Autumn 2018 | Winter 2019 | Spring 2019

 

Autumn 2018

ANTH 21406/38300. Celebrity and Science in Paleoanthropology (=HIPS 21100). A seminar to explore the balance among research, show biz, big business, and politics in the careers of Louis, Mary, and Richard Leakey; Alan Walker; Donald Johanson; Jane Goodall; Dian Fossey; and Biruté Galdikas through films, taped interviews, autobiogra­phies, biographies, pop publications, instructor's anecdotes, and samples of their scientific writings. Russell Tuttle.

ANTH 23027/32330. Toxic States: Corrupted Ecologies in Latin America and the Caribbean (=LACS 26417/36417). Concepts of purity and danger, the sacred and profane, and contamination and healing constitute central analytics of anthropological inquiry into religion, medicine, and ecology. This course brings diverse theories of corporeal corruption to bear on contemporary ethnography of toxicity, particularly in order to examine the impact of political corruption on ecological matters in Latin America and the Caribbean. We will both historicize a growing disciplinary preoccupation with materiality, contamination, and the chemical, as well as conceptualize its empirical significance within neo-colonial/liberal states throughout the region. Stefanie Graeter.

24320/35115. Cultural Psychology: Philosophical and Theoretical Foundations (=CHDV 21000/31000, GNSE 21001/31000, PSYC 23000/33000, AMER 33000). There is a substantial portion of the psychological nature of human beings that is neither homogeneous nor fixed across time and space. At the heart of the discipline of cultural psychology is the tenet of psychological pluralism, which states that the study of "normal" psychology is the study of multiple psychologies and not just the study of a single or uniform fundamental psychology for all peoples of the world. Research findings in cultural psychology thus raise provocative questions about the integrity and value of alternative forms of subjectivity across cultural groups. In this course we analyze the concept of "culture" and examine ethnic and cross-cultural variations in mental functioning with special attention to the cultural psychology of emotions, self, moral judgment, categorization, and reasoning. Richard Shweder.

24510/34501. Anthropology of Museums (=MAPS 34500, MAPS 34400). Using anthropological theories and methodology as a conceptual framework, this seminar will explore the organizational and ideological aspects of museum culture(s). The course includes visits to museums with guest museum professionals as guides into the culture of museums. Morris Fred

26710/36710. Ancient Landscapes-1 (=NEAA 20061/30061, GEOG 25400/35400). This is a two-course sequence that introduces students to theory and method in landscape studies and the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to analyze archaeological, anthropological, historical, and environmental data. Course one covers the theoretical and methodological background necessary to understand spatial approaches to landscape and the fundamentals of using ESRI's ArcGIS software, and further guides students in developing a research proposal. Course two covers more advanced GIS-based analysis (using vector, raster, and satellite remote sensing data) and guides students in carrying out their own spatial research project. In both courses, techniques are introduced through the discussion of case studies (focused on the archaeology of the Middle East) and through demonstration of software skills. During supervised laboratory times, the various techniques and analyses covered will be applied to sample archaeological data and also to data from a region/topic chosen by the student. Anthony Lauricella

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 101.

34201-2. Development of Social Cultural Theory-I.   Systems 1 is designed to introduce students to the intellectual and historical context of the emergence of anthropology as a professional scholarly discipline. The class asks after the conditions of inquiry – at once conceptual and socio-political – that shaped the discipline in its early formulation, but always with an eye toward our understanding of it today. This will require that we tack back and forth between considering the internal logics of an emergent social theoretical inquiry – what are its views of the world, humanity’s relationship to it, and to what extent are we able to grasp and explore it – and the nature of these commitments in light of the rise of industrialized mass societies in ‘the West’ and, on the other hand, the consolidation of colonialism around the world. Hussein Agrama.

