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Fall 2006

ANTH 70000 -- Colloquia: Current Topics in Anthropology

GC: F, 4:15 - 6:15 pm, Rm. C198, 0 credits, Prof. Louise Lennihan [96008]

ANTH 70100 -- Core Course in Cultural Anthropology I

GC: F, 2:00-4:00 pm, Rm. 6421, 3 credits, Prof. Gerald Creed [96009]
Open only to Level 1 Anthropology Doctoral Students; required for first year cultural anthropology students.

ANTH 70300 -- History of Anthropological Theory

GC: TH, 2:00 - 4:00 pm, Rm. 3309, 3 credits, Prof. Donald Robotham [96010]
Open only to Level 1 Anthropology Doctoral Students; required for first year cultural anthropology students.

You can regard anthropological theory as trying to answer these related fundamental questions:

  • What is the subject matter of this discipline?
  • Given a particular definition of this subject matter, what are the concepts and methods appropriate to the study of this subject matter?
  • What are the meanings of the concept of ‘culture’?
  • What are the meanings of the concept of ‘society’?
  • What are the meanings of the concepts of ‘class’, ‘race’, and ‘gender’?
  • How do we understand ‘markets,’ ‘modes of production’ and ‘modernity’?
  • How do we understand ‘globalization’?
  • What is ‘poststructuralism’ and ‘postmodernism’?
  • What are the implications of all of this for how human beings lived in the past and how they live today?

These are some of the questions theory is trying to answer. Through all the many complicated twists and turns, you should try to keep these basic questions in mind. Different theories provide different answers to these questions. You have to work out your own answers but not in a vacuum. The History of Anthropological Theory asks additional questions:

  • How has theory attempted to answer the above questions in the past and what was the context out of which the central questions of theory arose?
  • How have earlier theories affected contemporary anthropological theory and practice?

The course is organized around contrasting two central theoretical traditions which deeply shape anthropology and the world today: the civil society and the cultural tradition. The first is the Hobbes-Locke-Adam Smith tradition which expresses itself in both Marxism and Structural Functionalism and whose basic concept is that of ‘Society’. A central aspect of this tradition is the concept of ‘Modernity’ and the ‘Market.’ The second is the Boas tradition which expresses itself in cultural anthropology and whose central concept is ‘Culture’. The first tradition is embodied in notions of modernity and history as found in the works of Max Weber, for example. The second is ambivalent and even hostile towards the notions of the ‘Market’ and ‘Modernity’ and critical of technology, expressed, for example, in the work of Heidegger, Foucault and postmodernism.

ANTH 70600 -- Marx, Weber, Durkheim

GC: F, 11:45 am - 1:45 pm, Rm. 8203, 3 credits, Prof. Michael Blim [96753]
Open only to Anthropology Doctoral Students. Others who wish to request permission to enroll should attend the first class meeting.

This seminar closely examines the foundations of modern social theory. It is hoped that analysis of the works of Marx, Weber, and Durkheim will create not only specific understandings of their contributions to the understanding of the modern world, but will provide a sketch of the terrain upon which contemporary social thought is constructed.

ANTH 70800 – Economic Anthropology

GC: TH, 4:15-6:15 pm, Rm. 6300, 3 credits, Prof. Michael Blim [97844]
Open only to Anthropology Doctoral students. Others who wish to request permission to enroll should attend the first class meeting.

This seminar examines the major issues that have confronted anthropologists as they have analyzed economies, and as they have contributed to the wider debates in economic discourse. After an initial overview of the classic contributions to neoclassical economics and so-called "substantive" or Polanyian studies of economic formations, the seminar will undertake an analysis of anthropology's contributions to the study of capitalism. Emphasis will also be placed on the important analyses undertaken by anthropologists and like-minded social scientists on local economies embedded in societies non-capitalist or anti-capitalist in orientation.

