Courses - Fall 2022

Detailed descriptions of Undergraduate and Graduate courses may be found under the accordion headings below. Additional information and registration details, including days and times, and classroom locations, may be obtained from the Course Directory and Vergil.


 

FALL 2022 COURSE LISTINGS

Refer to the online Directory of Classes http://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/ for days and times that courses will be offered.

Projected Registration Dates for Fall 2022:  Monday, April 18, 2022, for more information visit: https://www.registrar.columbia.edu/content/registration-dates-2022-2023

 

COURSES IN SOCIOCULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY:

 

Anthropology UN1002x THE INTERPRETATION OF CULTURE.  3 Pts.  Instructor:  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.  Recitation section required.  Days and times will be announced a few weeks before the start of term. Please refer to the Directory of Classes for detailed information http://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/.

 

Anthropology UN1003x THE ENVIRONMENT.  3 Pts.  Instructor:  Sonia Ahsan.  This course introduces students to the fundamental idea of an “environment” and its concomitant concepts of crisis, climate, history, planet, and humanity. The course considers these concepts from within the humanities, while also offering a global and anthropological perspective. Through lectures, discussions, and assignments students will become familiar with major academic debates in environmental humanities and environmental studies. Students from all areas of study are welcome and no prior knowledge of the material is necessary.  Recitation section required.  Days and times will be announced a few weeks before the start of term. Please refer to the Directory of Classes for detailed information http://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/.

 

Anthropology UN2004x INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL AND CULTURAL THEORY.  3 Pts.  Instructor:  John Pemberton.  This course presents students with crucial theories of society, paying particular attention at the outset to classic social theory of the early 20th century. It traces a trajectory of writings essential for an understanding of the social: from Saussure, Durkheim, Mauss, Weber, and Marx, on to the structuralist ethnographic elaboration of Claude Levi-Strauss and the historiographic reflections on modernity of Michel Foucault. We revisit periodically, writings from Franz Boas, founder of anthropology in the United States (and of Anthropology at Columbia), for a sense of origins, an early anthropological critique of racism and cultural chauvinism, and a prescient denunciation of fascism.  We turn as well, also with ever-renewed interest in these times, to the expansive critical thought of W. E. B. Du Bois.  We conclude with Kathleen Stewart’s A Space on the Side of the Road--an ethnography of late-twentieth-century Appalachia and the haunted remains of coal-mining country--with its depictions of an uncanny otherness within dominant American narratives.

 

Anthropology UN3040x ANTHROPOLOGICAL THEORY.  4 pts.  Instructor:  Lesley Sharp.  Comprehensive and in-depth engagement with foundational and contemporary theoretical concepts and texts in Anthropology. Required of all Barnard students majoring in Anthropology (including specialized tracks). Permission of instructor required for non-majors. Not open to First Year students. Prerequisite:  an introductory (1000 level) course in Anthropology. The enrollment limit is 30.

 

Anthropology UN3702x BLACK/LIFE/SCIENCE.  4 Pts.  Instructor: Vanessa Agard-Jones.  What is the relationship of the production of scientific knowledge to Black life in the Americas? What can thinking that arises out of the intellectual traditions of Black Studies contribute to our understandings of the many genres of science (social, physical, earth, life) and their relationship to justice? Building from these essential questions, this course offers a framework for considering the ways that canonical sciences have constrained, categorized, and delimited Black lives, exploring such themes as: technoscientific constructions of race difference, epigenetic theories about the heritability of trauma, histories of biomedical experimentation, the long durée of eugenicist thinking, and the relationship of racialized (and gendered) bodies to their environments. We will also explore scientific scripts emergent from “below,” like: folk healing, speculative fictions, and Black nationalist origin stories, that have and continue to be sources of imaginative and emancipatory promise. In addition to developing the capacity to read widely across genres of science and critical studies thereof, students will develop skills in the deconstruction and speculative refiguring of scientific discourse. Enrollment limited to 14. Instructor's Permission REQUIRED (email [email protected]). Priority: Students with coursework experience in Anthropology or African American and African Diaspora Studies.

