Graduate Courses — Autumn 2008

34000. Introduction to Chicago Anthropology. PQ:  Open only to first-year Anthropology graduate students. An introduction to the current faculty of the Department of Anthropology, their intellectual genealogies, and their current work.  Staff. WedFri+some Mondays  12-1:20. Haskell 315.

34101-02. Development of Social/Cultural Theory-I (200 units) PQ: Open only to first-year Anthropology graduate students. This course is designed for students beginning graduate study in anthropology.  It is intended to provide a broad perspective on the history of social theory in the West, and critical skills for reading in and contributing to social and cultural theory.  We will use the history of theorizing about society and culture as a means to discuss the past, present, and future of anthropology and its relations with other scientific and humanistic disciplines.   J. Kelly. TuTh 1:30-4:20.  Haskell 315.

34803.  Anthropology and Literature: The Brothers Karamazov & Russian Culture (=SCTH 32550, RUSS 34300).  Close reading of select passages, intense discussion of basic issues such as soul, guilt, forgiveness, depravity, innocence, lust hatred, sin, Christian love, jealousy, shame, brotherly love.  Some attention to Biblical subtexts, cultural-historical context (e.g., Russian Orthodoxy, Western rationalism) and certain questions about the language of Dostoevsky.  Theoretical issues to be explored include dialogue and polyphony, poetics vs prosaics, skepticism versus faith, and tropology and typology.  Some collateral reading from Pesmen's Russia and Soul, Bakhtin, and Figges.  The Pevear/Volokhonsky translation.  Knowledge of Russian helpful but not necessary.  P. Friedrich.Thurs 9:30-12:20. Open to undergraduates.

36700:  Archaeology of Race and Ethnicity. (PQ: Some background in archaeological theory and method.  Open to undergraduates with consent of instructor.)  How can we tell whether material differences in the archaeological record correspond to boundaries human groups draw between themselves? This question lays bear the heart of the problem of archaeological inference, which has cycled through several controversies in the discipline.  We will review these debates and pursue related questions, such as: Can we see ethnic diversity or ethnogenesis in the archaeological record? Can race be constructed through artifacts?  Did race exist in prehistory or antiquity?  What are the political stakes involved in archaeological studies of race and ethnicity? Over the last several years, a new emphasis on the social construction of racial and ethnic identities has invited a re-examination of the ways in which aspects of the material world (architecture, pottery, food, clothing, etc.) may participate actively in the dialectical process of creating or obscuring difference, suggesting both new avenues of research and new problems to confront in a topic that remains highly relevant to today's society.  S. Dawdy. Wed 9:30-12:20

35005. Classical Theories of Religion (=HREL 32900).  Bruce Lincoln. MW 10:00-11:20.

37201. Language in Culture I (LING 3110, Psych 47001).  Must be taken in sequence.  This is a two-quarter sequence to introduce some of the central theoretical issues involved in the semiotic, cognitive and sociopolitical study of language in its contexts of communicative "use."  By developing and using semiotic concepts, the first quarter concentrates on two major problems that organize a vast literature and diverse theoretical approaches.  The first problem is to understand interpersonal communication is carried on in-and-by the medium of language.   Such communication manifests itself both in an orderly, or at least (non-in)coherent' unfolding of information and in the structured and culturally consequential social action that is accomplished in-and-by that unfolding.  The second problem is to understand how language is a medium of and factor in so-called ‘conceptual' representations or mental "knowledge."  There are various sources of such knowledge coded' in the forms of language, and this diversity reveals the modes of semiosis of which language is composed at its various planes.  We concentrate in particular on the semiotic characterization of dialectially emergent "cultural knowledge" or "cultural conceptualization,"  the nature of which is a current research frontier between social and cognitive sciences, between modernist and post-modernist humanities. Michael Silverstein. WedFri 9:30-11:20

37701. Phonetics (= LING 20600/30600). PQ: Ling 201, 202, or 203; or consent of instructor. This is an introduction to the study of speech sounds. Speech sounds are described with respect to their articulatory, acoustic, and perceptual structures. There are lab exercises both in phonetic transcription and in the acoustic analysis of speech sounds. Staff. MW  1:30-2:50.

