23335/33335. Racial France (=FREN 23335/33335, CRES 23335). Over the last two decades, questions of race, racial identity, and racial discrimination have come increasingly to the fore in France, despite (or because of) the country's prevailing rhetoric of colorblind indivisibility. These issues are becoming ever more pressing on a background of intensifying racisms and right-wing populisms in Europe. The purpose of this course is to offer analytical perspectives about these critical tensions and their ripples across the landscape of contemporary French politics. Using readings from a wide variety of fields (among others, anthropology, sociology, literature, philosophy, history, political science, and news media), we will unpack the discourses and lived experiences of race that have shaped the politics of national identity and difference in France since the late 18th century. We will see that the question of 'racial France' has been intimately bound up with the country's history of colonialism and decolonization, with its Republican ideology, with matters of law and government, with questions of citizenship, religion and sexuality, with recent debates on multiculturalism, and with white malaise and resentment stirred by the growth of right-wing extremisms. In the course of our examinations, we will also reflect on the specificity of race and racialization in France, and its differences from racecraft in the United States. François Richard.
24315/35115. Culture, Mental Health & Psychiatry (=CHDVj23301/33301, HIPS 27301, HLTH 23301). While mental illness has recently been framed in largely neurobiological terms as “brain disease,” there has also been an increasing awareness of the contingency of psychiatric diagnoses. In this course, we will draw upon readings from medical and psychological anthropology, cultural psychiatry, and science studies to examine this paradox and to examine mental health and illness as a set of subjective experiences, social processes and objects of knowledge and intervention. On a conceptual level, the course invites students to think through the complex relationships between categories of knowledge and clinical technologies (in this case, mainly psychiatric ones) and the subjectivities of persons living with mental illness. Put in slightly different terms, we will look at the multiple links between psychiatrists’ professional accounts of mental illness and patients' experiences of it. Questions explored include: Does mental illness vary across social and cultural settings? How are experiences of people suffering from mental illness shaped by psychiatry’s knowledge of their afflictions? Eugene Raikhel
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
24720/34720. Trust after Betrayal: Society-Building in the Aftermath of Atrocity (=HMRT 24720/34720). In this course, students will learn about the moral philosophy and anthropology of trust, mistrust, and betrayal. The course will be structured through four cases: the Colombian Peace Process, Germany’s Stasi, the Cultural Revolution in China, and the United States 2008 Financial Crisis. The class will tend towards the discussion seminar format with some short lectures to help students bridge the theoretical and empirical materials. Students will analysis of laws, public discourses, literature, and ethnographic materials to write a final term paper on one of the four cases. As part of the course pedagogy, students will also learn how to form and manage productive writing groups and to write literature reviews that draw from multiple disciplines. The midterm will consist of a their literature review for their final term paper. Authors will include, but are not limited to the following: Baier, Benedict, Carey, Corsín Jimenez, Darwall, Fauklner, Fukuyama, Gambetta, Govier, Hawley, Holton, Jamal, Jones, Kleinman, Lewicki, Luhmann, McAllister, Möllering, Simpson, Tilly, and Widner. Erin McFee
25216/32925. Gender, Sex and Culture (MAPS ). This introductory graduate course examines the social construction of gendered identities in different times and places. We study culturally-specific gendered experiences, ‘roles,’ rights and rebellions around the world, discussing the individual and social consequences of gender and the interrelationships between gender and other categories for identity including race, class and sexuality. While focusing on the global diversity of gendered experience and expectations, we also examine gender in the US, taking a critical approach to understanding gendered inequality and gender-based and sexual violence both abroad and at home. Finally, we examine the role of gendered expectations in Western science, the relationship between gender and ‘globalization,’ and the contemporary movements affecting change in gendered norms, especially in the arts and media. Advanced Undergraduates admitted with Instructor consent. Mary Elena Wilhoit
