Please refer to the online directory of courses for times and classroom locations. http://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/
Regular Registration Dates for Fall term: Monday, April 15 - Friday, April 19
ANTH V1002x The Interpretation of Culture 3 pts. Michael Taussig (sec 001) and Stephen Scott (sec 002) The anthropological approach to the study of culture and human society. Case studies from ethnography are used in exploring the universality of cultural categories (social organization, economy, law, belief system, art, etc.) and the range of variation among human societies.
ANTH V2004x Introduction to Social and Cultural Theory 3 pts. Partha Chatterjee. Introduces students to crucial theories of society, paying particular attention to classic social theory of the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Traces a trajectory through writings essential for an understanding of the social: from Saussure, Durkheim, Mauss, Marx, Freud, and Weber, on to the structuralist ethnographic elaboration of Claude Levi-Strauss, the historiographic reflections on modernity of Michel Foucault, and contemporary modes of socio-cultural analysis. Explored are questions of signification at the heart of anthropological inquiry, and to the historical contexts informing these questions.
ANTH V2008x Film and Culture 3 pts. Meg McLagan. The class explores the intersection of aesthetics and ethnography in contemporary nonfiction filmmaking. Course readings address the blurring of boundaries between filmic genres and the multiplicity of relationships they establish between the “pro-filmic” and the filmic; the ethics as well as the epistemology of pictorial and audiovisual representation and the relationships that are put into play between films’ subjects, their makers, and their audiences in a variety of cultural contexts, the social life of images, and the relationship between anthropological knowledge and various documentary modalities.
ANTH V2027x Changing East Asian Foodways 4 pts. Drew Hopkins. “Changing East Asian Foodways” provides an introduction to the Historical Anthropology of East Asian cultures through an examination of changing foodways among the Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, Hong Kongese, Taiwanese and overseas Chinese, the responses of these groups to the global spread of fast food and café culture, and the role that East Asian food cultures have played in the social construction of difference and similitude in the Western cultures in which immigrants from East Asia have settled. Global Core
ANTH V2035x Introduction to the Anthropology of South Asia 3 pts. Katherine Ewing. This course provides a broad introduction to the anthropology of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. We will explore social and cultural formations such as caste, class, marriage and the family; as well as the organization of cultural diversity by colonial rule, nationalism and modern statehood, ethnic and religious conflict, and transnational circulations. In addition to secondary sources, students will be particularly encouraged to engage with primary sources such as treatises, speeches, poetry, music, and film. Through learning about the ethnography of the South Asia region, students will also gain an understanding of contemporary theoretical debates in anthropology, which include: the legacies of colonial rule in postcolonial societies, the social power of analytical categories, and the impact of globalization.
ANTH V3008x Indian and Nigerian Film Cultures 3 pts. Brian Larkin. Hindi cinema represents one of the oldest and most dynamic forms of popular cinema whose popularity has spread far beyond India itself into countries from Senegal to Korea. Nigerian cinema, or Nollywood, represents one of the newest. In little more than a decade it has spread all over Africa and, increasingly, into the Caribbean and Black diaspora.
ANTH V3040x Anthropological Theory I (formerly ANTH V3011 Social Relations: Living in Society) 4 pts. Lesley Sharp. Prerequisite: an introductory course in anthropology. Institutions of social life. Kinship and locality in the structuring of society. Monographs dealing with both literate and nonliterate societies will be discussed in the context of anthropological fieldwork methods. Enrollment limit is 15. This course is open to anthropology majors; others require advanced permission of the instructor.
ANTH V3106x Post-Socialist China: State, Society, and Globalization 3 pts. Junjie Chen. Since 1989, socialism across Eurasia has experienced profound transformations. Different from the dramatic transition to "capitalism" and "democracy" in the former Soviet bloc, China (and to a large degree, Viet Nam as well) has adroitly combined an authoritarian state with a highly capitalist economy with socialism becoming a nominal rhetoric at large. This course unpacks postsocialist China by interrogating the ways in which China’s recent economic success has been accompanied by mounting social and cultural tensions at the heart of Chinese society. In this course we will explore the complexity and diversity of contemporary Chinese society and culture as well as its ongoing postsocialist transformations. Main topics will include: Chinese kinship and networking/“guanxi;” ethnicity and nationalism; post-socialist rural transformations; the “floating population” of migrant laborers; changing urban spaces; consumerism and the emerging urban middle-class; and transnationalism. Controversies surrounding issues such as HIV/AIDS, sexuality, and birth control policy that have drawn much international attention will be discussed in local contexts. In reading a variety of compelling writings by current authors, we will explore not only what has been written about China, but also how Chinese culture has been written by scholars.
