Undergraduate Courses Spring 2017

Please refer to the online directory of courses for times and classroom locations http://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

Registration Dates for Spring 2017 

Academic Calendar

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

Socio-Cultural Anthropology Courses

Archaeology Courses

Physical Anthropology Courses

Independent Research Courses



Courses in Socio-Cultural Anthropology

ANTH UN1002y (section 001) The Interpretation of Culture 3 pts.   Audra Simpson.  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.  STUDENTS MUST REGISTER FOR A DISCUSSION SECTION.  STUDENTS MUST REGISTER FOR A DISCUSSION SECTION. Please visit the Directory of Classes at:  http://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

ANTH UN1002y (section 002) The Interpretation of Culture 3 pts.  Brian Larkin. 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.  STUDENTS MUST REGISTER FOR A DISCUSSION SECTION. Please visit the Directory of Classes at:  http://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

ANTH UN1200y The Anthropology of Sexuality 3 pts. Carole Vance.   This course offers a broad overview of the social, cultural, political, and economic dimensions of sexuality. It focuses on the rapid transformations that are taking place globally in the early 21st century, and on the impact that these transformations have had on sexuality. The relationships between men, women and children are changing quickly, as are traditional family structures and gender norms. What were once viewed as private matters have become public, and an array of new social movements (transgender, intersex, sex worker, people living with HIV) have come into the open. Sexuality has become a focus for public debate and political action in important new ways that will be examined in detail in this course. Enrollment limit is 30.

ANTH UN2300y  States, Tribes and Bazaars. Inner Asia  3 pts.  Rune Steenberg Reyhe.  The course introduces Inner Asia, the landlocked heartland of the Eurasian continent, from political, ethnographic and economic perspectives. Inner Asia offers some of the most relevant examples of nomadism, expanding empires, social engineering, state led modernization, ethnic construction and conflict, long distance trade, socialism, capitalist transformation, large weddings, lifetime dictators, glocalization and rampant corruption. This course shows the interactions of these phenomena and their effect on the ground, while providing the basic theory.  Enrollment limit is 20.

ANTH UN2005y The Ethnographic Imagination 3 pts. Rosalind Morris.   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. STUDENTS MUST REGISTER FOR A DISCUSSION SECTION. Please visit the Directory of Classes at:  http://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

ANTH UN3041y Anthropological Theory II 3 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.  Enrollment limit is 30.

ANTH UN3728y Ethnographies of Black Life 4 pts. Vanessa Agard-Jones.  This course explores themes that have shaped Anthropology’s (often fraught) engagement with Black life. We will critically examine texts that reveal the ways that the discipline and its practitioners have sought to interface with people and populations of African descent—and have sought to define the constitution of Blackness itself—in the Americas. Plumbing the dynamic relationship between historical and ethnographic inquiry, we will ask pressing questions not only about conditions of Black life (and Black death), but also about the production of knowledge about the people who live under Blackness’ sign. Finally, we will turn our collective attention to key issues in the practice, ethics, and politics of ethnography, while also immersing ourselves in the archives produced through ethnographic and auto-ethnographic practice, including those found in various NYC collections.  Enrollment limit is 16.  Instructor’s permission required.

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. Enrollment limit is 20.  

ANTH UN3880y 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 resonances of auditory cultural spaces; through repeated listenings in the age of electronic reproduction and at the limits of listening with experimental music. Sound, noise, voice, reverberation, and silence, from von Helmholtz to John Cage and beyond: the course turns away from the screen and dominant epistemologies of the visual, for an extended moment, in pursuit of sonorous objects and cultural sonorities.  Prerequisites: the instructor's permission. Enrollment limit is 32.

ANTH UN3882y Economic Imaginaries of the Latin American Left 4 pts.  Claudio Lomnitz. Spanish American republics were born in the context of Atlantic Revolutions.  Jacobin ideas with regard to popular rule and popular emancipation have been on the horizon since independence.  This undergraduate seminar explores the economic imagination of the Spanish American left since times of independence. Has there been innovation in economic ideas and ideals in the left? What different sorts of economic agendas have developed in the continent over two centuries since independence? Has failure been recognized?  Has success been acknowledged?  The course is at once an intellectual history of Latin American economic thought, and a political history of revolutionary aspirations. It can serve as an introduction to modern Spanish American history, and does not presuppose prior courses on the subject.  Having taken the university core courses in Lit-Hum and Contemporary Civilization is a prerequisite for any undergraduate enrolling in this seminar. Enrollment limit is 20.  Open to undergraduates majoring in Latin American Studies, LAIC, political science, history.

