36330/26330. Making the Maya World (=LACS 36330/36330 ). What do we know about the ancient Maya? Pyramids, palaces, and temples are found from Mexico to Honduras, texts in hieroglyphic script record the histories of kings and queens who ruled those cities, and painted murals, carved stone stelae, and ceramic vessels provide a glimpse of complex geopolitical dynamics and social hierarchies. Decades of archaeological research have expanded that view beyond the rulers and elites to explore the daily lives of the Maya people, networks of trade and market exchange, and agricultural and ritual practices. Present-day Maya communities attest to the dynamism and vitality of languages and traditions, often entangled in the politics of archaeological heritage and tourism. This course is a wide-ranging exploration of ancient Maya civilization and of the various ways archaeologists, anthropologists, linguists, historians, and indigenous communities have examined and manipulated the Maya past. From tropes of long-hidden mysteries rescued from the jungle to New Age appropriations of pre-Columbian rituals, from the thrill of decipherment to painstaking and technical artifact studies, we will examine how models drawn from astrology, ethnography, classical archaeology and philology, political science, and popular culture have shaped current understandings of the ancient Maya world, and also how the Maya world has, at times, resisted easy appropriation and defied expectations. Sarah Newman. Tues 2:40-5:30
32305. Introduction to Science Studies (=CHSS 32000 HIST 56800, KNOW 31408, SOCI 40137, HIPS 22001). 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 the field coalesced and why, but will also apply science-studies perspectives in a fieldwork project focused on a science or science-policy setting. 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, accounts of research in the commercial university, and the examined links between science and policy. Michael Rossi. TuTh 9:40-11:00
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. MonWedFri 12-1:20. First Class is 9/30/20 3:30 pm
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. TuThFri 1:50-5:00
ANTH 35005. Classical Theories of Religion (=AASR 32900, HREL 32900). This course attempts to historicize the modern academic study of religion by studying systems of classification from many different regions, times, and traditions. Beginning with premodern forms of knowledge, the first half of the course seeks to understand the genres of polemic, doxography, ethnology, and comparativism. Special attention is given to the entwining of race and religion under early modern imperial regimes. The latter half of the course looks at how concepts of religion feature in modern social theory from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Anand Venkatkrishnan. TuTh 9:40-11:00
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 the two-quarter Language in Culture sequence introduces a number of analytic concepts developed out of the study of “language” and its limits. We begin with the study of “interaction order” in its multifunctional complexity, teasing out its constitution through the real-time unfolding of indexical (pragmatic) and reflexive (metapragmatic) signs/functions as coherent “text.” We use this attention to the dialectics of indexicality and its various implications to investigate various problematics in the philosophy of language (reference, performativity), linguistics (poetics, grammatical sense, variation, register), and sociocultural anthropology (racialization, relativity, subjectivity/identity, temporality, institutionality). [New 9/20/20] Constantine Nakassis TuThu 9:40-12:40
42418. Religion and Economy (=AASR 40700). The two main concepts driving our seminar are "religion" and "economy." What is religious about work, consumption, profit and philanthropy? What are the economic aspects of conversion, charisma, political theology and religious freedom? This course is anthropological in orientation. With a focus on the contemporary world, we will think comparatively about religion and economy across traditions and geographic contexts. Angie Heo. TuTh 11:20-12:40
42815. Islamic Jurisprudence, Reason, and the State (=AASR 43500, ISLM 43500, NEHC 43500). (PQ: Students should be familiar with Anthropological approaches to the study of both Islam and the state.) This course will examine anthropological approaches to the study of Islamic jurisprudence and its transformations in the modern context. This may be of interest to students interested in both Sunni and Shi‘i jurisprudence, though the emphasis will be on Twelver Shi‘i legal reasoning. Elham Mireshghi. Mon 10:20-1:10
45600. When Cultures Collide: Multiculturalism and Liberal Democracies (=CHDV 45699). 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, Wed 9:10-12:00
48400. Fieldwork in the Archives. This is a methods seminar designed for both archaeology and sociocultural graduate students interested in, or already working with, archival materials and original texts. The goal of the course is to develop a tool-kit of epistemological questions and methodological approaches that can aid in understanding how archives are formed, the purposes they serve, their relation to the culture and topic under study, as well as how to search archives effectively and read documents critically. We will survey different types of documents and archives often encountered in fieldwork, and sample approaches taken by historians, anthropologists, and archaeologists from contexts as diverse as the ancient Near East to 1970's Cuba. This seminar will also be driven by the problems and examples that students bring to the discussion. A major outcome will be a research paper that uses original documents from the student's own fieldwork or from locally available archive sources identified during the course. Shannon Dawdy. Wed 12:40-3:30. PhD students only. Consent of instructor required.
