Notice: Information and plans for upcoming academic terms. Learn more.

Course Descriptions

ANTH 100 - Introduction to Anthropology
An introduction to the anthropological concept of culture, its uses in the explanation of human behaviour, and its impact on our understanding of human nature, language, and society. The course will explore cultural diversity through the comparative perspective that makes anthropology unique within the humanities and social sciences. It will also show how anthropologists analyse the connections between politics, economics, gender, kinship, and religion within particular cultures.

ANTH 202 - Anthropology of Language
An introduction to the anthropological study of language. This course examines a variety of theories and methods for the study of the variable relations between language use and aspects of social life and of personhood, among them social organization, hierarchy, power, gender, sexuality, and subjectivity. ***Prerequisite: ANTH 100 or completion of 12 credit hours or permission of department head.***

ANTH 203 - Social Organization
An analysis of the political, economic, and ideological aspects of social organization, with particular emphasis on kinship, gender, and social stratification in non-industrialized societies. ***Prerequisite: ANTH 100 or completion of 12 credit hours or permission of department head.***

ANTH 230 - Ethnography of Southeast Asia
This course surveys the rich cultural diversity of Southeast Asia, ranging from the head-hunting and opium-growing tribal hill peoples to Hindu/Buddhist and Islamic civilizations. The course will provide some historical background to the area, and cover such topics as social and political organization, gender, religion, and aesthetics. ***Prerequisite: ANTH 100 or completion of 12 credit hours or permission of department head.***

ANTH 233 - Ethnography of the Himalayas
This course surveys the Himalayas as a culture area, investigates the economic, social, and religious strategies of various Himalayan peoples, and traces the influences of Tibetan culture and Buddhism in the region. The course will provide historical and geographical overviews of the area. ***Prerequisite: ANTH 100 or completion of 12 credit hours or permission of department head.***

ANTH 237 - Ethnography of Europe
This introductory course offers an overview of the ethnographic study of Europe since the 1950s. Different regions of the continent are examined through close reading of ethnographic writings concerned with gender, morality, social class, ethnic affiliation, and nationalist ideology. ***Prerequisite: ANTH 100 or completion of 12 credit hours or permission of department head.***

ANTH 239 - Ethnography of Amazonia
This course explores ethnographic and theoretical issues in the social anthropological study of indigenous Amazonian peoples. Privileged topics include the exploration of native understanding of sociality, cosmology, selfhood, morality and emotions. The course also addresses issues in regional history, social organization, and political and economic anthropology. ***Prerequisite: ANTH 100 or completion of 12 credit hours or permission of department head.***

ANTH 240 - Popular Culture
Taking an ethnographic approach, this introductory course examines representations of popular culture in mass media, music, film, advertising, consumer goods, and leisure. The course is particularly concerned with ways in which popular discourses and practices are implicated in the reproduction of, and resistance to, dominant values, norms and ideologies. ***Prerequisite: ANTH 100 or completion of 12 credit hours or permission of department head.***

ANTH 241AK - Ethnography of Indigenous North American Peoples
This course explores the ethnography of indigenous peoples of North America. Privileged topics include ecological adaptation, social organization, value systems, and cultural integration, with a focus on ethnological problems and anthropological theory and methods. ***Prerequisite: ANTH 100 or completion of 12 credit hours or permission of department head.***

ANTH 241AL - Ethnography of Canada and the United States
This course surveys the contemporary cultures and sub-cultures of North America, focusing on Canada and the United States. Topics covered include social organization, cosmology, gender, art, tourism, globalization, and ethnicity. ***Prerequisite: ANTH 100 or completion of 12 credit hours or permission of department head.***

ANTH 242AA - Anthropology of Cyberspace
This course looks at cyberspace as a human society and utilizes anthropological perspectives to achieve a critical, analytical, and reflexive understanding of the internet and its relations to the real world. It introduces students to anthropological methods and ethical considerations in understanding the virtual life of the inhabitants of cyberspace. ***Prerequisite: ANTH 100 or completion of 12 credit hours or permission of department head.***

ANTH 242AB - The Anthropology of Violence and Conflict
This course will apply anthropological theories to explore violence and conflict as social processes rather than as isolated events. We will utilize various cross-cultural examples to explore how violence and conflict maintain social stability while disrupting social norms. ***Prerequisite: ANTH 100 or completion of 12 credit hours or permission of department head.***

