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Department of Anthropology


        William T.S. Mazzarella


  • Michael Dietler
  • Susan Gal
  • John D. Kelly
  • Karin Knorr Cetina, Sociology
  • Alan L. Kolata
  • Joseph P. Masco
  • William T.S. Mazzarella
  • Stephan Palmié
  • Michael Silverstein
  • Russell H. Tuttle

Associate Professors

  • Hussein Ali Agrama
  • P. Sean Brotherton
  • Julie Y. Chu
  • Shannon Dawdy
  • François G. Richard
  • Justin B. Richland
  • Kaushik Sunder Rajan
  • Alice Yao

Assistant Professors

  • Michael Fisch
  • Darryl Li
  • Constantine Nakassis
  • Mareike Winchell


  • Maria Ceclia Lozada Cerna

Emeritus Faculty

  • Manuela Carneiro da Cunha
  • Judith B. Farquhar
  • James W. Fernandez
  • Raymond D. Fogelson
  • McKim Marriott
  • Nancy D. Munn
  • Ralph W. Nicholas
  • Marshall D. Sahlins

Anthropology seeks an understanding of human nature, society, and culture in the widest comparative and historical framework. The department’s teaching program provides Ph.D. training for research workers and teachers in the various branches of anthropological science. Lectures, tutorial guidance, laboratory instruction, and research seminars provide opportunities for advanced study in sociocultural and linguistic anthropology and archaeology. Course work, but not a graduate degree program, is also offered in physical anthropology.

The purpose of the department is the advancement of anthropological research; this goal is achieved in the graduate program by the development of creative scholars and scientists. The various educational guidelines that are established from time to time by the department as a whole as well as by the particular specialized fields are intended to aid in this development. All programs, however, are designed to be adaptable to the specific needs and research interests of individual students. Graduate students are encouraged to go forward as rapidly as previous preparation and special powers permit. The identification of specific research problems and the pursuit of these problems through the writing of original papers are skills that are emphasized and fostered as early as possible. This experience develops gradually into the substantial research project that is undertaken for the doctorate.

Graduate students and faculty in the department regularly participate in a large number of interdisciplinary workshops. Some are regional (e.g., African Studies; Latin America and the Caribbean; U.S. Locations; Art and Politics of East Asia; East Asia: Politics, Economy and Society; East Asia: Transregional Histories; Interdisciplinary Approaches to Modern France and the Francophone World; Latin American History; Middle East History and Theory; Theory and Practice in South Asia; and Visual and Material Perspectives on East Asia), some thematic (e.g., Interdisciplinary Archaeology; Ancient Societies; City, Society, and Space; Self and Subjectivity; Education; EthNoise!: Ethnomusicology; Gender and Sexuality Studies; Human Rights; Mass Culture; Knowledge/Value; Race and Religion; Reproduction of Race and Racial Ideology; Semiotics: Culture in Context; and Social History), and some theoretically oriented (e.g., Contemporary Philosophy; History, Philosophy and Sociology of Science; Political Theory; Social Theory).

Graduate students beyond the first year may serve as course or laboratory assistants, and later, as lecturers in College programs. The department also awards Starr Lectureships each year, on a competitive basis, to advanced graduate students. Starr Lecturers teach courses on their areas of specialization in the anthropology concentration in the College.

For additional information about the Department of Anthropology and the interests of its faculty members, please see:

How to Apply

The application process for admission and financial aid for all Social Sciences graduate programs is administered through the divisional Office of the Dean of Students. The Application for Admission and Financial Aid, with instructions, deadlines and department specific information is available online at:

Questions pertaining to admissions and aid should be directed to or (773) 702-8415. Most of the documents needed for the application can be uploaded through the online application. Any additional correspondence and materials sent in support of applications should be mailed to:

The University of Chicago
Division of the Social Sciences
Admissions Office, Foster 107
1130 East 59th Street

Foreign students must provide evidence of English proficiency by submitting scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Programs of Study

Sociocultural and Linguistic Anthropology

Sociocultural anthropology is concerned with the investigation of human society, culture, and the human relation to nature through intensive ethnographic investigation and wide ranging comparison. It is closely related to the other generalizing social sciences and to the interpretive disciplines of the humanities. Cross disciplinary study is encouraged; graduate students in anthropology often include courses from related fields in their programs.

The Ph.D. program in sociocultural and linguistic anthropology has three prefield phases, each normally designed as one year’s work, although under certain circumstances accelerated progress through the later phases is possible.

Phase I introduces the student to the development of social and cultural theory and to the scholarly interests of the faculty in the department. First year students also take courses in particular specialist areas of ethnography and theory in order to frame research interests in preparation for the dissertation project. Course requirements in the first year include The Development of Social and Cultural Theory (two double courses) and Introduction to Chicago Anthropology. In addition students take four other courses dealing with their areas of interest selected in consultation with the first year advisor. The requirements of Phase I apply to all entering graduate students, regardless of whether they hold a master’s degree in anthropology from another institution.

Phase II training is directed toward acquiring a deeper knowledge of the special area and theoretical topics on which research will be focused, as well as toward obtaining a broader anthropological understanding in preparation for the Ph.D. qualifying examination. With the exception of those whose master’s theses from elsewhere are approved by the department, every second year student completes a master’s paper during that year. The Ph.D. qualifying examination is normally taken during the spring of the second year or the autumn of the third year. The department also requires all students in sociocultural and linguistic anthropology to take the course in Anthropological Research Methods and to demonstrate competence in a foreign language by achieving a High Pass on a University foreign language reading examination, preferably by the end of the second year. The language will be specified by the student’s advisory committee.  (A foreign language is required only for the Ph.D. degree.  No foreign language is required for the M.A.)

Phase III is a pre research training period during which the student hones a dissertation proposal and grant applications and develops advanced research skills. Upon fulfillment of all pre dissertation academic requirements and the acceptance of the dissertation proposal at a hearing in the department, the student is admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree and proceeds to research and/or field work and the writing of the dissertation.

The linguistic anthropologist is concerned with phonetic, phonological, grammatical, semantic, and paralinguistic systems and with their relations to social, cultural and personal ones. A student who chooses linguistic anthropology as the major sub field within the Department of Anthropology should prepare at least one sub field each in linguistics and anthropology and satisfy the language requirement. Students of linguistic anthropology are generally advised to take at least six courses in technical linguistics.

Joint Degree in Anthropology and Linguistics

In addition to linguistic anthropology as a sub field within the Department of Anthropology, there is also a joint Ph.D. program available to students who are admitted first to the Department of Anthropology and subsequently to the Department of Linguistics. Joint degree students complete the requirements of both departments, including distinct introductory and advanced courses stipulated by each, the departmental qualifying examinations in appropriate special fields, and the language requirements, including additional foreign languages for the Linguistics Ph.D. The student’s dissertation advisory committee consists of three or more members of the faculty; at least one must be a member of the Department of Anthropology but not the Department of Linguistics, and at least one in Linguistics but not in Anthropology. After approval for hearing by the advisory committee, the student’s dissertation proposal must be approved in a hearing open to the faculty of both departments, and similarly for the final defense of the single doctoral dissertation that the student writes.

Admission to the Joint Degree Program in Anthropology and Linguistics cannot be approved until at least the second year, after successful completion of the core (first year) coursework and examinations in Linguistics, although students should declare interest in the joint program on the graduate application and to the chair of the Department of Anthropology and to the linguistic anthropologists soon after arriving on campus.


The archaeology program emphasizes the comparative study of complex societies throughout the world grounded in a close articulation of archaeology, history and sociocultural anthropology. The program stresses the integration of social and cultural theory in the practice of archaeology and, in particular, forges strong links with the historical anthropology that is one of the recognized strengths of the department. In addition to preparing archaeology students for anthropologically informed fieldwork and interpretation, an important element of this interdisciplinary approach is the inauguration of a training program offering students the methodological skills and theoretical grounding necessary to undertake innovative ethnoarchaeological research.

Current faculty strengths include archaeology of Latin America (focusing on the later prehistory and colonial periods of the Andes and Mesoamerica), the United States (focusing on the historical/urban archaeology of New Orleans and Birmingham, creole societies, race and ethnicity, material culture), Europe (from the Paleolithic to the Celtic Iron Age), and China and mainland southeast Asia (Bronze age, imperialism, cross cultural interactions) as well as ethnoarchaeology in Africa and experimental archaeology in South America. Associated faculty at the Oriental Institute and in other University departments specialize in complex societies of the Near East, Egypt, Greece, Rome, India, and China.

Research interests include: urbanism, state formation, imperialism, colonial interaction, industrialization, art and symbolism, spatial analysis, politics, ritual and religion, human environment interactions, agricultural systems, material culture, economic anthropology, political economy and the socio historical context and politics of archaeology. Faculty members in archaeology have major, ongoing field research projects in Bolivia, Peru, France, Spain, Cambodia, China, Senegal, and the southern & southeastern United States and also have research interests in Kenya.

The archaeology program requires that students complete a total of 18 courses to qualify for the Ph.D., some of which may be reading and research in the field of specialization. Students normally enroll in nine courses per year during their first two years in the program. Within the first two years, students will complete five required courses that are designed to provide a comprehensive grounding in social and cultural theory, as well as the theory and specific methods of archaeology.  (A foreign language is required only for the Ph.D. degree.  No foreign language is required for the M.A.)

In the first year, course requirements include The Development of Social and Cultural Theory offered over the autumn and winter quarters. The two quarter sequence is equivalent to four course credits. In the spring archaeology students take Theory and Method in Archaeology, also a double credit course. The remaining course requirements in the program, to be met in the first or second year, are Introduction to Chicago Anthropology, and a quantitative methods course approved by the faculty. For the rest of their course work, students enjoy a broad range of elective courses in archaeology, sociocultural anthropology, history, physical anthropology, Classical or Near Eastern studies, statistics, computer science and geophysical sciences. In addition, archaeology students are strongly encouraged to gain technical experience in one of the university’s regular summer field schools or other research excavations.

By the end of the first year in residence, the archaeology student must form an advisory committee of three faculty members. The committee will be chaired by the faculty member of the student’s choice. With the exception of those students with A.M. theses from other institutions which are approved by the department, each student will complete an A.M. paper during the second year. In addition, by the end of year two, each student takes an written and oral examination from the members of his/her advisory committee in the areas of chosen specialization. The oral examination, lasting roughly an hour and a half, is designed to test basic command of the literature and methods necessary to pursue Ph.D. research in a chosen area. In the third year, having passed the qualifying exam, archaeology students are required to take the archaeological research design seminar. By the end of the third year, students must defend a dissertation proposal before the faculty and interested students. Upon fulfillment of all academic requirements and the acceptance of the dissertation proposal, students are admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree.

Physical Anthropology

Courses in physical anthropology, mainly directed towards evolutionary anthropology and primatology, are offered in the department; but applications for graduate study in Physical Anthropology are no longer accepted.


The department website offers descriptions of graduate courses scheduled for the current academic year:

Anthropology Courses

ANTH 30000. Anthropological Theory. 100 Units.

Since its inception as an academically institutionalized discipline, anthropology has always addressed the relation between a self-consciously modernizing West and its various and changing others. Yet it has not always done so with sufficient critical attention to its own concepts and categories—a fact that has led, since at least the 1980s, to considerable debate about the nature of the anthropological enterprise and its epistemological foundations. This course provides a brief critical introduction to the history of anthropological thought over the course of the discipline's long twentieth century, form the 1880s to the present. Although we focus on the North American and British traditions, we review important strains of French and, to a lesser extent, German social theory in chronicling the emergence and transformation of modern anthropology as an empirically based, but theoretically informed, practice of knowledge production about human sociality and culture.

Instructor(s): Staff     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 21107

ANTH 30420. Anthropology of Olympic Sport. 100 Units.

If cultural differences are as powerful as Anthropology has conventionally stressed, how is it possible that over 200 national and innumerable sub-national and transnational cultural formations have found common cause in the modern Olympic Games? This course explores, theoretically and historically, the emergence of the Olympic Games as the liturgy of the world system of nation states and the current dialectic between the Olympic Movement and the Olympic Sports Industry. Extensive reading and an independent research paper will be required.

Instructor(s): John J MacAloon      Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): 3rd and 4th year undergraduates only
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 20420,SOSC 25090,MAPS 47501

ANTH 31108. Temple or Forum: Designing the Obama Presidential Center. 100 Units.

Throughout this seminar participants will research and discuss key issues pertaining to the development and implications of presidential libraries and museums. These insights will become the foundation for a final project in which they will work in small teams to design a potential exhibit for the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park.

Instructor(s): Morris Fred     Terms Offered: Spring,TBD
Prerequisite(s): Undergrads must be upper division (3rd and 4th years).
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 24520,MAPS 31108

ANTH 31640. Science in the South. 100 Units.

Science in the South: Decolonial Approaches to the Study of Science, Technology and Medicine in Latin America and the Caribbean.  This seminar will bridge anthropologies and histories of science, technology, and medicine to Latin American decolonial thought. Throughout Latin America, techno-scientific objects and practices, with their presumed origin in the Euro-Atlantic North, are often complexly entangled with neo-imperial projects of development and modernization that elongate social forms of colonization into the present. Technoscience and its objects, however, can also generate new creative, political, and life-enhancing potentials beyond or despite their colonial resonances, or even provide tools to ongoing struggles for decolonization. Together, seminar participants will explore what a decolonial approach to the study of science, technology, and medicine in the Global South, particularly in Latin America, has been and could become and how decolonial theory can inflect our own disciplinary, conceptual, and political commitments as anthropologists of technoscience.

Instructor(s): Stefanie Graeter     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): LACS 34706,ANTH 23026,HIPS 24706,LACS 24706

ANTH 31700. Slavery and Unfree Labor. 100 Units.

This course offers a concise overview of institutions of dependency, servitude, and coerced labor in Europe and Africa, from Roman times to the onset of the Atlantic slave trade, and compares their further development (or decline) in the context of the emergence of New World plantation economies based on racial slavery. We discuss the role of several forms of unfreedom and coerced labor in the making of the "modern world" and reflect on the manner in which ideologies and practices associated with the idea of a free labor market supersede, or merely mask, relations of exploitation and restricted choice.

Instructor(s): S. Palmié     Terms Offered: TBD
Equivalent Course(s): CRES 22205,LACS 22205,LACS 31700,ANTH 22205

ANTH 32225. Transnational Kinship, Intimacy and Migration. 100 Units.

Across the world, people are on the move like never before: migration across national boundaries is a fact of life.  And kinship -- the making and transforming of families, and the way kin processes interact with states and political economies, is central to this process.  Not only do migrants often immigrate in order to support families back in their countries of origin, even babies or genetic material can also cross transnational boundaries in order to create new kinds of families.  This course comprises an intensive introduction to recent literature on the question of kinship and migration. Questions we will address include: What are the effects of family reunification law which explicitly tries to privilege certain kinds of families in the context of migration? What happens when the roles traditionally associated with wifehood or motherhood stretch across national boundaries? What happens when people adopt children from other countries, grafting them onto new families? And how does the circulation of genetic material in the case of assisted reproduction create new kinds of belonging?  By reading a series of recent ethnographies on issues including marriage migration and adoption, participants will gain insight into the complex ways in which the making and unmaking of kin ties creates new kinds of belonging and new forms of exclusion in the today’s world.

Instructor(s): J. Cole     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Self, Culture, and Society or equivalent

ANTH 32300. The Anthropology of Science. 100 Units.

Reading key works in the philosophy of science, as well as ethnographic studies of scientific practices and objects, this course introduces contemporary science studies. We interrogate how technoscientific "facts" are produced, discussing the transformations in social order produced by new scientific knowledge. Possible topics include the human genome project, biodiversity, and the digital revolution.

