Graduate and Undergraduate Courses: Winter 2018

20420/30420. Anthropology of Olympic Sport (=MAPS 47501).   If cultural differences are as powerful as Anthropology has conventionally stressed, how is it possible that over 200 national and innumerable sub-national and transnational cultural formations have found common cause in the modern Olympic Games?  This course explores, theoretically and historically, the emergence of the Olympic Games as the liturgy of the world system of nation states and the current dialectic between the Olympic Movement and the Olympic Sports Industry.  Extensive reading and in independent research paper will be required. John MacAloon

20701-20702. Introduction to African Civilization I, II. (=AFAM 20701-20702, CHDV 21401 [20702], HIST 10101-10102, SOSC 22500-22600) Completion of the general education requirement in social sciences recommended. Taking these courses in sequence is recommended but not required. This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. Part one considers literary, oral, and archeological sources to investigate African societies and states from the early Iron Age through the emergence of the Atlantic world. Case studies include the empires of Ghana, Mali, and Great Zimbabwe. The course also treats the diffusion of Islam, the origins and effects of European contact, and the trans-Atlantic slave trade.  Elizabeth Fretwell

21107/30000. Anthropological Theory. Since its inception as an academically institutionalized discipline, anthropology has always addressed the relation between a self-consciously modernizing “West” and its various and changing “others.” Yet it has not always done so with sufficient critical attention to its own concepts and categories – a fact that has led, since at least the 1980s, to considerable debate about the nature of the anthropological enterprise and its forms of knowledge. This course provides a brief critical introduction to the history of anthropological thought over the course of the discipline’s “long” twentieth century, from the 1880s to the present. Although it centers on the North American and British traditions, we will also review important strains of French social theory in chronicling the emergence and transformation of “modern” anthropology as an empirically based, but theoretically informed practice of knowledge production about human sociality and culture. Stephan Palmié

21261.  The Khmer (PQ This course qualifies as a Discovering Anthropology selection for Anthropology Majors.) This course explores the history, politics and culture of Khmer civilization from the 10th century to the present. The course begins by examining the development of a distinctive Khmer social world reflected in the complex material culture, social structures, geopolitics and religious practices of the Angkor civilization. We then follow the fate of Khmer civilization from the period of the decline of Angkor through the emergence of Cambodia as a nation state. We will focus on the impact of French colonialism, the struggle for decolonization during the Vietnam War, the rise of the Khmer Rouge regime, the Cambodian Genocide, post-War reconstruction under UN auspices (UNTAC) and the current moment of globalization together with the complications of Cambodia’s integration into the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).  The course combines lecture, film, and discussion of core texts. Alan Kolata

21303.  Making the Natural World: Foundations of Human Ecology (=ENST 21301). Required of all ENST majors.  In this course we consider the conceptual underpinnings of contemporary Western notions of ecology, environment, and balance, and also examine several specific historical trajectories of anthropogenic landscape change.  We approach these issues from the vantage of several different disciplinary traditions including environmental history, philosophy, ecological anthropology, and paleoecology.  Staff.

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 supplemented or bypassed this idea, or have existed outside of it entirely. We will consider what it means 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. To do so, we will balance theory and ethnography in both our consumption and production of scholarly material., including a final "auto-ethnography" in which students adopt a new body practice for the quarter. Andrea Ford

21337. PetroModernity: Anthropology in the Age of Oil. Peak oil, petrostates, pipelines, planetary climate change—oil is at the center of critical contemporary antagonisms. How has social theory approached the significance of this ubiquitous substance, and its role within the dynamics of modern social orders? To what extent are contemporary social imaginaries, geographies of power, distributions of abundance and scarcity, arrangements of industrial production, and visions of the future particular to a world system that is saturated with crude oil, and which always requires more of it? 
This course follows oil’s traces across the earth and through the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, examining its power to shape economy and governance, the styles of collective experience and futurity to which it has given rise, and the hyper-conflicted social and technological arrangements through which oil is grasped, produced, and consumed. Reading widely in recent anthropology—alongside history, science fiction, law, industrial theory, and earth science—we will pay special attention to ongoing debates around the social life of infrastructure, the postcolonial politics of global mineral extraction, planetary-scale environmental change, and the technopolitical fashioning of national and global economies.  Cameron Hu

