[Summer 2010] Time/Location: MWF 9:00-12:00 / 3C
Lecturer: Sofia Kalo
Email: kalo.sofia@gmail.com

Office Hours: by appointment only
Course Introduction

Welcome! This course is designed to introduce you to the main themes, methods and intellectual traditions of cultural anthropology and to help you consider a variety of anthropological approaches to understanding human diversity. The thematic threads for this course are culture, power, and change. Through these rubrics we will explore topics such as social structure, race and ethnicity, language and communication, art, gender and sexuality, class and labor. Some of the questions that we will return to throughout the semester are:

What is culture?
What is society?

What is the range of behaviors human beings are capable of?
How do anthropologists actually answer these questions?

Course Objectives

 To become acquainted with the discipline of anthropology—specifically the sub-discipline of cultural anthropology—including its principle methodology (ethnography) and its basic concepts (culture, society, ideology, cultural logics, domination, hierarchy, etc)

 To introduce students to anthropological theory in order to develop students’ intellectual tools for understanding the politics of culture in contemporary society [Albanian and elsewhere]

  •   To practice and develop critical thinking and writing skills.
  •   To practice and develop reading skills; reading texts closely for both content and argument.
  •   To develop group communication skills


I will either distribute hard copies of select readings in class or send them to you through e-mail.


Course Requirements

Attendance: Your attendance in class is very important especially considering that this is a five week course which means that during each three hour session we will be covering the material that is equivalent of a week’s work during a regular semester. If you have to miss a class it is your responsibility to 1) ask for notes, and 2) make up the work.

I will keep track of your attendance and punctuality every hour of class. The grades for attendance will be as follows (please note that it refers to hours missed and not days):

Hours Missed

Grade Points























In case of emergency, students are required to submit proper documentation to the Record’s Office to receive an excused absence. I will NOT excuse ANY absence. ONLY the Record’s Office will excuse an absence. In addition, students should refrain from arriving late and should not leave early without prior approval from the professor (or the hour will be counted as an absence).

Participation: It is extremely important to participate in class actively and to engage in discussion ineveryclasssession. Itisthusimportantthatyoudoallassignedreadingsbeforeyoucometoclass. The grade for class participation will be based on your contribution to in-class activity including group work and presentations. Points for participation will be deducted for excessive talking and other disruptive behavior.

Written Work: This semester you will be assigned TWO short papers (1-2 pgs.) and ONE longer paper (7-8 pgs.) which will be due at the end of the semester.

Midterm and Final Exam: These two exams will consist of short-answer and short-essay questions (i.e. questions that can be answered in 6 to 8 sentences) based on the readings, discussions and films.

Ethnographic Project: At the middle of the fourth week of the semester, you will receive guidelines for conducting a small ethnographic research project which will be the basis for your long paper which is due at the day of your final exam i.e. last day of the semester.

General Requirements

Conduct: You are expected to behave with civility and appropriate etiquette toward faculty and one another. Pleaseturnoffallelectronicdevices(e.g.iPods,laptops,etc.)andsetyourcellphoneson silent ring before class begins and refrain from using them until class is over.

Meetings with Instructor: If you wish to meet with me to discuss class material or just to chat, let me know through e-mail kalo.sofia@gmail.com.

Format: Unless indicated otherwise, all written assignments must adhere to APA format: A4 size, Times New Roman font, 12 pt, double spaced with standard margins and page numbers. You should always check your work for spelling and grammar and I also advise you to read your written assignments aloud to avoid awkward statements. Your final Ethnographic Project is to be handed in electronically via Turnitin.com.

Late Assignments: All assignments must be handed in at the beginning of class the day they are due. Assignments handed in after this point will be considered late. Unless you have an excused absence or you are facing extraordinary circumstances, I will deduct 10% from your grade for EVERY 48 hours (2 days) it is late.

Your final paper (to be handed in via Turnitin) must be received by midnight the day it is due or Turnitin will automatically consider it late. After this, 10% of the grade will be deducted for EVERY 48 hours (2 days) it is late. This will mean a 40% deduction after only one week. After that it will be worth only 50% of the grade received.

Academic Dishonesty/Turnitin: UNYT does not tolerate academic dishonesty. Read the UNYT Student Honor Code for a more detailed description of plagiarism and cheating. Please be aware that your Ethnographic Project paper will be submitted via Turnitin and it must not receive an overall plagiarism mark of over 20% and no single source may be over 6% (we will discuss these details later in class).

Learning Difficulties: If you feel that you have encountered special learning difficulties, please make an appointment with Anxhela Gramo at agramo@unyt.edu.al.

Assessment Criteria






Short Written Assignments


Midterm Exam


Final Exam


Ethnographic Project Paper


Letter Grade

Percent (%)

Generally Accepted Meaning

 A  96-100


 A-  90-95
 B+  87-89

Good, above average

 B  83-86
 B-  80-82
 C+ 77-79


 C  73-76
 C-  70-72
 D+  67-69

Significantly below average

 D  63-66
 D-  60-62
 F  0-59  Failing grade


(Readings listed are expected to be completed on the assigned day, e.g. On Friday, June 25 you should have read Lassiter’s Chapter Three and Horace. Please do your readings before coming to class and be prepared to discuss them. Reading schedule may be subject to change. )

Monday, June 23, 2010
Film Screening: Rashomon, Akira Kurosawa.

(Session 1) Introductions

Wednesday, June 23 2010 Lassiter (Chapter Two p. 33-66);

Course Schedule and Readings

(Session 2) What is anthropology? What is anthropological theory?

