Courses

Professors in Richmond’s anthropology department have field experience in South Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. They teach courses that provide overviews of their particular areas of emphasis as well as subject-specific courses such as culture and gender, the anthropology of religion and legal anthropology.

Most anthropology courses will focus on cultural anthropology. Traditionally, these classes have had an emphasis on pre-industrial cultures such as the Australian Aborigines, the Eskimos and the herding peoples of Africa. More recently, cultural anthropology classes have expanded to include courses in both Western and non-Western peoples living in major cities and even to modern institutions such as the U.S. Congress. Courses often rely on statistics, definitions, observation and immersion to analyze the people and cultures students are studying.

Sociology students will take courses that touch on culture, socialization, deviance, social order and social control, social inequality and social change. To fully understand social structures, students will take courses that touch on government, economics, work, religion, community, family, education and sports. Courses will introduce students to comparative studies, social problems, social movements and collective behavior. Taking interdisciplinary courses in other areas like anthropology and women, gender and sexuality studies will contribute to an even richer experience for students.

Courses vary by semester, but viewing current courses will give you an indication of the variety of topics you will find within the discipline.

  • Anthropology
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    • ANTH 101 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

      Units: 1

      Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSSA)

      Description
      Examines how people make cultural meaning out of their lives and explores the way in which anthropologists come to understand other people's construction of culture. Cross-cultural perspective on family, kinship, language, religion, gender and sexuality, and other aspects of social life.
    • ANTH 211 Field Methods in Ethnography

      Units: 1

      Description
      Introduces the methodologies used in cultural anthropology, as well as theories behind these methodologies. Issues of objectivity, ethical research and presentation, the political nature of the production of knowledge, positioning the researcher, and the uses to which training in ethnographic methods might be put.

      Prerequisites

      ANTH-101 with a minimum grade of C

    • ANTH 271 Covid-19 in International Perspective

      Units: 1

      Description
      Analyzes current and ongoing COVID-19 pandemic from a cross-cultural and global perspective. Study of the history and politics of global pandemics, with a focus on how political responses and social inequalities such as race, class, and gender are bound to pandemics. Also examines how communities and individual bodies experience and make sense of COVID-19 related illness.
    • ANTH 272 Global Womens Reproductive Health

      Units: 1

      Description
      Analysis of reproductive practices and inequities in pregnancy, birth, and postpartum care around the globe. Examines discrimination of minoritized people and their poor birth outcomes. Questions why the U.S. has the highest infant and maternal mortality rates of the industrialized world. Compares and contrasts best and worst biomedical reproductive health practices and the myths and truths about midwives and doulas.
    • ANTH 279 Selected Topics in Anthropology

      Units: 1

      Description
      Various topics in the field of anthropology. May be repeated for credit if topics are different.
    • ANTH 290 Cultural Theory

      Units: 1

      Description
      History of cultural and social anthropological thought, major theoretical perspectives and contemporary issues as to how humans construct their social worlds.

      Prerequisite

      ANTH-101 with a minimum grade of C

    • ANTH 300 Sexuality and Gender Across Cultures

      Units: 1

      Description
      Theoretical and ethnographic examination of masculinity and femininity within various worldwide cultures.
    • ANTH 302 Health Inequities in International Perspective

      Units: 1

      Description
      Analyzes the social, political, economic, and cultural factors that contribute to equitable health care around the world and those same factors that can contribute to health inequities. Looks at a range of contexts and problems to understand why they occurred and what may be done in the future to rectify such issues.
    • ANTH 303 Biopolitics in Medical Anthropology

      Units: 1

      Description
      Advanced anthropology course examining the intersections of culture, politics and medicine from a variety of theoretical and scholarly approaches. With a strong emphasis on contemporary states and governments, the readings focus on how biology and politicsor biopoliticsconverge in a myriad of ways to shape human experience, past and present. Study of the biopolitics in countries such as Cuba, Egypt, Haiti, South Africa, France, the United States, and more. Topics include: the history and culture of modern western biomedicine; religious perspectives of the body; organ donation and transplantation; sex, gender and reproductive technologies; racialized bodies in medical science; global poverty and infectious disease; ethics and medical humanitarianism; and how big pharmaceutical companies shape our ideas of health and personhood.

