Please refer to the online directory of courses for course times and classroom locations: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/
Regular Registration Dates: Monday, August 27-Friday, August 31
ANTH W4172x Written Culture 3pts. Brinkley Messick. In recent
years, critical reflection has centered on ethnographic writing by
anthropologists, but now attention is turning to what James Clifford
called “the scratching of other pens.” This seminar treats forms of
writing, and reading, as cultural and historical phenomena. In
turn-of-the century anthropology, writing was considered the
evolutionary “hallmark” of civilization, and a later, comparative
approach claimed that the advent of writing “transformed human
consciousness.” We will adapt approaches from literary criticism and
anthropological linguistics for the ethnographic and archival study of
other sexualities. We will examine varying relations with the spoken or
recited word, diverse textual communities, and transformations of
written form associate with print and with cyberspace.
ANTH G4201x Principles and Applications of Social and Cultural Anthropology 3 pts. Ellen Marakowitz. Required for students in Anthropology Department's master degree program and for students in the graduate programs of other departments and professional schools desiring an introduction in this field. Prerequisite: graduate standing. Introductory survey of major concepts and areas of research in social and cultural anthropology. Emphasis is on both the field as it is currently constituted and its relationship to other scholarly and professional disciplines.
ANTH G4390x Borders and Boundaries 3 pts. Claudio Lomnitz. This graduate seminar focuses on the relationship between international borders and social boundaries within national societies. It has as its premise a double paradox of contemporary life: the hardening of ethnic and racial boundaries at a time when goods and information flow across national borders quite freely; and the racialization of social relations at a time when racial theories lack scientific prestige, and racial categories have become conspicuously unstable. The seminar explores anthropological, historical, political and aesthetic dimensions of the relationship between national borders and social boundaries in a comparative context, and develops a conceptual foundation for analysis of the relationship between borders and boundaries. Enrollment limit is 15.
ANTH G6038x Place, Space, Nature 3 pts. Paige West. This class examines the social production of space, place, and nature.
Three discursive and material fields that must be understood if we are to
practice a conceptually rigorous and politically engaged contemporary
anthropology. In the course we will examine how these fields have recently
been studied, described, conceptualized, and theorized. We will explore
these ideas through the reading of works by anthropologists, historians, and
geographers, looking at how the changing nature of places affects both the
discipline of anthropology and the ways in which anthropologists conduct
research in places. Enrollment limit s 15.
ANTH G6100x Semiotic Anthropology I 3 pts. E.V. Daniel. Semiotic is the study of the activity of signs. What is the relationship between reality and representation? In what different ways can this relationship be theorized? What are the consequences of holding that reality, including the reality of culture, is a system of representations or of signs? These questions will be explored with reference to several recent anthropological texts as well as the writings of some key "non-anthropological" thinkers drawn from the following list: C.S. Peirce, Ferdinand de Saussure, Mikhail Bakhtin, Roland Barthes, A.J. Greimas, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Umberto Eco, and Julia Kristeva.
ANTH G6235x The Third World: After Sovereignty? 3 pts. David Scott. It is increasingly being asserted today that the concept of sovereignty no longer constitutes a plausible way of organizing our thinking about power and legitimacy in contemporary global politics. The state, so it is sometimes said, as the pre-eminent source and adjudicator of political identity within territorially bounded nation-states a well as between sovereign states, is being fundamentally challenged. What does this mean for our understanding of the Third World which came into being precisely as part of the project of the universalization of sovereignty? What are the new conceptual and political conditions in which the problem of sovereignty arises in - and for- the Third World? Through a variety of literature this course engages these questions.