21338. Sounding Out Ethnography: Writing Auditory Worlds. What is sound, and what is its place in anthropology?  Is sound purely a method of ethnographic inquiry, or can it be a proper object of study?  In this course, we will begin by broadly examining the interdisciplinary field of “Sound Studies,” and then move towards a sustained reflection on anthropology’s disciplinary specific engagement with sound.  The bulk of the course will be dedicated to reading four full ethnographies of sound, which will serve as foundations for exploring a wide range of topics: the role of sound in transducing social relations, the aurality of archives, the vibrational tactility and materiality of sound, auditory subject formation, the politics of soundscapes, and, of course, the ethnographic innovations that emerge out of an attention to sensory registers.  We will complement our ethnographic readings with practice-based experiments of listening to and visually inscribing actual soundscapes.  By the end of the quarter, students will have developed an analytical toolkit for analyzing the sonic nature of contemporary phenomena (e.g. racism, religious belonging, trauma) as well as a capacity for attending critically to their own sonic environment.   Kristin Hickman.

21730. Science, Technology and Media via Japan. (PQ This course qualifies as a Discovering Anthropology selection for Anthropology Majors.)This course will explore issues of culture, technology, and environment in Japan through the lens of Science and Technology Studies (STS) and Media Studies. The course is designed for undergraduate students. Its overall aim is to introduce students to some of the fundamental concepts, themes, and problematics in these fields via the particular social and historical circumstances in Japan. Some of the central concerns will be around issues of environment, disaster, gender, labor, media theory, gaming, and animation. In addition, we will devote attention to the recent emergence of the term media ecology as a framework problematizing technologically engineered environments. Michael Fisch

22160. The Techno-Politics of Infrastructure (=GLST 24108). At first glance the networks roads, pipes, wires and walls that make up infrastructure seem to be straightforward technical feats.  When they work, they make our lives more convenient, enabling the smooth circulation of people, goods and energy.  Yet this course turns a critical eye to these material networks, exploring the possibility that these technical feats are not passive or neutral but actively shape and transform modern life. As structures that organize modern life from most domestic spaces of the home to the most expansive circulations of the web, infrastructures are at once central nodes of power and control and possible platforms for new forms of social life.  The dimensions of roadways determine which kinds of vehicles (private cars or large public buses) can travel on them thus mapping class relations onto the spaces of a city.  The crumbling walls of public housing unite inhabitants in a shared nostalgia for a past time while also providing material means for resisting eviction.  The course will focus on the ways in which state power is enacted through, and sometimes in tension with, increasingly privatized infrastructures.  From heating and electrical systems, to oil lines, to ports we will explore how transformations in these technical systems also transform relations of governance and value extraction.  At the same time, we attend to the complex ways in which people relate to infrastructures often mobilizing in novel ways around decaying, inaccessible or not yet created infrastructures.  We will consider what sorts of politics become possible when infrastructures and their effects are made visible.  Adam Sargent.

22165. Politics of Technoscience in Africa (=KNOW 22165,    ). Euro-American discourse has often portrayed Africa as either a place without science and technology or as the home of deep and ancient wisdom. European imperialists used the alleged absence of science and technology as a justification for colonialism while pharmaceutical companies sought out African knowledge about healing plants. In addition to their practical applications, science and technology carry significant symbolic weight in discussions about Africa. In this class, we examine the politics of scientific and technical knowledge in Africa with a focus on colonialism and its aftermath. How have different people produced and used knowledge about the environment, medicine, and technology? What kinds of knowledge count as indigenous and who gets credit for innovation? How have independent African governments dealt with the imperial legacies of science?  From the interpretation of archaeological ruins to the design of new medical technologies, this class will examine science and technology as political practice in Africa. Damien Droney.