 

Anthropology UN3729x BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE: ANTHROPOLOGY OF REVOLUTION.  4 Pts. Instructor: Anna Reumert.  In this course, we are going to examine political imagination in revolutionary times and discuss issues of representation and authorship that emerge when people mobilize for change. Taking lessons from anthropology, critical theory, queer and feminist theory, as well as postcolonial and Black studies, we will apply a method of critical inquiry to readings of the revolution as historical concept and as a lived experience. We will examine not simply “what happened”, but how we came to know about it: What determines whether a popular uprising is written into history as a “revolution” or dismissed as a “riot”? What does it mean for a revolution to “succeed”? Who gets to author the revolution as such –– the people on the street, the people who take power, or the people writing about the event after it happened? Who gets to be the protagonists of the revolution, and who are left out? How does class, race and gender figure into this hierarchy of voice?  We will apply these questions in reading two contemporary uprisings that get to the heart of the tensions between “identarian” and “universal” political claims: The Movement for Black Lives in the US, and Lebanon’s civil uprising of 2019-20. Both uprisings mobilized against racial capitalism and sectarianism and were met with state and police violence. We will examine the political critique that emerged from these uprisings, and how they might enable a critique of the political as an exclusionary concept. By reading activist, scholarly and artist interpretations of the uprisings, including film, dance, poetry, and manifestos, we will ask: What new forms of political mobilization and visions emerge from this critique?  The Enrollment limit is 18. 

 

Anthropology UN3846x MEXICO'S DISAPPEARED PRACTICUM.  4 pts.  Instructor:  Claudio Lomnitz.  This seminar examines the causes and social dynamics of the phenomenon of forced disappearance in contemporary Mexico.  It is an engaged pedagogy course, meaning that the academic work we do will be conducted in conjunction with, and for the benefit of, collectives of families of the disappeared.  Specifically, our course is organized around collaborative research with two collectives, one in the Cuernavaca, Morelos ("Volviendo a Casa, Morelos") and one in the city of Puebla ("Voz de los desaparecidos"). We shall also be collaborating with the Universidad Iberoamericana-Puebla's Human Rights Program, and the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Cuajimalpa's Proyecto sobre desaparición forzada, that have been accompanying the collectives of the families of the disappeared.  In addition to background academic coursework on the subject, students will conduct social and legal conditions research that will assist the Morelos and Puebla collectives in their daily efforts to process their legal claims to gain government support in their efforts to find their loved ones, as well as in their independent efforts to make their plight socially visible, and to find their disappeared loved ones.  Enrollment Restrictions and Priorities:  SPANISH LANGUAGE PREFERRED; MAJORS AND CONCENTRATORS PREFERRED. Enrollment is limited to 15.

 

Anthropology BC3234x INDIGENOUS PLACE-THOUGHT.  4 Pts.  Instructor:  Severin Fowles. This seminar considers what it means to be of a place and to think with and be committed to that place—environmentally, politically, and spiritually. After locating ourselves in our own particular places and place-based commitments, our attention turns to the Indigenous traditions of North America, to accounts of tribal emergence and pre-colonial being, to colonial histories of land dispossession, to ongoing struggles to protect ecological health and land-based sovereignty, to the epistemological and moral systems that have developed over the course of many millennia of living with and for the land, and to the contributions such systems might make to our collective future. The seminar’s title is borrowed from an essay on “Indigenous place-thought” by Mohawk/Anishinaabe scholar Vanessa Watts.  PREF: To STUD PAR in Native AMER/INDID Studies(NAIS)MIN/CONC. The enrollment limit is 15.  The permission of the instructor is required.

 

CSER UN3303x WHITENESS, SENTIMENT AND POLITICAL.  4 Pts.  Instructor:  Catherine Fennell.  Scholars of gender, sexuality, ethnicity and race have long been preoccupied with the terms, categories, and processes through which the United States has excluded or qualified the citizenship of particular groups, including women, immigrants, indigenous nations, and descendants of enslaved Africans. Yet it has spent less time interrogating the unqualified content of Americanness, and the work that the imagination of a "default" American identity does in contemporary political life. This seminar introduces students to this problem through an unspoken racial dimension of American political belonging -- the presumed whiteness of ideal American citizens. Readings drawn from several disciplinary traditions, including anthropology, linguistics, sociology, history, and journalism, will ground students in the course's key concepts, including racial markedness, the history of racialization, and public sentiment. Students will mobilize these tools to analyze several cases that rendered white sentiment explicit in politically efficacious ways, including the "panic" incited by the destabilization of race-based residential segregation, the "paranoia" of conspiracy theorists, the "sympathy" associated with natural disasters, and the "resentment" or "rage" associated with the loss of racial privileges.  Enrollment is limited to 22.  Priority to CSER and Anthropology students. The permission of the instructor is required.

