Student Course Endorsements

Not sure whether to take a course?  Check out what past students had to say...

ANTH Course Number:
1 | 2 | 397 | 101 | 102A | 103 | 104106 | 107 | 110A110B | 110F | 110S | 110Y110W | 130I | 130L130T | 134 | 136139145X | 146 | 148 | 150 | 151 | 152 | 158159180A/180L | 182A | 187 | 194S194X


  • ANTH 1: Introduction to Biological Anthropology

    strandStudy of evolution illustrated by Pleistocene hominid fossils and variation in living human groups. Behavior and evolution of primates examined as they contribute to the understanding of human evolution. 


    "This was my first introductory course in the Anthropology department with Professor Reti as a first-year in fall 2016. Professor Reti is a great lecturer and is very easy to follow along because despite the factual nature of biological anthropology, he made his lectures far more interactive and relatable. Sections were very hands-on and allowed students to see and study with real artifacts, bones, and real life scenarios that anthropologist face in the professional field, great way to see if this department is the best for you. Professor Reti was easy to reach out to, replied quickly to emails and he was good at debunking common urban myths about archaeology and human evolution (we do not evolve from monkeys!) which made it palatable and easy to follow. Lecture took up the whole time, meaning we never left early and doing the readings made the class more interesting and avoided feeling lost or behind in class. Scanning long sections is also helpful before lectures and exams are HEAVILY based on knowing the vocab, so go back and reread, make flashcards, study groups, and attend office hours if needed."   -D., 2nd Year Anth Student, Winter ‘18


    "The course... pushes the idea of studying humans and how they have evolved from the earliest primates, which is unique to the discipline. I loved attending lecture because we learned about biology, human evolution, and the anatomy of primates and the human body. There were clips and films shown in class to accompany lectures, and we wrote an article critique on a scientific article of our choosing relating to biological anthropology, which was a unique way to engage with the sub-discipline. This class was a great introduction to biological anthropology, and for those who are interested in becoming an anthropology major or minor, or want to get a taste of what anthropology is, this class is a great choice for you." -S., 2nd Year Anth Student, Spring '17

  • ANTH 2: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

    dragonA number of different peoples are studied and a variety of approaches to the nature of the culture and to the study of specific cultures presented. Required for all anthropology majors. GE Code: CC, IS

    "I took this class as a sophomore when I was still undecided about declaring anthropology and after taking it I was a hundred percent convinced that this was the right major for me. When I took ANTH 2, the reading load was quite heavy and in addition to class readings, we were required to read an ethnography for section and watch documentaries on our own time. For a lower division course, ANTH 2 was pretty heavy but it definitely prepared me for the expectations of upper division courses. Even if you aren’t considering anthropology as a major or if you’re just testing the waters, I highly recommend this course." -I., 4th Year Anth Student, Spring '17

  • ANTH 3: Introduction to Archaeology

    shovelIntroduction to Archaeology gives you a solid foundation in archaeology since it covers history, myths, methods and contemporary issues in archaeology. With all the insight on careers and procedures in archaeology the course provides, you can get a good feel for the field. The discussion section is very interactive and provides a more practical idea of what it's like to work and think as an archaeologist.  GE Code: SI

    "While archaeology is only one of four major breadths in Anthropology, I would also say that this course still gives a good introduction to the anthropology department since there are many featured guest lectures who talk about their studies and research in archaeology. I appreciated seeing how archaeologists speculate how societies used to be based off of the materials left behind. This course also managed to make elements of the past relevant to today, and you might just enjoy going to museums more!" –S., 3rd Year Anth Student, Spring ‘18

  • ANTH 97: Laboratory Safety

    beakersCovers laboratory health and safety and standard operating procedures within the anthropology laboratories. Prepares students for future laboratory research activities while providing support of laboratory administration, collections management, and laboratory course demonstration needs.

    "This class was a lot more interesting than I was expecting! [Lab Manager Richard] Baldwin managed to take what could be a dry topic and make it both interesting and relevant. The lectures dealt with different topics related to laboratory safety. Often we spent class time doing hands-on safety simulations. This was a practical and engaging way to learn the material. The course requires a number of practical hours spent doing actual work in the laboratories. I got to learn a diverse range of skills from taking care of bug boxes, curating a comparative osteology collection, conducting dissections, and cleaning bones. I have a better idea of the day-to-day work in an anthropology laboratory and this has given me a better idea of what interests I may want to pursue in the future. I also feel more prepared to deal with safety situations as they arise in the laboratory. Overall, this was a very fun and informative class! I would recommend it to any student who would like to get involved with laboratory research and who would like to know how to mitigate hazards in a laboratory setting." - G., Spring '17

  • ANTH 101: Human Evolution

    skullStudy of human evolution covering the last five million years. Examines the fossil evidence and emphasizes the reconstruction of behavior from the paleontological and anatomical evidence. 

