Courses Offered 2012-2013 Fall

ANT 201  Introduction to Anthropology (SA)
An introduction to the comparative study of human societies. The focus will be on the ways in which different communities organize their beliefs and relationships. Issues will include the role of culture in the development of our species, the relation of religion to economics, the cultural embeddedness of sexuality, and the ways in which native peoples are represented in Western thought. Lawrence Rosen

ANT 215 / EEB 315  Human Adaptation (STL)
Human adaptation focuses on human anatomy and behavior from an evolutionary perspective. Lectures and weekly laboratory sessions focus on the evolution of the human brain, dentition and skeleton to provide students with a practical understanding of the anatomy and function of the human body and its evolution, as well as some of its biological limitations. No science background is required on the part of the student. Janet Monge

ANT 217 / SAS 217 Introduction to South Asian Cultures (SA)
This course introduces core themes in culture and society in South Asia, with an anthropological focus. Topics include the religious traditions of South Asia (in particular, Hinduism, Islam); varied expressions of kinship, gender, and everyday life; and the influence of global forces on local practices. Emphasis will be on the modern period, with selective historical context highlighting recent forces of nationalism, communalism, and "modernity." A variety of films will be shown throughout the course. Isabelle Clark-Decès

EAS 225 / ANT 225 Japanese Society and Culture (SA)
During the decades after World War II, Japan became the world's second largest economy and a highly educated, technologized society. While Americans once regarded Japan as a land of "corporate warriors," today Japan has become known for its popular cultural critiques of environmental destruction and for a gentler variety of capitalism that has weathered economic downturns while preserving a high quality of life for its people. We explore key social issues in Japan today: the contemporary "birth strike," gender and popular culture, civil society, medical ethics, difference and disability, adolescence and education.  Amy Borovoy

ANT 232  Social Lives, Social Forces (SA)
This seminar takes up the connection between authority and obligation as a comparative cultural question. We draw on diverse sources (anthropological accounts, case studies, social theory, literature, public documents, art) to probe the conceptual and real-life gray zones between individual and community, liberty and constraint, love and law. We consider a variety of formal and informal institutions (e.g., states, workplaces, families) and a spectrum of formal and informal norms (from court opinions to common sense).  Throughout, authority and obligation emerge as complex social relations that shape and are shaped by their cultural context. Carol Greenhouse

ANT 301  The Ethnographer’s Craft (SA)
What are social and cultural facts? And how do we identify these facts using anthropological research methods? This field methods course is for students interested in learning how to work with complex and often contradictory qualitative data. Students will examine how biases and beliefs affect the questions we ask, the data we collect, and our interpretations. Key topics include objectivism, interpretation, reflexivity, participant-observation, translation, and comparison. In addition to reading ethnographies, this class will use ethnographic films as a lens through which to explore the extraordinary power and limits of qualitative research. Carolyn Rouse

ANT 314 / ENE 314 The Anthropology of Development (SA)
Why do development projects fail? This course examines why well-meaning development experts get it wrong. It looks closely at what anthropologists mean by culture and why most development experts fail to attend to the cultural forces that hold communities together. By examining development projects from South Asia to the United States, students learn the relevance of exchange relations, genealogies, power, religion, and indigenous law. This semester the class will focus on energy and water. Carolyn Rouse

ANT 327  Regimes of Value (EM)
In this course, we try to understand how people in different societies and in different historical periods link value and money in order to organize their exchanges and communities. We explore contexts in which concepts of the good and the desirable are first constructed and then associated with money.  We examine the principles that different societies use to establish equivalence of values and things. Finally, we discuss how wealth (or lack of it) is represented through different social and artistic practices, and how it is transformed into an indicator of non-economic qualities and values. Serguei Oushakine

GHP 350 / WWS 380 / ANT 380 Critical Perspectives on Global Health and Health Policy (SA)
Taking an interdisciplinary approach, the course identifies the main actors, institutions, knowledge and values at work in the field of global health, and explores the environmental, social, political, and economic factors that shape patterns and variations in disease and health across societies. Topics include: technology and public health; development and the governance of disease; human rights and social justice; the shifting role of states, civil society, and public-private partnerships in health care delivery. Students are encouraged to think creatively about health problems and to envision innovative and effective interventions. Peter Locke, Tom S. Vogl