ANTH 70900 -- Human Rights & Social Change in Latin America

GC: T, 2:00 - 4:00 pm, Rm. 5383, 3 credits, Prof. Victoria Sanford [96013]
Open only to Anthropology Doctoral students. Others who wish to request permission to enroll should attend the first class meeting.

How do Latin Americans remember the late 20th century? What are the conflicting truth claims of states and citizens regarding past authoritarian regimes and current internal conflicts? How do truth claims about the past implicate contemporary challenges to the political order and struggles for economic and political inclusion? In what ways do race, ethnicity and gender frame local struggles and/or build global rights networks? What are the cultural politics of human rights and social change in Latin America in the 21st century?

This seminar explores the emergence and endurance of human rights discourses and practices in Latin America from an anthropological perspective. We will seek to understand movements for political and civil, indigenous, cultural and social, environmental, and women’s and children’s human rights through the lived experiences of Latin Americans. We will critically read and discuss human rights from four perspectives:

(1) we will familiarize ourselves with key regional and international human rights agreements, declarations, conventions and protocols; (2) we will read a sampling of anthropological writings on human rights and rights-related issues; (3) we will analyze human rights issues arising in the Americas comparing legal, political and cultural interpretations of human rights and how these often divergent interpretations shape the theory and practice of human rights at the international, national and local levels; (4) through ethnography, testimony, oral history and fiction, we will seek to understand the immediacy of human rights from the perspective of those whose rights have been violated.

ANTH 71300 -- Gender, Class and the State

GC: W, 2:00-4:00 pm, Rm. 6114, 3 credits, Prof. Ida Susser [96014]
Open only to Anthropology Doctoral students. Others who wish to request permission to enroll should attend the first class meeting.

ANTH 71400 -- Urban Anthropology

GC: M, 4:15-6:15pm, Rm. 6494, 3 credits, Prof. Jeff Maskovsky [96015]
Open only to Anthropology Doctoral students. Others who wish to request permission to enroll should attend the first class meeting.

This course explores the theoretical and methodological contributions of anthropology to the study of cities. Recent ethnographic work will be read alongside survey studies conducted by leaders of nineteenth century British and American social reform movements, the work of Engels and W.E.B. du Bois, "classics" from the Chicago and Manchester schools, and the work of Anthony Leeds, among others. In our exploration, we will treat "the city" as a problematic, emphasizing the epistemological and methodological challenges of urban research and exploring the extent to which anthropology's older insights about the city can inspire new lines of inquiry.

ANTH 72400 -- Gender in Contemporary China: Lives and Literary Visions

GC: T, 4:15-6:15pm, Rm. 6417, 3 credits, Profs. Crehan and Janet Ng Dudley [96016]
Cross-listed with IDS 81610.

This interdisciplinary course examines China's rapidly changing society from a feminist perspective. It explores the stress of fundamental economic changes on the existing fabric of life, from physical infrastructure, to the environment and to human relationships. Continually moving between literary imaginings and anthropological case studies, the course begins with a mapping of state discourse and practice on gender issues, going on to examine the lived experience of individuals, families and various minority groups. Drawing on autobiographies, fictional writings, and films as well as ethnographic accounts, our explorations of gender discourse and practice focus on key tensions within the society, especially those between the state and the individual, the family and the individual, as well as those between the state's global ambitions and local social realities.

ANTH 73300 -- Ethnology & Ethnography of the Caribbean

GC: T, 11:45 am – 1:45 pm, Rm. 6114, 3 credits, Prof. Donald Robotham [96017]
Open only to Anthropology Doctoral students. Others who wish to request permission to enroll should attend the first class meeting.

