Graduate and Undergraduate Courses: Spring 2018

21217.  The Luo of Kenya. (This course qualifies as a Discovering Anthropology Selection for Anthropology Majors.) This course is designed to present an introduction to the Luo of Kenya, a Nilotic-speaking group of some 3 million people living on the northeastern shores of Lake Victoria. It is intended to convey a sense of contemporary Luo culture and society and the complex history that has led to the present moment. It is equally concerned to use the Luo case in order to give students a sense of the ethnographic practices and theoretical concerns of Anthropology – to show in detail how anthropologists study and represent other cultures. The Luo are of particular interest in this regard because they have been studied by a variety of anthropologists since the 1930s, and they were discussed in British colonial reports since the turn of the century. Hence, they offer an excellent case for examining differences in the concerns and modes of representation within the discipline of Anthropology as these have changed over the years. We are also fortunate in that there are many Luo academics and intellectuals who have published their own analyses and literary accounts of Luo culture and history. Hence, one has the opportunity to compare alien and indigenous representations. The Luo are also of particular interest because they have been traditionally a stateless society that has had to adapt over the past century to being incorporated into colonial and post-colonial states, and this local history exposes in acute form some of the problems and contradictions that are found more generally in current African politics, law, and economics. The Luo have also been propelled into the international spotlight in recent years because of their unusually high rate of AIDS and because Barack Obama, who was elected President of the United States in 2008, is the son of a Luo intellectual and politician. The course will focus upon such things as Luo kinship and marriage patterns, Luo conceptions of space and time, Luo religion and the transformative effects of Christianity, the impact of AIDS and globalization, the differences and connections between rural and urban contexts, the role of the Luo in colonial and post-colonial Kenyan history, and transformations of the moral economy and the gendered division of labor. Michael Dietler

21306/45301. Explorations in Oral Narrative.  (This course qualifies as a Discovering Anthropology Selection for Anthropology Majors). A study of storytelling in non-literate and folk societies, antecedent to the complexities of modern narrativity, itself anchored in and energized by literacy. Despite the impact of literacy on modern minds this course argues for the persistence of ancient themes, plots, characters and motifs.. A further argument is made for the foundational role of storytelling in the creation of culture and construction of society. The central place of storytelling is shown in the humanistic and social sciences:  anthropology, economics, history, philosophy, politics, psychoanalysis. Student  storytelling and performance of brief stories is encouraged and discussed  in light of the main arguments of the course.  James Fernandez

21339.  The Anthropocene: A Time for Humans?  Earth scientists have observed that human activity is now a dominant driver of planetary processes that could depart from expected, natural behavior for thousands, or even millions, of years. Some have proposed that this signals the onset of a new epoch in Earth’s history, the Anthropocene. The Anthropocene concept has had profound effects, captivating scholarly imagination across disciplines and departments, from Geology to English. This course will familiarize students with the contours of a contentious debate understood to have far-ranging theoretical, methodological, moral, and political repercussions. It is intended as a case study for tracing the links between science and society through several lenses drawn from anthropology and social studies of science. We will first consider different ways of conceiving of time, historical narrative, and human-environment relations before investigating how it became possible to think about planetary crisis. We will then explore how international scientific communities are weighing competing claims about the material traces of an Anthropocene and its onset. We will finish with a series of vignettes that demonstrate how the Anthropocene concept could spur a reconfiguration of knowledge production and social life more broadly.   Matthew Knisley. 