25320/35320. FOODCULTURA: The Art and Anthropology of Food and Cuisine. If anthropology and conceptual art have one thing in common, it is the aim to deliberately 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 forms of understanding the complexities and diversity of human social life. Co-taught by the internationally acclaimed food artist Antoni Miralda and the University of Chicago anthropologist Stephan Palmié, this experimental course aims to do just that in exploring the aesthetics and politics of food-related forms of sociality in Chicago and beyond through first hand ethnographic and historical research. An initial set of lectures will give students a basic understanding of how anthropology and art have dealt with human foodways – i.e. those seemingly most “natural”, but in fact, socially and culturally highly overdetermined ways in which we nourish ourselves and relate to others through food. Then the class will be divided into research teams under the direction of two graduate student project leaders to work on ethnographic, archival, or media-related projects concerning Chicago’s diverse and complex alimentary and gustatory worlds. Research topics include (but are not limited) to the following: Chicago’s rich history as a major site of industrial food production (including literary representations such as Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle); it’s stunning diversity of ethnic food cultures (Mexican, Eastern European, South and East Asian, etc.); its dramatic class and race-based inequalities in access to quality foods; its gastronomic infrastructure ranging from street vendors and food trucks to high end restaurants, from convenience stores and ethnic retailers, to farmers’ markets, food banks, Costco and Walmart, and on to gourmet emporia. And not the least its local street food alternatives to corporate fast food: deep dish pizza, hot dogs, Italian beef, jibaritos. Other lines of investigation might concern food in visual imagery, music, folk-art or social media, as well food-related language, recipes, or communal feasting traditions. Research sites can range from archives and public collections to neighborhood retailers and restaurants, community centers, foodbanks, or culinary institutions like Kendall College. As the research teams develop their project-designs and methodologies, and begin their investigations they will collectively report back during class meeting where their approaches and findings will be collectively discussed. The final results can take the form of conventional research papers, annotated data collections, visual recordings and audio files, or participatory art projects. These will then be incorporated into a Chicago version of Miralda’s Sabores y Lenguas/Tastes and Tongues project that will be featured in a public event to be held at the University of Chicago’s Gray Center for the Arts in the winter quarter of 2020 with participation of the students in this class as well as artists and scholars from Chicago and beyond. Stephan Palmié, Antoni Miralda
25720/35720. Unfolding Anthropology: Practices of Research and Representation. (MAPSS 34512). This introductory graduate course interrogates the forms of interaction, understanding, and representation that define the ongoing evolution of the discipline of anthropology. Starting with the early moments of anthropology and proceeding to contemporary texts, we will identify both the unique insights anthropology offers and its blind spots. Students will be given opportunities to explore the value of anthropology as a way of thinking with and about human experience through close studies of the discursive frameworks, aesthetic forms, and claims of ethnographies. What kinds of knowledge are conveyed in what forms? What kinds of truths are communicated through what kinds of texts? These are some of the questions we will explore as we gain exposure to wide-ranging ethnographies focused on South Asia, Brazil, Morocco, Southern Africa, and the United States. We will enrich close readings of ethnographies with hands-on explorations of the methods of anthropology. Students will undertake research projects, and compose abridged ethnographies in order to complicate their practices of intellectual engagement and critique with the contingencies of life outside the classroom. Tori Gross
26900/46900. Archaeological Data Sets. PQ Advanced standing and consent of instructor for undergraduates. This course focuses on the methodological basis of archaeological data analysis. Its goals are twofold: (1) to provide students with an opportunity to examine research questions through the study of archaeological data; and (2) to allow students to evaluate evidential claims in light of analytical results. We consider data collection, sampling and statistical populations, exploratory data analysis, and statistical inference. Built around computer applications, the course also introduces computer analysis, data encoding, and database structure. Alice Yao
28110. Human Origins: Milestones in Human Evolution and the Fossil Record (=BIOS 22265, ORGB 33265). (PQ: Three quarters of Biological Sciences Fundamentals sequence, or consent of Instructor) 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. Alsmseged.
