Prof. James Howe
Human beings are symbol-making as well as tool-making animals. We understand our world and shape our lives in large part by assigning meanings to objects, beings, and persons; by connecting things together in symbolic patterns; and by creating elaborate forms of symbolic action and narrative. In this introductory subject we consider how symbols are created and structured; how they draw on and give meaning to different domains of the human world; how they are woven into politics, family life, and the life cycle; and how we can interpret them.
The semester will be devoted to a number of topics in symbolism.
Howe, James. 21A.212 Myth, Ritual, and Symbolism, Spring 2004. (MIT OpenCourseWare: Massachusetts Institute of Technology), http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/anthropology/21a-212-myth-ritual-and-symbolism-spring-2004 (Accessed). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA