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Spring 2006

ANTH 00000 – Colloquium on Teaching Undergraduate Anthropology

GC: TH. 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. 6402, 0 cr., Prof. Blim
NOTE: Students do NOT register for this workshop; meets on ALTERNATE Thursdays.

ANTH 70000 – Current Topics in Anthropology

GC: F, 4:15 - 6:15 p.m., Rm. C198, 0 cr., Prof. Lennihan [94323]

ANTH 70200 – Core Course in Cultural Anthropology: Contemporary Issues & Debates II

GC: W., 2:00 - 4:00 p.m., Rm. 6496, 3 cr., Profs. Mullings/Maskovsky [94324]
Open only to Level 1 Anthropology Students.

This course, like 70100 in the fall, is designed to introduce students to current issues, debates, and controversies in cultural anthropology. The course emphasizes the anthropological contribution to the study of such topics as globalization, neoracism, urban poverty, sexual politics, the subordination of women, neoliberalism, colonialism, property, crime, governmentality, hegemony, resistance, sovereignty and multiculturalism. Students will demonstrate their mastery of course material by writing a mid-term paper and by taking an in-class written exam at the end of the semester.

ANTH 70400 – Contemporary Anthropological Theory

GC: F, 2:00-4:00 p.m. Rm. 6496, 3 cr., Prof. Asad [94326]
Open only to Level 1 Anthropology Students.

There is no permanent way of defining anthropology or 'the core’ of anthropology. What we have is a complex set of interconnected themes. Tracing the genealogy of anthropology would mean describing the coming together - and separation - of a number of problems, methods, and perspectives. It is not only "the four fields" that are contingently related (through a Boasian vision of anthropology as an evolutionary subject). Cultural anthropology
itself represents contingent fields of study and intervention. That is why cultural anthropologists often talk past each other - and why it is easier for many of them to discuss intellectual issues with students in other disciplines than with "fellow anthropologists." This is not a new situation. As an academic discipline anthropology has been repeatedly shaped and reshaped (perhaps more so than others because of its ambitious scope) by its contacts with other fields of study. That's part of the reason for the instability and challenge that anthropology contains today. The most innovative work in anthropology has been done when its temporary boundaries are overstepped, when ideas and methods are borrowed from other disciplines, and argued with. Old Testament Studies (Robertson Smith), Classics (Frazer), Durkheimian sociology (Radcliffe Brown), Saussurian linguistics (Levi-Strauss), Marxism, Feminism, Literary criticism, Bio-sciences, etc., have all contributed to this.

This course will concentrate on detailed readings of texts by anthropologists as well as by non-anthropologists. These will include such writers as Levi-Strauss, Leach, and Bourdieu; Wolf, Geertz, and Sahlins; Foucault, Koselleck, and
MacIntyre; Chatterjee and Nussbaum. Close, critical familiarity with these writings will be encouraged with a view to discussing some concepts that are used in anthropology today - structure, symbolic interpretation, class, world system, the self, history, and nationalism. This is an intensive course, and those who register will be expected to have some prior familiarity with the history of anthropology.

ANTH 71500 – The Modern Atlantic World: Value, Historicity, and Truth

GC F, 11:45 a.m. -1:45p.m., Rm. 6494, 3 cr., Prof. Collins [94327]

This seminar, built around the “modern” or “black” South Atlantic, mixes anthropological and historical methods in order to examine a world area and a number of compelling monographs that have arisen from its transcultural spaces. We will analyze the genesis, reception, and practical impact of political struggles and debates in parts of the Caribbean, West Africa, eastern South America, the southern U.S., and the Iberian Peninsula from the 16th C. to the present. These include but are not limited to European and Latin American engagements with cannibalism, Muslim slave insurrections in Brazil, colonial ethnobotanical expeditions, the dialectics of Cuban tobacco and sugar, the Haitian revolution and its entailments, French rocket bases in Guyane, Eastern European prostitution in Buenos Aires, petroleum extraction in Nigeria, the influence of the Atlantic robinsonade, commodifications of African-American religiosity, nationalist experiments with ideologies of racial hybridity, and mid-20th C. North American debates about cultural traits and their transmission. This admittedly ambitious course is thus a history of the making of certain strands of anthropological theory and an ethnographic/historical engagement with political economy and transnational power. It revolves around the ways colonial collisions and concordances are re-elaborated within and contribute to liberal and neo-liberal world orders. But it develops this historicization of modes of inquiry and inequality from a self-consciously presentist perspective. The goal is to make clearer how Atlantic histories, construed broadly, nurture the conditions for their own claims to truth and emanate at times from the forces they purport to critique. The end result should be a sharper engagement with the past, the present, and the fostering of more equitable futures.

