Topics in Anthropology

I.     Course Prefix/Number: ANT 290

       Course Name: Topics in Anthropology

       Credits: 1-4 (0-4 lecture; 0-4 lab) Fee; varies

II.    Prerequisite

Varies depending on specific topic.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course explores major issues related to field of anthropology.  Topics selected from following sub-specialties: primate studies and human evolution; religion and rituals; cross-gender and race issues; and early civilization.  Course has different focus and/or scope from other anthropology courses currently offered.  Can be repeated using different topics up to three times for up to nine credits.

IV.   Learning Objectives

Students will identify, compare, and contrast major concepts and constructs relating to the specific topics selected for study.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

One major topic or several minor topics relating to an overall theme will be selected for study. Examples of possible topics and themes are as follows:

Topic examples

  • Primate Studies: An in-depth study of non-human primates including social behavior and language studies, looking at issues such as: Can apes learn sign language? How close is our relationship to other primates? Are scientific experiments on non-human primates unethical?
  • Race and Gender Issues: A cross-cultural comparison of race and gender issues. Includes discussions on issues such as: inequality in American culture, Female Genital Mutilation, Veiling, and gender asylum
  • Classic Ethnographies: A survey of early anthropological writings from some of the first anthropologists to do fieldwork. How has studying cultures changed? Will there be any native cultures to study in the future? What new topics will anthropologists study?
  • Anthropology Through Film: A critical review of the presentation of other cultures through ethnographic and popular films. What biases do films have? How can we critically review films through time?

Theme examples

  • Religion and Myth: A review of rituals and myths used by indigenous peoples from several cultures such as the Maya, the Hopi, the Yanomamo and others who still practice their traditional ways.
  • Civilizations: The rise and fall of classic early civilizations including Mesopotamia, Indus and Maya. How were early states formed and how did they function? Why did early civilizations "collapse"? What problems did early states have that we have today?

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Instructional methods vary with the instructor and may involve any of the following:  lectures, discussions, readings, papers, audio-visual resources, group projects, simulation games, guest speakers, case studies, exercises, group interaction, role playing.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

This course relies on the student's ability to read and understand college-level text material.  Students will be required to write for the class, the equivalent of 12-15 typed pages of material that will be graded.  This writing may take the-form of a research or term paper, summaries of journal articles, and/or a series of shorter, analytical papers.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

The typical materials for a social science course (textbooks, library materials, movies, sound/slide programs, media-based course materials) will be used.  Materials will be assigned according to the specific topic requirements.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Exams (objective, short answer, essay), analyses of books, research papers, group work, and student presentations are likely strategies to be used in evaluating student learning.

XI.   Other Course Information


Class policy on make-up exams, late assignments, etc.

Important dates

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.