92090

ANTH 101 A

 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

Yuka Suzuki

 T Th 10:20 am-11:40 am

OLIN 203

SA

D+J

Cross-listed: Global & International Studies

Anthropology is the study of ‘culture,’ a concept that has been redefined and contested over the discipline’s long development. This course will trace the history of the ‘culture concept’ from the nineteenth century to the present. In doing so, it will explore anthropological approaches to ‘primitive’ societies, group and personal symbols, and systems of exchange. It will examine how anthropology came to focus on questions of identity, race, gender, sexuality, nationalism, colonial and post-colonial conditions. Our ethnographic gaze will be turned inward as well as outward. We will therefore consider the reasons behind, and ramifications of, anthropology’s self-reflexive turn in and around the 1980s. We will juxtapose that turn’s questioning of the discipline’s authority to represent other societies with debates about anthropologists’ engagement in activism, policy and government (e.g. the US military’s Human Terrain project). We will then examine the more recent anthropological fascination with the non-human (e.g. other animals, technology, the built environment, ‘nature’), looking at how notions of agency, materiality, and anthropology’s own methodological foundations have been transformed as a result.

Class size: 18

 

92091

ANTH 101 B

 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

Yuka Suzuki

 T Th 12:10 pm-1:30 pm

OLIN 203

SA

D+J

Cross-listed: Global & International Studies

See Above

Class size: 18

 

92093

ANTH 211

 Ancient Peoples before the Bard Lands: Archaeological methods and theory

Christopher Lindner

   Th   3:50 pm-5:10 pm

      F  2:00 pm-5:00 pm

ROSE 108

LS

Cross-listed: American Studies; Environmental & Urban Studies

Our excavations at the Forest site, near Bard Admissions, while unearthing chipped stone knives at high frequency, have a tighter focus on discovering evidence of ceremonies of healing and world renewal: pottery with potential ritual usages, unusual chipped stone (involving replicative experimentation), pits where sacrificial fires burned, and possibly a shelter for pilgrims and daily life. Contextual scales range from broad regional, thru riverine reaches, to the Tivoli embayment and an anonymous rivulet (with its cascades and meanders), a promontory and its fire pits, to microscopic traces on artifacts & invisible chemical soil compositions. We will explore far-flung connections to earthworks in Ohio of two millennia ago and indigenous travel from their celestial observatory to this place of flinty mountains and underwater monsters. Seminars for weekly writing on Thurs 3:50-5:10, field/lab Fridays 2:00-5:00. Please speak with the professor before request of enrollment in this Engaged Liberal Arts and Sciences course. Another way to prepare is the Bard Archaeology Field School this summer that likely will encounter ancient artifacts through similar techniques of excavation and contextualization;

for info, go to http://www.bard.edu/archaeology.

Class size: 12

 

92087

ANTH 218

 The Rift and the Nile: History, Culture and the Natural World in Eastern Africa

John Ryle

M  W  12:10 pm-1:30 pm

REMOTE ONLY

SA

D+J

Cross-listed: Africana Studies; Environmental & Urban Studies; Historical Studies; Human Rights

The Great Rift Valley runs from Eastern Africa to the Red Sea, dividing the African continent in two. The River Nile—arguably the world’s longest river—also has its origins in Eastern Africa: the White Nile rising in Uganda, the Blue Nile in Ethiopia. The Rift and the Nile are the major geographical features in a region of striking ecological and social diversity, home to a wide range of human cultures and modes of existence: from pastoral nomadism in the savannah zones of Somalia and the Sudans to urban life in the industrializing cities of the region.   Fossil evidence from the Rift indicates that the emergence of modern humans took place here approximately 200,000 years ago. Today, following waves of globalisation, the lands of the Rift Valley and the Nile Basin and their surrounds have come to exemplify the divisions and difficulties that confront much of Africa: a legacy of colonialism and anti-colonial struggle, and—in the present day—civil wars and accelerating environmental change. Conflict over land and water and mineral resources—and struggles for political control—have led to high levels of displacement and forced migration; parts of the region are sites of Islamist insurgency and western-backed counter-terrorist interventions. The response of the peoples of Eastern Africa illustrates the inventiveness of human adaptation, the resilience of culture, and the drama of survival. The course offers an interdisciplinary approach to the layers of natural and human history in the region, deploying historical and anthropological research, reportage, documentary video, music and material culture to examine some of the diverse ways of being that endure, and the versions of modernity emerging from war and demographic transformation.

