Courses

Spring 2018

Arts of the Americas: The First 5,000 Years
You live in the Americas: do you know about the prolific cultures who lived here before the European conquests? Are you curious about art, but wish you had a more hands-on understanding instead of seeing it behind glass? Do you wonder how a Eurocentric academic discipline might construct knowledge differently if considered from a non-European point of view? This course will provide both an introduction to art history through the ancient Americas, and to ancient American cultures, thoughts, and beliefs through their arts. Precepts will meet in the study room of the Art Museum, where we'll study up close its world-class Americas collection.
Instructors: Andrew James Hamilton
Economic Life in Cultural Context
This course explores the social and cultural contexts of economic experience in the US and around the world. It considers how the consumption, production, and circulation of goods--today and in times past--become invested with personal and collective meanings. It pays special attention to symbolic and political dimensions of work, property (material, intellectual, and cultural), wealth, and "taste" (i.e., needs and wants). Additionally, course participants do a bit of anthropological fieldwork by learning to draw everyday experiences systematically into conversation with more familiar academic and media sources.
Instructors: Rena S. Lederman
Human Evolution
An investigation of the evidence and background of human evolution. Emphasis will be placed on the examination of the fossil and other evidence for human evolution and its functional and behavioral implications. (See ANT 206B to determine the appropriate course for enrollment.)
Instructors: Janet Marie Monge, Page Selinsky
Human Evolution
An investigation of the evidence and background of human evolution. Emphasis will be placed on the examination of the fossil and other evidence for human evolution and its functional and behavioral implications. (See below to determine whether this course or ANT 206A is more appropriate for your interests and needs.)
Instructors: Janet Marie Monge, Page Selinsky
Cultural Freedoms: Hate Speech, Blasphemy, and Pornography
Freedom of expression is always limited, both by the harm that may be said to occur if unbridled and by the constraints of the dominant culture. Using such topics as hate speech on campus, the cultural defense plea, the Mapplethorpe exhibit, the Supreme Court opinions on pornography, and the Salman Rushdie affair, we will ask how civility relates to free speech, how codes may channel expression without oppression, and how cultural difference can relate to shared values and orientations.
Instructors: Lawrence Rosen
Medical Humanities
How might the humanities deepen our understanding of disease, healing, and care? This course draws from anthropological approaches and dialogues with history, literature, philosophy, ethics, religion, film and visual arts to understand the cross-cultural significance of medicine and present-day struggles for wellbeing in the United States and comparatively. As we inquire into the ways biosocial and medical realities actively shape each other, we will become familiarized with ethnographic research methods and critical ethical debates. Students will be encouraged to develop community-based research and to experiment with modes of expression.
Instructors: João Biehl, Amy Beth Krauss
Musical Cultures of the World
Course explores aesthetic principles and social context underlying traditional and popular musics of various world regions, drawing on examples from South Africa, Japan, India, and Indonesia, among other places. Issues explored include conception of melody and rhythm in culture; the impact that language, pedagogical methods, patronage systems, gender, and ethnic or class identity have had on musical composition and performance; and the role of migration, globalization, and politics in the development of musical style. Requirements include short papers, listening/viewing assignments, a midterm, and a final.
Instructors: Gavin Steingo
The Ethnographer's Craft
What are the core approaches of the anthropological method, as well as the distinctive forms of knowledge that they offer? How has ethnography emerged within a broader universe of social scientific approaches? We examine classical methods, their itineraries in multiple ethnographic domains, and their afterlives in the plurality of contemporary anthropology. We examine these techniques with careful attention to their social, political, and ethical dimensions. In so doing, we work to understand the perils and the great revelatory power of ethnography, including the many counterintuitive and creative insights it can offer into our own worlds.
Instructors: Andrew Alan Johnson
The Ethnographer's Craft
What are the core approaches of the anthropological method, as well as the distinctive forms of knowledge that they offer? How has ethnography emerged within a broader universe of social scientific approaches? We examine classical methods, their itineraries in multiple ethnographic domains, and their afterlives in the plurality of contemporary anthropology. We examine these techniques with careful attention to their social, political, and ethical dimensions. In so doing, we work to understand the perils and the great revelatory power of ethnography, including the many counterintuitive and creative insights it can offer into our own worlds.
Instructors: Andrew Alan Johnson, Naomi Shira Stone
Political Bodies: The Social Anatomy of Power & Difference
Students will learn about the human body in its social, cultural and political contexts. The framing is sociological rather than biomedical, attentive to cultural meanings, institutional practices, politics and social problems. The course explicitly discusses bodies in relation to race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, age, health, geography and citizenship status, carefully examining how social differences come to appear natural. Analyzing clinics, prisons, border zones, virtual realities and more, students develop a conceptual toolkit to analyze how society "gets under the skin", producing differential exposure to premature death.
Instructors: Ruha Benjamin

Pages

Course Offerings

Taught by Anthropology faculty:
Freshman Seminars 
Summer Courses 

Anthropology courses:
2017-2018 Fall
2016-2017 Fall / Spring
2015-2016 Fall / Spring
2014-2015 Fall / Spring
2013-2014 Fall / Spring
2012-2013 Fall / Spring