Friday, June 25, 2010
Lassiter (Chapter Three p. 67-100); Horace (503-507)

(Session 3) Cultural Anthropology and Ethnography as Process and Product

Guidelines for FIRST SHORT WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT Distributed – Due Monday, June 28

Monday, June 28, 2010
Myerhoff (p. 1-33); Scheper-Hughes (p. 7-8)

End of Week I

(Session 4) Thick Description, Participant Observation, Role of Researcher


First Assignment DUE TODAY at the beginning of class

Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Roth (short reading); Scheper-Hughes (409-428); Walley (p. 405-438)

(Session 5) Morality and Cultural Relativism

Friday, July 1, 2010
Lukes (p. 14-37); Asad (short reading); DeLind (p. 80-91); Therborn (1-6) Film Screening: Les Maitres Fous, Jean Rouch

(Session 6) Power and Anthropology


End of Week II

Monday, July 5, 2010

Guidelines for SECOND SHORT WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT – DUE Monday, July 12 Anthropology, Language and Communication

Ferraro (Chapter Two p.118-146); Daniels (p.19-36)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Svasek (Introduction p. 3-16); Svasek (Chapter Four p. 67-88)

(Session 8) Anthropology and Art

Friday, July 9, 2010
Lassiter (Chapter Seven p. 214-230); Keller (p.77-103)

End of Week III

Guidelines for Final ETHNOGRAPHIC PROJECT/PAPER Distributed—DUE JULY 23

(Session 9) Science, Belief, Disbelief

Monday, July 12, 2010
Lassiter (Chapter One p. 3-32); AAA “Official Statement on ‘Race'”; McIntosh (1-6)

Second Short Written Assignment DUE TODAY in Class

(Session 10) Race and Ethnicity

Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Ortner (p. 63-79); Weston (p. 154-179)

(Session 11) Social Class

Friday, July 16, 2010
Lassiter (Chapter 5); Kulick (p.19-33); Woodcock

ASSIGNMENT: Please bring to class to share with your peers a short paragraph where you describe what your Ethnographic Project will be about and the methods you will use to

(Session 12) Gender and Sexuality gather information.

End of Week IV

(Session 13) Reading Ethnography: Selling Crack in El Barrio pt. 1 Monday, July 19, 2010
Bourgois (p. 1-18, p. 114-131)

(Session 14) Reading Ethnography: Selling Crack in El Barrio pt. 2 Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Bourgois (p. 132-173)
In Class Review for Final Exam

Friday, July 23, 2010

(Session 15) Final Exam


End of Term

Bourgois, Philippe 1995
InSearchofRespect:SellingCrackinElBarrio. NYC,NY:CambridgeUniversityPress.

Daniels, Harvey 1985
“Nine Ideas about Language”

Agriculture, vol. 26, issue 1-2. Ferraro, Garry and Robert Anderson 2008

Cultural Anthropology: An Applied Perspective.

Course Bibliography

American Anthropological Association September 1997 “Official Statement on ‘Race’.” Anthropology Newsletter 38 (6)

DeLind, LB 2004
“Social Consequences of Intensive Swine Production: Some Effects of Community Conflict”. Culture &

Keller, Eva 2007
“Why, Exactly, Is The World As It Is?” in Questions of Anthropology , Astuti, Parry & Stafford eds. NYC: Berg Press.

Kulick, Don 2009
“Can There Be An Anthropology of Homophobia?” in Homophobias: Lust and Loathing

Across Time and Space. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, p. 19-33. Lassiter, Eric Luke 2006

Invitation to Anthropology (second edition). Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press. Lukes, Steven 2005

Power: A Radical View. Pelgrave Macmillian. McIntosh, Peggy 1989

“White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”

Miner, Horace 1956
“Body Ritual among the Nacirema.” American Anthropologist 58, no.3. 503-507.

Myerhoff, Barbara 1978
“So What Do You Want From Us Here?” in Number Our Days: Triumph of Continuity and Culture Among

Jewish Old People in an Urban Ghetto. New York City: Simon & Schuster, p. 1-33.

Ortner, Sherry 2006
“Identities: The Hidden Life of Class” and Chapter Five (edit) “Subjectivity and Cultural Critique” in

AnthropologyandSocialTheory:Culture,PowerandtheActingSubject. Durham,NC:Duke University Press, p. 63-79 and p. 107-119.

Roth Pierpont, Claudia March 8, 2004 “The Measure of America.” New Yorker.

Scheper-Hughes, Nancy April 1992
“Speaking Truth To Power” New International, p. 7-8. http://www.newint.org/issue254/truth.htm.

Scheper-Hughes, Nancy 1995

“The Primacy of the Ethical.” Current Anthropology 36, no. 3: 409-428. Svasek, Maruska 2007

Anthropology, Art and Cultural Production. Ann Arbor, MI: Pluto Press.

Therborn, Göran. April 6, 2009
“The Killing Fields of Inequality”, Open Democracy, http://www.opendemocracy.net/article/the-killing-fields-of-inequality.

Walley, Christine J.
“Searching for ‘Voices’: Feminism, Anthropology, and the Global Debate over Female

Genital Operations.” Cultural Anthropology 12, no. 3: 405-38.

Weston, Kath 2005
“Class Politics and Scavenger Anthropology in Dinesh D’Souza’s Virtue and Prosperity”. in Why America’s

TopPundits Are Wrong: Anthropologists Talk Back. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, p. 154- 179.

Woodcock, Shannon 2005
“Globalization of LGBT Identities: Containment Masquerading as Salvation Or Why Lesbians Have Less Fun”