Undergraduate Courses Spring 2018

 

 
                                                                Sociocultural Anthropology
                                                                         Archaeology
                                                                  Physical Anthropology
 

This schedule is subject to change

Please visit the Directory of Classes for times and classroom locations: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

Academic Calendar

For Cross-Registration Information refer to:  http://registrar.columbia.edu/content/cross-registration

For Registration Dates refer to: http://registrar.columbia.edu/

 

Courses in Sociocultural Anthropology 

ANTH UN1002y (section 001) The Interpretation of Culture. 3 pts.   Naor Ben-Yehoyada.  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.  Discussion Section Required. Please refer to http://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

ANTH UN1002y (section 002) The Interpretation of Culture. 3 pts.  Paige West. 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 Enrollment limit is 120. Discussion Section Required. Please refer to http://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

ANTH UN1009y Introduction to Language and Culture. 3 pts. Mara Green.  This is an introduction to the study of the production, interpretation, and reproduction of social meanings as expressed through language. In exploring language in relation to culture and society, it focuses on how communication informs and transforms the sociocultural environment. Enrollment limit is 120.

ANTH UN2005y The Ethnographic Imagination. 3 pts. Lila Abu-Lughod.   Introduction to the theory and practice of ethnography, the intensive study of peoples' lives as shaped by social relations, cultural images, and historical forces. The course consists of critical reading of various kinds of texts (classic ethnographies, histories, journalism, novels, and films) and of the ways in which understanding, interpreting, and representing the lived words of people, at home or abroad, in one place or transnationally, and in the past or the present, can be accomplished. Enrollment limit is 60.  Discussion Section Required. Please refer to http://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

ANTH UN2071y Material Religion. 3 pts.  Maria Jose de Abreu.  This course is dedicated to the study of religion through materiality. Following what is termed a “material turn” in thehumanities and the social sciences, the course is designed to highlight the potentialities and limits of using a materialist approach to the study of religious objects, spaces, images and practices. We will be engaging with a variety of ethnographic and theoretical readings across time and space that focus on the (im)-materiality of things in order to explore, both conceptually and ethnographically, the nexus between religion and matter. Enrollment Priorities:  Anthropology-introduction to Socio & Cultural Theory.  Enrollment limit is 60.

ANTH UN3041y Anthropological Theory II. 4 pts.  Mara Green. The second of a two semester sequence intended to introduce departmental majors to key readings in social theory that have been constitutive of the rise and contemporary practice of modern anthropology. The goal is to understand historical and current intellectual debates within the discipline. This course replaces ANTH V 3041- Theories of Culture: Past and Present.  Prerequisites: Required of all Barnard Anthropology majors; open to other students with instructor's permission only. To be taken in conjunction with ANTH 3040, preferably in sequence. Majors only except by special permission. Enrollment limit is 30.

ANTH UN3160y The Body and Society.  4pts.  Lesley Sharp.   As an introduction to the field of medical anthropology, this seminar addresses themes of health, affliction, and healing across sociocultural domains.  Concerns include critiques of biomedical, epidemiological and other models of disease and suffering; the entwinement of religion and healing; technocratic interventions in healthcare; and the sociomoral underpinnings of human life, death, and survival.  A 1000 level course in Anthropology is recommended as a prerequisite, although not required.  Enrollment limit is 30.

ANTH UN3878y Neoliberal Urbanism and the Politics of Exclusion. 4 pts. Steven Gregory.  This seminar examines the impact of neo-liberal strategies and practices of urban development and governance on contemporary American cities with special emphasis on the dividing practices that have led to the segregation, stigmatization and exclusion of urbanites on the basis of class, race, sex/gender and other power-laden ascriptions of difference and pathology. We will situate the formative period of neoliberal urbanism in the urban renewal or "slum clearance" programs of the 1950s and 1960s-initiatives that registered post-war anxieties concerning civil defense, urban disinvestment and growing populations of racial-cum-ethnic "minorities." Through a reading of key anthropological ethnographies and other literature across disciplines, we will examine topics including: deindustrialization and the construction of the inner city and "ghetto underclass," the cultural politics of neo-liberal governance, the privatization and policing of public space, gated communities, gentrification and socioeconomic polarization, and homelessness.Instructor’s permission is required. Enrollment limit is 20.

