Courses Offered 2013-2014 Fall

ANT 201  Foundational Concepts in 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 224  Anthropology at The End of Life (SA)
Death is a part of all human life and yet cultural responses to it vary radically across human populations. It's no surprise then that anthropology has developed many of its basic concepts through the analysis of death and dying, underlining both human unity and diversity. Using some key anthropological categories such as ritual, personhood, and sacrifice, the course will carry out a cross-cultural exploration of practices and institutions related to the end of life.  Abou Farman

ANT 234  The Anthropology of Crime and Punishment (SA)
How is crime politicized? How is the figure of The Criminal socially constructed? What concerns about disorder and illegality drive (trans)national governance agendas, and with what consequences? How do anthropologists treat crime and punishment? We will examine the politics and practices of criminalization, securitization, and efforts to impose the rule of law as they occur in local communities, along national borders, and in transnational efforts aimed at policing disorderly worlds. We will read ethnographic accounts ranging from the life-worlds of drug traffickers to international customs regimes seeking to regulate contraband economies. Susan Ellison

ANT 241 / GSS 241 Women’s Bodies, Women’s Lives (SA)
Taking both a global and a local approach, this course investigates how women around the world experience their lives and their bodies across the life cycle. We explore how not only social roles but also images, uses, and meanings of the bodies that all women inhabit are shaped in deep, though often invisible, ways by cultural values and social institutions. Through readings, films, interviews, and ethnographic exercises that compare women's experiences of their bodies in the contemporary US with those of women elsewhere across the globe, the course introduces an anthropological perspective on the gendered body. Alma Gottlieb

ANT 300  Ethnography, Evidence and Experience (SA)
This seminar relates foundational concepts in anthropology (e.g., culture, society, identity) to methods of ethnographic research. We explore connections between ethnography's rationales in theory and the nature of evidence in practice. E.g., what is it about the idea of culture that leads us to do fieldwork? Why do ethnographers conduct participant-observation? How do ethnographers take account of their own cultural premises? The global diversity of cultural experience and imagination unsettles clean lines between theory and practice, and sustains productive debates over the scope and aims of ethnography. Carol Greenhouse

ANT 304  Political Anthropology (SA)
Political power is often said to derive from the public, but political power also produces publics. Thus, political systems, no matter how stable or traditional they may appear to be, are always in flux. Anthropologists study political authority and legitimacy as creative cultural spheres and dynamic social fields. Drawing on current ethnographic accounts of state power, transnational firms, humanitarian and other NGOs from the U.S. and elsewhere, we explore issues of power, authority, legitimacy, hegemony, resistance, representation, and discourse as cultural questions. Susan Ellison

EAS 225/ ANT 323 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 339 / SAS 217  Peoples and Cultures of South Asia (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

ANT 354 / REL 394  Cultural Politics of Religion and Secularism (SA)
The recent resurgence of religion and spirituality worldwide in private and public life has raised questions regarding secular analyses of religion, and the assumptions of secularism. What is religion in a modern, scientific world? What are the boundaries of religion and how have they been shaped? What are new emerging forms of religion, and what's this thing called 'spirituality' that suddenly seems to be everywhere? Through theory and ethnography, the course will consider the relation between religious and non-religious domains, and analyze the ways in which the separation between domains is managed and at times broken down. Abou Farman

ANT 367  Personal Anthropology (SA)
This course applies the theoretical and methodological tools of cultural anthropology to contemporary daily life. Readings emphasize the hidden but structurally central forces that combine to shape individual identity. Assignments are project-based. While reading about contemporary life in North America, students conduct a series of auto-ethnography/ fieldwork exercises in their own lives that provide material for short papers. Concepts of time, food preferences, clothes choices, the (race-, gender-, and class-based) privileges to which we do and do not have access, and our place in the global economy are all grist for the ethnographic mill. Alma Gottlieb

ART 294 / CLA 294 / ANT 373  Ancient Egyptian Archaeology (LA)
Everyone knows of Ancient Egypt's monumental pyramids, temples and tombs. Yet it also had cities, fortresses, palaces, potters, and even trash. The archaeological record informs us greatly about Egyptian daily life, craft and economy. In this class students will study the archaeology of Egypt to learn about their history, culture, religion and society. Students will grapple with original material in their presentations of objects, tombs, houses and sites. Moreover students will engage with the collection of the Princeton Museum of Art in a semester long, hands-on project to identify scarab-shaped amulets. The class may also travel to museums. Kate Liszka

