Anthropology

Departmental Office: 452 Schermerhorn; 212-854-4552
http://www.columbia.edu/cu/anthropology

Director of Undergraduate Studies: (Fall term 2017)
Prof. John Pemberton, 858  Schermerhorn Extension; 212-854-7463; jp373@columbia.edu  Office Hours: TBA

Departmental Consultants:
Archaeology: Prof. Zoë Crossland, 965 Schermerhorn Extension; 212-854-7465; zc2149@columbia.edu
Biological/Physical Anthropology: Prof. Ralph Holloway, 856 Schermerhorn Extension; 212-854-4570; rlh2@columbia.edu

Anthropology at Columbia is the oldest department of anthropology in the United States. Founded by Franz Boas in 1896 as a site of academic inquiry inspired by the uniqueness of cultures and their histories, the department fosters an expansiveness of thought and independence of intellectual pursuit.

Cross-cultural interpretation, global socio-political considerations, a markedly interdisciplinary approach, and a willingness to think otherwise have formed the spirit of anthropology at Columbia. Boas himself wrote widely on pre-modern cultures and modern assumptions, on language, race, art, dance, religion, politics, and much else, as did his graduate students including, most notably, Ruth Benedict and Margaret Mead.

In these current times of increasing global awareness, this same spirit of mindful interconnectedness guides the department. Professors of anthropology at Columbia today write widely on colonialism and postcolonialism; on matters of gender, theories of history, knowledge, and power; on language, law, magic, mass-mediated cultures, modernity, and flows of capital and desire; on nationalism, ethnic imaginations, and political contestations; on material cultures and environmental conditions; on ritual, performance, and the arts; and on linguistics, symbolism, and questions of representation. Additionally, they write across worlds of similarities and differences concerning the Middle East, China, Africa, the Caribbean, Japan, Latin America, South Asia, Europe, Southeast Asia, North America, and other increasingly transnational and technologically virtual conditions of being.

The Department of Anthropology traditionally offered courses and majors in three main areas: sociocultural anthropology, archaeology, and biological/physical anthropology. While the sociocultural anthropology program now comprises the largest part of the department and accounts for the majority of faculty and course offerings, archaeology is also a vibrant program within anthropology whose interests overlap significantly with those of sociocultural anthropology. Biological/physical anthropology has shifted its program to the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology. The Anthropology Department enthusiastically encourages cross-disciplinary dialogue across disciplines as well as participation in study abroad programs.

Sociocultural Anthropology

At the heart of sociocultural anthropology is an exploration of the possibilities of difference and the craft of writing. Sociocultural anthropology at Columbia has emerged as a particularly compelling undergraduate liberal arts major. Recently, the number of majors in sociocultural anthropology has more than tripled.

Students come to sociocultural anthropology with a wide variety of interests, often pursuing overlapping interests in, for example, performance, religion, writing, law, ethnicity, mass-media, teaching, language, literature, history, human rights, art, linguistics, environment, medicine, film, and many other fields, including geographical areas of interest and engagement. Such interests can be brought together into provocative and productive conversation with a major or concentration in sociocultural anthropology. The requirements for a major in sociocultural anthropology reflect this intellectual expansiveness and interdisciplinary spirit.

Archaeology

Archaeologists study the ways in which human relations are mediated through material conditions, both past and present. Particular emphases in the program include the development of ancient states and empires, especially in the indigenous Americas; the impact of colonial encounters on communities in the American Southwest, the Levant and Africa; and human-animal relations in prehistory, religion and ritual, and the archaeology of the dead.

Themes in our teaching include the political, economic, social, and ideological foundations of complex societies; and archaeological theory and its relationship to broader debates in social theory, technology studies, and philosophy. Faculty members also teach and research on questions of museum representations, archaeological knowledge practices, and the socio-politics of archaeology. The program includes the possibility of student internships in New York City museums and archaeological fieldwork in the Americas and elsewhere.

Advising

Majors and concentrators should consult the director of undergraduate studies when entering the department and devising programs of study. Students may also seek academic advice from any anthropology faculty member, as many faculty members hold degrees in several fields or positions in other departments and programs at Columbia. All faculty in the department are committed to an expansiveness of thought and an independence of intellectual pursuit and advise accordingly.

