Courses Offered 2015-2016 Spring

ANT 204 /ENV 208  Food and Power (SA)
Why do we drink "venti" coffee out of paper cups?  Why is sugar consumed in large quantities in some parts of the world? The mundaneness of having to eat every day hides the powerful role of markets, ecologies and culture in shaping our consumption choices. From slavery to contemporary artisan and fair trade markets, food choice and food taboos offer us a way to express our ethical and cultural identities. Using several key anthropological theories, this course explores food economics, environmental sustainability, and consumption at the nexus of desire and repression. Carolyn Rouse

ANT 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. 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 an additional  fossil lab project.) Janet Monge

ANT 213  Bodies in Motion: Sport and Physical Culture (SA)
Despite intricate training and judging rituals, sport is often cast as an uncivilized realm of unconscious bodily action in opposition to "serious" cultural pursuits of the mind. What do sporting practices reveal about cultural values? This course introduces the study of sport in comparative social and historical context. We investigate classic and contemporary anthropological approaches to leisure, games, and play. We will discuss how sport reconfigures the meanings of social categories such as race, class, and gender. This course encourages students to consider what an anthropological take on sport can provide. Perry Sherouse

ANT 232  Social Lives, Social Forces (SA)
This seminar takes up the connection between authority and obligation as a cultural question. We draw on diverse sources (anthropology, case studies, social theory, literature, public documents, art, etc.) to probe conceptual and real-life gray zones between individual and community, liberty and constraint, state and private sector. We consider formal and informal institutions (e.g., courts, legislatures, police, workplaces, families) and a range of formal and informal norms (from court rulings to common sense).  Authority and obligation emerge as complex social relations that shape and are shaped within and across cultural contexts. Carol Greenhouse

ANT 301A or ANT 301B  The Ethnographer’s Craft (SA)
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. (ANT 301A is for all students other than juniors in the Anthropology major. ANT 301B is reserved for juniors in the Anthropology major, as it includes enrollment in the Junior Seminar. ANT301A and ANT301B are otherwise the same, and meet together.) Lauren Coyle 

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 328  Urban Worlds: Cultural Approaches to the City (SA)
This class explores the city and its relationship to culture through anthropology's unique methodological lens. How do ethnographers attend at once to the experiential/symbolic dimensions of urban life and the wider political/economic processes that shape the city? We will explore the politics of urban space, including how race, gender, class and religiosity are spatially produced and contested. We will also ask how contemporary economic forces are transforming cities and redrawing urban collectivities. Throughout, the city emerges as a space of contradiction: a site of pluralism & segregation, mobilities & enclosures, utopia & dystopia. Bridget Purcell

DAN 215 /ANT 355  Introduction to Dance Across Cultures  (LA)
Bharatanatyam, butoh, hip hop, and salsa are some of the dances 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, this seminar will introduce students to dance across cultures with special attention to issues of migration, cultural appropriation, gender and sexuality, and spiritual and religious expression. Students will also learn basic elements of participant observation research. Guest artists will teach different dance forms. No prior dance experience is necessary. Judith Hamera 

ANT 356  Technologies of Communication (SA)
From the telegraph to snapchat, technologies of communication have been heralded as progress, yet also denounced as catalyzing negative social and linguistic changes. Discussions about communicative technologies reflect values of the present, and anxieties and hopes about possible futures. In this course, we query claims about interfaces among communicative practices, technologies, and social life. After a theoretical overview of mediated communication, we turn to specific technologies: the telegraph, radio, telephone, mobile phone, television, and internet. Perry Sherouse

ART 267 /LAS 267 /ANT 366 Mesoamerican Art (LA)
This course explores the visual and archaeological world of ancient Mesoamerica, from the first arrival of humans in the area until the era of Spanish invasion in the early 16th century. Major culture groups to be considered include Olmec, Maya, and Aztec. Preceptorial sections will consist of a mix of theoretically-focused discussions, debate regarding opposing interpretations in scholarship, and hands-on work with objects in the collections of the Princeton University Art Museum. Bryan Just

ART 367 /LAS 373 /ANT 379 Inca Art and Architecture (EC)
This course examines the art, architecture, and worldview of the greatest Andean civilization, the Incas. Conquered in 1532 by the Spanish, the Incas are known through archaeological and historical sources. Neither, however, can be taken at face value. The destructions of the conquest and differential preservation mean the archaeological record is incomplete. Likewise, Spanish historical sources present the Incas through European understandings, logic, and attentions. This course compares the two to reach a nuanced understanding of this ancient civilization. A spring break excursion will visit Cusco, Machu Picchu, and Lima. International travel required. Andrew Hamilton

ANT 377 The Arts of Ethnography: Theory and Technique in Anthropological Writing (SA)
How do anthropologists transform field experiences into ethnographic texts? This course explores the narrative, descriptive, and interpretive conventions that inform ethnography, with a strong focus on the practice of student writing. We will examine how research experience is transformed as it is written down, both during and after fieldwork. For ethnographers, what counts as evidence and expertise? How do they use literary techniques (voice, address, technical language), and other artistic/expressive modes? Weekly journal-writing and work-shopping are opportunities to think through your independent work in a creative, collaborative space. Bridget Purcell 

AAS 302 /SOC 303 /ANT 378 /GSS 340  Political Bodies: The Social Anatomy of Power & Difference (SA)
In this seminar 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. From clinics to prisons to borders to virtual realities, students develop a conceptual toolkit to analyze how society "gets under the skin", producing differential exposure to premature death. Ruha Benjamin