32305. Introduction to Science Studies (=CHSS 32000, SOCI 40137, HIST 56800, HIPS 22001, KNOW 31408). This course provides an introduction to the interdisciplinary study of science, medicine, and technology. During the twentieth century, sociologists, historians, philosophers, and anthropologists raised original, interesting, and consequential questions about the sciences. Often their work drew on and responded to each other, and, taken together, their various approaches came to constitute a field, “science studies.” The course furnishes an initial guide to this field. Students will not only encounter some of its principal concepts, approaches and findings, but will also get a chance to apply science-studies perspectives themselves by performing a fieldwork project. 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; and efforts to apply science studies approaches beyond the sciences themselves. Karin Knorr/ Adrian Johns
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. MonWedFri 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. Classical Theories of Religion (=AASR & 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. Christain 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 and transform 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 collective social fact; and in sociocultural anthropology through subjectivity, reflexivity, value, and meaning. Meaning is here understood as a tertium a quo, the emergent collective precipitate of ritualized endeavors geared towards non—mutually-unintelligible calibrations and orderings of conceptual and institutional phenomena under ideological epistemologies of the real. Michael Silverstein
42810. Islam, Welfare and Neoliberalism (=AASR 41550, ISLM 41550). This course examines modern Muslim politics and its transformations in relation to dominant economic processes and paradigms. We will pay particular attention to the ways in which Islamic movements and institutions have responded to the exigencies of national welfare, economic redistribution, liberal structural adjustment, and neoliberalism. Readings will be primarily ethnographic and historical. Elham Mireshghi.
53320. Urban Emergence. This course considers the aesthetics, politics, economies, and lived experiences that materialize in relation with thinking the city as a paradigm of emergence and/or an emergent paradigm. As such, it is concerned with the city as a site of generative tension between sedimented practices and nascent phenomena, top-down planning and self-organization, and spatialized morality and temporal becomings. In traversing these themes, it attends to the city as an object, process, and site of reflective theorization. The approach will be both historical and comparative, guided by urban social theory and ethnographic engagements that highlight the sociocultural irreducibility of specific urban conditions, experiences, and questions. Special attention will be given to questions of urban experience and theory vis-à-vis the effects of mass mediation, governmentality, infrastructure, architecture, affective and sensorial registers. This is a graduate seminar but open to undergraduates by permission from the instructor. Michael Fisch
54812. Un-Natural Histories: Inventing Nature and Knowledge. This graduate seminar is a comparative exploration of natural histories— the observation, collection, classification, description, and explanation of what is commonly called “nature”. But what is “nature”, if not the result of that history-making? Drawing on diverse case studies, we will ask: how do humans make sense of the worlds around them? In particular, this course aims to examine and expand the seemingly self-evident corpus of natural histories (e.g., Aristotle, Pliny the Elder, Linnaeus, Cuvier, etc.) in light of non-Western and non-written ways in which direct observation, emic rationality, and prior knowledge have been employed to understand and manipulate natural phenomena. We will rethink the universality of supposedly fundamental conceptual categories: nature and culture; animal, vegetal, and mineral; matter and mind. Do humans always recognize insects, elephants, and fungi—not to mention humans—as independent taxa? Do outliers, dualizers, and monsters subvert or reinforce classification systems? Can one ever describe plants and animals without making use of analogies? How does studying animals from the inside (through vivisection and taxidermy) change what humans know about animals (or about humans)? If manioc is a pet, can it still be just a vegetable? Sarah Newman
54833. Engineered Worlds-3: Terraformations (=CHSS 54833) This experimental seminar is part of a larger series of events in 2019-20 organized under the Engineered Worlds theme. It will be linked to activities on several other campuses as well as a spring 2020 conference. It examines the effects of industrial living on the biosphere and considers the multiple ways that people have been involved in terraforming planet earth. Attending to the ways that race, gender, and class inform industrial life, the seminar will explore (via social theory, ethnography, and history) ways of thinking about planetary scale problems that have local intensities that matter. This is an advanced graduate seminar. Registration is by permission of instructor. Joseph Masco
57400. Film Semiotics: Toward a Linguistic Anthropology of Cinema (=CMST 57200) In this seminar we explore a series of topics in the semiotics of film as approached through the semiotic theory developed out of linguistic anthropology: topics will include revisiting questions of structuralist film semiology; iconicity, textuality, and the poetic function; indexicality and ontology; deixis and enunciation; voicing and structures of looking; performativity and image-acts; aesthetic style and enregisterment; rigid designation and stardom. The larger aims of the course are two-fold: one, to articulate a pragmaticist account of the evenemential semiotics of cinema as institutional and textual form—as broached both through ethnographic and close textual methods of analysis—and in doing reconceptualize certain key film theoretic issues; two, to expand and rethink linguistic anthropology’s semiotic theory and analysis beyond language/through cinema; in short, to think both film studies and linguistic anthropology with and against each other so as to further a semiotics of moving images. Constantine Nakassis
57727. LingAnthSeminar: Voiced Revelations on “Fieldwork” on Languages and Cultures (=LING 57727). The recent publication (2019) and prominent popular reviews of Don Kulick’s A Death in the Rainforest is at the leading edge of a long and distinguished line of publishing “the straight dope” on what it is like to engage in systematic empirical study of languages, particularly as denotational structures, and of cultures, particularly as the frameworks of value for the experiences in the field that envelop “natives” and the researcher. We take up the problem of how – and for whom – to ‘voice’ a kind of informal and revelatory retrospection of the fieldwork experience, using as examples writings by Bronislaw Malinowski, Hortense Powdermaker, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Margaret Mead, Robert M. W. Dixon, Don Kulick, and others – especially those suggested by members of the seminar. Michael Silverstein.
