ANT 102H5 Summer 2007



Web Site with link to online version of this syllabus:

Course CCNet page:


Lecture:  Tuesday & Thursday, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm, Room 134 North Building

Tutorials:  Thursday  1-3 or 3-5, Room 3131 South  Building


Instructor:  Dr. Heather M.-L. Miller

Anthropology, University of Toronto at Mississauga

Email:   hmiller 'at'           Office:   Room 208 North Building Phone:  905-828-3741

Office Hours:   Tuesday & Thursday  2:30-3:30


Teaching Assistant:  Natasha  Andersen

Email:          Office: 

Office Hours:  By appointment



Course Description

In this course we survey how people around the world interact, think, and communicate.  These questions are addressed by two subfields of anthropology.  Sociocultural anthropology is the comparative study of human behaviour.  It focuses on culture, or socially learned information that shapes thought and action, and on the ways people organize themselves in social groups.  Linguistic anthropology is the comparative study of language in various social and cultural contexts.

As we will be covering a great deal of information, students must attend all lectures and tutorials, and complete all of the readings.  Lectures, films, tutorials and readings will provide overlapping material, but students are responsible for all material covered in any of these formats.



Required Course Materials   (Available at UTM Bookstore)

(1) Lenkeit, Roberta Edwards

2007.  Introducing Cultural Anthropology.  3rd Edition. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

ISBN: 0-07-310773-5, paperback.

(2) Danesi, Marcel

     2004.  A basic course in anthropological linguistics.  Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press.  

     ISBN:  9781417596812, paperback.  Also available as an e-book from U of T library.

Expectations, Policies, and Common Courtesy

Attendance: Students are expected to attend all classes, including lectures and tutorials.

Punctuality: You are expected to arrive and be settled in your seat by the beginning of class or tutorial and to remain until the end of class.  Unless you become ill, do not begin packing up books or stand to leave before the end of class or tutorial, because this is distracting to all.  If you know you cannot stay for the entire period, please sit near the door and leave very quietly.

Courtesy in Class: Every student is expected to pay close attention in the lecture or film.  Refrain from talking during lectures and films, except to ask or respond to a question from the instructor.  Even quiet talking is distracting and disrespectful for your fellow students and your instructor. Turn off pagers and mobile phones.  In tutorials, your undivided attention and courtesy is also expected; however, this is your opportunity to discuss what you are learning in class with your TA and one another.  You are encouraged to thoughtfully ask and answer questions, but please, no confidential, whispered conversations.  Anything you say should be directed to the class as a whole.

Email Communication:  Emailing with your professor or TA is a form of professional communication.  Please write courteously and clearly; do not use text-messaging abbreviations or slang.  Please clearly indicate your questions or concerns.  Be sure to provide a summary of the email topic in the Subject line (do not just write 'Hi' or leave the Subject blank, or your email may be rejected as junk mail by the UTM server).  You should ALWAYS use your UTM email address if at all possible - the UTM server regularly rejects hotmail accounts as potential spam. 

Evaluation & Requirements

The marked work for this course will consist of: tutorial participation including short labs (12.5%), a mid-term test (25%), a final examination (35%), and an essay or short paper reviewing an ethnography chosen by the student (2.5% + 25%).  The total marked work will be worth 400 points, or 100%.



Tutorial participation is worth 50 points or 12.5% of the course grade.


(1) Attendance & Questions/Comments:

 *    To foster preparation for active discussion, your teaching assistant will expect you to bring two neatly handwritten questions or comments to each tutorial, one on the lecture and one on the readings. 

 *    Each student should write his/her own questions independently - copying each other constitutes the academic offense of unauthorized aid or plagiarism.

 *    When studying your readings and your lecture notes, prepare questions about any particular items that seemed especially puzzling to you, and raise these questions in tutorial.  Items can be anything: a statement, the location, a name, the situation, a conflict, an irony, etc.  "How" or  "Why" questions are especially useful, because they encourage more thought and discussion.  In tutorials, your task is not merely to ask questions of the teaching assistant, but also to respond to questions raised by others in your class in a thoughtful way. 

