ANTHRCUL 226 - Introduction to Historical Anthropology
Winter 2022, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Anthropology, Cultural (ANTHRCUL)
Department: LSA Anthropology
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Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


Cultural anthropology can be described as the study of how people “do things differently” throughout the many societies and cultures around the world; social history is the study of how societies and cultures have changed over time. History and cultural anthropology clearly have a lot to say to each other. How has “the past” become “a foreign country”? Through what processes did “so alien a Then become so familiar a Now” ? How are our present societies and cultures connected to our own pasts and to the pasts of others? What historical paths have led to the cultural differences we find around the world today? These questions are both anthropological and historical, and it takes the combined skills and techniques of both disciplines to address them. An anthropological awareness of cultural diversity also alerts us to the very real possibility that different cultures may have different ideas about “history.” How did the past happen? How “present” is it? How do we remember it? In writing? Through oral traditions? In other ways? How is the past inscribed in traces in the environment? How do social memories of the past shape cultures in the present? Are there conflicts within society about how the past should shape the present? How do social actors actively define and inscribe the past, perhaps in a struggle to control the present and future? How do conflicts over the meaning of the past reveal truths about social tensions, divisions, and processes in the present? In this course, we will study the convergences of anthropology and history from two angles: the uses of historical research to explain and illuminate cultural difference; and the use of anthropological research to understand cultural differences in approaches to history. Our objectives are to develop an anthropological sensitivity to the everyday workings of history, and to become more aware of how history is never “history” (in the colloquial sense of being over and done with), but is constantly being negotiated—and is constantly at work shaping the possibilities of our future.

Course Requirements:

Grades will be based on class participation, a weekly journal, and three papers.


ANTHRCUL 226 - Introduction to Historical Anthropology
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
MW 4:00PM - 5:30PM

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