2011-12 Catalog

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Anthropology [clear]

Title   Offering Standing Credits Credits When F W S Su Description Preparatory Faculty Days Multiple Standings Start Quarters Open Quarters
Rita Pougiales
  Program FR–SRFreshmen - Senior 8 08 Day Su 12Summer Session I Anthropologists are interested in uncovering the complexity and meaning of our modern lives. They do so through ethnographic research, gathering data as both "participants" and "observers" of those they are studying. Doing ethnographic research is simultaneously analytical and deeply embodied. This program includes an examination of and application of ethnographic research methods and methodologies, a study of varied theoretical frameworks used by anthropologists today to interpret and find meaning in data, and an opportunity to conduct an ethnographic project of interest. Students will read and explore a range of ethnographic studies that demonstrate what an anthropologist, what Ruth Behar calls a "vulnerable observer," can uncover about the lives of people today. Rita Pougiales Mon Wed Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Summer Summer
Ulrike Krotscheck
  Program FR–SRFreshmen - Senior 8 08 Day Su 12Summer Session II This course examines the material culture remains of past civilizations, including architecture, art, mortuary remains, and written sources. Our investigation will take us to every corner of the globe and to many different periods in history, from the Mediterranean to Easter Island, and from the Neolithic Middle East to Colonial America. Primarily, we explore how the remains that archaeologists find give clues to help unlock the secrets of ancient societies. In addition, we will learn about the history of archaeological investigation and discuss archaeological methods and fieldwork techniques. This program has no prerequisites and assumes no prior knowledge of archaeology. It will be of interest to any student wishing to learn more about the ancient world, history, and/or who is interested in archaeological fieldwork. As part of this course, we will visit a local archaeological lab and excavation. Ulrike Krotscheck Tue Wed Thu Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Summer Summer
Sean Williams, Heather Heying and Eric Stein
  Program FR–SRFreshmen - Senior 16 16 Day F 11 Fall W 12Winter In addition to the landscape of the map, there are also landscapes of the mind. How humans conceptualize where and how they (and others) live is an elemental process that has started wars, led to new forms of cross-cultural communication, and given rise to hybridization of both populations and ideas. Our focus in this two-quarter program is to take a particular area of the world -- the equator -- and explore how various groups of people (local and foreign) have come to understand it over time. Through our work in science, the performing arts and anthropology, we will collectively engage the ways in which people connect to the natural world, the arts, and each other.Each quarter divides into sections in which we highlight a particular lens through which to view our work, or focus on ways in which our lenses overlap. For example, we will examine how anthropology and medicine have grappled with "The Tropics" as a space believed to be essentially different from "The West," raising questions about the construction of race, the body, and the category of the "primitive." We will also work with sound: playing and creating musical instruments, singing and listening to music. In an attempt to understand the relationship between humans and the world around them, we will investigate evolutionary processes that apply to plants and animals near the equator. While our studies are contextualized in regions such as Brazil and Indonesia and other equatorial locations, we will also work briefly with a few regions outside the equator by way of comparison.Weekly activities feature lectures, films and seminars. Other planned activities include field trips, workshops, collaborative presentations and guest lectures. Students are expected to focus on enhancing their college-level writing skills throughout the program; each quarter's major writing assignments will require students to revise their work and understand the process of revision. In fall quarter students will be introduced to important concepts about how to approach this material: issues of race, class and gender in a colonial context are important factors in deepening our understanding. As we move into winter quarter, students will have more chances to develop individual projects focusing on a particular area of interest. anthropology, science and ethnomusicology. Sean Williams Heather Heying Eric Stein Mon Tue Wed Thu Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Fall Fall
Carolyn Prouty
  Course FR–SRFreshmen - Senior 6 06 Day Su 12Summer Session I This course draws from public health, epidemiology, bioethics, and human rights philosophy to consider health and disease in a global context. What are the social, economic, and epidemiological forces that have led to vast inequalities in health outcomes globally? As we investigate how Western ideas apply in non-Western countries, we will explore ethical dilemmas that researchers, healthcare providers, and policy makers encounter in resource-poor environments. Finally, we will examine the epidemiology, physiology, and pathology of specific conditions including HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, maternal morbidity and mortality, nutritional deficiencies, and parasitic diseases, paying particular attention to connections between infections and inequalities, malnutrition, and human rights. Carolyn Prouty Tue Wed Thu Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Summer Summer
