Anthropology 4623
MWF 11 to 11:50 in Cina 214
Fall semester 2005 UMD

Instructor: Linda S. Belote, Ph.D.
217 Cina Phone 726 - 6340
Home Phone 525-5313
Anth of CHP page:
Office hours: Monday and Wednesday noon - 2. others by appointment

Anthropology and Contemporary Human Problems
by John H. Bodley
Globalization, Water, & Health (GWH) by Linda Whiteford and Scott Whiteford

Course description: Analysis of the cultural roots of such interrelated contemporary human problems such as over-population, food production and distribution, health and nutrition, social and ecological disorders in the context of globalization. A review of alternative solutions to such problems as suggested by anthropological study and analyses.

Course objectives:

To gain an understanding of the global processes of "development," commercialization and globalization, and the impacts of these on the world's peoples and societies, especially but not exclusively tribal societies and indigenous peoples.

To gain an understanding of the contributions of indigenous peoples in addressing global problems

To gain an understanding of the contributions anthropology can make in addressing the contemporary problems facing humankind.

Course requirements:

1 exam @ 25 % = 250 points  
1 paper @ 25 % = 250  
1 paper critique @ 15 % = 150  
1 class presentation @ 15 % = 150  
class participation @ 20 % = 200  
  TOTAL = 1000 points  


This course is a seminar and will be conducted in that format. Every member of the class is to be an active participant and contributor to the learning process of all of us. Each member will choose a paper topic early in the semester and be the expert on that topic for the semester, producing a paper of at least 2500 words (double spaced, 11 or 12 font size, never larger) and "almost publishable" quality. AAA (American Anthropolgical Association) Style is required. Other criteria for the paper will be discussed in class. Each student paper will have one class period devoted to its presentation and discussion. The author will be given 20 minutes to present the findings of the paper. Another student will provide orally a formal critique of the paper (15 minutes). This critique should always be constructive, but qualitatively critical. We will discuss the nature of qualitative critiques in class. The remaining class time will be for open discussion of the paper with all of the students in the class. The author will be given the remainder of the semester to revise the paper to incorporate the comments and answers to the questions which are raised in the critique and the discussion. The revised final draft is due Thursday December 22 at 10 a.m.

This class will be as successful as we as a group make it. Class discussion based on participation of all members is essential to the stimulation of thought and learning of everyone (including the instructor--I want to learn some new things too!). In order to encourage those who are so often insightful but might be reticent in speaking up in class, 5% of the grade is based on this participation.

Final grades will be on a straight 1000 point scale as follows:

934 - 1000
766 - 799 C+    
900 - 933
734 - 765 C    
866 - 899
700 - 733 C-    
834 - 865
666 - 699 D+    
800 - 833
600 - 665 D    

Fewer than 599 points = F.

A violation of UMD's Academic Honesty Policy (behavior which is also referred to as Scholastic Misconduct) such as cheating, plagiarizing or any other "act which violates the rights of another student in academic work or that involves misrepresentation of your own work" will result in penalties up to and including an F for the course.

Special Arrangements

Individuals who have any disability, either permanent or temporary, which might affect their ability to perform in this class are encouraged to let me know at the start of the semester. Adaptations of methods, materials, or testing may be made as required to provide for equitable participation.

Course Expectations

I expect students to attend every class and to come to class prepared, having read the assignment for the day as indicated on the syllabus. I expect students to treat all members of the class with respect, which includes no private talking or whispering during class, so that all may hear the person who is speaking to the group. This extends to the end of the period. Please do not begin to "pack up" before the class period ends. You can expect the following of me: I will come to class prepared; I will stay current with my information to the best of my ability, and I will try to be stimulating and sensitive to differences among you in your learning needs. I will end on time (with your help!). I will be absolutely fair in assessing your performance in the class

Snow days. If the date of the exam falls on a snow day, the exam will be given on the next class date.


Sept. 7 Introduction -- Identifying problems. Please see The Constant Gardener now showing at Duluth 10 Theatre by Wed. Sept 14.
  9-12 The anthropological perspective A review of basic points Read: Bodley chapt. 1 Tribal culture and Global culture
  14 Colonialism Read: Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell (hand-out) Pick paper topic
  16 Sustainability Read: Bodley Chapt. 2 Pick paper topic to critique
  19 Natural Resources management and utilization Read: Bodley Chapter 3
  21 Video: Blowpipes and Bulldozers Read: Bodley Chapter 4

Hunger Read: Bodley Chapter 5

  26 Newfoundland Cod Read: handout
  28 Paper, critique and discussion criteria & requirements AAA style sheet
  30 Population Read: Bodley Chapter 6
OCT 3 Resolution of conflict Read: Bodley Chapter 7 + Admin. of Justice Paper+ Turn in preliminary bibliography: 5 books, 5 journals, 5 webpages
  5 Structural violence Read: Paul Farmer handout
  7 Anthropology of globalization Read: Bodley chapter 8
  10 Consequences of globalization Read: GWH pages 3 - 44
  12-14 The Corporation DVD
  17 Law of the Commons re: Water Read: GWH chapter 6
  19 Free market "solutions" (Neoliberal economics)
  21 Water and disease Read: GWH Chapters 3 and 4
  24 The Human Rights Perspective Read: GWH pages 129 -183
  26 World trends Read pages 185 - 265
  31 review for exam
NOV 2 Exam
  4 Go over exams
Dec 14-16 Are there anthropological answers? Final thoughts on Contemporary Human Problems

FINAL COPY OF YOUR PAPER is due at the scheduled final exam time: THURSDAY DEC 22 at 10:00A.M.. In this room. There will be no final exam.