Tuesday, January 8-Friday, January 11 (CC, GS & GSAS)
ANTH V1002y The Interpretation of Culture 3 pts. Paige West. The anthropological approach to the study of culture and human society. Case studies from ethnography are used in exploring the universality of cultural categories (social organization, economy, law, belief system, art, etc.) and the range of variation among human societies.
ANTH V1130y Africa and the Anthropologist 3 pts. Hlonipha Mokoena. Susan Sontag famously wrote that: "Most serious thought in our time struggles with the feeling of homelessness". This course examines some of the classic texts that have been written about Africa as a place of "homelessness" or the place in which to search for "the self in others". The course is in two parts - the first part consists of theoretical readings on the history, uses, and abuses of anthropology as a discipline. The second part consists of texts written by African anthropologists. Rather than focus on concepts like kinship, marriage, the gift, etc. this course attempts to provide an intellectual history of the discipline and its relationship to Africa. The "kinship" links that are examined are therefore between ideas, authors, locales, and the particular space of southern Africa as a site of ethnographic and anthropological imaginings. Enrollment limit is 94.
ANTH V1200y Sexuality 3 pts. Richard Parker. This course offers a broad overview of the social, cultural, political
and economic dimensions of sexuality. It focuses on the rapid
transformations that are taking place globally in the early twenty-first
century, and on the impact that these transformations have had on
sexuality. The relationships between men, women and children are
changing quickly, as are traditional family structures and gender norms.
What were once viewed as private matters have become public, and an
array of new social movements (transgender, intersex, sex worker, people
living with HIV) have come into the open. Sexuality has become a focus
for public debate and political action in important new ways that will
be examined in detail in this course.
ANTH V2005y The Ethnographic Imagination 3 pts. Lila Abu-Lughod. Introduction to the theory and practice of ethnography the intensive study of peoples lives as shaped by social relations, cultural images, and historical forces. Considers through critical reading of various kinds of texts (classic ethnographies, histories, journalism, novels, films) the ways in which understanding, interpreting, and representing the lived words of people at home or abroad, in one place or transnationally, in the past or the present can be accomplished. Discussion Section Required.
ANTH V2009y Culture through Film and Media 3 pts. Keith Sanborn. This course will examine the intersections of film and anthropology. We will focus on the use of film within anthropology and turn the telescope around to propose a fragmentary anthropology of film. We will query histories and theories of film as they overlap with various understandings of anthropology, interrogating such historically problematic notions as "primitive" and "classic," "document" and "narrative." We will examine ethnographic and documentary films as they echo and collide with films seemingly outside the limits of their domains, emphasizing close analysis and detailed comparisons of our objects both in film and in language.
ANTH V2139y Magic Witchcraft and Modernity 3 pts. David Kim. This class investigates magic and witchcraft, in addition to spirit mediums and ghosts in the shadow of technology, industry, and rational science. Beginning with the simple and open-ended definition of magic as a means to control and make sense of events that cannot be explained, the course is a journey through uncanny convergences and apparitional events that are at once sensual, yet ghostly. Course material ranges from baseball players who employ magical practices to deal with mathematical uncertainties of the game, to more challenging case studies on witchcraft, spirit possession, shamanism, and other forms of magic as healing. Alongside contemporary readings on the topic, students will also read classic anthropological texts on magic and witchcraft Enrollment limit is 152.
ANTH V2400y Culture and Finance 3 pts. Sarah Muir. This class will construct a dual perspective on the intersection between culture and finance: On the one hand, we will be concerned with finance as a culturally constituted social field; on the other, we will examine the far-reaching sociocultural consequences of financial practices. Students will write four short papers, each corresponding to one of the four thematic sections of the class-Money and Exchange; Debt, Credit, and Value; The Production and Productivity of Risk; and Cultures of Crisis.
ANTH V3035y Religion in Chinese Society 3 pts. Myron Cohen. Chinese popular religion and ritual during the late traditional period and in modern times. Popular beliefs and practices concerning the cosmos, the gods, and the ancestors; the role in popular religion of Buddhism, Taoism, and the Imperial State Cult; popular religion, social change and the modern assault on "superstition."
ANTH V3041y Anthropological Theory II 3 pts. Stephen Scott. The second of a two semester sequence intended to introduce departmental majors to key readings in social theory that have been constitutive of the rise and contemporary practice of modern anthropology. The goal is to understand historical and current intellectual debates within the discipline. To be taken in conjunction with ANTH 3040, preferably in sequence. This course replaces ANTH V 3041 - Theories of Culture: Past and Present. Required of all Barnard Anthropology majors; Limited to 40, open to other students with instructor's permission only.
ANTH V3821y Native America (formerly V3090) 4 pts. Audra Simpson. This is an undergraduate seminar that takes up primary and secondary sources and reflections to a) provide students with an historical overview of Native American issues and representational practices b) provide students with an understanding of the ways in which land expropriation and concomitant military and legal struggle have formed the core of Native-State relations and are themselves central to American and Native American history and culture c) provide students with an understanding of Native representational practices, political subjectivity and aspiration. Enrollment limit is 40. This course is open to advanced undergraduates.
