Spring 2024

History of Anthropological Theory

Listed in: Anthropology and Sociology, as ANTH-323


Deborah B. Gewertz (Section 01)


A general survey of writings that have played a leading role in shaping the modern fields of cultural and social anthropology. Beginning with a discussion of the impact of Darwin and the discoveries at Brixham Cave on mid-nineteenth century anthropology, the course surveys the theories of the late-nineteenth-century cultural evolutionists. It then turns to the role played by Franz Boas and his students and others in the advent and later development of cultural anthropology in the U.S. Readings of Durkheim and Mauss will provide the foundation for a discussion of the development of British social anthropology, French structuralism, and Bourdieu’s theory of social practice. The course will conclude with a discussion of recent controversies concerning the work of a key theorist in the anthropological tradition.

Spring semester. Professor Gewertz.

How to handle overenrollment: null

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: emphasis on written work and reading.

ANTH 323 - LEC

Section 01
M 12:30 PM - 1:50 PM CLAR 100
W 12:30 PM - 1:50 PM CLAR 100

ISBN Title Publisher Author(s) Comment Book Store Price
Patterns of Culture Benedict Amherst Books TBD
The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life Free Press Durkheim Amherst Books TBD
The iIterpretation of Cultures Basic Books Geertz Amherst Books TBD

These books are available locally at Amherst Books.


Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023