Graduate Courses Fall term 2017


                               Socio-Cultural Anthropology



       Physical Anthropology
           Research Courses

Schedule subject to change

Academic Calendar

For Cross-Registration Information refer to:

Courses in Sociocultural Anthropology

ANTH GU4480x Critical Native and Indigenous Studies. 3 pts.  Jaskarian Dillon.  This course is an interdisciplinary survey of the literature and issues that comprise Native American and Indigenous Studies. Readings for this course are organized around the concepts of indigeneity, coloniality, power and "resistance" and concomitantly interrogate these concepts for social and cultural analysis. The syllabus is derived from some of the "classic" and canonical works in Native American Studies such as Custer Died for Your Sins but will also require an engagement with less canonical works such as Red Man's Appeal to Justice in addition to historical, ethnographic and theoretical contributions from scholars that work outside of Native American and Indigenous Studies. This course is open to graduate students and advanced undergraduates.  Advanced undergraduate and graduate students.  Enrollment limit is 22.

ANTH GU4407x Mass Violence and Its Aftermaths in Southeast Asia.  3pts. Eve Zucker.  This course covers select topics on violence in modern Southeast Asia. The focus is on large scale violence such as war and genocide but also includes cases of communal or political violence. The media and texts selected draw from a variety of disciplines and sources with the aim of providing students with a variety of perspectives and understandings of select cases of Southeast Asian violence and its aftermaths. In addition to covering regional cases such as the Cambodian genocide and Vietnam War, the course also focuses on special topics for comparison such as gender and perpetrators of violence. Students will compare the causes, types of violence and aftermaths including the effects on collective memory and recovery. The seminar ends with a survey of current state of violence or the potential for violence in the future and examines the outcomes of local means of recovery, transitional justice mechanisms, and peacebuilding efforts.  Enrollment limit is 20.

ANTH GR5201x Principles and Applications of Social and Cultural Anthropology. 3 pts. Yasmin Cho.  Introductory survey of major concepts and areas of research in social and cultural anthropology. Emphasis is on both the field as it is currently constituted and its relationship to other scholarly and professional disciplines. Required for students in Anthropology Department's master degree program and for students in the graduate programs of other departments and professional schools desiring an introduction in this field. Prerequisites: REQ FOR MA STUDENTS IN ANTHROPOLOGY & OTHERS MUST E-MAIL

ANTH GR6023x Power and Hegemony. 3 pts. Partha Chatterjee. We will read large sections of Gramsci's *Prison Notebooks* and works of Foucault including *Discipline and Punish*, *The History of Sexuality*, and his lectures on security, governmentality and biopolitics. Alongside, we will read key authors such as Schmitt, Agamben, Laclau and Ranciere as well as some recent applications of Gramsci and Foucault in historical and anthropological analysis in order to shed light on contemporary issues of political power. Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.  Enrollment limit is 25.

ANTH GR6067x Language and Its Limits. 3pts.  Elizabeth Green.  This course examines language, along with affinal objects of inquiry such as communication and semiotics, and their conceptual and social limits. The first part of the course focuses on foundational texts that have shaped contemporary linguistic and anthropological approaches to language. Particular attention will be paid to the placement, and theorization, of the boundaries that separate language from not-language. The second part of the course considers a variety of phenomena - from trauma to trees, from disability to the naming of places - that exist at and beyond the threshold of (what is deemed) language. Throughout the course, we will think carefully about the stakes of how we understand language and how we decide who does and who does not possess it.  Enrollment limit is 15.

ANTH GR6206x Profane Illumination II. 3 pts.  Michael Taussig.  Let us explore Walter Benjamin on the storyteller with a view to expanding our practice of critique as a story-bound, ficto-critical, endeavor, nicely expressed by Benjamin’s radio stories for kids, his auto-ethnography, “Berlin Childhood,” and my essays on his grave at Port Bou and getting high with Benjamin and Burroughs. The Ibizan interlude (1932-33) mixing fiction, dream, ethnography, and drugs, includes the mind-blowing essay on the mimetic faculty” which we can develop where performance overlaps with story as well as with the discussion of children’s toys and colored illustrations. Instructor’s permission is required. Enrollment limit is 15.

