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Spring 2011

ANTH. 00000 - Teaching Undergraduate Anthropology

GC: W, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. 6402, 0 credits, TBA   
Required for Chancellor’s Fellows before teaching as GTFs; non-registered, non-credit workshop.

ANTH 70000 – Current Topics in Anthropology

GC: F, 4:15 - 6:15 p.m., Rm. C415A , 0 cr., Limbert  [14650]
NOTE: First colloq is on Feb. 18

ANTH 70300 – Core Course in Cultural Anthropology 2

GC: W, 10:45 a.m. – 1:45 p.m., Rm. 6494 , 3 cr., Susser [14651]
Open only to Level 1 Cultural Anthropology Students.

ANTH 70400 – Contemporary Anthropological Theory

GC: F, 10:45 a.m. – 1:45 p.m., Rm.642 , 3 credits, Coronil/Halliburton  [14652]
Open only to Level 1 Cultural Anthropology Students.  

ANTH 70900 – Nationalism and Ethnicity

GC: M, 4:15 – 6:15 pm, Rm. 7395, 3 credits, Mathews-Salazar [14653]
Cross listed with ASCP 81500

This course will examine different theoretical approaches to the study of ethnicity and nationalism in anthropological literature. It will explore the relationship between ethnicity, and nationalism to colonialism and transnationalism in the context of today’s globalization. We will pay close attention to case studies that look at minorities, ethno-national separatism, multiculturalism and nations’ rights to self determination in different parts of the world, including the US. Topics will be framed along notions of race, culture, gender, class as they are lived and experienced by individuals and communities of the case studies selected. The course aims at a comprehensive understanding of the complex dynamics of these changing concepts as they are reconfigured and as they shape the production of new and renewed identities and communities in today’s world.

ANTH. 72000 – Local/Global Imaginaries: Migration, Movement and Identity

GC:   TH, 4:15 - 6:15 p.m., Rm. 6421, 3 credits, Brown [14654]

Local/Global Imaginaries will be an ethnography-driven seminar that explores the creative ways that anthropologists have reconstituted two of the most reified categories of social analysis: the local and the global. While ‘the local’ has, since anthropology’s inception, been used as something of a synonym for the cultural specificity thought to characterize individual places, ‘the global’ emerged in the late 1980s as the local’s ostensible opposite, calling attention to the transnational dimensions of cultures, economies, and social phenomena of all kinds. The dual effects of these processes are that the local has been indelibly associated with ethnography rather than theory, while the global has been excitedly and exhaustively theorized, yet also treated as that which eludes ethnographic specificity. This seminar will focus on ethnographies that have presented innovative theoretical, methodological and interpretive approaches not only to the cultural constitution of the categories local and global, but also to the study of those multiple phenomena to which those constructs most often apply: race, identity, migration, diaspora, citizenship, capitalism, economic development, environmentalism and other social movements.

ANTH 72300 – Social Production of the Built Environment

GC: W, 4:15 – 6:15, Rm. 3209, 3 credits, Low [14655]
Open to Anthropology students only. Cross listed with PSYC 80103 & EES 79903.

Prerequisites: Ethnography of Space and Place or Environmental Social Science III (Social and Cultural Theory) or permission of the instructor

This seminar builds upon the Ethnography of Space and Place course that provides an overview of the anthropology of space and place and spatial methodologies appropriate for students working in this sub field. This advanced seminar focuses more specifically on theories and ethnographies that address the social production of built environment including the social, economic, ideological, and technological forces and processes that result, or seek to result, in the physical creation of the material setting. As part of an overall anthropological theory of space and place it refers to a materialist emphasis on historical emergence and the political and economic formation of space. Henri Lefebvre (1991) is best known for his theorization of this area, however, there are other theorists who have contributed, including many anthropologists who use ethnographic research to uncover cultural, historical, and sociopolitical processes that produce spatial configurations and meanings.

The seminar includes readings and discussions on four major topics: 1) the social and cultural history of the production of spaces and spatial relations; 2) the political economy of space; 3) landscapes of power and resistance; and 4) spaces of social reproduction and everyday life. Theoretical and ethnographic readings in each of these four areas will be assigned and discussed in class. At the conclusion of this theoretical orientation, a second set of topics will be selected based on student interests and their ongoing research projects. These sessions provide an opportunity for students to develop their own research and theoretical thinking through presentations and supplementary readings that bridge the student research project and the broader theoretical and ethnographic literature.

