Course syllabus course Prefix/Number: ant 3212

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Course Prefix/Number: ANT 3212

Course Title: People and Cultures of the World
Course Credit Hours: 3
Instructor Name and Contact Information: Tom Lopez

850 474 2797 (anthropology department)

Prerequisites or Co-Requisites: None
Course Description: In this course, the student will encounter and explore the characteristics and features of the major culture areas of the world and the specific features of selected particular societies within those general areas.

Course readings include a textbook that systematically provides an overview of key cultural traits of the major culture areas of the world, including the Northern American zone (Native North America), Southern American zone (native cultures of tropical South America), Nuclear zone of the Americas (Mesoamerica, Central America, and the Andes), Old world Central zone (North Africa and the Middle East, South, Central, and East Asia), African zone (Sub-Saharan Africa), Circumpolar zone (native Siberian and Eskimo cultures), Pacific Island zone (Polynesia, Micronesia, Melanesia), and Australian zone (Aboriginal Australian culture).

Readings will also include selected case study readings on particular societies that give a more in-depth view of the characteristics and experiences of people living in particular social contexts. Through this, students will gain a general background in world cultures and encounter ethnography as a means for exploring specific cultures and ethnology as the basis for cross-cultural comparison and comprehension.
Goals: Upon completion of the course, students will be able to identify the major culture areas of the world and discuss the important cultural and social characteristics of each major area as well as specific societies within these areas. Students will also be able to discuss modes of ethnographic research and representation and the ways this relates to our understanding of cultural contexts.

About this Course: This course is delivered completely online. You must have consistent access to the Internet.

Challenges in Distance Learning: Learning at a distance may be a very different environment for many of you. You will generally set your own schedules, participate in class activities at your convenience, and work at your own pace. You may spend some additional time online during the first few weeks while you become accustomed to the online class format in order not to feel overwhelmed. You should be prepared to spend approximately 6-8hours per week online completing lessons, activities, and participating in class discussions. Finally, you may want to incorporate these tips to help you get started:

  • Set yourself a schedule -- check the course web site early in the class week to see what tasks you'll need to work on for the week.

  • Become very familiar with the site and how to use it. It is a tool to help you learn!

  • Team up with your classmates to discuss class assignments and questions you might have. Check the “Classlist” link for biography info and email addresses.

  • Ask questions when you need answers. If you have instructional problems, contact your instructor. If you have technical problems, contact the UWF Helpdesk at: 850.474.2075


  1. Cultural Patterns & Four Ways of Life

  2. Native North America Culture Area

  3. Native South America Culture Area

  4. Mesoamerica Culture Area

  5. Asia Culture Area

  6. Africa Culture Area

  7. Modern Europe Culture Area

  8. Arctic Culture Area

  9. Pacific Islands Culture Area

  10. Australian Aboriginal Culture Area

Student Learning Outcomes:

  1. Identify the major culture areas of the world (All Topics)

  2. Identify and discuss the important cultural and social characteristics of each major culture area (All Topics)

  3. Identify and discuss the common cultural features for each major culture area (All Topics)

  4. List the specific societies chosen for course case studies for each major culture area (All Topics)

  5. Identify and discuss the specific social and cultural features of these societies (All Topics)

  6. Identify and discuss the specific features of particular chosen societies within each major culture area (All Topics)

Required Materials:

Internet Access You must have consistent access to the internet as well as active ARGUS and eLearning accounts.

Required texts: Traditional Cultures: a Survey of Nonwestern Experience and Achievement, by Glenn E. King, Waveland Press, 2003.

Additional Readings: In addition to the textbook, a set of collected articles and book chapters will provide case studies of particular cultural contexts. Some will have internet links; others will be UWF library course reserves (see below).
About Course Reserves: Go to the UWF libraries main page. Click on “course reserves”. You will see a drop-down menu of search options. For fastest results, choose either “instructor’s last name” (Lopez) or “author”. To access from off campus, you’ll have to enter your Nautilus card number, but not when on campus. Click on the icon, and the reading will show up. You can print these out, save a copy to your computer for offline access, or both; just mind the fair use agreement.
JSTOR: I have given JSTOR links when possible. To access JSTOR, go to the library homepage and click on “databases”. Type in “JSTOR” and enter, or click on letter “J”, and click on “JSTOR” link when it appears. Then search within the database by your chosen means (e.g. journal, author, title).
Grading / Evaluation: Three exams, a written component and ongoing participation activities demonstrate student proficiency and expertise in the topics listed above. Students will complete activities related to the student learning outcomes.

