Culture and Society

Culture and Society

This course is an introduction to Socio-Cultural Anthropology that reflects the value of a four-field approach to American Anthropology, while emphasizing the confluence of the Social Sciences and the Humanities in the Socio-Cultural tradition. The course provides an overview of key figures, approaches, terms, readings, and concepts in the sub-discipline, while also giving students first-hand experience in methods and application of theory through small fieldwork projects. I emphasize developing skills for critical thinking, research, and appreciation of diversity that can be useful in any field or pursuit, since this course is for majors and non-majors alike.

At Indiana University South Bend

When I taught it at Indiana University South Bend, in Fall 2018, Spring 2019, and Fall 2019, the course bore General Education credit for its inclusion of information about “non-Western” cultures, and partially as a result of that designation, fills with 44 students from a wide range of backgrounds and majors.

I used an open educational resource (OER) textbook for this course, and class meetings mostly followed a lecture format with break-out activities and question and answer between the students and me. In AY 2018-2019, I assigned two projects, reading quizzes, and exams for this course. In AY 2019-2020, I assigned six short assignments, of which students choose three to complete, along with reading quizzes and exams. Honors students complete extra work for Honors credit.

View the syllabus from Fall 2019 here:

ANTH-E105_F19_Chera_Syllabus.pdf
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View my Fall 2019 syllabus here.

At Indiana University Bloomington

Before teaching this course myself as the instructor of record, I served as a teaching assistant ("associate instructor") at Indiana University Bloomington, in Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2012. I fulfilled responsibilities for creating and marking assessments, creating lessons and activities for weekly discussion sections, maintaining learning management systems for the course, and working with students in office hours. I was able to learn from three different faculty members who were the primary instructors during my time TAing for this course.

Each semester, I was responsible for two or three sections of the course, with about 15 to 35 students in each section. I worked with graduate student colleagues and the faculty members to coordinate the course as a team, and each semester, the readings, activities, and assessments changed according to the primary instructor, giving me a wide range of experience.