Major Course

Major in Anthropology
Foundation Courses 40  credits
Core Courses 42  credits
Optional Courses  24  credits
Senior Project / Internship    6  credits
Minor 15  credits
Total 127 credits
Core courses in Major 42 credits

Definition and scope; Historical formation of anthropology; anthropology and colonialism; Major Subfields: Cultural Anthropology, Physical Anthropology, Linguistic Anthropology and Archaeology; Anthropology and other Disciplines; Theory and methods in anthropology; Core Concepts: Culture, Marriage and Family, Kinship, Descent and Social Structure; Economic Systems, Political Systems; Applying Anthropology: Applied Anthropology; Recent Trends in Anthropology: Changes and Direction.

Anthropological Paradigm and Discourse; Ethnography and Culture; Ethnographic Research Cycle; Making an Ethnographic Record; Descriptive Observation; Domain Analysis; Focused Observation; Taxonomic Analysis; Advance Anthropological Research Methods; Qualitative Research vs. Quantitative Research; Techniques of Anthropological Research: Participant Observation, Interviews, Survey, Questionnaire, Life History, Case Study; Ethnographic Tool: Positivist, Feminist and Post- Modernist; Indigenous Methodologies; Debate on Anthropology between North and South.

Anthropological thought in the early 19th and 20th century; Precursors of the anthropological tradition; Evolutionism-Social and Cultural: Darwin, Taylor, Morgan, Spencer; Diffusionism; Different Schools of diffusionism; Boas-Historical particularism; Functionalism-Malinowski; Structural Functionalism-Redcliffe-Brown’s notion of social structure; Kroeber’s notion of Superorganic; Development of Culture and Personality School: Mead and Ruth  Benedict;


  • Layton, R. (1998) An Introduction to Theory in Anthropology

  • Langness, LL.(1974). The Study of Culture.Chandler and Sharp Publishers, Inc.California

  • Harris, Marvin (1968) The Rise of Anthropological Theory.  New York:  Harper & Row

  • Honigmann, John J. (1976) The Development of Anthropological Ideas. The Dorsey Press

  • Kuper,  Adam (1973) Anthropologists and Anthropology: The British Period 1992-1972, Allen Lane.

  • Manners, Robert A. and David Kaplan, eds. (1968) Theory in Anthropology: A Source Book. Aldine Publishing House

  • Penniman,  T. K. (1974). A Hundred Years of Anthropology. William Morrow & Company Inc.

Ethnography of Business; Anthropology of Organization and Management; Anthropology of Market; Ethnography and Pure Capitalism;  Money and Morality; Consumption and Capitalism; Global-Local Companies; Notion of Brand; Production of Advertisement; Why people wants Goods: Why People Save; The Uses of Goods; Exclusion and Intrusion of Market;  Business and Economic Sphere; Control of Value and Exchange of Barter.


  • Gellner N. David and Eric Hirsch, ed. 2001. Inside Organizations-Anthropologists at Work. .Berg. Oxford
  • Susan Wright eds. (1994) Anthropology of Organization. London, New York: Routledge
  • Daniel Miller (1997) Capitalism. An Ethnographic Approach.  London, New York: BERG
  • Mary Douglas and Baron Isherwood (1979) The World of Goods. Towards an anthropology of Consumption. London, New York: Routledge
  • J.Perry and M. Bloch (eds) (1989) Money and the Morality of Exchange.    Cambridge, New York, Sydney: Cambridge University Press.
  • David N. Gellner and Erik Hirsch (ed) (2001) Inside Organization. Anthropologist at Work.  Berg: Oxford.

Significance of kinship study in anthropology; Defining kinship as biological realities and cultural construct; Problem of representation and meaning; Genealogical knowledge; Relationship terminologies;  Descriptive and Classificatory kinship; Kinship, descent and lineage; Marriage and alliance; Bride-wealth and Dowry; Kinship in economics, politics and religion; The culture of kinship; Family and households.

Anthropology of power and anthropological power; Understanding Power Structure: Local and National; Linkages; Development of political organizations: Nature and types of pre industrial societies; Emergence of agricultural and industrial states;  Factions and Power Structure: Factions and factors in factionalism; Study of factionalism in anthropology: Bertocci and Nicholas ; Multi-focal power structure; Intellectual and power;  Status and Power;  Hidden Transcript; Conflict, Violence and Order; State and Power.


