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Viewing: ANTH 109 O: Anthro of the Senses

Last approved: Wed, 22 Aug 2018 19:23:56 GMT

Last edit: Wed, 01 Aug 2018 15:27:53 GMT

First Name Last Name Userid Title Home School Org Short Name
Lauren Ristvet lristvet ASSOC PROFESSOR A School of Arts and Sciences Anthropology
Spring 2019
Fall 2018
Anthro of the Senses
Smelling, seeing, hearing, tasting, and touching are the foundation of our empirical knowledge of the world, providing the most basic information we have. These senses are biological yet our sense perception—how we see, smell, taste, hear, and touch—is both shaped by and shapes our different cultures. As a result, they provide a useful framework to investigate a classic problem in anthropology, the intersection between biology and culture. This class investigates the senses as cultural and historical phenomena, drawing on readings from a range of disciplines, including anthropology, history, psychology, musicology, and cultural studies.
Every Other Year

Sector Requirements

Your department or program fields a variety of courses to meet distinct educational needs. Please explain how this course fits into your department's plan for participating in the general education curriculum of the College. The sector panel will want to know what is distinctive about this course along with the other courses your department lists in the sector that makes them suitable for the sector requirement.
The Anthropology endorses this course as one of 4 that will be available to fulfill Sector 4 for spring 19. The course bridges all the concentrations within anthropology and connects with the physiological experience of the senses as well as the artistic and performance aspects of the senses, especially in music. It includes enduring evidence for the senses in ancient artworks as well as fleeting experiences in smell and sound that carry extraordinary cultural weight. It will provide basic social theory that any student will put into use in more traditional courses in anthropology, HSOC, history, art history, or music.
One-term course offered either term
Humanities & Social Science Sector
Lauren Ristvet
Standing Faculty
Standing Faculty
This is a lower level class that will usually be offered as a freshman seminar. As a lower level course, but not one of the intro courses for the major, it is similar to the other courses in anthropology that fulfill this sector requirement. However, as a class that cuts across the subfield divisions in anthropology, it is unique at the moment in the curriculum. We do envision offering more classes like this to capitalize on anthropology's wide breadth, but this is the first attempt to do so.
This class is designed to make students think seriously about the interface betweeen culture and biology and to investigate the cultural and historical specificity of sensory experiences.

Methods of Assessment

Two papers (second paper includes a proposal, annotated bibliography, short paper, conference presentation, and final draft)
Daily reading responses, seminar participation.

Sector I - Society


Sector II - History and Tradition


Sector III - Arts & Letters


Sector IV - Humanities and Social Science

The class begins with approaches to the study of the senses drawn from anthropology, cultural studies, history, and philosophy. After writing a paper about these various approaches, students will choose their own research project about the senses and develop a theoretical approach.
The class is designed to teach students how to write an original research paper and reflect seriously on academic practice. This paper is broken down into a number of steps: proposal, annotated bibliography, short paper, conference presentation, and final paper. These steps are roughly the same that many scholars take when writing their first articles (preparing an abstract, giving a paper at a conference, and then revising it for publication).
The class integrates readings from all three of the humanities and social sciences sectors, particularly considering history and tradition and society. The initial weeks of the class invite students to read and discuss theoretical approaches drawn from a range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, while the rest of the class (focused on each individual sense) draws upon articles written by historians, anthropologists, psychologists, musicologists, art historians, and scholars of literature. The class asks students to consider these diffferent ways of approaching the senses in discussion and then directs them to use a similar range of approaches in their papers.
The class offers a different approach to music, art, perfume, and cuisine, by interpreting these via sensory experience in its cultural and historical context.

Sector V - Living World


Sector VI - Physical World


Sector VII - Natural Sciences and Mathematics


Administrative Field

Molly Mcglone (mmcglone) (Fri, 27 Jul 2018 14:26:56 GMT): Rollback: Please provide endorser justification information. Thank you.
Key: 525