Honors Thesis

Anthropology majors with a minimum GPA of 3.6 in the major who wish to write an honors thesis for departmental honors consideration may enroll in ANTH UN3999 The Senior Thesis Seminar in Anthropology. Students should have a preliminary concept for their thesis prior to course enrollment. Normally no more than 10% of graduating majors receive departmental honors in a given academic year.

Professors

  • Nadia Abu El-Haj (Barnard)
  • Lila Abu-Lughod
  • Partha Chatterjee
  • Myron L. Cohen
  • Terence D’Altroy
  • E. Valentine Daniel
  • Steven Gregory
  • Ralph L. Holloway
  • Claudio Lomnitz
  • Mahmood Mamdani
  • Brinkley Messick
  • Rosalind Morris
  • Elizabeth Povinelli
  • Nan Rothschild (Barnard, emerita)
  • David Scott
  • Lesley A. Sharp (Barnard)
  • Michael Taussig
  • Paige West (Barnard)

Associate Professors

  • Zoe Crossland
  • Catherine Fennell
  • Severin Fowles (Barnard)
  • Marilyn Ivy
  • Brian Larkin (Barnard)
  • John Pemberton
  • Audra Simpson

Assistant Professors

  • Vanessa Agard-Jones
  • Naor Ben-Yehoyada
  • Hannah Rachel Chazin
  •  

Lecturers

  • Brian Boyd
  • Ellen Marakowitz
  • Karen Seeley

Adjunct Research Scholar

Guidelines for all Anthropology Majors and Concentrators

Grading

No course with a grade of D or lower can count toward the major or concentration. Only the first course that is to count toward the major or concentration can be taken Pass/D/Fail.

Courses

Courses offered in other departments count toward the major and concentration only when taught by a member of the Department of Anthropology. Courses from other departments not taught by anthropology faculty must have the approval of the director of undergraduate studies in order to count toward the major or concentration.


Major in Anthropology

The requirements for this program were modified on January 29, 2016.

The program of study should be planned as early as possible in consultation with the director of undergraduate studies.

The anthropology major requires 30 points in the Department of Anthropology.

Sociocultural Focus

Students interested in studying sociocultural anthropology are required to take the following courses:

ANTH UN1002 The Interpretation of Culture
ANTH UN2004 Introduction to Social and Cultural Theory
ANTH UN2005 Ethnographic Imagination

Archaeology Focus

Students interested in studying archaeological anthropology are required to take the following courses:

ANTH UN1002 The Interpretation of Culture
ANTH UN2004 Introduction to Social and Cultural Theory
ACLG UN2028 Pasts, Presents Futures: An Introduction to 21st Century Archaeology

NOTE: Students wishing to pursue an interdisciplinary major in archaeology should see the Archaeology section of this Bulletin.

Biological/Physical Focus

Students interested in studying this field should refer to the major in evolutionary biology of the human species in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology.


Concentration in Anthropology

The anthropology concentration requires 20 points in the Department of Anthropology.

Sociocultural Focus

Students interested in studying sociocultural anthropology are required to take the following course:

ANTH UN1002 The Interpretation of Culture

Archaeology Focus

Students interested in studying archaeological anthropology are required to take the following course:

ACLG UN2028 Pasts, Presents Futures: An Introduction to 21st Century Archaeology

Biological/Physical Focus

Students interested in pursuing study in this field should refer to the concentration in evolutionary biology of the human species in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology.

Fall 2017
Sociocultural Anthropology

ANTH UN1002 The Interpretation of Culture. 3 points.

The anthropological approach to the study of culture and human society. Case studies from ethnography are used in exploring the universality of cultural categories (social organization, economy, law, belief system, art, etc.) and the range of variation among human societies.

Spring 2017: ANTH UN1002
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 1002 001/75227 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
501 Northwest Corner
Audra Simpson 3 79/120
ANTH 1002 002/03929 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
323 Milbank Hall
Brian Larkin 3 37/120
Fall 2017: ANTH UN1002
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 1002 001/62589 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Room TBA
Audra Simpson 3 80/120

ANTH UN1007 The Origins of Human Society. 3 points.

