Anthropology 190: Anthropology Proseminar
R. Stryker
Mills College
Spring, 2012
Vera Long 140, 4-6:30 pm

Professor’s Contact Information
Office: Vera Long 113; Phone: 510-430-2315; Email: ude.sllim|rekyrtsr#ude.sllim|rekyrtsr

Office Hours
Thursdays 2-3:30 pm. Also by appointment.

Course Description
The Anthropology Proseminar is designed to prepare students for the senior seminar course for the Sociology/Anthropology major. The course is designed to guide students through the early stages of the senior thesis/major capstone project in a rigorous, yet supportive environment so that students can hit the ground running in the fall to conduct their actual senior thesis research in the Anthropology Proseminar. Specifically in this course, students will assess and choose an appropriate and viable research topic/research question; finalize the best methodologies for pursuing that topic/question; complete a literature review, methodology, and proposed data analysis section for their research; submit a proposal to the Human Subjects Research Committee at Mills (if necessary); and formally present a polished research proposal to classmates by the end of the semester. Along the way, we will also review several important components of research design, including operationalization, measurement, generalization, and validity of results, as well as research ethics, orally translating research results to an audience, and parlaying research skills into resumes, job interviews and post-graduate careers.

Course Requirements/Assignments
Attendance/Participation 10%
Final Research Topic Statement 10% (based on Luker Chapter 1-4 Exercises)
Annotated Bibliography 10% (based on Luker Chapter 5 Exercises)
Methods Section 15% (based on Luker Chapter 6-9 Exercises)
Proposed Data Analysis Section 15% (based on Luker Chapter 9 Exercise)
HSRB Application (if applicable — extra credit applied to Power Point Presentation)
Power Point Presentation 10%
Introduction, Literature Review
And Methods/Analysis Sections 30%

Required Texts
Luker, Kristen. 2008. Salsa Dancing into the Social Sciences: Research in an Age of Info-Glut. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
There will be also required articles for the course, to be determined with student input during the semester and which can be accessed on e-reserve from Olin Library. The e-reserve password is: anth190-s12
Class Policies:

Attendance: Attendance is mandatory, as participation is highly valued for the course. Roll is taken at every class, and two absences over the course of the semester will be excused. All other absences will be considered cause for a lower participation grade for the course (20% of your total grade).

Late Papers/Assignments: Late papers will be accepted. However, for every day (including weekend days) that your paper is late, your paper will be penalized. For example, if your paper is one day late, the highest grade you may receive on the paper is an A-, two days late, a B+, and so on. I will accept late assignments electronically via e-mail, unless this option becomes untenable (i.e., you, your computer or your software proves unreliable).

Mid-Semester Progress Reports/Deficiency Notices: I will provide a brief mid-semester progress report directly to each student immediately after midterms. If your work is unsatisfactory (D or below), I will file a mid-semester deficiency notice with the M Center/Academic Records. A copy of this deficiency notice is sent to the Dean of Students and to your advisor, who will confer with you regarding improvement of your studies.

Incomplete Grades: An incomplete grade (“I”) may be given if you do not finish the required assignments for the course by the end of the semester. However, I only give incomplete grades under dire circumstances, such as extreme student illness or a loss in the family. If I do grant you an incomplete grade for the course, you have until the last day of the next semester to turn in any remaining required assignments for the course. If you do not turn in your assignments by then, the “I” will be changed to an “F”.

Disability Services: If you have a physical or learning difference, you have the right to request and receive any aids provided by the campus to assist you with course requirements. To find out about what services are available to you, please first see Kennedy Golden, Assistant Dean of the Division of Student Life, in the Cowell Building – or contact her: (510) 430-2132 or ude.sllim|gydennek#ude.sllim|gydennek. Once you have spoken with an office representative and contracted your accommodations, I am happy to then contract whatever aid you may need in the classroom.

Policy on Academic Integrity: Plagiarism is the act of passing someone else’s work off as your own. Neither cheating nor plagiarizing will be tolerated in the course. Students shall honestly prepare assignments and take examinations and submit them at the time and in the manner specified by the instructor. The content of all submitted examinations and assignments is assumed to represent the student’s own work unless otherwise specified (e.g., group projects). Plagiarism is a serious breach of academic trust. For purposes of the Mills College Honor Code, plagiarism is defined as intentionally or knowingly using someone else’s ideas, words, and/or thoughts without properly crediting the source. All work for which a source is not cited is presumed to be that of the writer. If the Academic Integrity Standards described above are violated, the instructor will decide on an appropriate response that may include the assignment of extra work, lowering grades on a particular assignment, failure of the course, and/or the report of the incident to the Provost and Dean of the Faculty for further sanction.


