SM syllabus roundup

For most of us, the spring semester is now firmly underway, and this means that we are all being held to the vague and airy promises of ‘preparing class materials’ that we made over break now that there are actually students in our classrooms. As a result I thought it might be nice to start what may become a tradition here at SM — sharing the syllabi of the regular bloggers at this site to let you know what we are up to. And so, without further ado, I give unto you:

“The Relevance of Anthropology for Contemporary Problems”: (Rex)

“Ethnography of the State”: (Rex)

“Contemporary Anthropological Theory”: (Strong)

“People and Culture of the World”: (Oneman)

“Introduction to Cultural Anthropology”: (Oneman)

“Gender, Race, and Class”: (Oneman)

“Public Spheres and Public Cultures”: (Kelty)

“Adivasi Studies”: (Kerim)

“Multimedia Ethnography”: (Kerim)

“Language and Society”: (Kerim)

I like these classes not only because they all look so interesting but also because they give you a sense of where we as a blog are coming from — we have two large state universities, a private school, and two universities outside the US (in Finland and Taiwan). There are also a range of classes here — everything from Anthropology 101 to advanced graduate seminars. Some of us are using wikis and blogs to teach, while others rely only on chairs, tables, and a good book. If you’ve just started teaching, maybe you could send us links to your syllabi in the comments of this post so that our readers could have a wider sense of what is being read in the discipline.


Alex Golub is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. His book Leviathans at The Gold Mine has been published by Duke University Press. You can contact him at

5 thoughts on “SM syllabus roundup

  1. How much of this do you all change each time you teach a course?

    I don’t know about the others, but I do a pretty deep rethinking of my materials, within pretty hard boundaries, each semester. I’ve taught Anth 101 some 30-odd times as of this semester, and will have taught WMST 113 6 times when the school year ends in May. As an adjunct, I am given the school’s selection of texts to work within for these classes — the “hard boundaries” above — but my choice of readings, presentation, and order is my own. One thing I’ve tried to do this semester is focus more in Anth 101 on the ethnographic material I can glean from my reader — in the past, I’ve focused more on contemporary issues and gender. In Women’s Studies, we’ve adopted a new edition of the work, necessitating a new approach — in the past I’ve done a couple weeks on race, a couple on gender, a couple on class, and then gone back through the cycle; this semester, I’m teaching them more together to highlight the ties between them.

    On the other hand, I don’t change essay topics much — these seem to work for me and I get pretty good papers out of them.

    Also, like Strong, I too was inspired by ck’s syllabus design to move beyond Times New Roman this semester — I’ve been using my syllabus to finally learn to use the copy of InDesign I’ve had sitting on my PC since I worked in publishing some 5 years ago.

    And thanks to Amelia — I’m actually trying to promote being offended as a primary social scientific tool, so I’m glad that’s coming across.

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