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Anthropology 121

Anthropology of Religion, Magic, and Witchcraft

Fall 2013: Section 3044 3 units


Instructor: Dr. Tartaglia
Class Hours: Tuesday: 7:00 p.m. to 10:10 p.m.
Office Hours: Tuesday 6:20 t0 7:00 before class or by appointment.
Room: Anthropology 100
COURSE DESCRIPTION
This course examines religion, magic, and witchcraft from a cultural perspective.
Topics include myths, religious symbols, rituals, magic, divination, witchcraft, and
religious movements. The philosophy of science and scientific method serve as
foundations for this course.
STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES - COURSE OBJECTIVES
1.
Students will apply the process of science to problem solving cultural
situations and formulate procedural steps necessary for a scientific
investigation.
2.
Students will analyze and evaluate theories on the origin of religion.
3.
Students will describe, apply, and distinguish the basic concepts
associated with myths and religious narratives.
4.
Students will criticize and debate contemporary issues that are
associated with religious practices, such as cloning.
5.
Students will describe how religious symbols have been incorporated
into religious practices.
6.
Students will demonstrate how ethnographic studies shed light on
religious practices.
7.
Students will categorize the various types of Gods, and explain and
evaluate this evidence.
8.
Students will compare and contrast the process of acculturation and
revitalization movements.
9.
Students will discuss the similarities and differences among various
cultures involving rites of passage.
10. Students will classify rituals from different cultural perspectives.
11. Students will differentiate between priests, shamans, healers, diviners,
and prophets by identifying both similarities and differences.

TEXTBOOK

Rebecca L. Stein and Philip L. Stein


The Anthropology of Religion, Magic, and
publishing Company, Boston, 3nd edition 2011.

Witchcraft,

Pearson

GRADES
Your grade in this course is based upon five tests (400 Points); a participant
observation research paper (200 points), and a final examination (200 points). A
total of 800 points may be earned in this course. The points required for specific
grades are:
A
B
C

720-800
640-719
520-639

90-100%
80-89%
65-79%

D
F

400-519
0-399

50-64%
0-49%

ANTHROPOLOGY 121 COURSE OUTLINE


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Topics
Dates Chapters
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------An Anthropological Perspective of Religion
Theories on the origin of Religion
8-28
1
Different Religions
8-28
The Nature of Myths
Religious Narratives
Worldviews
The Nature of Oral Texts

9-04
9-04
9-04

Religious Symbols
FIRST TEST- Chapters 1-2
Human Communication Systems
Symbols as elements in religious practice

9-11
9-11

Rituals
Readings of sacred literature-symbols
Classifying rituals/Rites of Passage
SECOND TEST- Chapters 3-4
Religious Obligations

9-18

9-18
9-25
9-25

Religious Specialists
Altered States of Consciousness
Priests and Shamans
Healers and Diviners
Prophets

10-02
10-02
10-09

5&6

Magic and Divination


THIRD TEST- Chapters 5-6
Magic and Science
Sorcery

10-16
10-16

Death and Death Rituals


Ghosts and Souls
Funeral Rituals
FOURTH TEST Chapters 7-8
Days of Death
Gods and Spirits
Guardian Spirits
Types of Gods
Monotheism
Witchcraft and Religious Movements
Euro-American Witchcraft Beliefs
10
FIFTH TEST Chapters 9-10
Revitalization Movements and Acculturation
Religion and Law
Participant Observation Research Reports due:
Class Presentations (November 27; December 4)
Final Examination
EXAMINATIONS (600 points)

10-23
10-30

8
10-30
11-06
11-06

11-13
11-13
11-13

11-20
11-20

11
11-20

11-20
12-27
12-04
12-11

Each of the five tests consists of multiple choice questions. Each test is worth
100 points. The lowest of the five tests grades can be dropped providing the
students has taken all five tests. You need to bring a Scantron form to each
test.
If you miss a test you may not take a make-up. You will receive a zero and, as
the lowest score, it will be dropped. If you miss a second test, it cannot be
dropped or made up; it will remain a zero.
Keyed copies of all tests are available for review from the instructor. If you find
an error in the grading of a test, the error must be reported to the instructor
no later than 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 13.
The final examination will be given on Tuesday, December 11, 2013 from 7:309:30 PM. The final examination cannot be taken at a different time or date.
The final examination is worth 200 points and consists of 100 multiple choice
questions covering the entire course. The final examination cannot be
considered as one of the scores that can be dropped.
If you fail to take the final examination, an incomplete will be recorded only if
you request the incomplete from the instructor no later than Tuesday,
December 4, 2013 and you are passing the course. If you do not make-up the
final examination within one year from the end of the semester, the incomplete
automatically becomes a grade of F. If you miss the final examination and
fail to request an incomplete, you will be assigned the grade of F.