Requirements include: 1) leading one or more class discussions, 2) presentation of research project or research area in class, 3) review and presentation of one or more ethnographies, and 4) a final paper due one week after the last class.


ANTH 73600 – Ethnography/Ethnology of Eastern Europe

GC:  TH, 2:00 – 4:00, Rm. 8203, 3 cr, Verdery [14656]
Fulfills area course requirement.

ANTH 75100 - Archaeology and Physical Anthropology

GC:  W, 11:45 a.m. – 1:45 p.m., Rm. 6421, 3 cr, McGovern/Harcourt-Smith [14657]
Open to Anthropology students only. Fulfills BOTH Archaeology & Physical subfield requirements.

ANTH 78000 - Linguistic and Cultural Anthropology

GC:   F, 11:45 a.m. – 1:45 p.m., Rm. 6494,  3 cr, Makihara/Creed [14658]
Fulfills BOTH Linguistic & Cultural subfield requirements.

ANTH 79000 – Core in Behavior, Ecology & Conservation

HC,  T. 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.,  3 cr., Rm. HN  730 , Rothman [14660]
NYCEP seminar. Meets at Hunter.

Permission of instructor required for students outside of NYCEP
This graduate core course for the Physical Anthropology program provides an overview of the ecology, behavior, and social systems of nonhuman primates and examines variation in these aspects of primate biology from the perspectives afforded by evolutionary ecology and socioecological theory. The course provides an introduction to the grouping patterns, mating systems, foraging ecology, and individual behavioral strategies that characterize taxa from the major groups of primates. The course covers the fundamental theoretical perspectives that modern primatologists employ to study and understand the variation in primate social systems, including the theory of evolution by natural selection, the concepts of reproductive success, inclusive fitness, kin selection, and the basic principles of primate population biology and socioecology. We also use these core principles to examine the various survival, mating, and parenting strategies seen in primates and to explore how ecological factors differentially affect the dispersal decisions and the nature of social relationships - both competitive and cooperative - of male and female primates. Several weeks of the class are also devoted to a consideration of the roles that primates play in their natural ecosystems and to their conservation.

ANTH 80800 – Doctoral Dissertation Writing

GC: F, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m., Rm. 3305 , 0 cr., Skurski [14663]
Open only to Level 3 Anthropology students.

ANTH 81000 – Theories of Interpretation in Anthro & Lit

GC: W, 2:00-4:00 p.m., Rm.  3309 , 3 cr., Crapanzano [14664]
Cross listed with Comp. Lit. 89000

This seminar will look critically at several of the principal approaches to contemporary theories in interpretation: hermeneutics, dialogism, structuralism, post-structuralism, deconstruction, and postmodernism. Readings will include selections from the following authors: Nietzsche, Heidegger, Gadamer, Benjamin, Bakhtin, Lévi-Strauss, Barthes , Derrida, Blanchot, Lacan, Lyotard, Lacoue-Labartbe, J.Butler, and MacIntyre. Particular attention will be given to the linguistic, existential, and moral presuppositions of these theorists.

ANTH 81600 – Anthropology of Catastrophe & Survival

GC: TH. 11:45 – 1: 45 pm, Rm.  6114, 3 cr, Sanford  [14665]

This course explores emerging anthropological works on genocide and catastrophe from Cambodia to Guatemala, from Aceh to Rwanda, from Ciudad Juarez to South Korea, among others. We will consider what Primo Levi called “limit events” ~ those cataclysmic moments of mass suffering in human history that seem beyond individual comprehension, yet affect survivors and implicate the rest of humanity in the present and future. These limit events can be the product of intentional state terror, mega-development projects, natural disasters, or pandemics. We will consider anthropology’s contribution to understanding human catastrophe as well as human survival and reconstruction.

This seminar explores the emergence and endurance of discourses and practices on the political economy of disaster from an anthropological perspective. To whom does the past and future belong? In what ways do catastrophe and survival shift understandings of belonging? We will explore the meaning of these limit events through the lived experiences of survivors and witnesses.

We will critically read and discuss human catastrophe and survival from several perspectives:

1. We will familiarize ourselves with key debates on human catastrophe – from disaster relief to disaster mitigation; from human vulnerability to disaster risk; from humanitarianism to development; from genocide prevention to international sanctions.

