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Anthropology Curriculum


ANT 100 General Anthropology 3 cr.

General understanding of humans in relation to cultures, evolutionary development and racial diversity, capacities for society and the development of the world's major cultures. SS

ANT 150 Food, Culture, and Identity 3 cr.

This course will study the role of food in human history and the biocultural construction of what is classified as food. We will examine how cultural and ethnic identities are associated with particular types of food and explore food consumption and health, the gendered dimension of food, and the social hierarchies and power relations associated with the commodification of food. Primary emphasis is given to the role food has played in the development of African American, Native American, Hispanic and Asian American identities in the United States. SS/ES

ANT 291 Topics in Anthropology 2-4 cr.

A specific topic in an instructor's area of special competence.  When offered, the particular topic is indicated in the campus timetable.  Prereq: previous anthropology course or cons. instr.*

ANT 299 Independent Reading and Research in Anthropology 1-3 cr.

Independent reading and research in anthropology.  Prereq: cons. instr.*


ANT 105 Introduction to Physical Anthropology 3-4 cr.

The biological basis of human evolution and human variation; the place of humans in the order of primates; consideration and interpretation of the fossil evidence for human evolution.  NS (if 4 cr. also LS)

ANT 303 The Human Skeleton 3 cr.

Individual bones and teeth, possibly including ancient as well as modern specimens; sex and age differences; continuous and discontinuous morphological variation of geographically and ethnically diverse populations; stature reconstruction; forensic aspects of individual identification; lab training in observations, measurements and analysis; lecture and lab. Prereq: cons. instr. LS/NS


ANT 102 Archaeology and the Prehistoric World 3 cr.

Introduction to the prehistoric world from origins of human culture to the beginnings of written history as revealed by archaeological research at great sites and ruins around the globe.  Archaeological analysis of famous prehistoric sites as case studies to illustrate concepts and techniques used by archaeologists in their efforts to understand the rise, florescence and demise of vanished societies. SS

ANT 302 Archaeology of Wisconsin 3-4 cr.

Survey of Wisconsin archaeology from the earliest occupation of the state through the historic period and subsequent tribal breakdown.  Emphasis is on ecological and historical factors influencing development of prehistoric and historic aboriginal culture of Wisconsin.  Prereq: previous anthropology course or cons. instr. SS/ES

ANT 308 Archaeology of North America 3 cr.

(Same as AIS 308.)  Main pre-Columbian cultures north of Mexico.  Includes evidence for cultural developments and diversity of cultural groups.  Prereq: previous anthropology course or cons. instr. SS/ES

ANT 343 Religion, Magic and Witchcraft (Same as REL 343) 3 cr.

Religion, magic, and witchcraft are uniquely human means of reaching out to the supernatural realm in order to effect changes in the here and now. This course introduces students to descriptions and interpretations of magico-religious beliefs and practices in a variety of cultures from an anthropological perspective, which does not attempt to judge the validity of such beliefs but to understand their origins and functions, among other things. It examines theories about religion and some of the conceptual issues regarding the interpretation of religion and related phenomena which have interested anthropologists over time. Not recommended for first semester students. SS

ANT 370 Archaeology Field School 1-6 cr.

Practical application of the basic skills used in the excavation of archaeological sites, including surveying techniques, methods of excavation, compilation of field data, and laboratory analysis through participation in an actual archaeological field project.  The site(s) excavated and their location vary by year and campus.  Usually offered summers.  Limited enrollment.  Generally, one credit is given for each 40 hours of fieldwork.  Additional fees may be required for transportation, food lodging and equipment.  Prereq: Previous anthropology course and consent of instructor; ANT 102 highly recommended.  AP


ANT 104 Cultural Anthropology 3 cr.

Survey of cultural anthropology with emphasis on ethnographic description, methodology and contemporary theory.  Cross-cultural comparisons of societies and institutions.  Course includes both humanistic and social scientific approaches to human sociocultural diversity.

ANT 204 Cultures of the World 3 cr.

Ethnographic survey of the world's peoples and their cultures.  Major regions of the world considered in an attempt to outline the variety, richness, significance and persistence of cultural traditions. SS

ANT 250 Women in Cross-Cultural Perspective 3 cr.

