Courses Offered 2016-2017 Fall

ANT 201  Foundational Concepts in Anthropology (SA)
This course provides an introduction to core anthropological modes of inquiry into being human across space and time. Engaging key concepts of culture as lenses on contemporary phenomena, we will explore universalism and variation across societies. How do communities express difference and identity, make meaning, transmit knowledge, circulate objects and power, live, love, wish and dream? Case-studies vary, from women’s piety movements in Cairo to the role of mosquitos, germs, and machines in making lives and worlds. We will also consider anthropology’s colonial origins, examining intersections between knowledge and domination. Nomi Stone  

ANT 207  The American Family in Law and Society (SA)
The course will focus on the conflicts occasioned by changing family patterns, the role of technology in conflicts over procreation and rights of the fetus, the decision concerning same-sex marriage and its implications for polygamy, and the comparative development of laws of inheritance and incest.  Multicultural issues will also figure prominently in the course. 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 300A or ANT 300B  Ethnography, Evidence and Experience (SA)
This course is an exploration of key debates within anthropology (e.g. the nature of culture, self and society, language and being). Via an engagement with both classic and recent anthropological works, we will explore the explanatory power of ethnography to ask what an anthropological perspective can reveal about everyday life. Students will emerge from this class able to read and evaluate ethnographic evidence, apply anthropological insights to everyday life, and think critically about culture and society across diverse cultural fields. (ANT 300A is for all students other than juniors in the Anthropology major. ANT 300B is reserved for juniors in the Anthropology major, as it includes enrollment in the Junior Seminar. ANT300A and ANT300B are otherwise the same, and meet together.) Andrew Alan Johnson

ANT 314 /ENE 314 /AFS 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 in Africa. Carolyn Rouse

ANT 325 Anthropology of Religion (SA)
The first objective of this course is to examine selected topics in the anthropology of religion, focusing upon such major theoretical debates as: What is religion? Why is there any religion as opposed to no religion? How do religious truths become socially realized and sanctioned? The second objective of this course is to explore the variety of human religious experiences through innovative ethnographies. We will use anthropology as a double way of knowing religions: as observers, and as if "from within." Isabelle Clark-Decès

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 345 Vision & Mystery: Spirits, Fields, Truths (EC)
How do people apprehend signs, traces or apparitions that emanate from what we might call the spiritual, sublime or mystical realms? How does "seeing" or otherwise sensing the mysterious register within broader regimes of knowledge, power and truth? This course explores dimensions of key enigmas that transect spirituality, consciousness and fields of vision across cultural and historical settings. It foregrounds anthropological work, but it also draws upon related work in history, philosophy, literature, psychoanalysis and film. Topics include sacrifice, magic, vitality, dreams, presence, temporality, mediums, possession and transcendence. Lauren Coyle

MUS 239 /VIS 239 /ANT 354  Sound and Place (LA)
What is the relationship between sound and place? How do we experience the everyday sounds of our acoustic environment? What stories can sound tell? This course invites students to engage with Princeton's soundscape. We will explore a range of topics in sound studies--including acoustic ecology, sound maps, sonification, and historical soundscapes--as well as study, perform, and experience sound art and experimental music that engages with notions of place. Students will make field recordings and work on creative final projects (individual or collaborative) developed in consultation with the instructor. Shawn Jaeger

NES 361 /GSS 366 /ANT 361  Bioethics, Sex and Society in Muslim Communities (SA)
There is growing interest today in bioethics and how human beings form ethical subjectivities during embodied life-crisis events such as pregnancy, birth, illness and death. This course examines how various Muslim communities use their cultural and textual heritages to respond to the challenges of new technologies and biomedicine in questions related to the beginnings of life. We will consider how Muslims cultivate ethical subjectivities in increasingly global localities, and the gender politics of reproduction and fertility. Satyel Larson