 

Anthropology BC3871x SENIOR THESIS SEMINAR I: 4 points.  Instructors: Paige West, Lesley Sharp, and Camilla Sturm.  Prerequisites: Limited to Barnard Anthropology Seniors. Offered every Fall. 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. Limited to Barnard Anthropology Seniors Only.

 

Anthropology UN3879x THE MEDICAL IMAGINARY.  4 Pts.  Instructor: 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 is limited to 15; Non-Anthropology majors require the permission of the instructor prior to registration; no first year students.

 

Anthropology UN3888x ECOCRITICISM FOR THE END TIMES.  4 Pts.  Instructor:  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 Zizeks 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 is limited to 12.  MUST email the instructor for permission at [email protected].

 

Anthropology UN3937x MASS-MEDIATED CULTURES.  4 Pts.  Instructor:  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 and 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. The permission of the instructor is required.   Enrollment is limited to 22. 

 

Anthropology BC3911x THE SOCIAL CONTEXTS OF U.S. IMMIGRATION LAW AND POLICY.  4 Pts.  Instructor:  J.C. Salyer.  Examines the historical and contemporary social, economic, and political factors that shape immigration law and policy along with the social consequences of those laws and policies. Addresses the development and function of immigration law and aspects of the immigration debate including unauthorized immigration, anti-immigration sentiments, and critiques of immigration policy. The permission of the instructor is required.    Enrollment is limited to 25.  Notes: Priority: Jr/Sr. & students w/related majors or thesis topics.

 

Anthropology BC3932x CLIMATE CHANGE, GLOBAL MIGRATION, AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE ANTHROPOCENE. 4 Pts.  Instructor:  J.C. Salyer. Examines the historical and contemporary social, economic, and political factors that shape immigration law and policy along with the social consequences of those laws and policies. Addresses the development and function of immigration law and aspects of the immigration debate including unauthorized immigration, anti-immigration sentiments, and critiques of immigration policy. Enrollment is limited to 25.  The permission of the instructor is required. Notes: Priority: Jr/Sr. & students w/related majors or thesis topics.

 

CSER UN3942x RACE AND RACISMS.  4 Pts.  Instructor:  Catherine Fennell.  In this class we will approach race and racism from a variety of disciplinary and intellectual perspectives, including: critical race theory/philosophy, anthropology, history and history of science and medicine. We will focus on the development and deployment of the race concept since the mid-19th century. Students will come to understand the many ways in which race has been conceptualized, substantiated, classified, managed and observed in the (social) sciences, medicine, and public health. We will also explore the practices and effects of race (and race-making) in familiar and less familiar social and political worlds. In addition to the courses intellectual content, students will gain critical practice in the seminar format -- that is, a collegial, discussion-driven exchange of ideas. Enrollment limit is 22.  Priority to CSER Students and the permission of the instructor is required.

 

Anthropology UN3997x SUPERVISED INDIVIDUAL RESEARCH.  2-6 Pts.  STAFF.  Prerequisite: the written permission of the staff member under whose supervision the research will be conducted.  The permission of the instructor is required.

 

Anthropology UN3999x SENIOR THESIS SEMINAR IN ANTHROPOLOGY.  4 Pts.  Instructor:  Lila Abu-Lughod.  Students must have declared a major in Anthropology prior to registration. Students must have a 3.6 GPA in the major and a preliminary project concept in order to be considered. Interested students must communicate/meet with thesis instructor 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. This two-term course is a combination of a seminar and a workshop that will help you conduct research, write, and present an original senior thesis in anthropology. Students who write theses are eligible to be considered for departmental honors. 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 substantial draft of one discrete section of their senior project (18-20 pages) plus a detailed outline of the expected work that remains to be done (5 pages). 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 and written a draft of one chapter. 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. In spring semester, 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:  Columbia College & General Studies Majors by instructor’s permission only. 