Lisa Sweet, Andrew Reece and Rita Pougiales
  Program FR–SRFreshmen - Senior 16 16 Day F 11 Fall W 12Winter Making meaning of our lives and the world we inhabit is the essence of being human. Through knowledge, stories and images, we manifest what it is we hold most sacred and essential in our lives. Religion, through its liturgy, music and imagery, reflects what a people hold to be essentially human. Our work will address questions like the following: What are the fundamental mysteries humans address through religious practice and expression? What are the stories being told through artistic and written material? What is the experience of the artist creating sacred images? What are the meanings that have endured over centuries? How is it that sacred images and texts provide direction for us? Our inquiry into meaning-making will center on Christianity, one religious tradition that has been a wellspring for expressions of spiritual and moral meaning, as well as a source of insight and understanding that has inspired magnificent artistic creations and sacred texts. In fall and winter, we focus on the first thirteen centuries of the tradition, from the life of Christ to the end of the Medieval period, during which the story of Christ's life, death and resurrection helped transform the Roman Empire into Europe and "the West." During this time, Christians, like Muslims and Jews a "people of the Book," gave the world some of its most inspired, and inspiring, books: the New Testament, the works of Anselm and Augustine, Dante's , and others, which will form part of our curriculum. The role of images in religious practice will form another part of our study. We'll consider the functions of icons, reliquaries, church architecture and devotional images, created solely to express and link us to the sacred. We'll consider the strategies image-makers employed to interpret scripture and early theology, as well as the anxieties and iconoclasms provoked by images that attempt to depict God. Through readings, seminars and lectures, we'll explore the history of images and objects made before the the concept of "Art" as we understand it today was established.In spring, the focus on the history and culture of Christianity through the 14th century will be directed toward more focused topics addressing meaning-making and Christianity. Students will have the option of continuing in the program in one of the following focused, full-time disciplines or themes: recent developments in theology and philosophy (Andrew), communities of faith (Rita), or studio-practice in printmaking (Lisa). Spring components of the program will be open to both continuing and newly enrolled students. medieval history, religious studies, art history and community studies. Lisa Sweet Andrew Reece Rita Pougiales Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Fall Fall
Rita Pougiales
  Program FR–SRFreshmen - Senior 16 16 Day S 12Spring “Communities of faith” are those groups of people who are dedicated to one another and to seeking the good. We will approach “faith” as a commitment to a good that can be illusive and hard to grasp, yet represents what Paul Tillich describes as an “ultimate concern.”  Faith, as such, is a matter of trust in the process of seeking that ultimate concern.  Faith, understood in this way, cuts across all dimensions of our society including those committed to political, environmental, educational, and spiritual ends.We are particularly interested in the means by which members of religious communities embody their faith and beliefs.  Our study will be largely ethnographic, looking in depth at the rituals, devotions, and practices of faith communities. In particular, we will focus on those practices that depend on the body for expression, movement and sound. Such practices are not only reflections of faith, they also expand its experience and meaning. We will look at the cultural practices, experiences and shared expectations of members of communities of faith, and attempt to understand what is meaningful for them.  We will be guided in our study of “faith” by Tillich’s and additional readings by authors Karen Armstrong and Richard Niebuhr. We will delve into the nature of communities through ethnographic and historical case studies including a medieval religious community led by Hildegard of Bingen, Orthodox fire-walking communities in rural Greece and Maine, and a contemporary Catholic convent in Mexico. In addition to these studies, each student will conduct her or his own research on a particular community of faith. religious studies and community studies. Rita Pougiales Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Spring Spring
Eric Stein
Signature Required: Winter 
