CRN

15237

Distribution

A/C

Course No.

ANTH 101

Title

Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

Professor

Alan Klima

Schedule

Mon Wed 1:30 pm - 2:50 pm OLIN 205
A course in "culture," or, the social power of imagination. This course will trace the historical development of anthropological theories and visual studies of culture from the Nineteenth Century to the present, with special emphasis on how the concept of culture functions critically in understanding group and personal symbolism, in understanding different economic systems, and how culture effects understandings of race, gender, and sexuality. The course begins with basic analytical readings on the relation of language to the cultural construction of reality. This sets the framework for understanding how culture studies can function to unsettle certainties and provide a basic method for critical thinking and reflection. Visual anthropology and ethnographic film will be explored for the additional dimensions in method which they may provide. Then, we look at the political meaning of "culture" in relation to the historical encounter between Euro-America and its "others." We will examine the interplay between the representation of selves and cultural others within inter- cultural spheres of exchange, particularly tourism and representational media, which share certain characteristics with anthropology itself. Finally, we examine the cultural construction of gender and sexuality and explore the limits of human imagination in the study and performance of these... "things."



CRN

15030

Distribution

C/E

Course No.

ANTH 212

Title

Introduction to Historical Archaeology

Professor

Chris Lindner

Schedule

Th 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm HEG 300

Cross-listed: American Studies, CRES, History

Material remains are useful to complement or challenge historical information. Archaeology can also uncover transformations of the environment that were unintentionally irresponsible or planned to create illustrations of power over nature. We will focus on change in the urban and rural landscapes of the Middle Atlantic states and the Northeast, respectively. Colonization and slavery on the southeastern coast will be examined in regard to plantations. While it will include several field trips, Historical Archeology will concentrate on laboratory study of artifacts for practical experience. Limited to 15 students, by permission of the instructor.



CRN

15473

Distribution

A

Course No.

ANTH / MUS 214

Title

Music & Identity in the Caribbean: An Ethnomusicological Approach

Professor

Kenneth Bilby

Schedule

Tu Th 3:00 pm - 4:20 pm PRE 128

Cross-listed: Music

The music of the Caribbean region has had a profound impact on world music. Cuban son and rumba Jamaican ska and reggae, Trinidadian calypso and soca, Haitian compas and mizik rasin, and French Antillean beguine and zouk are among the Caribbean musical genres that are performed, marketed, and consumed internationally. This course will explore the complex history that produced this rich and enormously diverse regional musical culture, which has roots in Africa, Europe, and several other parts of the world. Special attention will be given to the ways in which Caribbean musical styles, both at home and when exported to new contexts (such as Europe, the U.S., and Africa), have come to express and embody a multiplicity of identities defined by notions of race, ethnicity, gender, class and various kinds of nationalism. The significant related questions of resistance, accommodation, and musical appropriation will also be examined. The course will incorporate perspectives from music history, anthropology, cultural studies, and especially, ethnomusicology (a field that has produced a growing and increasingly sophisticated literature on the close association between music and identity), using these to shed light on readings and musical examples from across the region. Students will also be expected to attend performances of Caribbean music in the area, and to analyze and interpret these, drawing on the ethnomusicological methodologies discussed in the course.



CRN

15247

Distribution

C

Course No.

ANTH 247

Title

Theories of Personhood in Melanesia

Professor

Melissa Demian

Schedule

Mon Wed 11:30 am - 12:50 pm OLIN 205

Cross-listed: Gender Studies

The ethno-geographic region of Melanesia, comprising New Guinea and neighboring islands in the southwestern Pacific, has long attracted anthropologists to the diversity of its peoples and the complexity of their social lives. From classic studies of kinship and "cargo cults" to more recent work on the colonial encounter and gendered relations, Melanesian ethnography has perennially challenged anthropologists' assumptions about the conception and composition of the person. In this class we will aim for a fine-grained exploration of the implications of Melanesian ethnography in both written and filmed media. The continuing magnetism of Melanesia for anthropologists in search of unique forms of sociality, and for tourists in search of "the last primitive," will also be a topic of investigation. Melanesian modernity, in its familiar and not-so-familiar configurations, offers a glimpse into the endeavors of people famed for their economic innovations to engage with the "the global village" on their own terms. Prerequisite: ANTH 101 or permission of instructor.



CRN

15245

Distribution

C

Course No.