 

Anthropology GU4145x ZORA.  4 Pts.  Instructor:  Vanessa Agard-Jones.   Zora Neale Hurston—Barnard College ‘28 and a once-graduate student in Columbia’s department of Anthropology—was a pioneering chronicler of Black folklore, a student of Black expression, and a creative imaginer of Black worlds via her novels, short stories, plays and poetry. From her travels throughout the U.S. South, to Haiti, Jamaica, and beyond, Hurston took as her mission a diasporic articulation of Black life in the Americas. In this seminar, we ask what a deep reading of Hurston’s oeuvre can teach us about the history of Anthropology, about the blurry borders between fiction and ethnography, and about the legacies that her work leaves—in communities of scholarly practice and beyond. Priority: Students with coursework experience in Anthropology, African American and African Diaspora Studies, and/or Gender/Sexuality Studies. Advanced undergraduates will be considered.  Enrollment is limited to 14.  Instructor's Permission REQUIRED (email [email protected]).

 

Anthropology GU4172x WRITTEN CULTURE.  3 Pts. Instructor:  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. The enrollment limit is 15.

 

COURSES IN ARCHAEOLOGY:

 

Anthropology UN1007x THE ORIGINS OF HUMAN SOCIETY.  3 Pts. Instructor:  Camilla Strum.  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.  Recitation section required.  Please refer to the Directory of Classes.  Enrollment is limited to 140.  Recitation section required.  Day/time will be announced a few weeks before the start of term. Please refer to the Directory of Classes http://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

 

Anthropology UN3663x THE ANCIENT TABLE: ARCHAEOLOGY OF COOKING.  3 Pts.  Instructor:  Camilla Sturm. Prerequisites: None Humans don’t just eat to live. The ways we prepare, eat, and share our food is a complex reflection of our histories, environments, and ideologies. Whether we prefer coffee or tea, cornbread or challah, chicken breast or chicken feet, our tastes are expressive of social ties and social boundaries, and are linked to ideas of family and of foreignness. How did eating become such a profoundly cultural experience? This seminar takes an archaeological approach to two broad issues central to eating: First, what drives human food choices both today and in the past? Second, how have social forces shaped practices of food acquisition, preparation, and consumption (and how, in turn, has food shaped society)? We will explore these questions from various evolutionary, physiological, and cultural viewpoints, highlighted by information from the best archaeological and historic case studies. Topics that will be covered include the nature of the first cooking, beer-brewing and feasting, writing of the early recipes, gender roles and ‘domestic’ life, and how a national cuisine takes shape. Through the course of the semester we will explore food practices from Pleistocene Spain to historic Monticello, with particular emphasis on the earliest cuisines of China, Mesoamerica, and the Mediterranean. Enrollment is limited to 16.  The permission of the instructor is required.  Notes: Non-Anthro Majors need instructs Permission. No First-years.

 

Anthropology UN3823x ARCHAEOLOGY ENGAGED: THE PAST IN THE PUBLIC EYE.  4 Pts. Instructor.  Terence D’Altroy. This course provides a panoramic, but intensive, inquiry into the ways that archaeology and its methods for understanding the world have been marshaled for debate in issues of public interest. It is designed to examine claims to knowledge of the past through the lenses of alternative epistemologies and a series of case-based problems that range from the academic to the political, legal, cultural, romantic, and fraudulent. Enrollment Priorities: Seniors and Juniors in ARCH or ANTH.  Enrollment is limited to 15.

 

Anthropology/History GU4001x THE ANCIENT EMPIRES 3 Pts.  Instructor:  T. D'Altroy. This course provides a comparative study of five of the world's most prominent ancient empires: Rome, Egypt, Qin/Han China, the Aztecs, and the Inkas. The developmental histories of those polities, and their essential sociopolitical, economic, and ideological features, are examined in light of theories of the nature of early empires and methods of studying them. Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement. Undergraduate recitation required. Enrollment is limited to 100.

 

Anthropology GU4345x NEANDERTHAL ALTERITIES.  3 Pts.  Instructor:  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. Course open to graduate & advanced undergraduate (3rd & 4th Years) students only.  Enrollment is limited to 25 and the instructor’s approval is required.  

 

COURSE IN PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY:

 

Anthropology UN3970x BIOLOGICAL BASIS OF HUMAN VARIATION. 4 Pts. Instructor:  Ralph Holloway.  Biological evidence for the modern human diversity at the molecular, phenotypical, and behavioral levels, as distributed geographically.  Enrollment is limited to 10. Prerequisites: ANEB V1010 and the instructor's permission.