(Same as WOM 250.)  Study of women in a variety of cultures around the world, both past and present.  Includes consideration of the sexual division of labor, marriage systems, child rearing, relationships between men and women, systems of myth and ideology concerning women's roles and the effects of socio-economic development and rapid social change.

ANT 260 American Indian Art 3 cr.

A survey of North American Indian art and its relationship to Native American cultures, past and present.  Looks at pre-Columbian art, changes in art with European contact, and the most recent trends in Native American art.  Philosophies of aesthetics and the relationship of art to material culture and world view will be analyzed from the cross-cultural perspective of the anthropology of art. FA/ES

ANT 314 Indians of North America 3 cr.

Description and analysis of native cultures and the role of environmental and historical factors in North America.  Prereq: a previous anthropology course or cons. instr. SS/ES

ANT 325 Peoples and Cultures: Focused Explorations3 cr.

Ethnographic survey of the peoples and cultures of a specified geographic region or culture area.  Explores the diversity of societies in the region, as well as persistence and change in cultural traditions.  Emphasis may include the role of environment and prehistoric and historic events; social organization, kinship, belief systems, law, economics, and language.  The selected are reflects the instructor's area of special competence.  When offered, the selected area is indicated in the campus timetable.  Course may be repeated for credit if selected area is different.  Prereq: previous anthropology course or cons. instr. SS

ANT 343 Anthropology of Religion3 cr.

Anthropological approaches to selected religious systems, including geographic and topical comparisons, critical considerations of outstanding contributions and a view of religion as an ethnographic problem.  Prereq: previous anthropology course or cons. instr. SS

ANT 350 Illness and Healing in Anthropological Perspective: Introduction to Medical Anthropology3 cr.

The interrelationships between ecology, culture, society, disease and medicine from the beginning of humankind to the present.  Includes the study of paleopathology (the analysis of disease found in the fossil record); how health, illness and disease are defined in a variety of societies; and how people construct cultural systems to cope with stress and illness.  SS

ANT 353 Indians of the Western Great Lakes 3 cr.

Analysis of Indian cultures in the area around the western Great Lakes, with emphasis on traditional cultures of the Indians in Wisconsin.  Prereq; previous anthropology course or cons. instr. SS/ES

American Indian Studies

The new American Indian Studies Program allows students planning to major or minor in an American Indian Studies or Ethnic Studies degree program at a 4-6 year institution to complete their freshman/sophomore coursework at the UW Colleges.  While a full range of courses is available, many are not yet cross-listed under the American Indian Studies (AIS) designation.  For more information about currently available courses and for an AIS Program Transfer Guide, contact the chair of the UW College Political Science Department.

AIS 227 Multicultural Business 3 cr.

(Same as BUS 227.) Examines business topics requiring an understanding of culture.  Includes cultural diversity in the workplace and the experiences of minorities in business. SS/ES

AIS 242 The American Indian in Literature and Film 3 cr.

(Same ass ENG 242.) This course will provide a cross-disciplinary exploration of the images of American Indians and their relevance to American society in film, literary, and historical texts.  Prereq: ENG 101 or consent of instructor. HU/ES

AIS 308 Archaeology North America 3 cr.

(Same as ANT 308.) Main pre-Columbian cultures north of Mexico.  Includes evidence for cultural developments and diversity of cultural groups.  Prereq: PREVIOUS ANTHROPOLOGY COURSE OR CONS. Instr. SS/ES

UW Colleges courses in other departments which may be accepted in a 4-year American Indian Studies or Ethnic Studies Program upon application to that institution:

  • ANT 104 Cultural Anthropology
  • ANT 260 American Indian Art
  • ANT 302 Archeology of Wisconsin
  • ANT 308 Archeology of North America
  • ANT 314 Indians of North America
  • ANT 353 Indians of Western Great Lakes
  • ART 175 Worlds of Art
  • BUS 227 Multicultural Business
  • ENG 242 The American Indian in Literature and Film
  • ENG 278 Multicultural Literature in America
  • ENG 290 Introduction to American Indian Literature
  • HIS 280 History of Great Lakes Region
  • PHI 203 American Indian Philosophies
  • SOC 213 American Minority Groups