Class size: 20

 

92094

ANTH 221

 State Phobia: Theories and Ethnographies of Statehood Today

Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins

 T Th 2:00 pm-3:20 pm

TENT COMM1

SA

D+J

Cross-listed: Global & International Studies; Human Rights; Middle Eastern Studies

How does the state as a modern political form shape culture, and vice versa? Why do groups (e.g. queer, indigenous, religious, ethnic) seek recognition from this thing we call the state while at the same time mocking, being suspicious or fearful of it? Like many groups, scholarship about the modern state tends to be shot through with "state phobia." However, the most recent elections in the United States are challenging suspicions of the state as a set of institutions among many of the regime's critics. Anthropological analysis of the state could not be more urgent. The first half of this course explores how scholars define the modern state and how they critique its effects on societies and cultures in the twentieth century. We begin with foundational theories of the state (e.g. Weber, Hall, Althusser, Foucault, and Bourdieu). Due to his major influence on anthropological work on neoliberalism, immigration, bureaucracy, state healthcare and social welfare, we place special emphasis on how Michel Foucault conceptualized the modern state and his critique of its attendant modes of power (e.g. discipline, governmentality, biopolitics). During the second half of the course we read ethnographies of the state in the United States, Indonesia, Australia, Canada, Togo, Gaza, France, Cameroon, India, Egypt, Turkey and Germany. We investigate the unlikely relationships between phenomena such as corruption, borders, railroads, time, insanity, sexuality, warrior honeybees and science, on the one hand, and the effects, and meanings, of statehood and state-making in the modern world, on the other. How do institutions, practices and people come to appear like a state in the first place? We conclude with an examination of a question inspired by the recent political mobilizations of the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States. In what ways does it make sense -and in what ways does it not-to call the U.S. a "police state"?

Class size: 22

 

92679

ANTH 238

 Anthropology of Religion

Naoko Kumada

 

 T Th 5:40 pm-7:00 pm

TENT FAC CIRCLE

MBV

D+J

Cross-listed: Interdisciplinary Study of Religions; Asian Studies

Anthropologists have been provoked by the phenomenon of religion from the very beginnings of the discipline. Some of the formative ideas and approaches of the discipline have emerged from this engagement. From an early interest in what the religious practice of 'primitive' societies might reveal about the origin of society and the constitution of human thought and language, to accounts of the continuing vitality of religion in often unexpected contemporary contexts, to the ways in which religious practice, rhetoric and symbolism articulate gender and power, hierarchy and class, the anthropological study of religion offers a trove of data and insight. In this introductory survey we will look at how successive generations of anthropologists have studied and theorized practices such as ritual and sacrifice, magic and witchcraft, gift and exchange as observed in social formations from hunter-gatherer societies to the modern state, from 'animism' to 'world-religions.' As we do so we will learn to think anew about such questions as the relationship between the religious and the secular and about the enduring power of practices and concepts birthed in 'religion.'

Class size: 20

 

92092

ANTH 289 0

 Gig Life: Anthropology of the "Sharing Economy"

Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins

M  W  2:00 pm-3:20 pm

TENT COMM6

SA

D+J

Cross-listed: Human Rights; Science, Technology, Society

Platform-based exchanges of goods (e.g. through Airbnb, Lyft, Uber, Taskrabbit) have arguably changed the cultural, infrastructural and environmental conditions in which many people live and work. Some have even argued that they are calling into being new forms of subjecthood. This class will investigate whether, how and to what extent this is true. It will draw on case studies including from the US, China, Greece, Israel/Palestine as well as on the precursors of the so-called “sharing economies” (e.g. gift exchange) to consider how the technologies, infrastructures and logics of the so-called "sharing economy" are intervening in our contemporary socialities.