    “I took Anth 101 my sophomore year with Jay Reti. Human Evolution is a course that goes back six million years to analyze many species that evolved into Homo sapiens sapiens. This rigorous course covers a wide range of material having to do with human evolution such as taxonomy, dating techniques, and learning about each individual species that lived before us. I left this course with a deep understanding of what species before us looked like, ate, and how they behaved. It was extremely interesting and eye opening to make so many connections between why we are the way we are today to how our ancestors were millions of years ago.”

    –S., 3rd Year Anth Student, Fall ‘17  

  • ANTH 102A: Human Skeletal Biology

    skeletonPresents basic human osteology allowing students to identify skeletal material by element. Emphasizes the dynamic nature of bone by integrating anatomy with a discussion of bone physiology within the context of the human life cycle. Prerequisite(s): course 1.

    During summer before my junior year I took Human Skeletal Biology with professor Reti because I knew that it would be a difficult course to get into during the school year. At first I was a bit intimidated since it was a 5-week course, especially to the special attention I had to pay to the details in every bone fragment. The class did consist of frequent exams that would consist of labeling the little details and characteristics of the bones. To study for these exams, I would spend as much time as possible at the lab, hands on the bones to get comfortable to know the details. I would recommend the course to anyone who is interested in the physical aspects of anthropology because it’s a very rewarding class in which you go in know nothing to very little and leave knowing the entire skeletal system from bones to sutures. –S., 4th Year Anth Student, Fall ‘17

  • ANTH 103: Forensic Anthropology

    skeletonCovers the basic analysis of human skeletal remains for the medicolegal profession. Assessment of age, sex, ancestry, and general physical characteristics, trauma, and disease are discussed. Addresses the legal responsibilities of the anthropologist. Online lectures with in-class discussion sections, quizzes, and exams.

    “When I took this course in the summer of 2017, it was structured as a combination of online lectures and in-person lab experience, co-taught by Susan Kuzminsky and Alison Galloway. I thought this was an interesting and effective style of teaching, because it allowed me to watch and re-watch the lectures on my own time, which was helpful because a lot of the information covered was very detailed and required a lot of close attention. This also allowed for plenty of time for hands-on experience during the labs, in which we learned how to determine the sex, age, ancestry, and other features of human skeletal remains. I would recommend this class to anyone who is interested in forensics or biological anthropology.” -S., Third Year Anth Student, Spring '18

  • ANTH 104: Human Variation and Adaptation

    skeletonExplores the major environmental factors (temperature, altitude, diet, and disease); how they are perceived by the human body; the physiological, micro- and macro-anatomical responses; and how behavior and culture can modify the impact of these stresses.

    “Taught by the personable Lars Fehren-Schmitz, this course fulfills the Biological/Medical/Environmental anthropology requirement. It is interesting, humbling, and overall an enjoyable learning experience. This is a fantastic course to take with your potentially heavier upper division courses. Lars uploads all course materials and lecture presentations onto canvas for students to utilize. Topics throughout the course duration include: genotypes and phenotypes, gene-culture co-evolution like malaria and lactose tolerance, evolutionary forces and genetic variation, epigenetics, metagenomics, microbiomics, population history and human variation, immune system and disease, blood group variants, pigmentation, body size and shape, high altitude adaptation, climate, temperature regulation, and more. We had a guest lecturer, Dr. Richard “Ed” Green, and watch the first episode of a film series, Race: The power of an illusion.  Grades are based off attendance/participation worth 10% of your grade, two 20-question exams worth 25% each, and a final assignment worth 40% that you have the option of choosing between, either a final exam of 30-40 questions or a final research paper of 3-pages with a group presentation of 10 minutes. The paper and presentation gives you a chance to use what you’ve learned in class and apply it to a topic that you are interested in sharing about. Lars makes the class fun with his straightforward personality, light humor, and style of presenting information that makes you feel as though you are having a conversation instead of being lectured at.” -E., 4th Year ANTH Student, Spring ’18

  • ANTH 106: Primate Behavior and Ecology

    primateThe nature of primate social systems and social bonds is examined in the light of evolutionary and ecological concepts. Students cannot receive credit for this course and course 206. Prerequisite(s): course 1.