ANTH V3761x Ethnographic Research: Methods and Concepts 4 pts. Sarah Muir. This course introduces undergraduate students in anthropology, sociology, and related fields to ethnographic fieldwork. It is designed as a seminar/practicum, and we will divide our class time between the analysis of texts and the analysis of our own attempts to carry out the ethnographic methods described in those texts. Students will formulate an ethnographic question, which they will systematically investigate through weekly field assignments and a final research proposal. Throughout, we will attend not only to the application of particular methods to particular questions, but also to the broader epistemological and ethical questions that inform ethnographic fieldwork. Instructor's permission is required. Enrollment limit is 20.
ANTH V3762x Native Meaning 4 pts. Audra Simpson. This course uses primary and secondary source materials to teach the histories, cultures and philosophical systems of Indigenous peoples located within the United States and Canada. This course moves geographically through the East into the Circumpolar North, the Dakotas, and then into the Pacific Northwest and then moves temporally through pre-settlement into settlement periods through materials that comprise an active archive of Indigenous communicative practices, philosophies and politics. The course resists the earlier anthropological conceit of placing Indigenous peoples within a “before” state, as matter to be salvaged in an immanent disappearance of pure, cultural form and difference, as Indigenous people in fact have not disappeared, and possess deep histories that are alive within the present and in different cultural forms. As such, the course pairs cultural “artifacts,” ethnography with contemporary expressive culture (autobiography, visual art) in order to create an intellectual genealogy and cultural history of Indigeneity and Indigenous sovereignty that lives within the present. Enrollment limit is 15.
ANTH V3831x Cultures and Ecomomies: Explorations in Economic Anthropology 4 pts. Stephen Scott. This class explores the intersection of economy, culture, and society from a comparative, anthropological perspective. What have anthropologists learned about the different economic systems of the societies they study? How do economic practices and processes interact with the broader sociocultural worlds in which they are pursued and elaborated? What kind of concepts and methods do anthropologists draw on in their ethnographic (and archeological) researches into the diversity of human economic life? By reading classic and contemporary works in the field of economic anthropology, this class introduce students to longstanding discussions and debates about: economic rationality as a social form; the application of economic principles and methods to non-marketized societies; the nature of exchange and value; the sociocultural dimensions of monetarization and marketization; the role of gender and class in economic production; and the paradoxes of private property in everyday lives. Anthropology and economics have maintained a long and productive, if often combative relationship with one another, and one of the aims of the course is to explore that relationship from a number of critical perspectives. Enrollment limit is 20. Enrollment priorities: Seniors and Juniors.
ANTH BC 3871x-BC3872y Senior Thesis Seminar: Problems in Anthropological Research 4pts. Discussion of research methods and planning and writing of a Senior Essay in Anthropology will accompany research on problems of interest to students, culminating in the writing of individual Senior Essays. The advisory system requires periodic consultation and discussion between the student and her adviser as well as the meeting of specific deadlines set by the department each semester. Prerequisites: Required of all Barnard Anthropology seniors. Others with permission of department chair only.
ANTH V3872x Social Studies of Energy 4 pts. Gökçe Günel. How did whale oil become replaced by fossil fuels? What were the turning points in implementing electricity networks within urban centers? What is the role of markets and industries when producing such new energy infrastructures? This interdisciplinary course will trace ideas of energy in anthropology, science and technology studies, literary studies and
environmental history, and investigate how energy production and consumption affects social life.
Enrollment limit is 15.
ANTH V3879x The Medical Imaginary 4 pts. Lesley Sharp. How might we speak of an imaginary within biomedicine? This course interrogates the ideological underpinnings of technocratic medicine in contexts that extend from the art of surgery to patient participation in experimental drug trials. Issues of scale will prove especially important in our efforts to track the medical imaginary from the whole, fleshy body to the molecular level. Key themes include everyday ethics; ways of seeing and knowing; suffering and hope; and subjectivity in a range of medical and sociomedical contexts. Enrollment limit is 15, instructor's permission required. Non anthropology majors require instructor’s permission.
ANTH V3912x Ethnographic China 4 pts. Myron Cohen. Reading of selected ethnographies of China from among the many published since 1990. In the context of rapid social and economic change in China during this period, the seminar will critically consider how each ethnography represents the observations, interpretations, and field techniques of the anthropologist who is its author. Also discussed will be the shared themes and contesting perspectives emerging from a comparison of these works, as well as the overall contribution of this ethnographic research to our understanding of China as an emerging world power.