ANTH 72200 – Work, Labor, and Markets

GC: TH, 11:45 a.m. – 1:45 p.m., Rm. 6417, 3 cr., Prof. Blim [94328]

This seminar explores the problems entailed in the social scientific analysis of work and labor in the context of the global economy. Topics include: the increasing variety of labor processes; the impact of organizational revolutions of the firm on work experiences; the changing nature of labor markets; and the difficulties faced by organized labor in the light of the foregoing circumstances. A quick run-down of classical theories of work and labor will start off the course, which will be followed by case studies - global and local, historical and contemporary - that enable the seminar to work closely on the topics. Work product will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

ANTH 72500 – Anthropology for the Public

GC: TH, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m., Rm. 3212, 3 cr., Prof. Mullings [94630]

This seminar explores the role of anthropological knowledge in shaping public debate and social policy, through research, practice and advocacy. After interrogating the domains of theoretical, applied and advocacy anthropology, we will consider examples of the use of anthropology in reframing and influencing public discussion, policy and advocacy. Depending on the interests of the seminar participants these may range from global processes such as war and militarization, the prison-industrial complex, structural adjustment and neoliberalism, displacement and dispossesion, the environment, immigration and migration and human rights to more local issues as urban displacement, education, community organizing, health and social welfare policies. The seminar will also consider writing styles and other communication techniques appropriate for reaching non-academic audiences; uses of media and other forms of information dissemination; and community collaboration in research. Seminar participants may meet the requirements for the course through a variety of projects including: exploring an anthropological approach to a topic of interest to the public; working with a community organization on research of interest to the organization; writing an article in a format accessible to non-academic audiences; as well as a traditional research paper.

ANTH 73700 -- Ethnology & Ethnography of East Asia

GC: T, 2:00-4:00 p.m., Rm. 6421, 3 cr, Prof. Bulag [94329]

Placing East Asia in a historical and global context, this course will concentrate on the cultural and socio-political interactions between China and Japan, involving Mongols and Tibetans. The purpose of the course is both to move away from a single country focus or an East-West binary opposition, and to emphasize the relational nature of the intra-regional dynamics. It is particularly interested in analyzing China’s changing strategy in the handling of national unity issues (Inner Asian frontiers and Taiwan) and relations with its nemesis Japan, in view of China's self-perception as an "emerging world power." Using theoretically informed case studies, the course will discuss a wide range of issues such as meta-geographical construction, identity (affinity vs. difference), historiography, statecraft, affect in political life, colonialism, nationalism, imperialism, and so on. Themes of interest include but are not limited to the Chinese world order, pan-Asianism, the centrality of Central Asia, collaborationism, the fantasy of Genghis Khan as a Japanese or Chinese hero, translingual practices, clash of empires, the concept of the political, inter-ethnic and inter-national romance, war and memory, biopolitical sovereignty.

ANTH 74000 – Central America : Interdisciplinary and Comparative Perspectives

GC: T, 11:45a.m.-1:45 p.m. Rm. 6493, 3 cr., Prof. Edelman [94331]

This course will encourage participants to analyze:

(1) key historical periods and processes that have shaped the societies of Central America (such as the colonial legacy, Liberalism, military authoritarianism, the Common Market era, the civil wars of the 1970s-1990s, and neoliberalism);

(2) the strengths and limitations of area studies, methodological nationalism, traditional ethnographies of the local, and comparative regional research (both within the region and between the region and other parts of the Americas);

and (3) the possibilities of methodologically innovative, historically and politically informed ethnography on contemporary social issues. These include inter-ethnic relations, community and class formation, popular movements, environmental destruction, new development models, revolutionary upheavals, democratization and human rights, gender politics, migration, and generalized violence.