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. Prerequisites: the instructor's permission. Enrollment limit is 20.

ANTH V3912y Ethnographic China 4 pts. Myron Cohen.  Contemporary China through the writings of anthropologists who have done fieldwork there during the past decade. Enrollment limit is 30.

ANTH V3921y Anticolonialism 4 pts. David Scott. Through a careful exploration of the argument and style of five vivid anticolonial texts, Mahatma Gandhi's Hind Swaraj, 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 UN3966y 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. Prerequisites: the instructor's permission. Limited to juniors & seniors.  Enrollment limit is 20.  

ANTH UN3999y The Senior Thesis Seminar in Anthropology. 4 pts. Lila Abu-Lughod. 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.

ANTH GR4284y Islam and Theory 3 pts. Brinkley Messick.  Readings in recent research.


Courses in Archaeology

ANTH UN1008y The Rise of Civilization 3 pts.  Terence D’Altroy. The rise of major civilization in prehistory and protohistory throughout the world, from the initial appearance of sedentism, agriculture, and social stratification through the emergence of the archaic empires. Description and analysis of a range of regions that were centers of significant cultural development: Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Indus River Valley, China, North America, and Mesoamerica.  STUDENTS MUST REGISTER FOR A DISCUSSION SECTION. Please visit the Directory of Classes at:  http://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

ANTH UN3300y Pre-Columbian Histories of Native America 3 pts. Severin Fowles.  This course explores 10,000 years of the North American archaeological record, bringing to light the unwritten histories of Native Americans prior to European contact. Detailed consideration of major pre-Columbian sites is interwoven with the insight of contemporary native peoples to provide both a scientific and humanist reconstruction of the past. STUDENTS MUST REGISTER FOR A DISCUSSION SECTION. Please visit the Directory of Classes at:  http://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

ANTH UN3993y World Archaeologies/Global Perspectives 4 pts. Zoe Crossland. This capstone seminar explores global archaeology from a postcolonial perspective. We will address the history of archaeological interpretation and explore the politics and practice of archaeology by considering specific case studies from around the world. The seminar fulfills the major seminar requirement for the archaeology major. Enrollment limit is 19.

ANTH GU4345y Neanderthal Alterities 3 pts. Brian Boyd. Using "The Neanderthals" partly as a metaphorical device, this course considers the anthropological, philosophical and ethical implications of sharing the world with another human species. Beginning from a solid grounding in the archaeological, biological and genetic evidence, we will reflect critically on why Neanderthals are rarely afforded the same reflexive capacities, qualities and attributes - agency- as anatomically modern humans, and why they are often regarded as "lesser" or nonhuman animals despite clear evidence for both sophisticated material and social engagement with the world and its resources. Readings/materials are drawn from anthropology, philosophy, ethics, gender studies, race and genetics studies, literature and film.  Enrollment priorities: Graduate students, and 3rd & 4th year undergraduates only.

ANTH GU4481y Science and Art in Archaeological Illustration 4 pts.  Zoe Crossland.  The course explores how science and art are folded together in the practice of archaeological illustration. The first half of the course combines hands-on training in techniques of scientific illustration, with an exploration of the representational choices made in this work, and the effects of these choices on how archaeological materials are understood. How have particular representational forms and traditions informed archaeological practice, and what might alternate modes of (non)representation offer? The second half of the semester will move out from this technical illustrative foundation to think more broadly about the intersections between art, science, and archaeology as students work toward their final projects. Students are encouraged to experiment with new ways of deploying traditional illustrative techniques in these projects. The class will include sessions with artists who draw upon archaeology in their practice.  A mandatory $25.00 lab fee is due at time of registration.  Enrollment limit is 15. Enrollmemt priority:  Archaeology Students.

Courses in Physical Anthropology

ANTH GU4002y Controversial Topics in Human Evolution 3 pts. Ralph Holloway.  Prerequisites: an introductory biological/physical anthropology course and the instructor's permission.  Enrollment limit is 12.

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.

Independent Research Courses

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