  Contract SO–SRSophomore - Senior 16 16 Day W 12Winter Individual Studies offers opportunities for intermediate to advanced students to create their own course of study and research. Eric will sponsor student research, reading, and internships in anthropology and history, especially work related to Southeast Asia, medical anthropology, medical history, material culture, museum studies, nationalism, colonialism, gender, power, or immigration. Eric Stein Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Winter Winter
Samuel Schrager
Signature Required: Winter 
  Contract SO–SRSophomore - Senior 16 16 Day W 12Winter This Individual Studies offering is for students with some fieldwork experience who want to undertake more advanced ethnographic study about persons, a group, an organization, a community, or a place. The focus can be on any topics meaningful to those involved in the study--for instance, cultural identity, oral history, values, traditions, equality, and everyday life. Sam will provide guidance on ethnographic method (including documentation, interpretation, and ethics) and on creative non-fiction writing for a final paper about the study. An internship or volunteer work can be linked to the project. (Students interested in this offering are also encouraged to consider enrolling in , where they can pursue a major independent project of this kind as part of an ongoing learning community.) Samuel Schrager Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Winter Winter
Walter Grodzik
Signature Required: Winter 
  Contract SO–SRSophomore - Senior 16 16 Day W 12Winter Individual study offers individual and groups of students the opportunity to develop self-direction, to learn how to manage a personal project, to focus on unique combinations of subjects, and to pursue original interdisciplinary projects without the constraints of an external structure. Individual and groups of students interested in a self-directed project, research or internships in Queer Studies or the Performing and Visual Arts should contact the faculty by email at Walter Grodzik Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Winter Winter
Kevin Francis, David Paulsen and Rachel Hastings
  Program FR–SRFreshmen - Senior 16 16 Day S 12Spring What does our ability to speak and understand language reveal about the human mind? How much of our knowledge of language can be attributed to an innate language capacity and how much is dependent on individual experience? How are children able to develop a detailed and abstract understanding of their native language at a very young age? And how did human language evolve in the first place? In this program we will study theories of cognition, brain structure, and consciousness as they relate to the complex phenomena of language evolution, acquisition and use.We will explore diverse kinds of evidence that shed light on the evolution of language, including recent work in evolutionary biology, animal behavior, neurobiology, cognitive neuroscience, and the evolutionary genetics of language. To understand the nature of linguistic processing we will look at the structure of language and ask what capacities must be present within human cognition in order for us to produce and understand human languages. We will study the ideas of Noam Chomsky and others who argue for a "universal grammar" as an explanation of rapid language acquisition and similarity among languages. We will also examine the parallels between human language and communication in other animals. Finally, we will reflect on the strategies adopted by scientists to reconstruct events in the deep past.Program activities will include seminar, lectures and workshops. We will devote significant time to providing background material in linguistics, evolutionary biology, and cognitive neuroscience that pertains to the evolution of language. We will read scientific and philosophical material that addresses fundamental questions about consciousness, the relationship between mind and brain, and the relation between cognition and the human capacity for language. As part of this program, students should expect to participate actively in seminar, write several essays, and complete a final research project. biology, cognitive science, linguistics, philosophy and psychology. Kevin Francis David Paulsen Rachel Hastings Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Spring Spring
Karen Gaul and Anthony Tindill
Signature Required: Winter 
  Program FR–SRFreshmen - Senior 16 16 Day F 11 Fall W 12Winter S 12Spring The lessons we need for sustainable and just living already exist among many indigenous, rural and urban peoples around the world. How people construct the structure and feeling of home, or shape and contain that which is significant in their lives varies from culture to culture.  In this program we will explore practices of current and past cultures in terms of construction, energy use, technological development, subsistence practices, and equity to understand how people have lived relatively sustainably in various environments. We will consider the impact of increased technological complexity, resource extraction, production and waste streams of the industrial revolution. We will also investigate ways contemporary cultures around the world are responding by resuming, reclaiming or reinventing low-tech lifeways of the past, and/or embracing high-tech solutions of the future.The program will offer hands-on projects and theoretical perspectives in sustainable design in order to apply sustainable solutions in real-world situations. Students will have an opportunity to work with