ANTH GR6248x Decolonization Methodology. 3 pts. Paige West. The goals of this graduate seminar are multiple. First, we will critically examine the ways in which research has been conducted and how research methodology has been taught in anthropology. Second, we will, drawing on the work of indigenous scholars and critics of the colonial nature of anthropological practice and discourse, attempt to theorize new forms of social inquiry that do not replicate the historic injustices of anthropological research, representation, and the material consequences of the two. Third, we will critically examine the assumed relationship between European social theory and the lived experiences of people living in indigenous worlds and the global south. Finally, each student will produce a draft of a dissertation research proposal. Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.  Enrollment limit is 20.

ANTH GR6305x  Art, Aesthetics, and the Political. 3 pts. Marilyn Ivy.  Cross-disciplinary in inspiration, this seminar engages work in anthropology, art criticism, literary studies, aesthetics, and philosophy to think about the political possibilities of art and the aesthetic dimensions of the political.  Focusing most sharply (but not exclusively) on what is variously called socially engaged art, relational art, or participatory art, the seminar will consider recent art practices, performances, texts, and objects across a diverse range of genres and national-cultural locations.  Art thinkers studied will include Kant, Benjamin, Adorno, Lyotard, Ranciere, Kitagawa, García-Canclini, Groys, Bishop, Bourriard, and beyond.  Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.  Enrollment limit is 20.

ANTH G6501x Anthropology Underground.  3 pts Rosalind Morris.  This graduate seminar is offered to students interested in the anthropological analysis of extractive economies and the social and political forms associated with them, including the forms of overt and clandestine political radicalism that have often arisen in contexts of mining. Considering the social life, as well as the technical and epistemic conditions of natural resource extraction and especially underground mining, the course is concerned with the symbolic function that variousminerals have played in different, often conflicted imaginations of historicity, interest and value. Enrollment limit is 15. Enrollment priorities: Anthropology doctoral students; students working on doctoral research concerning natural resource extraction; background in social theory.

ANTH GR6601x Questions in Anthropological Theory I: Texts. 3 pts. David Scott.  Presents students with critical theories of society, paying particular attention to classic continental social theory of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We will trace a trajectory through important French and German writings essential for any understanding of the modern discipline of anthropology: from Saussure through Durkheim and Mauss, Marx, Weber, and on to the structuralist elaboration of these theoretical perspectives in Claude Lévi-Strauss, always bearing in mind the relationship of these theories to contemporary anthropology. We come last to Foucault and affiliated theorists as successors both to French structuralism and to German social theory and its concerns with modernity, rationality, and power. Throughout the readings, we will give special care to questions of signification as they inform anthropological inquiry, and we will be alert to the historical contexts that situate the discipline of anthropology today. ONLY OPEN TO 1ST YR PHD STUDENTS IN ANTHROPOLOGY.  

ANTH GR8498x Modern China. 3 pts.  Myron Cohen.  Selected themes in the analysis of Chinese society during late imperial and modern times.


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Courses in Archaeology

ANHS GU4001x The Ancient Empire.  3 pts.  Terence D'Altroy.   The principal goal of this course is to examine the nature and histories of a range of early empires in a comparative context.  In the process, we will examine influential theories that have been proposed to account for the emergence and trajectories of those empires. Among the theories are the core-periphery, world-systems, territorial-hegemonic, tributary-capitalist, network, and IEMP approaches.  Five regions of the world have been chosen, from the many that could provide candidates: Rome (the classic empire), New Kingdom Egypt, Qin China, Aztec Mesoamerica, and Inka South America. These empires have been chosen because they represent a cross-section of polities ranging from relatively simple and early expansionist societies to the grand empires of the Classical World, and the most powerful states of the indigenous Americas.   There are no prerequisites for this course, although students who have no background in Anthropology, Archaeology, History, or Classics may find the course material somewhat more challenging than students with some knowledge of the study of early societies.  There will be two lectures per week, given by the professor.  Enrollment limit is 100.