2. We will read a sampling of anthropological writings on limit events as well as key texts pointing to political and economic roots of catastrophe for our anthropological consideration;

3. We will analyze human catastrophe and survival arising in the 21st century comparing legal, political and cultural interpretations of limit events and how these often divergent interpretations shape the theory and practice of humanitarianism and development at the international, national and local levels;

4. Through ethnography, testimony, oral history and fiction, we will seek to understand the immediacy of human catastrophe and survival from the lived experience of survivors and witnesses.

ANTH. 81800 - Reading Marx's Capital, Vol. 2

GC: W, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., Rm. AD30 , 3 cr , Harvey [14666]
Meets at Union Theological Seminary. Cross listed with EES 79903

ANTH. 82000 - Anthropology and History

GC:   T, 10:45 a.m.-1:45 p.m., Rm. 6421, 3 credits, Prof. Skurski, [14667]

This seminar seeks to explore as well as develop historical anthropology by examining the genealogies and topics that shape the engagement between anthropology and history, with a focus on categories of analysis, conceptual assumptions, research methodologies, and modes of analysis. The seminar seeks to overcome the disciplinary divide by discussing innovative monographs and articles from both disciplines that map critical engagements and exemplify transdisciplinary work. Students will write commentaries on the readings, a review essay, and a final paper.

ANTH. 82303 - Proposal Writing

GC:   T, 2:00-4:00 p.m., Rm. 3306, 3 credits, Prof. Maskovsky, [14668]

This seminar helps graduate students to prepare fieldwork grant applications and dissertation proposals. Topics addressed include defining researchable questions, designing an effective fieldwork plan, IRB protocols, research proposal evaluation criteria, peer-review processes, and other theoretical and methodological topics that are relevant to the task of proposal writing. (Please note that some knowledge of the techniques of collecting, coding, analyzing and interpreting ethnographic and historical evidence is presupposed.)

The seminar is organized as an intensive workshop, and each student is provided with numerous opportunities to prepare draft proposals and to present them for discussion and review. Before the semester begins, each student must complete a proposal writing exercise, the content of which becomes the first draft of a grant application. He or she then makes incremental revisions to this draft until a proposal is ready for submission to a major funder. The goal of the workshop is for each student to produce two fieldwork grant applications by the semester’s end.

For maximum benefit, participants need to be open to constructive criticism and to the possibility of rethinking parts of their own research projects while also maintaining a supportive and non-competitive, yet rigorous approach to the review of other people’s proposals. Download proposal writing exercise.

ANTH. 82500 – The Urban Revolution

GC: TUES, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m., Rm. 7395, 3 credits, Smith [14669]
Cross listed with EES 79903.

ANTH 84800 – Archaeology of Sex and Gender

GC: T. 4:15 – 6:15 p.m., Rm. 6493 , 3 cr., McNeil,  [14670]
Cross listed with WSCP 81000

Since the 1984 publication of Conkey and Spector’s “Archaeology and the Study of Gender” a wealth of literature has been published critiquing the way paleoanthropologists and archaeologists study and evaluate relationships between females and males in the distant past. Today, while many scholars have traveled far from assumptions such as those that bolstered the “Man the Hunter” hypothesis some have continued to ignore the important role that women have played in the evolution of culture. In this course we will question previous assumptions about both women and men’s roles through time, and in a range of cultures. In addition, we will discuss what can be learned about the lives of homosexual and transgendered people in the past. Through the study of ancient artifacts, burials, features, and structures, we will investigate what assumptions can be made about gender and status, divisions of labor, gender and the control of ideology, the role of women in the domestication of plants, women and the rise of the state, and sex and the power of reproduction.

An in-depth knowledge of archaeology and archaeological techniques is not required for this course, but the readings will be focused on evidence recovered from excavations. One of the topics discussed will be the limits placed on our understanding of the past by a fragmentary record. Students will be asked to look at evidence from specific sites to come to their own conclusions regarding what the evidence tells us, and whether we can learn anything from such remains concerning gender.

ANTH 84900 – Advanced Human Eco-dynamics

HC: TH. 5:30 – 7:30 pm, Rm.  HN  710 , 3cr, McGovern [14671]
Open to Anthropology students only. Cross listed with Hunter MA; meets at Hunter. 

ANTH 85000 – Archaeological Theory

GC: T. 11:45 am – 1:45 pm, Rm. 6493 , 3 cr, Bauer [14672]
Course open to Anthropology students only.

ANTH 89000 - Seminar in Physical Anthropology

GC: F, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m., Rm. 6496, Delson
NOTE: NYCEP seminar; students attend but do not register for credit this semester.