local communities to help meet design needs. Project possibilities may involve sustainable solutions on campus or in the greater South Sound community. Design projects will be developed within a context of community-defined needs. Through intensive studio time, students will learn drawing and design techniques, fundamentals of building, and skills in using a variety of tools.We will read ethnographic accounts of various cultures to understand the sustainability and justice implications of their practices. Students will have the opportunity to conduct their own ethnographic studies. An introduction to ethnographic research methods and an inquiry into critical questions in the field will help equip students to shape their own field research (in local or distant communities).Fall quarter will include the beginning of an anthropological journey to study various cultural expressions of sustainable and just living. We will learn ethnographic methods and begin to set up ethnographic projects exploring examples of sustainable solutions locally and in more distant settings. Basic approaches to sustainable design will be introduced, and projects will be formulated. Winter quarter will include implementation of design projects and community projects, and launching of ethnographic research. Spring quarter will be a period of data analysis in ethnographic projects, and completion of design projects. The program will also include experiments in sustainable living on a variety of levels. sustainable design, anthropology and community development. Karen Gaul Anthony Tindill Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Fall Fall Winter
Bret Weinstein
  Program SO–SRSophomore - Senior 16 16 Day S 12Spring Complex systems can fail catastrophically. Resent catastrophic failures (such as the global financial collapse of 2008, the Gulf oil spill of 2010 and the Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011) hint at the overall fragility of the systems on which civilization presently depends. Many have wondered if the larger system might be equally vulnerable to a major disruption.This program proceeds from a thought experiment: What if the lights went out and didn’t come back on? What if the gas stations ran dry and no one came to refill them? What if the store shelves went bare and stayed that way?The immediate effect would be unavoidably chaotic, disastrous and tragic. But from the chaos would likely emerge groups of people who had figured out how to provide for themselves.How would those groups be organized? What would they understand? What technologies of the past would they have resurrected, and in what form? What newer technologies would they work to retain? How would they use the rubble of modernity to enhance their lives. What would they eat and drink? How would they stay warm and fed in the winter? Would large-scale social organization arise organically, from the bottom up? How would the answers to these question differ by region?This program will not happen at the front of the room. The faculty will not present answers to these questions. The learning community will confront them together, with analytical rigor proportional to the scenario under consideration. As much as possible, we will attempt to prototype answers in the physical world, and let our successes and failures guide us toward a toolkit for survival.This program is not for passive students, or for those that prefer to stay in the abstract or metaphorical layers. It will require students to be both hard workers and careful thinkers. Students must be bold, collaborative and willing to rise to a serious challenge. Bret Weinstein Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Spring Spring
Lara Evans and Sarah Williams
Signature Required: Winter  Spring 
  Program FR–SRFreshmen - Senior 16 16 Day F 11 Fall W 12Winter S 12Spring Do museums transform living, changing cultural objects into fixed, preserved, inviolate collections? What stories do museums tell? What stories do objects embody? And what stories do we, visitors, tell ourselves? How do objects housed in museums affect our sense of self-identity? What does it take to become aware of how stories we tell both frame and are framed by objects? Is it possible to heal culture and the self through the interactions of narratives and objects? What happens to historical ideas about human consciousness when we explore the mausoleum-like exhibitions of what this consciousness has exhibited as other? What happens to consciousness when it is framed by neuroscience or to the self when it encounters thinking as an evolutionary internalization of movement?We'll explore the power of narrative objects in a variety of exhibition spaces: museums, galleries, shopping malls, book/web pages. We'll identify curiosities about the relationship between art objects and self-representation, particularly shifts in cultural influences and identities as they relate to shifts between the museological and mausoleum-like aspects of exhibition spaces. A triptych is a narrative object that uses three pictorial panels to convey movement in time, space, and states of being. A triptych, of sorts, is the focus of our fall quarter work and the model for our winter field studies. Consider our left panel: in the lives and other virtual realities of William Gibson's , the effects of narrative objects range from creative to