Course Descriptions


Please see OASIS for current semester offerings; not all courses are offered every semester.


Ethnic Diversity in the U.S. (ANT 4316): Ethnic Diversity in the U.S. is an upper division anthropology exit course which follows a seminar format based on class discussions.  It focuses on ‘ethnicity’ and ‘ethnic diversity’ in the U.S. as social constructions that respond to specific moments in the history of the U.S.  The goal of this course is to give students the opportunity to explore different theoretical perspectives dealing with the dynamics of history, class, and ethnicity in the U.S.  Students are encouraged to critically look at what specific national discourses express about ethnic and class realities and how these constructions reflect particular hegemonic interests.

Gender in Cross-cultural Perspective (ANT 4302): Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspectives is an upper division anthropology exit course that follows a seminar format based on class discussions.  It focuses on the social constructions of gender based on particular historical and cultural processes of four specific social formations (pre-colonial-colonial societies, agricultural societies, pastoralist societies and state based). The goal of this course is to give students the opportunity to explore the connections between different socio-economic formations and the gender systems they created through time.  In fact, the ultimate goal of this course is to understand that gender systems are products of particular histories and particular peoples (and thus particular ideological systems).

Language and Culture (ANT 4620): This course has been designed to provide students an opportunity to focus on contemporary issues of language and culture and the very complex influences they exert on our understanding of our daily lives and realities.  Besides focusing on theoretical considerations, this course affords students the opportunity of applying knowledge generated in class to the analysis of the role language plays in the construction of realities that are seen through the lenses of gender, class, ethnicity, and power and the effects words have in the readings and understandings of those realities.  Through a short fieldwork project, students will be encouraged to analyze the role of language in the media (i.e. radio, tv, newspapers, ads,) and the internet in the production and reproduction of ideologies and hegemonies in issues of representation and imposition

Mexico and Central America (ANT 4323): The Columbian “discovery” of the ‘New World’ forced the interaction of realities and cultural systems that were profoundly different, many would claim unintelligible.  Since the early years of the Spanish conquest, the “Indian problem’ has haunted democratic leaders, dictators, policy makers, and, especially, the indigenous populations themselves.  National discourses (sometimes racist or classist, other times a combination of the two) have been constructed based on a set of assumptions that attempted to explain this “Indian problem”.


Personality (PPE 4003): Methods and findings of personality theories and an evaluation of constitutional, biosocial, and psychological determinants of personality.

Women’s Mental Health (SOP 4744): This course will stimulate students’’ critical engagement of research related to the psychology of women. This course will also enable students to understand women’’s experiences resulting from biological and social/cultural factors.

Cross-Cultural Psychology (SOP 4723): This course focuses on understanding culture and psychology, emphasizing cross-cultural research methodology and critical thinking. Cross-cultural psychology underscores the connections between culture, emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.

Psychology of Religion (SOP 4450): The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the empirical study of the psychology of religion and spirituality. This course will also focus on the origin of this field of study, including the pioneering work of William James.


Geographic Perspectives on Nature (GEO 4379): This seminar explores human concepts of nature from the Pleistocene to the present. Critical ideas within social construction of nature, from the Sumerians and Egyptians to the post-modern era (including ecofeminism, deep ecology, and animal rights) are explored.

World Regional Geography (GEA 2000): Comparative and analytical analysis of representative regions of the world with emphasis on cultural, political, economic, environmental, and physical diversity

Qualitative Research Methods in Geography (GEO 3112): This is a hands-on course that provides students the opportunity to explore alternatives to the traditional statistical analysis of quantitative data in investigating social science topics. Focus groups, interviews, participant observation and archival methods are among the techniques utilized in the class.

The Cultural Geography of Human-Animal Relations (GEO 4940). This course explores cross-disciplinary approached to the human-animal relationship, across time and space. Critical issues engaged in the course include the use of animals as food, in research, as pets, as well as issues related to zoos, wildlife conservation and wildlife management.


Inequalities and Social Justice (SYO 4536)

PR: SYG 2000 or SYG 2010. This course draws on the insights of the social sciences and the humanities to understand social inequalities in our global age and to formulate “socially just” responses to those inequalities.

Sociology of Families (SYO 3120)
With a goal to understand American families in the present, this course will examine variations in family types by social class, race, ethnicity, and historical era. Exploration of current controversies about how families should be organized and about what they should do for their members as well as social policies related to families.

Classical Theory (SYA 3110)

PR: SYG 2000. The analysis of the philosophical foundations, central principles, and historical development of Sociological theory.

Medical Sociology (SYO 4400)
PR: SYG 2000 or CI. The study of disease and the sick person including the analysis of health practices, beliefs, and practitioners, the hospital as an organization, the cost, financing, and politics of health care.