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Academics . Liberal Arts . Courses

Liberal Arts Courses

Abnormal Psychology

Course No. SNS 309  Credits: 3.0

How does the psychological community, the legal community and society at large determine what is abnormal? How do we as individuals make decisions about what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior? How do culture, religion and geographical location influence the definitions of normal behavior? It is these questions and others we will explore in this class examining the diagnosing, treatment and experimental study of psychopathology. Through lectures, case presentation, videos and required readings, you will develop an appreciation, understanding, and knowledge of behavior labeled as "abnormal." You will also enhance critical thinking skills, utilize methods of naturalistic observation and gain a sense of compassion and sensitivity for those who live with mental health disorders.

Visual Anthropology

Course No. SNS 321  Credits: 3.0

Visual anthropology is an important growing subfield of cultural anthropology. The course focuses on how anthropologists have used visual media of various kinds, especially ethnographic film, to record, document and study human cultural and social diversity worldwide. A series of ethnographic films, readings and class discussion will explore this method of anthropological data collecting and analysis. As a counterpoint to earlier, popular, western cultural biases in visually "representing" non-western, non-industrial peoples as "romantic," "noble," "savage," "enigmatic," "curiosity," anthropology's film studies sought a stronger objectivity. Did they succeed? Worldwide, indigenous peoples now make extensive use of visual media/communication to reflect on their "contested identities." How has visual anthropology helped in that effort? From the 19th century's still photographs to today's cyberspace, visible culture and visual media interface. The course reviews ethnographic film as part of that communication process. $15 course fee required.

Anthropology of Gender Roles

Course No. SNS 350  Credits: 3.0
Faculty Elizabeth Hoag

In this course students will examine the various forms of gender roles, stereotypes, stratification, and attitudes from a cross-cultural, anthropological perspective. We will look at different cultural notions and assignments of gender, and how men’s and women’s activities vary in different types of cultures. We will also consider gender related topics in our own culture. This course will be conducted in a seminar format, with a smaller class size, and an emphasis on student-led discussion around the topics presented. May be applied as social/natural science credit or as non-Western credit. Formerly SNS 350X.

Traditional Tribal Art

Course No. SNS 357  Credits: 3.0

Specific cultures of sub-Saharan Africa are reviewed through their visual arts and ritual. The goal is to understand how each group's history and cultural context influence the creative process (use of symbols, style, media, and technique) and shape the aesthetic response. Some comparative materials from Oceania, India, and Some comparative materials from Oceania, India, and North America are also examined.

Introduction to Archaeology

Course No. SNS 370  Credits: 3.0
Prerequisite(s) Anthropology

Archaeology is a branch of the wider field of Anthropology that seeks to understand past human cultures and life-ways. This course will introduce students to archaeological concepts, methods, techniques, and theoretical approaches. It will be based on scientific, materials studies-grounding of the field of archaeology, to understand how archaeologists approach the past. Prerequisite: SNS 378 Anthropology. Formerly SNS 370X.


Course No. SNS 378  Credits: 3.0

The course is an introduction to the nature of culture and a comparison of contemporary western and non-Western cultures worldwide. Readings, films, slides and class discussion help review cultural similarities and differences in subsistence technology, language, social organization, politics, religion and art. An analysis that views culture as humankind's most important adaptive tool, a strategy for survival, also suggests anthropology's relevance for appreciating modern world social, economic and ecological problems. The course addresses contemporary issues of human choices and culture change.

Human Antiquity: Evolution

Course No. SNS 381 / HCS 381  Credits: 3.0

The anthropological study of human evolution, from human origins through the formation of major early civilizations. Course emphasis is on understanding the changing nature of the relationship between human biology, the environment and adaptation of culture as a way of life. Readings, class discussion, slides and films help describe archaeological sites and the paleoanthropological theories and methods used in studying human prehistory. Class will visit the Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s human evolution gallery exhibit. Also, if the museum’s physical anthropology schedule allows, the class will visit the renowned Hamann-Todd Osteological Collection. This is one of the world’s largest, and most thoroughly documented, collections of primate skeletons, with all major groups represented, including humans, apes, prosimians, and New and Old World monkeys.

Topics in Environmental Science

Course No. SNS 390X  Credits: 3.0

This course explores a broad range of topics that come under the heading of Environmental Science. It will focus on humans and the environment, taking in populations and health, earth resources, water management, food and hunger, biodiversity and sustainable living systems. Applications of these topics to various problems in design such as the design of sustainable cities will be emphasized through term research projects. Fulfills Social or Natural Science liberal arts distribution elective. No prerequisites. Formerly SNS 390X.

Meet Your Faculty view all

Heath Patten bryan-area-diggers-seek-slaves-refuge.jpgs200heath.patten.jpg

Heath Patten

Adjunct Faculty

He teaches Art and Design History I, Art and Design History II, Asian Art Survey, India: Culture & Society...more

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