  • Ted C. Lewellen (1992)  Political Anthropology. An Introduction.  Bergin & Garvey: Westport, Connecticut, London
  • Gledhill, John.(!994). Power and its Disguises-Anthropolgical Perspectives on Politics. Pluto Press
  • Balandier, Gorges  (1970) Political Anthropology. Allen Lane, The Penguin Press
  • Bertocci, Peter J. (1972) Rural Communities in Bangladesh: Hazipur and Tinpara. In Clarence Maloney, ed.,South Asia: Seven Community Profiles, Holt Rinehart and Winston Publishers pp. 81-130.
  • Cohen, Ronald  and Elman R. Service, eds. (1978) Origin of the State. Institute of Human Issues
  • Fried, Morton H. (1967) The Evolution of Political Society. New York: Random House
  • Nicholas, Ralph W. (1975) Factions. A Comparative Analysis. In Michael Banton, ed., Political Systems and the Distribution of Power, Tavistock Publications, pp. 21-61.
  • Anthony Gramsci (1972) Selection from the Prisons Notebooks.  Lawrence and Wishart: London
  • Fedrick Barth (1959) Political Organization among Swat Pathans.  Athlone Press:London
  • John Gledhill (1994) Power and its Disguises.  Anthropological Perspectives on Politics. Pluto Press: London, Boulder, Colorado.
  • Scupin, Raymond. (1998). Cultural Anthroolgy-A Global Perspective. Prentice Hall, USA

Bengali People in Prehistory; Historical Evolution of GramSamaj and Settlement Pattern; Kinship, Bangsha and Gushti; Religion and Dharma; Symbol of Independence; Politics and Leadership; Peasant Society and Morality; Local and National Power Structure; Delta, River and Water; Flood and Environment; Ethnicity and Minority Groups; Poverty and Behavior; NGO, Development and Impact on Women; Tradition of Technologies; Country Boats and Boatmen; Urbanization in Bangladesh; Bosthi,Sweepers.


  • R Eaton, (1993) The Rise of Islam and the Bengal Frontier, 1204-1760, Berkelay : University of California Press.

  • K. Nazmul Karim, Changing society in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. (Publisher)

  • P Chatterjee, (1974) “Claims on the Past: The Genealogy of Modern Historiography in Bengal.” In D. Arnold & D. Hardinan, eds., Subaltern Studies, No. VIII, Delhi: Oxford University Press, pp. 1-49.

  • H Alavi, (1989) “Formation of the Social Structure of South Asia Under the Impact of Colonialism.”  In H. Alavi and J. Harris, eds., Sociology of “Developing Societies”: South Asia,  Houndsmill: Macmillan, pp.5-19.

  • W Van Schendel, (1992) “The Invention of the ‘Jummas’: State Formation and Ethnicity in South Eastern Bangladesh.” Modern Asian Studies, 26 (I) : 95-128.

  • R Guha, (1994) “On Some Aspects of the Historiography of Colonial India.” In R. Guha, ed., Subaltern Studies, Delhi : Oxford University Press, Vol. I  pp.1-8

  • C Maloney, (1977) Bangladesh and Its People in Prehistory. Paper presented at a seminar on Bangladesh Prehistory at the Institute of Bangladesh Studies, Rajshahi University.

  • M. N. Sririvas, (1991) Varna and Caste. In D. Gupta, ed., Social Strafication, Delhi: Oxford University Press.

  • P Tripura, (1992) “The Colonial Foundation of Pahari Ethnicity.” Journal of Social Studies, 58:1-16.

Images and Concepts of Peasants in the Anthropology in historical perspectives; Peasantry and Development of Differentiation; Contributions of Redfield, Foster and Wolf; The Russian Debate on Peasantry- Chayanob, Lenin and Shanin ; Agrarian Question and Functionalist Economism; The Construction of Natural Economy.  The Past of Indian Village. Rural Market and Development, Hut and Bazar Networks; Spatial Analysis of Hut; Peasant Movements/Resistance in South Asia; Examples (Tebhaga, Telengana and others); Poverty and migration of peasants.

Conceptualizing “gender”; Theories of Gender (classic, pre-feminist, post-modern); The Origin of Family; Feminist Anthropology; Women and Gender; Gender vs. Sex; Private vs Public; Nature, Culture and Gender; Patriarchy vs Matriarchy; Male Bias in Anthropology and Women’s Subordination; Gendered Anthropology; Gender and Division of Labor; Forms of exploitation : Violence against women; Women’s resistance Women and Property;  Women and Market; Kinship and Gender.