      Prerequisite

      ANTH-101

    • ANTH 305 Health and Migration

      Units: 1

      Description
      A socio-cultural perspective on migration and health at a global level. Includes a World Health Organization analysis of the global dynamics related to migration and health, theoretical frameworks and case studies of particular migrant groups and health issues, such as kidney disease, trauma, and mental health. Explores how groups, such as Doctors Without Borders, have addressed issues related to migration and health. Examines power relations involved in migration and health policies and programs and how insights about culture can lead to improved policies and programs related to migration and health.
    • ANTH 306 Tourism and Anthropology

      Units: 1

      Description
      Explores tourism as a complex social setting in which encounters and exchanges of all kinds occur, and which creates formative meaning through its participants. Students will be encouraged to discuss their own experiences of travel and tourism, including study abroad, pilgrimages, SSIR, and mission trips.

      Prerequisite

      ANTH-101

    • ANTH 307 Indigenous Peoples of the Americas

      Units: 1

      Description
      Historical development, culture, relations with governments and international organizations, and current issues of indigenous peoples throughout the Americas, including the U.S.

      Prerequisite

      ANTH-101 with a minimum grade of C

    • ANTH 308 Latin America: An Ethnographic Perspective

      Units: 1

      Description
      Anthropological overview of Latin American cultures and subcultures. Considers indigenous and African-descendants' rights, local and national politics, gender relations, perspectives on race and color, religion, urban/rural distinctions, migration, colonial dynamics, and post-colonial legacies.

      Prerequisite

      ANTH-101 with a minimum grade of C

    • ANTH 328 Anthropology of Human Rights

      Units: 1

      Description
      Examines the origins of human rights discourse and practice in the 20th century and the elaboration and dissemination of human rights concepts in the post-World War II period, including analysis of institutional grounding in United Nations and non-governmental organizations. Considers human rights from a cross-cultural, anthropological perspective.

      Prerequisite

      ANTH-101, GS-290, PLSC-240, PLSC-250, PLSC-260, SOC-101 or LDST-101 all with a minimum grade of C-

    • ANTH 329 Anthropology of Race

      Units: 1

      Description
      Examines, through an anthropological lens, cultural constructions of race, by comparing racial constructs and designations in the United States with those in other societies, and by considering theories of race intersect with public policy, the popular imagination, and individual experiences.

      Prerequisite

      ANTH-101, SOC-101, or GS-290

    • ANTH 335 Law and Order: The Anthropology of Justice

      Units: 1

      Description
      Focuses on law, order, and justice as cultural phenomena and takes comparative approach to jurisprudence, dispute resolution, law-making processes, and the relation of law to justice, politics, culture, and values.

      Prerequisite

      ANTH-101 or SOC-101 or GS-290 or LDST-102

    • ANTH 350 Sex and Gender in the Middle East

      Units: 1

      Description
      Beginning with a brief historical, religious, and geographical overview, the course will draw attention to the `Orientalist gaze` of Western perception that tends (incorrectly) to regard veiled Middle Eastern women as victims of patriarchal or religious oppression. Subsequently reviews detailed analyses of ways in which contemporary men and women the Middle East behave in everyday contexts.

      Prerequisite

      ANTH-101 or SOC-101 or GS-290 or WGSS-200

    • ANTH 379 Selected Topics

      Units: 1

      Description
      Various topics in the field of anthropology, such as sex and gender in the Middle East. May be repeated for credit if topics differ.

      Prerequisite

      ANTH-101 or SOC-101 or AMST-201

    • ANTH 388 Individual Internship

      Units: 0.25-1.5

      Description
      Supervised independent field work. Requires permission of a supervising faculty member and approval by the department chair. No more than 1.5 units of internship in any one department and 3.5 units of internship overall may be counted toward required degree units.

      Prerequisite

      ANTH-101 and permission of instructor.

    • ANTH 400 Capstone Seminar

      Units: 1

      Description
      Preparation of senior thesis to complete anthropology major.

      Prerequisite

      ANTH-211 and ANTH-290 both with a minimum grade of C

    • ANTH 401 Capstone Seminar

      Units: 1

      Description
      Preparation course for honors thesis. This course is taken in Fall of senior year. Students work to write Institutional Review Board proposal, conduct research, and compile an extensive annotated bibliography in preparation for the Spring semester in which the thesis is written.