    “This class is extremely interesting for anyone who is remotely interested in the study of non-human primates. Many people go into this course with a small amount of knowledge regarding the subject, however you leave becoming a pro. This class is organized in a way that will allow you to understand the different types of non-human primates through many different aspects, but it also displays the different ways in which one would be able to study them as. Not only is this subject super cool, but the instructor is amazing as well. Vicky Oelze is the perfect person to teach this subject, not only does she have hands on experience within the field, but because of the pure passion she has for it as well.”

    –M., 4th Year Anthropology Student, Fall ‘17

  • ANTH 107: Methods And Research In Molecular Anthropology

    mapIntroduces the molecular analyses of anthropological questions and explores the intersection of genetics and anthropology. Covers the basic principles of molecular and population genetics as they relate to the study of humans. Prerequistie(s): courses 1 and 104. Course 102A is recommended.

    “My junior year I took methods and research in molecular anthropology, and I really enjoyed the experience. It is taught as a mixture between lecture and lab, and the class size is very small. In the class, you sample your own saliva, and will be able to test yourself for lactase persistence, whether you are a night person or morning person, and trace maternal ancestral DNA. The course readings were not overly consuming, relatively easy to do, and supported the course material. Group work will be required. Lars was a very passionate and helpful instructor. I would certainly recommend this class for hands-on experience in a lab setting and working on a molecular level with DNA, I would even take it again.”

    –Y., 4th Year Anth Student, Fall ‘17  

  • ANTH 110A: Public Life and Contemporary Issues

    cameraHow can cultural anthropology help us to understand current events unfolding locally, nationally, and globally? Students learn how to "read" newspapers differently--that is, through the lens of cultural analysis. The world of everyday politics and society, as it unfolds in debates happening right now, forms the topical substance of the course. GE Code: IM

    "Public Life and Contemporary Issues was an enthusiastic and thought-provoking class covering why and how the media chooses to report their news and information. One of the most valuable teachings this class has given me is to 'read between the lines'; to think of what the media source is, why a media outlet decides to use certain terms or connotations over others, and how media affects its consumers, are all fundamental elements in understanding the information we receive. A memorable example of this class was watching the film “Miss Representation,” which focused on how women are represented in the media. Miss Representation exemplifies the ways in which society views/depicts women and how women are poorly affected by their representation in the media."  -M., Spring '17

    "This was my favorite class I've ever taken.  It really changed the foundations of how I view the world, and now I can't read a news article without picking apart the exact word choice and framing used therein. ...  This class was like reading your favorite book for the very first time. ... The homework of the class was mostly in the form of weekly news reading assignments, as well as a standard suite of readings. ...  A big part of the class was learning how to identify the political spin and connotation of words, and then applying that knowledge to the weekly assignments." --A., 4th Year Anth Student, Winter '17

  • ANTH 110B: From Indiana Jones to Stonehenge: Archaeology as Popular Culture

    hatAddresses the "meaning" of archaeology as generated in television, movies, literature, newspapers, and even National Geographic. Students engage with several case-studies illustrating how archaeology is portrayed in popular culture.  GE Code: IM

    "This course has interesting weekly readings that makes engaging in class discussions natural because we can relate to everyday connections and cultures. The two critical essays are fun to write and the group project is exciting as it pertains to an archaeological site, culture or concept that you and your group are interested in researching and presenting. This course challenges the misconceptions and general stereotypes of what it means to be an archaeologist or anthropologist and connects those ideas to current everyday lives, as well as tying it into how we study and learn from the past. This course is so fantastic because the professor teaches with honesty, which breaks the tension with a style of comic relief that creates a welcoming environment for students to speak up and participate in class discussions or to simply comment on the reading material." -E., Spring '17

  • ANTH 110F: Evolution of Human Diet

    hatPresents the evolution of human diet and subsistence from a biological anthropological perspective. Covers the key hypothesis and methodologies related to diet, from our early fossil ancestors up to agriculture and animal husbandry. GE Code: PE-H

