Anthropology explores how people and groups across the globe engage with the social, cultural, political, and economic processes that shape the contemporary world.
Students in the Department of Anthropology learn about how concepts such as class, gender, and ethnicity relate to a variety of areas including development, environmental crises, imaginary worlds, labour, media, politics, religion, tourism, and heritage. These courses foster skills needed to think critically about these topics and engage with an increasingly globalized and complex world.
Below is a list of all Anthropology electives that anyone can register for, because they have 0 or just 1 prerequisite. For a complete list of our anthropology courses, see the university calendar.
Introduction to Anthropology provides an overview of the field of social and cultural anthropology. It covers key anthropological concepts used to study issues such as inequality, social justice, the environment, work, politics and law, family, identity, gender and sexuality, ethnicity, spirituality, and communication. An emphasis is placed on human diversity, international examples, and processes of globalization. This course is suitable for students in all disciplines.
Note: same as the former ANTH 1000 or 2000
War and Aggression
War and Agression is a critical review of ethological, psychological and sociological approaches to the understanding of violence and organized aggression.
Note: same as the former Sociology 2260
The City examines varieties of urban life around the world and through history. The city as habitat and as spectacle.
Note: same as the former Sociology 2280
Religious Institutions is a contextual study of religious institutions and beliefs, calendrical feasts and solemnities, religious roles and hierarchies, ritual innovation and revitalization.
Note: same as Religious Studies 2350 and the former Sociology 2350
Classics in Anthropology
Classics in Anthropology is an examination of selected milestone monographs, ground-breaking studies for subdisciplinary specialties, and major syntheses.
Anthropologists in the Field
Anthropologists in the Field combines a firsthand introduction to ethnographic research and writing with an exploration of how anthropological understanding develops through the experiences and human relationships of anthropologists in the field.
Threatened Peoples is an examination of key social and cultural factors involved in the global extinction of small-scale societies; the intrusive influences that jeopardize small-scale societies, such as disease; economic and military incursion; the role of international non-governmental agencies in aid of threatened peoples; and the role of the anthropologist in this human crisis.
Culture, Society and Globalization
Culture, Society and Globalization explores the way in which social, cultural, economic and political interconnections at the global level interact with local social and cultural processes.
Indigenous Peoples of North America
Indigenous Peoples of North America is a survey course dealing with various indigenous peoples of North America.
Note: same as the former ANTH 3281
Anthropology of Food
Anthropology of Food explores how cultural identities, social relationships, and inequalities are linked to the production, exchange, and consumption of food.
Cultural Formations explores the symbolic formations that humans create in order to give meaning to their lives. Some of the cultural formations that will be studied include specific examples from the realms of religion, play, sports, art, and commonplace material objects.
Ecology and Culture
Ecology and Culture reviews the co-evolution of the fields of ecology and anthropology since the late 19th century and examines the variety of contemporary perspectives on the interconnection between social and ecological systems.
Anthropology of Religion
Anthropology of Religion is a critical evaluation of anthropological research on religion, centering on seminal thinkers and major theoretical traditions. Special attention is given to the study of belief systems, and to relationships between belief and ritual.
Note: same as Religious Studies 3053
Play, Games and Sport
Play, Games and Sport is an examination of the phenomenon of play in a variety of human cultures, and in such forms of activity as religion, politics, festival, speech, performance, and artistic creation. Principal themes are the functional role of play in social relations, and the meaningful role of play in social thought.
Urban Anthropology is ann examination of anthropological studies of urban populations and population segments, such as ethnic groups and categories, occupations, neighbourhoods, etc.
The Idea of Culture
The Idea of Culture explores the history of ideas, dealing with the emergence of this key anthropological concept, the meanings it has acquired, its broader implications, and major critiques of its use in the social sciences.
Culture and Social Inequality
Culture and Social Inequality examines the role of culture in mediating different forms of social inequality, exploring the idea that culture is not only a way of life but also a way of managing power among unequals, from individuals to social classes. Readings in the course concentrate on cultural techniques of social control.