NES 227 /GSS 227 /ANT 363  Approaches and Paradigms: Study of Women and Gender in the Middle East and North Africa (SA)
This course provides a broad-ranging survey of the study of women and gender in the Middle East and North Africa. Its aim is two-fold: to introduce beginners to the main concepts and themes of scholarly research in the humanities and social sciences during the last century, focusing on women and gender in regions where there are significant Muslim communities; and, to examine how human beings in a variety of historical and cultural contexts in the Middle East and North Africa experience or have experienced gender – what it means to be or become a man or a woman, and the power relations that inhere in gender as a social institution. Satyel Larson

GHP 350 /WWS 380 /ANT 380  Critical Perspectives in Global Health (SA)
Global health brings together a vast and diverse array of actors working to address urgent health issues worldwide with unprecedented financial and technological resources and informed by various agendas. This course is a critical analysis of the social, political, and economic processes related to this expanding field. As we scrutinize the value systems that underpin specific paradigms in global health, we will place current interventions in historical perspective and gauge their benefits and unintended consequences. Students are encouraged to find new and collaborative ways to understand and act in and through the field of global health. Celeste N. Alexander, Yi-Ching Ong

ANT 390A or ANT 390B 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. (ANT 390A is for all students other than seniors in the Anthropology major. ANT 390B is reserved for seniors in the Anthropology major, as it includes enrollment in the Senior Seminar. ANT 390A and B are otherwise the same, and meet together.) Elizabeth Davis

ANT 404 /NES 404  Special Topics in Regional Studies: Insfrastructures of Modernity in the Middle East (SA)
This course draws on recent theorizations of infrastructure to rethink “modernity” in the Middle East. Decades after Subaltern Studies remade social theory from the standpoint of India, we have nothing similar from the standpoint of today’s Middle East. We will see how historical ethnography of infrastructure in a region long treated as exceptional can shed light on social theory and help us think more clearly about challenges of our own day. We will read theory, ethnography, histories of the Levant, novels, and primary sources. While focused on the Middle East, the course is relevant for students of theory in any region. Julia Elyachar

ANT 417 /AFS 417  Labors of Consciousness: Culture, Capital, Moral Economy (SA)
How have the modes and meanings of labor transformed across time and place? What are the significant interplays among labor, politics, subjectivity, belief, and sociality? How do cultural dimensions inflect, refract, or otherwise help to fashion these interrelationships? This course draws upon classic and contemporary anthropological, historical, and social theoretical texts. Through exemplary case studies and broader theoretical considerations, it considers central topics that illuminate the cultural forms of labor, including ideology, hegemony, dialectics, moral economy, habitus, discipline, class, post-industrialization, and casualization. Lauren Coyle

ANT 501  Proseminar in Anthropology
First term of a year-long course on sociocultural anthropology, required of first-year graduate students in anthropology and open to graduate students from other disciplines with the permission of the instructor. The seminar focuses on innovations in anthropological theorizing through writings that have historically shaped the field or revealed its shape as a distinctive discipline. Elizabeth Davis

ANT 521 Topics in Theory and Practice of Anthropology: Disciplinary Practices
This seminar situates the ethics, politics, and practice of fieldwork in relation to epistemological differences and boundary-work among anthropology and its disciplinary neighbors, considering evidence, research spaces ("field site/s", "archives"), relations among researchers and their interlocutors, and "method" itself. Local field projects are bases for intensive workshop discussions of participant observation, the interview/conversation distinction, and record-keeping, and for critical reflection on credibility claims, scale, subject position, representation/reception, and the centrality of improvisation and collaboration in ethnography. Rena Lederman

ANT 541  Topics in Social Anthropology: New Objectivity
Following the recent explosion of interest in 'thing-power', 'thing-systems', and 'thing-theory', this course explores promises and limits of new materialism. Instead of reducing the 'vibrancy' and 'vitality' of this edition of materialism to the object-oriented metaphysics, the course tries to read the current debates about the 'agentive capacity' of the non-human along with anthropology's long-standing interest in the social life of things. Serguei Oushakine

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