of the City University of New York

                                                              DEPARTMENT OF ANTHROPOLOGY


Anthropology 101 3M2WA  MON. & WED. 3:45-6:15 PM, PH 153                                                      Spring 2006            

Anthropology 101 E5T4A  TUE. 5:00-9:00 PM, PH 153                                                                       Dr. Michael Steffy              

Introduction to Cultural Anthropology                                                                                                 PH 314-I (997-5512)                                                                                                                                                                                   


IMPORTANT: Your First Assignment Is To Read and Study This Course Syllabus and the AV Program Schedule


                                              CULTURE AND THE NATURE OF HUMAN KNOWLEDGE



INSTRUCTIONAL GOAL:  To introduce undergraduates to anthropology's major contribution to the Western intellectual tradition, the concept of culture,

and to the critical perspective on humans and their diversity in the world today offered by this concept as an essential component of a modern college education.


REQUIRED TEXTS: (all paperback editions)


Michael V. Angrosino  (Used in all three course units)

The Essentials of Anthropology, 1999


Richard A. Barrett  (Used in all three course units)

Culture and Conduct, Second Edition, 1991


Merwyn S. Garbarino  (Used in all three course units)  

Sociocultural Theory in Anthropology, 1983


Elenore Smith Bowen (Laura Bohannan)  (Used in Unit I)

Return to Laughter, 1964


Marvin Harris  (Used in Unit II)

Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches, 1989


National Academy of Sciences (Ed.)  (Used in Unit III)

           Science and Creationism: A View From the NAS, Second Edition, 1999     


Institute for Food and Development Policy (Food First)  (Used in Unit III)

Hunger Myths and Facts, 1998  (Only available in class)


OPTIONAL TEXTS: (for continued self-education following course)


              Philip Carl Salzman and Patricia C. Rice  (for more on the approach of anthropology)

                        Thinking Anthropologically: A Practical Guide for Students, 2004


Carl Sagan  (for more on the scientific worldview)

The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, 1996


Marvin Harris  (for an overview of general anthropology) 

          Our Kind, 1990 (copies of Unit I assigned readings on reserve in the Library)


Paul Bohannan & Dirk van der Elst  (for using the ethnographic approach in your own life)

           Asking and Listening: Ethnography as Personal Adaptation, 1998





    INTRODUCTION TO COURSE: Attend Introductory Lecture: “What’s Going on Here, Really?”


    UNIT I: Culture, Its Scholarly and Scientific Study

A. Culture as the Human Way of Knowing

B. Science as an Alternative Way of Knowing

C. The Nature of Anthropology

D. The Scope of Anthropology

E. Field Methods for Cultural Research


Assignments (UNIT I):

Garbarino: Review chapter 1 (complete first--see Assignment Notes: 1 & 2)

Angrosino: Read and study chapters 1 & 9 and chapter sections 2.2, 5.1, 8.1 & 8.3 (see Assign. Notes: 3)

Barrett: Read for author's major points chapters 1, 2 and 3 (see Assign. Notes: 4)

Harris: Read for author's major points pages 101-123 from Our Kind (see Assign. Notes: 4 & 5)

Bowen: Read entire book (see Assign. Notes: 6)

Attend Class Lectures and Study Class Handouts (see Assign. Notes: 7 & 8)

View AV Programs: 1, 2, 3 and 4 (see the "Audiovisual Program Schedule”)


EXAM I (50 points) Date to be announced (bring a No. 2 pencil).

      Study all assignments for UNIT I


UNIT II: Culture, Its Theoretical and "Actual" Nature

A. The Rise of Anthropological Thinking

B. Cultural Evolutionism and the Emergence of Anthropology

C. European and British Alternatives to Cultural Evolutionism

D. The U.S. Response to Cultural Evolutionism and Further Developments

E. Human Social Organization Described


Assignments (UNIT II):

Garbarino: Review chapters 2, 3, 4 and 5 to page 74 first (see Assignment Notes: 1 & 2)

Angrosino: Read and Study chapters 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8 (see Assign. Notes: 3)

Barrett: Read for author's major points chapters 4, 5 and 7 (see Assign. Notes: 4)

Harris: Read "Prologue" through "The Great Witch Craze" in Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches (pages 1-240)

          (Note in each chapter the “riddle of culture” & Harris’ answer to or explanation for that riddle)

Attend Class Lectures and Study Class Handouts (see Assign. Notes: 7 & 8)

View AV Programs: 5, 6, 7 and 8 (see the "Audiovisual Program Schedule”)


EXAM II (50 points) Date to be announced (bring a No. 2 pencil).

