Undergraduate Courses Spring 2019

 

 
                                                                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 The Interpretation of Culture 3 pts.  Vanessa Agard-Jones. 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.  Refer to Directory of Courses 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.  Limit Enrollment is 100.   Discussion Section Required.  Refer to Directory of Courses http://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

ANTH UN2005y The Ethnographic Imagination 3 pts.  Maria Jose de Abreu. 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. Discussion Section Required.  Enrollment limit is 120.  Refer to Directory of Courses http://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

ANTH UN2007y Indian and Nigerian Film Cultures 4 pts. Brian Larkin.

ANTH UN3040y Anthropological Theory 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. Prerequisites: Required of all Barnard Anthropology majors; open to other students with instructor's permission only. Required of all Anthropology majors (and tracks) within the Barnard Department.  

ANTH UN3602y Stockholm syndrome:  Terror, sympathy, Love 4 pts. Peter Lagerqvist.  Why would the 1973 bank robbery that launched the term “Stockholm Syndrome” be invoked as an antecedent for a 2017 terror attack? How is it that talk about terrorism always seem to incite anxiety over errant sympathies, as per the adage “one person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter”? This course explores how that which is done and said around terrorism over the course of the modern era has regimented our possibility of “feeling with” others, focusing particularly on the notion of sympathy developed by Adam Smith and David Hume in their seminal thinking about modern sociality. If every sentiment has a history, as Michel Foucault holds, what might a reading of terror, through sympathy, tell us about the shifting bounds of politics, kinship and love in the contemporary moment? The course will explore such questions through consideration of primary sources from across a range of historical eras and regions, including Europe, the Middle East, the Subcontinent, Africa, the Caribbean, and the US. We will consider contemporary films, newspaper accounts, novels and historical archival material - alongside weekly readings from anthropology, history, philosophy and literary criticism. Teaching will be case-driven; asking students to respond to events and questions raised in the primary material, and will sustain a number of interlocking themes across the semester. In tackling their readings students will help each other think critically about contemporary issues of global import, while also exploring or re-engaging - in the case of advanced students - longstanding anthropological concerns with selfhood and sociality; the taboo and the queer; violence and law; governance and expertise  - drawing on canonical as well as contemporary texts. One 1 hour 50 min seminar will be given each week, which will include a lecture, student commentaries, and engaged in-class group discussions.  Enrollment limit is 15.

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.

ANTH UN3912y Ethnographic China 4 pts. Myron Cohen. Reading of selected ethnographies of China from among the many published since 1990. In the context of rapid social and economic change in China during this period, the seminar will critically consider how each ethnography represents the observations, interpretations, and field techniques of the anthropologist who is its author. Also discussed will be the shared themes and contesting perspectives emerging from a comparison of these works, as well as the overall contribution of this ethnographic research to our understanding of China as an emerging world power.

ANTH UN3946y African Cultures Production 4 pts.  Brian Larkin

ANTH UN3947y Text, Magic, Performance 4 pts. John Pemberton.  This course pursues interconnections linking text and performance in light of magic, ritual, possession, narration, and related articulations of power. Readings are drawn from classic theoretical writings, colonial fiction, and ethnographic accounts. Domains of inquiry include spirit possession, trance states, séance, witchcraft, ritual performance, and related realms of cinematic projection, musical form, shadow theater, performative objects, and (other) things that move on their own, compellingly. Key theoretical concerns are subjectivity - particularly, the conjuring up and displacement of self in the form of the first-person singular "I" - and the haunting power of repetition. Retraced throughout the course are the uncanny shadows of a fully possessed subject.   Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement.  Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.

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.  Enrollment limited to 20. Prerequisites: the instructor's permission. Limited to juniors & seniors.

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

ANTH GU4480y Critical Native and Indigenous Studies 3pts. 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 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.

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Courses in Archaeology 

ANTH UN1008y The Rise of Civilization 3pts. 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.  Discussion Section Required.  Refer to Directory of Courses http://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

ANTH GU4129y Landscape:  Interpreting Place 3 pts.  Zoe Crossland. Understanding how people inhabit and make sense of the physical world is fundamental to any understanding of human society. This class will explore different archaeological perspectives on the creation and inhabitation of place by reading archaeological accounts together with material from anthropology, architecture, art history, geography and social theory.

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.

ANTH W4002y Controversial Topics in Human Evolution 3 pts. Ralph Holloway.  Controversial issues that exist in current biological/physical anthropology, and controversies surrounding the descriptions and theories about particular fossil hominid discoveries, such as the earliest australopithecines, the diversity of Homo erectus, the extinction of the Neanderthals, and the evolution of culture, language, and human cognition.  Enrollment limited to 10.   Prerequisites: an introductory biological/physical anthropology course and the instructor's permission.

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Courses in Biological/Physical Anthropology

ANTH W4002y Controversial Topics in Human Evolution 3 pts. Ralph Holloway.  Controversial issues that exist in current biological/physical anthropology, and controversies surrounding the descriptions and theories about particular fossil hominid discoveries, such as the earliest australopithecines, the diversity of Homo erectus, the extinction of the Neandertals, and the evolution of culture, language, and human cognition.  Enrollment limited to 10.   Prerequisites: an introductory biological/physical anthropology course and the instructor's permission.

ANTH G4148y 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.   Enrollment limited to 12.   Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.

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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/