1. Contact Information
  2. Prerequisites
  3. Course Description and Credit Hours
  4. Required Texts
  5. Course Objectives
  6. Student Learning Outcomes
  7. Other Course Materials
  8. Outline Of Topics
  9. Exams and Assignments
  10. Grading Policy
  11. Policy on Missed Exams and Coursework
  12. Attendance Policy
  13. Custom Sections
  14. Statements on Academic Misconduct
  15. Statement On Disability Accommodations
  16. Severe Weather Protocol
  17. Pregnant Student Accommodations
  18. Religious Observances
  19. UAct Statement

Myth Ritual And Magic

REL 419-001Spring 2017 | 3 Credit Hours

Lecture

Suma Ikeuchi

Contact Information

UA Campus Directory:

Prerequisites

UA Course Catalog Prerequisites:

No prereqs found

Course Description

Course Description and Credit Hours

Examination of the theories and methods used to study the relations between religious narrative and behavioral systems, with a focus on myth and ritual. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.

This Core Writing course explores a wide range of rituals ranging from the stereotypical to the unexpected: initiation rites, religious ceremonies, contemporary witchcraft, daily interaction rituals, and soccer hooliganism, among others. Through these case studies, we examine various theories about the definitions, meanings, and roles of ritual, sometimes by conducting mini-fieldwork to observe rituals in action. Course materials will comprise articles, books and films about rituals from all around the world, ranging from a Papua New Guinean village in the 1950s to the contemporary U.S. society.

Required Texts

Required Texts from UA Supply Store:
  • GOFFMAN / INTERACTION RITUAL W/NEW INTRO (Required)
  • GOFFMAN (RENTAL) / (RENTAL) INTERACTION RITUAL W/NEW INTRO (RENTAL)
  • BUFORD / AMONG THE THUGS (Required)
  • BUFORD (RENTAL) / (RENTAL) AMONG THE THUGS (RENTAL)
  • HERDT / SAMBIA (Required)
  • LUHRMANN (RENTAL) / (RENTAL) PERSUASIONS OF THE WITCH'S CRAFT (RENTAL)
  • LUHRMANN / PERSUASIONS OF THE WITCH'S CRAFT (Required)

Course Objectives

Students will:

1.      explain key concepts, methods, and approaches in the academic study of ritual

2.      articulate an original thesis with the support of textual evidences

3.      complete a research project by implementing multiple achievable steps

4.      describe and/or summarize the data collected by ethnographic methods

5.      articulate an original thesis with the support of ethnographic evidences and conceptual tools

Student Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes:

Students will:

1.      explain key concepts, methods, and approaches in the academic study of ritual

2.      articulate an original thesis with the support of textual evidences

3.      complete a research project by implementing multiple achievable steps

4.      describe and/or summarize the data collected by ethnographic methods

5.      articulate an original thesis with the support of ethnographic evidences and conceptual tools

Other Course Materials

Blackboard

ANT 419 Blackboard site will include areas for private correspondence with the teachers, an open discussion forum and areas where students will find useful files.  A copy of the Syllabus will also be archived here. Assigned Electronic Texts will also be found on Blackboard. Exam papers and project essays will be handed in Blackboard.  MS Word will be the default format for these posted documents. 

Outline of Topics

Schedule

 

1.      Introduction

 

Jan 12 (Thu)

introduction

 

 

2.      Initiation Ritual: Theories of Social Formation

 

Jan 16 (Mon)

            ✔Weekly Response (1) Due Noon

Jan 17 (Tue)  

The Sambia (1)

Jan 19 (Thu)

            The Sambia (2)

Jan 23 (Mon)

            ✔Weekly Response (2) Due Noon

Jan 24 (Tue)

            The Sambia (3)

Jan 26 (Thu)

Van Gennep, The Rites of Passage (BB)

Jan 30 (Mon)

            ✔Weekly Response (3) Due Noon

Jan 31 (Tue)

Durkheim, “The Elementary Forms of Religious Life” (BB)

Feb 2 (Thu)

Victor Turner, “Liminality and Communitas” (BB)

Feb 6 (Mon)

            ✔Weekly Response (4) Due Noon

Feb 7 (Tue)

Terrence Turner, “Social Skin” (BB)

Feb 9 (Thu)

Daniel Rosenblatt, “Antisocial Skin” (BB)

✔✔ Group Project Proposal in Class

Feb 14 (Tue)

Movie: In Her Own Time

✔✔  Two-Page Essay (1) Due in Class

 

 

3. Ritual, Religion, and Magic: Theories of Self

 