    "If you are interested in learning about the evolution of the human diet, this class is for you! ANTH 110F is taught by Vicky M. Oelze. She is really passionate about the subject and always made sure students understood the course material. Her lectures were filled with enthusiasm, which made it very engaging. Many interesting topics were covered, like probiotic biomes, teeth, and cooking. Sounds really random, right? But in fact it is quite interesting! I learned that probiotic biomes reflect where you come from and your history. Also, when looking at teeth you can see what type of consumer you are. Did you know that our brains grew once we started cooking? If you didn’t, well, now you know and there are more fascinating things to learn about in this class! It’s a fun class, with a not so heavy workload. There were weekly readings, a midterm, 3 quizzes, and a final. The professor would share the slides with us, with highlighted information, to help us know which information was important. Overall It’s a great class to take!"  -B., 3rd Year Anth Student, Winter ‘18

  • ANTH 110S: Think We Must! Anthropology and the Everyday

    In this course, students will treat common sense practical activities as observable as well as ways of knowing and making the world through a survey of anthropological literature that considers social organization as an accomplishment with others.

     "The Anthropology of Everyday Life is taught by Rachel Cypher. The class itself is a very good overview of anthropology and it provides an anthropological breakdown of our everyday functions and systems, including family systems, health, etc. Cypher’s goal is to make the normal weird by de-naturalizing aspects of life we take for granted. Cypher is an interactive professor who personalizes the class setting by getting the students to participate with one another and I met some new friends! Expect a lot of readings but expect them to all be interesting as well. Cypher is a very friendly and approachable teacher and I would highly recommend any of her classes."   -S., 4th Year Anth Student, Winter ‘18

  • ANTH 110W: Land and Waterscapes Entropology

    waterscapeEstablishes anthropological interconnections of emergent worlds where environmental matters, social justice, and human survival interrelate. Focuses on anti-essential nature and waterscape ethnographies in which different pluricultures revalidate local understandings as ways of contesting increasing forms of land and water privatization. GE Code: PE-E

    "If you’re interested in understanding forms of land and water privatization, impacts of globalization and global warming, as well as several other issues concerning nature and its’ dispossession, this is the class to take. This class connects environmental matters, social justice, and how humans initiate change regarding issues that impact their own lives. For a group project, which is a core component of the class, we researched mercury poisoning and how it came to impact the human body. I learned a lot about how much power transnational corporations hold, as well as the carelessness for human viability and sustenance, and the impacts mercury has within our oceans and the human body. This class never felt short of being interesting; it keeps you thinking long after you leave the classroom."  -M., Spring '17

  • ANTH 110Y: Labor in Food Systems

    Recent critiques of food studies and food activism point out two gaping holes: a lack of attention to labor and limited action beyond individual consumption. This course addresses both pitfalls by centering food workers as the agents at the heart of contemporary cuisines, landscapes, and food systems.  GE Code: ER

    "This course has very interesting readings that discuss the conditions of the field worker in the agricultural system. These readings are packed with information regarding such an interesting topic that the professor allows us to have group discussions about what we’ve read. Each week we had a one-page paper analyzing what we’ve read and putting it into context with our own lives. And the final project allows us to do our own research about where and how our food is made. This eye-opening course strives to inform the students of the many hardships of these workers; it also illuminates how food and work have a deeply rooted connection. The professor’s honest, moving, passionate teaching style is so engaging that the topic, though heavy, makes the students empathize and understand the struggle of these individuals." 

    -M., 3rd Year Anth Student, Winter ‘18

    “Certainly, one of my most favorite courses because it tugged at my heartstrings and made me more aware of the world, about myself, and of the daily choices that I make. I took this class with Rebecca Feinberg in Spring 2017 and learned so much about where food comes from, the processes hidden from public eyes, and secrets exposed through documentaries. This course is an eye-opener into the agricultural system and shows you how important food is. Before I took this class, I never actually took the time to think about the meals that I was eating. Where did the tomato from my sandwich come from? How was the pesto sauce made? Who works on the farms and plantations? How much are the workers getting paid? Whose voices get heard and whose get silenced? The list of questions run endlessly and until you conduct the final research paper about the production chain of a consumer item of your choice, do you realize how tangled food, work, government, and policies are all tied together. My appreciation for food blossomed and I think yours would too. I encourage all students who are able to, to take this course before they transfer or graduate because it will be worth it.”

