topic a or b as provided in the requirements

  • You can write your answer in response to EITHER question A or question B
  • Be sure you identify, at the top of your essay, whether you are answering question A or B

From our Syllabus:

“Topic papers will reflect on films, readings, or other materials introduced through our course Moodle. A good essay for any of our topic questions will also demonstrate a good understanding of our course materials by using vocabulary and ideas learned through careful reading and attention to lectures.

Topic papers should include proper citations of any outside sources used, following the Chicago Manual of Style author/date format. Topic papers should be approximately four double-spaced pages in length, using 12-point font (about 1000 words).”

Here is a link to a sample paper using author/date format–author-date-sample-paper

Your paper is due at the beginning of class on Thursday, March 21. Please bring a printed copy to class. If you are absent that day for any reason, please copy/paste your paper into the submission box below before class begins.

A. The Kawelka: Ongka’s Big Moka

Director: Charlie Nairn
Anthropologists: Andrew Strathern

Carefully watch the film, making notes about how the film illustrates topics covered during this first part of the semester. Think about the characteristics of culture (it is learned, adaptive, integrated, etc), as well as the broader topics of subsistence, economics, and the family as you watch the film.

Tell me about Kawelka culture. How is family life and marriage integrated with subsistence and economics? What economic exchange is featured in the film? How do economics and the modes of production relate to other aspects of culture? Be sure that you provide examples. Be sure to include all sources discussed in your bibliography.

B. Ethics and the Study of Anthropology

Ethics Statement, American Anthropological Association 2012

This will take you to the first page of the AAAs current statement on ethics in anthropological research. The first page is the “Principals of Professional Responsibility,” with seven additional pages outlining the major principals that anthropologists have agreed are critical to this type of research. Continue reading through each of the principals by clicking on “next page” as you move through the document. Carefully read through these pages, and make sure you understand each of the principals.

“Napepe” clips

In this video you see interviews with some contemporary Yanomami people, whom we saw in a previous film in class. In 1968 Napoleon Chagnon and James Neel took an expedition to Venezuela and Brazil.

Think about the rights of the indigenous people and the ethics in research while hearing from them that they do want the blood samples back. What principals of the AAA statement on ethics are involved here? What are the rights of the Yanomamo? What are the responsibilities of the scientists involved? Feel free to seek out other sources on this, particularly those that relate to the emic (the insiders, here the Yanomamo) viewpoint. Be sure to include all sources discussed in your bibliography.

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