Graduate and Undergraduate Courses: Spring 2017

9/12/16  This list is quite tentative; keep checking back.

21201. Chicago Blues. (This course qualifies as a Discovering Anthropology Selection) This course is an anthropological and historical exploration of one of the most original and influential American musical genres in its social and cultural context.  The course traces the origins of the “Delta Blues” in the culture of African American sharecroppers of rural Mississippi, its transposition to Chicago during the “great migration” of the first half of the twentieth century, its development (in the bars and streets of Chicago’s Southside and Westside) into the tough, aggressive urban music that has come to be known as “Chicago Blues”, and its eventual spread to audiences outside the African American community.  The course examines transformations in the cultural meaning of the blues and its place within broader American cultural currents, the social and economic situation of blues musicians, and the political economy of blues within the wider music industry. Michael Dietler

21305/45300. Explorations in Oral Narrative: The Folk Tale.  (This course qualifies as a Discovering Anthropology Selection) This course studies the role of storytelling and narrativity in society and culture: comparison of folk tale traditions; the shift from oral to literate traditions and the impact of writing; the principal schools of analysis of narrative structure and function; and the place of narrative in the disciplines law, psychoanalysis, politics, history, philosophy, and anthropology. Story per­formance and contemporary storytelling in America are considered and encouraged.   James. Fernandez.

21333.  The Lived Body: Anthropology, Materiality and Meaningful Practice. The body is implicated in all facets of human life. It is at once constraint and enabler, relational and personal, “real” and “imagined.” It is both individually performed and socially determined, the site of both domination and resistance. Anthropological theory has moved far from “Cartesian dualism” in which mind and body can and must be separate; this course will travel through ways of understanding bodies that have supplanted, supplemented, and bypassed this idea. What does it mean to have a body, to know a body, to be defined by a body – in short, to live a body? This class’s topical readings are oriented around the idea that “embodiment” involves both material entities and socially embedded processes. We will consider experience, consciousness, sensation, perception, and affect; we will interrogate processes, functions, and ways of knowing that are often taken for granted; we will prise apart the ways power is inscribed on and with bodies, both internally and externally. And to do so, we will balance theory and ethnography in both our consumption and production of scholarly material. Andrea Ford

21420.  Ethnographic Methods: Reflexivity as Methodology. (PQ: Preference given to third-year Anthropology majors preparing to write BA papers next year.)  This course in ethnographic methods will introduce you to many of the central techniques and methods of ethnography as it is practiced in anthropology. During the course, students will find a fieldsite within the city of Chicago and complete a number of exercises practicing important methods such as writing fieldnotes, interviewing, and sound and video recording. At the same time, the course will introduce you to some of the fundamental questions and concerns surrounding the practice of ethnography. In particular, this course emphasizes reflexivity, or the “the conscious interrogation of the way in which the fieldworker/author is situated within her site, practice, and discipline,” as a way of thinking about the specific methods employed by the ethnographer. To that end, in addition to the exercises in methods, the course culminates in a final paper where the student will present and defend a methodological position for fieldwork practice. Christopher Sheklian

21428/38600.  Apes and Human Evolution (=BIOS 13253, HIPS 21428). (This course qualifies as a Discovering Anthropology Selection) A critical examination of the ways in which data on the behavior, morphology and genetics of apes have been used to elucidate human evolution, with particular emphasis on bipedalism, hunting, meat-eating, tool behavior, food sharing, cognitive ability, language, self-awareness, and sociability. Visits to local zoos, films, and demonstrations with casts of fossils and skeletons. Russell Tuttle. MW 9:30-10:20, F 9:30-11:20

Anth 22710/41810. Signs and The State (This course qualifies as a Discovering Anthropology Selection) Science and Technology Studies have led us to new questions about knowledge and power.  This course reconsiders the history of semiotic technologies, from Sanskrit to iphones, with special attention to changing conditions of possibility for the state.  Which semiotic technologies enable new kinds of state institutions (such as Althusser’s “ideological state apparatuses,” or, Weber’s “legal/rational order”) and which can undermine state monopolies and hegemonies?  While a primary goal of the course is quest for perspective on the implications of the internet for potentialities of sovereign power, the course does not limit itself to recent developments.  We consider the implications of advancing printing technologies for renaissance, enlightenment and liberal revolution in 15th-19th century Europe (especially by way of Bakhtin, Febvre and Martin, and Darnton) and also, we consider relations of changing semiotic technologies to changing early historic states before print and capitalism, comparing the graphic formalization of literary Sinitic, the shi, the archive and the (strong) state in China to the grammars for Sanskrit, the brahmins, monasteries, and the (weak) state in South Asia.  Following Weber to study means and forces of coercion and of communication as well as means and forces of production, this course is intended to complement study of “language ideology” and to pose new questions about the politics of sign circulation.  Further readings include Latour, Lessig and Patanjali. John Kelly

