Colgate University

First-Year Course Offerings — Fall 2021

FSEM 194   Culture, Diversity, Inequality
RestrictionsNo 2024 2023 2022 Instr perm req during Drop/Add
DistributionSocial Relations,Inst.& Agents
Core AreaNone

Faculty Profile for Professor Bigenho

Many people think anthropology is the study of foreign cultures elsewhere. However, the cultural anthropological project is about both “making the strange familiar” and “making the familiar strange.” The global pandemic forced everyone to see the familiar in new ways; it allowed everyone to see like an anthropologist. Through looking at different cultural contexts--some quite far from most students’ experiences, and others not so far from home--students become familiar with the questions anthropologists ask. The seminar is designed to introduce students to key areas of critical inquiry in cultural anthropology--culture theory, systemic racism, social inequities, sex/gender systems, kinship structures, and language in society. Although engagement with cultural difference is a major project of anthropology, reflecting back on one’s own culture is also part of the discipline’s approach. This seminar aims to transform the way students look at everyday life in the world today. Students who successfully complete this seminar receive credit for ANTH 102 and satisfy one half of the social relations, institutions, and agents area of inquiry requirement.

Michelle Bigenho, Professor of Anthropology and Africana & Latin American Studies, looks forward to working with students who are curious about and engaged with the complex world we inhabit. She believes that learning a foreign language is one of the most transformative things students can do. Music performance on the violin has shaped her research projects, as can be read in her books: Intimate Distance: Andean Music in Japan and Sounding Indigenous: Authenticity in Bolivian Music Performance.