ANTH V3822y Media, Aesthetics, Politics 4 pts. Margaret McLagan. Politics revolves around what can be seen, felt, sensed. Political acts are
encoded in medial and aesthetic forms-bodies protesting in the street, punch
holes on a card, images on a television newscast, tweets about events
unfolding in real time-by which the political becomes manifest in the world.
How do these forms gain their force? What role do they play in shaping people
as subjects and defining the terms of political possibility? How do they
reinscribe particular relations of power as issues of political concern and
concrete transformation? This course will explore these questions as part of
our effort to trace the connections between media, aesthetics, and politics. Enrollment limit is 25 with permission from instructor. Priority given to anthropology majors, juniors and seniors.
ANTH V3829y Absent Bodies 4 pts. Lesley Sharp. Across a range of cultural and historic contexts one encounters traces of bodies—and persons—rendered absent, invisible, or erased. Knowledge of the ghostly presence nevertheless prevails, revealing an inextricable relationship between presence and absence. This course addresses the theme of absent bodies in such contexts as war and other memorials, clinical practices, and industrialization, with interdisciplinary readings drawn from anthropology, war and labor histories, and dystopic science fiction. Enrollment is 15, instructor’s permission required.
ANTH V3876y Chinese Science and Medicine in East Asia and Beyod 4 pts. Junjie Chen. This course examines the history and human impact of
Chinese science and medicine in broad East Asian and transnational
contexts. Using a socio-cultural
approach, we will examine social, cultural, and political milieus within which
various forms of science and medicine were practiced and understood across
Chinese history and beyond the stereotypical “Chinese” boundary.
ANTH V3887y The Anthropology of Palestine 4 pts. Mayssoun Succarie. This course examines the relationship between different forms of knowledge about Palestinians and the political and social history of the region. It explores the complex interplay of state, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and class at both local and global levels in constructing what Palestine is and who Palestinians are. The course takes up diverse areas, from graphic novels to archaeological sites, from news reporting to hiking trails, to study how Palestine is created and recreated. Students will gain a familiarity with anthropological concepts and methodological approaches to Palestine. They will become familiar with aspects of the social organization, historical developments and political events that have shaped the region over the last century. The course is also intended to develop students' skills in written and oral communication, analysis, ethnographic observation, and critical thinking.
ANTH V3892y (formerly Anth V2029) Contemporary Central Asia 4 pts. Zhanara Naruzbayeva. This course
investigates contemporary Central Asia as a specific context of
post-socialist and postcolonial transition to newly independent statehood in
the aftermath of global Cold War politics. Drawing on cultural artifacts and
scholarly analyses, this course introduces students to Central Asian
politics, economy, society, and culture from two distinct viewpoints. In the
first half of the course, we will survey the processes related to
macro-political and economic structure such as democratization, market
reforms, and nation-building. The second part of the course addresses the
everyday life of communities, families, and individual members of Central
Asian societies. Besides scholarly accounts of Central Asia, course materials
include films, artworks, and internet discussions forums.
Enrollment limit is 30. First-come, first-served basis.
ANTH V3894y African Futures 4 pts. Brian Goldstone. Although polemical and demonizing visions of Africa continue to proliferate within various quarters of public discourse, scholarly characterizations are more agnostic, tending to cycle between the fatalistic and upbeat. "Africa," it seems, has become a montage of competing destinies: alongside accounts of unrelenting debt and extreme precarity, war machines and disposable populations, occult imaginaries and eviscerated states, we are given vibrant sketches of a continent to come, of novel styles of life and habits of self-creation. This course explores the contours of Africa's variegated present through engagement with its emergent social and cultural forms: the refiguring of the city through the informal and the informational, state pullback and a privatized commons, development projects and humanitarian interventions, the intoxicating efflorescence of miracles and so many prosperity gospels, new techniques of law and criminality, experimental forms of violence and warfare, newly public - and vigorously ostracized - modes of intimacy and desire. Engaging these issues from a cross-disciplinary perspective, with materials spanning the ethnographic and historical to the literary and philosophical, this course will serve as a critical introduction to the debates, concepts, and orientations through which African futures are being produced and apprehended.
ANTH V3914y Indigeneity in the Andes 4 pts. Stephen Scott. While historically important, indigenous identity or indigeneity has become an increasingly powerful idiom for reimagining collective action and remaking sociopolitical demands in the Andes. Many scholars, activists, and politicians go so far as to speak of a "return of the ayllu," referring to the traditional unit of social, political and economic organization among highland Aymara and Quechua peoples. With good reason, they point to recent social mobilizations (like the "gas war" in the "indigenous city" of El Alto, Bolivia) and a sea-change in national politics (the ascendancy of Evo Morales and Ollanta Humala to the presidency in Bolivian and Peru, both of whom claim indigenous affiliations, Aymara and Quechua, respectively) as evidence of the crucial role indigeneity now plays, as a structure for making sociopolitical demands, in Andean societies. Through a range of historical and ethnographic readings, this course will explore the past and present of "claiming indigeneity" in the Andes. Special emphasis will be placed upon the Quechua and Aymara peoples of what is now highland Peru and Bolivia, seeing how indigenous cultural practices and understandings of indigeneity emerged and changed, from the Spanish Conquest to the colonial period to the modernization and multiculturalist projects of the nation-state.