22615. Indigeneity, Religion and the Environment (=LACS 22615) (PQ This course qualifies as a Discovering Anthropology selection for Anthropology Majors.) Around the world, appeals to indigenous difference accompany contentious struggles over land, territory, and resources. While indigenous claims are often seen as strategic responses to shifting legal conditions, this course focuses on Andean practices of land and ritual as they shape, and are reshaped by, political claims to rights and resources. The course is divided into three parts: Indigeneity in the Andes, Intimate Politics, and Ecology and Insurgency. By way of close readings of contemporary ethnographic texts, we will explore Andean relations and attachments to places and things, from land to silver, water to oil. We will then ask how such relations and their politics advance or unsettle common assumptions about the environment, non-Western peoples, and culture at large. If land is approached as a living being to be cared for and nurtured through daily ritual labors, how are such practices sustained or unsettled in conditions of widespread ecological degradation, mineral extraction, or land dispossession? How are notions of living matter, earth spirits, or the agency of nature appropriated within or reconfigured by political claims to indigenous and environmental rights? Combining weekly discussions, reading responses, and a final paper, we will work collaboratively to track the generative ways that notions of indigeneity, religion, and environment are combined and recombined to forge a new terrain of politics. Mareike Winchell.

23026/31640. Science in the South: Decolonial Approaches to the Study of Science, Technology and Medicine in Latin America (=LACS 24706/34706). This seminar will bridge anthropologies and histories of science, technology, and medicine to Latin American decolonial thought. Throughout Latin America, techno-scientific objects and practices, with their presumed origin in the Euro-Atlantic North, are often complexly entangled with neo-imperial projects of development and modernization that elongate social forms of colonization into the present. Technoscience and its objects, however, can also generate new creative, political, and life-enhancing potentials beyond or despite their colonial resonances, or even provide tools to ongoing struggles for decolonization. Together, seminar participants will explore what a decolonial approach to the study of science, technology, and medicine in the Global South, particularly in Latin America, has been and could become and how decolonial theory can inflect our own disciplinary, conceptual, and political commitments as anthropologists of technoscience. Stefanie Graeter

23051. Corporeal Collisions: The Catholic Church and Life Politics in Latin America (=LACS 26414). Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical Laudato si’ proclaimed an eco-ethical vision of Catholicism squarely aligned with environmental and anti-capitalist agendas the world over. Echoing a past of liberation theology in Latin America, Pope Francis has fortified leftist resistances to ecologically destructive practices, often already allied with local Catholic priests and institutions. On the other side of the political spectrum, however, Opus Dei and other factions of the church align themselves with the agenda of the right, including opposition to LGBT and abortion rights legislation of the past decade. The aim of this course will be to historicize this complex and heterogeneous relationship between the Catholic church and Latin American life politics. Considering its wide range of influences, the course will hone in on the relation the church has had on the conceptualization of corporeal life, which unites its involvement in both ecological and procreative politics in Latin America today.   Stefanie Graeter

23081. Who Counts, What Counts? Racial Governance in 21st Century Latin America (=LACS 21335. CRES 26619, HMRT 22619). In 2015 for the first time in Mexico’s history, there was an official count of its population of African descent, leaving Chile as the only nation in the hemisphere not to do so. A year prior, Brazil introduced a quota system for all federal jobs, leading to new questions about who qualifies for these positions. These examples and more highlight a new era in Latin America that questions who counts—both literally as with censuses and figuratively as with affirmative action—as Afro-descended in a region characterized by racial mixture. In this course we will analyze the new turn toward racial governance as we grapple with the following questions. How does the racial governance of the 21st century upend or echo the racial governance of the colonial era? How does this new era affect our understanding of race and identity? What is lost and gained by counting people as black?  Karma Frierson.

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 an analysis of the Spanish and Portuguese conquest, and the construction of colonial societies in Latin America.  Winter 2018 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 2018 focuses on the twentieth century, with special emphasis on the challenges of economic, political, and social development in the region.  Winter: Dain Borges.

23910/35035.  The Holocaust Object (=REES 27019/37019, HIST 23413/33413. JWSC 29500). In this course, we explore various ontological and representational modes of the Holocaust material object world as it was represented during World War II. Then, we interrogate the post-Holocaust artifacts and material remnants, as they are displayed, curated, controlled, and narrated in the memorial sites and museums of former ghettos and extermination and concentration camps. These sites which—once the locations of genocide—are now places of remembrance, the (post)human, and material remnants also serve educational purposes. Therefore, we study the ways in which this material world, ranging from infrastructure to detritus, has been subjected to two, often conflicting, tasks of representation and preservation, which we view through a prism of authenticity. In order to study representation, we critically engage a textual and visual reading of museum narrations and fiction writings; to tackle the demands of preservation, we apply a neo-materialist approach. Of special interest are survivors’ testimonies as appended to the artifacts they donated. The course will also equip you with salient critical tools for future creative research in Holocaust studies. Bozena Shallcross.