The Politics of Ethnicity and Multiculturalism
Culture and Social Inequality examines anthropological approaches and contributions to debates about ethnicity and multiculturalism.
Indigenous Self-Governance examines contemporary Issues on the development of, and barriers to, self-government among Canadian Indigenous peoples. The focus will be on topics such as land claims and claims settlements, self-government agreements and proposed agreements, economic development, environmental and social Impact of Industrial developments, and cultural and religious revival.
Note: Same as the former ANTH 4070
Imaginary Worlds explores the anthropology of imaginary worlds, including those created through pseudo-history, on-line gaming, science fiction and fantasy literature, and film. Particular examples will be examined in terms of the ways that social stratification, gender, ethnicity, race, and cultural beliefs become constructed inside of these imaginary worlds.
Banditry, Rebellion, and Social Revolution
Banditry, Rebellion, and Social Revolution examines types of social conflict specific to different kinds of class-based society, including social banditry, primitive rebellions, and peasant revolutions. More generally, social conflict is used to explore the variety of ways that pre-industrial societies have been made part of the modern world economy.
Global Environmental Crises
Global Environmental Crises examines the social, cultural, and economic forces that have contributed to rapid resource depletion and other environmental changes from the 20th century to present, and looks at how the impacts of these changes have been experienced around the world.
Dominance and Power
Dominance and Power is a study of dominance behaviour in human societies, surveying the range from private to public and from openly exploitative to fully legitimate power systems.
Note: same as the former the former Sociology/Anthropology 3100
Anthropology of the Global Economy
Anthropology of the Global Economy explores the way in which anthropologists have studied the inter-linkages among economic, social and cultural processes. Topics covered include key concepts (e.g., gifts and commodities, exchange relationships) and debates (e.g., formalist versus substantivist) in economic anthropology, and the way in which different societies and social groups are integrated within global capitalist markets.
Note: Same as the former ANTH 4200
Regional Studies: The Atlantic
Regional Studies: The Atlantic selects and explores topics in the ecological, cultural, economic, social and political characteristics of the North Atlantic Region.
Regional Studies courses change in topci regulalrly, and are interdisciplinary approaches to the study of selected regions.
Note: same the former Sociology 3254-3257
International Development is an examination of theories of development including a critical analysis of international case studies.
Note: Same as Sociology 3260
The Arctic studies cultural, ecologic, economic and social systems in the northern circumpolar regions.
Fieldwork Methods focuses on the process of anthropological fieldwork. Readings, discussions and evaluations will examine a range of issues and concepts that include observation techniques, interviewing, ethical issues, and the interpretation of data. Students will conduct original fieldwork to learn how to apply some of these skills.
Note: Same as the former ANTH 4300
The Anthropology of Travel and Tourism
The Anthropology of Travel and Tourism is an exploration of the anthropological study of travel and tourism. Students will learn how to critically evaluate this global industry and consider the role that it plays in the formation of contemporary human identity.
Visual Anthropology explores the use of documentary film, photography, and new digital media in anthropological fieldwork. It also teaches students how anthropologists study visual media such as television, newspapers, popular films, social networking sites, web sites, and photography collections.
The Anthropology of Ritual
The Anthropology of Ritual examines a range of theoretical perspectives, case studies and individual theorists in the study of ritual.
Medical Anthropology focuses on a range of issues including illness, disease and healing, sexuality and reproduction, pandemics and epidemics, medical technology and bioethics.
Engaged Anthropology is a seminar course exploring debates about the potential - and potential pitfalls - of a variety of approaches to publicly engaged anthropology.
War and Globalization
War and Globalization examines selected wars of the late 20th and 21st centuries to understand how war, political violence and the repartitioning of the world have become intrinsic features of the current era of globalization.
Classic Theory in Anthropology
Classic Theory in Anthropology follows a historical approach to understanding some of the key theoretical trends in anthropology since the inception of the discipline.
Note: Same as the former ANTH 4410
Anthropology of Foraging
Anthropology of Foraging deals with societies heavily reliant on hunting, fishing, and gathering wild foods. Industrial and post-industrial settings in which various forms of foraging (including recycling) are the basis for some people’s livelihood will also be considered.
