Courses Offered 2014-2015 Spring

ANT 201  Foundational Concepts in Anthropology (SA)
An introduction to key anthropological concepts and their relevance to the comparative study of societies. Themes include the cultural embeddedness of gender and sexuality, the organization of social life and religion, the importance of language and symbols, evolution and human nature, economics and global capitalism, and the representation of cultural differences in relation to power and authority. The course considers the application of fundamental anthropological concepts in inquiry on contemporary social issues, such as the environment and technology. Jeffrey Himpele

206A  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. Alan Mann, Janet Monge

ANT 206B /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. (ANT 206B meets with ANT 206A but ANT 206B requires completion of a fossil lab project.) Alan Mann, Janet Monge

ANT 209 /GSS 209  Making Gender: Bodies, Meanings, Voices (SA)
How do gendered and sexual identities, relationships, and meanings differ and how are they similar across cultural and historical contexts? This course illustrates the uses of fieldwork and other anthropological methods in answering questions about the universality or particularity of gendered experience. We draw on theories about human nature, cultural meaning, and linguistic and social structures, power, and agency to understand representations of maleness, femaleness, and other sexed/gendered distinctions, to explore how such representations are made and remade, and to relate them to other kinds of social difference and inequality. Rena Lederman

ANT 301A or ANT 301B  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. (ANT 301A is for all students other than juniors in the Anthropology major. ANT 301B is reserved for Anthropology juniors, as it includes enrollment in the Anthropology junior seminar. ANT 301A and B are otherwise the same, and meet together.) Carolyn Rouse

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: diagnosis and care of 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 335  Medical Anthropology (EM)
Medical anthropology examines affliction and therapeutics in a cross-cultural perspective. It draws from multiple theoretical approaches to understand the interaction of biology, social environment, and medicine. We will compare non-medical models of disease, causality and healing with biomedical ones, and explore how social and technological inequalities shape outcomes. Students will learn to interpret individual illness narratives as well as to assess differences in patterns of disease that afflict large populations in both affluent and resource-poor contexts. The course draws from ethnography, medical journals, media reports and films. João Biehl

DAN 215 /ANT 355  Introduction to Dance Across Cultures  (LA)
Bharata Natyam, Butoh, Hip Hop, and Salsa are some of the movement practices that will have us travel from temples and courtyards to clubs, streets, and stages around the world. Through studio sessions, readings and viewings, field research, and discussions of live and filmed performances, this course will introduce students to dance across cultures and historical periods while questioning categories such as classical, traditional, ethnic, folk, and world dance. The course includes sessions solely devoted to studio practice. Guest artists will teach different dance forms. No prior experience is necessary. Judith Hamera

ANT 362  Foodways: Biocultural Aspects of Human Diet (SA)
Foodways is a biocultural exploration of human food consumption. Readings and discussions will focus on both the biological and socio-cultural aspects of what humans eat, and the ways human cultures conceptualize food and its consumption. Topics include the nutritional needs of humans, the differences between diet and cuisine, which foods taste good and why some foods taste disgusting, the evolution of human diet, how cultures define what is and what is not food, the symbolism associated with various kinds of food, and how cultures distinguish foods that are suitable for some members of the society and not others. Alan Mann

ANT 364 /ENV 364 The Politics of Nature (SA)
In this course we will consider the social and political life of nature from an anthropological perspective. How are our ideas about nature historically and culturally produced? What is the relationship between resource control and the consolidation of power? From the work of conservation NGOs (nonprofit organizations) to laboratory-produced GMOs (genetically modified organisms), we will explore how notions of pristine wilderness, polluting people, and ethical business are produced and contested. Course themes range from the lived effects of extractive industries to nature as both a commodity and the grounds for claiming political rights. Susan Ellison

ART 365 /LAS 370 /ANT 365  Olmec Art (LA)
This course surveys Olmec and related material culture spanning roughly 2000-500 B.C., including architecture and monumental sculpture, ceramic vessels and figurines, and exquisite small-scale sculpture in jade and other precious materials. Of central theoretical importance is the question of how we understand and interpret art from a distant past, especially without the aid of contemporaneous written records. We will focus on original works of art, including works in the Princeton University Art Museum and in regional collections. Issues of authenticity, quality, and provenance related to these works will also be considered. Bryan R. Just

ANT 376  Charity, Philanthropy & Development (SA) 
This course explores charity & philanthropy in global capitalism: religious charity reducing poverty and improving social/health outcomes locally & globally; religious philanthropy relating to capitalism; classic problems in the anthropology of religion, the person, the economy & the gift. While concentrating on Western charitable organizations, private foundations and small & large businesses in developing societies, we will also examine processes that give rise to forms of corporate philanthropy in the global South, particularly India. This will lead us to important questions about the nature and future of development & global capitalism. Isabelle Clark-Decès

