CRN

90008

Course No.

ANTH 101

Title

Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

Professor

Michele Dominy

Schedule

Tu Th 8:30 am -9:50 am OLIN 201

Distribution

A/C

Related interest: CRES, Gender Studies

Adopting a crosscultural, historical and interpretive perspective, we will explore the idea that anthropology is an attempt "to understand how human beings understand themselves and see their actions and behavior as in some ways the creations of those understandings." We examine the core of the anthropological approach in our conceptualization of the concept of culture as negotiated, dynamic and contested, in our method of ethnographic fieldwork and participant observation, and in our spatially and historically comparativist approach. We pay special attention to the politics of nationalism and cultural identity; the anthropology of place; environmental transformation; gender, sexuality and the body; postcolonialism; and the global commodification of culture.

CRN

90304

Course No.

ANTH 111

Title

Field Methods in Archaeology

Professor

Chris Lindner

Schedule

Fri. 9:00 am - 3:00 pm Field Station & Grouse Bluff site, and as needed

Distribution

C/E

Cross-listed: American Studies, CRES

This course concentrates on excavation and initial lab procedures used in archaeology. We continue the long-term dig at Grouse Bluff, the 7,000-year-old site overlooking the Hudson in Bard's woods, focusing on hearths and pits--areas that have indications of the use of fire for cooking or some other purpose. Two digging techniques are emphasized: stratigraphy and small-scale cartography. The fieldwork involves painstaking measurements. These data permit study of the distribution of debris throughout the site, description of deposit formation over time, and comparison with other sites. Such methods increase the strength of inferences about the activities that took place and their roles in the evolution of cultural ecosystems in our area. The excavation and lab sessions take place for six hours on Fridays, with a break for discussion of readings over lunch. Participants will devote additional time to an on-going project in the local schools, training young students in archaeological techniques at the excavation and in their classrooms. Enrollment limited to eight, by permission.

CRN

90165

Course No.

ANTH 208C

Title

History of Anthropology: Africa and British Anthropology from the 1920s to the 1990s

Professor

Mario Bick

Schedule

Mon Wed 8:30 am -9:50 am OLIN 202

Distribution

A/C

Cross-listed: AADS

The emergence of modern British anthropology is closely connected to research in Africa. We will study the history of British anthropology largely through an examination of the major Africanist ethnographic and theoretical texts of this school (some produced by African scholars). It is through these texts that much of our understanding of precolonial, colonial and postcolonial Africa has been constructed, especially in the areas of political and social structure and organization, ritual and religion, the urban transformation, and belief systems. Classic studies of the Nuer, Azande, Tallensi, Kikuyu, Nyakusa, Bemba and other cultures will lead us into the descriptive and analytic richness of this school. Later texts will be read which explore issues of resistance to colonialism, and the transformation of cultures that have come with independence.

CRN

90031

Course No.

ANTH 223

Title

Anthropology of the Environment

Professor

Diana Brown

Schedule

Mon Wed 3:00 pm -4:20 pm OLIN 202

Distribution

A/C

Cross-listed: CRES

Related Interest: LAIS

The environment is viewed as socially and culturally constructed and transformed by human agency. We will explore various theoretical approaches to the anthropological study of environments, including cultural ecology, political economy, interpretive cultural perspectives, and applied anthropology. Situations of environmental degradation and proposed alternatives to it will be examined through case studies of development in the Amazon rainforest and the North American Arctic; Green Revolution development strategies in India and Latin America; and local problems in the Hudson Valley. Attention will be given to anthropological methods for the study of local environmental problems and initiatives, and local studies may be incorporated into coursework. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

CRN

90032

Course No.

ANTH 226

Title

Anthropology of Political Violence

Professor

Alan Klima

Schedule

Wed Fr 1:30 pm -2:50 pm OLIN 204

Distribution

A/C

Related interest: Political Studies

This course will consider violence as an individual and social experience, as a means of creating social and political power, and as a representation circulating over the globe: why does violence persist, or even grow, in the "modern world," and what should people who write on or otherwise represent violence do about it? Why are images of violence so compelling, and profitable? Or are they becoming boring? Here we consider cultural anthropology as a discipline for understanding political violence as pain, fear, social construction, technology of power, and collective representation, from the personal and isolating experience of torture, to the exercise of State control, and to the representation of violence as commodity and international image. This course examines representations of pain and the extremes of human experience in a world plagued both by subtle technologies of political control, and by spectacular forms for demonstrating power through graphic violence. Drawing from theoretical, anthropological, and popular texts which attempt to understand or represent suffering, this course will work to distinguish the consequences of various theoretical and aesthetic approaches for dealing, through writing, with the power of violence in the world of our time. This will demand considerable work with difficult theoretical texts like Michel Foucault's Discipline and Punish, challenging anthropological ethnographies, as well as some journalism, popular writing, and visual materials.