Anthropological Specialties courses vary every year and will have a topic of current interest and importance announced by the Department for each term.
Fisheries, Aquaculture, and the Global Commodity
Fisheries, Aquaculture, and the Global Commodity explores social and environmental tensions related to the increasing commodification and financialization of fisheries around the world. Topics include the changing roles of fisheries and aquaculture in global and local economic and food systems; the impact of fisheries privatization and restructuring on coastal communities; environmental crises related to fisheries and aquaculture; and ways that science and technology have constructed and transformed both fish and aquatic environments.
New Media Methods in Social Research
New Media Methods in Social Research explores non-print means for recording social behaviour and will utilize various forms of the media as a descriptive and an analytic tool.
Note: Same as Sociology 3630
Social and Cultural Aspects of Health and Illness
Social and Cultural Aspects of Health and Illness will cover topics which may include: cultural concepts of illness and health; theories of disease causation; relationships between social life and illness patterns; symbiotic use of illness; variations in philosophies of treatment and in practitioner/patient relationships; the social organization of medicine.
Note: Same as Sociology 4071
Social and Cultural Aspects of Death
Social and Cultural Aspects of Death covers topics which may include: symbolic meanings and values attached to death; cultural and historical variations in the management of death, e.g. treatment of the 'terminally ill', burial rites, the mourning process, and the social fate of survivors, together with the social and psychological meanings of these behaviours. Open to those without normal prerequisites by permission of the Instructor.
Note: Same as the former Sociology 4072
Studies in Underclass Life
Studies in Underclass Life is a critical inquiry into the social sources of human misery and suffering that characterize life in the underclass.
Note: Same as the former Sociology/Anthropology 4073, the former Sociology 4073
Current Debates in the Anthropology of Ireland
Current Debates in the Anthropology of Ireland explores selected current debates in the anthropology of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Seminars centre on the critical reading of recent ethnographic studies. The course considers Ireland, north and south, as a changing scene, assesses the current state of Irish ethnography and considers how the field might develop.
Advanced Newfoundland & Labrador Ethnography
Advanced Newfoundland and Labrador Ethnography surveys the ethnographic literature on Newfoundland and Labrador, past and present, with special emphasis on ecological adaptation, interpersonal relations, class formation, patronage, brokerage, clientship, state formation, and modernization.
Contemporary Theory in Anthropology
Contemporary Theory in Anthropology is an evaluation of current approaches to culture and power through a focus on critical issues and major schools of contemporary thought influencing Anthropology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Emphasis is placed on major works, paradigms and individual theorists.
Labour and Global Capitalism
Labour and Global Capitalism examines core issues and problems entailed in the anthropological analysis of work and labour in the context of the global economy.
Anthropology of Slums
Anthropology of Slums examines social class forces producing a planet of slums, and details ways that everyday forms of violence, social injustice, and poverty take social shape in the everyday lives of slum dwellers. Among the topics covered are: social class formations, including ghettos, favelas, and shanty towns; surplus populations and disposable peoples resulting from late capitalist globalization; and forms of resistance and struggle that arise within dispossessed populations.
Anthropology of Sound
Anthropology of Sound examines how ethnographers do comparative research on the everyday sounds found in people’s daily environments, including music and new media products.
Marx and Social Inquiry
Marx and Social Inquiry examines the uses of Marx’s later writings, especially Capital, in current American Anthropology. The primary focus is on the agenda-setting works of Eric Wolf and David Harvey. Topics include: capital accumulation and the making of localities; primitive accumulation and class formation; uneven global development; crises of capitalism and crises of social reproduction; capitalist globalization and disposable surplus populations.
The Craft of Writing Anthropological Narrative
is a seminar open to senior students in any discipline, which examines in detail both the mechanics and the sensitivities necessary to produce literate analysis.
Politics of Landscapes
Politics of Landscapes is a survey of the variety of past and present systems of land tenure, showing their relevance to development/underdevelopment, conflicts with the state, relationships to social organization, symbolic significance, etc.