ANTH 77000 – Core Course in Linguistic Anthropology

GC: T, 4:15 - 6:15 p.m., Rm. 6496, 3 cr., Prof. Makihara [94332]
Cross listed with LING 79100 and SPAN 72900; open only to Anthropology, Hispanic-Lusophone Language, and Linguistics students.

Language is one of the most important resources in the conduct of our social life. Linguistic behavior is the central focus of many social settings, and it is also on linguistic evidence that we base many of our evaluations of the world around us. Yet attitudes toward language and how we use language are highly dependent on social and cultural factors, which also influence how and why language changes. This course is an introduction to linguistic anthropology (the study of the relationship between language and culture and of the use of languages in socio-cultural context). We will examine the nature of language, its role in our social life, and linguistic and anthropological theory and methodology through reading ethnographic and sociolinguistic case studies and discourse analyses. Topics examined include: linguistic and communicative competence, linguistic structure and use, language universals, linguistic relativity, language acquisition and socialization, verbal politeness, the relationship between language change and variation, gender, ethnicity and nationalism, language and political economy, bilingualism, and linguistic ideology.

ANTH 77600 – Sociolinguistics

GC: M., 2:00-4:00 p.m., Rm. 6421, 3 cr., Prof. Bendix [94334]
Cross-listed with Ling 76100

A foundation course in the many ways language reflects and is integrated into social action and belief systems. Topics include: Different professional and lay models of the abstraction "a language" and different socio-cultural constructions of the place of language in society. Types of language. Sociological and anthropological frameworks for sociolinguistic research. Pragmatics (speech acts, conversational maxims, presuppositions, etc.) and the conduct of speaking in situated interaction. Discourse functions of grammar. Language variation and change. Bilingualism, including code switching and its strategic manipulation of community values. Language contact and pidgin-creoles. Language, power, and identity. Politics in the linguistic IQ measurement of intelligence. Applied sociolinguistics in education and language planning. Afro-American English in education. Of the two main approaches in the field, we concentrate more on the socio-cultural than on the quantitative urban one.

ANTH 79000 -- Genetics and Human Biology Core

NYU: M, 3:00-6:00 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 cr., Prof. Stefan [94631]

This core course for graduate students in the NYCEP program provides a broad overview of human genetic, physiological, morphological, and behavioral variation, and surveys the principles and processes of molecular evolution and adaptation in humans and nonhuman primates. Among the topics to be covered are the fundamentals of genetic heredity, the organization of the human genome, the patterns of genetic variation seen in humans and nonhuman primates, how humans adapt to environmental challenges, and the use of population genetic and phylogenetic methods in understanding the course of primate and human evolution.

This course provides a general introduction to genetics and human biological variation. We assume that most of the students taking this course have had little exposure to basic molecular genetics, population genetics, or the mathematics required for simple genetic description and analysis. Therefore, these subjects will be covered in some detail at the beginning of the course. We will then examine biological variation at the genetic and morphological level among and within modern human populations and molecular diversity within the primate order.

ANTH 80800 – Doctoral Dissertation Writing

GC: F, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m., Rm. 6402.01 (Thesis room), 0 cr., Prof. Lindenbaum [94337]
Open only to Level 3 Anthropology students.

ANTH 80900 – Toward an Anthropology (or Poetics) of the Imagination

GC: TH, 2:00-4:00p.m., Rm. 6496, 3 cr., Prof. Crapanzano [94338]
Cross-listed with Comp. Lit 80100.

This seminar attempts to develop an anthropology, and by extension a poetics, of the imagination. It will be centered around what the French poet and art critic Yves Bonnefoy calls the arriere-pays (roughly, the horizon, the hinterland, the beyond) and the way this hinterland effects our perception, evaluation, and understanding of the foreground, the present-at-hand, the immediate. This hinterland is continually displaced; for, inevitably, its articulation and description constitute new horizons. It seems that our anthropologies have ignored this dimension of social and cultural experience in their descriptions and theorizing. Though a preoccupation of romanticism, it has been largely evaded by formalist theories of poetry and art.