The course grade will be determined as follows:

Three Examinations (20% each) 60% (20% each)

Exam information comes from readings and key terms identified in the text. Additionally, the exam may contain information provided in Power Points or other supplemental material and discussions. They will include a variety of formats, including matching, multiple choice, true/false, identification, and short essays. Your exam dates vary by test. Your second one falls later than usual due to the Fourth of July holiday. You may take your exams anytime within the listed test period. If you cannot take an exam during the scheduled test period, it is your responsibility to notify me prior to the test in order to take it at a different time. Exceptions apply in the event of a verifiable emergency.

Dropbox Assignments: Critical Response Essays 30% (5% each)

In addition to the examinations, you will be expected to write six (6) short, prompted essays. These are due on the dates assigned. Essays will relate to the topics covered in class, but will allow you a freedom of self-expression that the weekly postings do not.

Additionally, this is a class requirement that can be completed almost entirely offline!

I am giving considerable freedom about how closely together you submit them. You must turn in the first three by October 31, and they must on topics acceptable for that part of the class. You will receive a list of prompts during the first week of class.

Your last three must be turned by 11:59 PM on Friday, December 5.

Each essay should be about 250-350 words (1-2 pages) in length, with your name, the course, and the date on it. Include a title that indicates which prompt you are responding to. Please use standard margins, double-spacing and a readable 10- 12 point font. Each assignment has its dropbox.

These should not be lengthy, burdensome assignments, but clear, concise essays that relate address the prompt of your choosing. They shouldn’t merely recap or parrot the source material; I want your insights here. If you have an opinion, voice it, but make sure that you back your position up with evidence; I expect sound logic behind your arguments. Be sure to cite any outside sources you choose to include, if any. Use a citation style appropriate to your major (AAA for anthropologists, Turabian for historians, etc.) and use it consistently.

If you are clear, logical and original, and you address the question, you will get a good grade. Please pay attention to spelling, grammar and punctuation. If I have to guess at your paper’s meaning, your grade will suffer accordingly. If you have any doubts about what academically honest writing is, please see the section on plagiarism below. If you have additional questions, please ask me.

Ongoing Participation Activities 10% (1% per discussion)

Complete internet exercises, weekly quizzes and assigned discussions on time. Students are awarded points for each session. The section quizzes are not formally graded. However, some of your exam questions are taken from them; it benefits you to do them.

I assign one required discussion forum per topic. I will post discussion prompts for every forum, and will occasionally post new comments in order to facilitate discussion. There will be 12 such assigned discussions, and they will open when the last module for that area opens up. You are allowed to miss up to two discussions without penalty; out of the 12 sessions, I will drop the two lowest items. All components of the assignment must be completed for students to receive full credit. Instructions regarding participation are located at the top of each discussion session and in the course schedule and assignments.

Participation in the discussions counts as the equivalent of classroom attendance and is mandatory. Do not expect a good grade for attendance if you do not post regularly. You must read all of the posted comments, post one comment that demonstrates that you have completed the reading assignment per session, and post one comment in response to another participant’s comment per session. The posting of comments must be completed by 11:59 PM Sunday and all posted comments must be read by 11:59 PM the following Monday.

You do not have to read comments posted after the deadline, but you are free to continue to post on discussion threads. I recommend reading comments periodically through out the week; this way you will not be overwhelmed. If you have any questions, please contact me.

Standard A – F grading scale:

94 - 100 = A
90 - 93 = A-

87 - 89 = B+
84 - 86 = B
80 - 83 = B-

77 - 79 = C+
74 - 76 = C
70 - 73 = C-

67 - 69 = D+
60 - 66 = D
0 - 59 = F

Program Goals:

Special Technology Utilized by Students: This course is totally online. All instructional content and interaction takes place over the WWW. In addition to baseline word processing skills and sending/receiving email with attachments, students will be expected to search the internet and upload / download files. In addition, students may need one or more of the following plug-ins:

  • Adobe Acrobat Reader:

  • PowerPoint Viewer:

  • Windows Media Player:

  • Quicktime Player:

  • Real Player:

  • Macromedia Flash Player:
Expectations for Academic Conduct/Plagiarism Policy:

Academic Conduct Policy: (Web Format) | (PDF Format) | (RTF Format)

Plagiarism Policy: (Word Format) | (PDF Format) | (RTF Format)

Student Handbook: (PDF Format)


Students with special needs who require specific examination-related or other course-related accommodations should contact Barbara Fitzpatrick, Director of Disabled Student Services (DSS),, (850) 474-2387. DSS will provide the student with a letter for the instructor that will specify any recommended accommodations.