21340.  Food Politics: Consuming Bodies and Beings.           
                  People ask me: Why do you write about food, and eating and drinking? Why don’t you write about the struggle for power and security, and about love…?
             …The easiest answer is to say that, like most other humans, I am hungry.  But there is more than that. It seems to me that our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others.”   
M.F.K. Fisher, The Gastronomical Me. 
“Food Politics” means so many things: Trust, risk, danger. Symbolic power, constitutive potential. Meaningful nourishment and nourishing meaning. Diets, fasts, binges. Canning, refrigeration, and the cold aisles of supermarkets. Educated consumers, mass panics, and the “distant” bodies of humanitarian aid.  In this class, anthropological and ethnographic approaches to food politics will be our lens into recognizing, discussing, and thinking about our daily lives of food as political processes. We will examine articulations of social differences, performances and performativities of bodies (gendered, public, private, clandestine, hungry, satiated, healthy, and criminal), transnational battles over regional and local “purity,” and sensibilities that do or do not trust sites of economic and/or political authority positioned far away.  Indeed, food politics are just as much a window into the investigative and critical potentials of anthropology as they are a way to recognize the moral, popular, imaginary, and experiential processes at work and constitutive of taken-for-granted political actor-abstractions such as “the state” “the economy” and “the public.”

21420.  Ethnographic Methods: (PQ: Preference given to third-year Anthropology majors preparing to write BA papers next year.)  This course is an introduction to the practice of ethnographic research.  It is intended to provide students with a background in the epistemological, ethical and representational issues entailed in fieldwork as well as serve as a collective workshop for discussing the pragmatics of conducting research.  The first part of the course deals with key issues for planning and entering into a research project: forming research questions, planning research and thinking about ‘the field,’ gaining IRB approval and accessing and entering the field.  The second half of the course introduces specific research methods that students can employ in their research projects, along with fieldwork exercises in which students are able to practice these methods.  Class sessions will be divided between discussions of critical readings in anthropology related to methodological epistemology and practice, and workshop-style sessions where we collectively discuss student projects, reflect on the experience of fieldwork, share advice and constructive criticism.   The course will culminate in students either writing a research proposal in preparation for their BA projects, or “writing up” the results of their fieldwork exercises during the quarter to produce their own “mini-ethnography.” Ella Butler

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

22015. Is Development Sustainable? (=ENST 24400).  This course examines alternative concepts and theoretical grounds for notions of sustainable development. We analyze core issues underlying population growth, resource extraction, "sustainable consumption," environmental change, and  social transformation through a consideration of economic, political, scientific, and cultural institutions and processes. The course, based on orienting lectures and intensive class discussion of core texts, focuses on the sustainability problems of both highly industrialized countries as well as of developing nations. Previous exposure to environmental or development issues, although useful, is not required.  Alan Kolata.

22715/43720.  Weber, Bakhtin, Banjamin. Ideal types?  The iron cage?  Captured speech?  No alibis?  Dialectical Images?  Charismatic authority?  Heteroglossia?  Modes of Domination?  Seizing the flash? Finished, monological utterances?  Conditions of possibility?  Strait gates through time?
Weber, Bakhtin and Benjamin provide insights and analytical tools of unsurpassed power.  Scholars who use them best have faced and made key decisions about social ontology and social science epistemology, decision that follow from specific, radical propositions about society and social science made by these theorists and others they engage, starting at least from Immanuel Kant.  This course is designed for any student who wants to more clearly understand the arguments of Weber, Bakhtin and Benjamin, and to understand more broadly the remarkable trajectories of German social theory after Kant.  It is designed especially for anyone hoping to use some of their conceptions well in new research.  (Yes, Bakhtin is Russian, and cultural theory in Russia and the US too will come up.)  Fair warning: this course focuses on four roads out of Kant’s liberal apriorism (including culture theory from Herder to Boas and Benedict, as well as Benjamin and the dialectical tradition, Bakhtin’s dialogism, and Weber’s historical realism).  We will spend less time on good examples of current use of Weber’s, Bakhtin’s, and Benjamin’s ideas, than on the writings of Weber, Bakhtin and Benjamin themselves, and their predecessors and interlocutors (including Herder, Hegel, Clausewitz, Marx, Ihering and Simmel).  The premise of the course is that you will do more in your own research with a roadmap than with templates. John Kelly

22725. Anthropology against the Law. Much of what happens in society occurs against, outside, or otherwise in contravention of formal legal structures. This course will explore the mutually structuring relationship between the realms of the lawful and unlawful. Through a series of ethnographic readings, we will also probe how legal categories and notions of lawfulness shape assumptions in social theory, political philosophy, and anthropological scholarship. Finally, we will discuss methodological and ethical issues that arise in research "against the law." Darryl Li.