preservative to destructive. Equally significant is how these effects are framed in movements between exhibition spaces experienced as "bird-cages of the muses" and those encountered in computer generated Joseph Cornell-like bird boxes. In the center panel is the narrative power of an artwork in Sheri Tepper's science fiction novel, . Here, alien races experience the consequences when a fresco at the heart of their cultural identity has been violently misinterpreted for a millennium. Now, the right panel. Here, in Catherine Malabou's texts the shifting movement or adaptability of self is called neuroplasticity. Her analysis of Claude Levi-Strauss' fascination with two sides--graphic and plastic--of masks illustrates her definition of neuroplasticity. We'll read this post-Derridean theory of self and do fieldwork with masks available for viewing in collections in this region. During winter quarter faculty and students will explore narrative objects and self-representation through six weeks of fieldwork in museums of their choice. Museums can be exhibitions of art, history or science; even zoos and botanical gardens can be considered museums. Students will document their research on their museum and will return to compile a multi-media presentation of their research project. In studios and workshops during fall and winter quarters students can expect to learn audio recording, digital photography, drawing with color pastels, ethnographic fieldwork, mindfulness practices (yoga, meditation), creative non-fiction writing, blogging and public speaking. During spring quarter students will have the opportunity to integrate individual and peer-group projects into a core all-program curriculum.  That is, in addition to the 8-credit all-program activities of seminar, lecture, visiting artists' lecture and film series, a retreat week, and related assignments (e.g., weekly seminar response essays, a theory as evocative object chapter, a mindmap and 3D triptych, and mid-term and final reflective and evaluative writing), each student will design an in-program individual or peer group project for 8 credits.  These projects may include (but are not limited to) the curation and/or installation of an exhibition or collection, an internship, a studio-based artistic or technical practice, community-based learning in support of Paddle to Squaxin 2012 ( ; ), or a field-based museum-related study.  Partially funded by TESC's Noosphere Award, week 7 retreat week activities will include a range of contemplative practices: 5 rhythm dance; yoga nidra; lectures with Seattle University philosopher and Zen priest, Dr. Jason Wirth; and a retreat day at SU's St. Ignatius Chapel. Students will document their individual or peer-based learning and create a multi-media presentation for week 10. art history, art, cultural studies, writing, anthropology, feminist theory and contemplative education. Lara Evans Sarah Williams Mon Tue Tue Tue Wed Wed Wed Thu Fri Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Fall Fall Winter Spring
Eric Stein and Julia Zay
  Program SO–SRSophomore - Senior 16 16 Day S 12Spring While the ruin can be a figure of antiquity, decay, or catastrophe, it can also function as oracle, canvas, and home. In this program, we will explore both the disordering and productive forces of ruins in our built environment, with particular attention to the ways that they become contested sites for the ownership of memory and history. We will also explore the ruin as a liminal space, not entirely present and not entirely absent, and often reclaimed by marginal cultures.What do the use and neglect of ruined sites and spaces tell us about our relationship to the events and forces that produced the ruin? How can we use the ruin as a crucible in which to invent a theory of the future?Taking an interdisciplinary approach that draws from urban studies, geography, art history and theory, critical theory, cultural studies, political economy and history, our inquiry will center on case studies that allow us to explore the contingencies underlying the material and cultural production of ruins. Along the way we will hone a reflexive awareness of our own potentially voyeuristic impulses as we position ourselves in an inquiry into ruins.We will consider the colonial and touristic romanticization of ancient ruins in Java and Cambodia, the memorialization of physical sites of catastrophe in post-WWII Poland and Germany, the working class emergence of punk subculture out of the economic decay of Thatcher's England, the segregation and collapse of Detroit and New York City in the 1970s, and the dislocations of post-Katrina New Orleans.These case studies will inform our own fieldwork on ruins. Students will develop research skills using photographic documentation, ethnographic writing, and archival studies with the goal of completing a substantial inquiry into a local site of ruin. In addition to readings and films, we will travel to museums, archives, and urban centers to investigate the material histories of contemporary ruins. Eric Stein Julia Zay Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Spring Spring
Sean Williams and Patricia Krafcik