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
21265/36705. Celts: Ancient, Modern, Post Modern (=CRES 21265/36705). (This course qualifies as a Discovering Anthropology Selection) Celts and things Celtic have long occupied a prominent and protean place in the popular imagination, and “the Celts” has been an amazingly versatile concept in the politics of identity and collective memory in recent history. This course is an anthropological exploration of this phenomenon that examines: (1) the use of the ancient past in the construction of modern nationalist mythologies of Celtic identity (e.g. in France and Ireland) and regional movements of resistance to nationalist and colonialist projects (e.g. in Brittany, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Gallicia, Asturias); (2) the construction of transnational ethno-nostalgic forms of Celtic identity in modern diasporic communities (Irish, Scottish, etc.); and (3) various recent spiritualist visions of Celticity that decouple the concept from ethnic understandings (e.g. in the New Age and Neo-Pagan movements). All of these are treated in the context of what is known archaeologically about the ancient peoples of Europe who serve as a symbolic reservoir for modern Celtic identities. The course explores these competing Celtic imaginaries in the spaces and media where they are constructed and performed, ranging from museums and monuments, to neo-druid organizations, Celtic cyberspace, Celtic festivals, Celtic theme parks, Celtic music, Celtic commodities, etc. Michael Dietler
22730/35210. Decolonizing Anthropology: Africana Critical Theory and the Social Sciences (=CRES 22730). This course historicizes the relationship between black studies and the social sciences with a focus on the discipline of anthropology. To this end, students will engage anthropological studies of black communities and debate how black intellectuals have troubled the relationship between social science and colonialism. The aim of this course is twofold. First, how are the social sciences brought to bear on black social life in accordance with what W.E.B. Du Bois famously described as the “study of Negro problems?” And secondly, how does the figure of “the Negro” pose a problem for anthropology theory? As students will read, nineteenth century abolitionist Frederick Douglass and Haitian anthropologist Antenor Firmin condemned the Social Darwinism of the nascent human sciences and issued challenges to scientific method and analysis. Critiques of this sort, however, remain absent from histories of the discipline. Through an analysis of classical and contemporary texts, this course considers how anthropological theory has depended on erasures that inhibit its radical potential for social transformation. Ryan Jobson.
23911. Anthropology of Religion (=RSLT 27650, AASR 34411). How do anthropologists study religion? This course is an introduction to classic concepts that have defined the social scientific study of religion such as ritual, taboo, transcendence, embodiment, and enchantment. To grasp how fieldwork is paired with theory, we will engage ethnographic writings on Orthodox Christianity in northern Ethiopia, Afro-Caribbean Santería in Chicago, and Islamic jinn veneration in Delhi India. We will further examine various themes in the socio-cultural inquiry of contemporary religion including asceticism, sexuality, sectarianism, and political theology. Angie Heo.
