Course Requirements (Fall 2019)

Late Paper Policy: Deadlines are strict. Barring personal crisis, family emergency, or severe illness (please let me know ahead of time), all late papers will be subject to one half grade off per day late. Except for abrupt crises, no requests for extensions will be heard within 48 hours before the deadline (that includes for reasons of computer malfunctioning, minor illnesses or being "behind").

Summary of Requirements

  • Discussion leadership/Avid participation. (35%)
    • 200-500 word course reflections (beginning and end of course)
    • Image analysis assignments
  • 5 Wordpress film commentaries and five sets of comments on partner's commentaries (due by Friday 7 pm of the week film is screened, schedule at beginning of semester). (15%)
    • 1 of these MUST be for week four film "Stranger in my Native Land"; Must discuss the film in terms of nationalism and imagined community (Due Friday, Sept. 27, 7 pm).
  • Take-home midterm exam (due Monday, Oct. 21, 7 pm). (25%)
  • 10 page final paper project: (due Wed., Dec. 17, 7 pm) (25%)
    • Final paper proposal and annotated bibliography (Friday, Nov. 15, 7 pm)
  • Resources for Anth 362 Assignments

Avoid Plagiarism! While we may do collaborative work in and outside of class, my expectation, unless otherwise specified, is that all work you turn in for this class (regardless of the medium) is your own work. Be sure to carefully cite all text and images you borrow (including close paraphrasing!) from others. For more information on this and how to cite correctly in the discipline of anthropology see these links on Plagiarism and Anthropology Citation Practices on the course web syllabus, under "Resources for Anthropology 362 Assignments".

Course Organization

This course is your chance to delve into a particularly controversial topic in current world politics. Classes will revolve around student-led discussions and film viewings. There will be 5 multimedia film commentaries and 5 sets of comments on your partners' commentaries, a take-home midterm exam, and a final 10 pg. paper project. I will expect your avid participation--including regular attendance, prompt completion of assignments, and active involvement in discussions whenever possible. In fact, class participation and attendance will comprise a significant portion of your grade (35%!). Beginning week 3 class members will take turns posting discussion questions on the class moodle page and helping to lead class discussions.

Reading and writing assignments are meant to encourage close, critical engagement with the history and cultural politics of the Sino-Tibetan relationship, as well as your thoughtful reflection on the issues they raise in the context of the anthropological perspective on gender, ethnicity and nationalism presented in class. The reading load is moderate to heavy and it is assigned per week. On average, you should expect to put in two to three hours of work outside of class for every hour of in-class time.

Weekly further readings are provided for your use. These readings are ones that are especially relevant or provide differing viewpoints; they offer points of departure for deepening your understanding of particular issues.

Sensitive Topics and Ethical Use of Images

Anthropology courses address some of the most sensitive issues humans face (kinship, race, gender, sexuality, class inequality, violence, state politics, etc.). At the same time, class discussion is the central activity of this course and students are required to be proactive in their preparation for it. I define active participation in class as promoting a positive and inclusive learning environment through respectful discourse with students and me about the topics at hand. While most of our readings, films and assignments will not directly portray graphic or violent material, I will use "Content Notes" to alert class members to any such content ahead of time. I prefer that term (vs. "Trigger warnings") because it avoids psychologizing us and does not assume what our responses to material will be. I also prefer the more neutral-sounding "Content Notes" because it encourages us not to prematurely foreclose our engagements with difficult material, but just to be aware of our own needs and to provide extra care for ourselves if necessary.

Similarly, please be thoughtful and respectful in your image-sharing practices (in your blogs, papers and Moodle posts). All images or videos shared with class members or me should be framed or contextualized with some information about their sources, why they are relevant to the discussion and any Content Notes you feel are needed.

Disability Services and this course

If you have a disability that may impact your work in this class and you have received an accommodations letter from Disability Support Services, I encourage you to meet with me early in the semester or as soon as possible after receiving your letter. Discussing your accommodation needs early on can help clarify expectations and allow time to implement accommodations that require some coordination. If you have not yet requested accommodations through Disability Support Services for this semester, or you are interested in learning about disability resources at Reed, I encourage you to contact DSS at to request an appointment.