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