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These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Anthropology (ANTH)

ANTH 444 Primitive Warfare (3) Critical overview of the ethnography and theory of primitive warfare.

ANTH 444 Primitive Warfare (3)

Anthropology 444 is concerned with the phenomenon of lethal group violence in tribal societies so called "primitive war". Through lectures, readings, and research projects, this course reviews anthropological approaches to the study of primitive war, focusing both on ethnographic examples and on theoretical approaches. The course covers topics such as explanations, traditional and modern, for the existence of warfare; the primate background to human warfare; and the social causes and individual motives leading to warfare in tribal societies; as well as its consequences for those societies. Students become familiar with both general and particular manifestations of primitive warfare, and are exposed to individual ethnographic cases of primitive warfare as they motivate a variety of theoretical paradigms.

All students are expected to attend all lectures and to complete all weekly readings. At the last class meeting of each week, a rotation of students are assigned to organize and direct the class discussion of the week's readings in the light of the lectures earlier in the week. Performance in this activity constitutes 40% of the student's grade. Another 40% is earned in the research term paper each student must prepare. The final 20% of the grade is based on overall student contribution to class discussion, particularly during those weeks when the student is not a discussion leader. There is no final examination. This course can be used to fulfill major and minor requirements in Anthropology. Because warfare was and often still is a major activity in most tribal societies, this course provides an important complement to area-focused ethnography and archaeology courses such as ANTH 241(Peoples and Cultures of Highland New Guinea), ANTH 422 (Mesoamerica), ANTH 423 (North America), ANTH 425 (American Southwest), ANTH 440 (Lowland South America), and ANTH 447 (Africa). This course is also relevant to topically focused course such as ANTH 450 (Comparative Social Organization), ANTH 451 (Economic Anthropology), ANTH 454 (Political Anthropology), and ANTH 456 (Cultural Ecology). On the graduate level, this course addresses central topics covered in ANTH 522-523 (Ecological Theory in Anthropology), ANTH 556 (Social Organization of Traditional Societies), and ANTH 559 (Behavioral Anthropology).


General Education: None
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Summer 2002
Prerequisite: ANTH 045 ; andANTH 002 orANTH 021

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.

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