This course invites the student to engage with the condition of the Caribbean, historically and today. It begins by examining the historical background of the Caribbean and its peculiar situation of being not of 'the West' but in 'the West.' One of the distinctive features of this region is precisely this presence at the creation of the West. Caribbean ethnology thus raises all the critical issues of globalism, hybridity, race, class, nationalism and transnationalism in a particularly acute way. The course discusses the background of the peoples of the Caribbean in Africa, Asia and Europe, the region during the slavery and colonial period, the Caribbean Diaspora, and the contemporary challenges faced by the region today. It will discuss particular areas of Caribbean life such as family and kinship, religion and popular culture, class and inequality, race and ethnicity, migration and urbanization, transnationalism, crime, politics and the problems of 'development.' Issues such as gender, ethnicity, hybridity and identity as they arise both within the islands and the Diaspora will be explored. Special attention will be paid to the English-speaking experience and comparatively to Cuba and Puerto Rico.

ANTH 75000 -- Core Course: Archaeology

GC: TH, 11:45 am – 1:45 pm, Rm. 6421, 3 credits, Prof. Thomas McGovern [96018]
Open only to Anthropology Doctoral students. Others who wish to request permission to enroll should attend the first class meeting.

ANTH 75700 -- European Archaeology

HUNTER: TH: 5:30-7:20 pm, Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Tom McGovern [96019]
Open only to Anthropology Doctoral students.

ANTH 790000 -- Core Course in Primate Behavioral Biology and Ecology

GC: W, 10:00am-1:00pm, Room 6421, Prof. Roberto Delgado [96020]

This graduate core course for the Physical Anthropology program provides an overview of the ecology, behavior, and social systems of nonhuman primates and examines variation in these aspects of primate biology from the perspectives afforded by evolutionary ecology and socioecological theory. The course provides an introduction to the grouping patterns, mating systems, foraging ecology, and individual behavioral strategies that characterize taxa from the major groups of primates. The course covers the fundamental theoretical perspectives that modern primatologists employ to study and understand the variation in primate social systems, including the theory of evolution by natural selection, the concepts of reproductive success, inclusive fitness, kin selection, and the basic principles of primate population biology and socioecology. We also use these core principles to examine the various survival, mating, and parenting strategies seen in primates and to explore how ecological factors differentially affect the dispersal decisions and the nature of social relationships - both competitive and cooperative - of male and female primates. Several weeks of the class are also devoted to a consideration of the roles that primates play in their natural ecosystems and to their conservation.

ANTH 79100 -- Integrated Paleoanthropology

NYU: M, 2:00-5:00 pm, Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Eric Delson [96021]

This two-term course will cover all of paleoanthropology, from Late Miocene hominoids through the end of the Paleolithic, taught by several faculty each term with numerous guest speakers as well. The fall term will include: Methods in phylogeny, systematics, and archaeology Dating, correlation and the geological timescale; global climate change; paleoecological reconstruction Human specializations in comparison with other extant hominoids Stratigraphy and faunal characterization of major Plio-Pleistocene sites Human fossils--the early group (Sahelanthropus, Orrorin, Ardipithecus) Australopithecus, Paranthropus and Kenyanthropus; morphology, function and phylogeny Behavior and lifeways of australopiths and an introduction to earliest Homo and early stone tool industries in Africa

ANTH 80600 -- Studies in Anthropology

GC: T. 9:30-11:30 am, Rm. 6493, 3 credits, Prof. Louise Lennihan [96022]
Instructor’s permission required; open only to Anthropology students.

ANTH 80800 -- Doctoral Dissertation Writing

GC: F, 2:00 – 4:00 pm, Rm. 6402.01, 0 credits, Prof. Shirley Lindenbaum [96023]
Open only to Level 3 Anthropology Doctoral Students.

ANTH 81600 -- Thinking More about Secularism

GC: W, 11:45am-1:45pm, Rm. 6300, 3 credits, Prof. Talal Asad [96024]
Instructor’s permission required.