ANTH V3928y Religious Mediation 4 pts. Brian Larkin. Reading theories of media and of religion we will examine how transformations in media technology shift the ways in which religion is encoded into semiotic forms, how these forms are realized in performative contexts and how these affect the constitution of religious subjects and religious authority. Topics include word, print, image, and sound in relation to Islam, Pentecostalism, Buddhism and animist religions.
Enrollment limit is 16 and instructor's permission required.
ANTH V3960y The Culture of Public Art and Display In New York City 4 pts. Alexander Alland. Field course and seminar considering the aesthetic, political, and sociocultural aspects of selected city museums, public spaces, and window displays. Prerequisites: Students must sign-up in the Anthropology Department prior to registering for this course. Enrollment limit to 16.
ANTH V3977y Trauma 4 pts. Karen Seeley. Prerequisites: the instructor's permission. Investing trauma from interdisciplinary perspectives, explores connections between the interpersonal, social, and political events that precipitate traumatic reactions and their individual and collective ramifications. After examining the consequences of political repression and violence, the spread of trauma within and across communities, the making of memories and flashbacks, and the role of public testimony and psychotherapy in alleviating traumatic reactions. Enrollment limit is 20.
ANTH V3988y Race/Sexuality Science and Social Practice 4 pts. Nadia Abu El-Haj. Scientific inquiry has configured race and sex in distinctive ways. This class will engage critical theories of race and feminist considerations of sex, gender, and sexuality through the lens of the shifting ways in which each has been conceptualized, substantiated, classified and managed in (social) science and medicine.
ANTH W3998y Supervised Individual Research Course In
Anthropology 2-6 pts. Prerequisite: the written permission of the staff member under whose
supervision the research will be conducted.
ANTH V3999y Honors Seminar In Anthropology 4 pts. Elaine Combs-Schilling. This is a seminar at which senior anthropology majors will develop a research project and write a thesis in consultation with a professor. Students must have at least a 3.6 GPA in the major and a preliminary project concept. This is a year-long course: a mark given at the end of the first term of a course in which the full year of work must be completed before a qualitative grade is assigned. The grade given at the end of the second term is the grade for the entire course. Prerequisites: the instructor's permission. Students must sign-up in the department prior to registering Enrollment limit is 17.
ANTH W4282y Islamic Law 3 pts. Brinkley. Messick. An
introductory survey of the history and contents of the Shari'a combined
with a critical review of Orientalist and contemporary scholarship on
Islamic law. In addition to models for the ritual life, we will examine a
number of social, economic and political constructs contained in
Shari`a doctrine, including the concept of an Islamic state, and we also
will consider the structure of litigation in courts. Seminar paper
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ANTH V1008y The Rise of Civilization 3 pts. Terence D'Altroy. The rise of major civilization in prehistory and protohistory throughout the world, from the initial appearance of sedentism, agriculture, and social stratification through the emergence of the archaic empires. Description and analysis of a range of regions that were centers of significant cultural development: Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Indus River Valley, China, North America, Mesoamerica. Mandatory Recitations sections and $25.00 laboratory fee. Enrollment limit is 300.
ACLG V2028y Pasts, Presents & Futures: An Introduction to 21st Century Archaeology 3 pts. Brian Boyd. This course provides a comprehensive introduction to archaeology. We start with a critical overview of the origins of the discipline in the 18th and 19th centuries, and then move on to consider key themes in current archaeological thinking. These include time and the past: what is the difference? What are archaeological sites and how do we 'discover' them? How is the relationship between the living and the dead negotiated through archaeological practice? What are the ethical issues? How do we create narratives from archaeological evidence? Who gets written in and out of these histories? Archaeology, film and media.
ANTH V3300y Pre-Columbian Histories of Native America 3 pts. Severin Fowles. This course explores 10,000 years of the North American archaeological record, bringing to light the unwritten histories of Native Americans prior to European contact. Detailed consideration of major pre-Columbian sites is interwoven with the insight of contemporary native peoples to provide both a scientific and humanist reconstruction of the past. Enrollment limit is 40.
ANTH V3993y World Archaeologies/Global Perspectives 4 pts. Zoe Crossland. This capstone seminar explores the archaeology of the modern world from a postcolonial perspective. It addresses key theoretical issues in historical archaeology, and considers case studies in the recent archaeology of Africa and the Americas. The seminar has a particular focus on questions of ethics, heritage and indigenous perspectives in the practice of archaeology. It fulfills the major seminar requirement for the archaeology major. Instructor's permission required. Prerequisites: At least one of ANTH V1007, ANTH V1008 or ACLG V2028.
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Courses in Biological/Physical Anthropology not offered Spring term 2013
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