22730.  Decolonizing Anthropology: Africana Critical Theory and the Social Sciences (=CRES 22730). This course historicizes the relationship between black studies and the social sciences with a focus on the discipline of anthropology. To this end, students will engage anthropological studies of black communities and debate how black intellectuals have troubled the relationship between social science and colonialism. The aim of this course is twofold. First, how are the social sciences brought to bear on black social life in accordance with what W.E.B. Du Bois famously described as the “study of Negro problems?” And secondly, how does the figure of “the Negro” pose a problem for anthropology theory? As students will read, nineteenth century abolitionist Frederick Douglass and Haitian anthropologist Antenor Firmin condemned the Social Darwinism of the nascent human sciences and issued challenges to scientific method and analysis. Critiques of this sort, however, remain absent from histories of the discipline. Through an analysis of classical and contemporary texts, this course considers how anthropological theory has depended on erasures that inhibit its radical potential for social transformation. Ryan Jobson

23061/33061. The Maroon Societies in South America. (=LACS 25116/35116). This course will examine recent ethnographies on slave descendants’ societies in South America.  Its main purpose is to explore current anthropological studies of the Maroon experience, focusing on new approaches on the relations of these communities with Amerindians, peasants, and other neighboring populations, as well as their dialogues with other non-human beings who inhabit their existential territories.  Olivia Gomes da Cunha.

23093. Latin American Extractivisms (=LACS 26416). This course will survey the historical antecedents and contemporary politics of Latin American extractivisms. While resource extraction in Latin America is far from new, the scale and transnational scope of current “neoextractivisms” have unearthed unprecedented rates of profit as well as social conflict. Today’s oil wells, open-pit mines, and vast fields of industrial agriculture have generated previously unthinkable transformations to local ecologies and social life, while repeating histories of indigenous land dispossession in the present. Yet parallel to neo-extractive regimes, emergent Latin American social movements have unleashed impassioned and often unexpected forms of local and transnational resistance. Readings in the course will contrast cross-regional trends of extractive economic development and governance with fine-grained accounts of how individuals, families, and communities experience and respond to land dispossession, local and transregional conflict, and the ecological and health impacts of Latin American extractivisms. Stefanie Graeter

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.

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)

24309. Reproductive Worlds (=GNSE24308, PBPL 24308) This course explores how human reproduction and the reproductive body is compelled, constrained, enabled, and narrated across the globe. The “natural” aspects of reproduction intersect in increasingly fraught and often surprising ways with its technological/ scientific, institutional/professional, religious/spiritual, and political/ideological aspects. The starting point for the course is that the reproduction of bodies is differently understood and politically contested among and for various groups of people. We will pay particular attention to the ways bodies, ideas, and technologies flow throughout global contexts, while exploring how inequalities at various levels (race, class, geographic region, nationality, gender, sexuality, practices of family making) impact the “nature” of the reproductive body, and how reproductive practices “reproduce” such inequalities. We will also explore how knowledge of the reproductive body is contested through biomedicine, law, and media, with particular attention to naturalizing discourse about gender and intuition. Finally, we will look at how ecology and reproduction are intertwined via concern about environmental toxicities and the impact of non-human actors.  Andrea Ford.