35005. Classic Theories of Religion (=AASR 32900, HREL 32900). This course will survey the development of theoretical perspectives on religion and religions in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Thinkers to be studied include: Kant, Hume, Schleiermacher, Feuerbach, Marx, Müller, Tiele, Tylor, Robertson Smith, Frazer, Durkheim, Weber, Freud, James, Otto, van der Leeuw, Wach, and Eliade. Christian Wedemeyer

ANTH 37201. Language in Culture-1 (LING 3110, Psych 47001, CHDV 37201). Language in Culture-1 and Language in Culture-2 must be taken in sequence.  The first quarter of Language in Culture develops the semiotic concepts necessary to analyze the capacity of language and related sign forms to mediate social relations between interactants and to yield cultural categorization. Study of how language users engage alters through multifunctional deployment of referring and non-referring indexical signs in real-time discursive interaction reveals the purposeful pragmatic co-construction and reflexive meta-pragmatic evaluation of texts, embedded in, and abstractable from, intersecting (co)n-texts. With attention to the dialectics of metasemiotic processes of entextualization, we unpack ethno-scientific theories of language and communication. These have appeared variously in disciplines such as philosophy through treatment of denotation, reference, and performativity; in linguistics through grammar, poetics, register, and variation; in sociology through the individual, role inhabitance, and the social fact; and in sociocultural anthropology through subjectivity, reflexivity, value, and meaning. Meaning is here understood as a tertium quid, the collective product of ritualized endeavors geared towards non-mutually unintelligible calibrations and orderings of conceptual and institutional phenomena under ideological epistemologies of the real. Christopher Ball

41200.  Anthropology of History (=HIST 44901).  Anthropologists have long been concerned with the temporal dimension of human culture and sociality, but, until fairly recently (and with significant exceptions), have rarely gone beyond processual modeling. This has dramatically changed. Anthropologists have played a prominent role in the so-called “historic turn in the social sciences”, acknowledging and theorizing the historical subjectivities and historical agency of the ethnographic “other”, but also problematizing the historicity of the ethnographic endeavor itself. The last decades have not only seen a proliferation of empirically rich and theoretically sophisticated historical ethnographies, but also a decisive move towards ethnographies of the historical imagination. Taking its point of departure from a concise introduction to the genealogy of the trope of “historicity” in anthropological discourse, this course aims to explore the possibilities of an anthropology of historical consciousness, discourse and praxis – i.e. the ways in which human groups select, represent, give meaning to, and strategically manipulate constructions of the past. In this, our discussion will not just focus on non-western forms of historical knowledge, but include the analysis of western disciplined historiography as a culturally and historically specific form of promulgating conceptions of the past and its relation to the present. S. Palmié.

42003.  Modes of Inquiry-1: Ethnographic Innovations. (PQ: Required of 2nd year social/cultural/ linguistic anthropology graduate students. Others only with consent of the instructor.)This course provides a critical introduction to the methods of anthropology, paying special attention to topic formation, deployment of theoretical resources, techniques of engagement in “fields,” and the politics and ethics of fieldwork and ethnographic knowledge production.  Our approach will combine readings in critical anthropology relevant to methodological practice with workshop-style demonstrations of particular techniques for gathering and analyzing field material.  The limits and powers of ethnography (broadly construed) will be explored through exploratory engagement with students’ ongoing projects and a few examples of anthropological writing.  This course is intended to help students develop the tools needed to develop their own research objects and strategies while reflecting critically on anthropology as a practice.    Michael Fisch

47605. Advanced Topics in Language, Culture and Thought (=CHDV 41900, PSYC 41901. This course examines more intensively one or more of the topics discussed in CHD 319, Language, Culture, and Thought. The focus in Autumn 2018 will be on language standardization, in particular, the interplay between the social, instrumental, and cognitive aims and effects of language standardization as these manifest themselves in literacy, schooling, language revitalization, etc.  John Lucy

53520. Ethnographic Writing (=CHDV 42214). (CANCELLED?) This course is intended for qualitative, anthropologically oriented graduate students engaged in the act of ethnographic writing, be it a thesis, a prospectus or an article.  The course is organized around student presentations of work in progress and critical feedback from course participants.  It is hoped that each participant will emerge from the course with a polished piece of work. Only graduate students will be admitted and consent of the instructor is mandatory. Jennifer Cole

