined using ethnography, music, and film. The mixture of cultural roots from Africa, Europe, and Asia are investigated and the dynamic and fluid nature of these cultures is stressed. Race as an experience of oppression and resistance is discussed.
Additional Course Description:
Socio-cultural anthropology offers a unique approach to learning about the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), a fascinating and diverse place. By exploring daily lives of local peoples, students see beyond such cultural stereotypes as “violence” and “fanaticism;” they learn about and understand better regional history, socio-cultural diversity, and social effects of unique individual lives. The goal of this course is to introduce students to the regional socio-cultural diversity and history and challenge students’ assumptions about the region. The readings, presentations, and films discussing historical, political, geographic, ideological and socio-cultural environment in the region, and creative assignments will help us to achieve this goal. There are plenty of ways our global world links different peoples and histories by creating and transcending differentiation among individuals and groups. Lives of local individuals are unique in some ways; in other ways they resemble yours and mine. We will explore these differences and similarities in a critical and self-reflexive manner (e.g., reflecting on whether and how your opinion about an issue and understanding of the reading/film/presentation is affected by your socio-cultural context). Such approach will help to sample some social regularities, such as family and gender dynamics, both prevalent and contested in the region, and understand sources of diversity and tension that exist within the region as anthropologists think about them.
(ANTH 500.C01) Full Title: Peoples & Cultures: Middle East/North Africa
Only listed campus in section: Durham
Attributes: World Cultures(Discovery), Foreign Culture GP 5