SLA 301 /ANT 382 /RES 301  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

LAS 363 /ANT 387  Medicine and Society in Contemporary Cuba (SA)
This course will approach human encounters with disease and wellness in contemporary Cuba from the point of view of medical anthropology. It will be based on the notion that understanding how Cuba achieves its impressive public heath indicators requires the study of both policies from above and practices from below. This class will be offered in Havana, as part of the Princeton in Cuba Program. For more information, see: Fluency in Spanish. Adrián López-Denis

ANT 389 /AMS 339 /AAS 333 /REL 333  Religion and Culture: Muslims in America (SA)
This course is an introduction to Muslim cultures in the United States. Each week we will draw upon texts from anthropology, sociology, history, and other fields to develop an understanding of the historical and present diversity of Muslim communities in America. The first third of the course provides a survey of Muslim communities in this country from the 17th to the 21st centuries. The second two-thirds features a thematic approach to a variety of topics: 9/11, women and gender, religious conversion, interfaith relations, youth, mosques as institutions, and Islamophobia. Aly Kassam-Remtulla

ANT 406 Theoretical Orientations in Cultural Anthropology: Conspiracy Theory and Social Theory (EC)
What does it mean to theorize in paranoid times? Social theory shares with conspiracy theory an array of analytic tools for connecting seemingly disparate cultural practices, characterizing the consciousness and agency of political subjects, and accounting structurally for the invisible workings of power. This course will examine these intersections between conspiracy theory and social theory on epistemological and ethical grounds, asking what kinds of knowledge are enabled and what kinds of politics are empowered by conspiracy theories and by their debunking, and how theorists use different kinds of evidence to substantiate their claims. Elizabeth Davis  

ENV 404 /ANT 414  Human Nature: A Multispecies Relationship  (SA)
Human life is shaped by diverse critters, technologies, and chemical ecologies. Multiple other species - like rice, bees, tulips, and intestinal flora - all make us who we are, and vice versa. Upending conventional knowledge, we will ask: Did humans domesticate cattle and cereals, or did these species change us? If the modern sciences of biology, chemistry, and cybernetics changed what it meant to be human in the 20th century, new transformations to the human condition are on the horizon with emergent findings about "jumping genes", epigenetics, and the microbiome. S. Eben Kirksey

AFS 320 /ANT 421  The Resource Curse and Development in Africa  (SA)
This course examines the relationship between natural resource wealth and development in Africa. The dominant discourse on resource wealth on the continent has largely been associated with the resource curse. The construction and reproduction of the resource curse thesis is explored, particularly against the backdrop of the recent resource boom and scramble on the continent, and the changes that have occurred in Africa's resource-rich economies. It seeks to address the following questions. Is resource endowment inimical to development in Africa? What causes the resource curse in Africa? How can the resource curse be overcome in Africa? Godwin Onuoha

ANT 432 Memory, Trauma, Accountability (SA)
We focus on how humans deal with traumatic loss through three major approaches to memory: psychoanalysis (Freud), social organization (Halbwachs), associative temporalities (Sebald). We examine genres in which the memory of loss is retained or displaced. How is a traumatic past experienced individually and collectively? We consider memory from different cultural landscapes and theoretical perspectives. A better understanding of the memory of loss, and the social forms and histories in which this memory remains active, will improve our approaches to cultural observation, documentation, analysis, and interpretation. John Borneman

ANT 453 /AFS 453  Rituals of Governing (SA)
The spiritual and the sacred hold enduring significance across many central realms of political and social life. Anthropological studies productively unsettle standard assumptions in many aspects of Western thought, which often presume the declining importance of religion and spirituality in political life. This course draws upon classic and contemporary anthropological works on a range of topics concerning cultures of governing, including ritual theory, divine rule, stranger-kings, witchcraft and magic, spirituality and embodiment, and law. Secondarily, the course engages materials from film, psychoanalysis, literature, and critical theory. Lauren Coyle

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

ANT 522A  Topics in Theory and Practice of Anthropology (Half-Term): Proposal Writing  
This six-week course explores the different elements of putting together a proposal for external funding. It is co-taught by members of the anthropology department. We will explore 1) how to formulate a question, 2) relation of question to theory, 3) relation to existing scholarship, 4) significance, 5) budget, and 6) coherence. João Biehl, John Borneman, Elizabeth Davis, Carol Greenhouse, Serguei Oushakine, Carolyn Rouse  ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

NES 525 /GSS 525 /ANT 525  Ethnography of Gender and Islam
The 21st century has witnessed the explosion of public and scholarly interest in gender in Islamic cultures. Within this context, anthropology has advanced path-breaking approaches in diverse localities from the Middle East to the United States. This course surveys theoretical and ethnographic approaches to the study of women, gender and sexuality in Islamic cultures, focusing on work written in the last decade. Satyel Larson 

EAS 549 /ANT 549  Japan Anthropology in Historical Perspective
The course concerns Japan studies in the context of theories of capitalism, personhood, democracy, gender, and modernity. The thematic focus this term will be on health and medicine as they intertwine with social and cultural processes. Topics include: cultural variability of diagnosis and bio-medical practices; how biotechnologies shape and are shaped by social relationships; the containment of medicalization by received notions of kinship, gender, and national identity; conceptions of life itself; and models of public health and the containment of harmful behavior. Reading selections include material on Japan, China, and India. Amy Borovoy

ANT 570  Interdisciplinary Research: Keywords in Anthropology Today
This seminar draws inspiration from Raymond Williams’s classic book “Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society” and explores two sets of terms: the first are concepts that anthropologists are using to interpret and interact with worlds and emergent forms of life (multispecies, becoming, ethics, moral economy, public ethnography); the second are subjects that anthropologists are studying (borders, punishment, security, environment, neoliberalism, virtual) that speak to a certain state of the world and of the social today. Each key word will be analyzed at the crossroads of ethnography and critical theory. João Biehl, Didier Fassin 

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