24001-24002-24003. Colonizations I, II, III (=SOSC 24002-24002-24003, CRPC 24001-24002-24003; HIST 18301-18302-18303) 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.

24302. Disability in Local and Global Contexts (=CHDV 25250). This is a course about intersections. Disability cuts across age, gender, class, caste, occupation, and religion- or does it? By some measures, people with disabilities are the largest minority group in the world today. In this course, we critically examine both the experiences of people with disabilities in a global context as well as the politics and processes of writing about such experiences. Indeed, questions of representation are perhaps at the core of this course. Is there such a thing as an international disability experience? What role have the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and international organizations such as the United Nations, the World Health Organization, and other non-governmental social and human service agencies played in the creation of specific understandings of disability experience?     
We will ask whether disability is a universal category and we will consider how experiences of health, illness, disability, and debility vary. We will engage in “concept work” by analyzing the relationships between disability and impairment and we will critically evaluate the different conceptual and analytical models employed to think about disability. In doing so, we will rethink (perhaps) previously taken for granted understandings of disability and we will also engage with broader questions about international development, human rights, the boundaries of the nation, the family and other kinship affiliations, and identity and community formation. How is disability both a productive analytic and a lens for thinking about pressing questions and concerns in today’s world? Michele Friedner

24308/34208. History of Perception (= HIPS 25309/CHSS 35309, HIST 25309/35309, KNOW 21404/31404).  Knowing time. Feeling space. Smelling. Seeing. Touching. Tasting. Hearing. Are these universal aspects of human consciousness, or particular experiences contingent upon time, place, and culture? How do we come to know about our own perceptions and those of others? This course examines these and related questions through detailed readings of primary sources, engagement in secondary scholarship in the history and anthropology of sensation, and through close work with participants' own sensations and perceptions of the world around them.  Michael Rossi.

25118.  Earthbound Metaphysics: Speculation of Earths and Heavens (=GLST 27703).  Social thought has recently reopened the subject matter of the “world”: what is it made of, how does it hold together, who and what inhabits it? Proposals and inquiries generated in response are as imaginative as they are self-consciously urgent: written on the crest of the global ecological disaster, from within the zones of disturbance or the sites of extreme intervention into the living matter and forms of life, contemplating the end of the world and possibilities of extinction, redemption, cohabitation, or “collateral survival” (Tsing 2015). All are variously political. Foregrounding the plurality of the material worlds and lived worldviews on the one hand, and of the shared historical predicament on the other, social thinkers question universal values and conceivable relations, and search for alternate forms of grasping, engaging, and representing the pluriverse. This course goes along with such interests in the “worlds” and collects a number of compelling, contemporary texts that are variously oriented towards cosmopolitics, “minimalist metaphysics,” “new materialisms,” speculative realisms, eco-theology, and multispecies coexistence. Readings will stretch out to examine some classic ethnographic texts and past theoretical excursions into the perennial problem of how to know and tell the unfamiliar, native, worlds, which are swept by, mingling with, or standing out in the more globalizing trends of capitalist, scientific, and secular materialism.  Larisa Jasarevic.

25310. Drinking Alcohol: Social Program or Normal Cultural Practice? (=BPRO 22800, BIOS 02280)  PQ 3rd or 4th year standing. Alcohol is the most widely used psychoactive agent in the world and, as archaeologists have recently demonstrated, it has a very long history dating back at least 9,000 years.  This course will explore the issue of alcohol and drinking from a trans-disciplinary perspective.  It will be co-taught by an anthropologist/archaeologist with experience in alcohol research and a neurobiologist who has experience with addiction research.  Students will be confronted with literature on alcohol research from anthropology, sociology, history, biology, medicine, psychology, and public health and asked to think through the conflicts and contradictions.  Selected case studies will be used to focus the discussion of broader theoretical concepts and competing perspectives introduced in the first part of the course.
Topics for lectures and discussion include: What is alcohol? chemical definition, cultural forms, production processes, biological effects; The early history of alcohol: archaeological studies; Histories of drinking in ancient, medieval, and modern times; Alcohol and the political economy: trade, politics, regulation, resistance; Alcohol as a cultural artifact: the social roles of drinking; Styles of drinking and intoxication; Alcohol, addiction, and social problems: the interplay of biology, culture, and society; Alcohol and religion: integration vs. prohibition; Alcohol and health benefits: ancient beliefs and modern scientific research; Comparative case studies of drinking: ethnographic examples, historical examples, contemporary America (including student drinking). M. Dietler, William Green (BSD).

