Graduate Courses — Autumn 2010

32400. Introduction to Science Studies (=CHSS 32000, SOCI 40137, HIST 56800). This course explores the interdisciplinary study of science as an enterprise. During the twentieth century, sociologists, historians, philosophers, and anthropologists all raised interesting and consequential questions about the sciences. Taken together, their various approaches came to constitute a field, science studies. The course provides an introduction to this field. Students will not only investigate how it coalesced and why, but will also experience the practical application of science-studies perspectives in asking and answering questions about science today. Among the topics we may examine are: the sociology of scientific knowledge and its applications; actor-network theories of science; constructivism and the history of science; images of normal and revolutionary science; and accounts of research in the commercial university. Karin Knorr Centina, Adrian Johns. Tues 10:30-1:20.

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. Masco. TuTh 1:30-4:20. Haskell 315.

34510. Worlds Fairs. This course will survey the growth and decline of Worlds Fairs as total cultural facts. Emphasis will be placed on the socio-economic factors giving rise to Worlds Fairs, beginning with the Crystal Palace Exposition in London in 1853 to the present. Students will be encouraged to seek out primary documents to engage in original research. R. Fogelson, Wed. 6:00-8:50 pm

34823. Hemingway (=SCTH 32930). A brief perusal of some early short stories and the final The Old Man and the Sea, and an intensive reading of his neglected masterpiece, For Whom the Bell Tolls (about 60 pages a week). Major problems to be explored include the ethics and psychology of courage, Hemingways revolutionary, poetic style (e.g., the input from Gertrude Stein), a theory of tragedy, the anti-fascist hero, and Hemingways representation of the sensuous. Other issues to be at least broached are characteristics of Spanish Catholicism, the history of the Spanish Civil War/Tragedy, Spanish national character, Anarchism and Stalinism in Spain, Spanish poetry of the period (e.g., Garcia Lorca), love and death in Hemingways art. P. Friedrich. Wednesday, 9:30-12:20. Open to undergraduates.

35005. Classical Theories of Religion (HREL 32900, AASR 32900). C. Wedemeyer. MW 10:00-11:20.

35330. Anthropology of Knowledge, Then and Now. An anthropology of knowledge, it is often observed, is neither possible nor advisable as a distinct enterprise in the disciplines division of labor. The anthropology of knowledge is not a subfield but merely a reminder of what anthropology is centrally concerned with. The study of knowledge is implicit in any anthropologically inquiry into culture, society, history, and power, and anthropologists have long taken knowledge systems and practices as privileged points of departure for their broader research agendas: into magic and religion, language and cognition, kinship and color conceptualizationto name a core, historic few. Recently, however, the call for a more explicit anthropology of knowledge has been voiced by anthropologists of various theoretical persuasions. Sparked by reflexive concerns with the nature of anthropological knowledge and the turn toward an anthropology of the West, and influenced by developments in the sociology of knowledge and the history and philosophy of sciencemost notably, the emergence of an interdisciplinary science studiesa growing body of anthropological literature seeks to push the problem of knowledge in human collectivities in new directions. In this course, we explore these calls for a new anthropology of knowledge in light of broader disciplinary and interdisciplinary histories and developments. How do contemporary anthropologies of knowledge revisit and reconfigure the disciplines historic engagement with questions of knowledge? What can we learn from previous anthropologies of knowledge: how are they relevant to the way that anthropologists now go about posing questions, developing projects, and making arguments? More generally, what contributions can contemporary anthropology make to the broader interdisciplinary study of human knowledges? What specificity can be given to an anthropology of knowledge, versus a sociology, a history or philosophy?
        Is it, for instance, of more than historical curiosity that while the anthropology of science today flourishes as a subfield, early anthropologists carved out a niche for themselves by becoming expert in differentiating magico-religious thought from scientific knowledge? And what of the current focus on studying up and sideways, given anthropologys traditional lien on the primitive and the Other in its inquiries into knowledge? How, then, do current anthropologists deal with diversity in modes of knowing while also countenancing the relations of power that reconfigure them into novel assemblages? Could the anthropological concept of culture (about which the study of alternative knowledge systems played a foundational role) be more productively brought to bear upon sociologically-oriented approaches to knowledge found in science studies?
        The first part of the course revisits classic anthropological debates about magic, science, and religion, collective representations and primitive mentalities, and the relativity of sociocultural logics. From there, it turns to examine cognitive, structuralist, and interpretativist approaches to cultural knowledge, viewed as a distinct kind of knowledge that anthropologists could uniquely explore. The second part of the course draws upon this disciplinary history to critically assess diverse approaches in the contemporary anthropology of knowledge: phenomenological approaches derived from Marxist and Mannheimian sociology; knowledge/power approaches derived from Foucault and Said; and approaches that draw critical insight from science studies to examine the politics and pragmatics of knowledge in global assemblages. Readings are both theoretical and ethnographic, and include classic works by Durkheim, Levy-Bruhl, Evans-Pritchard, Goodenough, Lévi-Strauss, Douglas, and Geertz, as well contemporary works by Stanley Tambiah, Fredrick Barth, Dominic Boyer, Arturo Escobar, Bruno Latour, Laura Nader, and Cori Hayden. S.K. Scott. WF 1:30-2:50.