Instructor(s): J. Masco     Terms Offered: TBD
Equivalent Course(s): HIPS 21301,ANTH 22105

ANTH 32305. Colloquium: Introduction to Science Studies. 100 Units.

This course explores the interdisciplinary study of science as an enterprise. During the twentieth century, sociologists, historians, philosophers, and anthropologists all raised interesting and consequential questions about the sciences. Taken together their various approaches came to constitute a field, "science studies." The course provides an introduction to this field. Students will not only investigate how the field coalesced and why, but will also apply science-studies perspectives in a fieldwork project focused on a science or science-policy setting. Among the topics we may examine are the sociology of scientific knowledge and its applications, actor-network theories of science, constructivism and the history of science, images of normal and revolutionary science, accounts of research in the commercial university, and the examined links between science and policy.

Instructor(s): A. Johns, K. Knorr Cetina     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 56800,SOCI 40137,CHSS 32000

ANTH 32315. Anthropology of the Machine. 100 Units.

Postwar cybernetics is typically associated with the emergence of information theory, the development of digital computing, Cold War infrastructure, and research into Artificial Intelligence. As such, it is problematized for its relation to the military industrial complex, novel mechanisms of social control, and dismal science fiction scenarios. Yet postwar cybernetics also gave rise to another more philosophically oriented conceptual trajectory concerned with a theory of in-formation, Artificial Life, and new ways thinking technology. This seminar is primarily concerned with this latter dimension of cybernetics and attempts to draw attention to its pervasive presence in contemporary social thought. Specifically, we will trace its resonance in current anthropological trends that emphasize emergence, non-representational theory, materiality, affect, and intensity. In addition, we will explore the kind of methodology that it suggests. The seminar will involve a close reading and discussion of texts and is intended mainly for Ph.D. students.

Instructor(s): M. Fisch

ANTH 32530. Ethnographic Film. 100 Units.

This seminar explores ethnographic film as a genre for representing "reality," anthropological knowledge, and cultural lives. We examine how ethnographic film emerged in a particular intellectual and political economic context, as well as how subsequent conceptual and formal innovations have shaped the genre. We also consider social responses to ethnographic film in terms of (1) the contexts for producing and circulating these works, (2) the ethical and political concerns raised by cross-cultural representation, and (3) the development of indigenous media and other practices in conversation with ethnographic film. Throughout the course, we situate ethnographic film within the larger project for representing "culture," addressing the status of ethnographic film in relation to other documentary practices (e.g., written ethnography, museum exhibitions, documentary film).

Instructor(s): J. Chu     Terms Offered: TBD
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 22530

ANTH 32535. Engaging Media: Thinking about Media and Their Audiences. 100 Units.

In the first part of the course we look at how post–World War II mass communications and “classical” film theory theorized communication and spectatorship; in particular, we trace the dialogue between these liberatory models and the totalitarianism and propaganda (i.e., top-down models of control) of the times. We then look at theories of mass media reception and spectatorship that put ideology at the center of their analysis, interrogating theories of the “receiver” of media messages as cultural dope (Frankfurt school Marxism), psychoanalytic and (post-)Marxist theories of spectatorship (“Screen” theory), feminist critiques of film spectatorship, and reactions to the above in cognitivist film studies. We then turn to British Cultural Studies’ theories of media, focusing on how such work attempts to reconcile models of reception as ideologically unproblematic and as determined by the ideological structures of production and reception. Particular focus is given to the theoretical arguments regarding ideology and media, the notion of “code,” and the differences and similarities in the model of communication with the sociology of mass communication. In the second half of the course we look at anthropological approaches to media and how anthropologists have taken up the issue of media reception. Why have anthropologists largely ignored media and reception studies until recently?

Instructor(s): C. Nakassis     Terms Offered: TBD
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 22535

ANTH 33061. The Maroon Societies in South America. 100 Units.

This course will examine recent ethnographies on slave descendants societies in South America. Its main purpose is to explore current anthropological studies of the Maroon experience, focusing on new approaches on the relations of these communities with Ameridian, peasants, and other neighboring populations, as well as their dialogues with other non-human beings who inhabit their existential territories.

Instructor(s): O. Gomes da Cunha     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): LACS 35116,ANTH 23061,CRES 23061,LACS 25116

ANTH 33106. Indigeneities. 100 Units.

Depending on how you look at it, questions of indigeneity—the who, how, what, and why of peoples that either identify, or are identified, as “native”—are questions that at once transcend, entail, and/or are produced by Euro-American scholarly, political, and legal inquiry. Whether assailed as the product of colonial orientalism or celebrated as the ur-subjectivity of those who resist it (or something in between), the claims of, to, and about indigeneity continue to excite and demand attention scholarly and politically. Indeed some argue that politics of indigeneity have gained unique traction in recent decades, as indigenous actors, scholars, and their advocates have pressed for changes to legal, political, and cultural/scientific regimes that have indigenous affairs as their chief objects of inquiry. One need only consider the 2007 passage of the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the legal decisions acknowledging the force of native title in the Supreme Courts of Australia and Canada, and even the changes in various regimes of research concerning the social scientific study of native peoples and/or the representation of their material culture, all of which happened less than 20 years ago. Despite these long-standing interests and recent social, political, and economic gains, indigenous communities remain among the most vulnerable in the world.

Instructor(s): J. Richland     Terms Offered: TBD
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 22606

ANTH 33107. Indigenous Methodologies. 100 Units.

The 1969 publication of Vine Deloria Jr.’s Custer Died for Your Sins forever changed the landscape for academic research with indigenous communities in North America, if not the world. Declaring, “Indians have been cursed above all other peoples in history. Indians have anthropologists.”(Deloria 1988[1969]: 78), Deloria’s broadside was aimed at a social science academy whose research methods, ethics, and findings he felt offered little concrete benefit to the indigenous peoples whose lives they studied. Whether accurate or not, the critique sent ripples not only through the academy, but through policy circles and the native communities themselves, inaugurating a period of remarkable refiguring of the legal, scholarly, and interpersonal landscapes against which social science research on indigenous peoples is constituted. This refiguring has emerged in a variety of modes and with different effects and outcomes. In this course, students will be introduced to the evolving ethics, methods, policies, and epistemologies shaping social science research with indigenous communities in North America. In addition, in the second half of the quarter, students will get firsthand experience working on issues of relevance to social science research with indigenous communities.

Instructor(s): J. Richland     Terms Offered: TBD
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 22609

ANTH 33110. Anthropology of Indigeneity. 100 Units.

Around the world, appeals to indigeneity undergird contentious struggles over land, territory, and resources. While indigeneity is often treated as an instrument of political representation and legal appeal, this course explores the historical and relational underpinnings from which so-called ethnic movements draw. Building from ethnographic and historical texts, the course begins with a careful examination of how embodied orientations to place have given way to distinct articulations of political belonging, particularly in the Andean region of South America. We then consider how these place-based modes of collectivity have been shaped by various events including colonial land dispossession, republican projects of national integration and citizenship, labor movements and new extractive economies, multicultural reforms, and anti-imperialist projects of ethnic revivalism. In the final part of the course, we track the unexpected ways that these older orientations to place and collectivity are creatively redeployed within newer struggles for indigenous and environmental justice. By exploring the ways that specific histories of attachment shape contemporary demands for rights and political belonging, the course aims to foster new ways of approaching indigeneity in anthropology and beyond.

Instructor(s): M. Winchell     Terms Offered: TBD
Prerequisite(s): Presumes working knowledge of postcolonial theory. Open to 3rd & 4th year undergrads with consent of instructor.
Equivalent Course(s): CRES 22610,CRES 33110,LACS 22610,LACS 33610,ANTH 22610

ANTH 33700. Capitalism, Colonialism, and Nationalism in the Pacific. 100 Units.

This course compares colonial capitalist projects and their dialogic transfor­mations up to present political dilemmas, with special attention to Fiji, New Zealand, and Hawai’i, and a focus on the labor diaspora, the fates of indigenous polities, and tensions in contemporary citizenship. We will compare Wakefield’s “scientific colonization” in New Zealand, Gordon’s social experiments and indentured labor in Fiji, and the plantations, American annexation, tourism, and the military in Hawai’i. We will compare the colonial experiences of the Maori, Hawaiians, and indigenous Fijians, and also those of the immigrant laborers and their descendants, especially white New Zealanders, the South Asians in Fiji, and the Japanese in Hawai’i. General pro­positions about nationalism, capitalism “late” and otherwise, global cultural flows, and postcolonial subject positions will be juxtaposed with contemporary Pacific conflicts.

Instructor(s): J. Kelly     Terms Offered: TBD
Note(s): This course qualifies as a Discovering Anthropology selection for Anthropology majors.
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 23700

ANTH 34101. Development of Social Cultural Theory-1a. 100 Units.

Systems 1 is designed to introduce students to the intellectual and historical context of the emergence of anthropology as a professional scholarly discipline. The class asks after the conditions of inquiry – at once conceptual and socio-political – that shaped the discipline in its early formulation, but always with an eye toward our understanding of it today. This will require that we tack back and forth between considering the internal logics of an emergent social theoretical inquiry – what are its views of the world, humanity’s relationship to it, and to what extent are we able to grasp and explore it – and the nature of these commitments in light of the rise of industrialized mass societies in ‘the West’ and, on the other hand, the consolidation of colonialism around the world. 

Instructor(s): J. Richland     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Open only to first-year graduate students in Anthropology. Must be taken together with 34102

ANTH 34102. Development of Social-Cultural Theory-1b. 100 Units.

Systems 1 is designed to introduce students to the intellectual and historical context of the emergence of anthropology as a professional scholarly discipline. The class asks after the conditions of inquiry – at once conceptual and socio-political – that shaped the discipline in its early formulation, but always with an eye toward our understanding of it today. This will require that we tack back and forth between considering the internal logics of an emergent social theoretical inquiry – what are its views of the world, humanity’s relationship to it, and to what extent are we able to grasp and explore it – and the nature of these commitments in light of the rise of industrialized mass societies in ‘the West’ and, on the other hand, the consolidation of colonialism around the world. 

Instructor(s): J. Richland     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Open only to first-year anthropology graduate students. Must be taken together with 34101

ANTH 34308. History of Perception. 100 Units.

Knowing time. Feeling space. Smelling. Seeing. Touching. Tasting. Hearing. Are these universal aspects of human consciousness, or particular experiences contingent upon time, place, and culture? How do we come to know about our own perceptions and those of others? This course examines these and related questions through detailed readings of primary sources, engagement in secondary scholarship in the history and anthropology of sensation, and through close work with participants' own sensations and perceptions of the world around them.

Instructor(s): M. Rossi     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Upper-level undergraduate
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 35309,HIPS 25309,CHSS 35309,KNOW 21404,KNOW 31404,ANTH 24308,HIST 25309

ANTH 34502. Anthropology of Museums I. 100 Units.

Using anthropological theories and methodology as a conceptual framework, this seminar will explore the organizational and ideological aspects of museum culture(s). The course includes visits to museums with guest museum professionals as guides into the culture of museums.

Instructor(s): M. Fred     Terms Offered: Autumn,Winter
Prerequisite(s): Advanced standing and consent of instructor
Note(s): CHDV Distribution: C
Equivalent Course(s): CRES 34501,MAPS 34500,SOSC 34500,CHDV 34501,ANTH 24511

ANTH 34705. Jurisdiction: Language and the Law. 100 Units.

No description available.

Instructor(s): J. Richland     Terms Offered: TBD
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 24705

ANTH 34900. Big Science and the Birth of the National Security State. 100 Units.

This course examines the mutual creation of big science and the American national security state during the Manhattan Project. It presents the atomic bomb project as the center of a new orchestration of scientific, industrial, military, and political institutions in everyday American life. Exploring the linkages between military technoscience, nation-building, and concepts of security and international order, we interrogate one of the foundation structures of the modern world system.

Instructor(s): J. Masco     Terms Offered: TBD
Equivalent Course(s): HIPS 21200,ANTH 22400

ANTH 35005. Classical Theories of Religion. 100 Units.

This course will survey the development of theoretical perspectives on religion and religions in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Thinkers to be studied include: Kant, Hume, Schleiermacher, Feuerbach, Marx, Müller, Tiele, Tylor, Robertson Smith, Frazer, Durkheim, Weber, Freud, James, Otto, van der Leeuw, Wach, and Eliade.

Instructor(s): Christian Wedemeyer     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): HREL 32900,AASR 32900

ANTH 35031. Anthropology of Religion I. 100 Units.

This course surveys various methods and topics in the study of religion in the social sciences. We will begin with social evolutionist models, moving to the interpretive cultural turn and genealogical approaches.  Classic analytics raised in the field of anthropology include ritual and tradition, semiotics, arts and performance, embodiment, authority and agency.  We will also engage recent debates around the sociology of conversion, secularism, the idea of 'world religions', the politics of religious difference, religious violence and global religious movements. 

Instructor(s): Angie Heo     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): HREL 34410,AASR 34410

ANTH 35035. Holocaust Object. 100 Units.

In this course, we explore various ontological and representational modes of the Holocaust material object world as it was represented during World War II. Then, we interrogate the post-Holocaust artifacts and material remnants, as they are displayed, curated, controlled, and narrated in the memorial sites and museums of former ghettos and extermination and concentration camps. These sites which—once the locations of genocide—are now places of remembrance, the (post)human, and material remnants also serve educational purposes. Therefore, we study the ways in which this material world, ranging from infrastructure to detritus, has been subjected to two, often conflicting, tasks of representation and preservation, which we view through a prism of authenticity. In order to study representation, we critically engage a textual and visual reading of museum narrations and fiction writings; to tackle the demands of preservation, we apply a neo-materialist approach. Of special interest are survivors’ testimonies as appended to the artifacts they donated. The course will also equip you with salient critical tools for future creative research in Holocaust studies.

Instructor(s): Bozena Shallcross     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): REES 37019,JWSC 29500,ANTH 23910,REES 27019

ANTH 35110. Cultural Psychology: Philosophical and Theoretical Foundations. 100 Units.

There is a substantial portion of the psychological nature of human beings that is neither homogeneous nor fixed across time and space. At the heart of the discipline of cultural psychology is the tenet of psychological pluralism, which states that the study of "normal" psychology is the study of multiple psychologies and not just the study of a single or uniform fundamental psychology for all peoples of the world. Research findings in cultural psychology thus raise provocative questions about the integrity and value of alternative forms of subjectivity across cultural groups. In this course we analyze the concept of "culture" and examine ethnic and cross-cultural variations in mental functioning with special attention to the cultural psychology of emotions, self, moral judgment, categorization, and reasoning.

Instructor(s): R. Shweder     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Graduate students. Plus limited number of advanced undergrads (3rd and 4th year only) by consent. Caveat: This will be a low tech Socratic experience., computers closed , iphones off.
Note(s): CHDV Distribution: B, C; 2*, 3*
Equivalent Course(s): AMER 33000,ANTH 24320,CHDV 31000,GNSE 21001,GNSE 31000,PSYC 23000,PSYC 33000,CHDV 21000

ANTH 35130. Anthropology and ‘The Good Life’: Ethics, Morality, Well-Being. 100 Units.

This course takes a critical, historical and anthropological look at what is meant by “the good life.” Anthropologists have long been aware that notions of “the good” play an essential role in directing human behavior, by providing a life with meaning and shaping what it means to be a human being. Over the past several years, however, there has been an increasing demand for clarification on what is meant by “the good life,” as well as how cultural conceptions of “the good” relate to science, politics, religion, and personal practice. In this course, we will take up that challenge by exploring what is meant by “the good,” focusing on three domains in which it has most productively been theorized: ethics, morality, and well-being. Through a close reading of ethnographic and theoretical texts, as well as through analysis of documents and resources used and produced by different communities in order to explore the good life, we will gain an understanding of the different theoretical and methodological approaches for understanding the good in the social sciences, the various cultural logics shaping knowledge and practices of the good, and how human experience is shaped by those iterations in the process. The topics to be discussed include: the good life, moral reason, moral relativism, utility, deontology, virtue, happiness, well-being, flourishing, techniques of the self, spiritual exercises, professional ethics, neuroethics, and the moral sentiments.