24355/35135. Experiencing Madness: Empathic Methods in Cultural Psychiatry (=MAPS 32800, CHDV 32822, CHSS 32800, HIPS 22800). This course provides students with an introduction to the phenomenological approach in cultural psychiatry, focusing on the problem of “how to represent mental illness” as a thematic anchor. Students will examine the theoretical and methodological groundings of cultural psychiatry, examining how scholars working in the phenomenological tradition have tried to describe the lived experiences of various forms of “psychopathology” or “madness.” By the end of the course, students will have learned how to describe and analyze the social dimension of a mental health experience, using a phenomenologically-grounded anthropological approach, and by adopting a technical vocabulary for understanding the lived experiences of mental illness (for instance, phenomena, life-world, being-in-the-world, intentionality, epoche, embodiment, madness, psychopathology, melancholia/depression, schizophrenia, etc). In addition, given the ongoing problematic of “how to represent mental illness,” students will also have the opportunity to think through the different ways of presenting their analysis, both in the form of weekly blog entries and during a final-week mock-workshop, where they will showcase their work in a creative medium appropriate to that analysis.  Francis Mckay

25150/35150. Anthropology of Israel (=MAPS 36567, CMES 35150, NEHC 25147/35147, JWSC 25149). 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.  Morris Fred.

25440/35405. Maverick Markets: Cultural Economics and Cultural Finance (=SOCI 20258/30258). 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,

25906. Shamans and Oral Poets of Central Asia (=NEHC 20766/30766). This course explores the rituals, oral literature, and music associated with the nomadic cultures of Central Eurasia. Kagan Arik.

27435. Language and Law (=LING 27xxx). Language and discourse are central features of the operation and force of law in any society. Whether in the form of written case law and legislation, the face-to-face interactions of dispute resolution, and even the execution and imposition of legal punishments and entitlements, linguistic and other symbolic systems of communication play a crucial role in the processes that constitute law and legal systems, and the power they effectuate in human societies.  Yet despite this fact, it has only been since the last decades of the 20th century that studies of legal language shifted from a domain that was dominated by technicians of legal texts and argumentation to one lead by contributions from social science and the humanities. To date, much of this work has considered the wide variety of forms that language takes in the legal field – from courtroom discourse (i.e. witness examination interactions, plea bargaining routines, small claims court argumentation) to legal textualities (i.e. case opinions, legislative provisions, bureaucratic forms), and even including a number of other semi-official, and non-official communicative contexts in which discourses of law emerge (e.g. everyday legal narratives, interaction with legal clerks, etc.).
Beyond elaborating the rather obvious point that language use shapes legal practice, most of these studies also acknowledge the central role that legal language plays in constituting the social realties that come under the ambit of the law. As such, they generally concur with Conley and O’Barr when they write, “we reach the conclusion that language is not merely the vehicle through which legal power operates: in many vital respects, language is legal power.” (2005:14) To this extent, the expansion of the field of legal language research mirrors, and extends, more general convergences between social science and humanities research around notions of language, discourse, and culture  (i.e. in sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, but also critical sociology and anthropology, and critical theory more generally). 
This class endeavors to trace the development of the study of legal language over the last thirty years, considering both key texts in the field as well as more recent arrivals. Along the way, and as a way to frame the weekly readings, the course will introduce students to some of the more prominent theories of language and communication on which legal language research is grounded. Justin Richland.

27605/37605. Language, Culture and Thought (=CHDV 21901/31901, LING 27605/37605, PSYC21950/31900. Survey of research on the interrelation of language, culture, and thought from the evolutionary, developmental, historical, and culture-comparative perspectives with special emphasis on the mediating methodological implications for the social sciences. John Lucy.

27615/47615. Citationality and Performativity (=LING 2xxxx/4xxxx). This class explores the concept of citationality—the (meta)semiotic form and quality of reflexive interdiscursive practices (such as, most canonically, reported speech)—and its relationship to various social forms and formations. Particular focus is given to the semiotics of reported speech, the citational form of performativity and the performativity of citational acts. Through the analytic tools of linguistic anthropology, we focus on J. L. Austin’s discussion of performativity, Jacques Derrida’s critique of speech act theory, Judith Butler’s reading of Derrida, Voloshinov and Bakthin's discussion of double voicing and intertextuality; other topics may include gender performativity and drag; mimicry and pretending; mockery and parody; and youth fashion practices.  Constantine Nakassis.