51101. Self-Determination?: Situations Reconsidered. As ethnographies increasingly describe not “places” but “situations,” and ethnographers seek clearer concepts, an increasingly problematic premise is that the center of a situation is self-determination. What does self-determination smell like, feel like, taste like, or sound like? Is self-determination another name for agency, subjectivity, free-will, consciousness, ethical self-formation, or vita contemplativa? Are there forms of agency that do not suppose self-fashioning and world-making? And what delimits potential for self-determination? Can animals self-determine situations? Can things, as vital objects? Can investments? Will vital capitalists decide the future? Is it the machine who knows the best, refashioning (or merely amplifying and redistributing) powers of knowledge? Is art experience calling for actions? Can beauty or sublime inspiration begin or end with agencies beyond the human? Must they at least appear to do so? What makes the most sense, both in theories of art and of “the everyday,” mapping affect and sensation from and to humans and others? And can things be good? In this graduate-student designed reading course (which follows from, but does not require as prerequisite, Professor Kelly’s seminar on “Situations” and other courses) we will fetch answers in a forest of ideas within the ecological network of anthropological/philosophical theories. Exploration in nature and territorial aggressions are foreseeable; the reading course will attempt to experimentally locate self-determination and its theoretical applicability. Readings will include Dewey, Bergson, Weber, Sahlins, Latour, Simondon, Pietz, Ingold, Byung Chul Han, Haraway, Mahmood, Robbins and Das. John Kelly. Thurs 1:00-3:50
51955. Governing by Design. Design governs our attention, albeit in ways that are simultaneously conspicuous and obscure. While we invariably acknowledge and celebrate the grand designs of our buildings and infrastructure, we do not typically recognize the designs embedded in our technological devices and arrays that inform our gestures, thoughts, and politics. Such transparency and opacity complicate not only notions of rational and functional design, but also our implicit experience of so-called “good design,” the commons, and democracy. This seminar will explore these qualities of design through the relationship between governance and design from the 20th century to the present. Treating governance in capacious terms, we will look at but also beyond the work of design in mediating between power and population, bodies and capital. We will consider as well, the ways in which design is called upon to solve social, political, ecological, and technological crises. Course material will draw on theoretical texts on design along with anthropologies of the urban, environment, and technology. Michael Fisch, Johannes Bruder. TuTh 1:00-2:20
52615. Theorizing the State in Africa. In this course, we will examine the ways the state has been theorized in Africa, as shifts within the discipline of anthropology engender shifts in the conceptualization of political life in Africa. The course asks how the theorization of the state in Africa relates to that of the state more broadly in Anthropology, and beyond. In it, we will consider the variegated histories of how state forms emerged in Africa, interrogating the ways colonialism, independence movements, and the postcolonial have informed political formation. We will study the representational politics and discursive practices of how the state is thought and made from within and outside the continent. The course asks: is there such a thing as an ‘African state’? Even as anthropologists are studying the state ‘from the ground up,’ what would it look like to rethink the state from outside of a western canon? The class will draw on a range of sources and materials including African literature, ethnographies, films, music, and political philosophy. Kathryn Takabvirwa. Wed. 10:20-1:10
54606. Colloquium: History and Anthropology of the Present (=HIST 66504). This graduate colloquium will focus on readings in history and anthropology, addressing three major contemporary political and social issues from a historical or an anthropological perspective: migration, environmental crisis, and the rise of far-right authoritarian and populist regimes. The colloquium will consider the provocatively different perspectives on these issues in historical and anthropological scholarship. Susan Gal, Tara Zahra Thurs 1:00-3:50
56205. The Human Environment in South America (LACS 56205 , ENST ). This course examines the reciprocal production of non/humanity and the environment, focusing primarily on the Andean and Amazonian regions of South America. In recent years, a flurry of new scholarship in and about this part of the world interrogates the ways that cosmo-politics (more-than-humans in political life), new ontologies (emergent ways of being or forms of existence), and broader collaborative zones of social and environmental worlding interrupt familiar paradigms of human exceptionalism. This course takes up these provocations and links them to an older cannon of ethnographic and ethnological research concerning pre-colonial religiosities, land settlement, property regimes, and exchange networks in South America. By drawing together classic texts on the co-production of people and place and recent ethnographies of human/environmental co-articulation, the course aims to develop a more historically-attuned heuristic with which to approach contemporary phenomena including eco-politics, oil and natural gas conflicts, expanding soy and meat production frontiers, water rights and “green” agri-business, and huaca deities and deceased kin as tenacious diviners of the sacred. Alan Kolata, Mareike Winchell. Tues 1:00-3:50