37201. Language in Culture-1 (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

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.

52808. Illness and Subjectivity (=CHDV 43302) While anthropology and other social sciences have long explored the social and cultural shaping of the self and personhood, many scholars have recently employed the rubric of subjectivity to articulate the links between collective phenomena and the subjective lives of individuals. This graduate seminar will examine subjectivity and related concepts focusing on topics where such ideas have been particularly fruitful: illness, pathology and suffering. We will critically examine the terms self, personhood and subjectivity and their relationship to one another. Additional literatures and topics covered may include: illness and narrative; healing and the self; personhood and new medical technologies. E. Raikhel. Thurs 3:00-5:50.

52808. Anthropology of Europe. (PQ Doctoral students only, cap 10). This course examines current issues in anthropological approaches to the study of contemporary European societies. We will consider science in Europe, the welfare state, rightist politics, migration and religion, among other issues. The course is a discussion-seminar and the reading will be primarily ethnographic monographs. S. Gal. Thurs. 1:30-4:20

52902. Colloq: The Politics of Commemoration (=HIST 52902). This course will both provide an overview of the literature on commemorative practices in Europe and the United States and a detailed analysis of a set of case studies. Readings will be drawn from history and anthropology on the one hand and Jewish studies, film studies, and museum studies on the other. Cases to be examined in detail will include the Jewish museums and Holocaust memorials in Berlin and Paris and the Museum of the American Indian and the projected Museum of African Ameican history in Washington, D.C. Students will be asked to pursue an in-depth research project on one institution, installation, or object. L. Auslander. Thurs. 1:30-4:20.

53820. Mediation, Modernities and Beyond in Japan (=EALC 53810). This seminar engages questions surrounding technological mediation and modernity through the particular socio-historical circumstances of Japan. Our focus will be on the relation in modernity between media and new social forms, representation, experiences and subjectivities. We will explore how contemporary emergent forms of technological media challenge some of the dominant theoretical assumptions that have guided discussions concerning the impact of technological media in the twentieth century. Ultimately, our goal will be to imagine new approaches to contemporary Japan as well as other sites of dense technological mediation. While our overall focus will be on Japan, the readings and discussions will speak across geopolitical boundaries.  M. Fisch. TuTh 9:00-10:20.

55800. Sovereignty and Suffering. This highly exploratory seminar aims to look into how some of the felt paradoxes of sovereignty arise from the sensibilities about pain and suffering constituted within liberal traditions. The elimination of cruelty and suffering is a hallmark of liberal notions of progress and development. However, it might be more apt to see liberal political and legal traditions as a set of ongoing concepts and practices that work not to eliminate cruelty but to prescribe and create an acceptable distribution of pain and suffering in the world.
           Yet contemporary liberal sensibilities on suffering, cruelty and pain are quite contradictory. Thus, torture is unacceptable “ as a deep violation of ones humanity, its practice is a scandal. Forcing an ill person to live out the last days of life in great pain and debilitation is no such violation, no such scandal. Ending that life, however, is “ hence the heated debated over euthanasia. And while individual torture is unacceptable, collateral damage in war “ often much more massive and severe “ is both acceptable and legal. Is your humanity violated if youve been collaterally damaged or killed? But more, economic sanctions and structural adjustment policies, whether in peace or war, are typically legal and acceptable despite the widespread (and equally widely acknowledged) suffering they cause. Self inflicted pain for sport and even sometimes art is often embraced and admired. But self-inflicted pain for religious reasons often disturbs the same set of observers “ despite their commitment to religious toleration and their acknowledgment of the importance of spirituality to so many people. Suicide bombing is repugnant. But the prospect of suicidal war and mutually assured destruction is and has long been countenanced in politics and law. Except for those who do not value life in the evidently strange ways that contemporary liberals do.
           Despite how strange these sensibilities are, little systematic exploration of them has been done. That would be a worthwhile endeavor, not just for its own sake, but also because it helps tell us how liberal legal and political traditions conceptualize the limits of  the human. Especially as it has come to be conceived increasingly in juridical and legal terms, as the growing salience of notions of  human rights and  crimes against humanity after WW2 attests. What is   interesting about this is that the human comes to be increasingly thought of in legal and juridical terms partly as a response and remedy to some of the problems entailed in sovereignty. And so there is a relationship between the problems of sovereignty, the definition and limits of what is human, and sensibilities about suffering, within liberal traditions; a relationship that warrants exploration. To that end, we will read widely, from ethnography, history, philosophy and legal theory. H. Agrama. Wed. 1:30-4:20

 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. A. Kolata. Tues 1:30-4:20.