Anthropology Courses

ANTH 111       Introduction to Physical Anthropology/Archaeology

Archaeology and physical anthropology provide a unique opportunity to examine the development of human society. With their long temporal depth, we can examine how humans, and their ancestors, evolved and populated the entire globe. The nature of modern archaeological and physical anthropological research including topics of hominid evolution, primatology, genetic research, origins of agriculture and civilization and First Nations archaeology will be discussed. Students will have an opportunity to apply this knowledge using real research data. Credit will be granted for only one of ANTH 111 or ANTH 110. Three credits. Offered every year.

ANTH 112       Introduction to Sociocultural Anthropology

Socio-cultural anthropology involves the comparative study of societies throughout the world. Students will learn how societies differ from each other, as well as observing similarities among them. The course surveys traditional ways of understanding cultures while incorporating current insights and research. Topics include diverse political and economic systems, kinship patterns, religion, forms of ethnic and gender identity, health and medicine, development and migration. Department foci relating to First Nations, development and general anthropology are introduced. Credit will be granted for only one of ANTH 112 or ANTH 110. Three credits. Offered every year.

ANTH 218      Anthropology of Health and Illness

An examination of global health and illness from an anthropological perspective, this course applies key anthropological concepts to topics such as the meaning of health and illness cross-culturally, cultural construction of the body, medical pluralism, cross-cultural psychiatry, critical medical anthropology and the health of indigenous peoples in Canada and other parts of the world. Prerequisite: ANTH 110 or ANTH 111/112 or permission of the instructor. Three credits. Offered in 2022-2023

ANTH 223       Anthropology of Globalization

Globalization has affected more than the world economy: people, politics and culture all travel globally, with wide-ranging consequences. This course will examine the history of global processes by focusing on how different peoples around the world have engaged in or resisted them. Ethnographic studies will be used to explore global diversity as well as the effects of efforts to impose global uniformity. Cross-listed as DEVS223. Prerequisite: ANTH 110 or 111/112, or DEVS 201, 202 or permission of the instructor. Three credits. Offered in 2022-2023

ANTH 233      Ethnographic Studies

This course explores the rich cultural diversity of human societies around the globe through an ethnographic lens. Using a variety of ethnographic works, students will analyse how anthropologists have represented this diversity. Course material will include classic and current texts about ‘other’ and ‘own’ societies, the representation of Indigenous peoples, ethnographic film, as well as portrayals of culture in popular media. Prerequisite: ANTH 110 or 111/112 or permission of the instructor. Three credits. Not offered in 2022-2023

ANTH 234       Introduction to Indigenous Anthropology

The diversity and complexity of contemporary cultural, political and legal Indigenous issues are explored using anthropological methods and theories. Beginning with the historical antecedents of colonial relations and leading to ethnography on the impacts of state policies and legislation on Indigenous treaty rights and livelihoods today. Students will study engaged anthropology on the relationship between the State and Indigenous people in law, governance, the environment, social development, gender and health as ways to create the pathways to reconciliation and equality. Credit will be granted for only one of ANTH 234 or ANTH 331. Prerequisite: ANTH 110 or ANTH 111/112 or permission of the instructor. Three credits. Offered every year.

ANTH 243       Principles of Archaeology and Prehistoric Societies

This course offers an examination of modern archaeological research including how archaeologists work in the field, their analytical techniques, and some of the principal methodological and theoretical issues facing the discipline. A wide variety of archaeological examples (from lavish Egyptian tombs to simple nomadic settlements) will be used to illustrate the main themes of the course. Students will participate in the process of archaeological research through a series of practical exercises and assignments. Prerequisite: ANTH 110 or 111/112 or permission of the instructor. Three credits. Not offered in 2022-2023

ANTH 253      Origins of Cities

Urban living is an increasingly common experience for humans across the globe. City life, however, is not a modern phenomenon. This course is a broad introduction to the process of urbanism and the rise of early pre-industrial cities in both the New and Old Worlds. Specific cases are examined in order to elucidate the varying roles cities played in ancient civilizations and how knowledge of these roles can aid in our current understanding of modern urban life. Prerequisite: ANTH 110 or 111/112 or permission of the instructor. Three credits. Offered in 2022-2023.

ANTH 303      Anthropological Theory

This course will give students an understanding of past and present trends in anthropological theory. Students will learn about the purpose of theory and the main elements of major theoretical frameworks. There will be an emphasis on how to apply theory to anthropological material. Prerequisites: ANTH 110 or ANTH 111/112 and at least 6 ANTH credits at the 200 level. Three credits. Offered every year.

