ANTH-GA 1001: Theories & Methods in The Study of Religion
Professor Angela Zito
Students explore fundamental theoretical and methodological issues for the academic study of religion, including some of the more important theories of the origin, character, and function of religion as a human phenomenon. Students cover psychological, sociological, anthropological, dialectical, post-colonial and feminist approaches, as well as some problems for the study of religion today: secularization
theory and the intersection of religion and media.
ANTH-GA 1202: Archaeological Professionalization
Professor Justin Pargeter
This seminar introduces graduate students to the principles and practice of working in archaeology, both in academic and industry contexts. The seminar’s goal is to provide training through examples on how to create the documents students will need to craft a varied professional self, and the reflectiveness to use it. The seminar also focuses on helping students develop time and work management skills, set themselves up for successful academic development, and cultivate better networks. It also aims to explicitly describe the implicit rules by which the academy, as well as the “real world” beyond it work. By the end of the seminar we will learn how to write effectively, copiously, and professionally. We will learn to give conference papers, write abstracts, perform and respond to peer reviews. We will also learn how to master oral presentations, and to understand the ethics of research and teaching.
ANTH-GA 1218: Video Production I (LAB)
Professor Margaret Vail
Year long seminar in ethnographic documentary video production using state-of-the-art digital equipment for students in the Program in Culture and Media. The first portion of the course is dedicated to instruction, exercises, and reading familiarizing students with fundamentals of video production and their application to a broad conception of ethnographic and documentary storytelling approaches. Assignments undertaken in the fall raise representational, methodological, and ethical issues in approaching and working through an ethnographic documentary project. Students develop a topic and field site for their project early in the fall term, learn to write and pitch their documentary proposals and treatments, begin their shooting, and complete a short, 5 minute video preview/trailer by the end of the semester. This work should demonstrate competence in shooting and editing using digital camera/audio and Adobe Premiere Pro nonlinear editing systems. Students devote the spring semester to intensive work on the project, continuing to shoot and edit, presenting work to the class, and completing their (approximately 20-minute) ethnographic documentaries. Student work is presented and critiqued during class sessions, and attendance and participation in group critiques and lab sessions is mandatory. Students should come into the class with project ideas already well-developed. In addition to class time, there are regular technical lab sessions on the use of equipment. Students who have not completed the work assigned in the first semester are not allowed to register for the second semester. There is no lab fee, but students are expected to provide additional memory cards as needed, and their own external hard drives for backing up their project.
ANTH-GA 1215: Culture & Media I
Professor Teja Ganti
This course offers a critical revision of the history of the genre of ethnographic film, the central debates it has engaged around cross-cultural representation, and the theoretical and cinematic responses to questions of the screen representation of culture, from the early romantic constructions of Robert Flaherty to current work in film, television, and video on the part of indigenous people throughout the world. Ethnographic film has a peculiar and highly contested status within anthropology, cinema studies, and documentary practice. This seminar situates ethnographic film within the wider project of the representation of cultural lives, and especially of natives. Starting with what are regarded as the first examples of the genre, the course examines how these emerged in a particular intellectual context and political economy. It then considers the key works that have defined the genre, and the epistemological and formal innovations associated with them, addressing questions concerning social theory, documentary, as well as the institutional structures through which they are funded, distributed, and seen by various audiences. Throughout, the course keeps in mind the properties of film as a signifying practice, its status as a form of anthropological knowledge, and the ethical and political concerns raised by cross-cultural representation.
ANTH-GA 1218: Video Production I
Professor Margaret Vail
Yearlong seminar in ethnographic documentary video production using state-of-the-art digital video equipment for students in the Program in Culture and Media. The first portion of the course is dedicated to instruction, exercises, and reading familiarizing students with fundamentals of video production and their application to a broad conception of ethnographic and documentary approaches. Assignments undertaken in the fall raise representational, methodological, and ethical issues in approaching and working through an ethnographic and documentary project. Students develop a topic and field site for their project early in the fall term, begin their shooting, and complete a short (5- to 10-minute) edited tape by the end of the semester. This work should demonstrate competence in shooting and editing using digital camera/audio and Final Cut Pro nonlinear editing systems. Students devote the spring semester to intensive work on the project, continuing to shoot and edit, presenting work to the class, and completing their (approximately 20-minute) ethnographic documentaries. Student work is presented and critiqued during class sessions, and attendance and participation in group critiques and lab sessions is mandatory. Students should come into the class with project ideas already well-developed. Students who have not completed the work assigned in the first semester are not allowed to register for the second semester. There is no lab fee, but students are expected to provide their own videotapes. In addition to class time, there are regular technical lab sessions on the use of equipment.
