Graduate Research workshops

The following workshops are actively situated within the Anthropology Department. For a complete list and descriptions of all the graduate workshops, please visit the Council for Advanced Studies (Workshops in Humanities and Social Sciences)

African Studies
The African Studies Workshop in an interdisciplinary forum for graduate students and faculty whose work concerns the material and sociocultural lives of people of the African Continent and its discursively constituted diasporas, presently and historically. Student participants tend mostly to come from the anthropology department, but the workshop also has active members in the fields of history, literature, political science, religious studies, and history of culture and encourages cross-disciplinary collaboration and exchange. In addition to regular presentations by students, faculty, and invited guests, the workshop hosts biannual Red Lion Seminars jointly with Northwestern University’s Program of African Studies

Faculty Sponsors: Emily Osborn, François G. Richard
Student Coordinator: Lauren Coyle
Time: Alternate Tuesdays, 5:00 pm, Wilder House.

Human Rights
Human rights have become a vital focus for academic research across disciplines. Responding to a growing need to examine and discuss human rights, the Human Rights Program has organized a workshop for the presentation of research and discussion on relevant contemporary human rights issues. The Human Rights Workshop cuts across all academic disciplines and helps the campus community to engage in the examination of issues of moral and political significance.

Faculty Sponsors: Michael Geyer, Susan Gzesh, Mark Bradley
Student Coordinator: Patrick Kelly
Time: Alternate Thursdays, 4:30-6:00 p.m., John Hope Franklin Room (Social Science 224)

Interdisciplinary Archaeology
The Interdisciplinary Archaeology Workshop serves as the principal meeting ground for archaologists and those interested in material culture who are distributed variously by discipline across campus. This year, by proposing hybrids as our theme, we wish to forge a concerted dialogue on the everyday questions of the relationships between peoples and objects or alternatively, between hybrids, a theoretical horizon with considerable and complex possibilities. How do archaeologists, with their distinctive methods, datasets and fields of interpretation respond to these new folds in social thought? The workshop brings together faculty and students from Anthropology and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, as well as members of other departments and committees such as Art History, Classics, the Ancient Mediterranean World, East Asian, South Asian, and Geographical Studies. All interested participants are encouraged to attend.

Faculty Sponsors: Michael Dietler, Shannon Dawdy, Yorke Rowan
Student Coordinator: Jamie Countryman, Emilié Sarrazin
Time: Biweekly, Thursdays, 4:30-6:00 p.m., Haskell mezzanine 102

Workshop on Latin America and the Caribbean
The Workshop on Latin America and the Caribbean is an interdisciplinary forum and intellectual community for graduate students and faculty who are interested in the academic problems and literature pertaining to the region. The workshop hosts regular presentations of works in progress by students, faculty, and invited guests, as well as special events and gatherings. Participants come from a wide range of disciplines from across the social sciences and humanities, enabling an interdisciplinary conversation and exchange around questions of common interest to those whose work focuses on the region. We welcome any and all who share an interest in the history, literature, politics, culture, and social life of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Faculty Sponsors: Agnes Lugo-Ortiz
Student Coordinators: Jorge Lefevre Tavárez, Deirdre Lyons
Time: Biweekly, Thursdays, 4:30-5:30, Kelly 114

Medicine and Its Objects
Medicine and Its Objects is a new interdisciplinary workshop exploring medicine and the objects that become salient within its extended social reach. Our goal is to engage therapeutic, bodily, and ontological matters across disciplines bringing the humanities, social sciences, and life sciences together in new dialogues.

Topics we look forward to engaging over the next two years include:

  • relations of psychiatry & neuroscience
  • botanical & zoological things in knowledge formations
  • perception, semiotics & the senses
  • meditation, asceticism & bodily transformations
  • trauma, violence & memory
  • ecological & environmental medicines
  • humanitarian systems as they relate to medicine & the body’s needs
  • scientific & legal approaches to medicine & medical ethics
  • institutional work of health care
  • micro-management of populations

Faculty Sponsors:  E. Summerson Carr, Judith Farquhar
Student Coordinators: Hiroko Kumaki
Time: Alternate Wednesdays, 3:00-4:30 p.m.

Money, Markets and Governance Study Group
This workshop emphasizes the role of ethnographic fieldwork and historical findings to critically analyze economic assumptions. The workshop provides a forum for both theory and research into empirical, “on the ground” economic behavior around markets, money, and consumption, which allows researchers to observe and deduce the various social and cultural factors that influence and problematize this behavior. This workshop aims to build up an interdisciplinary community of students and faculty to both critique and complement rational economic theories about individual and group economic behavior, through factors such as social, cultural, and historical context.

Faculty Sponsors: Karin Knorr Cetina, Ryon Lancaster
Student Coordinator: David Bholat, Karen Ellis
Time: Tuesdays, 12:00 Noon – 1:20 p.m.

Semiotics: Culture in Context
This workshop seeks to advance research based on a semiotic framework. Presentations will come from a variety of fields including but not limited to linguistics, psychology, sociology, political science, literary theory, and anthropology. By not limiting the topic of research by area, period or discipline, the workshop encourages discussion to center on how to study social and cultural phenomena as embedded in a meaningful context. By building on many seminal studies that have used semiotic approaches, the goal of the workshop is to continue to develop the rigorous analytic framework that provides the method for clearly defining linkages between the object of analysis and its context.

Faculty Sponsors: Susan Gal, Michael Silverstein
Student Coordinator: Janet Connor, Hannah McElgunn
Time: Thursdays, 4:30-6:00 p.m., Haskell 101

Theory and Practice of South Asia (TAPSA)
This workshop is an important part of the fabric of intellectual activity in South Asian studies at the University of Chicago. The TAPSA talks are scheduled to coordinate with the South Asian Seminar, to provide regular interdisciplinary intellectual events, including papers by graduate students, faculty, and visiting scholars. For students, the benefits of TAPSA include the opportunity to present their work in progress to an interdisciplinary audience of peers and teachers, and to experience intensive interaction and feedback.