SLA 301 /ANT 382  Russian Folklore (LA)
Explores Russian oral traditions and oral literary genres in English translation: Traditional life-cycle and seasonal rituals and songs associated with them; superstitions, charms, oral narrative poetry (byliny) and prose (szazki): chastushki, jokes; present-day popular culture; and relationships between folklore and literature. Focus on the role and meaning of Russian folklore as expressive culture and how it informs contemporary society. Margaret Beissinger

REL 301 /NES 301 /GSS 314 /ANT 387 (SA)  
This seminar introduces students to the varieties of ways in which Muslim women of different generations, social classes, educational background, political orientation and regions inhabit and embody their Muslim identities. Our focus will be on Muslim women in the modern Middle East. Readings are drawn from the fields of history, religious studies, and anthropology. Readings also include novels and memoirs in translation. Films are an integral part of the course. Nadia Guessous

LAS 339 /POR 339 /ANT 388  Brazil: Mestizo Histories, Visions of the Present
This course explores the imagination of Brazil. How has this vast country and its diverse people been represented in history, social sciences, literature and the arts? How have dominant representations come to matter socially and politically, and which counter-ideas followed suit? Drawing from classic and contemporary texts and imagery, this course considers Brazilian identity-making processes at the interface of myth, history and the present. We will address issues such as slavery and racism, ethnic diversity, inequality and social rights, new media and consumption, and the performance of the public and the private in a country in flux. Pedro Meira Monteiro, Lilia K. Moritz Schwarcz

ANT 407  Ethnography of Law (SA)
Anthropology has a long tradition of research on law, rules and norms as social and cultural practices. Since ethnographic inquiry moves easily across jurisdictions and other sorts of domains, it is well adapted to the polycentric, “hybrid” (state/non-state) and asymmetrical power relations that pervade the social fields of law today. We cover major research traditions and their critical legacies through explorations of contemporary legal situations: human rights claims, migration, social security, policing, criminalization, the judicialization of politics, finance, new forms of precarity and the regulation of personal life. Carol Greenhouse

ANT 429 /LAS 430  Indigeneity (SA)
Indigenous peoples have been both pathologized and endowed with mystical abilities, cast in timeless Noble Savage fantasies, and mourned as teetering on the brink of extinction. These representational extremes have political consequences, and fail to do justice to the lived experience of indigenous peoples, who are actively crafting futures for themselves and their communities amid real political, economic, and environmental challenges. This course examines the politics, theories, and conditions of indigeneity from an anthropological perspective, covering issues ranging from settler colonialism and sovereignty to environmental movements. Susan Ellison

GHP 405 /ANT 481  Energy and Health: From Exhausted Bodies to Energy Crises  (SA)
In this course we will examine how the production and consumption of energy are linked to questions of health. We will review how public health scholars and academics from other disciplines have thought about energy. We will also examine what energy sustainability might mean in the face of repeated infrastructural failure and the concurrent loss of life. Finally, we will look to the past and present of nuclear energy as a source of hope and a looming threat. Bharat Venkat

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. It 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. John Borneman

ANT 522A  Topics in Theory and Practice of Anthropology (Half-Term, 0.5 credit course): Critical Debates in Evolution and Forensics
This six-week graduate seminar exposes students to major theories in biological anthropology in order to challenge popular misperceptions about what makes us human. Weekly discussions will focus on evolution, race, population, language, genetics, and diet. Students will also learn how physical anthropologists use evidence by studying the politics around the Philadelphia Move forensic investigation. Finally, this seminar focuses on post-genomic debates about race, epigenetics, and contemporary behavioral studies inside and outside the discipline. Alan Mann, Janet Monge, Carolyn Rouse

ANT 522B  Topics in Theory and Practice of Anthropology (Half-Term, 0.5 credit course): Evidential Regimes in Development Theory - COURSE CANCELED
This six-week graduate seminar questions the evidence used to make claims about how to make the world a better place. In particular this course weighs the anthropological evidence about culture and experience against the claims made by development experts about social progress. Do states need experts to manage development? Or are humans innately capable of effectively managing their own destinies without expert knowledge? Discussions will also focus on the role of power and authority in shaping people’s expectations for the future. Carolyn Rouse

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

ANT 570  Interdisciplinary Research: Anthropology of Ethics
This seminar concerns the ethics of knowledge production. As a grounding, we scrutinize politically-charged ethics talk and practice in US anthropology. The potential of an anthropology of ethics (that is, of treating “ethics” as an ethnographic object) is developed through comparisons between ethics talk and practice in anthropology, sociology, psychology, and history, all of whose ethical controversies do boundary work (constitute disciplinary knowledges and communities as moral orders) and are implicated in extra-academic public discourses of various kinds. Participants are also welcome to develop that potential in other ways. Rena Lederman