ANT 375 / GSS 374  Culture and International Order (SA) - COURSE CANCELED
This seminar examines the relation of the local to the global from an anthropological perspective. Using documentary and feature film, experiential reports, ethnographies, and analytical essays, it investigates how people, material objects, and ideas are involved in cross-cultural exchange, and how meanings are assigned and created. The focus is on how global orders (of states and of cultural, religious, economic, or legal regimes) are taken up and experienced by individual people, and how such orders initiate unintended effects on local cultures. John Borneman

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.  João Biehl

GHP 403 / ANT 383  Health and the Social Markers of Difference (SA)
This course will examine the role of social markers of difference including race, nationality, gender, sexuality, age and religion in current debates and challenges in global health. We will explore contemporary illness experiences and therapeutic interventions in sociocultural context through case studies from the US, Brazil, and South Africa. Students will be introduced to key concepts such as medicalization, embodiment, structural violence, and the social determinants of health, and gain experience in applying anthropological and related social scientific research methods to questions of global health policy. Peter Locke

ANT 501  Proseminar in Anthropology
First half of a two-semester seminar required for incoming graduate students in social-cultural anthropology. Along with ANT 502, the course introduces students to fundamentals of anthropological thought. Predominantly, the course focuses on anthropology's engagement with history and writing. Through reading key texts in the discipline, the class tries to understand how anthropologists transition from their fieldwork to theorizing, and from their ethnography to text. Serguei Oushakine

ANT 521A  Topics in Theory and Practice in Anthropology (Half-Term, 0.5 credit course) – Disciplinary Practices Part I
This two-part seminar/practicum on the ethics and politics of field research pays attention to differences and mutual boundary-work among anthropology and its disciplinary neighbors as well as to alternative ideas about “evidence”, “the field”, relations among researchers and their interlocutors (as hosts, publics, and more) and about “method” itself. 521A initiates an intensive workshop approach to “participant observation”, the distinction between interviewing and conversation, and record keeping; and the vetting of proposals for local fieldwork to be continued in 521B. Rena Lederman

ANT 521B  Topics in Theory and Practice in Anthropology (Half-Term, 0.5 credit course) – Disciplinary Practices Part II
This is the second of a two-part seminar/practicum on fieldwork, focusing on differences among anthropology and its disciplinary neighbors as well as to alternative ideas about "evidence", "the field”, relations among researchers and their interlocutors (as hosts, publics, and more) and "method" itself. During this half, participants continue field projects initiated during 521A as bases for critical discussions of scale (e.g., the scaling-up of local study), subject position, credibility claims, and the politics and ethics of reception. We continue and conclude a discussion of improvisation and collaboration as method in ethnography.  Rena Lederman

ANT 541  Topics in Social Anthropology – Intersubjectivity and Ethnography
This course brings theories of intersubjectivity to bear on interlocution-based ethnographic field research.  Intersubjectivity in modern clinical psychoanalysis focuses on how meaning develops out of relationships with persons & material or spiritual objects, including with the therapist; interlocution-based fieldwork focuses on experience-near, face-to-face forms of learning -- conscious/unconscious messages in talking & bodily communication. How might key concepts such as object relations, transference and the intersubjective third help us understand the relation of ethnographers to their interlocutors, and lead to ways of thinking and knowing? John Borneman

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

EAS 585 / ANT 585 / GSS 585  Anthropology of the Body: Theories and Practices
Why the body? This course examines the rise of the notion of the body in anthropology and other fields. Engaging with major theorists of the body, it explores ethnographic advantage of the body as an analytical category of human existence, compared to notions of subject, agency, self and so on. It introduces a balanced perspective between bodily experience and social construction of the body by various forces (religious rituals, legal regulations, scientific knowledge, political protocols, medical practices, disciplines, and popular culture), and explores different bodies and the complex relationship between the body and life. Everett Zhang