ANTH-GA 1211: Eurasian Prehistory
Professor Radu Iovita
This seminar will provide an in-depth look at the Stone Age prehistory of Eurasia to the end of the last Ice Age (roughly 13 thousand years ago). Graduate students and advanced undergraduates will progress chronologically, beginning with the first hominins to come out of Africa, moving on to the world and lifeways of Homo erectus and the Neanderthals and Denisovans, followed by the second major dispersal out of Africa by the first modern humans, and ending with the Last Glacial Maximum and the warming period leading up to the Holocene. Students will be reading critically from primary sources and writing and presenting about the preserved material culture remains of different periods and their environmental and biological contexts.
ANTH-GA 1216: Culture and Media II
In the last decade, a new field – the ethnography of media – has emerged as an exciting new arena 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. In the last decade, anthropologists and media scholars interested in film, television, and video have been turning their attention increasingly beyond the text and the empiricist notions of audiences (stereotypically associated with the ethnography of media), to consider, ethnographically, the complex social worlds in which media is produced, circulated, and consumed, at home and elsewhere. This work theorizes media studies from the point of view of cross-cultural ethnographic realities and anthropology from the perspective of new spaces of communication focusing on the social, economic, and political life of media and how it makes a difference in the daily lives of people as a practice, whether in production, reception, or circulation.
ANTH-GA 1219: Video Production II
Professor Margaret 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 of 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
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 1509: Molecular Anthropology
Professor Bruce Grant
Molecular anthropologists use biochemical technologies to address anthropological topics such as the phylogenetic relationships among humans and African apes, models of modern human origins, and the identity of archaic humans like the Denisovans. This course intends to provide students with both a background in elementary genetics and also a review of some of the major research in molecular anthropology and primatology. The first section will begin with a brief overview of genetics, inheritance, population genetics, and major methodological advances of genomics. Subsequently, we will discuss major findings in human and primate genetics, including work on phylogeny, population genetics, molecular adaptation, and species’ history in detail. The main goal is to provide students with a background sufficient for i) an understanding of the field of molecular anthropology, ii) teaching it and related topics to undergraduates, and iii) future reading and research in genetics.
ANTH-GA 1511: Integrative Paleoanthropology II
Professor Shara Bailey
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 1520: Interpreting the Human Skeleton
Professor Alejandra Ortiz
Provides an intensive introduction to the methods and techniques used to reconstruct soft tissue anatomy and behavior from the human skeleton. Focuses on techniques and applications to all areas of skeletal biology, including bioarchaeology, paleoanthropology, forensics, and anthropology. Addresses bone biology, developmental processes, and soft tissue anatomy. Students learn (1) fundamentals of aging, sexing, and individuating human skeletal remains; (2) how to estimate stature, weight, and, to the extent possible, geographic ancestry; and (3) how to recognize and evaluate pre- and postmortem modification, including evidence of disease and activity.
ANTH-GA 1522: Interpreting the Human Skeleton Laboratory
Professor Alejandra Ortiz
Course Description Pending
ANTH-GA 1540: Research Design in Biological Anthropology
Professor Alejandra Ortiz
Research Design in Biological Anthropology is an intense writing seminar with the goal of teaching the fundamentals required to develop and begin a scientific research project in biological anthropology. The weekly seminar will provide overviews of the structure of a research project, how to identify research problems, how to construct methods of addressing these problems, how to interpret the resulting data and how to present these data. This is not a course about data collection or analysis. This is a course about how to design, pitch (as to a grant agency or your supervisor) and then implement a strong research project in biological anthropology. The course will be hands-on, requiring students to write a scientific paper, peer-review the work of others in the course, and extensively revise their own work.
ANTH-GA 2212: History of Archaeological Theory
Professor Pam Crabtree
This course will review the development of archaeological theory from the beginnings of antiquarianism in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries to the emergence of the post-processual movements beginning in the 1980s and 1990s. The topics to be covered include the development of archaeology as a scientific/humanistic discipline, diffusionism and Childe’s modified diffusionism, the beginnings of modern archaeological theory, Lewis Binford and the processual movement, and the diversity of post-processual approaches.
ANTH-GA 2335: Body Performance & Religion
Professor Angela Zito
Beyond text-centered dogma, philosophy, and scriptures we find lived religion in everyday life and practice: At the center of this course will be bodies in the materiality of their corporeal performances and physical sensations, amid the things they touch and use in their religious practices: “Tangible Religion” if you will. The course will serve as an introduction to various aspects of post-structuralist theory, covering embodiment, subjectivity, agency, affect theory and the materialist turn. We will look at the body in various situations—gendered, sexualized, covered, naked, suffering, disabled, altered, missing, ecstatic, monstrous—and interrogate notions of representations and ideals: from the religious ban on representing the human body to divine anthropomorphism. A variety of religious archives will be explored. The course will be team-taught by Angela Zito and Bill McGrath.
ANTH-GA 2349: Semiotics
Professor Sonia Das
This course explores how theories of sign relations, also known as “semiotics,” elucidate practices and processes of representation, interpretation, and classification pertaining to the construction of everyday social life and cultural forms. By closely reading structuralist and post-structuralist writings in philosophy, anthropology, literature, history, and linguistics, we will use these texts to deepen our ethnographic inquiries into contemporary topics related to notions of agency, subjectivity, ontology, ideology, politics, capitalism, value, and modernity. We will also explore the diversity and range of material signs, both linguistic and non-linguistic, to better understand the potential of these signs for constituting sociocultural worlds of diverse scales and imaginaries.
ANTH-GA 3211: Professionalization Seminar
Professor Aisha Khan
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.