Course Requirements (Spring 2016)

Summary of Requirements:

Late Paper Policy: Deadlines are strict.  Barring personal crisis, family emergency, or illness, all late papers will be subject to one half point off per day late. I do not give paper extensions for time management issues. Except for sudden 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").

Course Organization:

Classes will revolve around student-led discussions, presentations, and film viewings. There will be a take-home midterm exam, a course blog in which you will do learning goals reflections, and post at least 5 film commentaries (3 of which must be posted by the 8th week), a final paper proposal and annotated bibliography, and a final 10-12 pg. paper. 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. Beginning week 2 class members will take turns posting discussion questions on the class moodle forum.  For the week in which you are posting questions, you will also be responsible for helping to lead discussions both days. Our moodle site can be found at: It serves only as our class discussion forum. All information on the course is available on the website.

Reading and writing assignments are meant to encourage close, critical engagement with the history and cultural politics of Tibet in a globalizing world, as well as your thoughtful reflection on the issues they raise in the context of the anthropological perspective on nationalism, states and ethnicity 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 supplemental 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.

Required readings are marked on the syllabus for where they can be found. Multiple copies of all texts are available on reserve in the library, and many books are available in the bookstore. In addition, a large number of required readings are available on-line, through e-reserves and on the web.

Please print out as many readings as you can! Reading is much more engaged when it is on paper and laptops and phones are prohibited in class. All readings available on-line are easily accessed via links on the web syllabus. Please let me know if you have any trouble obtaining the readings. To facilitate dicussion, you should bring all readings for the day to class.

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.

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 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.

For further information of the ethical use of images in anthropology courses, see the library guide "Ethical Use of Images" (scroll down).