25445. Geographies of Circulation and Exchange. This course aims to introduce students to anthropological approaches to questions of geographic production, capital, and exchange. We will begin with classic political economic material emphasizing geography and connection, and move into recent historiographies of racial capital and the slave trade, and colonialism and empire, before narrowing the focus onto migration, culture, and social reproduction; as well as historical experiences of time and space. From the premises that exchange is social and that circulation has increasingly become a part of production, we will read several monographs that help us explore contemporary manifestations of globalization and mobility, ideas of nature, and how people and capital are alternately mobile and fixed in space through processes such uneven geographical development, the spatial fix, and urbanization. Using material on commodity chains and logistics alongside work at the urban scale, this class will examine the ways global forms of circulation are ongoing processes continually shaping our environments and world. Kareem Rabie

25908/35908. Balkan Folklore (=REES 29009/39009, NEHC 20568/30568, CMLT 23301/33301). Vampires, fire-breathing dragons, vengeful mountain nymphs. 7/8 and other uneven dance beats, heart-rending laments, and a living epic tradition. This course is an overview of Balkan folklore from historical, political, and anthropological perspectives. We seek to understand folk tradition as a dynamic process and consider the function of different folklore genres in the imagining and maintenance of community and the socialization of the individual. We also experience this living tradition firsthand through visits of a Chicago-based folk dance ensemble, “Balkan Dance.”  Angelina Ilieva.

26715/36715. Rise of the State in the Near East (=NEAA 20030/30030). This course introduces the background and development of the first urbanized civilizations in the Near East in the period from 9000 to 2200 BC. In the first half of this course, we examine the archaeological evidence for the first domestication of plants and animals and the earliest village communities in the "fertile crescent" (i.e., the Levant, Anatolia, Mesopotamia). The second half of this course focuses on the economic and social transformations that took place during the development from simple, village-based communities to the emergence of the urbanized civilizations of the Sumerians and their neighbors in the fourth and third millennia BC.   Gil Stein

26765/36765. Archaeology of Anyang: Bronzes, Inscriptions and World Heritage (=EALC 28020/38010). Anyang is one of the most important archaeological sites in China. The discoveries of inscribed oracle bones, the royal cemetery, clusters of palatial structures, and industrial scale craft production precincts have all established that the site was indeed the last capital of the Shang dynasty recorded in traditional historiography.  With almost continuous excavations since the late 1920s, work at Anyang has in many ways shaped and defined Chinese archaeology and the study of Early Bronze Age China.  This course intends to examine the history of research, important archaeological finds, and the role of Anyang studies in the field of Chinese archaeology.  While the emphasis is on archaeological finds and the related research, this course will also attempt to define Anyang in the modern social and cultural context in terms of world heritage, national and local identity, and the looting and illegal trade of antiquities. Yung-ti Li

Anth 27220  Youth Culture and Linguistic Practice (=Ling 27210). This course provides a survey of writings in linguistic anthropology and sociolinguistics that have focused on youth linguistic practices. Starting from anthropological work on age and generation and work in cultural studies on youth subculture, the course works through the place of language within the indexical marking of age and generation by focusing on the intersections of particular kinds of linguistic practices, youth identities, and institutions in various cultural milieus. Topics may include: code/style-mixing in youth subcultures; secret codes; slang registers; youth linguistic practices in educational institutions; the sociolinguistic intersections of youth identity, race, class, sexuality, gender, and postcoloniality; youth and linguistic shift; and linguistic practices in digital media. Constantine Nakassis. [New Spr17] 