Study all assignments for UNIT II


UNIT III: Culture, Its Practical Nature, Origin and Evolution

A. Alternatives to Boasian Anthropology

B. Contemporary Culture Theory

C. Biology, Genetics, and Evolutionary Theory

D. Evolution and the Human Place in Nature

E. Human Origins and Evolution: Biology and Culture


Assignments (UNIT III):

Garbarino: Review chapters 5 starting at page 74, 6 & 7 (see Assignment Notes: 1 & 2)

     Angrosino: Read and Study chapters 2 & 3, Restudy chapter sections 1.2, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 5.1, 7.1, 7.4, 8.1, 8.2,

              8.4 & 9.2  (see Assign. Notes: 3 & 10)

Barrett: Read for author's major points chapters 6 and 8 (see Assign. Notes: 4)

National Academy of Sciences: Read for Religious (Emic) and Scienctific (Etic) perspectives and ideas “Preface”

          through page 25, “Conclusion” (see Assign. Notes: 4)

Food First Broad Sheet: Read for “Myths” (Emic) and “Facts” (Etic) (see Assign. Notes: 4)

Attend Class Lectures and Study Class Handouts (see Assign. Notes: 7 & 8)

Complete Prehistory Learning Exercise using relevant Unit III reading assignments (see Assign. Notes: 11)

View AV Programs: 9, 10, 11 and 12 (see the "Audiovisual Program Schedule”)           


FINAL EXAM (50 points) in Final Exam Period.  Consult published Final Exam Schedule.

      (bring a No. 2 pencil and dam paper–plan to stay full 2 hours to complete a Final Class Activity following exam) 

Study all assignments for UNIT III (see Assign. Notes: 9)


ASSIGNMENT NOTES: (VERY IMPORTANT:  See the reference to these Notes following each assignment.)


1.  "Review," means read once quickly for overview and/or background.  Do not highlight or underline.

2.  Be prepared to use glossary and/or index to find specific topics and/or terms from lecture or other readings for additional study     

and clarification.

3.  "Read and Study," means read for content and be prepared to answer questions about major topics, terms and concepts on the     

 unit examination.

4.  “Read for author's major points," means be prepared to identify on the unit examination specific ideas, concepts, issues,

     analyses and/or conclusions made by the author (i.e., Barrett says... or according to Harris...). 

5.  Book on reserve in Library.  Do not confuse with UNIT II Harris Assignment.  Copies of assigned pages, “Readings on                 

Race,” are available by call number (20482) at the Main Circulation Desk, Level 3. This reading is NOT available at the Library’s      

E-Reserve Web Site for this course, because the college cannot afford the fee required to place it on line.

6.  Read each chapter preparing a brief written summary for later review, noting the material in that chapter you are directed in class 

 to focus on for the unit examination.

7.  You must attend lectures and take notes on the major points covered.  Use the lecture topics as the primary outline for the           

 course.  Be alert to study helps and hints given during lecture.  Be present for any announcements at the start of each                 

 lecture (i.e., come to class on time). If you are late, ask students after class who were there to tell you what you missed.

8.  While all handouts should be "reviewed" (see 1 above), not all class handouts, nor all content on each handout, must be

     “studied” and controlled for the unit examination.  Be alert to the guidance given in lecture.

