Related Courses at Elon

ANT-112: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (4 sh)

This introduction to the study of human cultures focuses on the diversity of human cultures around the globe. It presents basic concepts, theories and methods used by anthropologists studying people and culture. Topics span human cultural evolution, social organization, marriage and family, making a living, economics, politics, religion and human problems related to issues of globalization among others.

ANT-215: Qualitative Research Methods (4 sh)

This course examines the ways qualitative analyses (non-numerical data) help social
scientists explore questions of meaning within specifi c social and cultural contexts, and
historical moments. Specifi c topics include: participant observation, focus groups, open-
ended interviewing, thematic coding, archival research and data analysis with a qualitative
computer software program. The complementary relationship between qualitative and
quantitative research methods will be considered, with a sustained focus on the particular
strengths and weaknesses of qualitative research design. Prerequisite: SOC-111 or ANT-112. Cross listed as SOC 215.

ANT-230: Folklore (4 sh)

Far from being relegated to the quaint shadows of the past, folklore thrives today in everyday life, from its humblest use in small social settings to its wide-reaching use in the politics of globalization. While we will examine individual folklore forms—including verbal art, ritual, festival and material culture—focus will be on the examination of folklore performance within its situational and cultural contexts including family, school, religion, work, and play. The course will include fieldwork.

ANT-310 Cultures of the South (4 sh)

This class explores the American South as a coherent, but often highly contested, cultural region. Using the methods of cultural anthropology and folklore, we will explore the various cultures in the South, both for the overarching themes and patterns that emerge across traditions, as well as for the diversity of view and opinion found in specific, unique traditions. We will pay attention to dominant themes related to race, gender, myth, history, narrative, community memory and authenticity. Topics include gospel music, BBQ, family reunions, and civil war re-enactors, white and black. The course will include fieldwork. Prerequisite: SOC-111 or ANT-112.

ANT-323: Video Ethnography (4 sh)

This course explores the use of video in anthropological research, both as a research tool and a medium for the public presentation of culture. Students will explore qualitative methods of anthropological fieldwork and the analysis of cultural data, as well as learn the fundamentals of visual storytelling and the operation of video cameras and editing equipment. Major projects include a written ethnography and a video ethnography completely researched, shot and edited by the student. Prerequisite: SOC-111 or ANT-112.

ANT-325: Culture, Health, and Illness (4 sh)

This study of the biocultural basis of health and disease over time and across cultures examines the
importance of culture in the experience of illness, diagnosis and treatments. Topics include the cultural implications of food and food habits, health care practices, the relationship of healers and patients, alternative health care practices and the relationship of mind and body in illness and recovery. Recommended: SOC 111 or ANT 112.

ANT-383: Faces of Welfare (4 sh)

In 1976, Ronald Regan hit the campaign trail with a story about a woman with 80 names, 30 addresses, 12 Social Security cards, 4 non-existent deceased husbands, and $150,000 in unearned benefits. Despite gross exaggerations in the story, the “welfare queen” was born, and the face of government public assistance has never been the same. In this service learning course, we will examine the construction of the identity of people receiving public assistance by multiple stakeholders, including politicians, government and non-profit aid providers, the mass media, and aid recipients themselves. Using methods of collaborative ethnography and narrative analysis, we will work with local community partners to understand the specific case of public assistance programs in Alamance County as well as the broader national context in which the local study is situated. This course is tied to a larger research project sponsored by PERCS: Elon’s Program for Ethnographic Research and Community Studies and will contribute directly to products developed in, by and with the local community.

ANT-481: Anthropology Senior Seminar (4 sh)

This capstone course reviews major areas of anthropology and provides further opportunity to share
research on these topics. Students conduct research ranging from how anthropological knowledge
can be applied occupationally and politically to more basic, academic topics. Students compile a
senior intellectual portfolio that includes examples of their academic achievements across their years
of anthropological study; therefore, students should be mindful of this requirement and retain electronic copies of work that they may want to include in this portfolio. Prerequisites: ANT 215, ANT 216, ANT 361 and senior ANT major status.


A hybrid of lecture and practice, this course focuses on making social photographs or, as it is more
commonly known, documentary photography. We will examine the complex historical contexts,
visual language and critical analysis of photographs that are intended to represent other communities
and cultures as a source of information and social change. Students will apply and critique their own
understanding of visual representation by participating in a community-based documentary project.
The course is geared towards students in the social sciences, arts and other disciplines where photographic images might be an integral part of one’s research. No prior knowledge of photography is required. Digital camera required. By permission of instructor.

GST-265 London’s Immigrant Communities (Winter Term Study Abroad)

Investigate and research the many immigrant communities comprising modern London as tourists, ethnographers and visual anthropologists. Contact the Isabella Cannon International Centre for more information.

GST-442 Food, Health, and Socity in Global Perspective  (4 sh)

The focus of this course is food, health, and society in cross-cultural perspective. Throughout the course students will be challenged to think about both etic  (outsider; empirical; scientific) and emic (insider; local; cultural relativist) conceptualizations of food and health in contemporary human populations around the globe. The course is organized around three major thematic areas: the biocultural (evolutionary, ecological, nutritional, psychological) dimensions of food and nutrition; the socio-cultural (symbolic, structural, ideological, ritual, relational, and representational) significance of food and health; and the political economy of global nutrition. This course will be especially valuable for students interested in anthropology, sociology, public health studies, pre-health professions, and food studies.  This course is writing intensive. Open to students in the third or fourth year of study.

JCM-368: The Documentary (4 sh)

Students trace the origins of the documentary and its status today, ranging from news documentaries to nature and travel films to major artistic documentaries. Students produce documentary projects outside of class. Prerequisite: JCM-220 and 306.

REL-361: Women, Religion, and Ethnography (4 sh)

This course introduces students to contemporary women’s religious lives, ritual performances, and bodily practices across several traditions. Because they foreground the everyday, lived religious experiences of women and offer us access to women’s own voices and perspectives, our primary sources will be ethnographic studies.