Courses Offered 2016-2017 Spring

ANT 206A /AFS 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 /AFS 206B  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 for lectures and precepts; additionally, ANT 206B requires completion of a fossil lab project and offers EEB credit.) 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 228 /ENV 228 /URB 228 Urban Ecologies (SA)
Our planet is now primarily urban—a fact that spurs epochal thinking, provokes specific anxieties, and motivates new political projects and identities. In this introductory course, we will think in historically situated, culturally specific terms about issues concerning urbanism and the environment: planning and sustainability; capitalism and globalization; disasters and responses; resources and their distribution. Focusing on social experience, we will ask how ecological issues are shaped by legacies of inequality and injustice; shifting dynamics of power and governance; and culturally specific ideas about nature, culture, and the human. Bridget Purcell

ART 103 /LAS 215 /ANT 233 Arts of Americas: The First 5,000 Years (EC)
You live in the Americas: do you know about the prolific cultures who lived here before the European conquests? Are you curious about art, but wish you had a more hands-on understanding instead of seeing it behind glass? Do you wonder how a Eurocentric academic discipline might construct knowledge differently if considered from a non-European point of view? This course will provide both an introduction to art history through the ancient Americas, and to ancient American cultures, thoughts, and beliefs through their arts. Precept will meet in the study room of the Art Museum, where we’ll study up close its world-class Americas collection. Andrew Hamilton

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 Anthropology juniors, as it includes enrollment in the Anthropology junior seminar. ANT 301A and B are otherwise the same, and meet together.) Lauren Coyle

ANT 304 Political Anthropology (SA)
This seminar explores major themes in the field of political anthropology, including power, authority, and domination; statecraft and governance; identity and resistance; neoliberalism and empire; social movements and collective action. We will learn to see the political in unexpected places, as we examine both formal institutions and the politics of the everyday. Throughout, we will consider how people-centered research can complicate and enrich our understanding of global processes and macro-level transformations. Bridget Purcell

ANT 313 /CWR 213  The Anthropology of Awe and Terror (EC)
This course explores encounters with awe and terror via the “sublime” experience. How are these inner states generated and represented in a variety of cultural, political, emotive and artistic contexts? From trembling at a mountain, to being struck mute by the threat of nuclear warfare or the reality of climate change, how are our relationships to the phenomena of the world un/made by our experiences of the unspeakable? Our inquiries include: harm and the 21st century warscape; encounters with beauty and violence; wonder as a means of decentering ourselves; and the perils of “stuplimity,” as astonishment gives way to boredom then apathy. Nomi Stone

ANT 332 Power and Politics in Southeast Asia (HA) 
Southeast Asia is a region often overlooked despite being home to the world’s largest Muslim country, several of the most dynamic economies, and a dizzying array of languages, histories, cultures, religions. How did “Southeast Asia” develop as an idea? Scholarly literature introduces the history and geography of the region and its relationship with its neighbors (and colonial forces). What does power mean at this place and point in time? Present-day conflicts examined include: Thai military coups d’état done “for democracy,” legacies of violence in Indonesia and Cambodia, urban landscapes and control, and radically shifting ways of seeing sex and gender. Andrew A. Johnson  

ANT 347 Anthropology of Media (LA) 
This course introduces the media as an arena for anthropology by exploring how media texts and technologies are embedded in social forces and cultural values. We will reveal the assumptions about reality that frame representations of cultural difference and social inequality in documentary films, track the global circulation of mass media, and examine how indigenous societies have taken up media-making as a means of cultural production and politics. By studying media from anthropology’s comparative and ethnographic perspectives, students will learn to identify and describe the diverse and potent relationships between media and social life. Jeffrey Himpele

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 360 Ethics in Context: Uses and Abuses of Deception and Disclosure (EM)
Stage magic delights us with expert illusions; biomedicine and other fields use deception as a research tool (e.g., placeboes); and everyday politeness may obscure painful truths. With deception and disclosure as springboards, this course explores the contextual complexity of personal and professional ethical judgment, with special but not exclusive attention to knowledge circulation. Topics include: social fictions in daily life across cultures; the tangled histories of science and stage magic; ethically controversial cases from popular culture ("reality" TV, journalism), the arts (fictive memoirs), academia (sharing/plagiarizing), and more. Rena Lederman