ANTH 242AC - Anthropology of Death
The main focus of this course will be a cross-cultural study of death and mortuary rituals. The dynamic relationships that exist between living and deceased members of communities and nations will be explored through attentive review of early and contemporary ethnographic research. This course will demonstrate that ethnographic engagement with death and mortuary rituals can help reveal and further understandings of fundamental aspects of our social lives. ***Prerequisite: ANTH 100 or completion of 12 credit hours or permission of department head.***

ANTH 242AF - Fieldwork in Anthropology
This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of collecting qualitative data in anthropology. Students will closely read and analyze ethnographic texts concerned with field methods, and will put their knowledge to practice by carrying out hands-on research "at home" - on the university campus or at another location in the city. ***Prerequisite: ANTH 100 or completion of 12 credit hours or permission of department head.*** *Note: Students may not receive credit for both ANTH 333 and ANTH 242AF.*

ANTH 242AG - Community Museums and Engagement for Sustainability
Communities around the globe strive for cultural, economic and ecological sustainability. Many follow an ecomuseum model where they understand heritage to be multifaceted and engage with it in dynamic ways. This course will study the ecomuseum movement and participate in the development of an emerging ecomuseum in central Saskatchewan. ***Prerequisite: ANTH 100 or completion of 12 credit hours or permission of department head.*** *Note: This course cannot be taken for credit together with IDS 290AB*

ANTH 242AH - Introduction to Archaeology
An introduction to the basic techniques and concepts of the anthropological sub-field of archaeology. Using examples drawn from prehistory to the recent past, the course will explore the theoretical and practical aspects of archaeology and the range of specialist sub-fields that make up the discipline. ***Prerequisite: ANTH 100 or completion of 12 credit hours or permission of department head.***

ANTH 242AI - Anthropology of Social Work
This course provides an overview of anthropological approaches to Social Work. It covers such topics as population, the family, poverty, power and control. ***Prerequisite: ANTH 100 or completion of 12 credit hours or permission of department head.***

ANTH 242AJ - Anthropology of Political Extremism
Today political extremism is a central concern for most societies. This course uses anthropological theory and ethnography to explore the extremes of political thought and action. Topics possibly covered in this class may include white nationalism, neo-nazis, men’s rights movement, radical environmentalism, religious political extremism of different faiths. ***Prerequisite: ANTH 100 or completion of 12 credit hours or permission of department head.***

ANTH 242AK - Cultural Heritage and Politics of the Past
Using local and international examples, this course explores the concept of cultural heritage and the dynamic issues surrounding its management. It examines theories and methods influencing the interpretation and protection of cultural heritage and how these impact conceptions of the past, contemporary society and the future of heritage. ***Prerequisite: ANTH 100 or completion of 12 credit hours or permission of department head.***

ANTH 242AL - The Anthropology of Humour and Laughter
This introductory course is a cross-cultural examination of humour and laughter. Joking relationships, ritual clowning, the trickster image, as well as the social role of humour in religion, ethnicity, politics, and in daily interactions between men and women are among the topics covered in the course. ***Prerequisite: ANTH 100 or completion of 12 credit hours or permission of department head***

ANTH 242ME - Introduction to Museum Ethnography
This course provides an introduction to the history, purposes, transformation, as well as theoretical and ethical considerations of and for culture-historical museums. While its outlook is global and it will cover different kinds of museums around the world, its immediate and more practical focus is on local museums in Saskatchewan. ***Prerequisite: ANTH 100 or completion of 12 credit hours or permission of department head.***

ANTH 242MF - Concepts of Culture: An Introduction to Social Theory
This course provides a framework for understanding the current theoretical concepts in Sociocultural Anthropology (and beyond). Based on in-depth readings and visual media, it engages in a critical debate about key paradigms of the past and their modifications in the present. Schools of thought from Britain, France, North America as well as post-modern, post-colonial responses build the foundation that empowers students to understand larger contexts and to approach theoretical readings more effectively. ***Prerequisite: ANTH 100 or completion of 12 credit hours or permission of department head.***