56950. Archaeological Writing. This course is open to students currently working on writing a thesis, a dissertation or an article in archaeology. The course is organized around pre-circulation and presentation of a work in progress. Students will work collaboratively as a writing group and offer feedback during weekly meetings. Alice Yao, Sarah Newman. Fri 1:50-4:40
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. Alan Kolata. Wed 1:50-4:40
34730/22765. Ethnographic Approaches to Power and Resistance (=GNSE 22770, MAPS 31504). This introductory graduate course will examine understandings of power articulated by influential political theorists and ethnographers. We will explore key theoretical concepts, including discipline, governmentality, sovereignty, hegemony, agency, and resistance, as well as their application within textured, intersubjective, and affectively oriented ethnographic texts. Seeing power grounded in tentative and unstable practices, we will focus on the tensions between nation-states, informal networks, and the actions and aspirations of individual subjects. How are attempts to consolidate power articulated in performances, narrative histories, and acts of exclusion and violence? How are competing de facto and de jure powers negotiated in various spaces ranging from the institutional to the intimate? The centrality of both physical violence and the complacency born of the naturalized hegemony of political institutions and economic rationality will arise in our examinations of political mobilization and possibility. This course will give students opportunities to develop conceptual understandings of various modes of power that offer insights into the forces of colonialism, global interconnectivity, and violence that shape the 21st century world. Victoria Gross. Tues 9:40-12:20
35035/23910 Holocaust Object (=HIST 23413/33413, REES 27019/37019, KWSC 29500). In this course, we explore various ontological and representational modes of the Holocaust material object world as it was represented during World War II. Then, we interrogate the post-Holocaust artifacts and material remnants, as they are displayed, curated, controlled, and narrated in the memorial sites and museums of former ghettos and extermination and concentration camps. These sites which—once the locations of genocide—are now places of remembrance, the (post)human, and material remnants also serve educational purposes. Therefore, we study the ways in which this material world, ranging from infrastructure to detritus, has been subjected to two, often conflicting, tasks of representation and preservation, which we view through a prism of authenticity. In order to study representation, we critically engage a textual and visual reading of museum narrations and fiction writings; to tackle the demands of preservation, we apply a neo-materialist approach. Of special interest are survivors’ testimonies as appended to the artifacts they donated. The course will also equip you with salient critical tools for future creative research in Holocaust studies. Bozena Shallcross. TuTh 4:20-5:40
35115/24320/35115. 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. TuTh 2:40-4:00
30310/24910. Contemporary Social Theory (=SOCI 20291/30291). This course is about how contemporary theorists and those interested in a theoretical sociology, anthropology or related fields think about societies, how they rearranges themselves, and how social and cultural forms and relations can be analyzed. It addresses connections that transcend national borders and connections that require us to dig deeper than the person and look at the brain. We address different theoretical traditions, including those attempting a diagnosis of our times, and mechanism theories. The overall focus is on defining and agenda setting paradigms in the second half of the 20th century and some new 21st century theorizing. Karin Knorr Cetina. Tues 9:40-12:40
35315/25315. Food for Thought (=KNOW 29942, ARTV 26210/36210, CMST 26210/36210). If anthropology and contemporary art have one thing in common, it is the aim to de-familiarize taken-for-granted ways of being in the world by means of ethnographic comparison or aesthetic provocation so as to open up new perspectives on the complexities of human social life. Eating is a physiological precondition for the reproduction of human life. Yet while humans are omnivores in biological terms, human food intake is neither random, nor based on genetically encoded taste preferences. Food and its consumption form highly diverse parts of human experience and play a correspondingly rich role within creative cultural production over millennia—as vehicles for need and desire, social allegiance and division, purity and danger, value and lack, connection and disruption. Co-taught by an artist and an anthropologist, this course considers what’s at stake when contemporary artists build on this longstanding practice to explore the complexities of current societal, political, and cultural contexts. Works considered range from historical still life painting to recent performative work, with a focus on European and American visual art since 1960. Throughout class, we will examine the intertwining of art, food and sociality in relation to relevant theoretical frameworks, art historical contexts, and reception. Participation in field trips and evening film screenings is required. Readings are drawn from a variety of disciplines. Please note that the course will take place on an intensive schedule between September 30 and October 21, and in a hybrid format with two class meetings per week in person, and one meeting per week online. Stephan Palmié, Laura Letinsky. MWF 12:40-3:50 First 3 weeks of the Quarter.