24333/35133. Critical Studies of Mental Health in Higher Education (=CHDV 23305/333/05). This course draws on a range of perspectives from across the interpretive, critical, and humanistic social sciences to examine the issues of mental health, illness, and distress in higher education. Tentative reading list: Margaret Price, Mad at School; Anne Cvetovich, Depression: A Public Feeling; Susan Blum, "I Love Learning, I Hate School"; Elizabeth Armstrong and Laura Hamilton, Paying for the Party; Lauren Rivera, Pedigree: How Elite Students Get Elite Jobs. Eugene Raikhel
24701/34701. Political Anthropology (=CHDV ) Through this course, students will learn how anthropologists approach the study of politics, institutions, states, and individuals. The seminar will comprise a mix of short lectures and class discussion. Students will be asked to provide 10 short response papers to the readings over the course of the quarter. Additionally, students will select an instructor-approved case study to anchor their thinking about the readings outside of the class discussion. They will complete 10 pages of journaling bridging together the readings with elements of their selected case, which will be graded at two points over the quarter. The final paper will draw together their journal content, course readings and discussions, and outside readings related to their case study. Texts will cover classical accounts of small-scale societies, contemporary political movements, governmental institutions and bureaucracy, post-colonial resistance, and identity politics. Authors include, but are not limited to the following: Abrams, Anderson, Aretxaga, Comaroff and Comaroff, Evans-Pritchard, Foucualt, Mbembé, McGovern, Mitchell, Mosse, Nelson, Povinelli, Ramirez, Scott, Sharma and Gupta, Silverstein, Taussig, Trouillot, and Weber. Erin McFee
25211 / 32910. Feminisms and Anthropology (=CHDV 22103/32103, GNSE 22103/32103). This seminar examines the somewhat fraught yet generative relation between various movements of feminism and the discipline of anthropology. Both feminism(s) and anthropology emerged in the 19th century as fields invested in thinking “the human” through questions of alterity or Otherness. As such, feminist and anthropological inquiries often take up shared objects of analysis—including nature/culture, kinship, the body, sexuality, exchange, value and power—even as they differ in their political and scholarly orientations through the last century and a half. Tracking the emergence of feminisms and anthropology as distinct fields of academic discourse on the one hand and political intervention on the Other, we will pursue the following lines of inquiry: 1) a genealogical approach to examine key concepts and problem-spaces forged at the intersection of these two fields 2) critical analysis of the relation of feminist and postcolonial social movements to the professionalizing fields of knowledge production ( including Marxist inspired writing on women and economy, Third World feminism and intersectionality, and feminist critiques of science studies) and 3) a reflexive contemporary examination of the way these two strands of thought have come together in the subfield of feminist anthropology and the continual frictions and resonances of feminist and anthropological approaches in academic settings and in the larger world (e.g., #MeToo, sex positive activism, queer politics, feminist economics, etc.). Julie Chu, Jennifer Cole, Winter 2020
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 first-hand through visits of a Chicago-based folk dance ensemble, “Balkan Dance.” Angelina Ilieva.
26200/36200. Ceramic Analysis for Archaeologists (=NEAA 10020/40020). This course introduces the theoretical foundations and analytical techniques that allow archaeologists to use ceramics to make inferences about ancient societies. Ethnographic, experimental, and physical science approaches are explored to develop a realistic, integrated understanding of the nature of ceramics as a form of material culture. Practical training in the use of the ceramic labs is included. James Osborne?
26755/36755 Introduction to the Archaeology of Afghanistan (=NEAA 20070/30070). Afghanistan is the quintessential “crossroads of cultures” where the civilizations of the Near East, Central Asia, South Asia and China interacted over the millennia in a constantly shifting mixture of trade, emulation, migration, imperial formations, and periodic conflict. This complex history of contacts gave rise to some of the most important archaeological, artistic, architectural, and textual treasures in world cultural heritage – encompassing cultures as diverse as the Bronze Age cities of Bactria, the Persian Empire, the easternmost colonies founded by Alexander the Great and his Hellenistic successors, the Kushan empire astride the Silk Road, and the monumental Buddhas of Bamiyan. Although the first excavations began in the 1920’s, there has been only limited fieldwork in Afghanistan, and even this was truncated by the Soviet invasion in 1979 and the subsequent 35 years of continuous war in that country.
This course presents an introduction to the archaeology of Afghanistan from the Neolithic through the Medieval Islamic periods, focusing on sites in Afghanistan and the region’s cultural linkages to neighboring areas such as Iran, Central Asia, and South Asia. The final portion of the course will discuss the threats to Afghan cultural heritage, and current effort to preserve this patrimony. The course is intended for both graduate and undergraduate students who have had at least one introductory course in archaeology. Gil Stein.