ANTH-GA 1253: Critical Race Theory
Professor Aisha Khan
This seminar will explore the classic and recent work that defines the expanding field of critical race studies. Our readings will be interdisciplinary and will include thinkers from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries who have grappled with definitions of “race,” with the ways that race intersects with other categories of identity, and with the potential for the concept of “race” to inform anti-racist forms of agency and practice. We also will be interested in the work of race: the ways that theory is shaped by practice and practice is guided by theory.
ANTH-GA 1510: Integrative Paleoanthropology I
Professor Scott Williams
Provides a detailed overview of the early stages of human evolution from the Miocene to the early Pleistocene, focusing on the fossil and archaeological record of the earliest hominins upto and including early Homoin East and South Africa. It emphasizes the anatomical, phylogenetic, and behavioural traits of Plio-Pleistocene hominins in Africa. Students will supplement their reading of the primary literature with the study of comparative skeletal materials and casts of early hominins in the laboratory
ANTH-GA 1516: Human Osteology and Odontology
An in-depth survey of the various ways in which biological anthropologists employ human osteology, the study of bones and the skeleton. In addition to presenting a detailed review of the anatomy of the human skeleton and its associated musculature, examines a series of thematic issues and topics that emphasize the multidisciplinary nature of the study of skeletal morphology. Topics include bone biology and development, comparative osteology, biomechanics, bioarchaeology, forensic anthropology, and taphonomy.
ANTH-GA 1521: Osteology Lab
Intensive, lab-based practical partner course to ANTH GA:1516 (Introduction to Human Osteology and Odontology). The laboratory emphasizes identification of fragmentary human remains, interpretation of anatomical features from bone, and differentiation of human and non-human remains.
ANTH-GA 1636: History of Anthropology
Professor Fred Myers
The history of anthropology is rooted in philosophical questions concerning the relationship between human beings and the formation of societal arrangements. At the same time, the discipline of anthropology is itself an historical and sociocultural product. In this sense, historicizing the discipline is – or should be – similar to treating anthropology itself anthropologically, as produced historically and within a cultural framework itself. This course surveys these issues as they relate to the development of method and theory within the context of the discipline’s institutional and cultural locations. The broad frame concerns anthropology as itself an anthropological (or historical) problem, especially its concern with the problem of similarity and difference in human populations, its involvements in the management of difference, and the politics of representation, but also the different institutional loci of practice. Within this frame, we will concern ourselves with the particularities of different kinds of explanatory paradigms and their deployments. The class will consider both the formal qualities and rigor of different paradigms -- that is, their anthropological potential, as well as their embeddedness in histories. Focuses on French, British, and American anthropology and how they contributed to the development of the modern discipline.
Prerequisites: Anthropology background or permission of instructor.
ANTH-GA 2215: Lost Worlds, Extinct Landscapes
Professor Radu Iovita
This seminar aims to introduce graduate students and advanced undergraduates to the most important habitats of human evolution that no longer exist because of climate change. Some of these places have been totally submerged under the waters of the Holocene, others have shifted character to the point where we no longer recognize them. Students will progress chronologically from environments such as Pliocene East Africa to Pleistocene "Savannahstan" to "Green Arabia", Doggerland, and the Ice Free Corridor, while learning to read critically from primary sources about scientific techniques of landscape and climate reconstruction. An ethnographic and ecological context will form a framework for discussions.
ANTH-GA 2229: Heritage, Memory, and Negotiating Temporality
Professor Jane Anderson
What is heritage, how is it produced and to what extent does it (re)arrange relationships between time, memory and identity? How do some heritages come to be memorialized and institutionalized and others excluded and rendered peripheral? This seminar will cover the historical development of the concept of heritage as well as exploring the genesis of international heritage administration, charters, conventions, and national heritage laws. It will highlight emerging trends and practices including exploring the concept of “social memory” and contrast it with the more formalized techniques of heritage didactics and curation. We will explore the increasing interest in “bottom-up” heritage programming that directly involves the general public in the formulation, collection, and public presentation of historical themes and subjects as an ongoing social activity. Case studies from different regions and social contexts will be explored: “conflicted heritage,” “minority heritage,” “indigenous heritage,” “diasporic heritage,” “sites of conscience,” long-term community planning and involvement in “eco-museums”, the relationship between heritage, development and tourism and public heritage interpretation centers. Students will be asked to address specific problems in sites or organizations presented during the course and will formulate socio-interpretive assessments of projects or research of their choosing in the U.S. or abroad.
ANTH-GA 3399 : Forensic Genetics
Professor Andrew Burrell
This course explores how modern molecular genetics techniques and data are deployed by forensic science. DNA data, especially, have both in reality and in the cultural imagination become a primary tool of forensic investigation. We will look at how crime scenes are investigated, what types of data are collected, how molecular genetic information is turned from a crime scene sample to a probabilistic match to a suspect. We will review numerous case studies that illustrate how genetic data can be used (or misused) in criminal cases, mass disasters, and the search for missing persons.