 

CROSS-LISTED COURSES:

 

History UN2978x SCIENCE AND PSEUDOSCIENCE: ALCHEMY TO AI. 4 Pts.  Instructor:  Pamela Smith.  During the 2020 US presidential election and the years of the COVID-19 pandemic, science and “scientific truths” were fiercely contested. This course provides a historical perspective on the issues at stake. The course begins with an historical account of how areas of natural knowledge, such as astrology, alchemy, and “natural magic,” which were central components of an educated person’s view of the world in early modern Europe, became marginalized, while a new philosophy of nature (what we would now call empirical science) came to dominate the discourse of rationality. Historical developments examined in this course out of which this new understanding of nature emerged include the rise of the centralized state, religious reform, and European expansion. The course uses this historical account to show how science and pseudoscience developed in tandem in the period from 1400 to 1800. This historical account equips students to examine contemporary issues of expertise, the social construction of science, pluralism in science, certainty and uncertainty in science, as well as critical engagement with contemporary technologies.  The enrollment limit is 90. http://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/#/cu/bulletin/uwb/subj/HIST/W2978-20223-001/ The required discussion section is HIST UN2979:  http://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/#/cu/bulletin/uwb/subj/HIST/W2979-20223-001/

Refer to the online Directory of Classes http://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/ for days and times that courses will be offered.

Projected Registration Dates for Fall 2022:  Monday, April 18, 2022, for more information visit: https://www.registrar.columbia.edu/content/registration-dates-2022-2023

 

COURSES IN SOCIOCULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY:

 

Anthropology GU4145x ZORA.  4 Pts.  Instructor:  Vanessa Agard-Jones.   Zora Neale Hurston—Barnard College ‘28 and a once-graduate student in Columbia’s department of Anthropology—was a pioneering chronicler of Black folklore, a student of Black expression, and a creative imaginer of Black worlds via her novels, short stories, plays and poetry. From her travels throughout the U.S. South, to Haiti, Jamaica, and beyond, Hurston took as her mission a diasporic articulation of Black life in the Americas. In this seminar, we ask what a deep reading of Hurston’s oeuvre can teach us about the history of Anthropology, about the blurry borders between fiction and ethnography, and about the legacies that her work leaves—in communities of scholarly practice and beyond. Enrollment Limit: 14.  Instructor's Permission REQUIRED (email [email protected]).  Priority: Students with coursework experience in Anthropology, African American and African Diaspora Studies, and/or Gender/Sexuality Studies. Advanced undergraduates will be considered.

 

Anthropology GU4172x WRITTEN CULTURE.  3 Pts. Instructor:  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. The enrollment limit is 15.

 

Anthropology GR5201x PRIN/APPL OF SOCIETY & CULTURE.  3 Pts.  Instructor:  Ellen Marakowitz.  Prerequisites: graduate standing. 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.  Open to MAs IN ANTH. OTHERS MUST E-MAIL [email protected].

 

Anthropology GR5480x CRITICAL NATIVE AND INDIGENOUS STUDIES.  3 Pts.  Instructor:  Audra Simpson.   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 Mans 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.  Enrollment limit is 20.

 

Anthropology GR6038x PLACE, SPACE, NATURE. 3 Pts. Instructor:  Paige West.  This class examines the social production of space, place, and nature. Three discursive and material fields that must be understood if we are to practice a conceptually rigorous and politically engaged contemporary anthropology. In the course, we will examine how these fields have recently been studied, described, conceptualized, and theorized. We will explore these ideas through the reading of works by anthropologists, historians, and geographers, looking at how the changing nature of places affects both the discipline of anthropology and the ways in which anthropologists conduct research in places. Enrollment is limited to 15. Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.

 

Anthropology GR6070x MAKING ETHNOG: METHOD & WRITING.  3 Pts. Instructor:  Juan Carlos Mazariegos.  This course begins with two central and related epistemological problems in conducting ethnographic research: first, the notion that objects of scientific research are ‘made’ through adopting a particular relational stance and asking certain kinds of questions. From framing a research problem and choosing a ‘research context’ story to tell, to the kinds of methods one selects to probe such a problem, the ‘how’ and ‘what’ – or means and content – are inextricably intertwined. A second epistemological problem concerns the artifice of reality, and the nebulous distinction between truth and fiction, no less than the question of where or with whom one locates such truth. With these issues framing the course, we will work through some key themes and debates in anthropology from the perspective of methodology, ranging from subject/object liminality to incommensurability and radical alterity to the politics of representation. Students will design an ethnographic project of their choosing and conduct research throughout the term, applying different methodological approaches popular in anthropology and the social sciences more generally, such as participant observation, semi-structured interview, diary-keeping and note-taking.  Intended for MAs in ANTH & Grad students in other Depts.  Enrollment is limited to 20.