ANTH 304      Principles and Methods of Fieldwork

This course introduces students to qualitative field methods used by anthropologists and social scientists. Through lectures, seminars and field assignments, students will participate in a variety of research techniques including digital data gathering, video ethnography, participant observation, archival searches, oral and life histories, interviewing, sampling, mapping and focus group strategies. In addition to practical application of these skills, students will learn about Indigenous research methods, and collaborative and ethical research design. Prerequisite: ANTH 110 or ANTH 111/112. Three credits. Offered every year.

ANTH 305      Anthropological Data Analysis

This course introduces students to the basic principles of statistics and quantitative analysis of anthropological data. Through lectures, seminars and lab assignments students will learn skills such as quantitative research design and methods, data analysis, and computer applications in anthropological research. Prerequisite: ANTH 110 or ANTH 111/112. Three credits. Offered every year.

ANTH 310      Anthropology of Tourism

Tourism is an important industry as well as a source of identity and meaning for individuals, local groups, and nations. This course examines tourism using a variety of theoretical frameworks. Students analyse various forms of tourism, such as historical tourism, cultural heritage tourism, eco-tourism, ethnic tourism and development tourism. Attention is given to gender, ethnicity, nationalism, class, environmental and economic impact, and the political importance of tourism in a globalizing world. Prerequisite: ANTH 110 or ANTH 111/112. Three credits. Not offered in 2021-2022.

ANTH 320      Anthropology of Development

This course critically examines how development policy and practice have affected target populations. Students will develop critical analytical skills and knowledge by examining the strengths and weaknesses of strategies such as those promoting popular participation, gender equality, small-scale business, local knowledge and democratic reform, as well as of different forms of development institutions. The course uses case studies based on long-term, first-hand participant observation that place development processes in larger historical, political and economic contexts. Cross-listed as DEVS 321. Prerequisites: ANTH 110 or ANTH 111/112 or DEVS 201, 202; ANTH 223 is recommended. Three credits. Offered every year.

ANTH 321      Celtic Art

Weave your way through Celtic knots and "horror vacui" fear of empty space," and discover the art of the Celts. From the Battersea Shield to the Book of Kells, we will trace our way through the extraordinary legacy of weaponry, jeweller, illuminated manuscripts, Celtic crosses, and Sheela-na-Gigs to arrive at a deeper understanding of the people who made them. Acceptable as a course in history. Cross-listed as ART 321 and CELT 321. Three credits. Offered in 2022-2023.

ANTH 323      Feminist Anthropology

This course examines how past and present feminist anthropologists have used and problematized categories of difference and identity, such as, gender, class, sexuality, race, ethnicity, ability, religion and nationality as they pursue anthropoloical research. Focusing primarily on socio-cultural anthropological research, but also addressing work by linguistic and biological (physical) anthropologists and archaeologists, the course will highlight the theoretical, methodological and empiracle contributions of feminist anthropologists to anthropology and to women and gender studies. Credit will be granted for only one of ANTH 323 and ANTH 324 and WMGS 324. Cross-listed as WMGS 327. Prerequisite: ANTH 110 or ANTH 111/112 or WMGS 100 or WMGS 200 or permission of the instructor. Three credits. Offered in 2022-2023.

ANTH 326      Issues in the Anthropology of Kinship

This course explores current themes and debates about the constitution of families cross culturally. It will examine topics such as: cultural understandings of kinship; historical transformations of kinship systems; current reconfigurations of marriage; partnering strategies; new reproductive technologies; transnational adoption; intra-familial conflict; the role of kinship for individuals and in societies; and the influence of the state on kin patterns. Course material will include ethnographic examples from around the world. Cross-listed as WMGS 326. Prerequisite: ANTH 110 or ANTH 111/112, or WMGS 100 or 200 or permission of the instructor. Three credits. Not offered in 2022-2023.

ANTH 332      Mi’kmaq Studies: Advanced Critical Issues in Indigenous Anthropology

Using theories and methods relevant to Indigenous knowledge, self-determination, resistance and sustainability of Mi’kmaq of Atlantic Canada, in the first section we explore Mi’kmaq oral histories, cosmology and sociocultural organization. In the second section we look at the impact of colonization on the Mi’kmaq cultural practices and governance. In the third section we look at contemporary issues such as the impact of court decisions on treaty implementation, customary law, economic development, resource use and cultural production. Prerequisites: ANTH 110 or ANTH 111/112 and ANTH 243/331, or with permission of the instructor. Three credits. Not offered in 2022-2023.

ANTH 341      North American Archaeology

This course explores past and present Indigenous societies from North America and examines how these societies emerged, developed and were radically transformed by European colonization. Students will discover that even though great spans of time separate modern and ancient native cultures, cultural continuity exists. Prerequisites: ANTH 243 or 253 or permission of the instructor. Three credits. Offered in 2022-2023 and in alternate years.