Knowledge and Power; Problems of defining Indigenous/local  Knowledge; Indigenous and non Western vs Scientific/western Knowledge;  Local  knowledge and Development; Indigenous knowledge and natural resource management; Indigenous VS Indigenous Technological Knowledge (ITK); Indigenous knowledge and Gender; Indigenous knowledge and rural livelihood; Indigenous knowledge and Sustainable livelihood; Indigenous Communities in Bangladesh and Intellectual property rights; Indigenous knowledge and Globalization; Ethnoscience; Ethno zoology; Ethno botany

Development Discourse and Anthropology; Development Anthropology; Anthropology of Development; Changing notions of development; Knowledge and Power; Anthropology of Colonialism; Capitalism and Modernization; Marxism and Revolution; Development of Underdevelopment; Globalization and Development; Modernization and Counter Tendency; Culture and Development; Orientalism and Development; West and People without History; Ecology, Environment and Sustainable Development; Participation and Development; People First and Development Later;  Poverty, Hunger:  Representation of Poor and Poverty in Development Thinking.

The Development of Applied Anthropology; Action Anthropology; Research and Development Anthropology; Community Development; Advocacy Anthropology; Anthropology as a Policy Science; Cultural Brokerage; Business and Anthropology; Market and Ethnography; Cultural Brokerage; Environment, Ecology and Anthropology, Social Impact Assessment; Evaluation; Water, River and Anthropology; Communication and Anthropology.

Development of Economic Anthropology as a  field in anthropology: Issues, Names and Theories; Theoretical issues in economic anthology: Formalist (i.e Herskovit, Firth, Goodfellow) vs Substantivist  (i.e. Polanyi, Malinowski, Dalton ) Debate; Marxism and Economic Anthropology; Contribution of Godelier, Terray; Concepts used in economic anthropology: Consumption, Distribution and Exchange; Social Status and Money Transaction; Spheres of Money and Status Circulation; Commodities, Gift; Gift: commodities, work and women; Kula Gift Exchange system. Ethnographic examples; Economic anthropology in the contemporary context.

Optional Courses in Major (Any Eight – as offered)

Definition of South Asia;  Region’s Common History, Society, Polity, Economy and Culture and Differences; Caste, Class, Colonialism; Marriage and Dowry; Kinship; Family; Gender; Religion; Nationalism and Ethnicity; South Asian Diaspora; Contemporary Ethnography. Subaltern Contribution: Issues and Debates.


  • P Mines & S Lamb (eds). 2002. Everyday Life in South Asia. Indiana University Press, Bloomington and Indianapolis
  • J Breman . 2003. The Labouring Poor in India: Patterns of Exploitation, Subordination and Exclusion. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • B Hartmann and J.K Boyce.  1995. A Quiet Violence: View From a BangladeshiVillage. Zed Books Limited, London.
  • C Baxter, Y.G. Malik, C.H .Kennedy & R.C. Oberst (eds).  1987.  Government and Politics in South Asia. Westview Press, Boulder and  London.
  • M Liechty: Suitably Modern.  2003. Making Middle Class Culture in a Consumer Society. Princeton University Press, Princeton and Oxford.

Changing perspectives on evolution; Neo-Evolutionist School: White, Steward, Service and Sahlins; Cultural material perspectives: Marvin Harris; Dissolution of the Structural-functionalist paradigm: Gluckman, Leach. ; Structuralism: Levi-Strauss; Development of symbolic anthropology: Geertz, Marry Douglas; Marxism in anthropology in the 1970s; Anthropological political economy: Wolf, Ross- Berry, J. Nash.; Post structuralism and Feminism; Interpretative and postmodernist approaches.

Reading List:

  • Dell Hymes ed. (1999). Reinventing Anthropology. The University of Michigan Press.
  • Ann Arbor Eriksen, Hylland and Nielsen, Finn. (2001) A History of Anthropology,  Pluto Press, USA.
  • Barnard, Alan. (2000). History and Theory in Anthropology, Cambridge University Press.
  • Moore, Henrietta. Ed. 1999. Anthropological Theory Today. Polity Press.
  • Douglas, M. (1966) Purity and Danger : An analysis of the concepts of pollution and taboo.Routledge : New York.
  • Harris, Marvin (1968). The Rise of Anthropological Theory. New York: Harper & Row
  • Harris, Marvin. (1979). Cultural Materialism. New York: Vintage Books.
  • Layton, Robert. (1997) An Introduction to theory in Anthropology, Cambridge University Press.
  • Levi-Strauss, C. (1962) Structural Anthropology. New York: Basic Books
  • Ortner, Sherry (1984 ). Theories in Anthropology Since the Sixties. Comparative Studies in Society and History. Vol.26, pp.126-66
  • Sahlins, M., ( 1976 )  Culture and Practical Reason. Chicago : Chicago University Press
  • Wolf, Eric (1982) Europe and the People without History. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Aborigines, Race, Tribe and Ethnicity.  Historical and Geopolitical Perspective;  Family and Domestic Group; Social Structure, Clan, Segmentary Lineage System, Kinship; Marriage and Women; Religion; Forest and Livelihood.