Mandatory recitation sections will be announced first week of classes.

An archaeological perspective on the evolution of human social life from the first bipedal step of our ape ancestors to the establishment of large sedentary villages. While traversing six million years and six continents, our explorations will lead us to consider such major issues as the development of human sexuality, the origin of language, the birth of “art” and religion, the domestication of plants and animals, and the foundations of social inequality. Designed for anyone who happens to be human.

Fall 2017: ANTH UN1007
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 1007 001/03405 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Room TBA
Severin Fowles 3 76/120

ANTH UN2001 Nationalism, Populism, Democracy. 4 points.

Although the course will offer a historical approach to the question of populism, it will try to address the relation between nationalism, populism and democracy at a more conceptual level, seeking to develop analytical tools for understanding contemporary social and political ideologies and conflicts. The readings consist of a mix of historical and theoretical texts, in addition to a short novel and three films.

Fall 2017: ANTH UN2001
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 2001 001/76046 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Room TBA
Partha Chatterjee 4 24/100

ANTH UN2004 Introduction to Social and Cultural Theory. 3 points.

Introduces students to crucial theories of society, paying particular attention to classic social theory of the late 19th and 20th centuries. Traces a trajectory through writings essential for an understanding of the social: from Saussure, Durkheim, Mauss, Marx, Freud, and Weber, on to the structuralist ethnographic elaboration of Claude Levi-Strauss, the historiographic reflections on modernity of Michel Foucault, and contemporary modes of socio-cultural analysis. Explored are questions of signification at the heart of anthropological inquiry, and to the historical contexts informing these questions.

Fall 2017: ANTH UN2004
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 2004 001/60533 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Room TBA
John Pemberton 3 36/100

ANTH UN2007 Indian and Nigerian Film Cultures. 3 points.

This class places into comparative focus one of the oldest and one of the newest forms of global cinema outside of the U.S. It introduces and examines these film industries - their platforms, histories, aesthetics, and place in postcolonial life. We will explore how nonwestern contexts of film production and exhibition offer alternative histories of film. Topics include: aesthetics and genre; space and urbanization; colonialism and postcolonialism, shifting platforms of media exhibition, globalization, the notion of the popular and its relation to art.

ANTH UN2008 Film and Culture. 3 points.

Enrollment limited to 75.

This intellectually demanding course concerns the theory  of film in relation to seeing anew the problem of out-maneuvering power, common sense, narrative structures, and aesthetics. Films include: ethnographic film and documentary  such as "Too Many Captain Cooks," Juan Downey's "The Laughing Alligator," Jean Rouch's "Les Maitre Fous," and "Trobriand Cricket," as well as  early Soviet film, Surrealist film, films by indigenous Australian filmmakers, , Samuel Beckett's "Film," Senegal's Sembene's "Guelwaar", and Harry Smith's "Mahagonny" set in downtown NYC.

Fall 2017: ANTH UN2008
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 2008 001/12696 W 6:10pm - 9:00pm
Room TBA
Michael Taussig 3 61/100

ANTH UN2015 Chinese Society and Culture. 3 points.

Social organization and social change in China from late imperial times to the present. Major topics include family, kinship, community, stratification, and the relationships between the state and local society.

Fall 2017: ANTH UN2015
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 2015 001/28118 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Room TBA
Myron Cohen 3 1/16

ANTH UN2026 On Precarity. 3 points.

The topic of precarity is a growing field in the social sciences. The main purpose of this course is to explore the wide semantics and potentials of the term in relation to domains such as labour, law, ethics, technology, health, relationships, moods, shifts in opinion, in fashions or the durability of goods. Our interest in precarity is grounded in two interrelated key motives: the first addresses it as an object of study in its own right. Judging from recent unemployment rates of the industrialized west, the mass scale displacement of populations or the corrosion of security, there is enough reason to put precarity into context. Yet, we might also proceed by inquiring about its potentials as a methodology, one might even call it “a style of reasoning”.  Given how much history relies on causation, sequence and linearity how to relate to precarity as a temporal structure in light of the complexities of the present? How does such multilateral present redefines the very conception of that present, of the historical and the now?