22925/53506 Critical Ethography. (PQ Consent Only) This seminar explores recent experiments in ethnographical writing.  The project is to consider the current status of the book-length ethnography (focusing on conceptual innovations, issues of voice, and material layout).  It is also to consider current techniques for writing the imbrication of local forms of everyday life with global forces (across finance, politics, militarism, and the environment).  We will consider the methodological innovations as well as writerly form of current ethnographic work, and posit how ethnography as a genre is evolving in light of efforts to engage increasingly complex and distributed phenomena.  Joseph Masco

23101-23102-23103. Introduction to Latin American Civilization I, II, III. (=HIST 16101-16102-16103, LTAM 16100-16200-16300, LCAS 34600-34700-34800, SOSC 26100-26200-26300) PQ: May be taken in sequence or individually. This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. This course introduces the history and cultures of Latin America (e.g., Mexico, Central America, South America, Caribbean Islands).  Autumn Quarter examines the origins of civilizations in Latin America with a focus on the political, social, and cultural features of the major pre-Columbian civilizations of the Maya, Inca, and Aztec.  The quarter concludes with consideration of the Spanish and Portuguese conquest and the construction of colonial societies in Latin America.  Winter Quarter addresses the evolution of colonial societies, the wars of independence, and the emergence of Latin American nation-states in the changing international context of the nineteenth century.  Spring Quarter focuses on the twentieth century, with special emphasis on the challenges of economic, political, and social development in the region. Brodwyn Fischer

24001-24002-24003. Colonizations I, II, III. (=CRPC 24001-24002-24003, HIST 18301-18302-18303, SOSC 24001-24002-24003). PQ: These courses must be taken in sequence.  This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies.  This three-quarter sequence approaches the concept of civilization from an emphasis on cross-cultural/societal connection and exchange.  We explore the dynamics of conquest, slavery, colonialism, and their reciprocal relationships with concepts such as resistance, freedom, and independence, with an eye toward understanding their interlocking role in the making of the modern world.  Themes of slavery, colonization, and the making of the Atlantic world are covered in the first quarter.  Modern European and Japanese colonialism in Asia and the Pacific is the theme of the second quarter.  The third quarter considers the processes and consequences of decolonization both in the newly independent nations and the former colonial powers.  Alice Yao (II), Sean Brotherton (III)

24101-24102. Introduction to the Civilization of South Asia, I, II (= SALC 20100-20200, HIST 10800-10900, SOSC 23000-23100).  Must be taken in sequence.  This course meets the general education requirement in civilization studies.  This sequence introduces core themes in the formation of culture and society in South Asia before colonialism.  The Winter Quarter focuses on Islam in South Asia, Hindu-Muslim interaction, Mughal political and literary traditions, and South Asia’s early encounters with Europe.  The Spring Quarter analyzes the colonial period (i.e., reformmovements, the rise of nationalism, communalism, caste, and other identity movements) up to the independence and partition of India.  Dipesh Chakrabarty.

24340/34340.  Anthropology of the Psyche. Sean Brotherton.

24520/31108. Temple or Forum: Debating and Designing Exhibitions for the Obama Presidential Center (=MAPS 31108). Throughout this seminar participants will research and discuss key issues pertaining to the development and implications of Presidential Libraries and Museums. These insights will become the foundation for a final project in which they will work in small teams to design a potential exhibit for the Obama Presidential Center in Hyde Park. Morris Fred/Taylor Lowe.

25148/35148. Israel in Film and Ethnography (=MAPS 35148). This seminar explores the dynamics of Israeli culture and society through a combination of weekly screenings of Israeli fiction and documentary films with readings from ethnographic and other relevant research. Among the (often overlapping) topics to be covered in this examination of the institutional and ideological construction of Israeli identity/ies: the absorption of immigrants; ethnic, class, and religious tensions; the kibbutz; military experience; the Holocaust; evolving attitudes about gender and sexuality; the struggle for minorities’ rights; and Arab-Jewish relations.   In addition to the readings, participants will be expected to view designated films before class related to the topic.  Morris Fred.

25951.  Introduction to the Musical Folklore of Central Asia (=NEHC 20765/30765, EEUR 23400/33400, MUSI 23503/33503).  This course explores the musical traditions of the peoples of Central Asia, both in terms of historical development and cultural significance. Topics include the music of the epic tradition, the use of music for healing, instrumental genres, and Central Asian folk and classical traditions. Basic field methods for ethnomusicology are also covered. Extensive use is made of recordings of musical performances and of live performances in the area. Kagan Arik,

26740/36700.  Economic Organization of Ancient Complex Societies (NEAA 20045/30045). PQ: Any introductory course in archaeology. This course provides undergraduate and graduate students with an overview of some of the basic theoretical and methodological issues involved in the study of ancient complex societies, primarily through archaeological evidence supplemented by textual data. Gil Stein.

