Search | Directories | Reference Tools
UW Home > Discover UW > Student Guide > Course Catalog 

Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

K. Sivaramakrishnan
ANTH 495
Seattle Campus

Advanced Problems in Ethnology

Current problems in ethnology. Seminar format.

Class description

Title: COMPARATIVE HISTORICAL AND SOCIAL ECOLOGY OF THE TROPICS --------------------------------------------------------------- This course has two goals. First, it seeks to introduce students to environmental history and social ecology as inter-related topics. Second, the course will take students into that field of arguments where nature, history and society emerge as mutually constructed entities. The objective is to provide conceptual tools for: a) understanding environmental change; b) unpacking the methodologies by which change is studied and represented; and c) knowing why measurement and management of environmental processes in the tropics has become such a contentious issue. The course will draw upon studies of forests, wildlife, agriculture, water conservation, and indigenous peoples in the tropical world. We will chiefly be reading the work of anthropologists and social historians but will also consider relevant writing by ecologists and geographers on a variety of topics. The course will identify both unique patterns and comparable processes in the conservation histories and debates of the tropical world by considering cases from Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

This course is designed as a seminar mainly for seniors and juniors. Short lectures will be followed by intensive discussion of assigned readings with individuals or small teams of students taking responsibility for leading discussions in particular weeks. The teaching materials include numerous environmental films made by anthropologists and ecologists.

Recommended preparation

Juniors and seniors are expected to have taken Anth 210. Other equivalent preparation may be accepted. Willingness to read critically and discuss energetically are the only required commitments from students.

Class assignments and grading

All students will be expected to be active in class discussions and prepare one presentation for the class during the course. There will be two written assignments in the form of short essays, prepared as take-homes, on selected readings requiring a synthesis of materials taught.

Grades: 20% for participation including one in-class presentation, 30% for mid-term essay, 50% for final essay.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by K. Sivaramakrishnan
Date: 05/08/2000