28410/38610. Zooarchaeology (=NEAA 20035/30035). This course introduces the use of animal bones in archaeological research. Students gain hands-on experience analyzing faunal remains from an archaeological site in the Near East. Topics include: (1) identifying, aging, and sexing animal bones; (2) zooarchaeological sampling, measurement, quantification, and problems of taphonomy; (3) computer analysis of animal bone data; and (4) reconstructing prehistoric hunting and pastoral economies (e.g., animal domestication, hunting strategies, herding systems, seasonality, pastoral production in complex societies). Gil Stein

39000. Archaeological Theory and Method-1. This course offers an exploration of archaeological theory in historical and contemporary perspective. Our goals for this class are threefold: 1) To examine the foundations of modern archaeological thinking, its main conceptual trends, and ties to broader anthropological inquiry over time; 2) To expose students to key themes and conversations in contemporary archaeology; and 3) To discuss the intersections between archaeological research and other fields of ideas. Francois Richard

39001 Archaeological Theory and Method-2. This course is a complement to Theory/Method: Archaeology 1. It will feature readings that expand inquiries begun in that earlier course. Discussions will also explore additional themes, critical issues, and problems relevant to archaeology theory and theories of material culture, more generally. Interested students must take Theory/Method: Archaeology 1 concurrently, or have taken it previously.  Francois Richard

39000/39001  Archaeological Theory and Method.  (From the older 200 unit version) This course offers an exploration of archaeological theory in historical and contemporary perspective. Our goals for this class are threefold: 1) To examine the foundations of modern archaeological thinking, its main conceptual trends, and ties to broader anthropology over time; 2) To expose students to key themes and conversations in contemporary archaeology; and 3) To discuss the intersections between archaeological research and other fields of ideas. To structure our explorations, the course is organized around the twinned questions of ‘modernity’ and (political) ‘subjectivity,’ which have featured rather centrally in anthropological inquiry over the past twenty years. One of the course’s premises is that archaeology has been fundamentally tangled up with the project of modernity. The new notions of time, ways of ordering the world, and forms of being that emerged out of the Enlightenment were intrinsic to the genesis of the field, just as archaeology – and the ideas of ‘pastness’ it builds on – became implicated in the fashioning of new ideologies of progress, truth, civility, political culture, self, and collective affect. These ideas, in turn, have imparted distinct shape to political imaginations in the era of global (liberal) modernity, while maintaining an ambiguous relationship with earlier modes of being – occluding or repudiating them at times, and quietly recuperating them at others.           
Archaeology, then, offers a fertile lens for interrogating the discourses, processes, and anxieties that framed (and crystallized in) the intellectual and political landscapes of the 19th and 20th centuries, and continue to structure today’s world. In addition to focusing on matters of archaeological epistemology, theory, and interpretation, we will also discuss how ‘modernity’ provided conditions of possibility for the development of archaeological work, and, conversely, how archaeology partook in the constitution of modernity. In the process, we will seek to understand the kinds of discourses (which are also so many silences) that have informed archaeology’s making, those it has buttressed in the past and those quietly channels in the present, as well as those it might permit to expose and upturn. This should help us to gain a clearer sense of archaeology as a distinct form of knowledge and its possibilities/constraints as a kind of engagement in the world.           
A number of themes will be echoed throughout the quarter that will guide our examination of archaeology, anthropology and modernity and provide a framework for our readings: archives and order; time; progress and evolution; otherness and belonging; difference and representation; culture and history; truth and objectivity; power and freedom; state, subjectivity, and violence; and discipline, professionalization, and institution. As key signs of the modern condition, these will offer valuable points of entry into the tense and tender ties that bind archaeology to the architecture of modernity.   Francois Richard.

