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Anthropology

UPCES Anthropology Courses

Here you'll find the full list of UPCES courses related to Anthropology. Please note that all course offerings are subject to change or cancelation due to faculty availability and student enrollment. All course subjects must be approved by your home institution for departmental credit.

Each course includes a detailed description, any cross-listed subjects, and a downloadable syllabus.

Central Europe and its Transitions: The Czech Lands
[POLITICAL SCIENCE, SOCIOLOGY, CULTURAL STUDIES, ANTHROPOLOGY, 3 credits]

Syllabus

This course aims to introduce students to the historical, as well as the contemporary, issues of Czech Society and Culture from an interdisciplinary perspective. Based on several ethnographic case studies, among other literary, academic and visual sources, we will make connections between memory and history, narrative and experiences, change and continuity, and past and present. By the end of the course students will be able to: recognize and analyze the most important events, symbols, and personalities of Czech history, demonstrate how myths, symbols and traditions make the identification of people as members of the Czech nation, describe the characteristics of life under the Socialist system in former Czechoslovakia, and explain how this system has been transformed into its present-day form in relation to the process of Europeanization and Globalization and what kind of anthropological research these changes have stimulated  (traditions, situation of minorities,consuming habits, food, family structure, the media, gender roles…).

Collective Memory in Central and Eastern Europe
[ANTHROPOLOGY, SOCIOLOGY, CULTURAL STUDIES, 3 credits]

Syllabus 

The course will offer a set of conceptual tools for understanding multiculturalism, ethnicity and collective memory in Central and Eastern Europe since the 20th Century to the present. From an anthropological perspective and the analysis of some relevant ethnographic case studies, some of the questions that will be discussed in class are: What is the relationship between ethnicity and other types of identity? What is collective memory? How do ethnic groups remain distinctive under different social, economic and political conditions? What is Multiculturalism and its relation to the process of Globalisation? In which ways can collective memory be important in the creation of ethnicity? Is nationalism always a form of ethnicity?  What ethnic conflicts do we face in contemporary Central and Eastern Europe? What can be the roots of ethnic differentiations and therefore, potentially, ethnic conflicts: religious, political, economic, linguistic or “racial”? Memory, silence and forgetting; how we should deal with the past in order to advance with the project of Europe.

Gender and Minorities in Post-Socialist Europe
[ANTHROPOLOGY, SOCIOLOGY, CULTURAL STUDIES, 3 credits]

Syllabus

This course aims to introduce students to historical and contemporary issues of gender and “minorities” in post-socialist Central/Eastern Europe. In recent years the territorial frontiers of the European community towards the outside and the internal political frontiers between the community and its member states have been shifting significantly. Based on ethnographic work, among other sources, we will analyze how the project of Europe is trying to guarantee the coexistence of different ethnic, religious and political forms across national borders based on the principle of cultural diversity and cosmopolitan tolerance.

Urban Anthropology of Central European Cities
[ANTHROPOLOGY, SOCIOLOGY, CULTURAL STUDIES, 3 credits]

Syllabus

The goal of the course is to introduce the main concepts of urban anthropology, emphasizing the urban life and culture of Central European cities. Central European cities have been undergoing rapid social and economic change, which has had major effects on their physical make-ups. It has also affected the ways in which people – urbanites as well as non-urbanites – perceive these cities and urban life in general. This course aims to investigate how, in the post-communist context, city dwellers perceive, define and use this rapidly transforming urban space, as well as how they try to shape and appropriate it. We will focus on the urban experience in the post-communist period and contrast it with the communist period, i.e. the ways people have lived their urban lives and how they have lived through the changes. Other topics the course will deal with are urban landscape, urban culture, property issues, social cleavages, class divisions, city migration, and transnationalism. Students will have a chance to learn more about the cities they will explore on their trips: Prague, Krakow, and Cesky Krumlov. Students learn how to look at cities through an anthropological lens and do field projects analyzing some aspects of city behavior. We will look at the strategies people use to cope with the demands posed by urban environments. The approach will be comparative, drawing on research mainly focused on Central and Eastern Europe.