26765/36765 Archaeology of Anyang: Bronzes, Inscriptions andWorld 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
27360/37460, Ethnicity in the Contemporary World. [Tentative] Ethnicity as a particular mode of groupness, entailing a sense of belonging, comes with strong ideological loading of diachronic trajectory – where the group comes from and where it is heading. We examine several recent treatments of the fate of ethnicity within the nation-state and similar modern formations, thinking through cases of ethnolinguistic, ethnoracial, and ethnoreligious intersectionalities and synchretisms. Michael Silverstein.
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
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, MAPS 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? Susan Gal
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. Kaushik Sunder Rajan
44810. Assaulting the Paradigm: Franz Boas and His Contemporaries (=KNOW 40206, CHSS 40206). How do ideas succeed? What challenges do those who voice new ideas face as they try to gain adherents, and how do they rise to influence against the odds? This course examines how the unexpected, the unconventional, and the radically original can dethrone accepted truths. We will investigate this question through a case study of the anthropologist Franz Boas and his contemporaries, who assaulted the paradigm of race at the turn of the twentieth century. In addition to reading Boas, we will study the works of John Dewey, W. E. B. Du Bois, Sigmund Freud, Zora Neale Hurston, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Margaret Mead, and Thorstein Veblen. By tracing the mutual influence between Boas and thinkers in fields from psychology to philosophy, we can examine how knowledge is contested and propagated—including the challenges those who frame ideas face as they break away from the pack, the role of social networks in the success of concepts that go “against the grain” of conventional wisdom, and the special agency of multidisciplinary collaboration in the periods of ferment produced when authority is tested and new ideas are demanded. Isaiah Wilner
45125. Seminar: Anthropology of the Body (=CHSS 45125, CRES, GNSE 45112, CHDV). Drawing on a wide and interdisciplinary range of texts, both classic and more recent, this seminar will variously examine the theoretical debates of the body as a subject of anthropological, historical, psychological, medical and literary inquiry. The seminar will explore specific themes, for example, the persistence of the mind/body dualism, experiences of embodiment/alienation, phenomenology of the body, Foucauldian notions of bio-politics, biopower, queering the body, and the medicalized, gendered, and racialized body, among other salient themes. This seminar is a collaborative exercise that is only as good as the contribution of each participant. Attendance, preparation, and participation are essential to the quality of everyone’s seminar experience. In this seminar, the assigned readings correspond to the general theme of the week’s seminar. The weekly session is organized as follows: during the first hour, two students will participate in co-leading a critical discussion of the required readings for that day. We will then take a short break, and the remainder of the class will be a general lecture and discussion fleshing out the major debates and significance of the week’s theme. Sean Brotherton.
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,
446100. Archaeology and the Politics of the Past. This seminar explores the use of the ancient past as a symbolic resource by modern communities and the social situation and responsibilities of archaeologists in this process. Case studies from a variety of contexts are used to show how archaeology has been implicated in the politically charged construction of ethnic and regional identities and nationalist and colonialist mythologies in modern history. Current debates about the authority of competing interpretations of archaeological evidence, the right to control public representations of the past, and the contested ownership of archaeological materials and sites are also discussed. Michael Dietler.
50755. Race/Capital/Extraction (=CRES 50755, CHSS 50755). In the concluding chapters of Capital, Vol. 1, Karl Marx describes the origins of capitalism as an enterprise “written in the annals of mankind in letters of blood and fire.” This process that Marx christened as “so-called primitive accumulation” rests fundamentally on the extraction of raw materials through colonial regimes of enclosure and the brutal exploitation of racialized labor. Nonetheless, the relationship between race and capital is not sufficiently elaborated in Marx’s oeuvre. In turn, this course will reconsider Marxist concepts and categories through a critical evaluation of the analytical domains of “race,” “capital,” and “extraction.” Moreover, students will consider the extent to which these domains productively modify each other: Does capitalism as an economic system depend on race as its ideological substrate? Can race be understood as an extractive project founded the violent enslavement and mercantile transit of racialized laboring subjects? How are the production of race and the accumulation of capital transformed by extractive economies of fossil fuels and metallic ores? To this end, students will consult the writings of W.E.B. Du Bois, C.L.R. James, Claudia Jones, Walter Rodney, Sidney Mintz, Norman Girvan, Lloyd Best and Kari Polanyi Levitt. Ryan Jobson.
