ANT 190 Anthropology of Coffee and Chocolate
This seminar for first-year students explored the origins and transformations of coffee and chocolate consumption, with attention to production, sale, industrial processing, advertising, resale, and consumption patterns. Implications for international markets, alternative development efforts, different cultural groups, corporations—and international politics—revealed how the study of one commodity can serve as an introduction to the social sciences.
ANT 202 Concepts and Methods in Cultural Anthropology
This required introductory course explored the diversity, history, and evolution of cultures around the world, including foraging bands in the Congo and South Africa, a group of slash-and-burn agriculturalists in the Amazon, the chiefdoms of the Northwest Coast of the US and Canada, rice farmers in Bali, and one group of residents of Spanish Harlem in New York City. Through the in-depth reading of ethnographies and personal research, students learned how to study culture by comparison and contrast.
ANT 253 Fast Food, Slow Food (Anthropology of Today’s World)
This course attracted students from all four years and explored the issues, debates and lived experience of our industrialized US food system and the emerging shift toward more sustainable practices. Students learned about food production (conventional vs. sustainable production of grains, meat, milk, and produce), distribution (from grocery chains to farmers markets), and consumption (certifications, “not in my body” health concerns, the Slow Food movement, seasonality, and the “taste revolution”). The health implications of diet choice (both for humans and natural systems) and the social justice dimensions of sustainability (for both the U.S. and for other countries) were connected to scholarly analysis, personal choices, and Emory’s commitments to sustainability.
ANT 351 Sustainable Development: Anthropological Perspectives
This writing-intensive course for majors explored development dilemmas and sustainable solutions in five subject areas: the evolution of development theory, food systems and rural life, industrialization and urban life, population growth, and consumption. With a focus mainly on the global south, examples of local action were connected to national and international trends, with attention to contrasting standpoints by class, caste, gender, and ethnic group/race.
ANT 504 Agrarian Transformations
This graduate seminar explored changing agrarian lifeways and contemporary concerns, such as climate change, food sovereignty, corporate power, and an increasingly estranged relationship with the earth. Using ethnographies in economic anthropology, cultural ecology, political economy, and political ecology from Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, and the United States, the course examined perspectives from the level of the household and individual decision-making to broad impacts of colonialism and global commodity chains. Attending to gendered perspectives on work, consumption, and meaning, the course also reviewed critical perspectives on development, modernity, and sustainability.