    -E., 4th Year ANTH Student, Spring ’18

  • ANTH 130I: Cultures of India

    flagAn examination of anthropological studies of tribal, rural, and urban cultures of India and a look at changes taking place in India.  GE Code: CC, E

    "Cultures of India is one of the best classes I have ever taken at UCSC! Professor Annapurna Pandey is really passionate about the subject and always made sure students understood the course material. If you are interested in taking a class that covers social issues and movements, customs, traditions and politics in India, then this class is for you. One of my favorite topics that we covered in class was the rise of social movements, particularly amongst women. I think a lot of people have this perception of non-Western countries as being too traditional and oppressive so it was really interesting to learn about the different ways in which the people of India, specifically women, use social movements, such as “Why Loiter” to reclaim public spaces, empower each other and defy these perceptions. The reading and course loads were a little heavy at times but nothing new for an upper division course. Some of the readings were available online as pdfs and most of the books required were on reserve at McHenry, which is perfect if you want to take a course but don’t want to spend a ton on the books! This course had an accompanying section which I felt really helped me better understand the topics we were covering in lecture. At the end of the course I felt like I had really learned a lot about India and Pandey was a really good professor to learn from." -I., 4th Year Anth Student, Spring '17

  • ANTH 130L: Ethnographies of Latin America

    waterscapeA broad introduction to issues and areas of cultural production and transformation in the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central and South America. Colonial, neocolonial, class, ethnic, gender, religious, ecological, and political relations intersect as represented in ethnographies and film.  GE Code: CC

    “Taught by Guillermo Delgado, this course fulfills the Regional Specialization anthropology major requirement through the exploration of topics such as the capitalism and colonialism in Latin America, indigenous cultures and activism, and different perspectives on humans’ interrelationships with nature. This course does require a lot of reading, but each piece is engaging and thought-provoking. I particularly enjoyed reading​ How Forests Think​ by Eduardo Kohn, which talks about the concepts of selfhood, spirituality, and cosmo-centricity, in ways that I had never thought of before. I would recommend this class to anyone who is interested in Latin American cultures, spirituality, and activism.” -S., Third Year Anth Student, Spring ‘18

  • ANTH 130T: Religion and Politics in the Muslim World

    mosqueAnalyzes post-colonial forms of Islam, with particular attention to Muslim societies and cultures in the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe. Emphasizes the relationship between power, knowledge, and representation in anthropological approaches to Islam and Muslims. GE Code: CC, E

    "I chose this class because it was an incredibly topical subject matter after the presidential election. I wanted to better understand the roots of Islamophobia in the US and Europe and how these ideas emerged in popular media. By the end of the class I had learned a lot about the effects of colonialism and codification and how these processes have shaped our perceptions of contemporary Islam. My favorite aspect of the class was reading An Enchanted Modern by Lara Deeb, a book that challenges stereotypes of women and Islam with its insightful enthnographic research." -M., Spring '17

  • ANTH 134: Medical Anthropology: An Introduction

    sirenCross-cultural study of health, disease, and illness behavior from ecological and ethnomedical perspectives. Implications for biomedical health care policy.

    "This class was the most intriguing course I have ever taken in the anthropology department, and sparked my passion for medical anthropology. We read ethnographies covering a variety of topics like: documenting the lives of immigrant farmworkers in California’s Central Valley, the efficacy of Tibetan medicine in comparison with Western biomedicine, and how individuals live with and are affected by injury and disability in gangland Chicago. The homework consisted of reading ethnographies or online articles, which were then reviewed in greater detail in lecture and section. I loved this class because in every lecture, Nancy Chen, the professor, spread her passion for medical and cultural anthropology to us, made the atmosphere in the classroom lighthearted and welcoming, and assigned readings and essays that pushed us to delve deeper into medical anthropology, and compare the ways it is interpreted and utilized around the world." -S., 2nd Year Anth Student, Spring '17

    “Medical Anthropology is an extremely relevant discipline; it helps us understand the human experience through cultural concepts of disease and treatment, and gives us the tools necessary to aid in the improvement of global health. I highly recommend this class to all students interested in concepts of disease, biology, environment, and medical practices.” –S., 4th Year Anthropology Student, Fall ‘17

  • ANTH 136: Biology of Everyday Life

    sirenAddresses cross-cultural attitudes to the human body and its everyday biological concerns: sleeping, eating, breathing, sex, and defecation. 

    I highly recommend taking Anthropology 136 (Bio of Everyday Life) as the course allowed me to have better contextual understanding of everyday practices and how they managed to become normalized. This class had a significant amount of really interesting readings that gave insight of how these practices become institutionally normalized and how medicalization is one of the major factors of this standardization. Having all those readings and our own opinions, we were able to have class discussions, giving our own understanding and perspective of these topics regarding normality. Having these discussions allowed us to have a broader sense of how each of us resonated with these medicalized understandings.