55972. Archaeology of the Contemporary.  (PQ: Consent of Instructor) This reading seminar focuses on the emerging field of the archaeology of the contemporary, which uses archaeological methods to study the material traces left by human actions within living memory. The contemporary world is notable for the vast amount of detritus it has and continues to produce: garbage, abandoned buildings, chemical toxicity, etc. With research objects as diverse as homelessness, migration, industrial ruinscapes, modern warscapes, IKEA furniture, and contemporary death practices, the subfield is characterized by an interest in issues of mobility, abandonment, and destruction but also of entirely banal features of everyday life such as diaper consumption, automobile culture, and blue jeans.  This student-directed reading seminar is restricted to Anthropology doctoral students preparing exams, proposals, or MA theses with a related focus.  Students will be expected to design a portion of the syllabus and lead discussions.  The faculty member will act as facilitator. Shannon Dawdy.

56500.  Archaeology of Colonialism. This seminar is a comparative exploration of archaeological approaches to colonial encounters.  It employs temporally and geographically diverse case studies from the archaeological and historical literature situated within a critical discussion of colonial and postcolonial theory.  The course seeks to evaluate the potential contribution of archaeology both in providing a unique window of access to precapitalist forms of colonial interaction and imperial domination and in augmenting historical studies of the expansion of the European world-system.  Methodological strategies, problems, and limitations are also explored.  Michael Dietler.

57726. LingAnthSeminar: Topic TBA. Michael Silverstein

58300. Readings: Andean Ethnohistory. This course critically examines the early Colonial Period literatures related to the social and institutional arrangements of the indigenous peoples of the Andes.  The course will analyze the conditions of production and modes of interpretation of these literatures, and examine the extent to which they are useful for understanding Pre-Hispanic and early Colonial period social formations. Alan Kolata


Winter 2019

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

22710/41810. Signs and the State. Science and Technology Studies have led us to new questions about knowledge and power.  This course reconsiders the history of semiotic technologies, from Sanskrit to iphones, with special attention to changing conditions of possibility for the state.  Which semiotic technologies enable new kinds of state institutions (such as Althusser’s “ideological state apparatuses,” or, Weber’s “legal/rational order”) and which can undermine state monopolies and hegemonies?  While a primary goal of the course is quest for perspective on the implications of the internet for potentialities of sovereign power, the course does not limit itself to recent developments.  We consider the implications of advancing printing technologies for renaissance, enlightenment and liberal revolution in 15th-19th century Europe (especially by way of Bakhtin, Febvre and Martin, and Darnton) and also, we consider relations of changing semiotic technologies to changing early historic states before print and capitalism, comparing the graphic formalization of literary Sinitic, the shi, the archive and the (strong) state in China to the grammars for Sanskrit, the brahmins, monasteries, and the (weak) state in South Asia.  Following Weber to study means and forces of coercion and of communication as well as means and forces of production, this course is intended to complement study of “language ideology” and to pose new questions about the politics of sign circulation.  Further readings include Latour, Lessig and Patanjali. John Kelly

24307/34307. Lab, Field, and Clinic: History and Anthropology of Medicine and the Life Sciences (=HIST 25808/35808, KNOW 25308/40202, HIPS 25808/CHSS 35308).  In this course we will examine the ways in which different groups of people--in different times and places--have understood the nature of life and living things, bodies and bodily processes, and health and disease, among other notions. We will address these issues principally, though not exclusively, through the lens of the changing sets of methods and practices commonly recognizable as science and medicine. We will also pay close attention to the methods through which scholars in history and anthropology have written about these topics, and how current scientific and medical practices affect historical and anthropological studies of science and medicine. Michael Rossi

24330/40330.  Medical Anthropology (=CHDV 23204/43204).This course introduces students to the central concepts and methods of medical anthropology. Drawing on a number of classic and contemporary texts, we will consider both the specificity of local medical cultures and the processes that increasingly link these systems of knowledge and practice. We will study the social and political economic shaping of illness and suffering, and will examine medical and healing systems—including biomedicine—as social institutions and as sources of epistemological authority. Topics covered will include the problem of belief, local theories of disease causation and healing efficacy, the placebo effect and contextual healing, theories of embodiment, medicalization, structural violence, modernity and the distribution of risk, the meanings and effects of new medical technologies, and global health.  Eugene Raikhel.