ANTH UN3880 Listening: An Ethnography of Sound.   4 pts.  John Pemberton.   This course explores the possibilities of an ethnography of sound by attending to a range of listening encounters: in urban soundscapes of the city and in natural soundscapes of acoustic ecology; from histories of audible pasts and echoes of auditory cultural spaces; through repeated listenings in the age of electronic reproduction, and through chance encounters at the limits of listening with experimental music.  Sound, noise, voice, reverberation, and silence, from the technological resonances produced by Edison, Bell, and others, to the theoretical reflections of John Cage and beyond: the course turns away from the screen and dominant epistemologies of the visual, for an extended moment, in active pursuit of sonorous objects and cultural sonorities.  Prerequisites: the instructor's permission. Enrollment limit is 35.

ANTH UN3887y The Anthropology of Palestine. 4 pts.  Rhoda Kanaaneh. This course examines the relationship between different forms of knowledge about Palestinians and the political and social history of the region. It explores the complex interplay of state, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and class at both local and global levels in constructing what Palestine is and who Palestinians are. The course takes up diverse areas, from graphic novels to archaeological sites, from news reporting to hiking trails, to study how Palestine is created and recreated. Students will gain a familiarity with anthropological concepts and methodological approaches to Palestine. They will become familiar with aspects of the social organization, historical developments, and political events that have shaped the region over the last century. The course is also intended to develop students' skills in written and oral communication, analysis, ethnographic observation, and critical thinking.  Enrollment is limit to 20. 

ANTH UN3888y Ecocriticism for the End Times. 4 pts. Marilyn Ivy.  This seminar aims to show what an anthropologically informed, ecocritical cultural studies can offer in this moment of intensifying ecological calamity. The course will not only engage significant works in anthropology, ecocriticism, philosophy, literature, politics, and aesthetics to think about the environment, it will also bring these works into engaged reflection on "living in the end times" (borrowing cultural critic Slavoj Zizek's phrase). The seminar will thus locate critical perspectives on the environment within the contemporary worldwide ecological crisis, emphasizing the ethnographic realities of global warming, debates on nuclear power and energy, and the place of nature. Drawing on the professor's long experience in Japan and current research on the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster, the seminar will also take care to unpack the notion of "end times," with its apocalyptic implications, through close considerations of works that take on the question of ecocatastrophe in our times. North American and European perspectives, as well as international ones (particularly ones drawn from East Asia), will give the course a global reach. Enrollment limit is 20. Prerequisites: the instructor's permission is Required.

ANTH UN3947 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, 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--within ritual contexts and within everyday life.  Prerequisites: the instructor's permission. A Global Core course.  Enrollment limit is 35.

ANTH UN3976y Anthropology of Science. 4 pts.  Nadia Abu El-Haj.  Course description TBA. Enrollment limit is 30.

ANTH UN3977y Trauma. 4 pts.  Karen Seeley.  Investing trauma from interdisciplinary perspectives, the course explores connections between the interpersonal, social, and political events that precipitate traumatic reactions and their individual and collective ramifications. After examining the consequences of political repression and violence, the spread of trauma within and across communities, the making of memories and flashbacks, and the role of public testimony and psychotherapy in alleviating traumatic reactions.  Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.  Enrollment limit is 20.