Class size: 22

 

92096

ANTH 350

 Contemporary Cultural Theory

Duff Morton

     F   10:20 am-12:40 pm

TENT LUDLOW

SA

D+J

Cross-listed: Human Rights

This course is intended as an introduction to advanced theories of culture in contemporary anthropology. Required of all anthropology majors, this course will also be of interest to students wishing to explore critical innovations in the study of local, national, and mass culture around the world. In contrast to early anthropological focus on seemingly isolated, holistic cultures, more recent studies have turned their attention to contest within societies and the intersection of local systems of meaning with global processes of politics, economics and history.  The class will be designed around an influential social theorist, such as Bourdieu, Bakhtin, or Marx, and the application of their theories by anthropologists, such as Aihwa Ong, Judith Irvine, or Michael Taussig.  The seminar will involve participation from all of the faculty in the anthropology department.  It aims to inspire critical engagement with an eye towards developing theoretical tools and questions for a senior project that makes use of contemporary theories of culture.  Required and open only for Anthropology moderated students, or permission of instructor.

Class size: 15

 

92088

ANTH 351

 The Interview – In ethnographic research, oral history, human rights, journalism, literature and film

John Ryle

 T       10:20 am-12:40 pm

REMOTE ONLY

SA

Cross-listed: Africana Studies; Environmental & Urban Studies; Human Rights

The interview – a structured conversation – is central to the practice of a wide range of disciplines and genres, including ethnographic field work, human rights research, long-form journalism, creative non-fiction, and documentary film and podcasts. Interview-based research forms a basis for the understanding of culture, for reportage, and for narratives such as life histories, witness statements and confessions. The course combines training in technical interviewing techniques and skills with analysis of the transition from speech to writing, and the enduring authority of the human voice. Classwork includes field exercises in interviewing, recording, transcription and editing, the production of interview-based audio, film or written work, and remote collaboration with students in the wider Open Society University Network.

Class size: 15

 

92095

ANTH 359

 Middle Eastern Mobilities

Jeffrey Jurgens

M       2:00 pm-4:20 pm

OLIN 301

SA

D+J

Cross-listed: Global & International Studies; Human Rights; Middle Eastern Studies

Scholars of migration in anthropology and other fields have often viewed the Middle East as a “sending” region from which people depart in order to settle in other parts of the world, including the US and Western Europe. While this diasporic perspective certainly has its virtues, it has sometimes diverted attention from the ways that people circulate within the Middle East itself. Moreover, it has tended to neglect the region’s growing significance as a “destination” in its own right for migrants, refugees, pilgrims, tourists, and other travelers from South and East Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe, and Latin America. Drawing on recent scholarship in anthropology, history, and related fields, this course takes a somewhat different approach: it examines how contemporary Middle Eastern mobilities, in their varying forms, have reconfigured discourses and practices of labor, class, citizenship, ethnonational belonging, religiosity, and humanitarian assistance within and across the region’s nation-states. It also delves into the ways that migratory aspirations and projects have inflected everyday Middle Eastern life in the more intimate domains of sex/gender, sexuality, intergenerational family relations, and the imagining of possible futures. In the end, this course aims to move (however partially) beyond a Euro-Atlantic frame of reference, even as it acknowledges the ways that the contemporary Middle East has been powerfully shaped by European and American imperial interventions.

Class size: 15

 

Cross-listed courses:

 

92337

MUS 185

 Intro to Ethnomusicology

Whitney Slaten

 T Th 12:10 pm-1:30 pm

REMOTE ONLY

SA

D+J

Cross-listed: Anthropology Class size: 20

 

92335

MUS 373

 Pentatonicism and Culture

Whitney Slaten

  W     2:00 pm-4:20 pm

REMOTE ONLY

AA

Cross-listed: American Studies; Anthropology Class size: 12

 

92141

HIST 2306

 Gender, Sexuality, and Power in Modern China

Robert Culp

M  W  10:20 am-11:40 am

OLIN 203

HA

Cross-listed: Anthropology; Asian Studies; Gender and Sexuality Studies; Human Rights