CRN

90009

Course No.

ANTH 240

Title

Buddhist Representations in Global Culture

Professor

Alan Klima

Schedule

Tu Th 3:00 pm -4:20 pm OLIN 202

Distribution

A/C

Cross-listed: Asian Studies, MES

Related interest: Theology

This is a course on the movement of Buddhism between East and West, the translation of religion between cultures, and contemporary Buddhist movements in Asia and America. Beginning with critical tools for questioning the politics of "Orientalist" epistemology, supplied by literary criticism and anthropology, this course will examine the image of Buddhism in the eyes of the West, and trace the modes of cultural production by which these representations of the religion have helped determine the shape of modern Buddhism in both Asia and America. Case studies center on Theravada, Zen, and Tibetan Buddhism. Drawing from missionary reports, early European scholarship, anthropological studies and criticism, popular Asian and American Buddhist texts, and contemporary films, this course will uncover patterns of cultural perception in order to inform a critical reading of Buddhism as it is translated, in text and practice, between cultures. Open to disciplined first-year students.

CRN

90010

Course No.

ANTH 318 (Upper College Seminar)

Title

Power and Money in South East Asia

Professor

Alan Klima

Schedule

Tu 10:30 am - 12:50 pm OLIN 202

Distribution

A/C

Cross-listed: Asian Studies

This seminar examines the state of contemporary ethnographic practice, by studying recent innovations in ethnography which explore formal, stylistic, and theoretical experiments in order to represent how some Southeast Asian peoples engage historical processes of global and local cultural production. Seminar discussions will focus on several ethnographies, which may include: Clifford Geertz's Negara, on precolonial Balinese Kingship up to their last act of defiance--a willing, suicidal walk of the royal class into the gunfire of Dutch invaders; Aiwa Ong's Spirits of Resistance and Capitalist Discipline, on Malaysian workers who resist capitalist discipline through spontaneous spirit possession on the factory floor; Anna Tsing's In the Realm of the Diamond Queen, about how Meratus Dayaks in an out-of-the-way corner of the Indonesian State retell the politics of marginalization; Mary Steedly's Hanging without a Rope, an ethnography of narrative, historical memory, and communication with spirits in Karoland; Benedict Anderson's controversial Imagined Communities, on the historical construction of the sense of nation; Atkinson and Errington's Power and Difference, on gender and power in New Order island Southeast Asia; Night Markets, on prostitution and the miracle economy of Thailand; and several works on the history of Buddhism, political violence, meditation, spirit mediumship, money, and the creation of modern capitalism in Thailand. The seminar will explore what anthropology and ethnography can illuminate about the local vicissitudes of global powers, but Southeast Asian forms of thought and practice can also reflect critically back upon these cultural-historical processes. The seminar will include a substantial theoretical component in order to read epistemologies of spirit possession into the critique of capital, read Southeast Asian religious practices of gifts and money into the heurism of political economy and history, and read Buddhist theories of culture and consciousness into anthropological ones. In attending to globalization, special attention will be given to moral discourses of new-age capitalism after the Asian currency crisis. Prerequisite: qualification for the seminar to be determined by individual consultation with the instructor.

CRN

90033

Course No.

ANTH 330 (Upper College Seminar)

Title

Anthropology of Nature

Professor

Michele Dominy

Schedule

Wed 10:00am - 12:20 pm OLIN 309

Distribution

A/C

Cross-listed: CRES

In this upper-college seminar, we will read culture (and nature) through animals as we focus cross-culturally on animals as a way of exploring the relationship of humans to the natural world, on the role of animals in constituting human relationships and as metaphors of social community, and as condensations of political-ecological dilemmas in wilderness preservation. We will examine local systems of the use and the meaning of domestic and wild animals in hunting and pastoral subsistence practices, in conventionalized slaughter, and in predation and extermination on the frontier and in the safari. We will also look at the use and meaning of animals in social and ritual contexts, by focusing on taxonomy, metaphor and sacrifice. Here our topics include: rituals of state (i.e., the riderless horse, the procession), exhibitions (museums and zoos), religious sacrifice, and agonistic situations (such as cockfights, bullfights and the fox hunt). Finally, the role of animals in the construction of the self, in social and ethnic identification, and in mediating our relationship with landscape will be explored. Animals are "signifiers of the human condition," as they embody material and symbolic value and serve as metaphors of sociality and community.

Prerequisite: Moderated status in Anthropology or CRES. Limit 15 students.