  Program FR–SRFreshmen - Senior 16 16 Day S 12Spring This program will explore the folklore of the Slavic and Celtic peoples from epic times to the present in a cross-cultural study of two of Eurasia's oldest ethnic groups. Both groups are dispersed: the Slavic regions across eastern and southeastern Europe and into Eurasia, and the Celtic regions across the islands and peninsulas of the West. Both are renowned for their abundant folklore traditions, which have deep roots in a remote past and have served as a valuable source of inspiration for writers, composers and dramatists from the 19th century through the present. What characteristics do both traditions share? What distinguishes the two cultural traditions? What essential historical, linguistic and spiritual elements permeate the hearts and minds of local people in these regions? What do their folklore practices reveal?We begin the quarter with regional epic narratives and explore the histories and belief systems of the two regions. We follow this foundational work with an exploration of folklore practices (customs, rituals, beliefs), examine 19th-century cultural nationalist movements in music and literature, and conclude with how it all plays out in contemporary life, both rural and urban. This program may serve as a springboard for further study of the Celtic and Slavic peoples, of folklore, and of the material elements of culture.Each week includes lectures, films, seminars, and possible workshops, collaborative presentations, and guest performers or presenters. Students will be expected to write short essays, as requested, and to complete a significant essay at the end of the quarter that examines the role, use and appropriation of folklore materials in a particular Slavic or Celtic region. folklore, anthropology, ethnomusicology, history and literature. Sean Williams Patricia Krafcik Mon Tue Wed Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Spring Spring
Samuel Schrager, Chico Herbison and Nancy Koppelman
Signature Required: Winter 
  Program FR–SRFreshmen - Senior 16 16 Day F 11 Fall W 12Winter S 12Spring These words of Ralph Ellison's are the starting point for our inquiry. This program will explore diversity and unity in the United States through outstanding narratives by artists and scholars who, like Ellison, capture distinctive characteristics of the hybridity endemic to American experience. Students will use these studies to take their own fresh looks at American life and to become adept practitioners of the writer's craft.The program involves close reading of literary, historical, and anthropological-sociological texts, and attention to traditions of story, music, film and humor. We will consider a range of group experiences-African American, Asian American, Jewish, working-class, place-based, queer, female, youth, differently-abled, and others. We will focus on understanding dynamics between historical pressures and legacies, and present realities and aspirations. How, we will ask, have race relations, immigrant experiences, and family life both expressed and extended democratic ideals, and both embodied and challenged a wide range of power hierarchies? What are the most compelling stories that this unpredictable culture has produced, and how have they nourished and articulated community? What will be the impact of emergent technologies on the increasingly permeable boundaries between human and machine, "real" and virtual, self and other, particularly for the making of democracy?Fall and the first half of winter will feature intensive practice of writing in non-fiction, imaginative and essay forms. Research methods will also be emphasized: ethnographic fieldwork (ways of listening, looking, and documenting evidence to make truthful stories), and library-based scholarship in history, social science and the arts. From mid-winter to mid-spring, students will undertake a full-time writing and research project on a cultural topic or group in a genre of their choice, locally or elsewhere. These projects are akin to the kinds that students pursue with Individual Learning Contracts; students in Writing American Cultures will undertake them in community, with strong faculty support. The project is an excellent context for senior theses. In the final weeks of spring, students will polish and present their writing in a professional format. Throughout the program, dialogue about our common and individual work will be prized. Among the fiction writers we may read are William Faulkner, Maxine Hong Kingston, Herman Melville, Toni Morrison and Ishmael Reed; essayists Gerald Early, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Albert Murray, Cynthia Ozick and Mark Twain; ethnographers Joan Didion, Zora Neale Hurston, Joseph Mitchell and Ronald Takaki; historians John Hope Franklin, Oscar Handlin and C. Vann Woodward. Films may include , , and Music we'll hear may be by Louis Armstrong, John Coltrane, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Billie Holiday, Janis Joplin, and Tupac Shakur. Humor/comedy will be provided by Lenny Bruce, Margaret Cho, Richard Pryor, and others. Students who are serious about becoming capable writers are warmly invited to be part of this program. Those who give their time and energies generously will be rewarded by increasing their mastery as writers, critics and students of American culture and society. the humanities and social sciences, community service, journalism, law, media and education. Samuel Schrager Chico Herbison Nancy Koppelman Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Fall Fall Winter