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Understanding Global Cultures

Canvas Modules for Class Participants Fall 2022 [calendar]
Canvas Modules for Class Participants Spring 2023 [calendar]

List of countries of the world -- Wikipedia
Language Dictionaries and Resources 
International Development Indicators 
-- Human Development Reports, United Nations Development Programme
Global Open Data Index 
. Tuesday, 29 November 2022, 08:20 (08:20 AM) CST, day 333 of 2022 .

World Food and Water Clock

Search the troufs Site

(all TR courses and web pages)

Global Cultures

Video Schedule

  "Sunday Memos"

 Semester Calendar f2022

 major due dates

  text readings schedule

  slides schedule

Looking for other videos for your term Project?
Use the UMD Library Guide to Streaming Videos
UMD Docuseek Complete Collection: Third Edition / Subjects List

Weeks . . .

NOTE: Some Video Offerings are Currently being Re-negotiated with Providers

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Visual Anthropology

Video materials used in class illustrate many topics covered in this course. Consider these presentations similar to lab sessions, that is, watch them carefully and critically rather than simply watch another movie or video. The exams will include these materials, and it will be assumed that you have paid critical attention to them.

It is generally best to watch the videos after you have looked at the slides and reading material(s).

Dates and videos/films may change.


Some contracts and licenses restrict distribution to current University of MInnesota students, faculty, and staff.
Some video offerings are currently being re-negotiated with providers.

Some films require your Virtual Private Network (VPN) (UMD) to be turned on if you are accessing films from off-campus.

In addition, with some videos (and other copyright materials from the UMD Library and IT) you will need a e-mail address to access the content.

If you have transferred to Duluth from another UMN campus, you may request to update your e-mail domain to Duluth.

A-Z index

Week 1
28 August - 3 September 2022
  Many Ways to See the World:
A Thirty-minute Tour of World Map Images
(30 min., 2005, CC)
(UMD exp 10/25/22)

On-line Access
click  here

Other resources

course viewing guide

Maps Of America That Will Make You See Things Differently -- OceanDraw (16 November 2020)

Course Maps and Atlases WebPage

(UM Duluth Library Multimedia - DVD GA105.3 .M35 2006)

Many Ways to See the World:
Selective Attention

One of the five main characteristics of American Anthropology is fieldwork, "a primary research technique, involving “participant observation," which usually means living among the people one is interested in learning from and about. And fieldwork, almost above everything else, requires attentive observation and recording of information.

Much of what we are going to do for the rest of the semester is "fieldwork" via video materials from around the world. Before we get into the video-intensive part of the course (towards the middle and end), take the Selective Attention Test (below) developed by Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris. This should give you a little insight into the nature of observing—which lies at the very heart of anthropological fieldwork.

See also "An Important Note on Videos and Visual Anthropology".


First, take the . . .

Selective Attention Test


Read and follow the directions carefully.
(Be sure to also count the bounce passes.)

 Selective Attention Test

Be sure to try your very best to follow the instructions.

(It's short, less than a minute and a half).


When you are finished with the Selective Attention Test, watch . . .

The Monkey Business Illusion

(It too is short: 1:42)

Again, read and follow the directions carefully.

(And as with THe Selective Attention Test, be sure to also count the bounce passes.)

 The Monkey Business Illusion


(4) After you have taken Simon and Chabris' tests, think about how what you learned from them about perception might be applied as you view the videos for the rest of the semester as well as the cultural behaviors in real life as you roam the world thereafter

The main purpose of this exercise is to sensitize you to the fact that everyone views things selectively—”quite naturally, and maybe even by necessity. And one's culture plays a huge role in what one "sees" and focuses on (and what one doesn't see and focus on). American men, for e.g., most often do not "see" many details of clothing, color, and personal stylistic adornment (read hair styles, nail treatment, cosmetic adornments and the like).

To view things as a trained observer as anthropologists must do when they're in the field "doing" anthropology one must almost constantly be aware of this natural / cultural tendency to perceive things selectively, and try to compensate for it by paying attention to items not otherwise selected for, while at the same time being careful "not to miss anything".

Hopefully, this exercise will make you just a little more critical in the way you look at things—”and especially the class videos—”for the rest of the semester (and maybe even for the rest of your life, for that matter).

You are not expected anything to submit anything—no reaction, or report, or forum posting. This is a "re-vision" activity, and it should benefit you in performing well in the exams and overall for the course. And hopefully it will also help on your way to having a genuine anthropological perspective on life in general.


Other Materials from Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons . . .

"Demonstrations, videos from our research, videos of us speaking, etc. Dan's YouTube Channel includes most of these videos as well as favorites from around the web that are related to or mentioned in our book. You can view more videos on his personal website."

Other Videos --  the invisible gorilla


The Book . . .

 The Invisible Gorilla Book

. . . discusses six "everyday illusions" . . .

1. The Illusion of Attention
("Inattentional Blindness")
2. The Illusion of Memory
3. The Illusion of Confidence
4. The Illusion of Knowledge
5. The Illusion of Cause
6. The Illusion of Potential


 Christopher Chabris

  Daniel Simons

 Inattentional blindness


Other Works of Interest

  • Optical Illusions WebPage

  • Kahneman, Daniel. Thinking Fast and Slow. NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011.

  • Macknik, Stephen L., Susana Martinez-Conde, and Sandra Blakeslee. Sleights of Mind: What the Neuroscience of Magic Reveals about Our Everyday Deceptions. NY: Henry Holt and Company, 2010.

  • Nassim Nicholas Taleb

    • Incerto -- an investigation of luck, uncertainty, probability, opacity, human error, risk, disorder, and decision-making in a world we don’t understand

      • Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets. 2nd Ed. NY: Random House, 2008.

      • The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable: With a new section: "On Robustness and Fragility". NY: Random House, 2010.

      • Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder. NY: Random House, 2014.

      • The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms. NY: Random House, 2016.

  • Malcolm Gladwell

Week 2
4 - 10 September 2022
(Foreign Women [in Spain])
(74 min., 2005, CC)
(UMD exp 09/09/24)

On-line Access
click  here
course viewing guide
REM: Turn on the Closed Caption (CC)
(UM Duluth Library Multimedia -- DVD HD8588.5.A2 E987 2003)
Week 3
11 - 17 September 2022
 Why Finland And Denmark Are Happier Than The U.S.
[And actually, the happiest people in the world]
-- CNBC Make
(25.44 min., 9 January 2020)


On-line Access
click  here
transcript available on-line
REM: Turn on the Closed Caption (CC)
Week 4 
18 - 24 September 2022

Aatsinki: The Story of Arctic Cowboys 
(Reindeer Herders of Finnish Lapland)
(84 min., 2014)
(UMD exp perpetual)

On-line Access
click  here

"Trigger Alert"

This Film Contains Graphic Images

of animals being harvested

course viewing guide
Week 5 
25 September - 1 October 2022
Babakiueria narrator.
 Michele Torres
(30 min., 1986)

YouTube linkAccess
click  here
course viewing guide
Week 6
2 - 8 October 2022
Hmong shaman.

Paja and Yer Vang Thao



 The Split Horn:
Life of a Hmong Shaman in America
(58 min., 2001)
(UMD exp 07/10/22)

On-line Access
(link updated 2022.08.08)
click  here
course viewing guide
DVD BL2370.S5 S65 2001b
Good Supplementary Film: Hmong Shaman in America
(28 min., 1993 [1985], UM DULUTH Martin Library Video Cassette VC 2148)
Week 7 
9 - 15 October 2022

f2022 Global Cultures Midterm Exam will be available Week 7, 10 - 15 October 2022 (up to 400 points)
NOTE: There will be at least one question in the pool from each of the assigned videos from Weeks 1-6, so be sure not to miss watching them.
Video Listings: <>

After the Midterm Exam

Great Gatherings
(Rituals (natural history). 2, Great gatherings)
(55 min., 2018)
(UMD exp 07/21/32 AVON)
[Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Peru, U.S.A.]

On-line Access
(link updated 2022.08.08)
click  here

Open University, & British Broadcasting Corporation (Producers), & Harrison, N. (Director). (2018). Great gatherings. [Video/DVD] BBC Worldwide.


"The greatest gatherings on Earth are rituals. They bind us together and keep communities alive. In Sienna rival districts battle for supremacy in a 700 year-old horse race. In Japan, two thousand men perform a chaotic fire ritual to be renewed; while in Malaysia, one devotee joins millions to fulfill a grueling vow to god. At the world's highest mass ritual in the Peruvian Andes, men are initiated into their ancient clan; and in the desert, Burning Man's new rituals fulfill our desire to belong."
Week 8 
16 - 22 October 2022
I Named Her Angel
(29 min., 2008)
(UMD exp perpetual)
[Türkiye, fka Turkey]

On-line Access
click  here
(Turkey; Mevlevis, are also known as Whirling Dervishes)
course viewing guide

Fall Break
27 - 28 October 2022

Week 9 
23 - 29 October 2022


The Pig Commandments
(72 min., 2005)
(UMD exp perpetual)
[Chinese and Malay in Malaysia]

NOTICE: The UMD disk for The Pig Commandments is damaged and does not circulate from the Library. Please use on-line streaming.