25908/35908. Balkan Folklore (=CMLT 23301/33301, NEHC 20568/30568,  REES 29009/39009). 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.

26711/36711. Ancient Landscapes-2 (GEOG 25800/35800, NEAA 200062/30062). (PQ ANTH 26710/36710).  This is a two-course sequence that introduces students to theory and method in landscape studies and the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to analyze archaeological, anthropological, historical, and environmental data. Course one covers the theoretical and methodological background necessary to understand spatial approaches to landscape and the fundamentals of using ESRI’s ArcGIS software, and further guides students in developing a research proposal. Course two covers more advanced GIS-based analysis (using vector, raster, and satellite remote sensing data) and guides students in carrying out their own spatial research project. In both courses, techniques are introduced through the discussion of case studies (focused on the archaeology of the Middle East) and through demonstration of software skills. During supervised laboratory times, the various techniques and analyses covered will be applied to sample archaeological data and also to data from a region/topic chosen by the student. Staff

26765/36765. Arachaeology of Anyang: Bronzes, Inscriptions & World Heritage (=EALC 28010/48010). 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 contexts in terms of world heritage, national and local identity, and the looting and illegal trade of antiquities. Yung-Ti Li.

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

32102.  Self and Subjectivity: Discourse, Agency, and Perfomativity (=CHDV 32102). This class examines the concepts of self, subjectivity and agency through a series of theoretical and ethnographic readings that seek to problematize the notion of a bounded self, instead locating the making and unmaking of persons in terms of broader institutional, political and cultural contexts. The first two weeks are devoted to some classic attempts to understand self and society, first focusing on the public aspects of culture and personhood and then looking at more psychological approaches to how individual identity is constructed. In the rest of the course we will turn to some alternative ways of theorizing the links between self and subjectivity drawn from the Russian socio-historical school, as well as poststructuralist writing on discourse and performativity. Course material will include theoretical essays and ethnographic monographs. Jennifer Cole.  [Not Being Offered?]

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. François Richard

35140. Stigma Lab (=CHDV 31230).  The concept of stigma is mobilized to explain a wide range of practices and experiences both in scholarship and everyday life. In this course, we critically engage readings on stigma from across the social sciences in order to develop a genealogy of how the concept emerged. We then read a series of ethnographic and other social science texts to analyze how the concept is utilized. Finally, students consider how stigma functions as an analytic and explanatory model in their own work. It is important that students enrolled in this course have a research project-- proposed or actual-- involving stigma in some way-- or that they are interested in working through stigma as a concept collectively. Michele Friedner

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

40150. Hermeneutic Sociology (=SOCI 40156, KNOW 31407). 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.  Andreas Glaeser.

40345. Psychiatry and Society (=CHDV 43335).  This course examines psychiatry as a social institution, an epistemological authority and a source of social ontology. It will trace the production, circulation and use of psychiatric knowledge from research to clinical practice. Moreover, the course will examine the complex relationships between psychiatric knowledge and its object: mental illness or psychopathology. Put in slightly different terms, we will look at the links between psychiatrists’ professional accounts of mental illness and patients first-hand experiences of it. Eugene Raikhel.

43700. Weber, Veblen and Genealogies of Global Capital.  Two intellectual traditions have dominated discussion of the history of capitalism:  classical to neo-classical economics, and Marxism.  This course searches for other possibilities.  It focuses on critical comparative reading of Thorstein Veblen's theory of the late modern "new order" and Max Weber's comparative sociology, but will also read widely among other authors, including Simmel, Sombart, Mahan, Tolstoy and Gandhi.  Questions to engage will include: relations between capital, the state, and military force (between means of production and means of coercion); commerce in Asia before European colonialism and the rise of colonial plantations and monopoly trading companies; types of capital, the rise and spread of joint-stock companies, stock markets, and capitalist corporations; the "new order," decolonization and the nation-state.  John Kelly

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.