ANTH 247 - Ethnography of Polynesia
This course surveys the cultures and societies of the islands of Polynesia. It investigates the region in historical perspective, including its place in the popular imagination of the West. Topics covered include social organization, cosmology, gender, art, tourism, globalization, and ethnicity. ***Prerequisite: ANTH 100 or completion of 12 credit hours or permission of department head.*** * Note: Formerly numbered ANTH 241AF. Students may count only one of ANTH 241AF or 247 for credit.*

ANTH 248 - Ethnography of New Guinea
This course explores the diverse cultures of Papua New Guinea and other parts of Melanesia. It will investigate such topics as social organization, gender roles, and exchange, and reveal anthropological insights into the practice of cannibalism, love magic, and sorcery. ***Prerequisite: ANTH 100 or completion of 12 credit hours or permission of department head.*** * Note: Formerly numbered ANTH 241AG. Students may count only one of ANTH 241AG or 248 for credit. *

ANTH 302 - Political Anthropology
Political power and process in cross-cultural perspective, including societies without specialized political institutions: analysis of the social organization of factionalism, dispute and violence, class and ethnic conflict, state formation, the colonial experience and political problems of emerging nations, legitimation, hegemony and ideology. ***Prerequisite: Completion of 30 credit hours including at least 3 credit hours in ANTH, or permission of the department head.***

ANTH 304 - Anthropology of Gender
How different cultures make distinctions between female, male and other gender categories; cross-cultural variation in gender definitions and roles; how gender shapes and is shaped by other aspects of culture and society. ***Prerequisite: Completion of 30 credit hours including at least 3 credit hours in ANTH, or permission of the department head.***

ANTH 306 - Anthropology of Art
A cross-cultural and inter-cultural exploration of aesthetics. This course compares the role of art in our own society to aesthetic expressions in other societies. It will also explore connections between anthropology and modern art movements. Various aesthetic forms may be addressed, including visual and performing arts as well as architecture. ***Prerequisite: Completion of 30 credit hours including at least 3 credit hours in ANTH, or permission of the department head.***

ANTH 307 - Anthropology of Ritual
This course investigates ritual as a social event where participants convey key cultural values and meanings through symbolic action in "sacred" space and time. Using anthropological theory and ethnographic case studies, the course inquires into how religious belief, ethnic and national affiliation, class and gender, prestige and political power are reproduced and reconfigured in ritual practiced today in differing locales of the world. ***Prerequisite: Completion of 30 credit hours including at least 3 credit hours in ANTH, or permission of the department head.***

ANTH 309 - The Anthropology of Personhood
An exploration of diverse cultural understandings of personhood. This course will use cross-cultural ethnographies as well as a variety of Western accounts to address social practices and understandings of bodies, sex and gender, subjectivities, emotions, and self-consciousness. It will also address debates concerning agency, freedom, morality, and structure. ***Prerequisite: Completion of 30 credit hours including at least 3 credit hours in ANTH, or permission of the department head.***

ANTH 310 - Race, Ethnicity, and Nation
How anthropologists analyze notions of race, ethnicity, and nation as constructions of social difference and identity in the modern world. This course will critically explore the social processes that both naturalize and politicize issues of culture and group membership in modern nation states. It will also discuss how social scientific theories have been involved in these developments. ***Prerequisite: Completion of 30 credit hours including at least 3 credit hours in ANTH, or permission of the department head.***

ANTH 313 - Material Culture and Consumption
A study of the investment of social values in the material world, including the cultural politics of "styles" in architecture, interior decoration, dress, etc. Consumption is approached ethnographically, in relation to modern personhood, kinship, and household formation. Practices such as collecting are studied in terms of the cultural politics of value in various societies. Emphasis is placed on modernity, with reference to ethnographic records of material culture in pre-industrial societies. ***Prerequisite: Completion of 30 credit hours including at least 3 credit hours in ANTH, or permission of the department head.***

ANTH 320AF - Visual Anthropology
The emphasis of this course is on the representation of society and social relations through visual media, particularly film and photography. A subsidiary issue concerns the representation of anthropological knowledge in ethnographic film. The course will have a global perspective, with an emphasis on Oceania. ***Prerequisite: Completion of 30 credit hours including at least 3 credit hours in ANTH, or permission of the department head.***