Instructor(s): Francis Mckay     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Upper-level undergrads by consent. Some knowledge of moral philosophy useful, but not necessary to take the course. CHDV Distribution: C; 3*
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 24345,CHDV 32200,MAPS 32200

ANTH 35135. Phenomenology & Madness—Perspectives from Cultural Psychiatry. 100 Units.

This seminar explores the dynamics of Israeli culture and society through a combination of weekly screenings of Israeli fiction and documentary films with readings from ethnographic and other relevant research. Among the (often overlapping) topics to be covered in this examination of the institutional and ideological construction of Israeli identity/ies: the absorption of immigrants; ethnic, class, and religious tensions; the kibbutz; military experience; the Holocaust; evolving attitudes about gender and sexuality; the struggle for minorities’ rights; and Arab-Jewish relations. 

Instructor(s): Francis McKay     Terms Offered: Spring,TBD
Prerequisite(s): Upper level undergraduates admitted with consent.
Equivalent Course(s): CHSS 32800,HIPS 22800,ANTH 24355,MAPS 32800

ANTH 35150. Anthropology of Israel. 100 Units.

This seminar explores the dynamics of Israeli culture and society through a combination of weekly screenings of Israeli fiction and documentary films with readings from ethnographic and other relevant research. Among the (often overlapping) topics to be covered in this examination of the institutional and ideological construction of Israeli identity/ies: the absorption of immigrants; ethnic, class, and religious tensions; the kibbutz; military experience; the Holocaust; evolving attitudes about gender and sexuality; the struggle for minorities’ rights; and Arab-Jewish relations. 

Instructor(s): Morris Fred     Terms Offered: Spring,TBD
Prerequisite(s): Undergrads must be upper division (3rd and 4th years)
Equivalent Course(s): CMES 35150,NEHC 35147,NEHC 25147,ANTH 25150,JWSC 25149,MAPS 35150

ANTH 35305. Anthropology of Food and Cuisine. 100 Units.

Contemporary human foodways are not only highly differentiated in cultural and social terms, but often have long and complicated histories. Anthropologists have long given attention to food. But, until quite recently, they did so in an unsystematic, haphazard fashion. This course explores several related themes with a view towards both the micro- and macro-politics of food by examining a range of ethnographic and historical case studies and theoretical texts. It takes the format of a seminar augmented by lectures (during the first few weeks), scheduled video screenings, and individual student presentations during the rest of the course.

Instructor(s): S. Palmie     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): This course qualifies as a Discovering Anthropology selection for Anthropology majors.
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 25305

ANTH 35325. History and Culture of Baseball. 100 Units.

Study of the history and culture of baseball can raise in a new light a wide range of basic questions in social theory. The world of sports is one of the paradoxical parts of cultural history, intensely intellectually scrutinized and elaborately “covered” by media, yet largely absent from scholarly curricula. Perhaps more than any other sport, baseball has even drawn a wide range of scholars to publish popular books about it, yet has produced few professional scholars whose careers are shaped by study of it. In this course, we will examine studies that connect the cultural history of baseball to race, nation, and decolonization, to commodity fetishism and the development of capitalist institutions, to globalization and production of locality. We will compare studies of baseball from a range of disciplinary perspectives (economics, evolutionary biology, political science, history, and anthropology) and will give special attention to the culture and history of baseball in Chicago. We hope and expect that this course will be a meeting ground for people who know a lot about baseball and want to learn more about cultural anthropology, and people who are well read in anthropology or social theory who want to know more about baseball. The course will draw heavily on the rich library of books and articles about baseball, scholarly and otherwise, and will also invite students to pursue their own research topics in baseball culture and history.

Instructor(s): J. Kelly     Terms Offered: TBD
Note(s): This course qualifies as a Discovering Anthropology selection for Anthropology majors.
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 25325

ANTH 35405. Maverick Markets: Cultural Economy and Cultural Finance. 100 Units.

What are the cultural dimensions of economic and financial institutions and financial action? What social variables influence and shape 'real' markets and market activities? 'If you are so smart, why aren't you rich?' is a question economists have been asked in the past. Why isn’t it easy to make money in financial areas even if one knows what economists know about markets, finance and the economy? And why, on the other hand, is it so easy to get rich for some participants? Perhaps the answer is that real markets are complex social and cultural institutions which are quite different from organizations, administrations and the production side of the economy. The course provides an overview over social and cultural variables and patterns that play a role in economic behavior and specifically in financial markets. The readings examine the historical and structural embeddedness of economic action and institutions, the different constructions and interpretations of money, prices and other dimensions of a market economy, and how a financial economy affects organizations, the art world and other areas.

Instructor(s): K. Knorr Cetina     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 25440,SOCI 30258,SOCI 20258

ANTH 35500. The Anthropology of Development. 100 Units.

This course applies anthropological understanding to development programs in "underdeveloped" and "developing" societies. Topics include the history of development; different perspectives on development within the world system; the role of principal development agencies and their use of anthropological knowledge; the problems of ethnographic field inquiry in the context of development programs; the social organization and politics of underdevelopment; the culture construction of "well-being;"  economic, social, and political critiques of development; population, consumption, and the environment; and the future of development.

Instructor(s): A. Kolata     Terms Offered: TBD
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 22000,ANTH 22000

ANTH 36605. Archaeological Experiments in Filmmaking. 100 Units.

The focus of this course is: 'how can one make a film with an archaeological eye?' Thematics will cover temporality, materiality, and the body in film, and more generally the potential of collaborations that cross the line between art and science. Although there will be reading and film-viewing components of the syllabus, the major requirement will be the production of a collaborative, experimental short.

Instructor(s): S. Dawdy, D. Zox     Terms Offered: TBD
Prerequisite(s): Visual media experience is helpful but not required.
Note(s): Enrollment is by permission of instructor. Class size limit: 15
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 26605

ANTH 36700. Archaeology of Race and Ethnicity. 100 Units.

The correlation between ethnic groups and patterns in material culture lies at the heart of many archaeological problems. Over the last several years, a new emphasis on the social construction of racial and ethnic identities has invited a re-examination of the ways in which aspects of the material world (i.e., architecture, pottery, food, clothing) may participate actively in the dialectical process of creating or obscuring difference. This seminar surveys historical debates and engages with current theoretical discussions within archaeology concerning race and ethnicity in complex societies.

Instructor(s): S. Dawdy     Terms Offered: TBD
Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor

ANTH 36705. Celts: Ancient, Modern, Postmodern. 100 Units.

Celts and things Celtic have long occupied a prominent and protean place in the popular imagination, and “the Celts” has been an amazingly versatile concept in the politics of identity and collective memory in recent history. This course is an anthropological exploration of this phenomenon that examines: (1) the use of the ancient past in the construction of modern nationalist mythologies of Celtic identity (e.g. in France and Ireland) and regional movements of resistance to nationalist and colonialist projects (e.g. in Brittany, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Gallicia, Asturias); (2) the construction of transnational ethno-nostalgic forms of Celtic identity in modern diasporic communities (Irish, Scottish, etc.); and (3) various recent spiritualist visions of Celticity that decouple the concept from ethnic understandings (e.g. in the New Age and Neo-Pagan movements). All of these are treated in the context of what is known archaeologically about the ancient peoples of Europe who serve as a symbolic reservoir for modern Celtic identities. The course explores these competing Celtic imaginaries in the spaces and media where they are constructed and performed, ranging from museums and monuments, to neo-druid organizations, Celtic cyberspace, Celtic festivals, Celtic theme parks, Celtic music, Celtic commodities, etc.

Instructor(s): M. Dietler     Terms Offered: TBD

ANTH 36765. Archaeology of Anyang: Bronzes, Inscriptions, World Heritage. 100 Units.

Anyang is one of the most important archaeological sites in China. The discoveries of inscribed oracle bones, the royal cemetery, clusters of palatial structures, and industrial-scale craft production precincts have all established that the site was indeed the last capital of the Shang dynasty recorded in traditional historiography. With almost continuous excavations since the late 1920s, work at Anyang has in many ways shaped and defined Chinese archaeology and the study of Early Bronze Age China.

Instructor(s): Y. Li     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Open to upper-level undergrads with consent of instructor only.
Equivalent Course(s): EALC 28010,ANTH 26765,EALC 48010

ANTH 37001. Introduction to Linguistics I. 100 Units.

No description available.

Instructor(s): Staff     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): These courses must be taken in sequence
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 27001,LING 20100,LING 30100,SOSC 21700

ANTH 37002. Introduction to Linguistics II. 100 Units.

No description available.

Instructor(s): Staff     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): These courses must be taken in sequence
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 27002,LING 20200,LING 30200,SOSC 21800

ANTH 37003. Introduction to Linguistics III. 100 Units.

No description available.

Instructor(s): Staff     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): These courses must be taken in sequence
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 27003,LING 20300,LING 30300,SOSC 21900

ANTH 37201-37202. Language in Culture I-II.

This two-quarter course presents the major issues in linguistics of anthropological interest. These courses must be taken in sequence.

ANTH 37201. Language in Culture I. 100 Units.

Among topics discussed in the first half of the sequence are the formal structure of semiotic systems, the ethnographically crucial incorporation of linguistic forms into cultural systems, and the methods for empirical investigation of “functional” semiotic structure and history.

Instructor(s): C. Nakassis     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor
Note(s): CHDV Distribution: 5*
Equivalent Course(s): CHDV 37201,LING 31100,PSYC 47001

ANTH 37202. Language in Culture II. 100 Units.

The second half of the sequence takes up basic concepts in sociolinguistics and their critique.

Instructor(s): Kristina Wirtz     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor
Note(s): CHDV Distribution: 5*
Equivalent Course(s): LING 31200,PSYC 47002,CHDV 37202

ANTH 37500. Morphology. 100 Units.

Looking at data from a wide range of languages, we will study the structure of words. We will consider the nature of the elements out of which words are built and the principles that govern their combination. The effects of word structure on syntax, semantics, and phonology will be examined. We will think critically about the concepts of morpheme, inflection, derivation, and indeed, the concept of word itself.

Instructor(s): Staff     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): LING 20001
Equivalent Course(s): LING 31000

ANTH 37605. Language, Culture, and Thought. 100 Units.

Survey of research on the interrelation of language, culture, and thought from the evolutionary, developmental, historical, and culture-comparative perspectives with special emphasis on the mediating methodological implications for the social sciences.

Instructor(s): J. Lucy     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Grad status, Undergrads in 3rd or 4th year, or permission of instructor.
Note(s): CHDV Distribution: B, C; 2*, 3*, 5*
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 27605,CHDV 31901,PSYC 21950,PSYC 31900,LING 27605,LING 37605,CHDV 21901

ANTH 38100. Evolution of the Hominoidea. 200 Units.

This course is a detailed consideration of the fossil record and the phylogeny of Hominidae and collateral taxa of the Hominidea that is based upon studies of casts and comparative primate osteology.

Instructor(s): R. Tuttle     Terms Offered: TBD
Prerequisite(s): Third- or fourth-year standing and consent of instructor
Equivalent Course(s): EVOL 38100,HIPS 24000,ANTH 28100

ANTH 38300. Celebrity and Science in Paleoanthropology. 100 Units.

This seminar explores the balance among research, "showbiz" big business, and politics in the careers of Louis, Mary, and Richard Leakey; Alan Walker; Donald Johanson; Jane Goodall; Dian Fossey; and Biruté Galdikas. Information is gathered from films, taped interviews, autobiographies, biographies, pop publications, instructor's anecdotes, and samples of scientific writings.

Instructor(s): R. Tuttle     Terms Offered: TBD
Prerequisite(s): This course qualifies as a Discovering Anthropology selection for Anthropology Majors.
Equivalent Course(s): HIPS 21100,ANTH 21406

ANTH 38305. Discovering Anthropology: Reading Race. 100 Units.

Before and since Anthropology became a discrete scientific field of study, questions about the biological reality, potential utility and misuse of the concept of race in Homo sapiens have been debated. We will read and discuss a sample of writings by 18th, 19th, and 20th century and contemporary authors who attempted to define human races and those who have promoted or debunked the utility of the concept of race with special attention to it role in retarding social progress, and the extermination and exploitation of some populations and individuals.

Instructor(s): R. Tuttle     Terms Offered: TBD
Equivalent Course(s): CRES 20003,HIPS 20003,ANTH 20003

ANTH 38400. History and Theory of Human Evolution. 100 Units.

This course is a seminar on racial, sexual, and class bias in the classic theoretic writings, autobiographies, and biographies of Darwin, Huxley, Haeckel, Keith, Osborn, Jones, Gregory, Morton, Broom, Black, Dart, Weidenreich, Robinson, Leakey, LeGros-Clark, Schultz, Straus, Hooton, Washburn, Coon, Dobzhansky, Simpson, and Gould.

Instructor(s): R. Tuttle     Terms Offered: TBD
Equivalent Course(s): EVOL 38400,HIPS 23600,ANTH 21102

ANTH 38615. Biological and Cultural Evolution. 100 Units.

This course draws on readings in and case studies of language evolution, biological evolution, cognitive development and scaffolding, processes of socialization and formation of groups and institutions, and the history and philosophy of science and technology. We seek primarily to elaborate theory to understand and model processes of cultural evolution, while exploring analogies, differences, and relations to biological evolution. This has been a highly contentious area, and we examine why. We seek to evaluate what such a theory could reasonably cover and what it cannot.

Instructor(s): S. Mufwene, W. Wimsatt     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Third- or fourth-year standing or consent of instructor required; core background in evolution and genetics strongly recommended.
Note(s): This course does not meet requirements for the biological sciences major. CHDV Distribution: A
Equivalent Course(s): CHDV 23930,ANTH 28615,LING 11100,CHSS 37900,LING 39286,CHDV 33930,BIOS 29286,HIPS 23900,PHIL 22500,PHIL 32500,NCDV 27400,BPRO 23900

ANTH 38800. Bioarchaeology and the Human Skeleton. 100 Units.

This course is intended to provide students in archaeology with a thorough understanding of bioanthropological and osteological methods used in the interpretation of prehistoric societies by introducing bioanthropological methods and theory. In particular, lab instruction stresses hands-on experience in analyzing the human skeleton, whereas seminar classes integrate bioanthropological theory and application to specific cases throughout the world. Lab and seminar-format class meet weekly.

Instructor(s): M. C. Lozada     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): This course qualifies as a Methodology selection for Anthropology majors.
Equivalent Course(s): BIOS 23247,ANTH 28400

ANTH 39000. Archaeology Theory & Method-1. 100 Units.

This course offers an exploration of archaeological theory in historical and contemporary perspective. Our goals for this class are threefold: 1) To examine the foundations of modern archaeological thinking, its main conceptual trends, and ties to broader anthropological inquiry over time; 2) To expose students to key themes and conversations in contemporary archaeology; and 3) To discuss the intersections between archaeological research and other fields of ideas.

Instructor(s): F.G. Richard     Terms Offered: Spring

ANTH 39001. Archaeology Theory and Method-1. 100 Units.

This course is a complement to ANTH 39000 Theory/Method: Archaeology-1. It will feature readings that expand inquiries begun in that earlier course. Discussions will also explore additional themes, critical issues, and problems relevant to archaeology theory and theories of material culture, more generally. Interested students must take Theory/Method: Archaeology 1 concurrently, or have taken it previously.  

