91968

ANTH 101 A

 Intro to Cultural Anthropology

Laura Kunreuther

  W  F     1:30 pm-2:50 pm

OLIN 203

SA

D+J

SSCI

DIFF

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.   This course is part of the “Difficult Questions” cluster of courses; students will be expected to attend parts of the Hannah Arendt Center Conference “Real Talk: Difficult Questions about Race, Sex, and Religion” on October 20-21.  Class size: 22

 

91966

ANTH 101 B

 Intro to Cultural Anthropology

Michele Dominy

  W  F     11:50 am-1:10 pm

HEG 308

SA

D+J

SSCI

DIFF

See above.  Class size: 22

 

91972

ANTH 211

 Archaeological Field Mthds

Christopher Lindner

 T            4:40 pm-6:00 pm

   F          11:50 am-4:30 pm

HEG 300

ROSE 108

LS

SCI

Cross-listed: American Studies; Environmental & Urban Studies  This season will be the 6th excavation at the 5,000-year-old Forest site after its discovery in Spring 2012 and the expansion of testing over the last 4 Autumn semesters. We will concentrate initially on an activity area for the manufacture and use of stone tools. Their utilization may be identified in the lab by our replicative experimentation and microscopic analysis of wear patterns. Several hearths or fireplaces were recently found that may contain the oldest pottery in the Northeast. Knowledge of this key millennium in this region is sparse. We will focus second on the hearth area. The methods, technical and conceptual, that Bardians learn in the course equip them for participation in the field of Cultural Resource Management. The class will meet Tuesdays for discussion of background texts on the Lenape [“People” in their language], neighboring peoples, CRM, and archaeological sites at Bard and its region. Field and lab work will take place on Friday afternoons. Enrollment by interview with the professor.  Class size: 12

 

91967

ANTH 223

 Conservation Anthropology

Michele Dominy

 T  Th     3:10 pm-4:30 pm

OLIN 205

SA

SSCI

Cross-listed: Environmental & Urban Studies; Global & International Studies; Human Rights Conservation anthropology focuses on the cultural, politico-economic and legal aspects of human transformation of the natural world and its biological resources and organisms. By drawing on environmental anthropology, cultural ecology, and multispecies ethnography, it examines the interplay of nature and culture and investigates global threats to sustainability and biodiversity. We will consider case studies that analyze the complex movement of flora, fauna, fungi and microbes, and present practices for habitat preservation and ecological restoration. These include integrated global conservation collaborations, such as the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, United Nations World Heritage Sites, and the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership. Readings draw from the Amazon, Southeast Asia, Australasia, Europe and North America, including alpine, temperate and tropical landscapes and seascapes. An introductory course in anthropology and/or EUS is useful but not required.  Class size: 22

 

92126

ANTH 225

 Political Anthropology

Jonah Rubin

M  W       10:10 am-11:30 am

OLIN 305

SA

D+J

SSCI

DIFF

Cross-listed: Human Rights How do anthropologists approach the study of politics? What sorts of methods are appropriate to understanding the actions of institutions, states, and individuals? And just what do we mean when we talk about “politics” in the first place? This course explores the ways social groups enact, resist, and transform power relations in various times and places. Through an analysis of the 2016 elections in the United States and other contemporary case studies, we look at how anthropological theory and ethnographic practices can illuminate political phenomena, from the dynamics of small social groups to large-scale electoral politics and from the micropolitics of race, gender, and social identity. Subjects explored in this class will include classic anthropological analyses of small-scale societies, the formation of the modern nation-state, civil society organizations, post-colonial forms of resistance, and identity politics. While the course focuses primarily on understanding various political forms, students will also be encouraged to apply readings to theorize modes of inhabiting and transforming power relations they encounter in their everyday life. Assignments will provide students the opportunity to apply these readings to examine political processes on campus, in the United States, and around the world.  Class size: 18

 

92127

ANTH 236

ANTHROPOLOGY OF DEATH

Jonah Rubin

M  W       3:10 pm-4:30 pm

OLIN 310

SA

SSCI

DIFF

Cross-listed: Human Rights This course offers an overview of how anthropologists approach the problem of death, dying, burials, and mourning. Taking a four-field approach, this course explores the diverse ways humans experience death, how the (social and biological) fact of death organizes societies, and how dead persons continue to affect the living. By looking at the ritualization, medicalization, and politicization of death, we seek to complicate popular ideas of death as a universal experience. In exploring anthropological understandings of mourning and burial, students will deepen their understanding of ethnographic, archaeological, and physical anthropological methods and theories. Class size: 18

 