ANTH 320AH - Anthropology of Landscape
This course will engage with ethnographic studies on cultural constructions of the environment in various settings. The active relationship of persons with their land, their experience of living at a place, and the gendering of their (changing) world will be the focus of this class. ***Prerequisite: Completion of 30 credit hours including at least 3 credit hours in ANTH, or permission of the department head.***

ANTH 320AJ - Posthumanist Anthropology
The course will engage with non-anthropocentric human and social sciences, redefining the social as a collective of humans and non-humans, and including animals, plants, and other subjects. The course will address such topics as agency, animism, totemism, multispecism, ethics, and the dignity of the non-human. ***Prerequisite: Completion of 30 credit hours including at least 3 credit hours in ANTH, or permission of the department head.***

ANTH 320AK - Anthropology, writing, and fictions
Combining literary theory, the study of ethnographic genres, fictions, and experimental texts, this course explores ethnographic writing with a focus on the production of anthropological texts. In this context, writing becomes inextricably central to ethnographic storytelling and the practices of ethnography. ***Prerequisite: Completion of 30 credit hours including at least 3 credit hours in ANTH, or permission of the department head.***

ANTH 320AL - Advanced Topics in Community Museums
Communities around the globe strive for cultural, economic and ecological sustainability. In many places, local community museums have become catalysts in this endeavour. This course provides a critical perspective on community museum with a focus on the ecomuseum movement in Saskatchewan. ***Prerequisite: Completion of 30 credit hours including at least 3 credit hours in ANTH, or permission of the department head.*** *Note: This course cannot be taken for credit together with IDS 290AB or ANTH 242AG (effective the earliest time any of these courses was offered).*

ANTH 320AM - Advanced Anthropology of Violence
This course applies anthropological theories to explore violence and other forms of conflict as social processes rather than as isolated events. It provides a critical perspective on theoretical, methodological and ethical questions using a variety of ethnographic case studies and explores how anthropologists can effectively study this culturally universal phenomenon. ***Prerequisite: Completion of 30 credit hours including at least 3 credit hours in ANTH, or permission of the department head.*** *Note: This course cannot be taken for credit together with ANTH 242AB.*

ANTH 320AN - Readings in Popular Culture
This advanced course offers an overview of key theoretical approaches to popular culture, ranging from the Frankfurt School to postmodernism. Students will learn to use these approaches in critical analysis of cultural practices pertaining to the popular. Close attention will be paid to the ways in which popular culture is mobilized to promote particular values and ideologies, as well as to “resist” power. ***Prerequisite: Completion of 30 credit hours including at least 3 credit hours in ANTH, or permission of the department head.****

ANTH 333 - Ethnographic Research
This course will explore how socio-cultural anthropologists do ethnographic fieldwork, and the methodological, epistemological, and ethical issues they encounter in such research. Topics covered may range from the technical aspects of participant observation, ethnographic interviewing, and the writing of field notes, to the broader issues of how a researcher's point of view and relation to the community under study influence the creation of ethnographic knowledge. ***Prerequisite: Completion of 30 credit hours including at least 3 credit hours in ANTH, or permission of the department head.***

ANTH 340 - Anthropology and Contemporary Human Problems
The contribution of anthropological methods and principles to search for practical and ethical solutions to contemporary social and administrative problems involving intercultural communication and social change. ***Prerequisite: Completion of 30 credit hours including at least 3 credit hours in ANTH, or permission of the department head.*** *Note: ANTH 340 is not regularly offered.*

ANTH 343 - Medical Anthropology
The comparative study of medical systems and how they interact with their social and cultural context, including such issues as the healer-patient relationship, the socio-cultural construction of health and illness, and medical pluralism. ***Prerequisite: Completion of 30 credit hours including at least 3 credit hours in ANTH, or permission of the department head.***

ANTH 390AI - Anthropolgy of Death
The main focus of this course will be a cross-cultural study of death and mortuary rituals. The dynamic relationships that exist between living and deceased members of communities and nations will be explored through attentive review of early and contemporary ethnographic research. This course will demonstrate that ethnographic engagement with death and mortuary rituals can help reveal and further understandings of fundamental aspects of our social lives. ***Prerequisite: Completion of 30 credit hours including at least 3 credit hours in ANTH, or permission of the department head.***