Instructor(s): F.G. Richard     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): PQ ANTH 39000 Archaeology Theory and Method-1

ANTH 40001. Modes of Inquiry-1: Ethnographic Innovations. 100 Units.

This course provides a critical introduction to the methods of anthropology, paying special attention to topic formation, deployment of theoretical resources, techniques of engagement in “fields,” and the politics and ethics of fieldwork and ethnographic knowledge production.  Our approach will combine readings in critical anthropology relevant to methodological practice with workshop-style demonstrations of particular techniques for gathering and analyzing field material.  The limits and powers of ethnography (broadly construed) will be explored through exploratory engagement with students’ ongoing projects and a few examples of anthropological writing.  This course is intended to help students develop the tools needed to develop their own research objects and strategies while reflecting critically on anthropology as a practice.  

Instructor(s): Fisch, M.      Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Required for 2nd year Social/Cultural/Linguistic Anthropology Graduate Students. Others only by consent of instructor.

ANTH 40100. The Inka and Aztec States. 100 Units.

This course is an intensive examination of the origins, structure, and meaning of two native states of the ancient Americas: the Inka and the Aztec. Lectures are framed around an examination of theories of state genesis, function, and transformation, with special reference to the economic, institutional, and symbolic bases of indigenous state development. This course is broadly comparative in perspective and considers the structural significance of institutional features that are either common to or unique expressions of these two Native American states.

Instructor(s): A. Kolata     Terms Offered: TBD
Note(s): This course qualifies as a Discovering Anthropology selection for Anthropology Majors
Equivalent Course(s): LACS 20100,LACS 40305,ANTH 20100

ANTH 40150. Hermeneutic Sociology. 100 Units.

The core ideas of a social hermeneutics, expanding textual hermeneutics, began to be developed in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. They can be summarized in a few intertwining propositions: First, discursive, emotive and sensory modalities of sense making, conscious and unconscious, characterize and differentiate social life forms. Second, sense making is acting, thus entangled in institutions. Third, sense making proceeds in diverse media whose structures and habits of use shape its process rendering form and style important. Fourth, sense making is structured by the relationships within which they take place. Fifth, sense making is crucial for the reproduction of all aspects of life forms. Sixths, sense making, life forms, and media are dialectically intertwined with each other. Seventh, social hermeneutics is itself sense-making. The course will explore these ideas by reading classical statements that highlight the core analytical concepts that social hermeneuticists employ such as symbolization, interpretation, mediation, rhetoric, performance, performativity, interpretive community, institutionalization. Every session combines a discussion of the readings with a practicum using these concepts. Authors read include: Herder, Aristotle, Burke, Austin, Ricoeur, Schütz, Bourdieu, Peirce, Panofsky, Ranciere, Lakoff, Mackenzie, Latour.

Instructor(s): A. Glaeser     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Fulfills part of the KNOW Core Seminar req for SIFK Dissertation Research Fellowship; PhD students must register under KNOW 31407 for this course to meet the req.
Equivalent Course(s): KNOW 31407,SOCI 40156

ANTH 40165. Seminar: Bourdieu/Sociobiography. 100 Units.

This seminar explores the conceptual architecture of Pierre Bourdieu’s social theory, with special attention to its implications for biography and autobiography.

Instructor(s): John J MacAloon      Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Graduate Students Only.
Equivalent Course(s): MAPS 40200

ANTH 40205. Knowledge/Value. 100 Units.

This course broadly interrogates conceptual and empirical linkages between epistemology and value. It works on the assumption that we are at a historical moment when epistemology, value and the nature of their articulation are all emergent and at stake. The course is closely coupled to a workshop on “Knowledge / Value” that will be held at the end of spring quarter, which will be a broad consideration of the nature of the fact / value distinction in the context of technoscience, law and finance. Students taking this course will be expected to actively participate in the workshop. Readings will be related to the workshop, but will also include other texts that are foundational in considering questions of Knowledge / Value.

Instructor(s): K. Sunder Rajan     Terms Offered: TBD

ANTH 41100. Ethnography of Europe. 100 Units.

This seminar breaks with the tradition of considering Eastern and Western Europe in different courses and with different theoretical questions. Instead we will start with the political and scholarly division of Europe itself as our first conceptual issue, asking how the division was recast by the Cold War and now recast again in light of the Maastricht Treaty and 1989. Interactions and social processes that cross this divide will provide the objects for analysis in the course. We will also consider how any single phenomenon -- e.g. migration or tourism -- is understood in divergent ways depending on the symbolic geography that is assumed by the investigator. Our task will be to analyze the connections between such different conceptualizations, and between sociocultural processes in different corners of the continent. The topics to be taken up include: nationalisms and citizenships; the morality of capitalism; bureaucracy; regionalism and new forms of sovereignty; politics of sex and reproduction;   utopias and dystopias -- the fate of state socialism; tourism and xenophobia; comparative mafias; memory, nostalgia and revivals. Students will be asked to lead discussions of topics of their choice and/or to present works-in-progress that analyze one or more of these issues.

Instructor(s): S. Gal

ANTH 41200. Anthropology of History. 100 Units.

Anthropologists have long been concerned with the temporal dimension of human culture and sociality, but, until fairly recently (and with significant exceptions), have rarely gone beyond processual modeling. This has dramatically changed. Anthropologists have played a prominent role in the so-called “historic turn in the social sciences”, acknowledging and theorizing the historical subjectivities and historical agency of the ethnographic “other”, but also problematizing the historicity of the ethnographic endeavor itself. The last decades have not only seen a proliferation of empirically rich and theoretically sophisticated historical ethnographies, but also a decisive move towards ethnographies of the historical imagination. Taking its point of departure from a concise introduction to the genealogy of the trope of “historicity” in anthropological discourse, this course aims to explore the possibilities of an anthropology of historical consciousness, discourse and praxis – i.e. the ways in which human groups select, represent, give meaning to, and strategically manipulate constructions of the past. In this, our discussion will not just focus on non-western forms of historical knowledge, but include the analysis of western disciplined historiography as a culturally and historically specific form of promulgating conceptions of the past and its relation to the present.

Instructor(s): S. Palmié

ANTH 41810. Signs and the State. 100 Units.

Relations of communication, as well as coercion, are central though less visible in Weber's famous definition of the state as monopoly of legitimate violence. This course reconsiders the history of the state in connection to the history of signs. Thematic topics (and specific things and sites discussed) include changing semiotic technologies; means; forces and relations of communication (writing, archives, monasteries, books, "the" internet); and specific states (in early historic India and China, early colonial/revolutionary Europe, especially France, Britain, and Atlantic colonies, and selected postcolonial "new nations").

Instructor(s): J. Kelly     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): This course qualifies as a Discovering Anthropology selection for Anthropology majors.
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 22710

ANTH 41900. Crowds and Publics. 100 Units.

The figure of the unruly crowd, anxiously invoked by social theorists from the late nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century, was the dystopian alter ego of democratic mass society. Conversely, the figure of the rational mass public, invoked as an ideal from the middle of the twentieth century onwards, relies upon a demonization of the affectively volatile crowd. Oddly, given that they are so intimately related, the two figures of the crowd and the public are rarely explicitly theorized together. This seminar, moving from the early crowd psychology of Le Bon through to contemporary critiques of Habermas, offers an opportunity to redress this lacuna in two ways. On the one hand, we will explore the relationship between affectivity and politics in a wide range of writings. On the other, we will consider the historical relation between theory and social change during a period that stretches from the dawning of mass publicity through the heyday of fascism and on to the diversified terrain of contemporary identity politics. Students will be responsible for classroom presentations as well as a term paper based on the readings.

Instructor(s): W. Mazzarella

ANTH 41901. The Crowd. 100 Units.

At the end of the nineteenth century, the figure of the unruly, affect-laden crowd appeared as both the volatile foundation and the dystopian alter ego of the democratic mass society. By the middle of the twentieth century, following the traumatic excesses of communism and fascism in Europe, the crowd largely disappeared from polite sociological analysis—to be replaced by its serene counterpart, the communicatively rational public. At the turn of the twenty-first century, however, the previously demonized crowd has unexpectedly returned, now in the valorized guise of ‘the multitude’—in part as a result of a growing sense of the exhaustion of the categories of mainstream liberal politics.

Instructor(s): W. Mazzarella     Terms Offered: TBD
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 22915

ANTH 42003. Modes of Inquiry-1: Ethnographic Innovations. 100 Units.

This course provides a critical introduction to the methods of anthropology, paying special attention to topic formation, deployment of theoretical resources, techniques of engagement in “fields,” and the politics and ethics of fieldwork and ethnographic knowledge production.  Our approach will combine readings in critical anthropology relevant to methodological practice with workshop-style demonstrations of particular techniques for gathering and analyzing field material.  The limits and powers of ethnography (broadly construed) will be explored through exploratory engagement with students’ ongoing projects and a few examples of anthropological writing.  This course is intended to help students develop the tools needed to develop their own research objects and strategies while reflecting critically on anthropology as a practice. 

Instructor(s): M. Fisch     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Required for 2nd-year Social/Cultural/Linguistic Anthropology PhD students. Others only with consent of instructor.

ANTH 42004. Modes of Inquiry-2: Multimodal Experiments. 100 Units.

Modes of Inquiry II explores research practices beyond what we think of as the conventions of "doing ethnography."  This is a practicum course with one main requirement: that students experiment with at least two kinds of empirical inquiry beyond their comfort zones as budding sociocultural anthropologists.  Besides mobilizing all the resources of the Anthropology Media Lab, the course will provide students with the opportunity to engage with a variety of guest speakers working in ethnographically resonant  ways in such fields as drawing, exhibition, sound production and interactive digital design.   

Instructor(s): J. Chu, K Sunder Rajan     Terms Offered: Spring. Spring 2018
Prerequisite(s): Strongly recommended for second year Anthropology graduate students. PQ ANTH 42003 Modes of Inquiry-1: Ethnographic Innovations

ANTH 42500. Anthropology of the Afro-Atlantic World. 100 Units.

Although originally pioneered, more than three generations ago, by scholars and critics such as C.L.R. James, Eric Williams, W.E.B. DuBois, or Walter Rodney, conceptions of an “Atlantic World” have only recently come to prominence in Anthropology. In the past decade, however, students of Africa and the Americas have increasingly begun to phrase their inquiries in terms transcending entrenched geographical divisions of labor within the social sciences, aiming to include Africa, the Americas, and, to a certain extent, Europe into a single analytic field. Parts of this course will be devoted to a concise introduction to some of the major theoretical positions within, and controversies surrounding the new “Atlantic” anthropology of Africa and its New World diasporas. After this, we will examine a number of recent monographs and/or major articles exemplifying the promises and pitfalls of theoretical conceptions and methodological procedures that attempt to go beyond mere transregional comparison or linear historical narratives about “African influences”, and aim at analytically situating specific ethnographic or historical scenarios within integrated perspectives on an "Afro-Atlantic World".

Instructor(s): S. Palmié.
Equivalent Course(s): LACS 42500

ANTH 42600. Cultural Politics of Contemporary India. 100 Units.

Structured as a close-reading seminar, this class offers an anthropological immersion in the cultural politics of urban India today. A guiding thread in the readings is the question of the ideologies and somatics of shifting "middle class" formations; and their articulation through violence, gender, consumerism, religion, and technoscience.

Instructor(s): W. Mazzarella     Terms Offered: TBD
Equivalent Course(s): SALC 20900,SALC 30900,ANTH 25500

ANTH 42900. Performance and Politics in India. 100 Units.

This seminar considers and pushes beyond such recent instances as the alleged complicity between the televised "Ramayana" and the rise of a violently intolerant Hindu nationalism. We consider the potentials and entailments of various forms of mediation and performance for political action on the subcontinent, from "classical" textual sources, through "folk" traditions and "progressive" dramatic practice, to contemporary skirmishes over "obscenity" in commercial films.

Instructor(s): W. T. S. Mazzarella     Terms Offered: TBD

ANTH 43005. Is Modernity Disenchanted? 100 Units.

One of the dominant topoi in twentieth-century social science was what Max Weber famously called the "disenchantment of the world," the idea that with industrialization, the entrenchment of capitalism, the dominance of the modern bureaucratic state, and the rise of modern science, religion and "magicality" would gradually wither away. This course examines such arguments in relation to the pervasive evidence that magicality persists around precisely those sites most intimately associated with modernity's rationality and progress: the market, science and technology, and the state. Readings will be from anthropology, history, religious studies, and social theory. 

Instructor(s): Alireza Doostdar     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Class limit to 15 students
Equivalent Course(s): AASR 43005

ANTH 43700. Weber, Veblen and Genealogies of Global Capitalism. 100 Units.

Two intellectual traditions have dominated discussion of the history of capitalism: classical to neo-classical economics, and Marxism. This course searches for other possibilities. It focuses on critical comparative reading of Thorstein Veblen's theory of the late modern "new order" and Max Weber's comparative sociology, but will also read widely among other authors, including Simmel, Sombart, Mahan, Tolstoy and Gandhi. Questions to engage will include: relations between capital, the state, and military force (between means of production and means of coercion); commerce in Asia before European colonialism and the rise of colonial plantations and monopoly trading companies; types of capital, the rise and spread of joint-stock companies, stock markets, and capitalist corporations; the "new order," decolonization and the nation-state.

Instructor(s): J. Kelly

ANTH 43711. America in the World. 100 Units.

From the beginnings of global history to the summits of globalization, the United States has made differences in the rest of the world.  But, considered from outside points of view, is the United States in historical reality anything like what Americans take it to be?  How does American self-perception compare to global experiences of US power?  This course will examine the emergence of the United States as a settler-colony republic among empires, and as a slave state violently reforming itself, but it will focus more on the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with special attention to the era of peace starting after World War II, i.e., what might be called the UN world, or perhaps the Pax Americana.  Topics of particular interest will be the Americans at Versailles ending World War I, the building of the UN after World War II, decolonization and Cold War in Asia (India’s partition, the Bandung Conference, the wars in Indo-China) and the post- 9/11 era of “global counterinsurgency” and its discontents.

Instructor(s): J. Kelly     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): (PQ This course qualifies as a Discovering Anthropology selection for Anthropology Majors.)
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 23711

ANTH 43715. Self-Determination: Theory and Reality. 100 Units.

From the Versailles Conference (1919) through the Bandung Conference (1955) and beyond, global politics has been reorganized by efforts to implement and sustain political sovereignty on the basis of national self-determination. This course examines the theories informing this American-led plan and its real consequences, with attention to India, Algeria, Indo-China, New Zealand, Fiji, and Hawaii. Dilemmas in decolonization, partitions, the consequences of the cold war, and the theory and practice of counterinsurgency are discussed together with unintended consequences of the plan in practice, especially the rise of political armies, NGOs, and diaspora.

Instructor(s): J. Kelly     Terms Offered: TBD
Note(s): This course qualified as a Discovering Anthropology selection for Anthropology majors.
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 23715

ANTH 43720. Weber, Bakhtin, Benjamin. 100 Units.

Ideal types? The iron cage? Captured speech? No alibis? Dialectical Images? Charismatic authority? Heteroglossia? Modes of Domination? Seizing the flash? Finished, monological utterances? Conditions of possibility? Strait gates through time? Weber, Bakhtin, and Benjamin provide insights and analytical tools of unsurpassed power. Scholars who use them best have faced and made key decisions about social ontology and social science epistemology, decisions that follow from specific, radical propositions about society and social science made by these theorists and others they engage, starting at least from Immanuel Kant. This course is designed for any student who wants to more clearly understand the arguments of Weber, Bakhtin, and Benjamin, and to understand more broadly the remarkable trajectories of German social theory after Kant. It is designed especially for anyone hoping to use some of their conceptions well in new research. (Yes, Bakhtin is Russian, and cultural theory in Russia and the U.S. too will come up.) Fair warning: this course focuses on four roads out of Kant’s liberal apriorism (including culture theory from Herder to Boas and Benedict, as well as Benjamin and the dialectical tradition, Bakhtin’s dialogism, and Weber’s historical realism). We will spend less time on good examples of current use of Weber’s, Bakhtin’s, and Benjamin’s ideas than on their writings.

