top of page


Undergraduate Courses:

ANTH 2: Introductory Cultural Anthropology

This course provides an introduction to the field of cultural anthropology and its history, methods, concepts, and contemporary debates.  We survey the rich diversity of social and cultural life throughout the world, from arranged marriage in India and livelihood strategies in the Amazon to the unwritten cultural rules governing surfing etiquette and courtship rituals among UCSB students.  Through a combination of readings, lectures, discussions, and primary research, students will acquire a comparative anthropological perspective with which to better understand social and cultural differences around the world and to see the many ways in which we are similar.

ANTH 115: Language, Culture, and Place

This course focuses on the interplay between language, culture, and place.  Specifically, we examine the manner in which the environment structures language and culture, and the ways that humans give the world meaning through mapping, classification, and the creation of places and landscapes.  We will read texts on a range of topics, from California accents to an endangered language in Amazonia, and analyze them to see how researchers use linguistic and anthropological methods to understand the role of language in different societies, cultures, and contexts.  We will also learn about the power that language has to structure our interactions with people and places and how it is used to justify interventions and actions.

ANTH 152/ENV S 151: Environmental Anthropology 

This course examines the ways that human beings interact with, use, and perceive the environment and nature.  Beginning with contemporary American views of the environment and ideas of environmentalism, we explore the social, historical, political, and economic foundations of human-environment relationships across time and in different parts of the world.  We maintain a sustained focus on two settings: one local (the North Campus Open Space), and the other a contested global landscape (the Amazon rainforest).  Through readings, in-class activities and discussions, field trips, and research projects, engaged students will leave this class with: a better understanding of the complexity of contemporary environmental issues; a grasp of core social scientific theoretical approaches to the study of the environment; and skills in research design, critical analysis of texts, and the execution and presentation of scholarly and applied research.

ANTH 197JH: Special Course

Professor Hoelle has taught a variety of special courses over various quarters.  Each special course is an intensive study or project focused on special problems related to Anthropology which are not covered by other courses.  ANTH 197JH in Winter 2019 centered around human-environment interaction in the UCSB and Isla Vista community.  The course resulted in the creation of the Cultivating Communities website, which includes ten creative student projects meant to inspire students and community members to learn more about the fascinating environment that we now know as UCSB and Isla Vista with the hopes of facilitating deeper forms of engagement with the environment.  Another special course focused on the nature-culture dichotomy through the focus on South American gauchos, cowboys of the American west, and American Indigenous groups.

ANTH 199: Independent Studies in Anthropology

Professor Hoelle mentors undergraduate anthropology students as they execute a limited research project on their own initiative.

Graduate Courses:

ANTH 235B: Issues in Contemporary Anthropology

This course is a survey of major theoretical trends in the field of cultural anthropology since the 1960s.  We will read and discuss a range fo ethnographies and articles in order to connect contemporary scholarship with foundational anthropological thought, and to chart a course for the future of anthropology, your research.  Writing assignments and in-class activities are designed to support this overarching goal, and to help students situate their research in relation to historical, methodological, theoretical, and applied concerns.

ANTH 240A: Research Methods in Cultural Anthropology

This course is designed to give students an overview of basic research methods in cultural anthropology.  We will discuss epistemology, the relationship between anthropology and science, and the logic of social scientific inquiry, with an emphasis on connecting research questions, data collection methods, and knowledge production.  Foundational anthropological research methods will be covered, including interviews, cognitive methods, text analysis, and participant observation.  Students will practice these methods and related skills, such as coding, transcription, and database management, as part of weekly assignments.  Throughout the course we will also focus on key issues and topics of importance for conducting fieldwork, including ethics, safety, gender, and power.  Success in the course requires completing weekly assignments and readings prior to class and participating in discussions in class.

ANTH 240C: Research Seminar in Cultural Anthropology

This course is dedicated to the preparation of the MA paper required in the sociocultural anthropology program.  It is a "capstone" seminar during which students will work on the completion of an already drafted paper.  As explained in the sociocultural graduate guidelines, the MA paper can take one of two forms: an article-length work based on original, primary source research or a detailed draft of the PhD research proposal.  Those who have opted to write a research proposal will have drafted that document in a prior proposal-writing class; those who have opted to write the article-length paper will have already conducted the research and prepared a working rough draft of that paper.

ANTH 252: Political Ecology

This course focuses on the anthropological study of human-environment interactions across cultures and contexts, with an emphasis on the ways that humans create, degrade, and are affected by the environment.  The three main themes are: the material and discursive features of the environment, nature, and human-environment relations; the dialectical interplay between structure and agency in environmental practices; and the integration of anthropology and culture in contemporary multidisciplinary environmental research.

bottom of page