ANTH 401 - Theory in Anthropology I
An examination of the major ideas and prominent figures in the development of anthropological thought. Although other eras will be covered, emphasis will be placed on the period from 1850 to 1950. ***Prerequisite: ANTH 202 and 203 or permission of the course instructor***

ANTH 402 - Theory in Anthropology II
An overview of the principal schools of thought that have shaped the work of anthropologists since 1950. ***Prerequisite: ANTH 202, 203, and 401 or permission of the course instructor*** *Note: Student can only receive credit for one of ANTH 402, ANTH 304, ANTH 400, ANTH 404, and ANTH 890AQ*

ANTH 496AC - Practicing Anthropology
This course critically engages with the application of anthropological theory and method in practical, real-world contexts. In particular, it will investigate how anthropologists outside of academia make positive contributions to society and explore the diversity of contexts where anthropological knowledge gained at university can make constructive contributions. ***Prerequisite: Permission of the Department Head is required to register***

ANTH 496AD - Methods for Honours Students
This course will familiarize students with qualitative research methodologies and the fundamentals of ethnographic fieldwork. It will prepare students for conducting independent research projects and acquaint them with both theoretical and practical aspects of research design.

ANTH 496AG - Theories in Posthumanist Anthropology
This course will focus on key theories in the area of non-anthropocentric human and social sciences. Redefining the social as a collective of humans and non-humans which includes animals, plants, and other non-human subjects. The class will include foundational texts ranging from science studies to feminist theory to philosophy as well as anthropology. The student will learn to synthesize key theoretical concepts putting them in dialogue with one another.

ANTH 496AH - Museum Collections, Social Relations, and Object Biographies
Anthropologists have long since asserted that the lines between people and things are culturally variable. Based on this premise, this course examines the ways in which objects, and particularly objects kept in museums and galleries, relate to persons and how they are essential in creating and maintaining relationships between people. ***Permission of department head required to register.***

ANTH 498 - Honours Thesis
An original exposition of a topic approved by the department. ** Permission of the Department Head required to register. **

ANTH 499 - Honours Thesis
An original exposition of a topic approved by the department. ** Permission of the Department Head required to register. **

ANTH 800 - Anthropology Seminar
A seminar devoted to the study of special topics and reports of research projects.

ANTH 809 - Selfhood and Morality
This couse examines the history, the theories, the debates and the ethnographic sources of the anthropological study of selfhood and morality, with a strong focus on issues of agency, intentionality and sociality. Course work will involve analysis of theoretical writings, ethnographic accounts, films, and pertinent works of literature.

ANTH 839 - Key Amazonianist Debates
This course examines key debates in the anthropological study of indigenous Amazonian peoples. It focuses on fertile debates concerning human ecology, social organization and historical population processes in amazonia, and native understandings of sociality, cosmology, selfhood, morality and emotions. The course also addresses issues in political and economic anthropology.

ANTH 853 - Advanced Ethnographic Research
This course explores the various ways that socio-cultural anthropologists conduct ethnographic fieldwork, and the methodological, epistemological and ethical issues that they face in their research.

ANTH 890AL - Advanced Anthropology of Gender
This reading course is an enriched, graduate level course. The student will study the relationship between gendered forms of political and economic empowerment and textile weaving cooperatives in Latin America.

ANTH 890AN - Anthropology of Performance
This directed reading course will examine key theoretical approaches concerning performance as a cultural practice that both reproduces and contests social values and norms. Students will submit bi-weekly reading reports to be discussed in two-hour seminars. A substantial final paper is required in lieu of an exam at the end of the semester.

ANTH 890AO - Anthropology of Religion
This advanced course is designed to familiarize graduate students with classical and contemporary approaches to the anthropological study of religion. Students and the instructor will meet monthly to discuss written responses to assigned readings. A major essay will be required at the end of the course in lieu of an final exam.

ANTH 890AP - Advanced Anthropology of Landscape
This course will explore the relationship between persons and places, theorizing about the salience of 'routes and roots' from various perspectives. Based on contemporary theory (e.g. Bourdieu, Ingold, Clifford, Jackson) landscapes will be analysed as cultural constructs that allow insights to gender, ethics, cosmology, personhood, and local history.