38305/20003. Reading Race (=HIPS 20003). Before and since Anthropology became a discrete scientific field of study, questions about the biological reality, potential utility and misuse of the concept of race in Homo sapiens have been debated. We will read and discuss a sample of writings by 18th, 19th, and 20th century and contemporary authors who attempted to define human races and those who have promoted or debunked the utility of the concept of race with special attention to it role in retarding social progress, and the extermination and exploitation of some populations and individuals. Russell Tuttle. Fri 1:50-4:50
ORGB 33265/ 28110. Human Origins: Milestones in Human Evolution and the Fossil Record (=ORGB 33265, BIOS 22265). This course aims at exploring the fundamentals of human origins by tracking the major events during the course of human evolution. Starting with a laboratory based general introduction to human osteology and muscle function, the latest on morphological and behavioral evidence for what makes Homo sapiens and their fossil ancestors unique among primates will be presented. Our knowledge of the last common ancestor will be explored using the late Miocene fossil record followed by a series of lectures on comparative and functional morphology, adaptation and biogeography of fossil human species. With focus on the human fossil record, the emergence of bipedalism, advent of stone tool use and making, abandonment of arboreality, advent of endurance walking and running, dawn of encephalization and associated novel life histories, language and symbolism will be explored. While taxonomic identities and phylogenetic relationships will be briefly presented, the focus will be on investigating major adaptive transitions and how that understanding helps us to unravel the ecological selective factors that ultimately led to the emergence of our species. The course will be supported by fresh data coming from active field research conducted by Prof. Alemseged and state of the art visualization methods that help explore internal structures. By tracing the path followed by our ancestors over time, this course is directly relevant to reconnoitering the human condition today and our place in nature. Z. Alemseged
32202/22202. Anthropology of Caste in Asia (=SALC 22202/32202). This seminar course explores anthropological approaches to caste. We will survey colonial ethnological accounts to structuralist, transactionalist, historical anthropological, and contemporary ethnographic accounts of forms of caste difference, identity, and violence in South and East Asia, with an eye to comparison to other forms of invidious social difference in other times and cultures. Constantine Nakassis.
40330/24330. Medical Anthropology (=CHDV 23204/43204, HIPS 27301, KNOW 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.
35515/24830. Oil, Power, Modernity: The Anthropology of Energy. Oil is often regarded as the quintessential commodity of modern industrial capitalism. Oil is a material substrate of power—as a source of energy, an impetus for warfare, and a source of windfall revenue for multinational corporations and petrostates. This undergraduate seminar surveys social scientific approaches to oil and adjacent energy complexes. This seminar will debate the character of oil as a material substance and an instrument of political power. To this end, students will consult the writings of anthropologists, geographers, and economists alongside creative media including film, television, and short stories. Ryan Jobson.