28400/38800.  Bioarchaeology and the Human Skeleton (=BIOS 23247). This course is designed to provide students in archaeology with a thorough understanding of bioarchaeological and osteological methods used in the interpretation of prehistoric societies.  The integration of archaeology and human biology has been an especially dynamic part of anthropological endeavors during the past few decades, giving archaeologists important data on the genetic identity, health, and diet of ancient societies.  When combined with contextual data on mortuary treatment and cemetery structure, bioarchaeology forms a critical part of the technical arsenal of modern archaeologists.  The goal of this course will be to introduce students to bioarchaeological methods and theory.  In particular, laboratory instruction will stress hands-on experience in analyzing the human skeleton.  Seminar classes will emphasize bioanthropological theory and its application to specific cases throughout the world. There will be one laboratory class and one seminar-format class per week.  M.C. Lozada.  Tu 2:00-3:20; Thurs 12:30-1:50 or 2:00-3:20

28615/38615. Biological and Cultural Evolution (=BPRO 23900, BIOS 29286, HIPS 23900, CHSS 37900, LING 11100/39286, NCDV 27400, PHIL 22500/32500). (PQ Third or fourth-year standing or consent of instructor required for undergraduates; core background in evolution and genetics strongly recommended.  This course does NOT meet requirements for the biological sciences major.)  This course draws on readings in and case studies of language evolution, biological evolution, cognitive development and scaffolding, processes of socialization and formation of groups and institutions, and the history and philosophy of science and technology. We seek primarily to elaborate theory to understand and model processes of cultural evolution, while exploring analogies, differences, and relations to biological evolution. This has been a highly contentious area, and we examine why. We seek to evaluate what such a theory could reasonably cover and what it cannot.  Salikoko Mufwene, William Wimsatt

29910.  BA Essay Seminar. (Limited to students writing BA papers in Anthropology. Consent of Instructor).  This course is designed to help anthropology undergraduates to develop, formulate, and write a promising research question that can be addressed in scholarly paper of 40 pages. To do this, we will develop a specialized set of writing skills, techniques, and strategies. First, we will address the problem of processing research “data”, focusing in particular on the relationship between questions and evidence. Second, we will engage with the writing-process proper, with a special focus on how to craft an argument of this length, including planning, outlining, and drafting. Third, we will explore the rhetorical qualities and characteristics of academic writing as a textual genre, with the goal of mastering the art of developing convincing argumentation. Owen Kohl

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. Judith Farquhar/P. Sean Brotherton

37202.  Language in Culture-2 (=LING 31200, PSYC 47002, CHDV 37202). Must be taken in sequence.  This is the second part of a two-quarter sequence on the relations between language and culture. Building on the first quarter's discussions of the interactional order, this quarter's class explores the semiotics of sociocultural differentiation in institutions such as schools, nations, colonial projects and liberal polities, and the simultaneous construction of those very institutions through modes of linguistic interaction. The more general aim is to investigate the constitutive role of language and semiotic figuration in sociopolitical processes.             
We start with the notion of “ideology” and specifically language ideology, within the scholarly tradition of ideological critique.  Language ideologies shape understandings of language and interaction by users -- both professional and non-expert -- and shape assumptions about the supposedly "natural" indexicality of linguistic forms. Language ideologies are both embedded in practices and reflexive of them; they are pervaded by the moral and political positions within a social field.  To study language ideologies is to explore the nexus of language, culture and politics. We thus examine the representations – implicit and explicit – that create language’s role in a social and cultural world, and that are themselves acts within it.  
The metapragmatic/ ideological regimentation of language in use gives rise to forms of shifting "subjectivity" or inhabitable identities. These processes can be investigated through studies of indexical markers in interaction: deference-and-demeanor indexicals, honorific registers, gender indexes, stylistic indexes of situation and identity. These have been the major subject matter of variationist sociolinguistics, which we will read with a critical eye, taking linguistic units such as "language" "dialect" “code” and "variety” as normative cultural constructs -- folk concepts as well as scientific ones.  Special attention is devoted to problematizing units of analysis such as “community,” and network, and to "standardization" as a hegemonic process deeply implicated in nation-building, state-making, colonialism, and other aspects of "modernity" as a discursive project. 
The course takes up processes of differentiation and boundary-making: register-formation, multilingualism, codeswitching. These rely on the regimentation of linguistic and social forms, i.e. metadiscursive processes that authorize (prospectively) and justify (retrospectively) actions and identities. We end with a look at historical change in linguistic norms – specifically: language loss – thereby integrating the synchronic and diachronic; bringing together language use, ideology and structure in real-time interactions and institutions.  A final question asked in the course: What is the role of linguists’ ideologies in language loss?  Michael Silverstein

45600. When Cultures Collide: Multiculturalism in Liberal Democracies (=CHDV 45699, GNDR 45600).  Coming to terms with diversity in an increasingly multicultural world has become one of the most pressing public policy projects for liberal democracies in the early 21st century.  One way to come to terms with diversity is to try to understand the scope and limits of toleration for variety at different national sites where immigration from foreign lands has complicated the cultural landscape.  This seminar examines a series of legal and moral questions about the proper response to norm conflict between mainstream populations and cultural minority groups (including old and new immigrants), with special reference to court cases that have arisen in the recent history of the United States. Richard Shweder.