ANTH 890AQ - Advanced Theory in Anthropology since the 1950s
An in-depth exploration of some of the principal schools of thought that have shaped the work of anthropologists since 1950. * Note: Student can not receive credit for both ANTH 890AQ and ANTH 402. *

ANTH 890AT - Biopolitics, Governmentality, and Neoliberalism
This graduate-level seminar will focus on key theoretical readings in the area of biopolotics, governmentality, and neoliberalism. The class will include foundational texts from Foucault and include essays and articles to supplement the core texts. Students will learn to synthesize key theoretical concepts and apply these concepts to empirical examples.

ANTH 890AU - The Ethnography of the Massim Region
This course provides detailed knowledge of the Massim Region of Papua New Guina, a "classic" field in Anthropology since 1922, when Bronislaw Malinowski started to publish about the Trobriand Islands. A focus will be on the Southern part of this region, where the Dobu language is used. Since the library does not have much material, my own collection will be used to teach this class.

ANTH 890AW - New Melanesian Ethnography: a review of theory
This course focuses on texts belonging to this category of theory, in particular by by Roy Wagner, Marilyn Strathern, Debbora Battaglia, Joel Robbins, Alex Golub, Jerry Jacka, Justin Shaffner, and others. The student will be assisted in considering the application of New Melanesian Ethnography to their own work.

ANTH 890AX - Anthropology of Sociability
This reading course will critically examine recent theories concerned with human group formation, communing, sociability, hierarchy maintenance, and interaction. The objective is to familiarize the student with current theoretical and ethnographic explorations of these phenomena by anthropologists and other social scientists.

ANTH 890AY - Advanced Theories in Posthumanist Anthropology
This graduate-level reading course will focus on key theoretical readings in the area of non-anthropocentric human and social sciences, redefining the social as a collective of humans and non-humans, and including animals, plants, and other subjects. The class will include foundational texts ranging from science studies to feminist theory to philosophy as well as anthropology. The student will learn to synthesize key theoretical concepts and apply these concepts to empirical examples.

ANTH 901 - Research
Thesis research.

ANTH 100 Introduction to Anthropology is our basic course. It satisfies the Arts core requirement for a course on intercultural differences.

ANTH 202 The Anthropology of Language, and ANTH 203 Social Organization, are core requirements for a BA in Anthropology. These are important, edifying courses that contribute a great deal to the sophistication of students’ understandings of social life. (A word to the wise: these courses are taught once a year, and they are pre-requisites for our ANTH 401 and 402. Take them early on!)

Our ethnographic courses (ANTH 230-239, ANTH 241AH, ANTH 247, and ANTH 248) focus on particular areas of the world (e.g., Polynesia, Southeast Asia, the Himalayas, China, Papua New Guinea, Europe, and Amazonia) and address many of the features of the social lives of peoples there, such as their economy or livelihood; their social organization, including the hierarchies they establish; their cosmological, religious, and ritual practices; and their practices and understandings of personhood, morality, emotions, gender, and sexuality. Courses often address as well the matters of regional history, nationalism, ethnicity, globalization, and tourism. These courses are our bread and butter. They are exciting, thought-provoking, and mind-opening. (Our majors need three of these as part of their requirements for their BA in Anthropology; we recommend they take more.)

We offer a small number of 200-level electives, such as the very popular ANTH 240 Popular Culture, 242AA The Anthropology of Cyberspace, ANTH 242AB The Anthropology of Violence and Conflict, and ANTH 242 AE The Anthropology of Business and Finance.

We offer as well a number of specialized topics courses at the 300 level (and more rarely, at the 400-level. Among others, we have ANTH 302 Political Anthropology, ANTH 304 The Anthropology of Gender, ANTH 305 The Anthropology of Religion, ANTH 306 The Anthropology of Art, ANTH 309 The Anthropology of Personhood, ANTH 333 Ethnographic Research, and ANTH 343 Medical Anthropology. Our students need at least four of these to receive a BA Major in Anthropology

To cap our program, we offer ANTH 401 and ANTH 402, our Theory in Anthropology courses. These offer an overview of the principal theories and schools of thought that have shaped the work of anthropologists.