Instructor(s): J. Kelly     Terms Offered: TBD
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 22715

ANTH 43800. Approaches to Gender in Anthropology. 100 Units.

This course examines gender as a cultural category in anthropological theory, as well as in everyday life. After reviewing the historical sources of the current concern with women, gender, and sexuality in anthropology and the other social sciences, we critically explore some key controversies (e.g., the relationship between production and reproduction in different sociocultural orders; the links between "public" and "private" in current theories of politics; and the construction of sexualities, nationalities, and citizenship in a globalizing world).

Instructor(s): S. Gal     Terms Offered: TBD
Equivalent Course(s): GNDR 25201,GNDR 43800,ANTH 25200

ANTH 43805. Nature/Culture. 100 Units.

Exploring the critical intersection between science studies and political ecology, this course interrogates the contemporary politics of "nature." Focusing on recent ethnographies that complicated our understandings of the environment, the seminar examines how conceptual boundaries (e.g., nature, science, culture, global/local) are established or transgressed within specific ecological orders).

Instructor(s): J. Masco     Terms Offered: TBD
Equivalent Course(s): CHSS 32805,HIPS 26203,ANTH 23805

ANTH 44700. Specters of Marx: Matter, Mind, Method. 100 Units.

In this seminar, we will interrogate a certain number of Marxist perspectives, and examine how/whether they can help to shed light on the relationship between ideas, material expressions, and social analysis in a post-Marxist world. While many post-mortems have been sung for Marxism, and many allegations of bankruptcy declared, there is often limited or distant engagement with the core texts from which this critique departs. Moreover, recent critical homage, such as Jacques Derridas /Specters of Marx/, seems to suggest that the force of Marx's spirit lives on not as timeless doctrine, to be sure, but as recombinant traces, orientations, and possibilities embedded in the work of writers influenced by his thought.
         Without losing sight of the historical logics of capitalism and the state, we will focus on key texts in the Marxist intellectual tradition as they relate to issues of mind, matter, and method. Starting with Marx himself, the seminar will unfold in roughly chronological and thematic progression to track how his seminal ideas have been amplified, transformed, or undermined by later generations of social theorists (Lukács, Gramsci, Adorno, Benjamin, Althusser, Debord, Lefèbvre, Ollman, Sayer, Derrida, Jameson, Eagleton, Zizek). In the process, we will critically reflect on Marxist engagements with ideas of culture, space, time, history, ideology, hegemony, modernity, and politics, to name but a few.
         Each of these topics could easily be the focus of a whole course. In this light, the seminar hopes to offer an introduction to ideas and concepts, while striving for depth of analysis. This being said, a modicum of familiarity with the broad horizon of Marxist thinking (e.g. labor, relations of production, commodity, fetishism, value, consciousness, alienation, etc.) will be useful and is strongly recommended.

Instructor(s): F. Richard

ANTH 45115. The Work of “Care”:  Managing Life in the 21st Century. 100 Units.

In recent years it has become increasingly clear that the biopolitical project associated with the liberal polity has undergone radical transformation, and that these transformations have been accompanied by increasing social precarity in many parts of the world.  In response to the unsettling of older ways of governing people and growing populations, anthropologists have increasingly begun to examine new, emergent ways of fostering life and belonging. This course will examine a range of such works in order to interrogate on the one hand, how governments or other bureaucratic entities may be reformulating their modes of governance and on the other, how people respond with new ways of belonging and care. Potential readings include texts by Anne Allison, Veena Das, Clara Han, Annemarie Mol, Elizabeth Povinelli, China Scherz, Lisa Stevenson, and others.

Instructor(s): J. Cole, E. Raikhel     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): CHDV Distribution: 2*, 3*, 4*
Equivalent Course(s): CHDV 43345

ANTH 45301. Explorations in Oral Narrative. 100 Units.

A study of storytelling in non-literate and folk societies, antecedent to the complexities of modern narrativity, itself anchored in and energized by literacy. Despite the impact of literacy on modern minds, this course argues for the persistence of ancient themes, plots, characters, and motifs. A further argument is made for the foundational role of storytelling in the creation of culture and construction of society. The central place of storytelling is shown in the humanistic and social sciences: anthropology, economics, history, philosophy, politics, psychoanalysis. Student storytelling and performance of brief stories is encouraged and discussed in light of the main arguments of the course.

Instructor(s): J. Fernandez     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): This course qualifies as a "Discovering Anthropology" selection for Anthropology majors.
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 21306

ANTH 45600. When Cultures Collide: Multiculturalism in Liberal Democracies. 100 Units.

Coming to terms with diversity in an increasingly multicultural world has become one of the most pressing public policy projects for liberal democracies in the early 21st century.  One way to come to terms with diversity is to try to understand the scope and limits of toleration for variety at different national sites where immigration from foreign lands has complicated the cultural landscape.  This seminar examines a series of legal and moral questions about the proper response to norm conflict between mainstream populations and cultural minority groups (including old and new immigrants), with special reference to court cases that have arisen in the recent history of the United States.

Instructor(s): R. Shweder     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Advanced undergraduates may enroll with permission of instructor
Note(s): CHDV Distribution: C; 3*
Equivalent Course(s): PSYC 45300,HMRT 35600,GNDR 45600,CHDV 45699

ANTH 46020. Archaeology of Modernity. 100 Units.

This course covers the development, themes, practices, and problems of the archaeology of the modern era (post 1450 AD), or what in North America is better known as the subfield of "historical archaeology." Texts and discussions address topics such as the archaeology of colonialism, capitalism, industrialization, and mass consumption. Case studies from plantation archaeology, urban archaeology, and international contexts anchor the discussion, as does a consideration of interdisciplinary methods using texts, artifacts, and oral history. Our goal is to understand the historical trajectory of this peculiar archaeological practice, as well as its contemporary horizon. The overarching question framing the course is: what is modernity and what can archaeology contribute to our understanding of it?

Instructor(s): S. Dawdy     Terms Offered: TBD
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 26020

ANTH 46100. Archaeology and Politics of the Past. 100 Units.

This seminar explores the use of the ancient past as a symbolic resource by modern communities and the social situation and responsibilities of archae­ologists in this process. Case studies from a variety of contexts are used to show how archaeology has been implicated in the politically charged con­struction of ethnic and regional identities and nationalist and colonialist mythologies in modern history. Current debates about the authority of competing interpretations of archaeological evidence, the right to control public representations of the past, and the contested ownership of archaeo­logical materials and sites are also discussed.

Instructor(s): Dietler, Michael     Terms Offered: Winter

ANTH 46601. Economic Anthropology and Archaeology. 100 Units.

This seminar is an exploration of approaches to the study of ancient economic systems.  Readings and discussions are structured so as to: 1) give the participants a grounding in the theoretical framework of, and intellectual background to, this domain of inquiry, 2) critically explore major current research issues and methods, and 3) furnish a comparative perspective on the role of economy in society and history.  This course is an exploration of how to think about economic issues in ways that may lead to productive research strategies and insights about past societies.   The course will begin with a discussion of definitions of “economy” and a comparison of different approaches to the subject both within and outside the discipline of anthropology.  The place of economic archaeology in relation to the subfields of economic anthropology and economic history will be evaluated, and the special methodological and theoretical problems of economic archaeology in this context, and its potential contribution, will be emphasized.

Instructor(s): M. Dietler     Terms Offered: Spring

ANTH 46700. Colonial Landscapes. 100 Units Units.

This seminar will explore the ways in which both conscious strategies and practices of colonial control and the unintended effects of colonial encounters have altered the built environment which structures lived experience of the colonial situation for both alien agents and indigenous peoples. At the same time, it will seek to discern the ways in which the conjuncture of differing perceptions of the landscape have affected the experience of colonial encounters and transformations of identity. The seminar is especially concerned to explore possibilities for the archaeological investigation of ancient colonial landscapes; and the ancient Western Mediterranean will serve as a primary empirical focus against which general theoretical constructs and research strategies will be evaluated. Topics include the cultural economy of place and space; the guilt environment, habitus and social practice; monumentality, memory and ritual; networks of communication; cadasters and the agrarian landscape; and landscape and the inscription and contestation of colonial hegemony.

Instructor(s): M. Dietler

ANTH 46800. Ethnoarchaeology and Material Culture. 100 Units.

 This seminar explores the theoretical contributions and research methods of the still developing hybrid subfield of anthropology designed to aid archaeological interpretation by undertaking ethnographic research emphasizing the social understanding of material culture. It also attempts to show the potential ethnoarchaeological research to provide a privileged site of conjuncture between the interests of archaeology and cultural anthropology. The course will proceed primarily by means of a close critical examination of selected ethnoarchaeological case studies and readings in material culture theory. The goals of the course include developing: (1) an appreciation of the range of theoretical approaches being applied to the study of material culture and their relative utility for archaeological interpretation, (2) an understanding of the special problems raised by the process of archaeological interpretation and the nature of archaeological data, and (3) a critically astute competence in evaluating, designing, and executing the techniques and research strategies of ethnoarchaeological fieldwork.

Instructor(s): M Dietler

ANTH 46820. Social Life of Things (And Beyond): Objects, People, Value. 100 Units.

Twenty years ago, Arjun Appadurai published a seminal collection on The Social Life of Things, marking a watershed in anthropological understandings of consumption, circulation, and production, and the role of objects in mediating between cultural sensibilities and economic flows. This work has stimulated a wealth of interest in materiality, and over the years, research has sought to expand the insights of Appadurai’s collection to shed greater light on the relationship between mind, matter, and subjectivity. Drawing on these recent developments, this course aims to explore the material dimensions of cultural life and cultural production. As we engage with contemporary and classic writings in cultural anthropology, archaeology, philosophy, and social theory, we will grapple with several key issues: the boundaries between objects and subjects; the agency of persons and things; the relationship between objects and meaning, between experience and imagination; and the production of sociality in the actions/transactions linking people to their material world. The question of value is crucially implicated in these processes, and will require particular attention. And because material transactions are embedded in overlapping fields of power and politics, we will remain attentive to the ways in which objects make/mark/transgress difference, inequalities, and social boundaries. While we will discuss theories of materiality per se, our focus will rest mostly in theorizing how things work in and through concrete social and historical contexts. In this light, ethnographic studies will provide precious resources in helping us outline the logics, terrains, and lineaments of material and cultural production. Indeed, a central goal of this course is to examine how we can mobilize ethnographic insights on object worlds to reframe or expand archaeological inquiries and possibilities, and how, in turn, archaeological imaginations may help to enhance anthropological understandings of materiality. 

Instructor(s): F. Richard

ANTH 46821. Materiality. 100 Units.

Materiality is on everyone’s lips these days. Literatures across the disciplines are full of living bodies and concrete experiences, object biographies, ‘theories of things,’ a return to ‘matter,’ ‘new’ materialisms spun out of ‘old’ ones… While generative, materiality’s ubiquity also betrays a gap, an ambiguity, an absence. For what materiality is exactly remains unsure. Some seem to use it as a descriptive shorthand for the material world. Others as an analytic tending to the materialness of existence. Or as a discourse on it. For others still, it denotes the tangible effects of actions, practice, signs, and thought. Or a framework for unpacking the relationships mediating between people and things… Conjurations abound, yet seldom escape a certain circularity (“materiality studies… materiality?”). The concept has been used to frame a near infinite horizon of topics, from artefacts, of course, to cosmology, faith, finance, and absence, encompassing phenomena both enduring and ephemeral, both there and not-there. In taking on so much, has materiality outlasted its usefulness? What analytic work did it perform in the first place? With these considerations as background, through classic and recent literatures, this seminar will examine the relevance of ‘materiality’ (epistemologically, conceptually, methodologically) to anthropologies of the contemporary world, at a time when the ontologies of old are dissolving into a bubbling landscape of mixtures, hybridities, and posthumanities, which forces us to rethink basic questions of identity, agency, ethics and politics.

Instructor(s): F. Richard

ANTH 46900. Archaeological Data Sets. 100 Units.

This course focuses on the methodological basis of archaeological data analysis. Its goals are twofold: (1) to provide students with an opportunity to examine research questions through the study of archaeological data; and (2) to allow students to evaluate evidential claims in light of analytical results. We consider data collection, sampling and statistical populations, exploratory data analysis, and statistical inference. Built around computer applications, the course also introduces computer analysis, data encoding, and database structure.

Instructor(s): A. Yao     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Advanced standing and consent of instructor
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 26900

ANTH 47305. The Evolution of Language. 100 Units.

How did language emerge in the phylogeny of mankind? Was its evolution saltatory or gradual? Did it start late or early and then proceed in a protracted way? Was the emergence monogenetic or polygenetic? What were the ecological prerequisites for the evolution, with the direct ecology situated in the hominine species itself, and when did the prerequisites obtain? Did there ever emerge a language organ or is this a post-facto construct that can be interpreted as a consequence of the emergence of language itself? What function did language evolve to serve, to enhance thought processes or to facilitate rich communication? Are there modern “fossils” in the animal kingdom that can inform our scholarship on the subject matter? What does paleontology suggest? We will review some of the recent and older literature on these questions and more.

Instructor(s): S. Mufwene     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): CHSS 41920,CHDV 41920,EVOL 41920,PSYC 41920,LING 21920,CHDV 21920,LING 41920

ANTH 47435. Language and Law Colloquium. 100 Units.

 Students in this proseminar will attend class sessions of Anthropology 27435 (q.v.), and in addition will meet separately to consider issues of particular theoretical interest in furthering a linguistic and semiotic anthropology of language in legal institutions.

Instructor(s): M. Silverstein     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): (PQ Graduate section involves an extra hour of discussion.)

ANTH 47615. Citationality and Performativity. 100 Units.

This class explores the concept of citationality—the (meta)semiotic form and quality of reflexive interdiscursive practices—and its relationship to various social forms and formations. Particular focus is given to the citational form of performativity and the performativity of citational acts. In the first part of the class we explore issues of reflexivity and (meta)semiosis through Charles Sanders Peirce’s semiotic and its reformulation by linguistic anthropology. We then turn to J. L. Austin’s discussion of performativity, Jacques Derrida’s critique of speech act theory, and Judith Butler’s reading of Derrida. The second part of the class explores various forms of citationality, including reported speech; gender performativity; forms of negation and disavowal; mimicry, passing, and pretending; mockery and parody; and commodity and brand fetishes.

Instructor(s): C. Nakassis     Terms Offered: Spring

ANTH 48400. Fieldwork in the Archives. 100 Units.

This is a methods seminar designed for both archaeology and sociocultural graduate students interested in, or already working with, archival materials and original texts. The goal of the course is to develop a tool-kit of epistemological questions and methodological approaches that can aid in understanding how archives are formed, the purposes they serve, their relation to the culture and topic under study, as well as how to search archives effectively and read documents critically. We will survey different types of documents and archives often encountered in fieldwork, and sample approaches taken by historians, anthropologists, and archaeologists from contexts as diverse as the ancient Near East to 1970's Cuba. This seminar will also be driven by the problems and examples that students bring to the discussion. A major outcome will be a research paper that uses original documents from the student's own fieldwork or from locally available archive sources identified during the course. 

Instructor(s): S. Dawdy

ANTH 48710. Death, the Body, and the Ends of Life. 100 Units.

