ANTH-GA 1011: Social Theory and Practice II
Professor Tejaswini Ganti
Course description to come.
ANTH-GA 1040: Linguistic Anthropology
Professor Bambi Schieffelin
This class is open to graduate students in the Anthropology Department. For others outside of the department, permission is required.
In this course we take up key foundational themes, research paradigms, and contemporary theoretical contributions and developments in linguistic anthropology. Readings are drawn from scholarship carried out in diverse communities, and themes include talk in interaction, language ideology, language contact and multilingualism, language and old/new media, and translation as a challenge to linguistic and cultural theories and practices.
ANTH-GA 1210: African Prehistory
Professor Justin Pargeter
This course’s main objective is to provide students with a solid understanding of the importance of Africa for the evolution of human cultural behavior. Africa provides the world’s longest archaeological record, and as such the longest record of human bio-cultural evolution. It furnishes evidence for the earliest representatives of the human family, the first artifacts, the most complete account of the development of a hunting/gathering way of life, and a living laboratory for the archaeological study of contemporary societies (i.e. ethnoarchaeology). This course takes a different approach to African prehistory focused on thematic areas rather than chronological developments. Topics of discussion include archaeological approaches to mobility, technology, exchange/interaction, climate reconstructions, cognition, diet, and contemporary heritage issues on the continent. The class is taught in a symposium format with specific importance placed on class discussions and debates.
ANTH-GA 1216: Culture & Media II
Professor Faye Ginsburg
Course description to come.
ANTH-GA 1219: Video Production II
Professor Pegi Vail
This is the second part of a year-long course in ethnographic video production. Students will continue to learn advanced production techniques and examine narrative structure, storytelling strategies, and poetic representational techniques. Relating theory to practice, students will explore the dilemmas and possibilities video production holds for representing social experience. The course culminates in a public screening of students’ independent video projects. Seminar meetings will be run as Production Meetings. Students will complete in-class exercises to help them focus their projects, develop a cohesive narrative, learn script writing, brainstorm scene ideas, overcome narrative challenges, and discover their unique aesthetic. Each week students will present new footage and scenes and explain their work in terms their goals for the final project. During lab time, students will review production and post-production techniques. We will also screen student footage along with model films. Individual meetings will be held during seminar and lab time to offer individualized attention to each student.
ANTH-GA 1252: Psychoactivity
Professor Helena Hansen
This graduate seminar examines the mind and brain as sites of conflict over difference, value, control and self-determination. Drawing on literature from anthropology and science and technology studies, the course will alternate between two lenses: 1) reconceptualizations of mental phenomena as political, and 2) specific contests over racialized and gendered neurosciences of intelligence and criminality, antipsychiatry/survivor movements, post-colonial psychiatry, neurocapital and neurochemical prosthesis, autism, addiction, trauma and recovery.
The course will survey ethnographic and historical work that informs theory and debate on these topics. In the spirit of embodied knowledge, the course also includes visits to relevant psychoactive sites in New York City and guest speakers with lived experience as activists and/or clinician-scientists working in these areas.
ANTH-GA 1253: Critical Race Theory
Professor Aisha Khan
This seminar will explore classic and recent work that defines the expanding field of critical race studies. We will inquire into the work of race: the ways that theory is shaped by practice and practice is guided by theory. 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.
ANTH-GA 1511: Integrative Paleoanthropology II
Professor Susan Antón
This course provides a detailed overview of the later stages of human evolution from the late Pliocene to the latest Pleistocene,focusing on the fossil and archaeological records. It emphasizes the anatomical, phylogenetic, behavioral and cultural aspects of Plio-Pleistocene hominins in Africa, their dispersal into the rest of the Old World, and the origins of modern humans and their contemporaries worldwide. Special topics include: The ecological, behavioral, and morphological factors behind the origin and initial dispersal of Homo from Africa, a critical review of the taxonomic and biogeographic arguments regarding Homo erectus and its contemporaries, the reconstruction of life history patterns in genus Homo, the nature of the relationship between Neandertals, Denisovans and latest H. erectus and the origin of modern humans. Students will supplement their reading of the primary literature with the study of comparative skeletal materials and casts of early hominins in lab sessions. Open to advanced undergraduate majors with instructor approval.