46100. Archaeology and Politics of the Past. This seminar explores the use of the ancient past as a symbolic resource by modern communities and the social situation and responsibilities of archae­ologists in this process. Case studies from a variety of contexts are used to show how archaeology has been implicated in the politically charged con­struction of ethnic and regional identities and nationalist and colonialist mythologies in modern history. Current debates about the authority of competing interpretations of archaeological evidence, the right to control public representations of the past, and the contested ownership of archaeo­logical materials and sites are also discussed. Michael Dietler

50530. Inspiration and Immunity, Life and World: Reading Peter Sloterdijk. (Course will involve computer hookups with students at the University of Toronto.) This seminar is a collaborative enterprise between Professors Dave and Mazzarella, bringing groups of students in Toronto and Chicago into virtual interaction around a series of close readings of the work of the contemporary philosopher and cultural critic Peter Sloterdijk. We hope to use these readings as a point of departure for a collective conversation on critique, relation, ontology, posthumanism, ecology, dwelling, crisis and vitality. William Mazzarella, Naisargi Dave (U Toronto)

51935. Anthropologies of the Line: Cartography, Materiality, Design.   Maps can be approached in many ways: as models for spatial and material refashioning, as symptoms of historical erasure and territorial transformation, or as techniques of colonial displacement and dispossession. As evident in recent (and ongoing) struggles over pipe-lines, lines also arise as infrastructural forces of mobility and extraction to which particular histories of spatial attachment and displacement adhere. This course pushes the study of cartography beyond the problem of territory and governance, refocusing attention on the manifold labors of “the line.” Lines are the basis for borders, constructing modern states and dividing landscapes, but they are also graphic media for writing and thus embody the powers of representation historically associated with that form. How do we think the relationship between writing and cartographic design, desires for intelligibility and projects of geographic remaking, modes of mediation and the material (physical, territorial, ecological, bodily) worlds that are variously crafted, transformed, and undone through the rendering of a line?  Building from anthropology as well as geography, aesthetic theory, cartographic studies, post/colonial theory, environmental studies, and theories of representation/ design, this course pursues new ways of thinking with and about lines as they reshape landscapes and re-form bodies, rendering design a renewed site both of political struggle and desire, of claim-making and aesthetic critique. Mareike Winchell.

51940. Thinking with Infrastructure. Maps can be approached in many ways: as models for spatial and material refashioning, as symptoms of historical erasure and territorial transformation, or as techniques of colonial displacement and dispossession. As evident in recent (and ongoing) struggles over pipe-lines, lines also arise as infrastructural forces of mobility and extraction to which particular histories of spatial attachment and displacement adhere. This course pushes the study of cartography beyond the problem of territory and governance, refocusing attention on the manifold labors of “the line.” Lines are the basis for borders, constructing modern states and dividing landscapes, but they are also graphic media for writing and thus embody the powers of representation historically associated with that form. How do we think the relationship between writing and cartographic design, desires for intelligibility and projects of geographic remaking, modes of mediation and the material (physical, territorial, ecological, bodily) worlds that are variously crafted, transformed, and undone through the rendering of a line?  Building from anthropology as well as geography, aesthetic theory, cartographic studies, post/colonial theory, environmental studies, and theories of representation/ design, this course pursues new ways of thinking with and about lines as they reshape landscapes and re-form bodies, rendering design a renewed site both of political struggle and desire, of claim-making and aesthetic critique. Michael Fisch.