      Prerequisite

      ANTH-211 and ANTH-290 with a minimum GPA of 3.3 overall and 3.5 in Anthropology. Also must submit proposal in spring of junior year.

    • ANTH 402 Honors Thesis

      Units: 1

      Description
      Second course in the honors program. Write drafts for the final thesis.

      Prerequisite

      ANTH-211, ANTH-290 and ANTH-401

    • ANTH 406 Summer Undergraduate Research

      Units: 0

      Description
      Documentation of the work of students who receive summer fellowships to conduct research [or produce a creative arts project] in the summer. The work must take place over a minimum of 8 weeks, the student must engage in the project full-time (at least 40 hours per week) during this period, and the student must be the recipient of a fellowship through the university. Graded S/U.

      Prerequisites

      Approval for summer Arts and Sciences fellowship by faculty mentor

    • ANTH 426 Directed Independent Study

      Units: 0.5-1

      Description
      Intensive study of a specific topic within anthropology under the direction of a member of the faculty. Requires approval by the department chair.

      Prerequisite

      ANTH-211 and ANTH-290 both with a minimum grade of C

    • ANTH 427 Directed Independent Study

      Units: 0.5-1

      Description
      Intensive study of a specific topic within anthropology under the direction of a member of the faculty. Requires approval by the department chair.

      Prerequisite

      ANTH-211 and ANTH-290 both with a minimum grade of C

    • ANTH 489 Research Practicum

      Units: 0.5-1

      Description
      Work closely with professor on research project, including design, data collection, data analysis, and dissemination of results. Requires permission of a supervising faculty member and approval by the department chair.

      Prerequisite

      ANTH-211 and ANTH-290 both with a minimum grade of C

  • Sociology
    Expand All
    • SOC 101 Foundations of Society: Introduction to Sociological Analysis

      Units: 1

      Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSSA)

      Description
      Fundamental concepts and principles of sociology. Culture, socialization, social structure, stratification, social control, institutions, population, and social change.
    • SOC 207 Crime and Justice in a Post-Modern Society

      Units: 1

      Description
      Prevalence and distribution of crime, theories of crime, forms of criminal behavior, overview of the criminal justice system.

      Prerequisite

      SOC-101 with a minimum grade of C-

    • SOC 209 Social Problems

      Units: 1

      Description
      Sociological examination of major social problems. Emphasis is on the structural causes, manifestations, patterns, consequences, and policy dimensions of social problems.

      Prerequisite

      SOC-101 with a minimum grade of C-

    • SOC 211 Sociological Research Methods

      Units: 1

      Description
      Introduction to the major methods of conducting sociological research with a primary emphasis on quantitative data collection and analysis.

      Prerequisite

      SOC-101 with a minimum grade of C-

    • SOC 216 Social Inequalities

      Units: 1

      Description
      Examination of how class, race, and gender structure everyday life experiences and social institutions.

      Prerequisite

      SOC-101 with a minimum grade of C-

    • SOC 218 Sociology of the Black Experience

      Units: 1

      Description
      Focuses primarily on understanding the social realities of people of African descent living in the United States. Examines historical, social, and cultural issues that connect them to their Diaspora counterparts from the Caribbean islands.

      Prerequisite

      SOC-101 with a minimum grade of D-

    • SOC 221 Sociological Theory

      Units: 1

      Description
      History of sociological thought; major theoretical perspectives, both classical and contemporary.

      Prerequisite

      SOC-101 with a minimum grade of C-

    • SOC 231 Across the Pond: Europe vs. USA

      Units: 1

      Description
      An examination of social structures, social identities, political cultures, and economies in contemporary Europe. Focuses on the interaction between variation among European countries and the creation and operation of the European Union. Compares structures and policies in Europe and the United States.

      Prerequisite

      SOC-101 with a minimum grade of D-

    • SOC 232 Postsocialism in Russian and Eastern Europe

      Units: 1

      Description
      Examines issues in postsocialism in Russia and Eastern Europe, including historical context and legacies of Soviet socialism, collapse of the USSR and East Europe, logics and policies of economic reform, political and social change, and a brief comparison with China's experience.