51947. Techno-Natures: Anthropology and Science Fiction (=CHSS 51947. This graduate seminar explores science fiction narratives alongside anthropological theory and ethnographic practice in an attempt to develop novel theoretical and methodological interventions into questions concerning environment, governance, the body, and the relationship between humans and machines. In so doing the course aims to elaborate potential correspondences between anthropology and science fiction, with particular focus on re-conceptualizing nature in relation to post-apocalyptic narratives and crises of the Anthropocene. Following science fiction’s speculative process, the course encourages a mode of inquiry that is experimental in order to explore the ways in which science fiction might operate as ethnographic thought experiment while challenging received understandings of the nature of empirical evidence. Course material will include science fiction texts as well as films. Michael Fisch.
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
56155. Archaeological Approaches to Early China (EALC 56155). This course will examine the formation of cultures and societies in ancient China from the Neolithic period (beginning ca. 8000 B.C.E.) through the establishment of the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.E.-220 C.E.). Throughout the course we will focus particularly on recent archaeological discoveries in China and the ways they produce and challenge new and existing knowledge about the past. We will examine how (pre)historical origins and transitions are conceived and the limits and strengths posed by the material record, paying particular attention to the development and shifts in archaeological epistemologies with respect to the material record. In addition to covering major political developments, we will pay close attention to religious, intellectual, and social trends, as well as to changes in the material culture of ancient China. Topics which we will strive to think through include (1) time/change, (2) local/regional, (3) classification, (4) culture/identity, (5) nature/adaptation, (6) meaning/symbol. (7) action/agency, and (9) power/ideology. Alice Yao, Yung-ti Li.
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. 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
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
24341/40310. Topics in Medical Anthropology (=HIPS 24341, CHSS 40310). This seminar will review theoretical positions and debates in the burgeoning fields of medical anthropology and science and technology studies (STS). We will begin this seminar exploring how "disease" and "health" in the early 19-century became inseparable from political, economic, and technological imperatives. By highlighting the epistemological foundations of modern biology and medicine, the remainder of this seminar will then focus on major perspectives in, and responses to, critical studies of health and medicine, subjectivity and the body, entanglements of ecology and health, humanitarianism, and psychoanalytic anthropology. Sean Brotherton.
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
25440/35405. Maverick Markets: Cultural Economy & Cultural Finance (=SOCI 20258/30258). What are the cultural dimensions of economic and financial institutions and financial action? What social variables influence and shape 'real' markets and market activities? 'If you are so smart, why aren't you rich?' is a question economists have been asked in the past. Why isn’t it easy to make money in financial areas even if one knows what economists know about markets, finance and the economy? And why, on the other hand, is it so easy to get rich for some participants? Perhaps the answer is that real markets are complex social and cultural institutions which are quite different from organizations, administrations and the production side of the economy. The course addresses these differences and core dimensions of economic sociology. This course provides an overview over social and cultural variables and patterns that play a role in economic behaviour and specifically in financial markets. We draw on the ‘New Economic Sociology’ which emerged in the late 70's and early 80's from the work of Harrison White, Marc Granovetter, Viviana Zelizer, Wayne Baker and others. We also draw on recent analysis of the relationship between knowledge, technology and economic and financial institutions and behaviour, and include an emerging body of literature on the financial crisis of 2008-09. The readings examine the historical and structural embeddedness of economic action and institutions, the different constructions and interpretations of money, prices and other dimensions of a market economy, and how a financial economy affects organizations, the art world and other areas. Karin Knorr
25906. Shamans and Oral Poets of Central AsiaIntroduction to the Musical Folklore of Central Asia (=NEHC 20766/30766). This course explores the rituals, oral literature, and music associated with the nomadic cultures of Central Eurasia. Kagan Arik.
26120/36120 Troy and Its Legacy (=HIST 20404/30404, CLCV 20404, CLAS 30404,). This course will explore the Trojan War through the archaeology, art, and mythology of the Greeks and Romans, as well as through the popular imaginings of it in later cultures. The first half will focus on the actual events of the "Trojan War" at the end of the second millennium BCE. We will study the site of Troy, the cities of the opposing Greeks, and the evidence for contact, cooperation, and conflict between the Greeks and Trojans. Students will get an introduction to the history of archaeology and the development of archaeological fieldwork. The second half will trace how the narrative and mythology of Homer's Iliad and the "Trojan War" were adapted and used by later civilizations, from classical Greece to twenty-first-century America, to justify their rises to political and cultural hegemony in the Mediterranean and the West, respectively. Margaret Andrews
