Courses Offered 2012-2013 Spring

ANT 206 / EEB 306 - Human Evolution (EC)
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. Janet Monge

ANT 249 / LIN 249  Language and Culture (SA)
Language plays a crucial role in our lives, providing the thread that connects us with others, conveys meaning, encodes power relations within societies, and much more. Through and within language, poets speak, governments rule, and we conduct much of our everyday lives. Today's linguistic anthropologists have built a synthesis of approaches that draws on many disciplines. This class examines the main strands of that synthesis, learning how to bring together the analysis of micro-level linguistic patterns and the study of language in broader sociocultural contexts. Elizabeth Mertz

ANT 303  Economic Experience in Cultural Context (SA)
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 sources. Rena Lederman

ANT 308  Forensic Anthropology (SA)
An introduction to the techniques of analysis that biological anthropologists apply to forensic (legal) cases. Topics include: the ethical and moral considerations of international forensic efforts, recovery of bodies, analysis of life history, reconstruction of causes of death, and case studies where anthropologists have contributed significantly to solving forensic cases. Discussions will include the limitations of the application of DNA recovery to skeletal/mummified materials; various case studies including recovery of body parts from the World Trade Towers site; and uncovering gravesites in Bosnia and Iraq. Janet Monge

EAS  312 / ANT 312  Mind, Body, and Bioethics in Japan and Beyond  (EM)
The seminar will examine key concepts of the mind, the body, and the nature-culture distinction. We will study these issues in the context of Japanese beliefs about the good society, making connections between "lay culture," Japanese notions of social democracy, and "science culture." Topics include: styles of care for the mentally ill, the politics of disability, notions of human life and death, responses to bio-technology, the management of human materials (such as organs), cultural definitions of addiction and co-dependency, and the ethics of human enhancement. Amy Borovoy

ANT 342  The Anthropology of Law (EM)
Study of the relation between formal legal institutions and the social and cultural factors influencing their development. Western and non-Western systems compared in terms of their forms of judicial reasoning, implementation through law of moral precepts, fact-finding procedures, and dispute settlement mechanisms. Issues covered include judicial application of moral precepts, the relation of law to social relations, the development of the jury, Japanese conciliation, American family life and the law, and social science and Supreme Court decisions. Lawrence Rosen

ANT 349 / LIN 349/  TRA 349  Expertise in Translation: Linguistic Encounters Across Professions and Disciplines (SA)
We usually think of anthropology as a translation across different cultures and languages, but encounters between different professions and academic disciplines also call for translation. In this course, we treat interdisciplinary and cross-professional exchanges as ethnographic sites, using methods from linguistic anthropology to examine the challenges of translating expertise across professional fields. We also explore different approaches to interdisciplinary translation, in the process developing our understanding of the broader interaction between language and culture. Elizabeth Mertz

ANT 368  Ethnography of Schools and Schooling (SA)
Social scientists use ethnographic methods to describe and analyze the range and variation of daily interactions in schools. Ethnographic study allows researchers the opportunity to examine power dynamics that influence the daily life of students, teachers, administrators and parents. Vivid, critical ethnography helps us discover how cultural traditions, expectations, and opportunities are passed down to the next generation and how they impact school outcomes. This class will explore educational ethnography and students will complete observations hours in local schools and prepare a descriptive, mini-ethnography of a school community. Jason Klugman

ANT 390  History of Anthropological Theory (HA)
This course is an introduction to fundamental theories and debates in social/cultural anthropology. We will examine the national and colonial origins of anthropology, considering how western encounters with non-western peoples in the 19th-20th centuries opened questions about human kinship, history, economy, religion, language, sexuality, and personhood that continue to shape the horizons of our thought today. We will study this inheritance critically, exploring the changing concepts, methods, and ethics of anthropological research and writing, and evaluate their bearing on questions of power, justice, and identity in the present. Elizabeth A. Davis

AAS 403 / ANT 403  Race and Medicine (EM)
In 1998, then-President Clinton set a national goal that by the year 2010 race, ethnic, and gender disparities in six disease categories would be eliminated. While the agenda, called Healthy People 2010, was a noble effort, many of the goals were not met. This course examines what went wrong. For a final project, students will be asked to propose their own solutions for eliminating health disparities. Carolyn Rouse