37801. Syntax I (=LING 20400/30400). PQ: Ling 201, 202, or 203; or equivalent. This course is devoted to detailed study of the major syntactic phenomena of English, combined with exposition and critical evaluation of the principal accounts of phenomena proposed by transformational grammarians and the theoretical frameworks within which those accounts are developed. Class discussion focuses on ideas advanced in or arising out of transformational grammar with regard to the relation between syntax and semantics and the psychological status of linguistic analyses. A. Dahlstrom. TuTh 10:30-11:50

42500.  Anthropology of the Afro-Atlantic World (=CRPC 42500)  Although originally pioneered, more than three generations ago, by scholars and critics such as C.L.R. James, Eric Williams, W.E.B. DuBois, or Walter Rodney, conceptions of an "Atlantic World" have only recently come to prominence in Anthropology. In  the past decade, however, students of Africa and the Americas have increasingly begun to phrase their inquiries in terms transcending entrenched geographical divisions of labor within the social sciences, aiming to include Africa, the Americas, and, to a certain extent, Europe into a single analytic field. Parts of this course will be devoted to a concise introduction to some of the major theoretical positions within, and controversies surrounding the new "Atlantic" anthropology of Africa and its New World diasporas. After this, we will examine a number of recent monographs and/or major articles exemplifying the promises and pitfalls of  theoretical conceptions and methodological procedures that attempt to go beyond mere transregional comparison or linear historical narratives about "African influences", and aim at analytically situating specific ethnographic or historical scenarios within integrated perspectives on an "Afro-Atlantic World".  S. Palmie.  Tues 12:00-2:50

43200.  Orientalism, Historiography & Postcolonial Studies. This course takes as its point of departure Edward Said's seminal text, its impact, and the variety of responses to it.  Among other issues, we will explore how Said's writings  affected area studies beyond the Middle East and brought into sharp focus long standing debates over the forms of knowledge produced in the Humanities and Social Sciences; how literary criticism became a focal point of critical studies of colonialism and imperialism; and how contemporary scholarship has welcomed or rejected Saidian interventions. We will also consider the critiques of areas studies that grew out of these debates, and explore the relation between the state and the production of knowledge in the academy. J. Hevia. Wed 3:00-5:50.

48100. Advanced Problems in Paleoanthropology (=EVOL 48100). This course includes tutorial museum, laboratory, and field studies on the hom­inoid fossil record and contextual information relevant to its interpretation. R. Tuttle. Autumn, Winter, Spring. Annually.

48500. Advanced Problems in Primate Locomotion and Comparative Morphology (=EVOL 48500). This course is a seminar and/or laboratory study of the morphological and behavioral adaptations of selected primates and implications for primate phylogeny. R. Tuttle. Autumn, Winter, Spring. Annually.

52200.   Proposal Preparation.  (PQ: Open only to anthropology graduate students preparing for field work) This is a required course for (primarily third-year) graduate students who are preparing field work grant applications and dissertation proposal during the current academic year.  The course is taken pass/fail and provides each student the opportunity to present a pre-circulated draft research proposal for discussion and critique.  The course focuses on preparation and discussion of students' draft proposals.  Susan Gal. Thurs. 1:30-4:20