28430/38430. Being and Death. Shannon Dawdy.

29500/59500.  Archaeology Laboratory Practicum. François Richard.

34201-34202.  Development of Social Cultural Theory-2: The Making of Modern Anthropology. PQ: Open only to first year graduate students in the Anthropology Department. Systems II examines the development of key concepts in anthropology since the discipline’s institutionalization in the early 20th century.  The course takes a genealogical approach to “anthropological theory” by tracking the formation, uptake and entailments of different problem-spaces in anthropology—that is, the distinct complex of questions-and-answers around key themes and problems, which animate the discipline’s various modes of knowledge production.  The course takes seriously the interplay of ethnographic inquiry and theory building and of professional practice and public engagement in the development of anthropology as a modern (and postmodern) discipline.  While many of the concepts explored here will be recognizable as part of the “bread and butter” of anthropological research, the course is less interested in providing a comprehensive survey of 20th century anthropology than in interrogating the discipline’s signature style of theory building through ethnographic engagements in “the field.”  We start from the premise that anthropological theory is a dialectical practice through which realist arguments about the historical world(s)—and the human’s place in it—are honed through empirical encounters and pushback from anthropology’s ethnographic subjects.  Ultimately, the course hopes to track how anthropological ways of knowing intervene in the world through the making and stabilizing of particular lived concepts; that is, we ask after theory’s historical formation and durable effects, its social life, as well as afterlives, in the discipline and beyond. Julie Chu. TuTh 1:30-4:20

37202. Language in Culture-2 (=LING 31200, PSYC 47002, CHDV 37202).  Kristina Wirtz

41004. Shi’ism and Modernity (=AASR 41004, ISLM 41004, NEHC 41004). This is a graduate seminar treating various themes in contemporary Shi‘ism. Topics include marja‘iya and authority; transnationalism and cosmopolitanism; revolutionary dissent and activism; state, science, and bureaucracy; and law and women’s rights. Alireza Doostdar,

43005. Is Modernity Disenchanted? (=AASR 43005). One of the dominant topoi in twentieth-century social science was what Max Weber famously called the "disenchantment of the world," the idea that with industrialization, the entrenchment of capitalism, the dominance of the modern bureaucratic state, and the rise of modern science, religion and "magicality" would gradually wither away. This course examines such arguments in relation to the pervasive evidence that magicality persists around precisely those sites most intimately associated with modernity's rationality and progress: the market, science and technology, and the state. Readings will be from anthropology, history, religious studies, and social theory. Alireza Doostdar.

45405. Maverick Markets: Cultural Economy and Cultural Finance (=SOCI 40172). What are the cultural dimensions of economic and financial institutions and financial action? What social variables influence and shape 'real' markets and market activities? 'If you are so smart, why aren't you rich?' is a question economists have been asked in the past. Why isn’t it easy to make money in financial areas even if one knows what economists know about markets, finance and the economy? And why, on the other hand, is it so easy to get rich for some participants? Perhaps the answer is that real markets are complex social and cultural institutions which are quite different from organizations, administrations and the production side of the economy. The course addresses these differences and core dimensions of economic sociology. This course provides an overview over social and cultural variables and patterns that play a role in economic behaviour and specifically in financial markets. We draw on the ‘New Economic Sociology’ which emerged in the late 70's and early 80's from the work of Harrison White, Marc Granovetter, Viviana Zelizer, Wayne Baker and others. We also draw on recent analysis of the relationship between knowledge, technology and economic and financial institutions and behaviour, and include an emerging body of literature on the financial crisis of 2008-09. The readings examine the historical and structural embeddedness of economic action and institutions, the different constructions and interpretations of money, prices and other dimensions of a market economy, and how a financial economy affects organizations, the art world and other areas. Karin Knorr Cetina,

50615. Authenticity. Michael Dietler.

52200. Proposal Preparation. (PQ: Open only to anthropology graduate students preparing for field work) This is a required course for (primarily third-year) graduate students who are preparing field work grant applications and dissertation proposal during the current academic year.  The course is taken pass/fail and provides each student the opportunity to present a pre-circulated draft research proposal for discussion and critique.  The course focuses on preparation and discussion of students’ draft proposals. Susan Gal.

52210. Archaeological Research Design. This a practicum course for archaeology graduate students (typically in their third or fourth year) to prepare the dissertation research proposal and dissertation grant applications.  The focus of the course will be the intellectual as well as the pragmatic issues involved in developing a strong archaeological research design.  Issues related to professional development will also be incorporated.  Steady work on proposal writing is expected.  Most of the required work will consist of weekly writing and critique exercises.  Shannon Dawdy.

53525.  Ethnographic Writing. William Mazzarella.

55525. Anthropology of Law.  Darryl Li.

55974.  Frenchness. François Richard