ANTH 342      Ancient Mesoamerica

This course will use archaeological and ethnohistorical information to examine the people who lived in Mesoamerica (currently, Mexico, Belize, Honduras and Guatemala) prior to and at the time of early contact with Europeans. Students will use archaeological data to study the Aztecs, Maya and Zapotecs and their predecessors. Students will also refine their knowledge of archaeological inquiry and methods. Prerequisites: ANTH 243 or 253 or permission of the instructor. Three credits. Not offered in 2022-2023.

ANTH 371      Archaeological Field Methods

This course teaches students the basic archaeological field methods of site survey and excavation through participation in an actual archaeological field project either locally or in another part of Canada or abroad. The course will examine a range of archaeological techniques and methodological approaches. It will also introduce students to the ethical issues they need to consider when conducting archaeological field research in Canada and abroad. Prerequisite: ANTH 243 or permission of the instructor. Three credits. Not offered in 2021-2022.

ANTH 372      Archaeological Laboratory Methods

This course teaches students methods of analysing, cataloguing and reporting on materials recovered from archaeological site survey and/or excavation. Students will learn how to disseminate information to professional and public audiences. Prerequisite: ANTH 371 or permission of the instructor. Three credits. Not offered in 2022-2023.

ANTH 400      Honours Thesis Research

A required course for all senior honours students. Six credits. Offered every year.

ANTH 415      Anthropology of HIV/AIDS

This course examines global HIV/AIDS from an anthropological perspective. Using a holistic and cross-cultural approach, students will think about how kinship systems, gender, class, sexual orientation, nationality, ethnicity and global economic and political structures affect how individuals in different populations learn about and give meaning to HIV/AIDS, the risks they face, and the degree to which they can protect themselves and receive treatment if infected. Prerequisite: ANTH 211 or 218 or DEVS 201 or 202 or permission of the instructor. Three credits. Not offered in 2022-2023.

ANTH 425      Power and Change

This Seminar course has a focus on gender and life course. It will explore how life stages vary according to culture, gender, sexuality, ability, and historical circumstances. Topics include when personhood begins; who are "youth" in different societies; how do people transition between life stages; whether adulthood can be reached when precarious income makes independent living impossible; how sexuality and disability impinge on how life stages are imagined; what it means to be "old" or "old old" in different contexts. Offered in 2022-2022 as Gender and Life course. 

ANTH 435      Advanced Indigenous Issues

A course for senior students wanting to use Indigenous research methods and theories to engage anthropologically with specific issues of concern to Indigenous peoples. Topics may include in-depth analyses of: Indigenous legal traditions, treaty and Aboriginal rights, politics and governance, natural resource management, cultural production and sustainability, decolonization and reconciliation. Prerequisite: ANTH 234 or permission of the instructor. Three credits. Not offered in 2022-2023.

ANTH 445       Advanced Archaeological Seminar

The beginnings of archeology were indisputably colonial in nature. It was a practice conducted for a European audience, by European practitioners, from European perspectives. The subjects of those enquiries, however, were often not European. There has recently been an increasing recognition of the biases inherent within such traditional approaches to archaeology, and growing calls to decolonize the practice by engaging with Indigenous peoples and Indigenous ways of knowing in an effort to foster Indigenous archaeologies. This course looks at the colonial biases inherent to traditional archaeological approaches, examines the impacts those approaches have had, and explores what is being done to counter the limiting conclusions drawn from such investigations. Offered 2022-2023.

Anth 455         Anthropological Theory in Action

This course emphasizes the practical application of contemporary anthropological theory. There are three principal objectives: (1) to use anthropological theories to analyse representations of current events; (2) to learn to analyse information derived from anthropological and archaeological research; and (3) to investigate how theory can assist marginalized communities in achieving their goals. Students will learn critical skills in understanding the world around them. The focus is on engagement with those among whom anthropologists research. Not offered 2022-2023 

ANTH 492      Selected Topics in Anthropology

The topic for 2021-2022 is Museums: Culture and Heritage on Display. This course explores the complex and contested world of museums. Approaching the museum from a critical perspective, students will examine how the museum, as both representational and public space, continues to evolve in meaning, reach, method, and purpose. Students will engage with a diversity of museum contexts and sites, across differing regions and cultures, with a particular emphasis on ethnographic and social history museums. The course will consider such key themes as: the origins and idea of the museum; museum objects and collecting; museum representation; and diverse forms of museums. Field trips and applied projects will link course content to museum practice. Three credits. 

ANTH 499      Directed Study 

Under the direction of a professor, students will work in an area of anthropology now available in other course offerings. Interested students must consult with a faculty member or with the program coordinator. See section 3.5.  Three or six credits. 

 For a list of archived course outlines,click here.


Anthropology Department

208 J. Bruce Brown Hall
2320 Notre Dame Avenue
Antigonish NS B2G 2W5