45625. Mobilities (=CHDV 49856). This course considers the "mobilities turn” in anthropology and other social sciences through an engagement with foundational mobility studies literature as well as close readings of ethnographies of and about mobilities. We will consider mobilities in relation to people, places, and objects and we will look at a range of sites. What does a consideration of mobility enable both theoretically and empirically? What is the connection between mobility, change, and political, social, and economic (re)production? Michele Friedner.

47305. The Evolution of Language (=LING 21920/41920, CHDV21920/41920, CHSS 41920, EVOL 41920, PSYC 41920).  How did language emerge in the phylogeny of mankind? Was its evolution saltatory or gradual? Did it start late or early and then proceed in a protracted way? Was the emergence monogenetic or polygenetic? What were the ecological prerequisites for the evolution, with the direct ecology situated in the hominine species itself, and when did the prerequisites obtain? Did there ever emerge a language organ or is this a post-facto construct that can be interpreted as a consequence of the emergence of language itself? What function did language evolve to serve, to enhance thought processes or to facilitate rich communication? Are there modern “fossils” in the animal kingdom that can inform our scholarship on the subject matter? What does paleontology suggest? We will review some of the recent and older literature on these questions and more. Salikoko Mufwene

51310. Anthropology and Psychoanalysis: Extimacies. Uneasy bedfellows to say the least, anthropology and psychoanalysis have, for a hundred years, encountered each other in various modes of creative suspicion. This seminar, co-taught by an anthropologist and a practicing psychoanalyst who was trained as an anthropologist, will be an occasion to explore the grounds and the forms of this turbulent relationship. Readings will include classic and contemporary psychoanalytic writings as well as psychoanalytically informed ethnographic engagements. William Mazzarella, Kathryn Schechter.

51950.  Infrastructures of Occupation.  How might we explore modes of occupation in ways that question and move beyond the received analytical frameworks of nation, cultural identity, surveillance, and sovereignty? In so doing, how might we also develop a critical engagement with conditions of occupation that is adequate to the complexity of a world marked by residual and active colonialism, finance capitalism, and environmental crises? This seminar takes up these questions through a range of readings and films that engage and question the material dimensions through which modes of occupation are envisioned and realized but also potentially challenged, destabilized and even overcome. Michael Fisch.

53520. Ethnographic Writing (=CHDV 42214). (PQ Consent of Instructor) This course is intended for qualitative, anthropologically oriented graduate students engaged in the act of ethnographic writing, be it a thesis, a prospectus or an article.  The course is organized around student presentations of work in progress and critical feedback from course participants.  It is hoped that each participant will emerge from the course with a polished piece of work. Only graduate students will be admitted and consent of the instructor is mandatory. Jennifer Cole.

54505. Ideology (=PLSC 51800). This course examines selections from the vast literature on ideology—with attention to the political commitments and intellectual genealogies that have made the concept both important and vexed. We begin with Weber and then explore a variety of trajectories in the Marxist tradition. The bulk of the course will entail considering ideology’s relationship to material practice, the notion of interpellation, and concepts linked to ideology, such as hegemony and false consciousness. We shall also analyze ideology’s connection to contemporary concerns, such as those related to “subject” formation, new developments in capitalism, and dynamics associated with contemporary “democratic” liberal, as well as authoritarian, regimes. We conclude by considering briefly how social science has employed and developed this body of knowledge.  Lisa Wedeen  [Maybe Spring rather than Winter.]

55501. Anthropology and Law (=LAWS 53306). This seminar for law students and graduate students in the social sciences will provide an introduction to the field of legal anthropology. We will address anthropological theories of the nature of law and disputes, examine related studies of legal structures in non-Western cultures, and consider the uses of anthropology in studying facets of our own legal system. By examining individual legal institutions in the context of their particular cultural settings, we can begin to make cross-cultural comparisons and contrasts. In so doing, we confront the challenge of interpreting and understanding the legal rules and institutions of other cultures while assessing the impact of our own social norms and biases on the analysis. Thus, our analytic and interpretative approach will require us to examine the cultural assumptions that underpin various aspects of our own belief systems and the American legal system. Requirements for this seminar course include preparation of a research paper and thoughtful class participation. Writing for this seminar may be used as partial fulfillment of the JD writing requirement.  (Unclear if this is really being offered.)

57725. LingAnthSem: Narrativity (=LING 57725). The power of narrativity remains mysterious. One half of this seminar takes up the classic philosophical questions about time, experience and their linguistic/textual representations that cluster around "narrativity" and that have long pre-occupied historians, literary/media theorists and anthropologists. The making, telling and re-telling of stories in varying genres organizes subjectivity, political power, visions of the self, of the social future as well as the past. It is a central tool for any sociocultural understanding; necessary to the production of knowledge, even for statistical and mathematical theories. How? Why? The seminar's other half addresses narrativity as a methodological conundrum. How does one find stories in fieldwork? What are the analytical modalities through which narrative has been approached: as structure, interactional process, social organization and consequential action? How are the stories we tell different (or not) from the stories we report as ethnographic material and analysis? Susan Gal.


Spring 2019

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

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

23026/31640. Science in the South: Decolonizing the Study of Knowledge in Latin America and the Caribbean (=LACS 24706, HIPS 24706). 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

23700/33700. Capitalism, Colonialism and Nationalism in the Pacific.  (This course qualifies as a Discovering Anthropology selection for Anthropology Majors.) This course compares colonial capitalist projects and their dialogic transfor­mations up to present political dilemmas, with special attention to Fiji, New Zealand, and Hawai’i, and a focus on the labor diaspora, the fates of indigenous polities, and tensions in contemporary citizenship. We will compare Wakefield’s “scientific colonization” in New Zealand, Gordon’s social experiments and indentured labor in Fiji, and the plantations, American annexation, tourism and the military in Hawai’i.  We will compare the colonial experiences of the Maori, Hawaiians and indigenous Fijians, and also those of the immigrant laborers and their descendants, especially white New Zealanders, the South Asians in Fiji and the Japanese in Hawai’i.  General pro­positions about nationalism, capitalism “late” and otherwise,  global cultural flows, and postcolonial subject positions will be juxtaposed with contemporary Pacific conflicts. John Kelly.

24355/35135. Experiencing Madness: Empathic Methods in Cultural Psychiatry (=CHDV 32822, HIPS 22800/CHSS 32800, MAPS 32800). 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, epoché, 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. Tues 3:30-6:20

26760/46760. Archaeology of Bronze Age China (=EALC 28015/48015).  “Bronze Age" in China conventionally refers to the time period from ca. 2000 BC 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 the 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. This 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. Yung-Ti Li

41004. Shi’ism and Modernity (=AASR/ISLM/NEHC 41004). This is a graduate seminar treating various themes in contemporary Shi‘ism. Topics include marja‘iya and authority; trans-nationalism and cosmopolitanism; revolutionary dissent and activism; state, science, and bureaucracy; and law and women’s rights. Alireza Doostdar.

42004.  Modes of Inquiry-2: Multimodal Experiments.(Strongly recommended for second-year anthro graduate students, PQ 42003: Modes of Inquiry-1: Ethnographic Innovations.  Modes of Inquiry II explores research practices beyond what we think of as the conventions of "doing ethnography."  This is a practicum course with one main requirement: that students experiment with at least two kinds of empirical inquiry beyond their comfort zones as budding sociocultural anthropologists.  Besides mobilizing all the resources of the Anthropology Media Lab, the course will provide students with the opportunity to engage with a variety of guest speakers working in ethnographically resonant ways in such fields as drawing, exhibition, sound production and interactive digital design.   Julie Chu

40405. The Global Plantation. (=CDIN 56300, PLSC 56300, ENGL 55603)  From its emergence in the late-medieval Mediterranean, to the slave societies of the New World, through its late colonial heritage in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific, the plantation has been a paradigmatic institution of racial-capitalist modernity. Through a range of texts that includes slave narratives, novels, political economy, sociological studies and recent histories of capitalism, this course explores how the plantation opened a vexed problem-space in which concepts central to the modern world (such as sovereignty, freedom, and labor) emerged, were debated, and continuously refigured. While the plantation is frequently figured as an institution of the past, this transnationally and transhistorically oriented course will examine a set of thinkers who argue for the aliveness of the plantation's present in the shaping of political, economic, and social trajectories in the postcolonial world. Adom Getachew, Christopher Taylor

51305. 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. Eugene Raikhel.