On-line Access
click  here
course viewing guide

DVD BP184.9.D5 P54 2006
The Global Banquet: Politics of Food.
 Taste of China, Part 2,
"Food for Body and Spirit"

(29 min., 1984, VC 714)
(UMD exp 08/23/24)
[second copy with Closed Captioning available]

On-line Access
click  here
course viewing guide
(DVD TX724.5.C5 F66 1984)
Week 10 
30 October - 5 November 2022
Ganges: River to Heaven
(52 min., 2003)
(UMD exp perpetual)

On-line Access
click  here

"Trigger Alert"

This Film Contains Graphic Images

of humans and death rituals

course viewing guide
(DVD BL1243.76.V382 G35 2003)
(REM: Check Disk for Problems)
Week 11 
6 - 12 November 2022
A little "Romantic Love" from Strange Relations
From the series Millennium: Tribal Wisdom and the Modern World, by David Maybury-Lewis
(60 min., 1992, VC 1974, pt. 2)
(UMD exp 01/27/2025)

On-line Access
(link updated 2022.08.08)
click  here

YouTube linkAccess
click  here
course viewing guide
Week 12
13 - 19 November 2022
Après l'hiver, le printemps
(After Winter, Spring)
(74 min., 2013 [US Release Date: 2015])
(UMD exp perpetual)

On-line Access
click  here
Use this link for the film to get to the library catalog where you can click on Docuseek2 Streaming Videos.
Bullfrog Film's viewing guide
After Winter, Spring -- Wikipedia
(UM DULUTH Martin Library DVD DC33.L68 A38 2013)

  Docuseek 3rd Ed.
Week 13 
20 - 26 November 2022
Tejiendo Relatos
"Weaving Stories"
(56:56 min., 2015
(UMD exp 07/31/22 AVON)
 [Aymara; Bolivia]

 Directed by Clara Calvet, produced by Sebastián Riveaud, and Quechua Films. Quechua Films, 2015. Alexander Street.

On-line Access
click  here
course viewing guide
 Film WebPage

  Best Ethnographic Film Award
at the XXVI International Festival of Ethnological Film Belgrade 2017

IAMS Award
at the ESPIELLO International Ethnographic Documentary Festival 2017 and the

"El vídeo participativo es más que un proceso de realización,
Es una herramienta para cambiar el mundo que nos rodea.

["Participatory video is more than a process of realization;
It is a tool to change the world around us".

Tejiendo Relatos is a documentary that reflects the role of weaving women in the Andean communities of Bolivia. The purpose of this work is to make the world of these women known, expressed through ancestral textile techniques.”

“. . . The objective of this project is to publicize their work, in order to revalue an art that unfortunately is on the way to extinction.”


Week 14
27 November - 3 December 2022
Watch at least one of the three
full-length presentations on the Caribbean . . .

Caribbean . . . “Episode 1”
[The island of Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic), Puerto Rico]

Episode 1:
(02:54 min., 2015)
Full feature Episode 1:
On-line Access
(59:22 min., 2015)
click  here
(UMD AVON link updated 2022.08.08)

Caribbean . . . “Episode 2”
[Barbados, St. Vincent, Venezuela, Colombia]

Episode 2:
(02:37 min., 2015)
Full feature Episode 2:
On-line Access
(59:37 min., 2015)
click  here
(UMD AVON link updated 2022.08.08)

Caribbean . . . “Episode 3”
[Nicaragua, Honduras (mainland and Roatan Island), Jamaica]

Episode 3:
(02:49 min., 2015)
Full feature Episode 3:
On-line Access
(59:53 min., 2015)
click  here
(UMD AVON link updated 2022.08.08)

course viewing guide

BBC Caribbean with Simon Reeve Homepage
Q&A with Simon Reeve
How well do you know the Caribbean?
(Take the Quiz)

Week 15
4 - 10 December 2022
Hungary, with one of the lowest birthrates in Europe, is essentially paying people to have babies. 

Have a look at the short video:
 Pressure to procreate: inside Hungary’s baby drive
-- The Guardian (23 February 2021)
(15:42, 2021)
click  here
Week 16
 11 - 17 December 2022

Final Exams Week

f2022 The Global Cultures Final Exam is scheduled for Monday-Friday, 12 - 16 December 2022 (up to 400 points)
NOTE: There will be at least one question in the pool from each of the assigned videos from Weeks 7-15, so be sure not to miss watching them.

Video Listings: <>

. . .

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