36711/ 26711/36711. Ancient Landscapes-2 (=NEAA 20070/30070, GEOG 25800/35800). 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
36731/26731. Rise of the State in the Ancient Near East (=NEAA 20030/30030). This course introduces the background and development of the first urbanized civilizations in the Near East in the period from 9000 to 2200 BC. In the first half of this course, we examine the archaeological evidence for the first domestication of plants and animals and the earliest village communities in the "fertile crescent" (i.e., the Levant, Anatolia, Mesopotamia). The second half of this course focuses on the economic and social transformations that took place during the development from simple, village-based communities to the emergence of the urbanized civilizations of the Sumerians and their neighbors in the fourth and third millennia BC. Gil Stein
38800/28400/38800. 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
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? Susan Gal
42450. Feminism and Islamic Studies (=AASR 43310, ISLM 3310, GNSE 43310, RLST 23310). The goals of this course are three-fold: 1- To examine the (geo)politics of feminism as a Euro-American emancipatory project as it pertains to Muslim-majority societies; 2- to probe the conceptual work made possible by the categories of “woman” and “gender” as pioneered by feminist scholars specifically in relation to the history and anthropology of Islam; and 3- to study and evaluate self-consciously reformist projects engaging with the Islamic tradition in the modern period and the complexities of their relationship with Euro-American feminism. Rather than treating these goals in a strictly chronological manner, we will keep them in tension throughout the course. Course Notes: By permission only. Students should write a one-paragraph statement about why they would like to take this course and what kind of prior preparation they have. Alireza Doostdar
51315. Pulmonographies. (Brief/keyword description) - A course that thinks through the geographies, biographies and politics of breath and breathing, breathers as biomedical/political/legal/toxic subjects. [This will be taught in conjunction with a Neubauer Collegium grant] Kaushik Sunder Rajan.
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
52802. Politics of Intimacy (LACS 52802). This course draws from interdisciplinary debates to position intimate forms in relation to broader textures of emotion and ethics, desire and race, labor and liberation. Heuristically, intimacy allows us to attend to practices that spill beyond more dyadic understandings of ostensibly private domains of sexuality or kinship as opposed to public forms of economic production and labor. Course readings, taken primarily but not exclusively from the Latin American region, will consider specific instances when the gathering together of bodies in close quarters (e.g. in arrangements of domestic servitude, colonial-era monasteries and convents, indigenous slave-holding in the Americas, settler households and adoptive parentage configurations) became problematic and subject to governmental intervention. We will further ask how, in moments of colonial reform, post-colonial change, and de-colonial mobilization, intimate forms became newly offensive but also grounded (and continue to ground) emergent claims to life and rights. The course ends by meditating on the entailments of intimacy for ethnography, namely, as a model of research rooted in attachments and vulnerabilities rather than spectatorship and distance. Mareike Winchell.
53205. Sovereignty/Territory/Coloniality. This graduate seminar approaches the legal-juridical category of sovereignty through the social theory and ethnography of the state. Particular consideration will be awarded to the emergence of sovereignty as a sixteenth Century political writings of Thomas Hobbes and Jean Bodin alongside concurrent histories of colonial genocide and plantation slavery. To what extent does the discourse pf sovereignty emerge out of the colonial encounter? In debating this question, students will consult authors including Hobbes, Bodin, John Locke, Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Deborah Thomas, and Yarimar Bonilla. Ryan Jobson.
54520. Political Exile: Past and Future. This graduate seminar examines relationships between exile and collective belonging. We ask: 1) Are there particular historical formations forged in the wake of exile? 2) What is nationhood, collective belonging under conditions of anticipated flight? 3) How may we think the temporality of political subjectivity in exile? We begin with a focus on forced movements from a ‘home’ and narratives of loss, longing and return. The second part of the course moves to historical narratives that emerge out of the experience of collective displacement. We end by gesturing toward the aesthetics of exilic belonging and diasporic imaginations. Moving from ethnographic, literary and visual texts to essays that straddle multiple continents, the class aims to consider the kinds of semiotic structures made possible by 20th and 21st century historical-political formations in which exile, whether as experience or figuration, is fundamental. Natacha Nsabimana.
