CCOG for ATH 212 Spring 2024

Course Number:
ATH 212
Course Title:
Introduction to Shamanism
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Examines shamanism as it is practiced in various cultures around the world. Students will be introduced to the shamanic cosmologies, values and world views of different tribal societies and use participant-observation to explore different styles of shamanic journeying. Core shamanism and the interface of shamanism and modern medicine and psychotherapy will be explored. Prerequisites: WR 121 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement, and ATH 103 or instructor permission. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

This course is taught online as well as in a traditional classroom setting. 

Intended Outcomes for the course

  1. identify differences and similarities in shamanic cultures (Crit-Think-2)
  2. read and write at a basic college level (Com-2)
  3. understand the shamanic concept of health and illness (Cul-2)
  4. explore different styles of shamanic journeying (Cul-3)
  5. reflect on personal values and how they are shaped by shamanic experience (Self-reflect-2)     

Social Inquiry and Analysis

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to apply methods of inquiry and analysis to examine social contexts and the diversity of human thought and experience.

Aspirational Goals

  • participate in internationalization efforts across the curriculum
  • increase student cultural awareness and appreciation for other societies
  • use an understanding of anthropology to analyze cross-cultural concepts of health, illness and healing

Course Activities and Design

Course activities may include but are not limited to:

  • lectures
  • small group discussions or other exercises
  • discussion forums
  • participant observation exercises
  • interviews
  • film viewing and analysis of content

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Student mastery of outcomes may be assessed by any combination of the following :

  1. written or oral examinations
  2. participation in class discussion, exercises or small group work
  3. quizzes
  4. participant observation reports
  5. oral or visual presentations
  6. participation in community or professional events
  7. short papers, term papers or research projects

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Themes, Competencies and Skills:

  1. examines differences between tribal and core shamanism
  2. uses an understanding of anthropology to evaluate shamanic methods and experiences
  3. evaluate personal and cultural values related to shamanism
  4. develop writing, speaking and collaborative skills 

Course Content; Themes, Concepts and Issues

Instructors teaching ATH 212 will focus on a combination of topics that may include but are not limited to:: 

  • Anthropological theories about shamanism
  • Ethnographic methods such as participant-observation
  • Shamanic cosmologies
  • The shamanic concept of health and illness
  • Shamanic values and world views
  • Different styles of journeying and healing