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.  Susan Gal

53710.  Ethnicity in the Contemporary World. Michael Silverstein.

54835. Molding, Casting and the Shaping of Knowledge (=HIST 57000, CHSS 5700, ArtH 47300, KNOW 57000). Of all technologies of reproduction and resemblance, those of molding and casting are perhaps the most intimate. An object, a sculpture, a creature, a person is slathered in plaster (or some other form-hugging material), and the resulting "negative" image is rendered into a "positive" replica. This course explores the various historically and culturally contingent meanings that have been attached to these technical procedures-despite their ostensibly "styleless" or "anachronistic" character-from the ancient world to the present day. Used in practices ranging from funerary rituals to fine art, natural history to medicine, anthropology to forensics, molding and casting constitute forms of knowledge production that capture at once the real and the enduring, the ephemeral and fleeting, and the authentic and affective. Featuring a diverse set of readings by authors such as Pliny the Elder, Charles Sanders Peirce, Walter Benjamin, Oswald Spengler, Gilbert Simondon, and others, the colloquium will address theoretical and methodological questions pertaining to concepts of materiality, indexicality, tactility, scalability, and seriality. Besides plaster, the objects of our analysis will comprise a diverse range of media including but not limited to wax, metal, photography and film, synthetic polymers, and digital media.  Michael Rossi, Patrick Crowley.

55502. Racisim, Law, and Social Sciences (=LAWS 54303).  The domains of racism, law, and the social sciences impact one another in myriad ways. At times, a system of racism is deployed through law, which in turn shapes questions asked in the social sciences. In other instances, the sciences articulate conceptual frameworks that lead to the creation of new forms of racism within society and law. Particular systems of racism have operated across a spectrum from incidents of overt violence to the daily impacts of implicit biases. Our readings and class discussions will consider a sample of case studies from across the globe in addition to past and present dynamics in the United States. Analyses of the social construction of racial and ethnic identities have facilitated studies of the ways in which social differences are created, maintained, and masked. Subjects to be addressed in this course include the interrelation of racial ideologies with other cultural and social dimensions, such as class, ethnicity, gender, political and legal structures, and economic influences. At an international scale, policy makers confront the challenge of balancing calls for multicultural tolerance with demands for fundamental human rights. We will also consider the related histories of biological, genetic, and epigenetic concepts of different races within the human species. Requirements for this course include thoughtful class participation and a final, take-home examination. Christopher Fennell

55978. AdvRdgs: Technoscience.  This seminar explores recent work in science and technology studies and interrogates the complex modes of writing (ethnographic, historical, analytic) that are productive for engaging complex technoscientific objects today. Participants will interrogate not only the formal terms of knowledge production but also the world-making (and often, world-breaking) aspects of technoscientific revolution. Joseph Masco

58011. Archaeology of Craft Production: Theories and Case Studies (=EALC 58011). The 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 discussions and are encouraged to apply, adopt, or revise them in order to analyze examples of craft production of their own choice. Yung-Ti Li

58515. Style. Style is a paradoxical concept that seemingly defies description and interpretation. It is shared and individual, timeless yet impossibly mutable. Style also inspires and limits, defining traditional and novel forms of human expression. This course considers how the different stakes of representation are worked through the analytic of style. Surveying theoretical perspectives across several disciplines -- anthropology, art history, architecture, and technology studies -- this course reconsiders the conceptual basis of style and its applications to ethnographic and archaeological cases while attempting an exploration of its cognitive and affective dimensions. Alice Yao.