Feb 16 (Thu)

            Tanya Luhrmann, The Persuasions of the Witch’s Craft (1)

Feb 20 (Mon)

            ✔Weekly Response (5) Due Noon

Feb 21 (Tue)

            Tanya Luhrmann, The Persuasions of the Witch’s Craft (2)

Feb 23 (Thu)

            Tanya Luhrmann, The Persuasions of the Witch’s Craft (3)

Feb 27 (Mon)

            ✔Weekly Response (6) Due Noon

Feb 28 (Tue)

            Tanya Luhrmann, The Persuasions of the Witch’s Craft (4)

Mar 2 (Thu)

Boddy, Janice. “Spirits and Selves in Northern Sudan: The Cultural Therapeutics of Possession and Trance.” (BB)

Mar 6 (Mon)

            ✔Weekly Response (7) Due Noon

Mar 7 (Tue)

Suma Ikeuchi “Accompanied Self” (BB)

Mar 9 (Thu)

Movie: Order of Myths

Mar 10 (Fri)

✔✔  Two-Page Essay (2) Due

Spring Break

4. Intention, Meaning, and Theories of Ritual Order 

Mar 20 (Mon)

            ✔Weekly Response (8) Due Noon

Mar 21 (Tue)

Pravaz, “Hybridity Brazilian Style: Samba, Carnaval, and Myth of Racial Democracy” (BB)

✔✔ Group Project Progress Report Due in Class

Mar 23 (Thu)

Roy Rappaport,  “The Obvious Aspects of Ritual” (BB)

Mar 27 (Mon)

            ✔Weekly Response (9) Due Noon

Mar 28 (Tue)

            Goffman, Interaction Ritual (1) 

Mar 30 (Thu)

            Goffman, Interaction Ritual (2)

Apr 3 (Mon)

            ✔Weekly Response (10) Due Noon

Apr 4 (Tue)

            Goffman, Interaction Ritual (3)

Apr 6 (Thu)

            Goffman, Interaction Ritual (4)

Apr 10 (Mon)

            ✔Weekly Response (12) Due Noon  

Apr 11 (Tue)

·         Jonathan Z. Smith,  “The Bare Facts of Ritual” (BB)

Apr 13 (Thu)

Fritz Stahl, “The Meaninglessness of Ritual” (BB)

Apr 18 (Tue)

            Group Project Presentation Preparation Time

✔✔  Two-Page Essay (3) Due in Class

Apr 20 (Thu)

            Group Project Presentations (1&2)

Apr 25 (Tue)

            Group Project Presentations (3&4)

Apr 27 (Thu) Last Day to Meet in Class

            Group Project Presentations (5)

            Summing Up 

May 3 (Wed)

            ✔ Final Group Project Paper Due

Exams and Assignments

Course Requirements and Assignments:

1.      Class Attendance and Participation (20 points):

Class attendance and participation are an important part of this class. Attendance is taken at regular intervals. You can miss up to 3 classes with no repercussions for participation grade (unless that makes you miss your own presentation, discussion moderation, or other responsibilities). If you need to miss more than 3 sessions for valid reasons (e.g. job interviews, health problem), please contact me prior to the day you will be missing the class and provide appropriate documentation. You may be assigned to do additional work in that case. More than 3 absences without a valid document will significantly impact your attendance/participation grade. If you miss more than 6 classes, then you will fail this course. Please make sure to be in class on time. Repetitive late attendance will count as absence. 

What is distinctive about this class is that it is not a course that provides “facts” to learn but which prompts you to reflect on the subjects we explore. You are expected to understand the facts and concepts, but also to develop a critical assessment of them. Therefore, close reading of the material with a critical mind and active class participation that reflects a) an in-depth understanding of the reading material, and b) reflective thinking on the subjects we discuss are required. Just attending will not lead to the full 10 points. The quality of your participation and response to other students’ contributions will be assessed.  

2.      Weekly responses posted to Blackboard Discussion Board (3 x 10 = 30 points):

Almost every week by Monday noon, you are required to submit a one-paragraph response of at least 200 words on one of the readings for the coming week to the Blackboard discussion board. In some instances this response may be to a required video that you will watch outside of class time or on an assigned task such as a mini-analysis of a news article. The response should consist of a statement and at least one question. There are 10 weekly responses you are required to post for this class, out of 12 possible dates of submission (In other words, you can choose to “take a break” from weekly response for whichever 2 weeks you desire). Each response will earn 3 point if it shows good understanding of the material and reflective thought. These responses will be graded simply as submitted/not submitted, but responses which do not exhibit the evidence of reading the material or your reflection will not earn any point. The instructor may address questions based on the response you have posted. You cannot make up missed responses.

