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Undergraduate Program

Public Anthropology: Classes

We have incorporated public anthropology into our teaching. Students are encouraged to take a Public Anthropology class in which they will learn ethnographic research and anthropological analysis through projects in collaboration with members of local communities and international organizations:

ANTH 183 Urban Borderlands: The Somerville Community History Project

Deborah Pacini Hernandez
In partnership with community organizations, students conduct ethnographic field research on the history and incorporation of Latino communities in Somerville and Cambridge, pairing up with Latino/a high school students to conduct oral historical interviews with community leaders and residents. Student research topics, which have varied widely, include studies of the Latino/a business community and individual entrepreneurs, the role of the Catholic and Evangelical churches in community organizing, the social and cultural importance of soccer, a focus on human rights issues in Somerville, and an evaluation of after-school programs for youth.
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Map of the Tufts Academic Quad
ANTH 186 Theatres of Community and the Social Production of Place

David Guss
Project-oriented seminar exploring relation between cultural institutions and creation of a sense of place and community. Examples of built environment such as college campuses, theatres, parks, and monuments explored for their symbolic meanings as well as the charged activities and performances that occur within them. Ethnographic training will enable students to carry out fieldwork to be used in final project presentations.

ANTH 165 After Violence: Truth, Justice, and Social Repair

Mass grave memorial, Gbendembu,
Sierra Leone
Rosalind Shaw
After violent civil conflict, genocide, state-sponsored terror, and political repression, how do people live together? How do they rebuild their lives, social relationships, and communities? How do new regimes deal with past human rights abuses, establish accountability, promote justice and redress, and prevent new cycles of violence? How is the international community involved in these issues?

In this upper-level seminar, we will explore a range of approaches that have been used in "transitional" situations: truth commissions, tribunals, alternative forms such as gacaca in Rwanda, and local practices of redress and reconciliation. As an Anthropology class, we will focus on the ways in which "global" transitional justice mechanisms work in "local" historical encounters, how concepts of truth, justice, and reconciliation may be redefined through these encounters, how they foster new subjectivities and identities, and on critical perspectives from the ground up.