ANTH G6601x Questions in Anthropological Theory I: Texts 3 pts. Elizabeth Povinelli. Presents students with critical theories of society, paying particular attention to classic continental social theory of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We will trace a trajectory through important French and German writings essential for any understanding of the modern discipline of anthropology: from Saussure through Durkheim and Mauss, Marx, Weber, and on to the structuralist elaboration of these theoretical perspectives in Claude Lévi-Strauss, always bearing in mind the relationship of these theories to contemporary anthropology. We come last to Foucault and affiliated theorists as successors both to French structuralism and to German social theory and its concerns with modernity, rationality, and power. Throughout the readings, we will give special care to questions of signification as they inform anthropological inquiry, and we will be alert to the historical contexts that situate the discipline of anthropology today. (ONLY OPEN TO 1ST YR PHD STUDENTS IN ANTHROPOLOGY)
ANTH G6621x Rotten Sun 3 pts. Michael Taussig. "The sun gives without receiving." With global warming, this pronouncement by Georges Bataille in The Accursed Share acquires an ironic twist. This seminar explores the philosophical and sensuous role of the sun: in Judge Schreber's Memoirs of My Mental Illness; in Delueze and Guattari, Anti Oedipus; in Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra; and in Bataille's essays on the sun in Documents and The Accursed Share, vol 1.
ANHS G8014x Advanced Studies In South Asian History, Culture, and Society 3 pts. Partha Chatterjee and Nicholas Dirks. Prerequisites: Previous graduate course on South Asia or background in South Asian studies. This course is intended to be an advanced graduate seminar on late medieval and modern South Asia (i.e., from roughly 1600 to the present). Students will be expected either to have taken a previous graduate course on South Asia or to have extensive background in South Asian studies. The content of the course will change from year to year depending on the particular interests of the students and the professor. Students will be expected to prepare a paper based on primary research, and will make a presentation on the issues involved in their research at some point during the second half of the term.
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ANTH W4065x Archaeology of Idols 3 pts. Severin Fowles. Explores 40,000 years of the human creation of, entanglement with, enchantment by, and violence toward idols. Case studies roam from the Paleolithic to Petra and from the Hopi to the Taliban, all the while placing the sculpted, painted, or otherwise constructed devotional objects of the past into dialogue with contemporary social theory on the problem of representation, iconoclash, fetishism and the sacred.
ANTH G4127x Archaeologies of Contemporary Conflict 3 pts. Zoe Crossland. Archaeological traces of warfare and conflict demand a sophisticated theoretical engagement, whether the context is recent mass graves or ancient battlefields. This class brings the anthropological literature on violence, ritual, and religion together with archaeological evidence of past violence, to think through archaeological involvement in present day conflicts . Instructor's Permission required.
ANTH G4470x Humans and Other Animals: Critical Perspectives on Human-animal Relations 3 pts. Brian Boyd. In a number of academic disciplines the concern with relationships between humans and non-humans has recently resulted in a radical revision of the ways in which we think people and animals construct their social worlds. This course addresses how humans and animals enter into, and interact within, each other's worlds. It draws upon perspectives from anthropology, geography, (political) philosophy, ethics, literary theory, and the sciences, placing current debates within the context of the deep history of human-animal relations. Topics to be discussed include "wildness", domestication, classification, animal rights, biotechnology, "nature/culture", food/cooking, fabulous/mythical animals, the portrayal of animals in popular culture, and human-animal sexualities.
ANTH G6352x Museum Anthropology: History and Theory 3 pts. Nan Rothschild. This course will consider museums as reflectors of social priorities which store important objects and display them in ways that present significant cultural messages. Students visit several New York museums to learn how a museum functions.
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Courses in Biological/Physical Anthropology not offered fall term 2012.
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Graduate Research Courses
Fall and Spring Terms
ANTH G9101. Research in Social and Cultural Anthropology 3-9 pts. Prerequisite: Instructor's permission. Individual research and tutorial in social and cultural anthropology for advanced graduate students.
ANTH G9102. Research in Archaeology 3-9 pts. Prerequisite: Instructor's permission. Individual research and tutorial in archaeology for advanced graduate students.
ANTH G9103. Research in Physical Anthropology 3-9 pts. R. Holloway. Prerequisite: Instructor's permission. Individual research and tutorial in physical anthropology for advanced graduate students.
ANTH G9105. Research in Special Fields 3-9 pts. Prerequisite: Instructor's permission. Individual research in all divisions of anthropology and in allied fields for advanced graduate students
ANTH G9112. Research in Archaeological Method and Theory 3-9 pts.Prerequisite: Instructor's permission. Individual research and tutorial in archaeological method and theory for advanced graduate students.
ANTH G9999x and y Weekly Seminar All anthropology graduate students are required to attend. Reports of ongoing
research are presented by staff members, students, and special guests.
Of Related Interest
Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology
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