Faculty Sponsors: Elena Bashir, Ulrike Stark
Student Coordinator: Hasan Siddiqui
Time: Alternate Thursdays, 4:30-6:30 p.m., South Asia Lounge (Foster 103).

United States Locations
U.S. Locations explores ethnographic research in Canada and the United States within social scientific fields engaging core cross-disciplinary anthropological problems. In a world of global interconnections, we provide a forum for anthropologists and other social scientist’s crafting rigorous approaches to locating America as a cultural and sociological entity within, across, and outside the geographic boundaries of North America. Critically analyzing the burgeoning literature on ethnographic practice and theory, and focusing on carefully formulated empirical studies in particular locations, this workshop aims to locate the theoretical position of North America within the field of anthropology and related disciplines.

Faculty Sponsors: E. Summerson Carr, Joseph Masco
Student Sponsors: Molly Cunnningham, Kaya Williams
Time: Alternate Tuesdays, 4:30-6:00 p.m., Haskell Hall

Several other Workshops of major interest to anthropology students include:

Ancient Societies
The theme for the Ancient Societies Workshop in 2010-11 will be “Representations: Myth, Religion, Image.” Last year’s workshop explored ancient religion from the perspective of ancient law, mostly by drawing on literary and epigraphic evidence. This year, we wish to branch out into visual culture. Over the last twenty years, representations of myth and cult in ancient art have come to be understood as an expression of shifting social and religious attitudes. We will explore how ancient art and texts complemented each other to create a multitude of religious and metaphorical meanings.

Faculty Sponsors: Chris Faraone, Emanuel Mayer
Student Coordinator: Walter Shandruk
Time: Alternate Tuesdays, 3:30 p.m., Classics 26

Ethnoise! Ethnomusicology
The workshop contributes to a growing interdisciplinary discourse on music and its cultural context, establishing an interchange among disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. This forum capitalizes upon the ongoing work of graduate students in the University and invites innovative scholars to Chicago to explore the challenges faced by music ethnographers. We welcome submissions from graduate students in all disciplines and encourage University-wide faculty participation.

Faculty Sponsors: Philip V. Bohlman, Melvin L. Butler,
Travis A. Jackson
Student Coordinator: Daniel Gough, Alisha L. Jones
Time: Alternate Thursdays, 4:30 p.m., Goodspeed 205

Gender and Sexuality Studies
This workshop provides an interdisciplinary forum for the development of critical perspectives on gender and sexuality. The workshop’s primary purpose is to promote studies of the ways in which gender and sexuality shape human experiences and are embedded in other social practices. The workshop serves as a forum for discussing both graduate student papers and unpublished work from scholars in the field. Graduate student presentations may focus on any area of gender and sexuality studies. Workshop participants share the responsibility for choosing topics and speakers and for evaluating the effectiveness of the workshop’s interdisciplinary process.

Faculty Sponsors: Jane Dailey, Linda Zerilli
Student Coordinator: Erin Moore
Time: Alternate Tuesdays, 4:30-6:30 pm, Center for Gender Studies Seminar Room

History, Philosophy, & Sociology of Science
This workshop is a forum devoted to interdisciplinary approaches to the sciences. Its meetings provide a chance to encounter the latest work in science studies, presented by outside speakers, faculty, and graduate students. Topics range widely: in recent years the workshop has hosted discussions of subjects as diverse as Aristotelian logic, Renaissance astronomy, William James’s philosophy, modern bioethics, and the sociology of industrial-academic collaboration.

Faculty Sponsors: Adrian Johns, Robert Richards
Student Coordinators: Marcia Holmes, Dana Rovang
Time: Fridays, alternating between 12:00 and 4:00 p.m., John Hope Franklin Room (Social Science 224)

Reproduction of Race and Racial Ideologies
This workshop address the different processes of racialization experience within groups as well as across groups in sites as diverse as North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Asian Pacific, and Europe. This workshop will examine theoretical and practical considerations of scholarship that highlights the intersection of race and ethnicity with other identities such as gender, class, sexuality, and nationality and interrogates social and identity cleavages within racialized communities. Fundamentally the workshop is committed to engaged scholarship that rejects the false dichotomy between rigorous intellectual work and community activism.

Faculty Sponsors: Ramon Gutierrez, Julie Saville
Student Coordinator: Marcelle Medford
Time: Alternate Thursdays, 4:15-5:30 p.m., Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture (5733 S. University)

Mass Culture
This workshop is a forum for recent and ongoing academic research on the historical, theoretical, and practical dimensions of modern mass (commercial, consumer, or popular) media, including cinema, television, journalism, popular music, photography, advertising, fashion, public amusements, and computer technology. While we do consider interpretive problems presented by individual works and different types of mass media, our focus rests on broader questions regarding the key role mass culture plays in the formation of contemporary public spheres. Because the scope of many forms of mass culture extends beyond the boundaries of any one discipline, the workshop is committed to interdisciplinary work.

Faculty Sponsors: Jennifer Wild, James Lastra
Student Coordinator: Adam Hart, Junko Yamazaki
Time: Alternate Fridays, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 Noon, Cobb 310.

Other Workshops of Areal Interest:

Art and Politics of East Asia 

East Asia: Politics, Economy, and Society

East Asia: Transregional Histories

Visual and Material Perspectives on East Asia 

Middle East History and Theory (MEHAT)

Latin American History 

Interdisciplinary Approaches to Modern France