ANTH V3921x Anticolonialism 4 pts. David Scott. Through a careful exploration of the argument and style of three vivid anticolonial texts, C.L.R. James' The Black Jacobins, Aimé Césaire's Discourse on Colonialism, Albert Memmi's Colonizer and Colonized, and Frantz Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth, this course aims to inquire into the construction of the image of colonialism and its projected aftermaths established in anti-colonial discourse. Enrollment limit is 20.
ANTH V3923x Colonialism and the Intellectual 4 pts. Hlonipha Mokoena. This course is a consideration of the choices and dilemmas faced by the category of intellectuals who have been labeled 'colonial intellectuals'. Enrollment limit is 20.
ANTH V3933x Arabia Imagined 4 pts. Brinkley Messick. This course explores Arabia as a global phenomenon. It is organized around primary texts read in English translation. The site of the revelation of the Quran and the location of the sacred precincts of Islam, Arabia is the destination of pilgrimage and the direction of prayer for Muslims worldwide. It also is the locus of cultural expression ranging from the literature of the 1001 Nights to the broadcasts of Al Jazeera. We begin with themes of contemporary youth culture and political movements associated with the Arab Spring. Seminar paper.
CSER W3935 History of US-Mexico 4 pts. Claudio Lomnitz.
ANTH V3937x Mass-Mediations of Modernity 4 pts. Rosalind Morris. How do new media technologies affect social worlds? What is the relationship between mass mediation and modernity? Explores the force of media technology, its relationship to transnational forms of capital, to the development of new subjectivities, and to the rise of new networks of power and social relations. Prerequisites: at least one course in anthropology or social theory.
ANTH V3939x Millennial Futures: Mass Culture and Japan 4 pts. Marilyn Ivy. Addresses mass culture and its relationship to Japan at the end of the 20th century. Approaches the themes of millennial anxiety and wishfulness in such domains as everyday life, technology, criminality, gender and sexuality, and consumption. Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.
ANTH V3947x Text, Magic, Performance 4 pts. John Pemberton. This course pursues interconnections linking text and performance in light of magic, ritual, possession, narration, and related articulations of power. Readings are drawn from classic theoretical writings, colonial fiction, and ethnographic accounts. Domains of inquiry include: spirit possession, trance states, séance, witchcraft, ritual performance, and related realms of cinematic projection, musical form, shadow theater, performative objects, and (other) things that move on their own, compellingly. Key theoretical concerns are subjectivity--particularly, the conjuring up and displacement of self in the form of the first-person singular "I"--and the haunting power of repetition. Retraced throughout the course are the uncanny shadows of a fully possessed subject. Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.
ANTH V3966x Culture and Mental Health 4 pts. Karen Seeley. This course considers mental disturbance and its relief by examining historical, anthropological, psychoanalytic and psychiatric notions of self, suffering, and cure. After exploring the ways in which conceptions of mental suffering and abnormality are produced, we look at specific kinds of psychic disturbances and at various methods for their alleviation. Enrollment limit is 20 & the instructor's permission is required. Limited to juniors & seniors.
ANTH V3971x Culture and Environmental Behavior 4 pts. Paige West. Seemingly "natural" meanings and objects are produced and known within distinctive cultural, political, economic, and historic contexts. These cultural forms are then circulated, reproduced, and naturalized in ways that obscure the social milieu in which they arose. In this course we will denaturalize nature. Enrollment limit is 15.
ANTH V3975x Anthropology of Media. 4 pts. Brian Larkin. This course examines the materiality and infrastructures of media technologies and their role in producing social life. It draws together anthropology and media theory to examine how media operate upon the body and how they produce our sense of space, time and collectivity. Examining infrastructures and practices of media in differing societies we will ask whether this forces us to approach core questions in media theory and anthropology in a different light. Instructor's permission required. Enrollment limit is 16.
ANTH V3978x Dialogic Imagination in Opera 4 pts. Elaine Combs-Schilling. Students must attend operas outside class time. Drawing on theory of Bakhtin, analyzes the production logic of three opera performances in terms of communication media utilized; the class, status and gendered perspectives mobilized; and the devices used to engage or distance the audience. Performance rather than musicological angles stressed. Permission of the instructor via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Students must state year and major and why you with to join the class. Priority given to upper class anthropology and music majors.
ANTH V3989x Introduction to Urban Anthropology 4 pts. John Pemberton. This seminar is an introduction to the theory and methods that have been developed by anthropologists to study contemporary cities and urban cultures. Although anthropology has historically focused on the study of non-Western and largely rural societies, since the 1960s anthropologists have increasingly directed attention to cities and urban cultures. During the course of the semester, we will examine such topics as: the politics of urban planning, development and land use; race, class, gender and urban inequality; urban migration and transnational communities; the symbolic economies of urban space; and, street life. Reading will include the work of Jane Jacobs, Sharon Zukin, and Henri Lefebvre. Enrollment limit 25.