ANTH 252

Title

Writing Ethnography

Professor

Melissa Demian

Schedule

Mon Wed 3:00 pm - 4:20 pm OLIN 305
The ethnographic monograph has, since the nineteenth century, been the most predominant form in which anthropological knowledge is produced and disseminated. With roots in Victorian explorer and missionary narratives, and later relegitimized in their own right as social scientific texts, ethnographies seek to establish their authority in the minds of their readers through the persuasive techniques of location, voice and thoroughness of data presented. However, an ethnography is ultimately an attempt to reproduce in written form the investigations an anthropologist has conducted in the field, and the transition from experience to text is not always a smooth one. Anthropologists have periodically had to answer the charge that their texts were little more than novels overlaid with a veneer of science. We will therefore engage not only in a close reading of several ethnographies, but also of experiments in "ethnographic" fiction, as well as accompanying criticism of the genre itself. Finally, students will be expected to attempt the production of their own ethnographic texts based on brief individual fieldwork projects, in order to confront first-hand the challenges of transforming field research into written text.



CRN

15358

Distribution

C

Course No.

ANTH 253

Title

Cultural Politics of the Raj

Professor

Laura Kunreuther

Schedule

Tu Th 11:30 am - 12:50 pm OLIN 107

Cross-listed: MES, Victorian Studies

This course will center on the culture and policies of the British Raj in India. Using contemporary theories of colonialism, we will explore in depth the cultural categories that emerged and changed over the course of British rule in India. The course will use Thomas Metcalf's Ideologies of the Raj as a base text, and examine the dominant social ideologies that were central to the British colonial project. We will discuss, for example, the English gentleman and memsab, as well as the Indian babu and fakir, as key figures in the colonial imagination and symbolic of broader social distinctions like race and gender. We will also discuss British cultural practices, like the Victorian grand tour and the emerging scientific discourses, that helped create many cultural categories that we use to describe South Asia today. The focus of our discussion about the Raj will be on the role of culture as a central discourse that emerged at this same time. Finally, we will look at the legacy of the British Raj as it informs South Asian cultural politics today. Students will be responsible for two short papers (6-8 pg.), an oral presentation and a longer term paper.



CRN

15408

Distribution

 

Course No.

ANTH 275

Title

Meditation and Visions of Inhumanity

Professor

Alan Klima

Schedule

Mon Wed 10:00 am - 11:20 am TBA
Th 10:00 am - 12:50 pm HDR 106
This course is a practical workshop on meditation and the ethics of producing and viewing images that depict acts of inhumanity. The class will investigate cross-cultural sources, particularly meditative visualization, for developing a critical stance on issues of the visual representation and reception of violent media, including: investigations of the varieties of visual experience made possible through the human creation of imagery- both material and mental- of pain, suffering, and the body, questions of desensitization in graphic media depiction, debates over the role of mass media in causing violence, and issues of the political uses and abuses of images of inhumanity. The workshop process will combine participant-observation studies of meditation disciplines involving visualization and other investigation of mental and physical phenomena, production of visual commentary through computer video editing, and theoretical readings on vision and media. The course has a lab requirement and therefore meets more than 5 hours a week. Part of the time is a regularly scheduled practical lab in concentration, involving investigation of mental and physical phenomena in comparison to the theories studied in class. In the second half of the semester, the labwork will involve video editing for the formation of visual commentary on the relationship of media and cruelty. Prerequisite for enrollment is permission of instructor via e-mail. Send a statement early explaining personal interest in the course, and list previous related coursework, to klima@bard.edu. Responses will be sent before registration day. Limit 10.



CRN

15239

Distribution

A/C

Course No.

ANTH 315

Title

Anthropology of Political Violence

Professor

Alan Klima

Schedule

Tu 1:30 pm - 3:50 pm OLIN 306

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. The seminar will lay the groundwork for a discussion of recent transformations in the nature of political control and cultural conflict in the world today, and discussion of anthropological issues involved in the analysis of intense political actions undertaken in a religious idiom, including "revolution" and "terrorism."



CRN

15248

Distribution

C

Course No.

ANTH 336

Title

Intellectual and Cultural Property Rights

Professor

Melissa Demian

Schedule

Th 10:30 am - 12:50 pm PRE 128

Cross-listed: CRES, MES

Intellectual and cultural property and claims made in their name are rapidly expanding concepts, even as "knowledge" is increasingly reduced to "information" which can be transmitted almost instantaneously around the globe. Anthropologists are somewhat uniquely positioned vis-à-vis such claims in a dual capacity: both as authors and owners of intellectual property whose "raw materials" are their relationships in the field, and also as sometime advocates and expert witnesses for property claims made by the peoples with whom they work. In this course we will examine both of these contentious positions as well as a third, namely, the notions of property and transactions in intangibles; multiple ownership; and creativity and authorship, all areas in which anthropology has a long history of theoretical engagement. Our investigations will take us through anthropological, legal and other literatures in an exploration of how "rights" have come to be the language through which claims to intangible forms of property are expressed. Finally, the property regimes of non-European peoples will require us to ask how we distinguish between property in tangibles and intangibles, between cultural and natural resources.