Anthropology Courses at Ashford University

Humanity is defined by the cultural systems that have shaped its past. These courses, the core of Ashford University’s Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology program, will examine how cultural behaviors, belief systems, gender, language, and other factors have transformed societies throughout the ages. Your classes include explorations of human evolution, urban anthropology, the influence of religion, and the nature of war. A strong emphasis will be placed on your research and analytical skills as you are asked to posit your own theories about global cultures.


Anthropology Class Descriptions and Credit Information

ANT 101 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

Credits
3 Credits
Description

Students explore culture in its role of guiding human behavior and providing social order, structure, and stability for individuals and groups of people. Culture is presented as a system of adaptation involving beliefs, behavior, language, customs, socio/political strategies, traditions, and technology that evolve over time.

ANT 202 Human Origins & Prehistory

Credits
4 Credits
Description

This course will introduce students to the anthropological study of human evolution and prehistory. Students will be introduced to the theory of natural selection and to humanity as a member of the primate order. Topics covered will be the human ancestors, the Neolithic revolution, and how humans both differ and are similar to other primates.

ANT 234 Family, Kin, & Group

Credits
3 Credits
Description

The course explores kinship systems, ethnicity, neighborhood and other social arrangements in various cultural settings through the reading of selected ethnographic materials. Students will study the kinship on a cross-cultural and worldwide basis, beginning with immediate social ties in familial contexts to broad connotations in ethnic, national, and universal domains.

ANT 307 Anthropology of War

Credits
3 Credits
Description

An examination of the nature of war, primarily as it occurs in pre-industrial societies, and a survey of the anthropological explanations regarding this phenomenon. Emphasis is on understanding the complexity, variability, and cultural embeddedness of war as it occurs around the world.

ANT 315 Material Culture: Archaeology and the Human Condition

Credits
3 Credits
Description

This course examines the anthropological sub-discipline of archaeology, the study of the human past, looking specifically at the theories and methods used by archaeologists. Students will learn how archaeologists gather and use data, and how this information is relevant to contemporary society. Students will explore the history and background of archaeology, as well as how archaeologists approach such topics as the origins of inequality, gender roles, complex societies, and ethical issues such as who owns the past.    

ANT 340 Anthropological Theory

Credits
3 Credits
Description

This course explores anthropological theory in a historical perspective focusing on the rise of a distinct anthropological perspective on the comparative study of human societies and cultures. The course will detail various theoretical models developed in the 19th and 20th centuries to explain the similarities and differences in cultural systems.

ANT 343 Language, Culture, & Communication

Credits
3 Credits
Description

This course is an introduction to the study of the relationship of language and culture, including examination of the characteristics and structural principles of natural language. After exploring the basic characteristics of sound, word formation, and sentence structure, these principles are applied to such topics as: language variation, language change, psycholinguistics, and pragmatics.

ANT 347 Urban Anthropology

Credits
3 Credits
Description

This course is an introduction to urban anthropology, with an emphasis on rural-urban migrations, adjustment and assimilation of urban migrants, urban kinship and family structure, poverty culture, rural-urban typologies, and the application of anthropological methods to the study of urban societies.

ANT 348 Native American Anthropology

Credits
3 Credits
Description

This course examines the nature and distribution of North American Indian cultures from the pre-Columbian period to the present. Through the use of archeological, anthropological, and contemporary community studies, this course will explore the diversity of traditional North American Indian and Inuit cultures and the adaptation of indigenous peoples to America.

ANT 351 Anthropology of Religion, Magic, & Ritual

Credits
3 Credits
Description

This course examines the nature of religious belief systems, myth and ritual, witchcraft, and magic and sorcery in various societies of the world. These behavioral and symbolic forms exist or have existed in virtually all human societies and cultures. In this course, students will study many different belief systems, define these entities; and develop an understanding of how they work in societies. The differences among traditions in nation states on cultures and political systems will be explored.

ANT 353 Anthropology of Gender

Credits
3 Credits
Description

This course examines cross-cultural analysis of gender roles, while focusing on non-Western societies, using data from other societies to better understand the gender system of our own culture. Issues include status of women and men, the meaning of “femaleness” and “maleness” historically and in contemporary society. Gender roles, transnational migrations, social movements, international relations and religion are explored.

ANT 462 Anthropological Research Methods

Credits
3 Credits
Description

The course introduces students to the research methods of cultural anthropology. Students will learn such techniques as participant observation, informal and formal interviewing, ecological mapping, genealogy and oral history, social network analysis, use of archival documents, and photographic and audio documentation. The perspective guiding the course is ethnography as an empirical, scientific approach that describes social and cultural aspects of human life.

ANT 464 Applied Anthropology

Credits
3 Credits
Description

This course introduces the use of anthropology and its application to problem solving in the areas of cultural dynamics, public policy, and contemporary social problems such as health, housing, nutrition, and education. Students will learn how anthropologists conduct research to address issues and solve problems facing living communities across the globe.

ANT 499 Ethnographic Study Capstone

Credits
3 Credits
Description

This course will provide an overview of the ways in which anthropologists have studied and written about distinct cultural systems in numerous world regions. Using ethnographic case studies, the course explores how diverse cultural groups confront such issues as gender roles, political organization, economic strategies, and colonial systems. Particularly attentive to the problems of conducting ethnographic research in a changing world characterized by transnational ties, the course is meant to form the capstone experience for anthropology majors.