ANTH GR5127x Necropolitics. 3 pts.  Zoe Crossland.  Since Mbembe's influential 2003 article 'Necropolitics', there has been a realignment of analytical concern in the study of biopower and its operations, toward a more attentive tracing of the politics of the dead and the postmortem circulations of human remains. What were the historical conditions that underwrote this shift in concern, and what have been the effects on how the relations of the dead and the living are imagined and understood? In this class we'll look at key texts in the move toward necropolitics, including work by Foucault, Agamben, Arendt and others. But we'll also look at more recent interventions that approach ongoing and historical political violence, and the perduring lives of the dead from a range of different perspectives and regions. Texts will include work by Elisabeth Anstett, Francisco Ferrandiz, Jason de Leon, Sarah Wagner, Eyal Weizman, and others.

ANTH GR5361x Ethical Issues in Museums.  3pts.  Sally Yerkovich.  Museum professionals make decisions with ethical and legal implications regularly, seldom giving these judgments little thought.  In part this is because these decisions are based upon values that become second nature.  Occasionally, they confront especially difficult or challenging dilemmas and stop to think about ethics.   Perhaps the circumstances for making the decision have changed.  For example, constraints due to the current economic climate might make a decision more difficult, or the changing demographics of a museum's audiences might call into a question the advisability of relying upon accepted practice.  Then, one must consider what is the right or wrong thing to do. How should we assess the possible consequences of our actions?  Enrollment limit is 14.  Instructor approval:  Necessary for undergraduates and for students not enrolled in the Museum Anthropology program.

ANTH GR5527x Mobilities Past and Present: Anthropological Approaches.  3 pts.  Hannah Rachel Chazin. This course explores mobility – past and present – as an object of anthropological analysis, through mix of theoretical texts and ethnographic and archaeological case studies. In it, mobility is approached as an analytical object in two ways. First, it examines how mobility is structured in/through space, time, scale, as well as by landscapes, infrastructures, companion species, subjectivities, and ideologies. Second, this course engages with the ways in which mobility has structured anthropological understandings of societies and their history. As part of this, it interrogates the development of mobility studies and the arguments for novel mobilities in the contemporary world.  Instructor’s permission is required.  Enrollment limit is 20.

Courses in Museum Anthropology

ANTH GR6352x Museum Anthropology: History and Theory. 3 pts. Brian Boyd. This course will consider museums as reflectors of social priorities which store important objects and display them in ways that present significant cultural messages. Students visit several New York museums to learn how a museum functions. Mandatory for M.A. in Museum Anth. If there are spaces remaining, other graduate students must have Instructor permission before registering.

ANTH GR9110x Museum Anthropology Internship I 3-6 pts. Brian Boyd.  An internship arranged through the Museum Anthropology program of 10 hrs/week (for 3 credits) or 20 hrs/week (for 6). Involves "meaningful" work, requires keeping a journal and writing a paper at the completion of the semester. Not to be taken without permission of the program directors, usually after completing the Museum Anthropology core courses.  This course is only open to MA students in the Museum Anthropology program.

ANTH G9111x Museum Anthropology Internship II  3-6 pts. Brian Boyd. An internship arranged through the Museum Anthropology program of 10 hrs/week (for 3 credits) or 20 hrs/week (for 6). Involves "meaningful" work, requires keeping a journal and writing a paper at the completion of the semester. Not to be taken without permission of the program directors, usually after completing the Museum Anthropology core courses.  This course is only open to MA students in the Museum Anthropology program.

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Biological/Physical Anthropology

Courses not offered Fall term 2017

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Graduate Research Courses

ANTH GR9999x Wednesday Seminar.  Registration is only open to Anthropology PhD students in residence.  All others graduate students in Anthropolgy are required to attend. Reports of ongoing research are presented by staff members, students, and special guests

Graduate Independent Research Courses in Anthropology:  Please refer to the online directory of courses


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