      Prerequisite

      SOC-101 with a minimum grade of D-

    • SOC 250 Social Organizations and Institutions

      Units: 1

      Description
      Examines the nature of organizations and institutions, how they emerge, and how they operate and change. Topics include organizations, institutions, and power; states and the organizational basis of social class; cross-national variation in corporate structures and practices; micro-institutions such as families; and the impact of organizations and institutions on people's everyday lives, identities, and actions.

      Prerequisite

      SOC-101 with a minimum grade of D-

    • SOC 252 Race and Crime

      Units: 1

      Description
      Focuses substantively on policing and prisons, while also covering related subjects: the war on drugs, the war on terror, educational institutions, and the production of knowledge through social structures. Reveals the deep impact of poverty, dispossession, and disenfranchisement in society. Studies reformist and abolitionist approaches.
    • SOC 255 Sport in Society

      Units: 1

      Description
      Foundation for critical understanding and appreciation for centrality and importance of sport in contemporary society.

      Prerequisite

      SOC-101 with a minimum grade of C-

    • SOC 279 Selected Topics in Sociology

      Units: 1

      Description
      Various topics in the field of sociology. Course may be repeated for credit if topics are different.

      Prerequisite

      SOC-101 with a minimum grade of C-

    • SOC 302 Social Movements

      Units: 1

      Description
      Examination of various types of social movements and theoretical perspectives that explain them. Includes movement origins, structure and organization, goals and strategies, how movements change, and how they affect the larger society. Analysis of social, economic, and political contexts in which movements develop.

      Prerequisite

      SOC-211 or SOC-221 with a minimum grade of C-

    • SOC 304 Power, Control and Resistance

      Units: 1

      Description
      Examines the many facets of the structure and operation of power, using case studies to illuminate such issues as the three dimensions of power, the construction of and challenge to authority, the relation between power and discourse, power and the body, and tactics and opportunities of everyday passive resistance.

      Prerequisite

      SOC-211 or SOC-221 with a minimum grade of C-

    • SOC 305 Conformity, Deviance and Institutions of Social Control

      Units: 1

      Description
      Informal and formal pressures to conform to, as well as deviate from, societal norms; social control institutions.

      Prerequisite

      SOC-211 or SOC-221 with a minimum grade of C-

    • SOC 306 Social Change in a Global Perspective

      Units: 1

      Description
      Addresses the processes and forces underpinning the rise of modern nation-states and capitalist economies in the developed and developing worlds. Topics include: the coming of European modernity; dependency and development in Latin America and East Asia; the communist experiment; and globalization.

      Prerequisite

      SOC 211 or 221 with a minimum grade of C-

    • SOC 308 Sociology of War

      Units: 1

      Description
      Examines the relationship between social structures and war, including democracy and civil rights (e.g. gender and ethnic rights), economic development, social reform, and political identity.

      Prerequisite

      SOC 211 or 221 with a minimum grade of C-

    • SOC 311 Juvenile Delinquency

      Units: 1

      Description
      Meaning of juvenile delinquency; measurement, prevalence and distribution of juvenile delinquency; theories of delinquency; police actions; court actions; and juvenile institutions.

      Prerequisite

      SOC 211 or 221 with a minimum grade of C-

    • SOC 316 Race and Ethnicity in America

      Units: 1

      Description
      Native peoples; immigration and settlement of U.S.; racial and ethnic groups; prejudice and discrimination; race relations in a racially and culturally diverse society.

      Prerequisite

      SOC 211 or 221 with a minimum grade of C-

    • SOC 319 Social Construction of Gender and Sexuality

      Units: 1

      Description
      Advanced course serving as an introduction to the sociology of gender and sexuality. Draws from a social constructionist perspective to understand how gender and sexuality are shaped, influenced, and regulated by society in general, as well as particular social institutions and social norms. Examines how gender and sexuality serve as organizing principles in society. Draws on feminist and queer theoretiocal frameworks to explore the diversity in gender and sexuality, particularly at their intersections with sex, race, ethnicity, age, social class, disability, and weight.

      Prerequisite

      SOC 211 or 221 with a minimum grade of C-

    • SOC 320 Race, Class, and Schooling

      Units: 1

      Description
      Deepens students' understanding of the various ways in which race and class inequality manifest in schools and shape the educational experiences of students.

