|Course no.||ANTH 101|
|Title||Introduction to Cultural Anthropology|
|Schedule||Tue Th 3:40 pm-5:00 pm Olin 205|
A course in "culture," or, the social power of imagination. By studying the force of linguistic grammar, economic practice, and systems of symbolism as they work to create particular worldviews in different societies, this course deconstructs Western conceptions of time, history, progress and value, in order to shed light on power relations formed in the encounter of Western missionaries, colonialists, and anthropologists with people in other lands, Considerable attention will be given to the analysis of anthropological writing as a literary practice. Students required to do field research on a campus group, and write an ethnographic account.
|Course no.||ANTH 111|
|Title||Field Methods in Archaeology|
|Schedule||Fri 9:00 am-3:00 pm|
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 field and lab sessions last six hours each Friday. Enrollment is limited to eight students. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.
|Course no.||ANTH 201G|
|Title||American Diaspora and a New Jew: Accommodation and Cultural Creativity|
|Schedule||Mon Wed 10:30 am-12:20 pm Olin 304|
Cross-listed: Jewish Studies
The course explores the emergence of a new, diasporic, Jewish world in the United States between the late nineteenth century and the Great Depression of the 1930s. Novels and personal documents written by contemporary Jewish members of this evolving reality will be supplemented by readings by outsiders (social workers, sociologists, etc.) to this immigrant community. Historical and social-science analysis of this process will be used to contextualize and critically examine the dynamics of this cultural creation/invention. Poverty, racism, social mobility, and progressive political engagement will be explored, as well as the creation of new cultural forms, sacred and secular, that have come to constitute the culture of many contemporary American Jews.
|Course no.||ANTH 203|
|Title||Anthropology of Sex and Gender|
|Schedule||Wed Fri 9:00 am-10:20 am Olin 201|
Cross-listed: Gender Studies, History & Philosphy of Science
An examination of the ways in which sex and gender are historically constituted, socially organized, and culturally interpreted in a variety of cultures, from kin-based nonstratified systems to the nation-state. We examine what it means to be a gendered person in relation to culturally variable, locally imagined, and transnational systems of power and prestige. For example, in South and Southeast Asia, West Africa, and the Pacific, we study the gender politics of imperial cultures, their domestic arrangements and encompassing political structures, the constitution and coding of racial differences in gendered terms, the effects of development on indigenous women's lives, and indigenous sovereignty and female agency in postcolonial contexts. And we examine how kinship, economics, politics, belief, and ideology are experienced and structured through gender. We ask what cultures make of sex; how bodies are constructed historically, medically, and politically; and how new reproductive technologies are reshaping our understandings of kinship and family forms, sexualities, and concepts of personhood, especially in Europe and North America. Throughout we examine processes of knowledge production in feminist anthropology.
|Course no.||ANTH 213|
|Title||Anthropology of Medicine|
|Schedule||Mon Wed 2:50 pm-4:10 pm Olin 203|
Cross-listed: Gender Studies, History & Philosophy of Science
From an ethnomedical perspective, all notions of health and illness and forms of treatment are taken as socioculturally constructed, embedded within systems of knowledge and power and hierarchies of gender, class and race. This course will explore medical knowledge and practice in a variety of healing systems including that of western biomedicine, focusing on the human body as the site where illness is experienced, and upon which social meanings and political actions are inscribed. We will be concerned with how political economic systems, and the inequalities they engender--poverty, violence, discrimination--affect human well-being. Readings and films will represent different ethnographic perspectives on embodied experiences of illness and bodily imagery and treatment within widely differing sociopolitical systems. Topics will include biomedical constructs and body imagery, and alternative medical systems such as chiropractic and acupuncture in contemporary American society, epidemic diseases such as malaria and AIDS, colonial constructions of the diseased body in sub-Saharan Africa, female circumcision, Kuru sorcery, and humoral medicine and susto (fright) in Latin America. Prerequisites: Anthropology 101 or permission of the instructor.
|Course no.||ANTH 234|
|Title||Language, Culture, and Society|
|Schedule||Wed Fri 1:20 pm-2:40 pm Olin 203|
Cross-listed: Gender Studies
Language provides both the cultural basis for apprehending and categorizing reality and the communicative basis for the production of social identity. We focus initially on various classical approaches to language, culture, and cognition, such as structuralism, ethnoscience, and the Whorfian hypothesis. Then we look at discourse-focused approaches including speech act theory, the ethnography of communication, and sociolingusitics, focusing in particular on the use of language in social and cultural contexts. We examine the communicative consequences of cultural difference by concentrating cross-culturally on differences of gender, class, race, and ethnicity. Topics include linguistic strategies such as code switching, gossip, silence, and interruption and verbal art as performance in oratory, persuasion, and religious language. Prerequisite: one course in anthropology or permission of the instructor.
|Course no.||ANTH 240|
|Title||Buddhist Representation in Global Culture|
|Schedule||Wed Fri 2:50 pm-4:10 pm Olin 205|
Cross-listed: Asian Studies
Extending Edward Said's critique of representation, Orientalism, this course will trace the production of "Buddhism" as an object of knowledge in the discursive spaces between Christian missionaries, colonial regimes, Western academic disciplines, and Buddhist missions in the West. Topics of contention include meditation, rationalism, doctrine, belief in supernatural beings, teacher-student relationships, authoritative knowledge, and practice vs. academic study. Emphasis will be on a tension between interpreting expressions of Buddhist wisdom, and weighing the political consequences of conflicting ways to portray it, crossing the worlds of Europe, Asia, and America. At least second-year status, during term, required.
|Course no.||ANTH 306|
|Title||Anthropology and Literature|
|Schedule||Tue 1:30 pm-3:30 pm Olin 201|
of related interest: Gender Studies
The interpretive approach, as a coherent theoretical and methodological response to a perceived crisis in anthropology, poses a challenge to the traditional theoretical goals and methods of the discipline and has begun to unseat our dependence upon scientific logical empiricism and to challenge our attempts to achieve objective knowledge and "ethnographic realism." One stimulus was provided by the examination of "culture as text" and of ethnography as a type of literature, a literary genre bound by implicit rules and conventions. Recently, as anthropologists have sought new ways to represent cultural experience and its contextuality, they have approached ethnography as text, as narrative, as allegory, and as "true fiction" in their search for ethnographic authority. At the same time, in further blurring the disciplinary boundaries between anthropology and literature, they have focused on the anthropologist as author, the novel as ethnography, and the implications of reflexivity, intersubjectivity, and feminism for ethnographic practice and have sought new textual strategies in an attempt to continue to represent the "native point of view." Our aim in the seminar is to assess the strengths and current weaknesses of interpretive anthropology as expressed by its strongest supporters and critics and to consider the implications of its emergence for the future of anthropology.
|Course no.||ANTH 316|
|Title||Rituals of Epistemology|
|Schedule||Tue 10:30 am-12:30 pm Olin 304|
A course in critical reading of constructions of cultural worldview, representations of religious experience, and theories of mind/body in the anthropology of religion. Foundational discourses underlying Western theories of epistemology will be analyzed in their confrontation with radically differing worldviews, within the crosscultural encounter. Particular attention will be paid to culturalist, structuralist, and poststructuralist analysis of the epistemological foundations of magic, science, religion, and the knowledge of consciousness. Readings may include Lejune, Tylor, Fraser, Geertz, James, Whorf, Saussure, Levi-Strauss, Freud, Foucault, Kuhn, Lacan, and Derrida.