40150. Hermeneutic Sociology (=SOCI 40156).  The core ideas of a social hermeneutics (as distinct from, yet building on the classical traditions of textual hermeneutics) were developed in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. They can be roughly summarized in a few intertwining propositions: First, discursive, emotive and sensory modalities of sense making (interpretation, world making…), conscious and unconscious are a key differentiator of human life forms across time and space. Second, sense making is acting and as such dialectically entangled with acting more generally. Third, sense making necessarily proceeds in diverse media whose structures and habits of use deeply shape the sense making process whence the necessity to attend to form and style. Fourth, sense making is a social activity structured by the relationships within which they take place. Fifth, the sense making activities actually performed are crucial for the reproduction of structures of media and life forms. Sixths, sense making, life forms, and media are dialectically (co-constitutively) intertwined with each other. And finally, seventh, social hermeneutics is itself sense-making. The course will explore these ideas by reading classical statements that highlight the core analytic concepts that social hermeneuticists employ such as symbolization, interpretation, mediation, rhetoric, performance, performativity, interpretive community, institutionalization. . Every session will combine a discussion of the readings with an analytical practicum using these concepts. Authors typically include Vico, Herder, Dilthey, Aristotle, Burke, Austin, Ricoeur, Schütz, Bourdieu, Peirce, Panofsky, Ranciere, Lakoff, Mackenzie, Latour.  Andreas Glaeser  Mon 5:00-7:50  Spring 2018

42004.  Modes of Inquiry-2: Multimodal Experiments. (Strongly recommended for second-year anthro graduate students, PQ 42003: Modes of Inquiry-1: Ethnographic Innovations.  Julie Chu, Kaushi Sunder Rajan

42520.  Islam and Modern Science (=AASR/ISLM 40302, KNOW 40302). Since the nineteenth century, the rise of the modern empirical sciences has provided both challenges and opportunities for Muslim-majority societies. In this seminar, we examine the epistemological, institutional, and biopolitical transformations that have come about in these societies through encounters with a range of natural and social scientific disciplines (astronomy, medicine, psychology, psychical research, psychoanalysis, eugenics, economics, sociology, anthropology, and others). Readings are from anthropology, history, and science studies.  Note: This course fulfills 1 of 2 KNOW Core Seminars required for eligibility to apply for the SIFK Dissertation Research Fellowship. Alirez Doostdar

45120. Disability, Dependency, and the Good Life (=CHDV 46460)  Disability studies is an interdisciplinary area of study that focuses on the experiences and representation of disability across multiple realms – including the social, environmental, cultural, regional, historical, economic and political. Additionally, with the emergence of increasingly sophisticated prenatal testing technologies and technological interventions such as cochlear implants, the binary between disabled and non-disabled is becoming increasingly porous: disability is both the new normal and a category ever more in flux. This course will take an anthropological approach to disability in exploring some of the foundational concepts utilized by disabled activists and communities both in the United States and internationally. We will explore the concepts of inter/dependency, accessibility, inclusion, participation, and justice as disabled actors in daily life mobilize them to both create livable worlds and to make claims of other individuals, organizations, and states. In doing so, we will consider the works of scholars writing about dependency and interdependency and we will consider the ethical stakes of different ethical moral, and political frameworks for thinking about disabled peoples’ experiences. Michele Friedner.

46601.  Economic Anthropology and Archaeology. This seminar is an exploration of approaches to the study of ancient economic systems.  Readings and discussions are structured so as to: 1) give the participants a grounding in the theoretical framework of, and intellectual background to, this domain of inquiry, 2) critically explore major current research issues and methods, and 3) furnish a comparative perspective on the role of economy in society and history.  This course is an exploration of how to think about economic issues in ways that may lead to productive research strategies and insights about past societies.   The course will begin with a discussion of definitions of “economy” and a comparison of different approaches to the subject both within and outside the discipline of anthropology.  The place of economic archaeology in relation to the subfields of economic anthropology and economic history will be evaluated, and the special methodological and theoretical problems of economic archaeology in this context, and its potential contribution, will be emphasized. Michael Dietler.