We will be relating to precarity not just as a condition of existence but also as an infrastructure with which to think societies across space and time. The course will focus on narratives, practices and structures that problematize and displace prima facie logics of the either/or. Instead, we want to highlight conjoined operations of the both/and which are changing the very nature of how we think norms, time and episteme. Taking a clue from the proliferation of forms of precarity, the course will be organized around specific themes. Within each two-week section, the first sessions will be a lecture and the remaining will combine lecture and discussion of the assigned items. As a whole, the course aims to sensitize students to the complexities and conditioning possibilities involved in the process of knowledge-making and to provide students with tools to better structure and critically access the information they receive and generate.

Fall 2017: ANTH UN2026
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 2026 001/18597 T Th 6:10pm - 7:25pm
Room TBA
3 14/30

ANTH UN2031 Corpse Life: Anthropological Histories of the Dead [Previously Archaeologies of Death and . 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

The awareness of mortality seems to be a peculiarly human affliction, and its study has been a key theme of 20th century philosophy. This class will address the question of human finitude from outside of the western philosophical tradition. Anthropologists have shown that humans deal with the challenge of death in diverse ways, which nevertheless share some common themes. During the semester we’ll look at case studies from across the world and over time and also explore the ethics and politics of disturbing the dead. The evidence of past human mortuary assemblages will provide some of our key primary texts. We’ll analyze famous burials such as those of Tutankhamun, the Lord of Sipan, and Emperor Qin’s mausoleum, containing the celebrated terracotta warriors, but we’ll also consider less well-known mortuary contexts. We will also critically examine the dead body as a privileged site for anthropological research, situating its study within the broader purview of anthropological theories of the body's production and constitution.

Fall 2017: ANTH UN2031
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 2031 001/13005 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Room TBA
Zoe Crossland 4 120/120

ANTH UN3040 Anthropological Theory I. 4 points.

Open to majors; all others with instructor's permission.

Prerequisites: an introductory course in anthropology.

Institutions of social life. Kinship and locality in the structuring of society. Monographs dealing with both literate and nonliterate societies will be discussed in the context of anthropological fieldwork methods.

Fall 2017: ANTH UN3040
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3040 001/09257 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Lesley Sharp 4 12/25

ANTH UN3151 Living/Thinking/Doing with Animals: Human-Animal Relationships in the Past, Present, & Fut. 4 points.

This course examines how humans and animals shape each other’s lives. We’ll explore the astounding diversity of human-animal relationships in time and space, tracing the ways animals have made their impact on human societies (and vice-versa). Using contemporary ethnographic, historical, and archaeological examples from a variety of geographical regions and chronological periods, this class will consider how humans and animals live and make things, and the ways in which humans have found animals “good to think with”.  In this course, we will also discuss how knowledge about human-animal relationships in the past might change contemporary and future approaches to living with animals.

Fall 2017: ANTH UN3151
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3151 001/76280 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
4 2/45

ANTH UN3701 Crime and Punishment. 4 points.

In its everyday use, the term “trial” denotes a formal examination of evidence by a judicial tribunal in order to determine the guilt or innocence of the persons accused of a certain act. Yet trials can also stage confrontations of much wider breadth and higher stakes. Ruling powers of various shapes and sizes tend to prosecute those people whom they fear because of their identity, class, craft, or convictions. In such cases, what is often “on trial” is not just one (or more) individual persons, but a set of relationship that these ruling powers see as anathema to the social order they seek to establish or maintain, and on which their power depends. Witches, officers of toppled political orders, those accused of conspiracy (rebels, traitors, terrorists, and dissidents), gangsters and mafiosi, or corrupt officers and magnates – all share that role in social dramas that cast them as enemies of The State, The Church, The People, or Humanity.


We will examine how such trials give us unique opportunities to examine what conceptions of society, of relationships good and evil, and of justice underlie political orders, how they codify and pursue them, and what historical processes these enactments trigger or shape. After an introductory session, we will dedicate two to three weeks on each of these categories. Our goal will be to develop tools for understanding the relationship between the micro-dynamics of trials and the changes that unfold before these events, through them, and in their aftermath.