    Having the seminar setting gave us students so much more voice and allowed us to better synthesize these topics. Because of the several differing ideas and the seminar setting, this class proved to be a good way of reflecting on how we work as individuals and how we work as a society. -B., Third Year Anth Student, Spring ‘18

  • ANTH 139: Language and Culture

    Examination of language system and language use in relationship to cultural contexts of communication in Western and non-Western societies. Topics include the Sapir-Whorf linguistic relativity hypothesis; linguistic constructions of gender; speech variation in relation to class, ethnicity, and national identity; and the emergence of self in communicative acts.

    "Language and Culture was taught by Professor Brenneis. His lecturing style is very much like a conversation with the students, he does not use lecture slides at all, and asks a number of questions that guide him through the conversation. He mainly covers main points from the readings and gives some background about linguistics before we start to really focus on the cultural sense of language. This class gives the student the creative freedom and exploration for an ethnographic short paper (2 pages) that provides a good sense of some field work tactics. The project itself was easy, fun, encouraging, personal and interactive so it didn’t seem like a normal academic paper. The readings were really interesting and relatable. The course load was light with a couple of heavy reading that Professor Brenneis will elaborate on during class. Most of our grade was based on a final research group project and paper, where we had to transcribe a conversation that we recorded amongst a group of single gendered individuals to highlight the differences between language and gender and the role the gender norms play in our speech. Found it really interesting, allowed us to see diversity among cultures. He was also a fair grader and graded more on the process."  -D., 2nd Year Anth Student, Winter ‘18

  • ANTH 145X: Special Topics in Socio-Cultural Anthropology

    bellTaught annually on a rotating basis. Each year's topic varies by instructor and is announced by the department. 

    "The 145X series allows students to study unique and special topics within socio-cultural anthropology; meaning, the topic of the class changes quarter to quarter. I had the opportunity to take this class when the subject was the anthropology of activism with Lisa Rofel. In this class we had the chance to read and analyze older anthropological texts regarding activism and the histories of activism within the United States as well as more recent articles depicting the activism happening within current society. ... In addition to racial justice, we spent a decent amount of time talking about feminist movements and women’s rights activism. Overall, this was a fulfilling class that allowed for a crash course in the history of social justice movements as well as the implications of current activisms while allowing a space for analytical conversation and potential involvement in activism outside of the classroom." -N., 4th Year Anthropology Student, Spring '17

  • ANTH 146: Anthropology and the Environment

    treeExamines recent approaches to study of nature and the environment. Considers historical relationship between nature, science, and colonial expansion as well as key issues of contemporary environmental concern: conservation, environmental justice, and social movements.

    "Andrew Mathews is one of my favorite lecturers, and I've only had this one class with him.  The course sounds broad, but has a few specific focuses that are related to Mathews’s research in Italy and Mexico.  One of the main focuses is how knowledge is generated, and how trust works from an anthropological perspective.  Peasant farmers, their market, and the governmental bodies that impose regulations on them all contribute to a shared pool of knowledge, and the details of these interactions make a world of difference.  Beyond this, a purposeful omission of information also has a profound impact on how knowledge is co-produced.  The co-production of both knowledge and ignorance are equally important for anthropologists looking to understand the human element of politics.  Implicit in this human element is trust, or a lack thereof, which is also covered in the class.  Trust, fear, lies, and farming.  It’s like Settlers of Catan meets Game of Thrones. ...  There were more reading responses for this class than most I have taken, but they are are short and fairly straightforward, and the prompts give plenty of topics to expand on." -- A., 4th Year Anthropology Student, Spring '17

  • ANTH 148: Gender and Global Development

    statueUses the critical tools of feminist theory and cultural anthropology to look at how global development discourses and institutions mobilize, reinforce, and challenge systems of gender-based inequality. Topics include non-governmental organizations (NGOs), development practice, microcredit, and technocrat cultures.