54410.  Hybridity. Ever since the late 1980s when James Clifford discovered that the "pure products" had "gone crazy", and Ulf Hannerz alerted us to the fact that the "world" was "in creolization", notions of "hybridity" and "hybridization" (and their various conceptual relatives such as mestizaje, creolization, syncretism, and so forth) have enjoyed increasing currency in our discipline. Often seen as the results of globalization-induced and medially accelerated Hyperdiffusionism, "hybrids", it seems, are the ubiquitous sign of a postmodern denouement of both "cultures" as "we knew them" (once, when we were "modern"), and the antidote to older anthropological reifications. How ironic then that while the "hybrid" obviously gestures toward what Marilyn Strathern has called "post-plural" conceptions of culture, the languages that are supposed to make it analytically visible often hearken back to the vocabularies of regimes of "breeding" ("hybrid" or "creole"), religious orthodoxies ("syncretism"), systems of racial exclusion and domination ("mestizaje"), or other institutional mechanisms and practices that reproduce and police categorical boundaries - often in order to stabilize particular distributions of power and privilege.
        This experimental course aims less to scrutinize the analytical utility of the conceptual language these terms appear to put at our disposal, than to probe into the epistemological conditions and taxonomic politics that make "the hybrid" thinkable in the first place, and seemingly "good to think" at the current moment. The central question it poses is: how do we know that something is "hybrid" (or not)? After a very brief initial survey of contemporary "hybridology" and the forms of analysis it seeks to supercede, we will take our departure from Bruno Latour's suggestion that "hybrids" are the inevitable products of practices of categorical "purification". In line with this, we will examine the politics of classificatory discernment, recognition, and naturalization that are productive of both the "purities" and the "hybrids" that appear to stand out, and even ostensibly militate, against them. After a foray into taxonomics and "natural kind" philosophy, we will discuss an array of case studies concerning the maintenance of classificatory infrastructures and categorical boundaries in regard to species, sex, language, race, and distinctions between humans and animals, nature and society, persons and things, and life and death.
        My hunch is that we might conclude that contemporary "hybridity"-talk is epistemologically problematic and politically troubling because far from destabilizing normalized categorical schemes, it necessarily reinforces precisely those distinctions that make "hybrid anomalies" visible in the first place. However, I remain entirely open to be convinced of the merits of hybridity (or rather: conceptualizations of it that I have, so far, failed to take into account).   S. Palmie.  Wed 1:30-4:20.

ANTH 54815. Pushing the Boundary: Current Debates on Animals and the Species Divide (=CHDV 45205). For the past two decades, social science and the humanities have been concerned to demonstrate how almost everybody, no matter how seemingly oppressed or disenfranchised, has or should have subjectivity and agency. While this concern has resulted in groundbreaking insights and theories of action and resistance, a consequence of focusing on agency is that it leaves unexamined the condition having a mysterious or unknowable subjectivity and of having little or no agency. This is a condition that characterizes the lives of animals.         
    Animals embody a reality that is not adequately reflected in traditional thinking. This has been increasingly recognized in recent years, which have witnessed the vigorous interrogation and deconstruction of traditional Western views of a human-nonhuman divide. Philosophers as diverse as Peter Singer, Jacques Derrida, Giorgio Agamben and Martha Nussbaum; social scientists like Donna Haraway; humanities scholars such as Cary Wolfe and Marjorie Garber, and legal scholars from a wide range of perspectives have all recently written at length about the untenable nature of the supposed division between humans and nonhuman animals. What Singer in Animal Liberation (1975) referred to as speciesism is faltering as an ethical, philosophical, scientific and legal position in the face of the current wave of examination and criticism.       
     This course will provide an orientation to current philosophical, legal, humanistic and social science thought on animals, with the goal of linking that work to a larger critical project concerned with the anthropology of vulnerability. Don Kulick. Thurs 1:30-4:20.

57716. LingAnthSem: Conversation Analysis and Discursive Interaction (=LING 57716). With the recent publication of Sequence Organization in Interaction. A Primer in Conversation Analysis, vol. 1 by Emanuel A. Schegloff, a certain reflexive sense of mature codification is implied for the field of CA. I propose a Quarters seminar to read this primer and several related works, in order to get a detailed understanding of what CA has to contribute to understanding discursive interaction, the mutual engagement of cultural actors/agents that is mediated by language-in-use. We will begin with a paper by Schegloff on Turn organization: one intersection of grammar and interaction and an interview [2003] with him about CA, to be distributed in pdf form, before moving to read and discuss the book, which has been ordered at Seminar Cooperative Bookstore for participants to purchase.   Each seminar participant should, as well, investigate a CA monograph and prepare a critical seminar presentation of ca. 1 hour on it, distributing beforehand a pdf of a central or significant portion of the source monograph of a reasonable length.      Michael Silverstein. ARR

58305.   Andean Archaeology & Ethnohistory (200 units) Alan Kolata. ARR