ANTH V3999x and y The Senior Thesis Seminar in Anthropology 4 pts. Elaine Combs-Schilling. Students interested in the two semester senior thesis course in anthropology should attend the first session of the seminar to discuss the possibility of joining the course. Students must have at least a 3.6 GPA in the major and a preliminary project concept in order to become a part of the seminar. Professor Elaine Combs-Schilling and Teaching Associate, Manuel Schwab jointly teach this advanced seminar. Each student’s 2 semester project takes place over the fall and spring and is intended to result in a project that will culminate in a 40-50 page thesis in consultation with professors and advisors. An “in progress mark” will be allocated at the end of the fall semester for those students remaining in the senior thesis course. The final grade for the fall-spring academic year must be completed before a qualitative grade is assigned. The grade allocated at the end of the second term will become the grade for the entire course. Prerequisites: The instructor's permission. The enrollment limit is 17.
ANTH W4172x Written Culture (Formerly ANTH G6172) 3 pts. Brinkley Messick. At the turn of the twentieth century, writing was considered the evolutionary "hallmark" of civilization. Its presence or absence in societies also served to demarcate the boundaries of disciplinary inquiry, with anthropologists then specialized in peoples "without" writing. In recent decades, however, as critical reflection began to focus on writings by anthropologists, attention also turned to what James Clifford referred to as "the scratching of other pens." Studies of our own and other textualities now are part of advancing conversations between Anthropology, History and Literary Studies. Among other topics, we will study the earlier print revolution for ideas that might help us understand "texting" and other aspects of writing in the current digital revolution.
ANTH V1007x The Origins of Human Society 3 pts. Severin Fowles. An archaeological perspective on the evolution of human social life from the first bipedal step of our ape ancestors to the establishment of large sedentary villages. While traversing six million years and six continents, our explorations will lead us to consider such major issues as the development of human sexuality, the origin of language, the birth of "art" and religion, the domestication of plants and animals, and the foundations of social inequality. Designed for anyone who happens to be human. $25.00 laboratory fee.
ANTH V2014x Archaeology and Africa: Changing perceptions of the African Past 3 pts. Zoe Crossland. This course explores the changing perspectives on African archaeology over the last two centuries. We will trace the history of archaeological fieldwork in Africa, looking at archaeology's relationship to colonialism and European narratives of world history. These will be compared with the ways in which archaeology has been drawn upon in the post-colonial period within nationalist, Afrocentric and postcolonial accounts. Using a variety of archaeological case studies we will look at the key issues in African archaeology today, and assess how these debates have been informed by the particular history of archaeological interpretation in Africa. Topics will include the archaeology of human origins and dispersal out of Africa, the development of farming and the use of metals, the archaeology of African kingdoms and state formation, the colonial encounter, and the archaeology of the African Diaspora.
ANTH V3714x Zooarchaeology Method and Theory 4 pts. Adam Watson. As the first course in zooarchaeology offered in several years, this offering constitutes a major methodological addition to Columbia’s Anthropology curriculum and the interdisciplinary “Archaeology Program.” The course emphasizes laboratory methods such as skeletal anatomy, comparative morphology, and metrical analysis and will examine archaeological case studies from Old World and New World archaeology that underscore the value of zooarchaeology as an essential line of inquiry within the field. By providing students with a greater depth of understanding of this fundamental archaeological research method, the course complements other courses that address world archaeology, societal development, and general laboratory methods.
ANTH V3970x Biological Basis of Human Variation 4 pts. Ralph Holloway. Biological evidence for the modern human diversity at the molecular, phenotypical, and behavioral levels, as distributed geographically. Enrollment limited to 15 students and instructor's permission required Instructor To Be Announced. Prerequisites: ANEB V1010 and permission of the instructor.
ANTH G4147x (Section 001) Human Skeletal Biology I 3 pts. Ralph Holloway. Recommended for archaeology and physical anthropology students, pre-meds, and biology majors interested in the human skeletal system. Intensive study of human skeletal materials using anatomical and anthropological landmarks to assess sex, age, and ethnicity of bones. Other primate skeletal materials and fossil casts used for comparative study (Enrollment limit 12 and Instructor's Permission required)
Fall and Spring Terms
ANTH W3997x Supervised Individual Research Course In Anthropology 2-6 pts. Prerequisite: the written permission of the staff member under whose supervision the research will be conducted.
ANTH W3998y Supervised Individual Research Course In Anthropology 2-6 pts. Prerequisite: the written permission of the staff member under whose supervision the research will be conducted.