9.  The Final Exam is not intentionally comprehensive.  It is a Unit Exam similar to the previous two exams.

10. Restudy means reconsider in the context of new ideas and concepts currently being presented in the course.

11. If needed, a supplemental resource is on reserve: Schusky & Culbert Chapters 5 & 6 (Call# 20483)




I.        Traditional Anthropological Concerns (UNIT I)

A. Understanding Human Physical and Cultural Variation

Program 1: Yanomamo: A Multi-Disciplinary Study (45 min.) Call# BRLV 203-01

B. Understanding Human Physical and Cultural Origins

Program 2: The Mysteries of Mankind (55 min.) Call# BRLV 203-02


II.       Studying Culture (UNIT I)

A. Studying an Extinct (Dead) Culture (Archaeology)

Program 3: 4-Butte-1: A Lesson in Archaeology (33 min.) Call# BRLV 203-03

B. Studying an Extant (Living) Culture (Ethnography)

Program 4: A Man Called Bee: Studying the Yanomamo (40 min.) Call# BRLV 203-04


III.     Cultural Adaptations (UNIT II)

A. Food Collecting: Hunting and Gathering Bands

Program 5: Bamiki Bandula: The Children of the Forest (The Pygmies) (55 min.) Call # BRLV 203-05

B. Food Production: Herding Tribes

Program 6: The Kirghiz of Afghanistan (55 min.) Call# BRLV 203-06

C. Food Production: Horticultural (gardening) Tribes

Program 7: Dead Birds (55 min.) Call# BRLV 203-07

D. Comparing Adaptations (Note: Program 8 has two parts)

Program 8: (A) Married Life and (B) Ishi in Two Worlds (Total 55 min.) Call# BRLV 203-08


IV.      Evolution, Culture, Human Origins and Civilization (UNIT III)

A. On Nature, Evolution, Science and Humankind

Program 9: Stephen Jay Gould: This View of Life (55 min.) Call# BRLV 203-09

B. On Being Primate

Program 10: Life in the Trees (55 min.) Call# BRLV 203-10

C. On Becoming Human

Program 11: The Compulsive Communicators (55 min.) Call# BRLV 203-11

D. On Becoming "Civilized": Agriculture, Social Ranking, and the State

Program 12: Maya: Lords of the Jungle (55 min.) Call# BRLV 203-12



OFFICE HOURS  (Tell me in class on Tuesday or Wednesday if you intend to come to my office hour the next week or that day or make an appointment for another time.)


          WEDNESDAY     3:00 – 3:30 PM  and 5:15 – 5:45 PM


          TUESDAY           3:45 – 4:45 PM   (I will also try to be available after class for at least half an hour)


          AND AT OTHER TIMES BY APPOINTMENT (I will not be available to students from the end of office hours                           

Wednesday until the just before class the following Monday, I am trying to write a book)



E-MAIL POLICY:  My e-mail address is Michael.Steffy@qc.cuny.edu  I try to check my e-mail Mon. between 3 & 3:30 PM, and Tue. & Wed. mornings between 6:30 & 7:30 AM.  Student e-mails MUST have Anthropology 101 entered under SUBJECT for identification or they will be deleted without being read.  Always provide a phone number and times to call if you want or need a response beyond a few words.  Even then do not expect a direct response by e-mail other than a possible acknowledgement of my having received your message.  Issues or questions of general interest will be addressed in class.


COURSE MATERIALS ON LINE AND CLASS ATTENDANCE: Copies of the Syllabus, the AV Program Schedule and various course materials and classroom handouts are available through the Library’s Electronic Reserve Web Site at www.reserve.qc.edu.  Choose “Electronic Reserve and Course Materials,” go to “select an instructor.”  My name is in the list.  After you select the course under my name, you will have to enter the course password when asked: enter ste101.  You need to attend class, however, to obtain learning guidance relevant to these course handouts and learning materials.


A FINAL WORD FOR THE TV GENERATION:  Many have not learned, as a result of their K-12 experience in public education, an important lesson:


Your success in higher education depends directly on what you DO, primarily outside of class, not on what your instructor does in class.

With this course you have an experienced instructor who has dedicated his life and career to providing an extremely important and valuable learning experience for undergraduates,