 

Anthropology GR6164x NEW SOVEREIGNTIES, NEW STATES.  3 Pts.  Instructor:  Professor Claudio Lomnitz.   This graduate seminar explores the structural transformations that neoliberal reforms has sparked in weak states, focusing particularly on the tense relationship between sovereignty and governance.  Due to the relatively recent emergence of neoliberalism as a form of governance, anthropologies of the state and neoliberalism have tended to focus on the dialectic between neoliberal reform-- together with its normative principles-- and resistances to it.  Given the decline of neoliberalism, however, this mode of analysis is now patently insufficient, and it needs to give way to the study of a post-neoliberal order.  In this seminar we shall analyze the nature of this order empirically, particularly in weak states.  Specifically, the seminar explores the mechanisms by which states have sought to secure or even fortify sovereignty, while neglecting or even relinquishing core attributes that had characterized modern states in the 20th century, such as policing, or the administration of justice.  While the consensus around the desirability of neoliberal reform is now past, and some of its organizing principles are in jeopardy, the form of governance that is emerging in many weak states-- a form of governance that we characterize broadly as "sovereignty without justice"-- has neoliberal reforms as its condition of possibility, and often as a key ideological referent.   By way of an engagement with recent thick descriptions of cases of contemporary state transformation, we seek to conceptualize, characterize and move toward a typology of weak states in the contemporary global ecumene. Enrollment is limited to 15.  The permission of the instructor is required.

 

Anthropology GR6245x PERSONHOOD.  3 Pts.  Instructor: María José de Abreu.  This seminar seeks to engage with materials that question personhood. Drawing on both fictional and non-fictional accounts, we will be involved with textual and visual documents as well institutional contexts in order to revisit such notion under contemporary capitalism. We will cover topics like rites of passage and life cycle, the role of the nation state and local communities in defining a person, the relation between self and non-self, between the living and the dead. We will likewise address vicarious forms of personhood through the prosthetic, the avatar or the anonymous. But we will also look into forms of dissipation of personhood and unreliable agency where subjects become more like a medium through which to think rhythms and ongoing infrastructures of the living. As a whole, the course will bring to light how the question of personhood cross-culturally relates to language, performativity, religion, law, gender, race, class, care, life and death.  The permission of the instructor is required.  Enrollment is limited to 15.

 

Anthropology/Middle East GR6406x THE MODERN STATE AND THE COLONIAL SUBJECT.  3 Pts. Instructor:  Mahmood Mamdani. On the development of legal thought on the colonial subject. Focus on the American Indian in the New World, and subjugated peoples in the Ottoman Empire, in British India and in tropical and southern Africa. Enrollment is limited to 15. Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.

 

Anthropology GR6601x QUESTIONS-ANTHROP THRY I: TEXTS.  3 Pts.  Instructor:   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-year PhD Anthropology students. Others not allowed.

 

Anthropology GR6649x DARK ECOLOGIES: ECOCRITICAL THOUGHT NOW.  3 Pts.  Instructor:  Marilyn Ivy.  This seminar aims to disclose what an anthropologically informed, ecocritical cultural studies can offer in this moment of intensifying ecological calamity. With global warming and associated crises of pollution, habitat and species extinction, new forms of disease, and the ongoing issue of the nuclear, there is a pervasive anxiety about the fate of the earth and, with it, life itself. How can ecocritical thought grapple with this “great unraveling,” as ecotheorist Joanna Macy has put it? This seminar will engage significant works in anthropology, ecocriticism, philosophy, literature, political thought, and art to help us think about this central question.  Readings will include works by Morton, Bonneuil and Fressoz, Bennett, Zizek, Kohn, Descola, Stengers, Haraway, Latour, Macy, and others. Enrollment is limited to 15.  The permission of the instructor is required.

 

COURSES IN ARCHAEOLOGY:

 

Anthropology/History GU4001x THE ANCIENT EMPIRES 3 Pts.  Instructor:  Terence D'Altroy. This course provides a comparative study of five of the world's most prominent ancient empires: Rome, Egypt, Qin/Han China, the Aztecs, and the Inkas. The developmental histories of those polities, and their essential sociopolitical, economic, and ideological features, are examined in light of theories of the nature of early empires and methods of studying them. Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement. Undergraduate recitation required. Enrollment is limited to 100.