Is death a universal and natural condition? Is life necessarily its opposite? Anthropologists have sought to problematize the biological and psychological ‘reality’ of death by drawing out the conditional ways death is constructed and experienced across different cultural contexts. These range from ‘normal’ deaths to the unconventional (e.g. sorcery killings and human sacrifice) and even virtual deaths. How might these culturally specific accounts be open to comparison and influence new conceptualizations? This course will explore this wide-ranging literature to foreground how death puts self, personhood, and the social into question while engaging the body or corpse as a site of this cultural (re)production. A focus of the course is to seek out a possible productive tension between death as a form of cultural representation to those that analyze the making and allowing of life and death. Tracing classic to recent ethnographic, archaeological, psychological writings, this course will explore themes such as grief and mourning, the undead, immortality, disposals and funerals, and the materiality of dying.

Instructor(s): A. Yao     Terms Offered: TBD
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 28420

ANTH 50500. Commodity Aesthetics: Critical Encounters. 100 Units.

Walter Benjamin and Theodor Adorno’s classic writings on the relationship between cultural production, capitalism and aesthetic experience, value and embodiment are back on the anthropological agenda. Why should this be the case? What relevance does the cultural critique of the Frankfurt School hold for contemporary ethnographic projects? Although this seminar in a sense hinges on the work of Benjamin and Adorno, it is above all an attempt to locate the questions they asked in relation to a longer philosophical genealogy: broadly, German critical responses to capitalist modernity and its particular claims on the senses. Readings will include excerpts from key texts by Kant, Hegel, Marx, Lukacs, Weber,Simmel, Balasz, Kracauer, Adorno, and Benjamin.

Instructor(s): W. Mazzarella

ANTH 50501. Žižek. 100 Units.

Academic stand-up? Intellectual rock star? Slavoj Žižek’s frenetic, eclectic style has often led the theoretical and political seriousness of his project to be eclipsed by his celebrity. Through a series of readings from his most substantial works, this seminar explores the originality of Žižek’s attempt (in a poststructuralist, post-socialist world) to bring Lacanian psychoanalysis into conversation with the Kant-Hegel-Marx lineage of theorizing modernity.

Instructor(s): W. Mazzarella

ANTH 50530. Inspiration and Immunity, Life and World: Reading Peter Sloterdijk. 100 Units.

This seminar is a collaborative enterprise between Professors Naisargi Dave (U Toronto) and William Mazzarella (U Chicago), bringing groups of students in Toronto and Chicago into virtual interaction around a series of close readings of the work of the contemporary philosopher and cultural critic Peter Sloterdijk. We hope to use these readings as a point of departure for a collective conversation on critique, relation, ontology, posthumanism, ecology, dwelling, crisis and vitality. 

Instructor(s): W. Mazzarella, N. Dave     Terms Offered: Winter

ANTH 50620. Reading Foucault. 100 Units.

Foucault has long been part of anthropology’s canon of interlocutors, an engagement that has often been highly generative (though not without detractors). The recent publication (in French and English) of Foucault’s lectures at the Collège de France, and other writings and interviews completed before his death, has revealed a different Foucault, who reprises, expands, and refines themes broached earlier in his career. This ‘late Foucault’ will be the object of this course. Conceived as a reading seminar, the course will consist of weekly substantive engagements with Foucault’s writings on ethics, subjectivity, knowledge, politics, and government, with an eye for their resonance with contemporary anthropological thought, problèmatiques, and concerns.

Instructor(s): F. Richard

ANTH 50705. Capital and Biocapital. 100 Units.

This course will explore some recent work on the political economy of the life sciences, exploring what myself and others have called biocapital. But it will do so through a reading of Marx. It will, therefore, be a course in two parts. The first half of the course will involve reading sections of the later Marx (probably some combination of The Grundrisse and Capital). The second half will involve reading various contemporary works on biocapital, in what Stefan Helmreich has referred to as “Weberian-Marxist” and “Marxist-feminist” veins.

Instructor(s): K. Sunder Rajan

ANTH 50720. Knowledge/Value: Life Sciences and Information Sciences. 100 Units.

No description available.

Instructor(s): K. Sunder Rajan

ANTH 51100. Situations. 100 Units.

What distinguishes ethnography as science?  What constitutes rigor of descriptions in actually ethnographic study of situations?  Can we clarify what distinguishes ethnography from other kinds of intrinsically political and scientific writing?  This course will read interesting recent ethnographies, perhaps Taussig,  Shamanism, Colonialism and the Wild Man (1991); Adams  Doctors for Democracy (1998);  Ohnuki-Tierney  Kamikaze, Cherry Blossoms, and Nationalisms (2002);  Cody, The Light of Knowledge (2013);  de la Cadena, Earth Beings (2015); Wilder, Freedom Time (2015).  We will also read a few classic twentieth-century ethnographies and contemporary discussions of their contexts and politics, perhaps Benedict’s The Chrysanthemum and the Sword and Evans-Pritchard’s Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic Among the Azande as well as Leach on highland Burma.  This course is intended for students already committed to ethnographic work of their own, in quest of best practices. 

Instructor(s): Kelly, John     Terms Offered: Spring

ANTH 51805. Dominion in Disguise: At the Penumbra of Colonialism. 100 Units.

The instructor is developing the concept of crypto-colonialism – first outlined in a 2002 article – to address nation-states outside the formal dominion of Western colonial powers, states that have nevertheless been heavily dependent on those powers.  The concept has gained some traction in the countries concerned, but as a result now demands a more systematic comparative treatment.  Countries to be discussed include Afghanistan, China, Greece, Iceland, Iran, Nepal, and Thailand – superficially a heterogeneous collection, but displaying, under the prism of the crypto-colonial frame, some surprising historical and cultural similarities, especially in those areas of collective self-knowledge the instructor has labeled as “cultural intimacy.”  Those similarities include the fragility of borders and the necessity of bureaucratic concept-work to ensure their tangibility; tensions inherent in Cold War dynamics; unexpected cultural relations with neighboring states conventionally deemed hostile; a deep concern with collective imagery and an awareness of economic and other humiliating forms of dependence.  The seminar will also address two major and legitimate concerns about the model: its capacity to accommodate the agency of the oppressed; and the risk of a discourse that merely reinforces methodological nationalism.

Instructor(s): Michael Herzfeld     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Preference for Anthropology doctoral students

ANTH 51920. Enigma of the Network. 100 Units.

So much has been written about networks, especially since the advent of the Internet, that it is difficult to know how and where to begin specifying the term. Responding to these circumstances, Bruno Latour writes that “the word network is so ambiguous that we should have abandoned it long ago.” Far from abandoning it we have embraced it, and with such vigor that everything and everyone seems to be part of a network. This has rendered the network even more indeterminate while amplifying the enigma of its putatively positive and negative capacities. Some current notions of the network suggest that it is the contemporary fundamental social form, others specify it as a cooperative arrangement of human and non-human actors dispersed in space and time and enabled through electronic communication technologies. The network has come to be an organizational imperative, a paradigm of emergence, and an inherent emergent paradigm. This course will explore several different iterations of the network through close readings of texts that celebrate, critique, expand, and think the network. Special attention will be paid to neo-materialist conceptions of the network that problematize its representational register. 

Instructor(s): M. Fisch

ANTH 51935. Anthropologies of the Line: Cartography, Materiality, Design. 100 Units.

Maps can be approached in many ways: as models for spatial and material refashioning, as symptoms of historical erasure and territorial transformation, or as techniques of colonial displacement and dispossession. As evident in recent (and ongoing) struggles over pipe-lines, lines also arise as infrastructural forces of mobility and extraction to which particular histories of spatial attachment and displacement adhere. This course pushes the study of cartography beyond the problem of territory and governance, refocusing attention on the manifold labors of “the line.” Lines are the basis for borders, constructing modern states and dividing landscapes, but they are also graphic media for writing and thus embody the powers of representation historically associated with that form. How do we think the relationship between writing and cartographic design, desires for intelligibility and projects of geographic remaking, modes of mediation and the material (physical, territorial, ecological, bodily) worlds that are variously crafted, transformed, and undone through the rendering of a line?  Building from anthropology as well as geography, aesthetic theory, cartographic studies, post/colonial theory, environmental studies, and theories of representation/ design, this course pursues new ways of thinking with and about lines as they reshape landscapes and re-form bodies, rendering design a renewed site both of political struggle and desire, of claim-making and aesthetic critique.

Instructor(s): M. Winchell     Terms Offered: Winter

ANTH 51940. Thinking with Infrastructure. 100 Units.

While some of the initial excitement that surrounded the emergence of the anthropology of infrastructure seems to have faded, the field has seen the publication of a number of works in recent years that challenge and develop key concepts and methods in novel ways. In this seminar, we will situate these works within their particular conceptual genealogies in order to gain a broad and critical perspective on the theoretical and methodological contributions of the field.

Instructor(s): M. Fisch     Terms Offered: Winter

ANTH 52700. The Anthropology of Security. 100 Units.

One of the foundational concepts of international order is the notion of security. Though this category is rarely defined in practice, it is the basis for war and peace, for the internal management of populations within states, as well as a rhetorical structure that is increasingly used to mobilize resources (economic, military, and ideological). This seminar interrogates the concept of security through the theoretical literature informing state concepts of security, through ethnographic studies of insecurity, and particularly, through an analysis of U.S. power in the post-Cold War period.

Instructor(s): J. Masco

ANTH 52705. Conspiracy/Theory. 100 Units.

In a world of interlocking complex systems of finance, politics, militarism, and ecology, where agency is often distant and occluded, what kinds of insight and intuition matter? What work does theory do in helping us establish an understanding of both complexity and agency? This seminar considers the emerging terms of epistemology today as well as the limits of theory. It argues that there is a fundamental relationship between the “conspiratorial” and the “theoretical” that goes beyond the hermeneutics of suspicion or psychopathology. Reading across ethnography, psychoanalysis, history, and critical theory—this seminar interrogates the politics of living at a political moment that is not transparent but undergoing constant structural change. This will be a collaborative and experimental seminar.  

Instructor(s): J. Masco     Terms Offered: TBD
Prerequisite(s): Consent of Instructor
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 24815

ANTH 52710. Publics, Privates, Secrets. 100 Units.

George Simmel once wrote that secrecy was "one of the greatest achievements of humanity" because it added complexity to social life, making every social encounter a complex negotiation over concealment or revelation.  This course explores the critical theory of secrecy, and its others -- the public and the private.  We will assess how the deployment or withholding of knowledge is constitutive of experiences of self, social life, and state power.

Instructor(s): J. Masco

ANTH 52715. Anticipatory Knowledge. 100 Units.

Prognosis, prediction, forecasting, risk, threat – we live at a time of proliferating expert anticipatory futures.  This seminar explores how the future is brought into the present as a means of establishing new modes of governance.  It focuses on the historical evolution of expert regimes from closed world systems to emerging forms, tracking how notions of danger (marked as crisis, disaster, and catastrophe) index and invade the present.  The seminar approaches expert futurism as a vehicle for thinking through complex systems, ethics and knowledge production, and the role of the imaginary in security institutions (crossing techno-scientific, military, financial, environmental, and health domains).

Instructor(s): J. Masco

ANTH 53010. Multi-Si(gh)ted Ethnography. 100 Units.

This course makes the case for thinking about multi-sited ethnography as a conceptual topology rather than a literalist methodology. The argument of the course is that multi-sited research is something other than simply proliferating the physical sites of one’s research; it is rather about the constitutive imbrication of questions of scale and perception in research design. In other words, a multi-sited sensibility is also necessarily a multi-sighted sensibility, requiring a proliferation of modes of sensory and conceptual perception.


The course develops a second argument alongside, concerning the ways in which a multi-sited sensibility is postcolonial in its ethos. To elaborate this, we will turn to critiques of representation in the human sciences, in order to read them as promissory calls for proliferating the norms and forms of ethnographic practice in ways that are adequate to a contemporary globalizing moment. The hope is to develop and understand an affirmatively deconstructive spirit of ethnographic perception and inquiry, in ways that problematize and re-conceptualize both site and sight.

Instructor(s): K. Sunder Rajan     Terms Offered: Winter

ANTH 53320. Urban Emergence. 100 Units.

This course considers the aesthetics, politics, economies, and lived experiences that materialize in relation with thinking the city as a paradigm of emergence and/or an emergent paradigm. As such, it is concerned with the city as a site of generative tension between sedimented practices and nascent phenomena, top-down planning and self-organization, and spatialized morality and temporal becomings. In traversing these themes, it attends to the city as an object, process, and site of reflective theorization. The approach will be both historical and comparative, guided by urban social theory and ethnographic engagements that highlight the sociocultural irreducibility of specific urban conditions, experiences, and questions. Special attention will be given to questions of urban experience and theory vis-à-vis the effects of mass mediation, governmentality, infrastructure, architecture, affective and sensorial registers. This is a graduate seminar but open to undergraduates by permission from the instructor.

Instructor(s): M. Fisch

ANTH 53506. Critical Ethnographies. 100 Units.

This seminar explores recent experiments in ethnographical writing.  The project is to consider the current status of the book-length ethnography (focusing on conceptual innovations, issues of voice, and material layout).  It is also to consider current techniques for writing the imbrication of local forms of everyday life with global forces (across finance, politics, militarism, and the environment).  We will consider the methodological innovations as well as writerly form of current ethnographic work, and posit how ethnography as a genre is evolving in light of efforts to engage increasingly complex and distributed phenomena.   Participation in this upper level seminar is limited.

Instructor(s): J. Masco     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Consent of Instructor
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 22925

ANTH 53807. Questions of Embodiment. 100 Units.

This exploratory seminar considers aspects of the complexity and variety of the body and its responses, and the implications of this for our forms of life, present and past. We will read philosophical, historical, social theoretical and popular literature in an attempt to generate new lines of inquiry concerning the nature and possibilities of embodiment.

Instructor(s): H. Agrama     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Systems-1 or consent of instructor

ANTH 53815. Public Affect. 100 Units.

Affect is everywhere in cultural theory today, and public life is supposedly more affective than it ever was before. Affect represents freedom from the prison-house of reason. Affect represents enslavement to sentiment and passion. Affect is emotion. Affect is not emotion, but rather something more corporeal. Affect is intuitive. Affect is deliberate. Affect is transcendent. Affect is socially and historically mediated. How can we begin to grasp this ubiquitous yet enigmatic concept? In this advanced graduate seminar, we will engage with a series of texts that seek, in very different ways, to mobilize affect as a category of social analysis. A continuous conceptual thread will be a consideration of how a notion of affect might serve to mediate between dialectical and immanentist critical traditions.

Instructor(s): W. Mazzarella

ANTH 53820. Mediation, Modernities and Beyond in Japan. 100 Units.

This seminar engages questions surrounding technological mediation and modernity through the particular socio-historical circumstances of Japan. Our focus will be on the relation in modernity between media and new social forms, representation, experiences and subjectivities. We will explore how contemporary emergent forms of technological media challenge some of the dominant theoretical assumptions that have guided discussions concerning the impact of technological media in the twentieth century. Ultimately, our goal will be to imagine new approaches to contemporary Japan as well as other sites of dense technological mediation. While our overall focus will be on Japan, the readings and discussions will speak across geopolitical boundaries.

Instructor(s): M. Fisch

ANTH 53825. The Anthropology of Sound. 100 Units.

This course is an intensive reading seminar surveying some key works and debates relevant to the anthropological study of sound and sensibility. Students will examine the relation of sound to “modern” modes of reasoning, sentiment and historical consciousness, space and place, the ethics of listening, mechanical reproduction, infrastructure, the phenomenology and politics of voice and silence, the “problem” of noise and the weaponization of sound technologies. The class will involve active listening exercises and an audio production assignment. Readings will include Feld, Schaefer, Corbin, Sterne, Adorno, Kittler, Derrida, Barthes, Hirschkind, Cage, Attali.