PARTICIPANT OBSERVATION RESEARCH PAPER (200 points)

A participant observation study of a religious ceremony is required. A separate


handout will be distributed during the course.
CREDIT/NO CREDIT GRADING

The credit/no credit option is not available for this course.


GENERAL ATTENDANCE POLICY

If you are absent, you are STILL RESPONSIBLE for class materials and
assignments.

Holidays: There will be no class missed due to holidays.


ATTENDANCE POLICY COMMENCING August 28th

The instructor will exclude all students from the class who do not attend
the first and second class meetings.

A student who has two unexcused absences from August 28th through
September 4th will be excluded from the class unless he/she informs the
instructor that he/she wishes to remain in the class. The message must be
received by phone, email, note, or in-person no later than September 4,
2013. A simple message will do; there is no requirement for explanation or
documentation.
ATTENDANCE POLICY COMMENCING September 4th

Beginning September 4th, attendance will be taken. Excessive absences


can result in the instructor excluding you from the course for
nonattendance.

You may drop the class at any time through September 8, 2013 through the
Admissions Office (in person, on-line, or by phone). If you stop attending
class and fail to officially drop through the Admissions Office, you will
receive a final grade of an F in the course.
ADDS

If you are adding this class by being given an Add Permit by the instructor,
you must process the Add Permit in the Admissions and Records Office no
later than September 6, 2013.

Failure to process the Add Permit by that date forfeits your enrollment in
this class.

SPECIAL NEEDS

If you have any special needs or problems that may arise in this course,
please do not hesitate to contact the instructor at your earliest convenience.
COURSE GRADE

In accordance with Section 76244 of the California Education Code and the
Pierce College Code of Ethics, the only basis for an instructor to change a
grade is instructor error. In the absence of an instructor error the final
grade in the course is a final grade.

Any error must be brought to the attention of the instructor no later than
one year after the last day of class. A grade cannot be changed after one
year even if an error has been made.

The course grade will be based upon the quizzes, final exam, and the
Participant Observation Research Paper. No extra credit, retaking of any
examination, or assignments are allowed.

Please note that the college does not mail grades to students. Students
may obtain their final grade through the STEP phone system or Internet, or
by ordering a transcript. Students are encouraged to check all grades since
errors cannot be rectified after one year.
ACADEMIC HONESTY POLICY

The colleges Student Academic Integrity Policy can be found in the Spring
2009 Schedule of Classes, which every student should read.

Violations of academic honesty and integrity include cheating on


examinations [and/or] assignments (allowing another student to copy ones
answers or copying the answers of other students; exchanging information
by any means). ; submitting for a grade the words, ideas, and/or written
work of another person without giving due credit to that person. This
includes purchased papers or papers written by other students.

A person who knowingly conducts himself or herself in a dishonest manner


shall receive a ZERO for the exam or paper and a record of the act will be
sent to the Vice President of Student Services.

The individual who permits another student to copy his or her paper or exam
is as guilty as the person doing the cheating and will be punished in a similar
manner.

Please note that the instructor has a zero-tolerance policy with respect to
violations of academic integrity.

There are no excuses for cheating, and none will be accepted!


COLLEGE CLASSROOM CONDUCT

Please try to be on time to class. It is extremely disrupting to your


instructor and other class members when you come in late.

If you are late to class, please come in quietly, do not slam the door, and
take a seat near the door.

If you must leave class early, please have the courtesy of notifying the
instructor before class begins that you will have to leave early, and please
do so quietly.

Students are expected to take notes and be involved in all classroom


discussions, and activities.

Always ask questions when you do not understand any lecture material and
assignments.

Students are expected to conduct themselves in a mature and responsible


manner during class. Do not talk when either the instructor or a student is
speaking.

All electronic devices (cell phones, beepers, CD players, electronic games)


are to be turned off when you enter the classroom. Students whose cell
phones ring during class may be asked to leave.

Any student who is not in compliance with any of the above referenced rules
can be excluded from the classroom for the entire period as well as the next
class meeting.

MODIFICATIONS, ERRORS, AND OMISSIONS

In the event that any of the above reference items should change during the
course, the students will be informed as soon as possible as to the nature of
the situation. The instructor reserves the right to change and/or alter the
syllabus at any time period.