The Department of Anthropology prepares students for effective, knowledgeable teaching and for impact and creative research in sociocultural anthropology, enabling them to bring anthropological concepts, findings, and investigative approaches to bear both on cross-disciplinary scholarship and on public understanding and policy. The Doctor of Philosophy in Anthropology is the only degree in the graduate program. We do not offer a Master's Degree in Anthropology.
This is the second half of a yearlong seminar required for first-year graduate students in Sociocultural Anthropology. The course focuses on anthropology's engagement with critical theory, ethnography, and writing. While reading key texts in the discipline, we reflect on how anthropologists transition from their fieldwork to theorizing, and from their ethnography to text and public engagement. Throughout, we attend to the ways ethnographic subjects become alternative figures of thought, redirecting our modes of expression and restoring movement to ethical and political debates.
This seminar is a multidisciplinary study of the theory and technique of semiotic analysis of social, cultural, material, technological, affective, and ecological phenomena. The course explores pragmatic applications of semiotics (e.g., semiosis, abduction, and diagrammatic thinking) in ethnographic theorizing. The course offers toolkits for the students to explore the messiness of social, material, affective, and more-than-human lives, environments and abiotic factors, and the complex inter-actions of signs in and through society. The students learn to apply semiotics and experiment with its potential for designing their research projects.
In this course, we read classic texts in economic anthropology against recent ethnographies of markets, commons, and neoliberalism to shed light on emergent issues in anthropology of the economic. Situating econ anthro in broader debates in political economy and social theory, we ask what remains of import in earlier debates and what matters now. We cover the debates around Karl Polanyi's substantivist approach, Marxist and feminist economic anthropology, new approaches to markets after Latour, and more. Each week we read theory together with ethnography or fiction.
A practice-based introduction to ethnographic fieldwork. Students experiment with participant-observation, interviewing and conversation, taking and interpreting fieldnotes, oral and life histories, multi-modal and virtual ethnography, archival research. These methods are explored in light of ethical, political, and epistemological stakes of ethnographic research: the space of "the field," identity and identification, privacy and anonymity, regulatory ethics, collaboration, advocacy. Students design and conduct a research project while developing a critical appreciation of the possibilities and limits of ethnographic research.
How can we understand and interact with other ways of thinking? What other ideas of a world emerge when animals, humans and plants are persons among whom relations are properly social? How can these new ideas lead to creative and engaged actions in the face of the Anthropocene? Indigenous Cosmopolitics reflects on these questions by taking the concept of cosmopolitics as background for the reading of ethnographies based on the socio-cosmological perspectives of western and beyond-western peoples, with emphasis on studies of Amazonian Indigenous peoples and their perspectivist ontologies.
The course explores issues in medicine and global health with a focus on ethics. We address both ethics in the context of clinical decision-making and also the social, cultural, and economic "ethical field" of health care. Ever-expanding technological possibilities re-shape our social lives, extending them, giving greater control but taking it away. Treatments such as living donor organ transplantation, stem cell therapies, and physician-assisted suicide transform our understandings of life, death and what we expect from one another. Technologies such as glucometers bring new inequalities.
Please note that 400 level undergraduate courses on the Courses section of this website are also eligible for graduate enrollment.