47435. Colloquium: Language and Law (=LING 47xxx) (PQ Graduate section involves and extra hour of discussion.)Students in this proseminar will attend class sessions of Anthropology 27435 (q.v.), and in addition will meet separately to consider issues of particular theoretical interest in furthering a linguistic and semiotic anthropology of language in legal institutions. Michael Silverstein

51100.  Situations.  Precision in ethnographic method has grown elusive as the method for contextualizing the objects of analysis have metamorphosed in the later 20th and early 21st centuries.  Ever since Edmund Leach’s Political Systems of Highland Burma, at least, ethnographers have begun to dispute the premise organizing classic twentieth-century ethnography:  that societies come parceled in identifiable units.  Ethnographic method has changed just as profoundly before.  Twentieth century ethnography broke with nineteenth century evolutionary stage theories and a comparative method founded on case studies, by turning from study of cases (of primitivity, of barbarism, of peasantry, etc.) to the delineation of places, in which separate and whole cultures and societies thrived.  After Leach and others, this place-based study of systems of social and cultural order has been challenged by a congeries of increasingly radical reconsiderations of sites and their situations.  Culture, society and meaning are delineated now not in whole isolates but in obviously heterogeneous fields, networks, scapes (etc.).  The new approach enables more productive political and historical studies of domination, asymmetry, exploitation, struggle and change.  While Sahlins and Tambiah constituted a post-Sartrean “structural, historical anthropology” by the 1980s, Dirks announced a “new, critical historical anthropology” and Wolf, an “historically-oriented political economy.”  More recent developments, such as the “ontological turn,” are clearly on this political road, as anthropologists desire their work to be politically relevant and effective, often on large scale, e.g., ”postcoloniality” or “the Anthropocene.”  But, granting the significance of political salience, what distinguishes ethnography as science?  What constitutes rigor of descriptions in actually ethnographic study of situations?  Can we clarify what distinguishes ethnography from other kinds of intrinsically political and scientific writing?  This course will read interesting recent ethnographies, perhaps Taussig,  Shamanism, Colonialism and the Wild Man (1991); Adams  Doctors for Democracy (1998);  Ohnuki-Tierney  Kamikaze, Cherry Blossoms, and Nationalisms (2002);  Cody, The Light of Knowledge (2013);  de la Cadena, Earth Beings (2015); Wilder, Freedom Time (2015).  We will also read a few classic twentieth-century ethnographies and contemporary discussions of their contexts and politics, perhaps Benedict’s The Chrysanthemum and the Sword and Evans-Pritchard’s Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic Among the Azande as well as Leach on highland Burma.  This course is intended for students already committed to ethnographic work of their own, in quest of best practices. John Kelly

51805.  Dominion in Disguise: At the Penumbra of Colonialism. The instructor is developing the concept of crypto-colonialism – first outlined in a 2002 article – to address nation-states outside the formal dominion of Western colonial powers, states that have nevertheless been heavily dependent on those powers.  The concept has gained some traction in the countries concerned, but as a result now demands a more systematic comparative treatment.  Countries to be discussed include Afghanistan, China, Greece, Iceland, Iran, Nepal, and Thailand – superficially a heterogeneous collection, but displaying, under the prism of the crypto-colonial frame, some surprising historical and cultural similarities, especially in those areas of collective self-knowledge the instructor has labeled as “cultural intimacy.”  Those similarities include the fragility of borders and the necessity of bureaucratic concept-work to ensure their tangibility; tensions inherent in Cold War dynamics; unexpected cultural relations with neighboring states conventionally deemed hostile; a deep concern with collective imagery and an awareness of economic and other humiliating forms of dependence.  The seminar will also address two major and legitimate concerns about the model: its capacity to accommodate the agency of the oppressed; and the risk of a discourse that merely reinforces methodological nationalism. Michael Herzfeld. Course will run between April 9-27.

52200. Proposal Preparation. (PQ: Open only to anthropology graduate students preparing dissertation proposals) This is a required course for all (primarily third-year) graduate students (including Archaeology students) who are preparing field work grant applications and dissertation proposals 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.  Shannon Dawdy

54100. Professionalization. (PQ Designed for post-field students thinking about the job market.) This is a course designed for Anthropology students planning to be on the job market in the near future and deals with such issues and creation of a CV, job letters, on-campus interviews, first year in an academic job, publication, working toward tenure, etc. Michael Silverstein.