·         Responses that do not exhibit a comprehension of the reading material and a reflection on that material will earn no credit. 

3.      Three Two-Page Short Essays (Double-Spaced) (30 points each, 90 in total): There will be three essay tests, each of which will ask questions about all the readings, class lectures, films, multi-media materials, and discussions up to that point. The instructor will provide students with more information on how to prepare for them during class. 

4.      Ethnographic Group Project (60 points in total)

Your project should be relevant to the class topics and based on a mini-ethnography, combined with a review of the relevant scholarly literature. I expect at least 3 site visits to complete the ethnographic portion of the project (participant observation, interviews, etc.). 
 

Group Project Proposal with Bibliography (5 points). The topic for the group project needs to be approved by the instructors, and a project proposal of 300 words should be submitted with an attached bibliography. The bibliography should include at least 1 or more academic books and 4 or more academic articles related to the topic. Each group need only submit one proposal for the entire group.

Group Project Progress Report (5 points). A two-page progress report with a one-page bibliography needs to be submitted. Each group is expected to have conducted at least one site visit and one interview by the this time. Make sure to also post your report on Blackboard (Discussion Board). 
 

Group Project Presentation and Paper (50 points). Your group will complete a 20- minute presentation, along with 10 minutes for questions and answers from instructors, and other students during the last few sessions of class. In this presentation, the group should clearly present their topic of study, why it is important, the methodology they employed to study it, the role of each group member, a summary of their ethnography and ethnographic findings, and concluding remarks. The group will also need to submit a 20-page (double-space) document of their study including the above information as well as further relevant materials and discussion. Transcripts of interviews and other materials may be added as appendices to strengthen the document, but do not count towards the 20 pages. Each group member should participate in both the presentation and the writing of the submitted document.

Total Points: 200

E-mail Policy:

Please write concise emails and allow 48 hours for response (longer for times when I am traveling). For substantial questions, please talk to me during office hours rather than using e-mail, as it is mutually more beneficial.  

Syllabus Revision

This syllabus may be revised if necessary due to changes in scheduling and other factors. The most updated copy of this syllabus will always be available on Blackboard.

Grading Policy

Grading Policy:

A+

200 – 190

A

189 – 180

B+

179 – 170

B

169 – 160

C+

159 – 150

C

149 – 140

D+

139 – 130

D

129 – 120

D-

119 – 110

F

109 – 0

Policy on Missed Exams and Coursework

On Late and Missed Coursework:

I do note accept any late work or make-up assignments unless there is a documented emergency (injury, sickness, job interview, urgent health problem of close family member, etc.). Computer and network issues, traffic issues, lost items, etc. are not considered as emergencies, so please plan accordingly. I reserve the right to ask for a document or email from someone who can attest to your situation. Please see “Consultation” above – then we discuss appropriate accommodation for your situation.

Attendance Policy

Class Attendance and Participation (20 points):

Class attendance and participation are an important part of this class. Attendance is taken at regular intervals. You can miss up to 3 classes with no repercussions for participation grade (unless that makes you miss your own presentation, discussion moderation, or other responsibilities). If you need to miss more than 3 sessions for valid reasons (e.g. job interviews, health problem), please contact me prior to the day you will be missing the class and provide appropriate documentation. You may be assigned to do additional work in that case. More than 3 absences without a valid document will significantly impact your attendance/participation grade. If you miss more than 6 classes, then you will fail this course. Please make sure to be in class on time. Repetitive late attendance will count as absence.

Statement on Academic Misconduct

Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to the official Code of Academic Conduct provided in the Online Catalog.

Statement On Disability Accommodations

Contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS) as detailed in the Online Catalog.

Severe Weather Protocol

Please see the latest Severe Weather Guidelines in the Online Catalog.

Pregnant Student Accommodations

Title IX protects against discrimination related to pregnancy or parental status. If you are pregnant and will need accommodations for this class, please review the University’s FAQs on the UAct website.

Religious Observances

Under the Guidelines for Religious Holiday Observances, students should notify the instructor in writing or via email during the first two weeks of the semester of their intention to be absent from class for religious observance. The instructor will work to provide reasonable opportunity to complete academic responsibilities as long as that does not interfere with the academic integrity of the course. See full guidelines at Religious Holiday Observances Guidelines.

UAct Statement

The UAct website provides an overview of The University's expectations regarding respect and civility.