COM 236 /SLA 236 /HLS 236 /ANT 383 Traditions, Tales, and Tunes: Slavic and East European Folklore (LA)  
This course explores oral traditions and oral literary genres (in English translation) of the Slavic and East European world, both past and present, including traditions that draw from the Christian, Muslim, and Jewish East European communities. Topics include traditional rituals (life-cycle and seasonal) and folklore associated with them, sung and spoken oral traditional narrative: poetry (epic and ballad) and prose (folktale and legend), and contemporary forms of traditional and popular culture. Discussion and analysis will focus on the role and meaning of Slavic and East European oral traditions as forms of expressive culture. Margaret Beissinger

GHP 300 /ANT 386/ GSS 347 Gender and Illness Experience in the United States Today (SA)
This course explores how gender is integral to constructions of health and illness. How do techniques of knowledge production in law, biomedicine, and public health rely on and invent ideas about gender difference? How is gender embodied in individual and collective experiences of suffering and affliction? How are such bodily experiences cross-cut by other conditions of social life, such as, culture, race, class, ethnicity, nationality and migration? The course combines readings in anthropology, literature, women’s and gender studies, and critical theory to explore these questions in the contemporary context of the United States. Amy B. Krauss

ANT 403 /AAS 403 /GHP 403 Race and Medicine (EM)
Why do certain populations have longer life expectancies? Is it behavior, genes, structural inequalities? And why should the government care? This course unpacks taken-for-granted concepts like race, evidence-based medicine, and even the public health focus on equalizing life expectancies. From questions of racism in the clinic to citizenship and the Affordable Care Act, Race and Medicine takes students on a journey of rethinking what constitutes social justice in health care. Carolyn Rouse

ANT 416/ ENV 416 Anthropologies of Water (SA)  
Water is essential to life. How humans interact with water is a key part of us biologically, geographically, and socially (irrigation systems, transportation, property rights, religion, metaphor, or all of the above). But water defies our attempts to control it.  It slips through cracks in our infrastructure, flows across our borders and comes in too great (floods, storms) or too small (droughts, desertification) quantities. Looking at humanity via water allows us to address questions of ecology, rights, culture and new anthropological approaches to materialism and the implications of being biological beings in a world shared with other beings. Andrew A. Johnson

SLA 420 /ANT 420 /COM 424 / RES 420 Communist Modernity: The Politics and Culture of Soviet Utopia (EM)
Communism is long gone but its legacy continues to reverberate. And not only because of Cuba, China or North Korea. Inspired by utopian ideas of equality and universal brotherhood, communism was originally conceived as an ideological, socio-political, economic and cultural alternative to capitalism’s crises. The attempt to build a new utopian world was costly and brutal: equality was quickly transformed into uniformity; brotherhood evolved into the Big Brother. The course provides an in-depth review of these contradictions between utopian motivations and oppressive practices in the Soviet Union. Serguei Oushakine

ANT 502 Proseminar in Anthropology
Second term of a year long course on sociocultural anthropology, required for first-year graduate students in anthropology, and open to graduate students in other disciplines with the permission of the instructor. The seminar focuses on debates generated and sustained by contemporary anthropology’s engagements with ethnographic fieldwork and writing. Julia Elyachar

ANT 522A Topics in Theory and Practice of Anthropology (Half-Term, 0.5 credit course): Critical Debates in Evolution and Forensics - COURSE CANCELED
This six-week seminar for graduate students and senior anthropology concentrators exposes students to major theories in biological anthropology in order to challenge popular misperceptions about what makes us human. Weekly discussions focus on evolution, race, population, language, genetics, and diet. Students 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. C. Rouse, J. Monge, E. Davis

ANT 522B Topics in Theory and Practice of Anthropology (Half-Term, 0.5 credit course): Political and Moral Anthropology: On Punishment
Punishment has long been the object of a normative approach by religion, law and philosophy. Latecomers, the social sciences have challenged this approach by confronting it with empirical facts and critical theories. From Durkheim and Malinowski to today’s students of the justice system, the police and the prison, historians, sociologists and anthropologists have questioned the legal canon with respect to the definition, justification, and distribution of punishment. The course is the occasion for revisiting this literature so as to better understand and address the issues related to the contemporary punitive moment. Didier Fassin

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

ANT 570  Interdisciplinary Research: Reading Ethnography Again
The seminar looks beyond ethnography as method of cultural description and genre of writing. We do not linger on the debates on ethnographic writing since the 80s. We assess the literary techniques through which various ethnographies support their ways of knowing and recounting, but our goal is to think anthropologically about the distinctive social formations and ways of knowing they describe. We are interested less in the ways ethnographers imagine (construct or represent) the "field" than in putting the different forms of social organization and cultural knowledge they write about back on the theoretical agenda of our discipline. Isabelle Clark-Deces