    "I recommend this course for those that want to de-mystify the concept of “global development”. I chose this class because I was wondering about the ethics and effectiveness of NGO work abroad as well as government-sponsored work here in the US. I learned about these concepts as well as what it means to approach developmental work with an anthropological lense. At the end of this course I was inspired to further explore NGO work that tackles global development in innovation and new ways." -M., Spring '17

  • ANTH 150: Communicating Anthropology

    booksEncourages anthropology majors to explore different means of communicating anthropology with much attention to individual writing and presentation skills. Intensive work on library research; recognizing, comparing, and making arguments; and analyzing ethnographies, articles, reviews, and films. GE Code: W

    "I took this class with Professor Fernando during my first quarter as a transfer student. My adviser recommended this course as a good way to prepare myself for upper division work in the major. I am VERY glad that I took my adviser’s advice — it was a great way for me to brush up on my writing skills and it was a good introduction to important theoretical concepts in the discipline. Fernando picked material that was both diverse and interesting. She also assigned material written by other faculty members at UCSC so it was a good introduction to the work that is being done in the department. The material provoked good discussions on ethical issues in anthropology and emerging trends in the discipline. This course also gave me the opportunity to conduct a mini-ethnography... Overall, the course was both informative and fun! It really helped prepare me for reading and writing in the discipline and I would recommend it to students who are preparing to do upper division coursework in the major." - G., Spring '17

  • ANTH 151: Ethnography Workshop

    maskThrough demonstration, practice, and participation, acquire skills in collecting and analyzing cultural data. Learn to work with members of other cultures and with each other to develop skills in identify significant cultural patterns. Lectures and readings provide added perspective and a theoretical base.  Especially recommended for students considering study abroad.

    "...If you aren’t sure about writing a thesis, this is a safe way to test the waters and weigh your options without committing..."

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  • ANTH 152: Survey of Cultural Anthropological Theory

    Major figures, ideas, and writings in 19th- and 20th-century cultural anthropology surveyed.

    "This course was very stimulating in its readings and I felt that the subsequent weekly lectures helped me understand the material on a much more personal level. Though I am not focused in cultural anthropology as other anthropology majors who took this course alongside me, I feel that the material taught allowed me to relate to the concentration better than I had before. I especially enjoyed reading the Nuer by E.E Pritchards and understanding “symbolic violence” by reading Pierre Bourdieu’s work in understanding society as a whole. I feel that by taking this theory course, anthropology students will be better suited for further upper division and possibly graduate level courses. Therefore, I strongly recommend students enroll in Anth. 152 if they are seeking a challenge and are interested in growing as young anthropologists."  -J. 3rd Year ANTH Student, Winter’18

  • ANTH 158: Feminist Ethnographies

    Considers the relationship between anthropology and feminism. Provides historical perspective on gender inequalities in the discipline as well as the emergence of feminist anthropology. Students read and engage with examples of feminist ethnography form a variety of regions and subfields.

    I took this course with Dr. Kramer during my senior year. As a student at UC Santa Cruz, we have been taught to observe how gender (and race) permeates culture and impacts societal issues; however, early anthropologists did not always take gender into account. This class highlights the history of early women anthropologists and how they worked to include women in ethnographies. In this class, we learned the history and development of feminist anthropology and the struggles early women anthropologists had in gaining a voice in the discipline. Kramer’s teaching style favors visual learners with Power Points, videos, and class discussions. Through reading articles and books written by women anthropologists, we were encouraged to question if the works could be considered feminist and/or ethnographies. I would definitely recommend this class to honor the women who helped shape anthropology as an inclusive, diverse subject and to also be inspired by their legacy.  -K., Fourth Year Anth Student, Spring ‘18

  • ANTH 159: Race and Anthropology

    cupExamines concept of race in anthropology. Begins with histories of race in anthropology; turns to contemporary analysis of racism, identity formation, and diaspora; and concludes with current debates on the validity of "race" as an object of analysis. GE Code: ER

    "Professor Mark Anderson teaches Race and Anthropology. He is an engaging professor and creates a comfortable and open space for dialogue around a topic that can be very charged. The course itself is fairly interactive, there are several class forums where the students debate a given topic. The forums deepened my understandings of the readings and encouraged me to formulate coherent arguments based off of them. Anderson also goes over the readings in class which was very helpful, and he is a very friendly and approachable person so I never felt afraid to ask a question. The class itself is reading intensive but not too difficult, Anderson gives you the questions for the midterm ahead of time which makes the coursework very manageable and stress free, I didn’t even realize how much I was learning because the process was so stress-free. I recommend this class if you are interested in learning new perspectives and challenging old ones."  -S., 4th Year Anth Student, Winter ‘18

  • ANTH 180/180L: Ceramic Analysis in Archaeology

    cupFocuses on theories and techniques used by archaeologists to bridge the gap between the recovery of ceramic materials and their interpretation within cultural contexts. Topics include the origins of pottery, production methods, classification and typology, seriation, functional analysis, materials analysis and description, organization of production, trade, and the analysis of style. Concurrent lab required.