53010. Multi-si(gh)ted ethnography. This course makes the case for thinking about multi-sited ethnography as a conceptual topology rather than a literalist methodology. The argument of the course is that multi-sited research is something other than simply proliferating the physical sites of one’s research; it is rather about the constitutive imbrication of questions of scale and perception in research design. In other words, a multi-sited sensibility is also necessarily a multi-sighted sensibility, requiring a proliferation of modes of sensory and conceptual perception. The course develops a second argument alongside, concerning the ways in which a multi-sited sensibility is postcolonial in its ethos. To elaborate this, we will turn to critiques of representation in the human sciences, in order to read them as promissory calls for proliferating the norms and forms of ethnographic practice in ways that are adequate to a contemporary globalizing moment. The hope is to develop and understand an affirmatively deconstructive spirit of ethnographic perception and inquiry, in ways that problematize and re-conceptualize both site and sight.  Kaushik Sunder Rajan

53807. Questions of Embodiment. (PQ Systems-1 or Consent)  Hussein Agrama

54810.  Figuration of the Non-Human: Animals, Spirits, Machines. It may seem odd for a course in Anthropology, the self-declared “Science of Man” to consider the Non-Human. But of course, humans have interacted with the “non-human” from the moment that hominization began. As Marx (and now Actor-Network Theory) have taught us, this moment inevitably entailed the recruitment of non-human “actants” into properly human projects. But it also entails the capacity to linguistically classify, and so name, the distinction between certain kinds of selves and the non-human others enrolled in projects evolving within historically (and perhaps evolutionarily) specific environments. Thus while other species are bound to forms of self- and non-self recognition on a biotic basis (e.g. through their immune system’s reactions to invasive pathogenic entities, the calibration of their perceptual apparatus to their ecological niches, by species-specific boundaries to sexual reproduction, or zoo-semiotic capabilities), humans appear to be the only animals that cannot only name the difference, and are (therefore) also capable of re-drawing conceptual boundaries between claimed collective selves and their contrastively significant others – whether these are conceded the status of humanity, or not. What is more, as Marx’s once argued, being the “universal animal” humans not only confront the world of “nature” but a “second nature” that they themselves have produced. We could add to this a Third Nature that humans have named and conceptualized. But the point should be obvious: we face a world that we have created, and furnished with our own productions – biotic, religious, machinic, or informational – that we cannot help but reckon with. This genuinely human predicament has, as of lately, received renewed attention by scholars championing what is now fashionable to call an “ontological turn” in our discipline that proposes a dismantling of deep-seated Western metaphysical pre-suppositions by taking what an earlier anthropology conceived of as “apparently irrational beliefs” (in need of explanation) at their face value as rival propositions about the world and its furniture.  This course represents a (necessarily eclectic) exploration of this claim, and it will pursue this goal by scrutinizing those dimensions – historically and contemporarily – where “Western” and “Non-Western” metaphysics and ontologies converge, rather than provide conveniently contrastive cases. Stephan Palmié

55535. Law and Empire. This seminar starts from the premise that the ideal of nation-states as the basic units of law-making – either as sovereigns who reign supreme in their own territory or as formally equal units in an international system – is historically the exception rather than the norm. Instead of treating empires as historical relics to be condemned or celebrated, it explores the history of empires to revisit and reframe basic questions about sovereignty, jurisdiction, constitutionalism, regulation, and rights. This seminar accordingly focuses on a central concern in the history of law, namely the management of racial and religious difference, both often coded in terms of “civilization.” International law in particular has generally oscillated between two approaches: attempting to manage such differences as tolerable variations on universal themes on the one hand and using such differences to exclude categories of people wholesale from the ambit of law and its protections on the other. We will explore both dynamics by reading some classic debates as well as recent scholarship at the intersection of anthropology, law, and history. In so doing, we will explore dilemmas over the management of difference and how have played an important role in shaping law; and how groups deemed marginal, backwards, or even inhuman have sought to engage and define law and the world system; and how such hierarchies and exclusions were transformed after decolonization ushered in a world order based on formally equal sovereign nation-states. Darryl Li.

55730. Reading Talal Asad. (PQ Systems-1 &2 or consent)

58600.  Social Theory of the City. This graduate seminar explores various historical, sociological and anthropological theories of cities.  The course analyzes major theoretical frameworks concerned with urban forms, institutions and experience as well as particular instances of city development from pre-modern to contemporary periods.  The seminar will consist of initial orienting lectures, discussion of selected texts concerned with social theories of the city, and presentation of research projects by class participants. Alan Kolata