  • Ethnic Groups at Hills:  Chakma, Mogh, Mru,

  • Plain Land Tribes:  Santal, Munda, Oraon, Mahali

  • Andaman Island and Nicibar:  Jarawas, Shompens, Holschu

  • Ethnic Groups of North-Eastern India and Burmah: Naga, Kachin.

World System; Grassroots Globalization and the Research Imagination; Pre-histories of Globalization; Thinking the Global; Itinerant Capital; From National Capital to Global Capital; Mobile Subjects and Migration; Roving Commodities; Traveling Media; Nomadic Ideologies.

Environment and Ecology; Different approaches to the study of environment in anthropology; Cultural Ecology and Ecological anthropology: Julian Steward, Leslie White, Clifford Geertz and Roy Rappaport; Adaptation and Evolution; Energetic and Human Society; Energetic and Human Interference; Human Ecological Niche; Human Ecology; Population Interaction and Growth; Population Growth and Regulation; Carrying Capacity; Ethnoecology, Environmental Degradation, Recent trends in ecological anthropology; Environmental Politics and Movements; Green Peaxe and other NGOs

Culture, Symbol and Communication;  Film Communication and Anthropology; Language and Communication;  Anthropology and Mass Communication; Media and Myth in the New Millennium;  Indirect Communication;  Computer Message Systems, Culture and Medium of Communication;  Proxemic Research and Visual Communication; Nonverbal Communication and Cultural Anthropology;  Linguistics  and Semiotics;  Organizational Culture and the Communication Process; Socialization and Communication in Primary Groups; Cultural Politics and the Mass Media; The Anthropology of Media;  Internet and Cyber Community.

Linguistic anthropology; Contributions of F. Saussare, Levi-Strauss; Noam Chomosky and others; Historical and Comparative linguistics; Structural Linguistics;  Sociolinguistics: relationships between language, culture and society; Language as a social phenomene;

(This is incomplete. Need to work more).

Discourse and Paradigm; Anthropology and Ethnography; Culture; Holistic Perspective; Contextualization; Emic and Etic Perspectives; Multiple Realities; Nonjudgmental Orientation;  Structure and Function;  Symbol and Ritual; Ethnographic Equipment and Analysis; Decolonizing Methodologies; Varieties of Qualitative Research. Ethical Issues in anthropological research;

Ethnographic Zones and divisions of the world and location of cultural, ethnic, religious, and national groups; Ethnography and Ethnographer; Politics and poetics of Ethnography; Ethnography and representation of culture; The ethnographic text and non-Western context; cross-cultural comparisons; methods to study an aspect of organizational, social and cultural life; Micro and Macro Ethnography; Multi focal and multisided ethnography; cultural, ethnic, religious, and national groups; Critics and Limitation of Ethnography.

Ethnographic Zones and divisions of the world and location of cultural, ethnic, religious, and national groups; Ethnography and Ethnographer; Politics and poetics of Ethnography; Ethnography and representation of culture; The ethnographic text and non-Western context; cross-cultural comparisons; methods to study an aspect of organizational, social and cultural life; Micro and Macro Ethnography; Multi focal and multisided ethnography; cultural, ethnic, religious, and national groups; Critics and Limitation of Ethnography

Cultural notion of health and illness; Concepts in medical anthropology: disease, illness, health; medical pluralism, ethnomedicine and epidemiology; Different approaches to medical anthropology:  Folk-belief model, Cognitive model and Critical-Interpretive. The Therapeutic Process; Psychoanalytic Perspective; Political Economy in Medical Anthropology; Clinically Applied Anthropology; Ethnomedicine; Ethnopsychiatry; Ehnopharmacology; Biomedicine as a Cultural System; Nursing and anthropology; Disease, Ecology and Human Behavior; Epidemiology and Medical Anthropology.  Drug studies;  Indigenous Healer.