Each participant on the Kenyon-Honduras program will take the following five courses:
ANTH 330: Method and Theory in Archaeology
ANTH 336: Fieldwork in Anthropology
ANTH 345: Ethnicity in Central America
ANTH 464: Methods in Cultural Anthropology
HIST 492: The History of Central America
Outlines for all five courses are given under course outlines.
Anthropology 330 and 464 survey field research techniques appropriate to cultural anthropology and archaeology, stressing their relations to basic theoretical questions and assumptions. These courses are organized around a set of readings and topics that shift throughout the semester to keep pace with student research. Initially, those courses introduce all participants to basic concepts and methods appropriate to anthropological and archaeological investigations. Reading and discussion will be supplemented by exercises such as designing questionaires or looking at and classifying artifacts. ANTH 345 deals with the diversity of Central American cultures from prehistory through the 20th century. Attention focuses on how cultural patterns rooted in the remote past have been used in adaptations, as well as resistance to the changing circumstances of colonialism and the capitalist world economy. History 492 takes up the story of politic and social developments within Spanish-speaking Central America (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua) from the last Precolumbian centuries to the present. Seminar discussions provide a context in which issues central to the program are addressed. Such interrelated topics include: the extent to which current political structures and problems are rooted in past processes; the ways in which incorporation within colonial empires and international economies have contributed to shaping Central American political, social, and economic formations; and how indigenous peoples have weathered the traumas of conquest and exploitation, maintaining their cultural distinctiveness into the 20th century. Readings and discussions, therefore, directly support student investigations and place your experience of living and working within Central America into cultural, political, and historical context. These courses provide the ideas, concepts, and interpretations that participants constantly evaluate through research and daily lived experiences.
All of the classes are taught by Urban and Schortman who have given these offerings previously in Honduras. The first two weeks of the semester are devoted to readings and discussion, classes meeting 5 days per week. Subsequently, as field training intensifies, Sunday evenings will be set aside for seminars. All participants will be provided with syllabi and reading lists well before departure, though outlines of topics covered in each course and lists of the major texts are provided under course outlines. Books will be available from the Kenyon College bookstore or on-line; other essential reading materials will be on hand in the program library.
Student evaluation in the above five courses will be based, primarily, on participation and discussion in class. Grades for the research project carried out under ANTH 336 reflect developing student abilities to direct and follow through to completion their independent investigations. We do not expect that anyone on the program will be capable of successfully conducting independent studies from the start. The primary goal of the program is to help you acquire the skills and confidence needed to pursue successfully significant research by the course of study's end.
Program members, therefore, will take five courses for academic credit, including the independent research project. This constitutes more than a full load at Kenyon and credit will be arranged through this institution. Participants from outside Kenyon will be enrolled as special students. (See the Kenyon web page for more information about this four-year, liberal arts college).