91969

ANTH 261

 Anthropology of Violence and  Suffering

Laura Kunreuther

  W  F     11:50 am-1:10 pm

OLIN 203

MBV

D+J

HUM

DIFF

Cross-listed: Asian Studies, Gender & Sexuality Studies,  Global & Int’l Studies, Human Rights (core course), Science, Technology & Society  Why do acts of violence continue to grow in the ‘modern’ world?  In what ways has violence become naturalized in the contemporary world?  In this course, we will consider how acts of violence challenge and support modern ideas of humanity, raising important questions about what it means to be human today.  These questions lie at the heart of anthropological thinking and also structure contemporary discussions of human rights.  Anthropology’s commitment to “local culture”  and cultural diversity has meant that anthropologists often position themselves in critical opposition to “universal values,” which have been used to address various forms of violence in the contemporary world. The course will approach different forms of violence, including ethnic and communal conflicts, colonial education, torture and its individualizing effects, acts of terror and institutionalized fear, and rituals of bodily pain that mark individuals’ inclusion or exclusion from a social group.  The course is organized around three central concerns.  First, we will discuss violence as a means of producing and consolidating social and political power, and exerting political control.  Second, we will look at forms of violence that have generated questions about “universal rights” of humanity versus culturally specific practices, such as widow burning in India and female genital mutilation in postcolonial Africa. In these examples, we explore gendered dimensions in the experience of violence among perpetrators, victims, and survivors. Finally, we will look at the ways human rights institutions have sought to address the profundity of human suffering and pain, and ask in what ways have they succeeded and/or failed.  Readings will range from theoretical texts, anthropological ethnographies, as well as popular representations of violence in the  media and film.  Class size: 22

 

91973

ANTH 265

 Race & Nature in Africa

Yuka Suzuki

 T  Th     11:50 am-1:10 pm

OLIN 201

SA

D+J

SSCI

DIFF

Cross-listed: Africana Studies; Environmental & Urban Studies; Global & International Studies; Human Rights  Western fantasies have historically represented Africa as the embodiment of a mythical, primordial wilderness. Within this imagery, nature is racialized, and Africans are constructed as existing in a state closer to nature. Conrad’s Heart of Darkness perhaps best exemplifies this process, through its exploration of the ‘savage’ dimensions of colonialism in the African interior. Imperial discourses often relied on these tropes of savagery and barbarism to link understandings of natural history with ideas about racial difference. Similarly, by blurring the boundary between the human and the nonhuman, colonial policies created a zone of anxiety around racialized domestic relationships, particularly in the context of employers and their servants. Many of these representations were contradictory, as evidenced by Rousseau’s image of the noble savage: indigenous people who lived as gentle custodians of the environment, while at the same time preying upon resources desired for exclusive colonial use. After investigating the racialization of nature under imperial regimes, we will consider continuing legacies in post-colonial situations. How have certain ethnic identities been linked to nature? How do these associations reproduce social hierarchies and inequalities? In what ways is race invoked in struggles for land and resource rights? Through an exploration of ethnographic accounts, historical analyses, and works of fiction based in Africa, this course offers a new way of deciphering cultural representations of nature, and the fundamentally political agendas that lie within. Please note: this course is part of the ‘Difficult Questions’ cluster of courses; students will be expected to attend parts of the Hannah Arendt Center Conference ‘Real Talk: Difficult Questions about Race, Sex, and Religion’ on October 20-21.  Class size: 22

 

92125

ANTH 313

 Science, Technology, Democracy

Jonah Rubin

   Th       1:30 pm-3:50 pm

OLIN 309

SA

SSCI

DIFF

Cross-listed: Science, Technology & Society    In popular understandings, we tend to think of scientists and engineers as occupying relatively apolitical positions. While debates over government funding priorities or diversity in the laboratory occasionally pop up, we usually imagine scientists at the laboratory bench striving for the discovery of objective truths and engineers seeking to innovate new solutions to technical problems. By contradistinction, this course begins from the premise that science and technology are inherently political acts. That is, they are both the product of social conditions and, in turn, the condition of possibility for our collective ways of life. In calling science and technology political acts, we do not seek to dismiss their forms of practice (nor, for many of the authors we read, their claims to objectivity). Rather, in this course, we strive to understand how the how the existence of these expert communities affect and are affected by democratic politics.  Class size: 15

 

91974

ANTH 350

 Contemporary Cultural Theory

Yuka Suzuki

  W          10:10 am-12:30 pm

OLIN 306

MBV

D+J

HUM

DIFF

Cross-listed: Environmental & Urban Studies, 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 for all moderated Anthropology majors.  Class size: 15

 

 

Cross-listed courses in Anthropology:

 

92002

HIST 340

 The Politics of History

Robert Culp

   Th       10:10 am-12:30 pm

OLIN 306

HA

D+J

HIST

DIFF

 

92018

HR 223

 Epidemiology: A Human Rights Perspective

Helen Epstein

 T  Th     1:30 pm-2:50 pm

HEG 308

SA

SSCI

 

92019

HR 244

 Reproductive Health and Human Rights

Helen Epstein

 T  Th     3:10 pm-4:30 pm

HEG 102

SA

SSCI

 

91919

MUS 185

 Intro to Ethnomusicology

Maria Sonevytsky

 T  Th     3:10 pm-4:30 pm

BLM N210

SA

D+J

SSCI

DIFF

2 credits  -- This course will meet for the first seven weeks of the semester