    "This course and concurrent lab was definitely my most memorable and hands-on experience during sophomore year. The readings ranged from short to lengthy, interesting to constructive, and the reading responses were short. Each week’s readings provided context that correlated to what we were learning in the lab as well as course lessons, which interestingly changes how you analyze and perceive daily artifacts both in class and in life. The final assignment “research proposal” was fun and tedious... My favorite lab project was the process of creating my own clay pottery piece and going down to the beach for an open-firing because it was both educational and exciting since the small class size inevitably leads to bonding and friendships." -E., Spring '17

  • ANTH 182A: Lithic Technology

    Introduction to lithic and ceramic analysis in archaeology. Includes lab analysis, discussions of classification and typology, and exploration of the concept of style as it relates to ceramics and lithics in archaeology.

    "The class is two parts lecture, one part flaking, and one part measuring said flakes.  Honestly, measuring flakes was about as dull as watching paint dry, but making the flakes was a blast..."

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  • ANTH 187: Cultural Heritage in Colonial Contexts

    podiumCritical examination of the definitions of "cultural heritage," its development as a concept, and the various laws, charters, and conventions that shape our management of the past in the present. The focus is on heritage in comparative colonial contexts.

    “Professor Daehnke teaches this class every year and I highly recommend it. It is technically an archeology class, but it really didn’t feel like one. Professor Daehnke teaches about the relationship between colonial institutions of government and indigenous communities through historical and contemporary cases. We had many guest speakers come to talk to the class about things like the Relearning Garden and repatriation of cultural heritage. This class shifted the way I saw and understood the world and Professor Daehnke is a great teacher. Lectures introduced new concepts and case studies while films and guest lectures grounded those concepts and made them easy to understand.”

    –M., 3rd Year Anth Student, Fall ‘17

  • ANTH 194S: Hearing Culture: The Anthropology of Sound

    dragonExplores relationships between culture and acoustic worlds--environmental, verbal, and musical--within which we live. How sound is shaped by human belief and practice and the role sound plays in cultural and social life, both past and present. GE Code: CC, IS

    “I had the wonderful opportunity of taking my senior seminar with Dr. Don Brenneis. The class size was 17 students and we met three hours once every week. It allowed exploration between cultures and the acoustic worlds that are parts of our everyday lives. You begin to see, feel, and think of sound in different ways. How sound ties you to a feeling or memory. Where do you constantly hear sound or suddenly notice the absence of sound? It makes you wonder how life would be if it was not for sound in both auditory and physical ways. This amazing class enriches your perspectives and analytical skills of how cultures are strung together by sounds. Throughout the duration of this class, you develop a research paper in the pursuit of your interest and incorporate readings from the quarter. I did my research project on the sounds of mountain biking on the upper campus trails of our school and beyond by focusing on multipurpose trails in mountain and forest areas. Dr. Brenneis is a phenomenal professor, so if you have the chance to take a senior seminar with him, go for it! If not, you can also take other upper division courses he teaches such as: ANTH 110H: Acoustic Culture, ANTH 139 Language & Culture, ANTH 142: Anthropology of Law, ANTH 143 Performance and Power, etc.”  

    -E., 4th Year ANTH Student, Spring ’18

  • ANTH 194X: Women in Politics: A Third World Perspective

    podiumFocuses cross-culturally on the status of women in the Third World and their formal and informal participation in politics. Also discussed are organized efforts, through participation in both national and autonomous movements, for women's rights. GE Code: W

    "I had the opportunity to take this class with Annapurna Pandey. We met once a week to discuss the implications of women who hold different political positions around the world. We were assigned readings that facilitated said discussions, allowing us an in-depth look at women who have managed to put themselves into political power in developing countries where women are not looked at as equal to men and are much less assumed to be capable to lead and organize a country. In addition to the readings, we were expected to keep up with current news, taking time to discuss the current political climate and acts of activism and resistance happening in our own country. Through these discussions, we were able to choose different social justice movements with women at their forefront or with a strong feminine involvement to analyze and discuss in a culminating final essay of about 20 pages." -Naima, 4th Year Anthropology Student, Spring '17

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