All materials must be read and all assignments completed by the date indicated on the syllabus.

Week 1 — Wednesday, January 18th:

Discussion: Introductions; What does a senior thesis look like? What is a senior thesis comprised of?

No reading due.
No assignments due.

Week 2 — Wednesday: January, 25th:

Discussion: Brainstorming a Research Topic/Research Question

Reading Due: Luker, Chapters 1 and 2.
Assignments Due: Luker, Chapter 1 Exercise and Luker, Chapter 2 Exercise

Week 3 — Wednesday, February, 1st:

Discussion: Choosing a Research Topic/Question

Reading Due: Luker, Chapters 3 and 4.
Assignments Due: Luker, Chapter 3 Exercise and Luker, Chapter 4 Exercise
Research Topic/Question Statement (1-2 pp.)

Week 4 — Wednesday, February 8th:

Discussions: Constructing a Literature Review; Using Online Resources

Reading Due: Luker, Chapter 5
Assignment Due: Luker, Chapter 5 Exercise (The Daisy Wheel)

Week 5 — Wednesday, February 15th:

Discussion: Figuring Out what Methodology to Use (Sampling, Operationalizing, and Generalizing – or, How Quantitative Must You Be?)

Reading Due: Luker, Chapter 6
Assignments Due: Luker, Chapter 6 Exercise
Annotated Bibliography (at least 10 references; approximately 5 pp.)

Week 6 — Wednesday, February 22nd:

Discussion: Figuring Out what Methodology to Use (Field [and Other] Methods) – or, How Qualitative Must You Be?

Reading Due: Luker, Chapter 8
Assignments Due: Luker, Chapter 8 Exercise
Draft of Your Introduction and Literature Review (approx. 5 pp.)

Week 7 — Wednesday, February 29th:

Discussion: Figuring Out what Methodology to Use (Historical-Comparative Methods) – or, What if I Want to Use Both?

Reading Due: Luker, Chapter 9
Assignments Due: Luker, Chapter 9 Exercise

Week 8 — Wednesday, March 7th:

Discussion: Figuring Out what Data Analysis Methods to Use

Reading Due: Luker, Chapter 10
Assignments Due: Luker, Chapter 10 Exercise

Week 9 — Wednesday, March 14th:

Discussion: Pausing to Visualizing Your Research Project, Given What you Know Now

Reading Due: Luker, Chapter 7 and Luker, Chapter 11
Assignments Due: Luker, Chapter 7 Exercise (Your Storyline) and Luker, Chapter 11 (Your Mantras)
Draft of Your Methods/Proposed Data Analysis Section (approx. 5 pp.)

Week 10 — Wednesday, March 21st: NO CLASS. Enjoy Spring Break!

Week 11 — Wednesday, March 28th:

Discussion: Refining Your Research Project

No reading due.
Assignments Due: Send Drafts of Your Introduction, Literature Review, Methods, and Proposed Data Analysis Sections to Class to your assigned workshop partner. Also, be sure to bring a copy of your draft so far to class.

Week 12 — Wednesday, April 4th:

Discussion: The Ethics of Research/Writing Effective Human Subject Research Proposals

Reading Due: No reading due.
Assignments Due: No assignments due. We will review several examples of Human Subject Research
proposals for lessons and pitfalls.

Week 13 — Wednesday, April 11th:

Discussion: Discussion: Orally Translating Your Research to an Audience (Public Speaking Workshop)

No reading due. No reading due.
Assignments Due: Choose a newspaper or magazine article, poem, or picture of visual art to bring to class. It can be about anything of interest to you. You will be speaking about it. Also, dress nicely for class.

Week 14 — Wednesday, April 18th:

Discussion: Beyond Your Senior Thesis (Translating Your Research Skills into a Resume, a Job Interview, and a Job)

Reading Due: Selected chapters from Ellick, Carol, and Watkins, Joe E., The Anthropology Graduate’s Guide.
Assignment Due: Your Human Subject Research Proposal or, a Draft of your Introduction, Literature Review, and Methods/Analysis Sections if you are not conducting Human Subjects Research (approx. 8-10 pp.)

Important Note: You must turn your Human Subjects Research Proposal in on this date to ensure that it can be reviewed and approved by the HSRC at Mills before the end of the semester. Make this a priority, or else you will be pretty upset when you return in fall for your thesis seminar.

Week 15 — Wednesday, April 25th:

Individual Meetings with Professor.

No reading due.
No assignments due.

Week 16 — Wednesday, May 2nd:

Class Power Point Presentations/Pot Luck!

Please note: There is no final exam for this course. However, the final version of your Introduction, Literature Review, and Methods/Proposed Analysis Section of your Research Proposal is due to the professor on Wednesday, May 9th by 5 pm.