Instructor(s): J. Chu

ANTH 54100. Professionalization. 100 Units.

This is a course designed for Anthropology students planning to be on the job market in the near future and deals with such issues and creation of a CV, job letters, on-campus interviews,  first year in an academic job, publication, working toward tenure, etc.

Instructor(s): M. Silverstein     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Designed for post-field students thinking about the job market.

ANTH 54400. Paradoxes of Race. 100 Units.

Notionally grounded in nature, race has a history. We know that racializing discourses and practices are distinctly modern phenomena, intellectually postdating, rather than informing enlightenment ideas about the biological origins of human variation, yet simultaneously growing out of the practical exigencies of the establishment of European domination in colonial scenarios. The historical “artificiality” and ethnographic variability of contemporary projections of embodied racial otherness notwithstanding, ideologies of “race” inform not just patterns of everyday sociality and conflict, but become enshrined in legal and scientific (e.g. medical) policies often explicitly geared towards anti-racist goals. This course examines racializing ideas and practices in several historical and contemporary social and cultural contexts not only with a view towards establishing a genealogy of conceptions of racial difference, but in order to develop a perspective on how to disrupt the social routinization and effectiveness of race as both a discriminatory technos, and a template for self-making.

Instructor(s): S. Palmié.

ANTH 54410. Hybridity. 100 Units.

Ever since the late 1980s when James Clifford discovered that the “pure products” had “gone crazy”, and Ulf Hannerz alerted us to the fact that the “world” was “in creolization”, notions of “hybridity” and “hybridization” (and their various conceptual relatives such as mestizaje, creolization, syncretism, and so forth) have enjoyed increasing currency in our discipline. Often seen as the results of globalization-induced and medially accelerated Hyperdiffusionism, “hybrids”, it seems, are the ubiquitous sign of a postmodern denouement of both “cultures” as “we knew them” (once, when we were “modern”), and the antidote to older anthropological reifications. How ironic then that while the “hybrid” obviously gestures toward what Marilyn Strathern has called “post-plural” conceptions of culture, the languages that are supposed to make it analytically visible often hearken back to the vocabularies of regimes of “breeding” (“hybrid” or “creole”), religious orthodoxies (“syncretism”), systems of racial exclusion and domination (“mestizaje”), or other institutional mechanisms and practices that reproduce and police categorical boundaries – often in order to stabilize particular distributions of power and privilege. This experimental course aims less to scrutinize the analytical utility of the conceptual language these terms appear to put at our disposal, than to probe into the epistemological conditions and taxonomic politics that make “the hybrid” thinkable in the first place, and seemingly “good to think” at the current moment. The central question it poses is: how do we know that something is “hybrid” (or not)? After a very brief initial survey of contemporary “hybridology” and the forms of analysis it seeks to supercede, we will take our departure from Bruno Latour’s suggestion that “hybrids” are the inevitable products of practices of categorical “purification”. In line with this, we will examine the politics of classificatory discernment, recognition, and naturalization that are productive of both the “purities” and the “hybrids” that appear to stand out, and even ostensibly militate, against them. After a foray into taxonomics and “natural kind” philosophy, we will discuss an array of case studies concerning the maintenance of classificatory infrastructures and categorical boundaries in regard to species, sex, language, race, and distinctions between humans and animals, nature and society, persons and things, and life and death. My hunch is that we might conclude that contemporary “hybridity”-talk is epistemologically problematic and politically troubling because far from destabilizing normalized categorical schemes, it necessarily reinforces precisely those distinctions that make “hybrid anomalies” visible in the first place. However, I remain entirely open to be convinced of the merits of hybridity (or rather: conceptualizations of it that I have, so far, failed to take into account).

Instructor(s): S. Palmié

ANTH 54800. Uncanny Modernities. 100 Units.

This seminar examines the concept of the "uncanny" as an ethnographic topic. Pursuing the linkages between perception, trauma, and historical memory, this course asks if the modern state form necessarily produces the uncanny as a social effect. We explore this theme through works of Freud, Lacan, Derrida, Benjamin, and Foucault, as well as recent ethnographies that privilege the uncanny in their social analysis.

Instructor(s): J. Masco     Terms Offered: TBD
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 24800

ANTH 54810. Figuration of the Non-Human: Animals, Spirits, Machines. 100 Units.

It may seem odd for a course in Anthropology, the self-declared “Science of Man” to consider the Non-Human. But of course, humans have interacted with the “non-human” from the moment that hominization began. As Marx (and now Actor-Network Theory) have taught us, this moment inevitably entailed the recruitment of non-human “actants” into properly human projects. But it also entails the capacity to linguistically classify, and so name, the distinction between certain kinds of selves and the non-human others enrolled in projects evolving within historically (and perhaps evolutionarily) specific environments. Thus while other species are bound to forms of self- and non-self recognition on a biotic basis (e.g. through their immune system’s reactions to invasive pathogenic entities, the calibration of their perceptual apparatus to their ecological niches, by species-specific boundaries to sexual reproduction, or zoo-semiotic capabilities), humans appear to be the only animals that cannot only name the difference, and are (therefore) also capable of re-drawing conceptual boundaries between claimed collective selves and their contrastively significant others – whether these are conceded the status of humanity, or not. What is more, as Marx’s once argued, being the “universal animal” humans not only confront the world of “nature” but a “second nature” that they themselves have produced. We could add to this a Third Nature that humans have named and conceptualized.

Instructor(s): S. Palmie     Terms Offered: Winter

ANTH 54820. Post-Nature. 100 Units.

This graduate seminar explores recent work at the intersection of science studies, anthropology, and political ecology exploring ecological endangerment.  Considering the planetary effects of toxicity -- scaled from individual organisms and ecologies to broader issues of climate -- the class considers a natural world radically remade by industrial process.  Readings will engage a wide range of current critical theory on the emerging politics of nature -- from endangerment to post-humanism to chemical dependencies to atmospheres.  Ultimately, the course will consider the ethnographic terms and theoretical implications of living post-nature.

Instructor(s): J. Masco

ANTH 55030. Ehtnographies of the Muslim World. 100 Units.

An examination of contemporary theoretical issues in the anthropology of Islam through close readings of recent ethnographic monographs. Topics may include ethical self-formation, state-making, embodiment and the senses, therapeutic spiritualities, indeterminacy and religious aspiration, and globalization.

Instructor(s): Alireza Doostdar     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Class limit to 15 students
Equivalent Course(s): ISLM 42802,AASR 42802

ANTH 55400. Utopia. 100 Units.

Some claim that utopian thought was a casualty of the late twentieth century, and that we now live in a post-utopian age. This seminar calls this claim into question by exploring the various ways in which utopianism (and its dark twin, dystopianism) continue to structure our lives. We will ask what utopianism implies as social critique, as imaginary practice, and as political-cultural ideology. Departing from a series of classic utopian texts, we move into detailed engagements with Marxist utopias, modernist architectural utopias, anti-colonial utopias, totalitarian utopias, consumerist utopias and technological and/or virtual utopias. 

Instructor(s): J. Masco, W. Mazzarella

ANTH 55535. Law and Empire. 100 Units.

This seminar starts from the premise that the ideal of nation-states as the basic units of law-making – either as sovereigns who reign supreme in their own territory or as formally equal units in an international system – is historically the exception rather than the norm. Instead of treating empires as historical relics to be condemned or celebrated, it explores the history of empires to revisit and reframe basic questions about sovereignty, jurisdiction, constitutionalism, regulation, and rights. This seminar accordingly focuses on a central concern in the history of law - i.e., the management of racial and religious difference. International law in particular has generally oscillated between two approaches: attempting to manage such differences as tolerable variations on universal themes on the one hand and using such differences to exclude categories of people wholesale from the ambit of law and its protections on the other. We will explore both dynamics by reading some classic debates as well as recent scholarship at the intersection of anthropology, law, and history. In so doing, we will explore dilemmas over the management of difference and how have played an important role in shaping law; and how groups deemed marginal, backwards, or even inhuman have sought to engage and define law and the world system; and how such hierarchies and exclusions were transformed after decolonization ushered in a world order based on formally sovereign nation states.

Instructor(s): D. Li     Terms Offered: Winter

ANTH 55540. Captivity. 100 Units.

The premise for this course is that anthropology, as well as other domains of social inquiry, have unacknowledged and unredeemed debts to captivity as structure, experience, and event, from the penal colony to the slave plantation. This course is an attempt to begin to think about those debts through readings in anthropology, history, and philosophy.

Instructor(s): D. Li     Terms Offered: Spring

ANTH 55545. Constitutionalism and the Subject of Rights. 100 Units.

This course thinks through the question of constitutionalism and its relationship to rights, in historical and conceptual registers. Can constitutions be revolutionary instruments, and if so in what ways? How do constitutions enable or constrain imaginaries of justice or democracy? How do we understand the contemporary proliferation of “global Southern” constitutions in relation to histories of Euro-American constitutionalism? In what ways are constitutions legacies of colonialism, and in what ways are they the articulation of quintessentially postcolonial forms of contemporary politics? How do we think about constitutions as formal documents in relation to constitutionalism as a constantly emergent, open-ended and interpretive process? And finally, how do we think about the constitution, as often bounded within the nation-state, in relation both to transnational mobilities and legal imaginaries, and to something as aspirationally universalist as human rights? This course considers material concerned with, and thought out of, the United States, France, India and South Africa, in order to develop comparative entry-points into some of these questions.

Instructor(s): K. Sunder Rajan     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Undergraduate only with permission of the instructor, in special circumstances

ANTH 55605. Regulating Il/Licit Flows: State, Territoriality, Law. 100 Units.

This course examines how changing state practices, legal norms and technical innovations have variously shaped the flows of people, goods, capital and information within and beyond the “national order of things.” Drawing on anthropological theories and methods, we will explore both the historical genealogies and emergent forms of state sovereignty and territoriality and their relation to the production of “lawful” movements vis-à-vis illicit flows. The course is divided into two parts. Part I introduces students to anthropological approaches for analyzing the different spaces of state regulation (land, the seas, the market, checkpoints, refugee camps) while Part II focuses on the pragmatics and effects of law on the movement of various persons (citizens, refugees, migrants) and commodities (drugs, money, contraband).

Instructor(s): J. Chu

ANTH 55615. Gift, Theft, and Debt. 100 Units.

This course draws together debates in classic anthropology, social and political theory, and contemporary ethnography to consider gift, theft, and debt as social scientific analytics as well as historical artifacts. We begin with the gift, tracing anthropological approaches to exchange, value, gender, circulation, morality, and cultural re/production. The second part of the course probes the politics of failed exchange, including accusations of theft, greed, refusal, and denied reciprocity. How might theft mark an historical and theoretical interlude between gift and debt, registering the transformation of existing exchange systems following colonial, republican, and liberalizing interventions in economic life? Relatedly, what historical imaginaries come into play in critiques of neo-colonial extraction as theft? The final section of the course turns to recent debates about debt in its ties to neoliberal systems of value, the crumbling of state welfare, humanitarian and evangelizing missions, and the emergence (or resurgence?) of arrangements of labor contract, paternalism, and bondage long assumed to have been displaced by “free” exchange. While approaching analytics as historical artifacts, the course also foregrounds the instabilities of this modernizing telos, including the creation of new gift regimes and the longevity of debt. By situating social scientific analytics within specific trajectories of thought and history, the course raises new questions about the evalua

Instructor(s): M. Winchell     Terms Offered: Autumn

ANTH 55730. Reading Talal Asad. 100 Units.

Reading and discussion of the works of Talal Asad.

Instructor(s): H. Agrama     Terms Offered: Winter

ANTH 55974. Frenchness. 100 Units.

This course explores the conflicted histories underlying and disrupting modern constructions of “Frenchness.” These issues have come to the fore in the recent debates on multiculturalism launched by Nicolas Sarkozy in 2009, or indeed the conversations sparked by the rise and mainstreaming of extreme right political parties; that said, they are also echoed in many earlier moments of collective anxiety over who is or isn’t a Frenchwoman or Frenchman – speaking directly to the many exclusions, silences, and exceptions at the heart of the nation.  Using a perspective of the long-term linking France’s colonial past and its postcolonial present, we will interrogate the contradictions that have driven the various political projects informing the idea of French identity. In the course of our readings, we will critically examine France’s relationship to itself in the light of legal debates over citizenship, the Haitian and Algerian Revolutions, colonial humanism, republicanism, secularism, Islam, sexual equality, race, immigration, human rights, and liberal democracy. There is no language requirement for this course, but reading knowledge of French and oral comprehension are strongly recommended.

Instructor(s): F. Richard     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): There is no language requirement for this course, but reading knowledge of French and oral comprehension are strongly recommended.

ANTH 56000. The Preindustrial City. 100 Units.

This seminar will be an intensive examination of the origins and structure of the preindustrial city, with an emphasis on social theories of the city that will take us into the spectrum of preindustrial/industrial/post-industrial cities. Lectures, discussions and participant presentations will be framed around an examination of theories of urban genesis, function, and meaning with speicl reference to the economic, sociological and ideological bases of city development. The seminar is broadly comparative in perspective and will consider the nature of the preindustrial city in a variety of regional and temporal contexts.. Although substantial emphasis will be placed on preindustrial urban formations and urban-rural relations, we will also touch upon issues relating to more recent historical and contemporary patterns of urbanism.

Instructor(s): A. Kolata

ANTH 56010. The City in History. 100 Units.

This seminar will be in intensive examination of the origins, structure and cultural experience of city life. Lectures, discussion and participant presentations will be framed around an examination of theories of urban genesis, function, and meaning with special reference to the economic, sociological and ideological bases of city development. The seminar is broadly comparative in perspective and will consider the nature of the city in a variety of regional and temporal contexts with an emphasis on social theories of the city that will take us into the spectrum of preindustrial/industrial/post-industrial cities. The seminar will consist of initial orienting lectures, discussion of selected texts concerned with social theories of the city, and presentation of research projects by class participants.

Instructor(s): A. Kolata

ANTH 56115. Archaeology of Bronze Age China Advanced Seminar. 100 Units.

“Bronze Age” in China conventionally refers to the time period from ca. 2000 to about 500 BC, during which bronze, an alloy of copper and other metals such as tin and lead, was the predominant medium used by the society, or to be more precise, the elite classes of the society. Bronze objects, in the forms of vessels, weapons, and musical instruments, were reserved for the upper ruling class of the society and were used mostly as paraphernalia during rituals and feasting. “Bronze Age” in China also indicates the emergence and eventual maturation of states with their bureaucratic systems, the presence of urban centers, a sophisticated writing system, and advanced craft producing industries, especially metal production.  This course surveys the important archaeological finds of Bronze Age China, and the theoretical issues such as state formation, craft production, writing, bureaucratic systems, urbanization, warfare, and inter-regional interaction, etc.  It emphasizes a multi-disciplinary approach with readings and examples from anthropology, archaeology, art history, and epigraphy. This course will also visit the Smart Museum, the Field Museum, and the Art Institute of Chicago to take advantage of the local collections of ancient Chinese arts and archaeology.

Instructor(s): Y. Li     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): EALC 51010

ANTH 56201. The Human Environment: Ecological Anthropology and Anthropological Ecology. 100 Units.