ANT 360 Ethics in Context: Uses and Abuses of Deception and Disclosure (EM)
Stage magic delights us with expert illusions; biomedicine and other fields use deception as a research tool (e.g., placeboes); and everyday politeness may obscure painful truths. With deception and disclosure as springboards, this course explores the contextual complexity of personal and professional ethical judgment, with special but not exclusive attention to knowledge circulation. Topics include: social fictions in daily life across cultures; the tangled histories of science and stage magic; ethically controversial cases from popular culture ("reality" TV, journalism), the arts (fictive memoirs), academia (sharing/plagiarizing), and more. Rena Lederman

ANT 405  Topics in Anthropology: Revisiting Sacrifice (SA)
The course brings back to discussion a concept and a set of practices central to the lives of millions of men and women across the world. While sacrifice is invoked in religious and political discourse and practice, it has been somewhat neglected by anthropologists in recent decades. Understanding sacrifice is understanding ritual and religion and their role in the globalizing world. Topics include theories of sacrifice, categories and comparison, genealogies and deconstruction, violence, power and religion, jihad, sacrifice and terror. We will study contemporary materials from public discourses and arts before going back to classical theory. Abdellah Hammoudi

ART 416 / ANT 418 / HLS 416   Understanding the “Barbarians”: Discovering Ethnicity in Ancient History, Art, and Archaeology (LA)
Civilizations of ancient history, like Egypt, Greece, Rome and Mesopotamia, incorporated small ethnic groups who significantly influenced their society, history, and worldview. Yet they are often minimized in the study of the past because they had only a marginal effect on the sources that the large civilizations left behind. In this course we will examine their art, archaeology, and texts to understand the role of the peripheral "barbarians" on the past and how their ethnicity changed history. In a series of case studies we will analyze how ancient peoples created their own ethnicities and how other groups applied ethnic stereotypes to them. Kate Liszka

LAS 401 / ANT 434  Latin American Studies Seminar: The Politics of Ethnicity in Latin America  (SA)
In the late 20th century, an acknowledgment of ethnic and cultural diversity in Latin America influenced politicians to rethink their definition of citizenship in order to, at the very least, publicly demonstrate interest in fostering democratic forms of government. This opened up channels through which indigenous leaders organized their constituent communities by strategically using ethnicity as a platform for political participation. This seminar focuses upon Latin American indigenous movements with an eye towards anthropological concerns with representation, voice, and the precarious balance between solidarity and academic critique. Timothy J. Smith

ANT 501  Proseminar in Anthropology
First term of a two-term survey of major anthropological writings, primarily for first-year graduate students. This seminar will focus on some major figures who have influenced anthropological theory and shaped our ideas of what anthropology is or should be. Historical formulations of some issues which are currently revisited and hotly debated such as rationalization and unreason, science and communication, subjectivity and dialogic encounters, and the status of knowledge and truth in the social sciences will be examined.  Abdellah Hammoudi

ANT 541  Topics in Social Anthropology: States in Crisis
This seminar will explore states in various kinds of crisis: their "weakness" and "failure," their borders and margins, their porosity and dysfunction, their proxies and pawning, their disasters and debts, their violence, their corruption - as well as opposition and threats to state power: dissidence, social movements, paramilitary organizations, communal and corporate sovereignty. Readings will tack between theories of what the state is and is not, and recent ethnographies that propose critiques, re-imaginations, and oblique visions of the state - opening new avenues to examine agency, justice, economy, and social ties. Elizabeth A. Davis

EAS 549 / ANT 549  Japan Anthropology in Historical Perspective
The course considers Japan studies in the context of theories of capitalism, personhood, democracy, gender, and modernity. We will be discussing issues of fieldwork as method and "area" as a unit of analysis. We will also consider the place of Japan in American social thought. Amy Borovoy