      Prerequisite

      SOC 101 and 211 or 221 with a minimum grade of C-

    • SOC 326 Directed Independent Study

      Units: 0.5-1

      Description
      Intensive study of a specific topic within sociology under the direction of a member of the faculty. Requires approval by the department chair.

      Prerequisite

      SOC 211 or 221 with a minimum grade of C-

    • SOC 327 Directed Independent Study

      Units: 0.5-1

      Description
      Intensive study of a specific topic within sociology under the direction of a member of the faculty. Requires approval by the department chair.

      Prerequisite

      SOC 211 or 221 with a minimum grade of C-

    • SOC 330 Science, Technology and Society

      Units: 1

      Description
      Sociologically investigates science as a social institution that intersects with other social institutions, with an emphasis on exploring how social inequalities affect the use of technology and the construction of scientific knowledge.

      Prerequisite

      SOC 101 and 211 or 221 with a minimum grade of C-

    • SOC 335 Feast or Famine: Inequalities in the Global Food System

      Units: 1

      Description
      Analyzes the socio-economic, political, and cultural construction of food systems. Topics include global institutions that impact the flow of food around the world; regional relationships pertaining to food trade; and local relationships between producers, retailers, and consumers.

      Prerequisite

      SOC 211 or 221 with a minimum grade of C-

    • SOC 340 Sociology of Health and Illness

      Units: 1

      Description
      Advanced course serving as an introduction to the sociological study of health and illness. Draws upon a critical sociological perspective to understand how society shapes health and health disparities. Investigates social factors that harm our health and well being, particularly those that produce disparities along major social strata (e.g., race and ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, and sexual orientation).

      Prerequisite

      SOC 211 or 221 with a minimum grade of C-

    • SOC 341 Malcolm X and Black Internationalism

      Units: 1

      Description
      Approaches Malcolm X as a theoretician, a mobilizing force in his generation and after, and as a tour guide through the discourses and institutions of his time. Studies Black internationalism through Malcolm X as a window into understanding large-scale mid-twentieth century shifts with regard to race, decolonization, global capitalism, class, gender, sexuality, war, social movements, and religion. Follows Malcolm X through his individual life and the times in which he lived.

      Prerequisite

      SOC 101 or ANTH 101

    • SOC 379 Selected Topics

      Units: 1

      Description
      Various topics in the field of sociology. Course may be repeated for credit if topics are different.
    • SOC 388 Individual Internship

      Units: 0.25-1.5

      Description
      Supervised independent field work. Requires permission of a supervising faculty member and approval by the department chair. No more than 1.5 units of internship in any one department and 3.5 units of internship overall may be counted toward required degree units.

      Prerequisite

      SOC 211 or 221 with a minimum grade of C-

    • SOC 389 Research Practicum

      Units: 0.5-1

      Description
      For junior- or senior-level majors. Work closely with professor on research project: design, data collection, data analysis. Requires permission of a supervising faculty member and approval by the department chair.

      Prerequisite

      SOC 211 or 221 with a minimum grade of C-

    • SOC 401 Senior Capstone Experience

      Units: 1

      Description
      Senior capstone experience to complete sociology major. Builds upon what students have learned about sociology as a discipline: its central themes, theoretical perspectives, research methods, and substantive research findings. Examines various topics and issues that comprise subject matter of sociology and reflects on its major contributions.

      Prerequisite

      SOC 211 and 221 with a minimum grade of C-

    • SOC 406 Summer Undergraduate Research

      Units: 0

      Description
      Documentation of the work of students who receive summer fellowships to conduct research [or produce a creative arts project] in the summer. The work must take place over a minimum of 8 weeks, the student must engage in the project full-time (at least 40 hours per week) during this period, and the student must be the recipient of a fellowship through the university. Graded S/U.
    • SOC 490 Honors Independent Study

      Units: 1

      Description
      Students work one-on-one with faculty advisor in constructing a research design and collecting data for a senior thesis for the Sociology Honors program.

      Prerequisite

      SOC 101, 211, and 221

    • SOC 491 Honors Thesis

      Units: 1

      Description
      Student work individually with a faculty advisor in analyzing data and writing up results for a senior thesis for the Sociology Honors program.

      Prerequisite

      SOC 490 with a minimum grade of C-