55540.  Captivity. The premise for this course is that anthropology, as well as other domains of social inquiry, have unacknowledged and unredeemed debts to captivity as structure, experience, and event, from the penal colony to the slave plantation. This course is an attempt to begin to think about those debts through readings in anthropology, history, and philosophy. Darryl Li.

56115. Archaeology of Bronze Age China: Advanced Seminar (=EALC 51010).  “Bronze Age” in China conventionally refers to the time period from ca 2000 to about 500 BC, during which bronze, an alloy of copper and other metals such as tin and lead, was the predominant medium used by the society, or to be more precise, the elite classes of society.  Bronze objects, in the forms of vessels, weapons, and musical instruments, were reserved for the upper ruling class of the society and were used mostly as paraphernalia during rituals and feasting.  “Bronze Age” in China also indicates the emergence and eventual maturation of states with their bureaucratic systems, the presence of urban centers, a sophisticated writing system, and advanced craft producing industries, especially metal production.  The course surveys the important archaeological finds of Bronze Age China, and the theoretical issues such as state formation, craft production, writing, bureaucratic systems, urbanization, warfare, and inter-regional interaction, etc.  It emphasizes a multi-disciplinary approach with readings and examples from anthropology, archaeology, art history, and epigraphy.  This course will also visit the Smart Museum, the Field Museum, and the Art Institute of Chicago to take advantage of the local collections of ancient Chinese arts and archaeology.  Ying-ti Li

58011.  Archaeology of Craft Production: Theories and Case Studies (=EALC 58011). This course will review anthropological literature and case studies of craft production and craft specialization in ancient civilizations.  It also takes a multi-disciplinary approach by adopting perspectives developed in history and art history.  Topics discussed in the course include organization of production, craft production and the elite, chaîne opératoire, status and identity of artisans, and political economy and craft production.  Students are expected to become familiar with prevalent theoretical discussion and are encouraged to apply, adopt, or revise them in other to analyze examples of craft production of their own choice. Yung-ti Li

58516. Creativity and Craftwork. The central theme of this course is an exploration of creativity from the perspective of anthropology, philosophy, and the design. From the creative industries, to the creative class and creative commons, creativity appears less a faculty of certain individuals and more a collective force which produces new relationships and values. Why is creativity a persistent and prominent item on a variety of agendas, education, commercial spheres and more broadly in culture? Why does it matter to consider the creative possibilities of skilled labor and of manufactured products?  What is at stake in the creative life?                                                                                                                                                                                                         This course aims to work through the conceptual issues posed by creativity, in particular its complex intellectual history and traditions of thought, for an anthropological approach to this topic. We will endeavor to shift the inquiry beyond Romantic notions of genius and modern perspectives on the commodity aesthetic with readings drawn from ethnographies of craftwork & design and theories of embodied and tacit knowledge. The course thus draws from a variety of disciplines to explore how the processes of making – the hand, skills, gestures, materials, and learning – may help us think about the shifting domains of creative action. We will also visit a pottery studio and take a lesson to complement our inquiry on embodied thought. Alice Yao

56200. The Human Environment: Ecological Anthropologies and Anthropological Ecologies. This graduate seminar is framed around a critical intellectual history of Nature/Culture concepts from the Enlightenment to the present. We will explore multiple, contradictory strands of social thought regarding human/environment interactions, including the concepts of Descartes, Thoreau, Linneaeus, Darwin, and Spencer, as well as a broad range of contemporary analysts. In the course of exploring distinct theoretical stances to understanding the human-environment relation, we will engage major contemporary issues of  global environmental change, questions of population and environment, “common property” resources, indigenous regimes of resource management and the power relations and politics affecting local and global human use of the environment. Alan Kolata.