After having looked, superficially to be sure, at the genealogy of the imagination in the Western world, we will turn to the relationship between imagination and discursive and representational practices. Particular attention will be given to the (rhetorical) role of silence, communicative gaps and their concealment, and that which resists articulation: the intransigent. I am particularly interested in the relationship between notions of closure, completion, and totalization and those of openness, incompletion, and fragmentation (as they are manifested, for example, in aesthetic ideals - Navaho sand paintings versus Western landscapes - or in social and cultural ideologies: fundamentalism versus postmodernism). Among the themes to be considered are conceptions of history (cyclical, linear, oscillating, meaningful, meaningless, purposeful, purposeless, redemptive, damning), of space ("real," symbolic, mythic, static, dynamic) and of the apocalyptic, and utopian dreams — but also of the past: the beyond of both personal and collective memories, their delimitation and cessation. We will look at the construction of desire and hope (in cargo cults), at the way pain and trauma "anchor" articulation and freeze time, and at memory as private and public memorializations (as biographical and historical orientation points) that deny time as they celebrate history.

This seminar is for advanced students. A research paper will be required.

ANTH 81500 – Thinking about the “State”

GC: W, 11:45a.m.- 1:45 p.m., Rm. 6496, 3 cr., Profs. Harvey and Verdery [94339]

What is "the state" and how should we best think about it? How are state forms changing in the late 20th and early 21st centuries? How can we think ethnographically about state institutions and practices? These are some of the questions to be addressed in the course. Emphasis will be on relatively recent writings rather than on classics of political theory (some knowledge of which will be presupposed). The focus will be on contemporary state forms (neoliberal, neoconservative, authoritarian, social democratic, post-socialist, etc.). Readings of monographs on particular states will be an important facet of the course.

ANTH 82303 – Field Methods and Proposal Writing

GC: W, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m., Rm. 6493, 3 cr., Prof. Lennihan [94340]
Open only to Anthropology students.

This course is designed as a workshop in which students will prepare a full-scale research proposal suitable for submission to funding agencies and for the Second Examination. Its purpose is to provide students with time, advice and feedback on proposal writing and the funding process. The aims of the workshop are (a) to assist in refinement of your research topic and its presentation; and (b) to allow you to anticipate as much as possible about the review and funding process. Classes will include discussion of such practical questions as the varying requirements of different funding agencies, how to a budget, how to obtain research affiliation abroad, etc. as well as discussion of research design and proposal writing. Students will be expected to complete various assignments designed to take them through the process of writing a proposal. Students will also be required to critique thoroughly various drafts of classmates' proposals. The final grade will be based on these assignments and a revised draft of a complete proposal.

ANTH 83300 – Historical Ecology

HUNTER: M, 5:30 - 7:20 pm, Rm. TBA, 3 cr., Prof. McGovern [94342]

ANTH 89000 – Seminar in Physical Anthropology

GC: F, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m., Rm. C198, 3 cr., Prof. Pechenkina [94343]

ANTH 89100 -- Seminar in Paleoanthropology

NYU: T, 2:00-5:00 p.m, Rm. TBA, 3 cr., Prof. Plummer [94344]

ANTH 89901 – Independent Study/Research in Cultural Anthropology

GC: Rm. TBA, 3-9 credits. Open only to Anthropology students;
Instructor’s and Executive Officer’s permission required.

ANTH 89902 – Independent Study/Research in Archaeology

GC: Rm. TBA, 3-9 credits. Open only to Anthropology students;
Instructor’s and Executive Officer’s permission required.

ANTH 89903 – Independent Study/Research in Linguistic Anthropology

GC: Rm. TBA, 3-9 credits. Open only to Anthropology students;
Instructor’s and Executive Officer’s permission required.

ANTH 89904 – Independent Study/Research in Physical Anthropology

GC: Rm. TBA, 3-9 credits. Open only to Anthropology students;
Instructor’s and Executive Officer’s permission required.