It has been said that the present public concern with secularism is largely the result of the challenge posed by religion in the contemporary world, most especially by political Islam brought to Euro-America by Muslim immigrants from Africa and Asia. The religious right in America tends to be viewed by its opponents as an internal revolt against modernity; religious Muslims, on the other hand, tend to be seen as members of an alien civilization, many of whom have intruded into the space of Western civilization. "The return of religion" as a political force is regarded as a dangerous challenge to the modern way of life which is usually equated with "the Western way of life." In this course we will try to understand what it means to say that secularism is central to "the Western way of life" now under threat. We will try to trace "secularism" as a complex historical process that is not always clearly identifiable. Secularism has often been contested and in the process the lineaments of both politics and religion have changed. We will examine some aspects of secularism as an evolving political doctrine and practice, as well as some changes in the processes of legitimate knowledge production (the natural and social sciences, the humanities) that have helped to define "the secular" and re-define the proper role of "religion." And we will also look at some attitudes and assumptions that underlie shifts in sensibilities that are valued as secular.

ANTH 81700 -- Geographic Thought/Theory

GC: W, 4:15-6:15pm, Rm. 5212, 3 credits, Prof. Neil Smith [96025]
Cross-listed with EES 70900; open only to Anthropology Doctoral students. Others who wish to request permission to enroll should attend the first class meeting.

ANTH 81900 – Advanced Qualitative/Ethnographic Analysis

GC: W, 2:00-4:00 pm, Rm. 6494, 3 credits, Prof. Setha Low [97845]
Cross-listed with PSYCH 80100.

This course is made up of three methods modules: participant observation, unstructured and structured interviewing, and qualitative data analysis. Each module is organized as an ongoing practicum for the intensive training of graduate students interested in working with ethnographic methods and data including life histories, unstructured and semi structured interviews (with video and taped recording) and field notes. Weekly meetings will utilize student fieldwork experience and data collected as the basis for discussion and critique of different qualitative data methods and techniques. Topics will include: participant observation as a way of knowing. ethnographic research strategies, race/class/gender in fieldwork, ethics and values, studying up (and down), contextual and communicative aspects of the interview situation, coding, content analysis, grounded theory forms of analysis, conversational analysis, other forms of data analysis and writing up of ethnographic data for publication.

I will cover all of these methods and their analysis in a sequence, so that those of you who want to take only interviewing can attend for the 4 weeks and claim 1 unit of credit. Those of you who want to take fieldnotes will also be able to take just this segment for 1 unit, and those who want just the data analysis (which means that you have data already collected to work on), will be able to just take the final weeks. For students who would like to work on their qualitative skills for a full semester, you will be able to enroll for 3 credits and take the entire course. 1, 2, and 3 Credits (ANTH 81900 / PSYCH 80100 NOTE: Anthro course # has 3-cr. option ONLY.)

ANTH 84500 – Artifact Conservation & Museology

Brooklyn: T. 2:00-4:00 pm, Rm. 538NE Ingersoll, 3 credits, Prof. Sophia Perdikaris [97772]

This course will introduce students to various conservation techniques applicable to the recovery of artifacts in the field and consequent work in the laboratory with special emphasis on organic remains. Artifact illustration and photography along with preparation of molds and casts will also be covered. The students will actively participate in the making of an archaeological exhibit and will visit the AMNH conservation lab and the Long Island Children’s Museum. Students will receive supervised practical experience in NYC museums.

NOTE: Course meets at Brooklyn College

This course is open to Anthropology students only; background in Archaeology is expected. Students from subfields other than Archaeology should contact Prof. Perdikaris for course approval:

ANTH 89000 -- Seminar in Physical Anthropology

GC: F, 2:00-4:00pm, Rm. 6495, Prof Eric Delson.
NOT FOR CREDIT – students attend but do not register for this course

ANTH 89901 – Independent Study: Cultural Anthropology

ANTH 89902 – Independent Study: Archaeology

ANTH 89903 – Independent Study: Linguistic Anthropology

ANTH 89904 – Independent Study: Physical Anthropology