ANTH GA-1626 [C/L with MEIS-GA 1626] : Cities of the Middle East
Professor Michael Gilsenan
The aim of the course is to introduce some of the different ways in which scholars of different disciplines and theoretical inclinations have written and write about aspects of modernity and the urban in general. We look at foundational texts on Paris and Vienna in the 19th century as well as at work on modern cities in the Middle East, Malaysia and Indonesia.
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 2304 [C/L with AMST-GA 2304]: New Directions in Latinx Studies
Professor Arlene Dávila
This seminar examines the growth and development of Latinx Studies from the 1960s onwards and reflects on its potential and future in the U.S. academy. It analyzes major trends of analysis developing within the field including political economy, decolonial perspectives, transnationalism, and new approximation to analyzing multidvierse identities, and unrecognized groups and topics, from LBGTQ and Afro-Latinx communities to transnational Latinx studies beyond the U.S. We will examine the development of Latinx studies within different disciplinary and methodological approaches, while considering how Latinx studies transforms and expands traditional “disciplinary” spaces and methodologies. Throughout students will be encouraged to identify areas, debates and topics where they can contribute to expanding the conversation through their own original research. The course will also feature guest speakers discussing different approaches and methodologies to Latinx studies to expand student’s exposure to the field.
ANTH-GA 2397: Religion as Media
Professor Angela Zito
This course will introduce students to the longstanding and complex connection between religious practices and various media, based upon the premise that, like all social practice, religion is always mediated in some form or other. Yet, religion does not function simply as unchanging content, while media names the ways that content is formed. Instead shifts in media technique, from ritual innovations to the invention of printing, through TV, to the internet, also shape religious practice. In turn, religious concerns have famously pushed media invention, such as printing in Buddhist China and Christian Europe. We are interested in gathering theoretical tools for understanding the form and politics of this mutual dialectic. We will analyze how human hearing, vision, and the performing body have been used historically to express and maintain religious life through music, voice, images, words, and rituals. Then we will spend time on more recent electronic media such as cassette, film, television, video, the internet and other forms of digital social media. We will consider, among other things: religious memory, both embodied and out-sourced in other media; religion and gaming; the material culture of Buddhism (icons, relics, sutras); religion and commodification; film as religious experience; Christian Evangelical Media and the activist uses of social media.
ANTH-GA 3211: Professionalization Seminar
Professor Bruce Grant
Addresses the central skills and resources needed for a professional career in anthropology including: how to submit a research proposal to the human subjects review board; how to write grant applications; how to join/participate in professional associations; and how to be a successful teaching assistant. Students also present recent fieldwork experiences and rehearse forthcoming AAA papers. Three sessions provide training toward certification in the “Responsible Conduct of Research” (RCR), now required by some federal granting agencies; students also enroll in the two RCR sessions offered each semester by NYU, fulfilling all five required sessions.
ANTH-GA 3330 [C/L with MSMS-GA 3330]: Decolonizing and Reassembling the Museum: A New Anthropology of Museums
Professor Jane Anderson
Ethnographic and universal museums are increasingly in crisis. Critical questions about how such museums came to hold their collections, and the colonial conditions of their accumulation are being asked alongside other concerns for appropriate display, collection management and community engagement. Through a lens where decolonization is understood as a call for ethical and equitable transformation of the museum, its objects and its ‘subjects’, this course explores “the museum” as a site of ethnographic inquiry itself, examining it as a social institution embedded in a broader field of cultural heritage that is perpetually under negotiation. We reflect on how museum principles of classification, practices of collection and exhibition, uptake of media, technology, and archiving have influenced the ways in which knowledge has been formed, presented, and represented; and interrogate the role of museums as significant social actors in broad anthropological debates on power, materiality, value, representation, culture, nationalism, circulation, aesthetics, science, history, and “new” technologies. The movement to decolonize the museum is only increasing and in this course we will explore what this means at a theoretical and practical level with a focus on how the museum can respond and indeed transform for the future.
ANTH-GA 3399: Forensic Genetics
Professor Andrew Burrell
This course aims to give students hands-on experience conducting genetic laboratory work in the context of forensics. Students will initially learn basic lab techniques by extracting their own DNA and amplifying and analyzing genes from their own mitochondrial and nuclear genomes. After this we will explore how to obtain DNA from ‘forensic’ contexts (doorknobs, for example, or clothing, or a knife handle) and how to generate genotypes for individual identification. Along the way students will also learn about their maternal ancestry (via phylogenetic analysis of a portion of their mitochondrial genome), as well as some basic bioinformatics and molecular genetic laboratory techniques.