 *    Your two questions will be handed in for attendance records.  The TA will not answer them in writing; to find the answer, you need to ask them in class.  To receive a good grade for participation in tutorials you must not only come to virtually all classes, but also regularly contribute to discussions by raising questions and comments orally and respond to points brought up by others in class. 


 (2) Labs: 

 *    Several tutorials will include lab exercises, some of which will require you to hand in a form at the end of the lab.  These exercises (both written and active components) will be used in the overall assessment of your tutorial participation. 

 *    Make-up labs will ONLY be offered for properly documented absences (doctor's notes and equivalent - see below under 'Missed exams').  There will only be ONE designated make-up lab, to be held on a day and time towards the end of the semester, as determined by the instructor.



The mid-term will be worth 100 points or 25% and the final will be worth 140 points or 35%, for a total of 240 points or 60% of the course grade.


Both the mid-term and final exams will consist of multiple-choice and short-answer questions on ALL materials presented in the class and discussed in tutorial (readings, lectures, AND films).

The final exam will be cumulative, although material presented after the mid-term will be more heavily covered.



Avoid missing an exam - the procedure for taking a make-up exam is strictly regulated by the university, and these policies will be followed in all cases.  Please notify the instructor by email or phone as soon as possible if you miss an exam.

     * For the Mid-term Exam, see the section 'Term Tests' under 'General Regulations' in the UTM Calendar for 2006-2007.  A valid doctor's excuse or similar university-approved excuse will be required to take the make-up for the mid-term.  ONE makeup will be given for the mid-term, the week after the regular exam.   All makeup exams will be short answer and essay format only, not multiple choice.

     * For the Final Exam, see the section 'Examinations' under 'General Regulations' in the UTM Calendar for 2006-2007.  You will have to submit a petition to Registrarial Services, among other requirements, and re-take the exam during the Deferred Examinations Period (possibly Feb. 2008 during Reading Week, or as otherwise scheduled by the university).   All makeup exams will be short answer and essay format only, not multiple choice.



The two assignments related to your essay will be worth a total of 27.5% (110 points).


All assignments are due at the beginning of class on the dates specified in the class schedule (below).

The essay will be composed of two stages of marked work:

(1) library searching and submission of 5 titles of appropriate ethnographies - 2.5% (10 points)

Submit five titles of ethnographies you would like to read for your essay, in order of your choice, IN THE SPECIFIED American Anthropologist FORMAT.  This stage is worth only 2.5% (10 points), but if it is not submitted, students may not progress to the next stage.  If the titles submitted are not in the specified format, that used by the journal American Anthropologist, no credit will be given.  Each student must do a different ethnography; in case of duplicate requests, a coin will be tossed to determine who gets their first choice, etc.  You may submit titles early, in which case I will indicate to the class that the title is taken.

(2) a final essay, well researched and well written, on the ethnography approved - 25% (100 points)

See the separate, detailed instructions on how to write this essay; if your essay is not in the format specified, no credit may be given.  Also review Appendix A of your textbook by Lenkeit on how to read an ethnography

****More information on the assignments is available on the Essay Instructions handout.****


Regulations for Essay Assignments

(1) Late assignments will lose 20 points per calendar day late, including weekends.  10 points will be deducted for assignments turned in after the first hour of class on the date due, even if the assignment is turned in on the due date.  It is your responsibility to turn in late assignments to the instructor in her office, at her convenience.  For example, turning in the final essay one day late will result in a loss of 20 points.  If the final essay is 5 days late, the loss would be 100 points, the total value of the assignment.

(2) When you hand in your essay assignments, you must sign the submission form.
This form will be available on the due date during class, or by special arrangement in advance with the instructor. DO NOT submit your assignment to the secretary nor to anyone else in the Department of Anthropology. DO NOT slide your assignment under the instructor's office door.  The assignment has not been officially submitted until you sign the submission form.  You are also advised to make a copy of your assignments before submitting them.

You may work with other students in preparing for assignments, but what you submit must be your own work.  You are encouraged to discuss questions together, or share source materials, or recommend readings and web sites.  However, as everyone in the class will have a different book for their essay, your essays should be quite different.

