ANTH-GA 1011: Social Theory & Practice II
Professor Tejaswini Ganti
Thursdays 2:00pm-4:45pm | Blended | Location TBD
Following Social Theory and Practice I, this course will focus on a group of central anthropological concepts, examining their genealogies and limits. We look at the relation of theoretical and ethnographic practices as they developed in post-World War II and post-colonial contexts, as anthropologists grappled with rapid social change. Analyzing our own disciplinary and national locations has become an increasingly important aspect of the sociocultural fields within which we develop our research and writing. As a result, there is growing attention to multilayered power relations, social movements, practical consciousness, practice theory, invented traditions, and the production of culture as well as transnational and international flows of people, ideas, and goods. This course explores these transformations. The first half of the course examines the conceptual developments that followed from these historical changes. The second half uses this analysis to interpret contemporary ethnographies with particular attention to their methodological and conceptual tools.
ANTH-GA 1040: Linguistic Anthropology
Professor Sonia Das
Fridays 12:30pm-3:00pm | Online
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 1212: Zooarchaeology
Professor Pam Crabtree
Fridays 9:45am-12:15pm | Online
Zooarchaeology, the study of animal bones from archaeological sites, has made major contributions to our understanding of the subsistence practices of early hominins, the process of animal domestication, and the roles that animal husbandry and hunting played in the development of complex urban societies. This course will focus on the methods that zooarchaeologists use to identify animal bones, as well as ageing, sexing, and measuring animal remains. We will also focus on taphonomic studies, butchery practices, and the process of animal domestication, as well as the roles of the laboratory technologies, including isotopic studies and aDNA, in zooarchaeology.
ANTH-GA 1216: Culture & Media II
Professor Tejaswini Ganti
Tuesdays 2:00pm-4:45pm | Blended | Location TBD
Since the millennium, a new field – the ethnography of media – has emerged as an exciting new area of research. While claims about media in people’s lives are made on a daily basis, surprisingly little research has actually attempted to look at how media is part of the naturally occurring lived realities of people’s lives. This course examines the social and political life of media and how it makes a difference in the daily lives of people as a practice – in production, reception, or circulation. It examines cross-culturally how the mass media have become the primary means for the circulation of symbolic forms across time and space and crucial to the constitution of subjectivities, collectivities, and histories in the contemporary world. Topics include the role of media in constituting and contesting national identities, in forging alternative political visions, in transforming religious practice, and in creating subcultures. The types of media forms we will examine range from commercially driven film making to news production, from photographs to Wikipedia, and from indigenous filmmaking to social media posts. We will read about media practices in diverse parts of the world, from India to Israel; Mexico to Hong Kong; South Korea to Nigeria.
ANTH-GA 1219: Video Production II
Professor Margaret Vail
Time TBD | Blended | Location TBD
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 1239: Lithic Technology
Professor Justin Pargeter
Wednesdays 1:00pm-3:45pm | Online
This course is intended to provide an in-depth introduction to contemporary methods in the analysis of stone tools. The readings and discussion will revolve around five themes that concern lithic artifacts in general, namely Morphology, Function, Style, Technology, and Taphonomy.
ANTH-GA 1240: Dental Anthropology
Professor Shara Bailey
Mondays 9:30am-12:15pm, Wednesdays 9:30 am-11:45 am | In-Person | Room 901
The goal of this class is to teach students the basics of dental anthropology and how to apply it to a variety of research areas including population variation, evolution, bioarchaeology and forensics. Topics covered include: dental anatomy, evolution, growth and development, dental genetics, pathology, variation in nonhuman primates, recent and fossil hominins, age estimation, forensic applications, and cultural modifications. There is a separate lab component to the class. In the labs students learn how to identify human and non-human teeth, how to distinguish deciduous and permanent teeth, how to age individuals based on dental wear and eruption, how to score and interpret dental morphological traits and how to take dental measurements. Grades are based on mid-term and final exams, lab exercises/quizzes and a term paper.
ANTH-GA 1505: History and Philosophy of Biological Anthropology
Professor Scott Williams
Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:30am-12:00pm | Blended Lecture, In-Person Lab | Location TBD
This course provides intensive coverage of the methods and techniques used to interpret the human skeleton. A strong knowledge of fragmentary human skeletal anatomy is required as a foundation for this course. We will focus on the techniques and applications of skeletal biology, including forensic anthropology, bio-archaeology, paleoanthropology, and quantitative methods. In the process, we will address bone biology, developmental processes, soft tissue anatomy, and methods for morphological quantification and statistical analysis. You will learn: 1) fundamentals of aging, sexing and individuating human skeletal remains; 2) how to estimate stature, body mass, and to the extent possible, geographic ancestry; 3) how to utilize and interpret univariate and multivariate statistical methods commonly employed in skeletal analysis; and 4) how to apply these techniques to the hominin fossil record. This course includes three hours of class time and approximately 9 hours of independent student laboratory time per week.
ANTH-GA 1636: History of Anthropology
Professor Fred Myers
Mondays 2:00pm-4:45pm | Online
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 2229: Heritage, Memory, and Negotiating Temporality
Professor Jane Anderson
Tuesdays 10:00am-1:00pm | Blended | Location TBD
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 2670: Anthropology of Science and Technology
Professor Amy Zhang
Wednesdays 2:00pm-4:45pm | Blended | Location TBD
In this course, we'll discuss debates and topics in science and technology studies to examine how nature and machine anchor our understanding of human and animal, indigenous and developed, man and woman. What are the implicit and explicit ways that natural systems and ecology have become templates for conceptualizing production? What systems or metaphors are borrowed from the natural world to shape technologies and interventions to tame, transform, manage, or improve nature? Finally, how do the intersections of nature/culture and machine/biology produce hybrids, cyborgs, and new relations between humans, animals and bodies in the contemporary world? Topics include the production of scientific knowledge, the role of bodies and senses, labor and scientific management, systems and networks and the production of technologies and infrastructure.
ANTH-GA 3399: Forensic Genetics
Professor Andrew Burrell
Thursdays 2:00pm-4:45pm | Blended | Location TBD
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.