This graduate seminar is framed around a critical intellectual history of Nature/Culture concepts from the 18th century to the present. We will explore multiple, contradictory strands of social thought regarding Human/Environment interactions, including the concepts of Descartes, Thoreau, Linneaeus, Darwin, and Spencer, as well as a broad range of contemporary analysts. We will be particularly engaged in exploring the tensions between dualistic and monadic conceptions of the Human/Environment relationship, and their relationship to the emerging sciences of human-environment interactions and sustainability. The politics of nature and the “ecological crisis” of the Anthropocene will be explored through the lens of distinct philosophical and ideological standpoints that explicitly or implicitly prescribe a range of practical human interventions in the world. 

Instructor(s): A. Kolata     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Description updated 3/4/18

ANTH 56310. Time and Temporality. 100 Units.

How is time understood, experienced, and represented by different human societies?  How do pastness, presentism, and imagined futures shape lived experience, political possibilities, and the framing of our research? The approach will be interdisciplinary, incorporating both classic (Zeno, Benjamin, Fabian, Munn, Thompson) and new works (Hartog, Virilio) in the study of time and temporality in anthropological and philosophical modes. This year's iteration of the course will focus especially on futures (speculative, apocalyptic, utopian).

Instructor(s): S. Dawdy     Terms Offered: Spring

ANTH 56500. The Archaeology of Colonialism. 100 Units.

This seminar is a comparative exploration of archaeological approaches to colonial encounters. It employs temporally and geographically diverse case studies from the archaeological and historical literature situated within a critical discussion of colonial and postcolonial theory. The course seeks to evaluate the potential contribution of archaeology both in providing a unique window of access to precapitalist forms of colonial interaction and imperial domination and in augmenting historical studies of the expansion of the European world-system. Methodological strategies, problems, and limitations are also explored.

Instructor(s): M. Dietler

ANTH 56515. The Underworld: Archaeology of Crime and Informal Economies. 100 Units.

Archaeology often claims to substantiate undocumented histories. In such a view, almost any kind of archaeology performs a type of forensics of informal social and economic processes. We will take an epistemological look at the most literal examples – archaeological interpretations of criminal acts and informal and/or illegal economic practices. Readings will span from classic foundations of economic anthropology and economic archaeology to the artifactual evidence used to interpret felicide, smuggling, prostitution, and contemporary war crimes. The central questions around which this student-led seminar will focus are: what are the evidentiary logics of archaeology?; what is at stake in parsing social and economic practices into 'formal' and 'informal' domains?; and what are the challenges and potentials of doing an archaeology of practices intended to leave no trace?

Instructor(s): S. Dawdy

ANTH 57701. Linguistic Anthropology Seminar: Boundaries, Borders, Contacts: Processes of Differentiation. 100 Units.

The question of boundaries - - between languages, cultures, ethnic groups, institutions, disciplines, territories - - has been a central one in anthropological theorizing. Herderian assumptions equating supposedly grounded languages with territorially delimited culture (on the implicit model of nation-states) were foundational for the discipline. Noteworthy is the persistence of such terms as analysis despite repeated scholarly attacks on the notion of groundedness in language and culture, and attacks on the related assumption of homogeneity within supposed boundaries. We have recently witnessed yet another revival (and critique) of terms meant to recognize the regularity with which boundaries are breached: “hybridity,” “syncretism,” “creolization,” “crossings,” “borderlands,” “global/local,” and “frontiers.” This course examines critically the current use of such terms. The goal of the course is to survey and develop the semiotic, sociolinguistic and institutional processes - - for instance of differentiation, stereotypy, commensuration, and standardization - - that create and regiment cultural difference, and that are often simply glossed (and glossed over) when spatial metaphors are applied to culture, language and space itself. A focus on language ideologies and linguistic differentiation will be our conceptual starting point.

Instructor(s): S. Gal

ANTH 57710. Linguistic Anthropology Seminar: Translation and Textual Circulation: Communicative Aspects of Transnational Processes. 100 Units.

This seminar investigates communicative dimensions of globalization. How are movements of people, objects and texts mediated by semiotic processes and by linguistic practices. Some questions concern form: How are texts and text artifacts transformed in the process of moving across national spaces regimented by different standard languages? How does this movement change the national spaces? Is “movement” the apt characterization of this process, or rather imitation, citation, iteration? The political economy of literary and technical translation in this conventional sense is our starting point in the seminar. But denotational codes (named languages) are only one of the sites at which various transformations occur in the apparent movements of texts and practices. The goal of the seminar is to examine “translation” as also a pragmatic process, worked across systems of indexicality, across differently situated discursive formations. Ethnography itself has often been characterized as a discipline of translation in this sense. How and when are commensurabilities established not only between languages but among different registers and discourses (e.g. medical to legal to commonsense)? What social roles and institutions create and mediate commensurabilities or ruptures in specific ethnographic and political contexts? How can we study the nodes of control and conflict? Of censorship, stoppage and obstruction? More generally, what limits are imposed on cultural forms as the condition of their circulation across various types of institutions? How are cultural forms – texts, practices – made transportable and transposable? When are boundaries between cultural, ethnic, linguistic, social units created, contested or erased through such transposition. Starting with notions of entextualization, recontextualization, language ideology and interdiscursivity as developed in recent linguistic anthropology, the seminar aims to read criticallyacross current ethnographic literature on topics such as: “cultural translation,” “cultures of circulation,” “publics,” “translation studies,” “trading zones,” and “semiotics of global flows.”

Instructor(s): S. Gal

ANTH 57715. Linguistic Anthropology Seminar: Narrative. 100 Units.

The goal is to find and analyze narratives in ethnographic materials: what counts as narratives, how they are (sometimes) institutionalized, their effects on social organizations and their implications for various cultural processes such as, for instance, memory and tradition, political conflict, career building, nation-making, regionalization, health-maintenance, among others. We will try various modes of narrative analysis to see how they work and why.  In the first few weeks, we review some philosophical questions about time and its experience via linguistic/textual representations, then move to some literary and theory-of- history opinions/traditions, including the question of emergent story practices and their cultural categorizations. Most of the course will focus on recognizing and analyzing various genres or their fragments in fieldnotes and interviews, in interactions, mass media products and in the ethnographic accounts of others. Seminar participants will present their own field materials or critically read ethnographies focused on narratives (or ones that include such but do not highlight them) and discuss how storytelling-in-action and in interaction operates: e.g. how it might orient and align speakers and produce the textures of social life.

Instructor(s): S. Gal

ANTH 57718. Linguistic Anthropology Seminar: Politics of Translation: Circulations and Commensurations Across Social Domains. 100 Units.

Ethnography has long been considered the “translation” of cultures, but the process of translation has not often been closely examined in anthropology. Since the middle of the 20th century it has been problematized by philosophy of science, in which incommensurability between “paradigms” was thought to block translation across them, undermining the possibility of progress. Similarly, the politics of multiculturalism in many parts of the globe has revived Herderian notions of cultures as “monads” between which there is only miscommunication, apparently undermining the founding assumptions of liberalism. Cultural, ethical, epistemic and linguistic “relativity” were the labels for discussing such matters in earlier decades. Today, these concepts are increasingly problematic as anthropology engages with the ubiquitous facts of circulation: in addition to objects, materials and commodities, financial instruments, discourses, media, methods, theories, political movements, institutional arrangements all seem to “travel” across space-time, seeming to contradict assumptions of cultural incommensurability. This course asks: How (if at all) do cultural “objects” come to be measured by similar metrics (i.e. commensurated), and/or equated in meaning (i.e. translated) so that they are taken up, recognized, reanimated, imitated in diverse locations and thus seem to travel and circulate. We start with the hypothesis that there are semiotic processes and practices by which translation and commensuration are achieved, fought over, and/or rejected. What are they? Especially: How are the social worlds, “objects,” personae and sites of commensuration/translation themselves transformed by these processes. The strategy of the course is to start with practices of linguistic translation, as these are among the mediators of virtually all other commensuration processes. We explore how far linguistic and semiotic practices at language boundaries in specific sociohistorical and ideological circumstances can help illuminate other forms of commensuration and boundary work. What are the implications of these processes for the practice of anthropology?

Instructor(s): S. Gal

ANTH 57724. Seminar: Introductions to Linguistic Anthropology. 100 Units.

The plethora of handbooks, encyclopedias, companions, etc. (not to mention journals and book series) for what is captioned “linguistic anthropology” – notably overlapping with what is termed “sociolinguistics,” though not of the variationist coloration – has now been joined by a number of teaching texts, most recently one from Cambridge University Press.  What, actually, are these texts introducing to undergraduates in the way of a presumed (sub)discipline that has reached a clarity for codification as an area of study?  What topics are “in”; which possible others are overlooked or neglected, perhaps the subject matter for other pedagogies?  Do these treatments each cohere in some discernible conceptual framework from which derives a narrative about the sociocultural life – and meta-life – of language?  Is there an intellectual periodization revealed in the longer intellectual trajectories of what have become related and intersecting/diverging self-conscious “disciplines” dealing with language—culture—social formations—mind—etc.?  What seems to become of “linguistic anthropology” when this area of research and publication is turned into the focus of an elementary teaching text?

Instructor(s): M Silverstein     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): LING 57724

ANTH 58011. Archaeology of Craft Production: Theories and Case Studies. 100 Units.

The course will review anthropological literature and case studies of craft production and craft specialization in ancient civilizations. It also takes a multi-disciplinary approach by adopting perspectives developed in history and art history. Topics discussed in the course include organization of production, craft production and the elite, chaîne opératoire, status and identity of artisans, and political economy and craft production. Students are expected to become familiar with prevalent theoretical discussions and are encouraged to apply, adopt, or revise them in order to analyze examples of craft production of their own choice.

Instructor(s): Y. Li     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Open to undergraduates with consent.
Equivalent Course(s): EALC 58011

ANTH 58200. Material Culture and Consumption: Embodied Material Culture -- Food, Drink, and Drugs in History. 100 Units.

The Material Culture and Consumption seminar is designed to explore a series of current major research frontiers in the understanding of material culture. This domain of inquiry constitutes an exciting new convergence of interests among the fields of archaeology, cultural anthropology, history, and sociology; hence, the seminar seeks to explore the intersection of novel theoretical developments and empirical research among all these fields. The theme for this year’s seminar is "Embodied Material Culture": that is, objects which are produced specifically for consumption by ingestion into the human body. Readings and discussion will center around works that grapple with the social and cultural understanding of food, alcohol, and drugs in ancient and modern contexts. Their close association with the body and the senses, as well as their nutritive and psychoactive properties, make these forms of material culture an especially salient, symbolically charged form of "social fact" and make the study of their consumption a particularly revealing key to social relations, cultural concepts, and articulations of the domestic and political economies.

Instructor(s): M. Dietler

ANTH 58510. Anthropology of Space/Place/Landscape. 100 Units.

Materiality has emerged as a fertile interest in anthropology and other social sciences. Within this broad conceptual umbrella, space, place, and landscape have become critical lenses for analyzing and interpreting people’s engagement with their physical surroundings. Once an inert backdrop to social life, a mere epiphenomenon, the material world is now acknowledged as a generative medium and terrain of cultural production: at once socially produced and framing sociality, shaping and constraining human possibilities, both by and against design. This course concerns itself with these articulations: (1) the spatial production of social worlds, (2) its expressions in different cultural and historical settings, and (3) its trails of ambiguous effects. Drawing on several fields, anthropology and geography chiefly, but also art history, architecture, philosophy, and social theory, we will explore how the triad of space/place/landscape works on, in, and through different social worlds and its role in the making of social experience, perception, and imagination. We will also reflect on how spatial formations frequently elude the very social projects that have birthed them. The objective of the course is to provide you with a foundation in contemporary spatial thought, which can be creatively applied to questions of spatiality in your own research setting.

Instructor(s): F. Richard     Terms Offered: TBD
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 28510

ANTH 58516. Creativity. 100 Units.

Creativity is increasingly viewed as an ascendant force capable of rejuvenating post-industrial urban life. What is meant by creativity has historically been a trickier matter however? Is it an impulse, a faculty, or an agency? How did it come to acquire value and become identified as a “good?” This seminar examines creativity as an idea circulating in the domains of art, design, religion, and science. We trace the historical and intellectual roots of the concept and attend to the roles of making, imagination, and ability in an effort to develop an approach beyond the realm of aesthetic activity. Is it possible to speak of novelty and innovation outside of the arts? How can novelty be generated in the technical space of a workshop and factory?  

Instructor(s): Y. Yao     Terms Offered: Spring

ANTH 58517. Creativity and Craftwork. 100 Units.

The central theme of this course is an exploration of creativity from the perspective of anthropology, philosophy, and the design. From the creative industries, to the creative class and creative commons, creativity appears less a faculty of certain individuals and more a collective force which produces new relationships and values. Why is creativity a persistent and prominent item on a variety of agendas, education, commercial spheres and more broadly in culture? Why does it matter to consider the creative possibilities of skilled labor and of manufactured products?  What is at stake in the creative life?


This course aims to work through the conceptual issues posed by creativity, in particular its complex intellectual history and traditions of thought, for an anthropological approach to this topic. We will endeavor to shift the inquiry beyond Romantic notions of genius and modern perspectives on the commodity aesthetic with readings drawn from ethnographies of craftwork & design and theories of embodied and tacit knowledge. The course thus draws from a variety of disciplines to explore how the processes of making – the hand, skills, gestures, materials, and learning – may help us think about the shifting domains of creative action. We will also visit a pottery studio and take a lesson to complement our inquiry on embodied thought. 

Instructor(s): Alice Yao     Terms Offered: Spring

ANTH 58600. Social Theory of the City. 100 Units.

This graduate seminar explores various historical, sociological and anthropological theories of cities. The course analyzes major theoretical frameworks concerned with urban forms, institutions and experience as well as particular instances of city development from pre-modern to contemporary periods. The seminar will consist of initial orienting lectures, discussion of selected texts concerned with social theories of the city, and presentation of research projects by class participants.

Instructor(s): A. Kolata     Terms Offered: Winter

ANTH 58702. Archaeologies of Political Life. 100 Units.

This seminar examines how archaeologists have approached political life in the past forty years. Its aim is to question the categories through which political worlds are often studied (beginning with such unwieldy terms as 'states,’ 'chiefdoms,’ ‘complexity,’ etc.) and complicate analyses of politics in the past. Rather than relying on concepts that already predetermine the outcome of political functioning, we will read key texts in anthropology and political theory (on sovereignty, domination, legitimacy, political economy, governance, ideology, hegemony, subjectivity, anarchy) to dissect the foundations and operations of power, expose its cultural logics, and explore the processes behind the categories. Some of the questions that will guide our discussions include: How do politics work in both past and present? Through what channels and modalities? With what effects (anticipated or not)? And what role does the material world play in mediating these relations? Each week will pair theoretical readings with case-studies drawn from different parts of the world and from different moments in history. Through this seminar, students will gain familiarity with classic archaeological thinking on power and critical perspectives steering contemporary studies of past politics.

Instructor(s): F. Richard     Terms Offered: TBD
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 28702

ANTH 58715. Being and Death. 100 Units.

This course is an intensive critical reading seminar on classic and recent works regarding the dead body and mortuary practices in contemporary societies. We will also review works in the anthropology of ontology in an effort to articulate connections between current theory and ethnography. Suited to graduate students with well-developed research interests in these areas.

Instructor(s): S. Dawdy     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Consent of Instructor

ANTH 59500. Archaeology Laboratory Practicum. 100 Units.

This hands-on lab practicum course exposes students to various stages of artifact processing on a collection from a recently excavated site (e.g., washing, sorting, flotation, identification, data entry, analysis, report preparation, curation). The primary requirement is that students commit to a minimum of nine hours of lab work per week, with tasks assigned according to immediate project needs.

Instructor(s): F. Richard, S. Dawdy     Terms Offered: TBD. Various
Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor
Note(s): This course qualifies as a Methodology selection for Anthropology majors. Undergraduates may take it only once for credit.
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 29500