55550. International Humanitarian Law (LAWS 53322). Darryl Li
55560. Law and Marxism. This graduate seminar surveys some of the longstanding and fraught mutual entailments between Marxist theory and legal scholarship, with special concern to three ongoing themes: (1) how to think productively about the mutual relationship between historical materialism and legal forms; (2) how to think productively about race and gender in relation to both law and Marxism at once (i.e. bridging critical race/gender-oriented traditions that seek to engage either law or Marxism but not necessarily both); (3) implications for the anthropology of law and ethnographic method (including ethnographic history). PQ Enrollment is open to doctoral students in anthropology and other departments. Other students seeking consent to enroll should email the instructor a brief statement of interest, including goals for the course and any relevant background. Darryl Li
56315. Time and Temporality: The Future Edition. (PQ Consent of Instructor.) The aim of this advanced graduate course is to read deeply in recent ethnographic and theoretical works (many book-length) that focus on futures and futurology. How do divination, science fiction, utopias, futurology, astrology, millenarianism, apocalypticism, predictive modeling, futures markets, forecasting, eschatology, and other future-oriented ideologies and practices shape different cultural worlds -- past, present, and future? Shannon Dawdy.
56500. The 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.
58517. Creativity and Craftwork. The central theme of this course is an exploration of creativity from the perspective of anthropology, philosophy, and the design. From the creative industries, to the creative class and creative commons, creativity appears less a faculty of certain individuals and more a collective force which produces new relationships and values. Why is creativity a persistent and prominent item on a variety of agendas, education, commercial spheres and more broadly in culture? Why does it matter to consider the creative possibilities of skilled labor and of manufactured products? What is at stake in the creative life? This course aims to work through the conceptual issues posed by creativity, in particular its complex intellectual history and traditions of thought, for an anthropological approach to this topic. We will endeavor to shift the inquiry beyond Romantic notions of genius and modern perspectives on the commodity aesthetic with readings drawn from ethnographies of craftwork & design and theories of embodied and tacit knowledge. The course thus draws from a variety of disciplines to explore how the processes of making - the hand, skills, gestures, materials, and learning - may help us think about the shifting domains of creative action. We will also visit a pottery studio and take a lesson to complement our inquiry on embodied thought. Alice Yao
38810/28410. Introduction to Zooarchaeology (=NEAA 20035/30035). This course provides undergraduate and graduate students with an introduction to the use of animal bones in archaeological research. Students will gain hands-on experience analyzing faunal remains from an archaeological site in the Near East. The class will address theoretical and methodological issues involved in the use of animal bones as a source of information about prehistoric societies. The course consists of lectures, laboratory sessions, and original research projects using collections of animal bone from archaeological excavations in southeast Turkey. Topics covered include: 1) identifying, ageing and sexing animal bones; 2) zooarchaeological sampling, measurement, quantification, and problems of taphonomy; 3) analysis of animal bone data; 4) reconstructing prehistoric hunting and pastoral economies, especially: animal domestication, hunting strategies, herding systems, seasonality, and pastoral production in complex societies. Gil Stein
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. Sean Brotherton
40100/20100. The Inca and Aztec States (=LACS 20100/40305). This course is an intensive examination of the origins, structure, and meaning of two native states of the ancient Americas: the Inka and the Aztec. Lectures are framed around an examination of theories of state genesis, function, and transformation, with special reference to the economic, institutional, and symbolic bases of indigenous state development. This course is broadly comparative in perspective and considers the structural significance of institutional features that are either common to or unique expressions of these two Native American states. Alan Kolata.
40165. Bourdieu/Sociobiography (=MAPS 40200). This seminar explores the conceptual architecture of Pierre Bourdieu's social theory, with special attention to its implications for biography and autobiography. John MacAloon
42003. Modes of Inquiry-1: Ethnographic Innovations. 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. Julie Chu
42230. Anthropology of Motherhood. Motherhood is a deeply contested and highly charged field of politics. From maternity-related over wage inequality to debates over breastfeeding in restaurants, from racial preference in donor egg selection, to challenges over breeches in surrogacy contracts, Family and Child Services and the judgement of ‘unfit,’ to accusations of witchcraft in cases of infertility, motherhood is the stuff of life and death. In this course, we examine critical issues in the theorization of reproduction and the sociopolitical and affective dimensions of the making of motherhood. The course considers the ways motherhood stands as a locus for the debates around governance, gendered citizenship, privacy, religion, kinship, and the family. Kathryn Takabvirwa.