8/25 Traditional Cultures, Introduction, Ch. 2 & 3, PowerPoint on kinship theory.

Complete user profile by 8/31.

9/1 Labor Day. No Assignment.
9/2 Traditional Cultures, Ch.4 &5;
Judith Brown, “The Iroquois: An Ethnohistoric Note”.
9/8 Traditional Cultures, Ch. 6;
Michael Harner, “The Hidden World” In The Jivaro., Berkeley: University of California Press 1972.
9/15 Traditional Cultures, Ch. 7;
June Nash, “Aztec Women: The Transition from Status to Class in Empire and


9/22-9/24 Exam on Chapters 1-7 and course readings.
9/22 Traditional Cultures, Ch. 8, Ch. 9, pp. 145-158.
Lila Abu-Lughod, “Identity in Relationship” In Veiled Sentiments: Honor and Poetry in a Bedouin Society, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986;
Martin Mills, “Vajra Brother, Vajra Sister: Renunciation, Individualism and the

Household in Tibetan Buddhist Monasticism”, Journal of the Royal

Anthropological Institute (N.S.) 6, 17-34, Royal Anthropological Institute, 2000. (JSTOR);
9/29 Traditional Cultures, Ch. 9, pp. 158-186.
Margery Wolf, “Uterine Families and the Women’s Community” and “Taking Charge” In Women and the Uterine Family in Rural Taiwan, Stanford, Stanford University Press, 1972
Robert Knox Dentan, “Disease, Death and Medicine” and “Dangerous Situations”

(full record forthcoming)

10/6 Traditional Cultures, Ch.10;
E.E. Evans-Pritchard, “Interest in Cattle” In The Nuer, New York: Oxford U. Press, 1940.
10/13 Sylvia Ardyn Boone, “The Sande Society” In Radiance from the Waters, New

Haven: Yale University Press, 1986.

James Quirin, “Caste and Class in Historical North-West Ethiopia: the Beta-Israel

(Falasha) and the Kemant, 1300-1900, The Journal of African History, Vol. 39,

No.2 (1998), pp.195-220
10/20-10/22 Test on Chapters 8-10 and course readings
10/20 Susan Brown, “Love Unites and Hunger Separates Them”, In Toward an

Anthropology of Women, edited by Rayna R. Reiter, New York: Monthly Review

Press, 1975
10/27 Nancy Tanner , “Matrifocality in Africa and Indonesia and Among Black Americans”
Philippe Bourgois, “Violating Apartheid in the United States” In In Search of Respect, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996
10/31 First three (3) responses essays due by this date.
10/31 Deadline for self-withdrawal from individual classes with automatic grade of “W”

11/3 Donna A. Buchanan, “Metaphors of Power, Metaphors of Truth: The Politics of

Music Professionalism in Bulgarian Folk Orchestras” Ethnomusicology, Vol. 39,

No. 3 (Autumn, 1995), pp. 381-416.

Boris Kremenliev, “Some Social Aspects of Bulgarian Folksongs”,

The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 69, No. 273, Slavic Folklore: A Symposium (Jul.-Sep.,1956), pp.310-319.
11/11 Traditional Cultures, Ch.11
William S. Laughlin, “Introduction”, “The Aleut People: Unangan” and “Ancient

Village Life” In Aleuts: Survivors of the Bering Land Bridge, New York: Holt,

Rinehart and Winston, 1980.
Internet exercise, TBA
11/17 Traditional Cultures, Ch. 12 and 13;
Bronislaw Malinowski, “The Essentials of the Kula” In Argonauts of the Western

Pacific., Prospect Heights, Illinois: Waveland Press, 1961[1922]

11/24 Traditional Cultures, Ch.14
Fred Myers, “Individual bands” In Pintupi Country, Pintupi Self. Berkeley: U.

California Press, 1986.

12/1 Dead Week: no written or online assignments for this week.
12/5 Last essay due.
12/8-12/10 Exam on Chapters 11-14 and course readings.

Important Dates:

8/29 End of drop/add period
9/20-9/22 First Exam
9/19 Last day to withdraw with partial refund
6/23 At least three dropbox essays due by this date
10/20-10/22 Second Exam
10/31 Last day to withdraw from individual classes
12/5 Last three dropbox essays due
12/8-12/10 Final Exam
12/12 Last day to withdraw from all classes; grade of “W’ or “WF” at instructor’s discretion

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