Judith M.S. Pine
Introduction to the descriptive and analytic literature of cultural anthropology. Extended examination of representative accounts of the lifeway of peoples from selected areas of the world with an emphasis on methods of observation and analysis.
ethnography: that aspect of cultural anthropology concerned with the descriptive documentation of living cultures.
In this course, we will explore some of the ways in which cultures have been written about by anthropologists, and work towards an informed, enriched reading of such descriptions. Students will read samples of work from the early 20th century through the early 21st century. A variety of approaches to ethnographic writing will be introduced. Students will also read a variety of articles and essays about writing ethnography, in order to clearly understand the context within which each example ethnography was written.
My goal, as the instructor of this class, is to provide each student with intellectual tools needed to get the most out of this central form of anthropological writing. You will leave the class with a better understanding of the conflicts inherent in ethnographic writing, an appreciation of a wide range of such writing, and an idea of the motivations which keep anthropologists at the work of ethnography.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
This is a lecture course, with weekly discussion sections. Interactive activities will take place during the lecture classes, as well as during sections. Extended discussion, in which students may participate on a voluntary basis, will take place on the course bulletin board, accessed via the course web site.
Students should come to the class prepared to do a considerable amount of reading. No further preparation should be required.
Class assignments and grading