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. Atkinson, Niall
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
39000. Archaeology Theory and Method. (100 units) Michael Dietler.
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, Michael Silverstein
40156. Politics and Political Knowledge Ancient and Modern (=SOCI 40216). This course begins by wondering what aspect and dynamic of human acting in relation to others we may wish to grasp as political. To pursue this question we will engage classical and contemporary texts on the political by Weber, Schmitt, Arendt, Lefort, Ranciere and Laclau. Pursuing the question of the political will inevitably raise another: that of the modalities of knowing required for conducting politics. This will lead us to supplement the first set of readings with texts interested in the sources of this knowledge including some of the classics in the sociology of knowledge from Lukacs and Mannheim to Foucault and Scott. In the third part of this class, we will let this panoply of theorists meet history by exploring forms of politics and political knowing developed and critiqued in classical Athens—the traditional terminus a quo for Europeanoid reflections on politics. It is in there that we will not only find illuminating historical materials to interrogate the interplay between political practices and knowledge, but in Plato’s work as a response to the political crisis brought about by the trauma of war, we will find a vision of a modality of knowing that sets out to eclipse politics in knowledge as expertise. And that will throw us right back into the modern. Andreas Glaeser
42004. Modes of Inquiry-2: Multimodal Experiments. Moved to 2020-2021 (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 Moved to 2020-2021
42416. Religion and Empire (=AASR 42800). This course explores transformations in religion and religious knowledge in sites of colonial contact. We will also study the production of knowledge about religion in colonial settings and new imperial contexts for governing religion. We will pay close attention to race, gender, and the formation of nation-states. Angie Heo
47305. The Evolution of Language (CHDV 21920/41920; LING 21920/41920; 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.
52510. Violence, Trauma, Repair (=CDIN 56675, ENGL 56675, HMRT 50005, CRES 56675). PQ Consent required: Email Professor Nsabimana a paragraph long description about what you bring and what you hope to get out of this seminar. This course offers an interdisciplinary encounter with three concepts of abiding interest to scholars in the humanities and humanistic social sciences: violence, trauma, and repair. We begin with theoretical considerations about violence and its role in the founding of new political orders. The second part tackles the question of trauma, a concept that has achieved a remarkable prominence across many disciplines. But this ascendance also brought with it a number of critiques, among them that the concept is often deployed in apolitical and romanticized terms. We take on these critiques by bringing into conversation works from varying contexts: the Rwandan genocide, the Transatlantic Slave Trade, the Holocaust and Apartheid South Africa. The final part focuses on the consequences of violent acts and notions of repair formulated in the language of trauma, suffering and human rights. We ask: What is the operating rationale in this line of thinking about the contemporary world? How has it emerged, and through what kinds of institutions, interventions and techniques does it operate and extend its power across the globe? Sonali Thakkar & Natacha Nsabimana.
52920. Logistic Worlds: Mediating Global Mobilities. This seminar proposes "logistics" as something good to think with in regards to the global politics of mobility in contemporary social life. Once considered a niche field of military sciences, logistics has emerged as a commercial field of central importance to the postwar globalizing economy as innovations in shipping and transportation, information technologies and commodity production converged to promote the economic reorganization of capital and its related flows (e.g., in goods, people, and information). One aim of this course is to situate logistics within a broader genealogy for studying translocal movements and regimes of circulation in anthropology. What difference does thinking with "logistics" make in relation to longstanding anthropological questions about the relation of movement/mobilities to economy and value, social relatedness, and the spatial-temporal contours of longing and belonging? What kinds of (re)worldings do logistics enable and disable? The seminar will draw comparatively from works that examine logistics across the flows of commerce, migration and information and from related social theories and historical texts on capital, infrastructure, systems thinking, communications, technopolitics, political ecology, and governmentality. Besides conventional reading and writing assignments, the course will involve some experimental "field" exercises utilizing the changing logistical landscape of Chicagoland to stimulate further thinking and discussion on the premise that ethnographic "theory" is best honed (and innovated) through empirical encounters. Julie Chu
57300. Linguistic Anthropology Practicum (=LING 57730 ) Constantine Nakassis.
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. Ying-ti Li