 

Anthropology GU4345x NEANDERTHAL ALTERITIES.  3 Pts.  Instructor:  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. Course open to graduate & advanced undergraduate (3rd & 4th Years) students only.  Enrollment is limited to 25 and the instructor’s approval is required.    

 

COURSES IN MUSEUM ANTHROPOLOGY:

 

Anthropology GR5361x ETHICAL ISSUES IN MUSEUMS.  3 Pts. Instructor: Sally Yerkovich.  Ethical questions about museum activities are legion, yet they used to be only discussed outside of museums when they became headlines in the media. Have recent events changed this? And will museums change in response to the pandemic and the employment inequities it brought to light? the realization that we urgently need to address climate change and create sustainable institutions? calls for diversity, equity, and inclusion? demands for transparency about finances and sources of support? This course will explore ethical issues that arise in all areas of a museum's operations from governance, leadership, management, and sponsorship to collections acquisition, conservation, and deaccessioning. We will examine the issues that arise when the ownership of objects in a museum's collections is questioned: how museums are responding to requests for restitution and repatriation and what decolonization means for museums. Required for all Museum Anthropology M.A. students.  Graduate seminar – all students other than Museum Anthropology students must get the professor’s approval to attend.  Enrollment limited to 14 students.

 

Anthropology GR6352x MUSEUM ANTHROP: HIST & THEORY. 3 Pts.  Instructor:  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.  Required: MUSA students. Other graduate students MUST have the permission of the instructor.  Enrollment is limited to 15.

 

Anthropology GR6652x MUSA DIGITAL MEDIA, MATERIALITY & PRACTICE. 3 pts. Instructor:  Marco Castro.  Class sessions will include the discussion of assigned readings, multimedia, and digital resources, as well as short lectures. Each student will co-lead one discussion section during the term. During most classes there will be presentation and discussion of student assignments. In this course we will learn how to digitally map and visualize museum systems and use this knowledge to facilitate a visitors journey from thinking to making. In the first part of the semester readings, class discussion and weekly “experiments” will be used to investigate how mapping, sketching, and modeling techniques can help develop sustainable frameworks for exhibition. In the second part of the semester we will begin modeling solutions and use these models to refine the way we communicate them to various stakeholders and audiences. Ultimately, the course aims to help students clearly articulate their thinking, explore ways of planning and communicating solutions and develop new models of engagement and action in an exhibition context. The class will combine lectures, seminars, field observation and prototyping.

 

SUPERVISED INDIVIDUAL RESEARCH COURSES:

 

Anthropology GR9101x RESEARCH IN SOCIAL/CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY.  3-9 Pts.  STAFF.  Individual research and tutorial in archaeology for advanced graduate students. Prerequisites: the instructor’s permission. Enrollment is limited to 10.

 

Anthropology GR9102x RESEARCH IN ARCHAEOLOGY. 3-9 pts.  STAFF.  Individual research and tutorial in archaeology for advanced graduate students. Prerequisites: the instructor’s permission. Enrollment is limited to 10.

 

Anthropology GR9103x RESEARCH IN PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY. 3-9 Pts.  Instructor:  Ralph Holloway.  Prerequisites: the instructor’s permission. Individual research and tutorial in physical anthropology for advanced graduate students.  Enrollment is limited to 8.

 

Anthropology GR9105x RESEARCH IN SPECIAL FIELDS.  3-9 Pts.  STAFF. Individual research and tutorial in archaeology for advanced graduate students. Prerequisites: the instructor’s permission. Enrollment is limited to 10.

 

Anthropology GR9112x RSCH IN ARCHEOL METHOD/THEORY. 3-9 Pts.  STAFF. Individual research and tutorial in archaeological method and theory for advanced graduate students.  Prerequisites: the instructor’s permission.  Enrollment is limited to 10.

Anthropology GR9999x WEDNESDAY SEMINAR.  0 Pts.  Instructor:  Nadia Abu El-Haj.  Reports of ongoing research are presented by staff members, students, and special guests.  All anthropology graduate students are required to attend.  Enrollment is limited to 40.

 

 

 


For full listings of frequently taught courses in the Departments of Anthropology at Columbia and Barnard, visit the pages dedicated to 'Frequently Taught Undergraduate Courses' and 'Frequently Taught Graduate Courses.'