45301/21306. 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. The main objects of our study will be the vast body of folktales and collateral folklore collected by anthropologists and folklorists in traditional societies. 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 …an argument, in short, that humans are, by nature, story-telling creatures whose sapience lies primarily in the capacity to create, be entertained by, and even live by, fictions The central place of storytelling is shown in the humanistic and social sciences: anthropology, economics, history, philosophy, politics, psychoanalysis. Student story-telling and even performance, of brief stories is encouraged and reflected upon in light of the main arguments of the course. James Fernandez
46760/26760. 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
50522. Reading Walter Benjamin’s ‘Artwork’ Essay. William Mazzarella.
50540. Derrida. (Brief/keyword description) - Course on the philosophy and theory of Jacques Derrida, deconstruction, and its resonance for postcolonial thought. Kaushik Sunder Rajan.
50615. Authenticity. Authenticity is a concept that is invoked frequently in a variety of domains and often carries a heavy effective load. It plays an especially prominent role in discussions of heritage, identity, nationalism, tradition, music, art, food, architecture, tourism, and theme parks and historical reenactment; and it has been much debated by cultural theorists, anthropologists, art critics, and ordinary consumers. This seminar examines some of the major theoretical literature that notions of authenticity have generated and examines the use of authenticity in a variety of empirical domains in an effort to trace the historical origins of the concept, its multiple meanings in different contexts, the roles it has played in the creation of social boundaries, communities, and networks, and its relationship to the production of value in consumption and commodity marketing. Related phenomena such as forgeries and fakes (in archaeology, folklore, art, etc.) will also be treated. Michael Dietler.
51515. An Island is a World: Readings in Caribbean Ethnography (LACS , CRES ) This advanced graduate seminar examines the construction of the Caribbean as an object of anthropological study. The aims of this seminar are twofold. Following Michel-Rolph Trouillot, this seminar will attend to “Caribbean as viewed by anthropologists, but also about anthropology as viewed from the Caribbean.” In turn, students will consider whether the Caribbean is an exceptional or exemplary geography in the anthropological imagination.Accordingly, students will consult the writings of Trouillot, MG Smith, Constance Sutton, Lynn Bolles, and Deborah Thomas, among others. Additionally, students will be introduced to the Raymond T. Smith Papers in Special Collections at the Regenstein Library. Ryan Jobson
53530. Ethnographic Methods (=AASR 54000). This is a writing-intensive seminar for doctoral students wishing to explore ethnography as a method and genre of social-cultural analysis. engaged in ethnographic research. Over the course of the quarter, students will work individually and in groups to develop their ethnographic projects. Readings will consist of articles on theory and method, as well as a selection of ethnographic monographs. The final writing assignment is an Assignments will include a variety of ethnographic essay that will grow out of a range of research writing exercises and writing assignments. experiments with genre and form. Course Notes: By permission only. First preference will be given to PhD students. Alireza Doostdar
57705. Philosophical Foundations of Linguistic Anthropology (=CHDV 47705, LING ). In this graduate seminar we explore the philosophical and epistemological foundations of linguistic anthropological thought, with a specific focus on methodology. We read primary texts in the (post)Enlightenment analytic tradition, American pragmatism, and phenomenology alongside the linguistic anthropological tradition to clarify why the methodological, analytic, and theoretical discourse of contemporary linguistic anthropology (what questions we ask after, or don't; how we pose them and study them; and what principled positions the field has staked) has taken the form it has. Topics may include categoriality and empirical knowledge; mediation and semiotic realism; linguistic relativity; causality, contingency, and temporality; interpretation and experience; reflexivity; and the unconscious, among others. Constantine Nakassis.
59500/29500. Archaeology Laboratory Practicum. (PQ: Consent of Instructor) This hands-on lab practicum course exposes students to various stages of artifact processing on a collection from a recently excavated site (e.g., washing, sorting, flotation, identification, data entry, analysis, report preparation, curation). The primary requirement is that students commit to a minimum of nine hours of lab work per week, with tasks assigned according to immediate project needs. Shannon Dawdy