(4) Academic Honesty
:  Please be especially careful to avoid plagiarism, which is a serious academic offence.  Carefully read the section under 'Citations' in the Essay Instructions.  Be sure to cite ideas as well as direct quotations, even if these ideas are paraphrased.  All quotes should be either in quotation marks or indented if longer than two sentences.

Essays in which plagiarism is detected will be severely penalized.  For more details, see the section 'Academic Honesty' under 'General Regulations', and the section 'Discipline Codes: The Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters' under 'Codes and Policies' in the UTM Calendar for 2006-2007.  It is your responsibility to be familiar with this code, and adhere to it.  Be sure to read the link to the information on plagiarism on the web site, .




Class Schedule







T  May 15

Introduction to Lectures & Essay

Anthropology & Subfields;  Definitions

Film - Ishi: The Last Yahi (56 min)



Th  May 17

Discovering Culture

Fieldwork in Anthropology

[L xxviii-xxxiii, 1-71] 'To the Student'; Chapter 1: Anthropology; Chapter 2: Culture; Chapter 3: Fieldwork



Th  May 17

Introduction to Tutorials & Assignments

Discuss Lectures, Film, and Readings

- Library Orientation by Pam King

- Lab: Identifying Academic Resources

[L A1-A5] Appendix A: Reading Ethnographies


T  May 22

Language: Methods of Study, General Approaches; Language Acquisition

Film - Huchoosedah: Traditions of the Heart (57 min)

[L 72-91] Chapter 4: Language

[D 1-21] Preface; Chapter 1: Linguistic Method


Th May 24

Ethnography Title Due at start of class

Language Origins & Change

Film - Nova: In Search of the First Language (60 min)

[D 21-38 ] Chapter 2: Origins and Evolution



Th May 24

Discuss Essay Assignment

Discuss Lectures, Film, and Readings

- Academic Skills Orientation

Review: [L A1-A5] Appendix A: Reading Ethnographies


T May 20

Language Description

[D 39-80] Chapter 3: Sounds; Chapter 4: Words; Chapter 5: Sentences


Th  May 31

Language and Meaning

Language and Social Behaviour

[D 81-127] Chapter 6: Meaning; Chapter 7: Discourse and Variation; Chapter 8: Language and Reality



Th May 31

Return Ethnography titles (approval)

Discuss Lectures, Film, and Readings

- Lab: Selected Questions from Danesi

Questions about Midterm

[D 128-153] Activities; Glossary


T  June 5

Midterm Test


Review All Readings and Class Notes to Date


Th June 7

Human Ecology

Economic Anthropology (introduction)

Film - The Netsilik Eskimo: Fight for Life (51 min)

[L 92-139] Chapters 5 & 6: Subsistence Strategies and Resource Allocation




Th June 7

Film - Asante Market Women (52 min)

Discuss Lecture, Films, and Readings - compare Netsilik & Asante cultures to your own



T  June 12

Economic Anthropology (continued)

Marriage, Family, and Household

Film - Modern Brides: Arranged

     Marriages in South India (30 min)

[L 140-166] Chapter 7: Marriage, Family & Residence


Th  June 14

Essay Assignment due at start of class

Kinship and Descent Systems

Gender and Sexuality

[L 168-213] Chapter 8: Kinship and Descent; Chapter 9: Gender and Sexuality



Th  June 14

Return Midterm Test

Discuss Lectures, Films, and Readings

- Lab: Kinship Exercise  (bring Lenkeit)

Review Chapter 8: Kinship & Descent


T  June 19

Political Organization & Social Control

Film - Ongka's Big Moka (52min)

Anthropology of Religion

[L 214-265] Chapter 10:  Political Order; Chapter 11: Belief Systems


Th  June 21

Film - The Asmat of New Guinea (30 min)   (Religion & Cultural Change)

Human Creativity and Expressions

Cultural Change and the Future

Applying Anthropology

[L 266-333] Chapter 12: Expressions: Is this Art?; Chapter 13: Cultural Change; Chapter 14: Applying Anthropology



Th  June 21

Discuss Lectures, Film, and Readings

Questions about Final Exam

If time: Film - The Navigators (58 min)




FINAL EXAM   (week of June 25-30)

Review All Readings and Class Notes