ANTH UN3999y The Senior Thesis Seminar in Anthropology. 4 pts. Catherine Fennell. This two-term course is a combination of a seminar and a workshop that will help you conduct research, write, and present an original honors thesis in anthropology. The first term of this course introduces a variety of approaches used to produce anthropological knowledge and writing; encourages students to think critically about the approaches they take to researching and writing by studying model texts with an eye to the ethics, constraints, and potentials of anthropological research and writing; and gives students practice in the seminar and workshop formats that are key to collegial exchange and refinement of ideas. During the first term, students complete a few short exercises that will culminate in a fully developed, 15-page project proposal, as well as a preliminary draft of one chapter of the senior thesis. The proposal will serve as the guide for completing the thesis during the spring semester. The spring sequence of the anthropology thesis seminar is a writing intensive continuation of the fall semester, in which students will have designed the research questions, prepared a full thesis proposal that will serve as a guide for the completion of the thesis or comparable senior capstone project, and written a draft of one chapter.  Readings in the first semester will be geared toward exploring a variety of models of excellent anthropological or ethnographic work.  Only those students who expect to have completed the fall semester portion of the course are allowed to register for the spring; final enrollment is contingent upon successful completion of first semester requirements. Weekly meetings will be devoted to the collaborative refinement of drafts, as well as working through issues of writing (evidence, voice, authority etc.). All enrolled students are required to present their project at a symposium in the late spring, and the final grade is based primarily on successful completion of the thesis/ capstone project.  Note: The senior thesis seminar is open to CC and GS majors in Anthropology only. It requires the instructor’s permission for registration.  Students must have a 3.6 GPA in the major and a preliminary project concept in order to be considered. Interested students should communicate with the thesis instructor and the director of undergraduate study in the previous spring about the possibility of taking the course during the upcoming academic year.  Additionally, expect to discuss with the instructor at the end of the fall term whether your project has progressed far enough to be completed in the spring term. If it has not, you will exit the seminar after one semester, with a grade based on the work completed during the fall term.  Enrollment limit is 15.  Requirement: students must have taken first semester of the sequence and must seek instructor approval.

 

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Courses in Archaeology 

ACLG UN2028y Pasts, Presents & Futures: An Introduction to 21st Century Archaeology. 3 pts. Hannah Chazin.  This course provides a comprehensive introduction to archaeology. We start with a critical overview of the origins of the discipline in the 18th and 19th centuries, and then move on to consider key themes in current archaeological thinking. These include: 'Time and the past: what is the difference'? What are archaeological sites and how do we 'discover' them? How is the relationship between the living and the dead negotiated through archaeological practice? What are the ethical issues? How do we create narratives from archaeological evidence? Who gets written in and out of these histories? Archaeology in film and media is also covered. $25 mandatory lab fee.   Enrollment limit is 75.

ANTH UN3007y Holy Lands, Unholy Histories: Archaeology before the bible. 3 pts.  Brian Boyd. Please note that this is not a class on “biblical archaeology”. It is a course about the politics of archaeology in the context of Israel/Palestine, and the wider souhwest Asia region. This course provides a critical overview of prehistoric archaeology in southwest Asia (or the Levant - the geographical area from Lebanon in the north to the Sinai in the south, and from the middle Euphrates in Syria to southern Jordan). It has been designed to appeal to anthropologists, historians, and students interested in the Ancient Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Studies. The course is divided into two parts. First, a social and political history of archaeology, emphasizing how the nature of current theoretical and practical knowledge has been shaped and defined by previous research traditions and, second, how the current political situation in the region impinges upon archaeological practice. Themes include: the dominance of "biblical archaeology" and the implications for Palestinian archaeology, Islamic archaeology, the impact of European contact from the Crusades onwards, and the development of prehistory.  Enrollment limit is 30.

ANTH GU4235y Afterlives: Mortuary Archaeology in History and Theory 3 pts Zoe Crossland.  This colloquium explores changing theoretical paradigms in archaeology through the lens of mortuary archaeology. We will consider how archaeologists have traditionally drawn upon the evidence of the dead body to address questions of demography, pathology, and social and political identities. These approaches will be juxtaposed against more recent concerns including questions of embodiment and personhood. Archaeological exhumation itself will be situated as part of a range of materializing practices that create the dead as objects of analysis, and as differentiated from the living. Topics will also include the ethics of excavation, reburial and repatriation of human remains and changing contemporary attitudes to the dead.   Enrollment priorities: Majors and Concentrators in Archaeology or Archaeological Anthropology.  Prerequisite Courses: Recommended ANTH UN2028 or ANTH UN203.  Instructor’s permission required.  Enrollment limit is 15.

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Courses in Biological/Physical Anthropology

ANTH UN3970y 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.  Prerequisites: ANEB V1010 and the instructor's permission.  Enrollment limit is 15.

ANTH GU4148y Human Skeletal Biology II. 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. Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.  Enrollment limit is 12.

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Undergraduate Research Courses 

Undergraduate Independent Research Courses in Anthropology:  Please refer to the online directory of courses  http://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/