SLA 420 / ANT 420 / COM 424 Communist Modernity: The Politics and Culture of Soviet Utopia (EM)
Inspired by utopian ideas of equality and universal brotherhood, communism was conceived as an alternative to capitalism's crises. This attempt to build a new world was costly and brutal: equality was quickly transformed into uniformity; brotherhood morphed into the Big Brother. The course provides an in-depth review of these oscillations between utopian motivations and oppressive practices. It will present central players of Soviet Utopia: from Lenin to Malevich; from Stalin to Eisenstein. Major political texts, key cultural documents and films of the period help us trace the emergence and disappearance of communist modernity. Serguei Oushakine

ANT 425  Post-War French Social Theory (SA)
Using the works of thinkers such as Sartre, Merleau, Ponty, Aron, Ricoeur, Levi-Strauss, Foucault and Bourdieu, the course will present students with some of the conflicting images of Western society as viewed by these thinkers. This course will introduce students to these authors with emphasis on their departure from traditional schools of thought and the consequences of their ideas on the production of knowledge about societies. Topics will include: relation of social thought to literary criticism and theories of social description. Abdellah Hammoudi

GHP 401 / ANT 480 / AFS 401  Global Health in Africa (SA)
This seminar will examine the contemporary phenomenon of "global health" in Africa against the history and politics of health and healing. Topics include; colonial efforts to regulate race, gender, sexuality, and labor; African's responses to colonialism and missionization; the impact of colonialism on experience of health and healing; the training of African practitioners of biomedicine; the significance of healing practices to anti-colonial movements; and the relevance of these historical experiences to contemporary African public health and medicine. We will conclude with case studies of cutting-edge health issues in Africa. Betsey Brada

ANT 490  Writing Cultures: Ethnographic Facts and Fictions (LA)
Comparing ethnography (anthropologists' signature form) with related nonfiction genres (history, journalism, memoir), we focus on questions about truth and "truthiness": about evidence, expertise, credibility, and authority and about literary form (e.g., voice, metaphor, and technical jargon). We consider how different genres are recognized as such in acts of evaluation by expert and lay readers; and what their distinctive evaluative standards allow or disallow. Throughout, we seek fresh ways of thinking about the ethical dilemmas of ethnography and related genres by juxtaposing them to the ethical dilemmas of fiction-writing. (This course is particularly appropriate for junior and senior anthropology majors writing JPs and Senior Theses and for anthropology graduate students writing up field research (dissertation-related and otherwise). Non-anthropology students with some anthropology coursework are also welcome: this course is most appropriate for students with a special interest in ethnography and/or in one or more of the other genres we will be discussing (e.g., history, fiction). Rena Lederman

ANT 502  Proseminar in Anthropology   
This second half of a two-semester proseminar for first year graduate students in anthropology continues the exploration of major theoretical currents that inform the discipline. This second semester will focus on the relation between theories of human action, consciousness, and disciplinary practices such as fieldwork, participant observation, translation, sense-making, and interpretation. Theorists or theories will often be paired with the reading of an ethnographic account inspired by them. Isabelle Clark-Decès

ANT 522A  Topics in Theory and Practice of Anthropology (Half-Term, 0.5 credit course): From the Anthropology of Security to the Ethnography of Policing
Questions of security and insecurities have become prominent in contemporary societies and nthropologists have recently developed research programs approaching the theoretical and political implications of this evolution, including on immigration policies. Yet few empirical studies have been conducted on these issues, and most of the ethnographies of policing have been carried out by sociologists, criminologists, and political scientists. This six-week course will bring together these theoretical and empirical approaches of security and policing from various disciplinary perspectives. Didier Fassin

EAS 550 / ANT 550 -  Topics in Social Theory and East Asia
An introduction to classical social theory of modernity and an exploration of new directions in social theory in contemporary social science. Course examines the ways in which Western scholarship on East Asia has engaged with theories of modernity, at times generating new bodies of thought on social exchange, capitalism, feminism, the state and civil society, and agency and subjectivity. Texts on Japan, China, and elsewhere, moving between theoretical, ethnographic, and historical contexts, are used.­­­­­­­ Amy Borovoy

ANT 570  Interdisciplinary Research: Ethnography and Democracy
Periods of democratic crisis have sometimes produced major reformulations of ethnography's purposes. In this seminar, we consider the discursive dualities of democracy movements and ethnographic practice that make subjectivity, representation, agency and authority entwined as both means and ends of inquiry. Conundrums of "stateness", the politicization of social knowledge and the juridification of social reproduction are also dually ethnographic context and content. We focus on key 20th century conversations before turning to 21st century dilemmas still unfolding. Carol Greenhouse