Fall 2017: ANTH UN3701
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3701 001/60896 M 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Naor Ben-Yehoyada 4 18/18

ANTH UN3803 Language Matters. 4 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

This course takes language as its central object of inquiry. Its central claim is that language matters in the sociocultural worlds where it is produced, negotiated, contested, and even ignored. The word “matters” is also meant to draw attention to how language in use is always material – produced by bodies, perceived aurally, visually, or tactually, and manifest in the specific words, sentences, and stories people say. We will consider how language is a mode of embodied representation; how people use language to create, and not only to represent, their worlds; on story-telling as a mode of social interaction; and meaning beyond language, language beyond life, and what non-humans have to say. 

ANTH UN3823 Archaeology Engaged: The Past in the Public Eye. 4 points.

Enrollment limited to 15. Enrollment Priorities: Seniors and Juniors in ARCH or ANTH

This course provides a panoramic, but intensive, inquiry into the ways that archaeology and its methods for understanding the world have been marshaled for debate in issues of public interest. It is designed to examine claims to knowledge of the past through the lenses of alternative epistemologies and a series of case-based problems that range from the academic to the political, legal, cultural, romantic, and fraudulent.

Fall 2017: ANTH UN3823
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3823 001/73328 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
963 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Terence D'Altroy 4 6/15

ANTH BC3871 Senior Thesis Seminar: Problems in Anthropological Research. 4 points.

Prerequisites: Limited to Barnard Anthropology Seniors.

Offered every Fall. Discussion of research methods and planning and writing of a Senior Essay in Anthropology will accompany research on problems of interest to students, culminating in the writing of individual Senior Essays. The advisory system requires periodic consultation and discussion between the student and her adviser as well as the meeting of specific deadlines set by the department each semester.  Limited to Barnard Senior Anthropology Majors.

Fall 2017: ANTH BC3871
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3871 001/07710 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Paige West, Severin Fowles 4 13

ANTH UN3879 The Medical Imaginary. 4 points.

Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor's permission required. Non anthropology majors require instructor's permission.

 How might we speak of an imaginary within biomedicine? This course interrogates the ideological underpinnings of technocratic medicine in contexts that extend from the art of surgery to patient participation in experimental drug trials. Issues of scale will prove especially important in our efforts to track the medical imaginary from the whole, fleshy body to the molecular level. Key themes include everyday ethics; ways of seeing and knowing; suffering and hope; and subjectivity in a range of medical and sociomedical contexts. Open to anthropology majors; non-majors require instructor’s permission.  Enrollment limit is 15.

ANTH UN3933 Arabia Imagined. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

This course explores Arabia as a global phenomenon. It is organized around primary texts read in English translation. The site of the revelation of the Quran and the location of the sacred precincts of Islam, Arabia is the destination of pilgrimage and the direction of prayer for Muslims worldwide. It also is the locus of cultural expression ranging from the literature of the 1001 Nights to the broadcasts of Al Jazeera. We begin with themes of contemporary youth culture and political movements associated with the Arab Spring. Seminar paper.

Fall 2017: ANTH UN3933
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3933 001/75423 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
963 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Brinkley Messick 4 20/40

ANTH UN3939 The Anime Effect: Media and Technoculture in Contemporary Japan. 4 points.

Prerequisites: the instructor's permission

Culture, technology, and media in contemporary Japan. Theoretical and ethnographic engagements with forms of mass mediation, including anime, manga, video, and cell-phone novels. Considers larger global economic and political contexts, including post-Fukushima transformations.

Fall 2017: ANTH UN3939
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3939 001/64636 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
467 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Marilyn Ivy 4 10/20

ANTH UN3946 African Popular Culture. 4 points.

Enrollment limited to 15.

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor required.
This course examines the political aesthetics of African cultural production and how that production provides sites from which African experiences of colonial and postcolonial life are articulated

ANTH UN3957 Ethnography of the Everyday. 4 points.

The ‘Ethnography of the Everyday’ offers students an opportunity to engage the discipline’s methods and genres, and the ethico-philosophical questions about representativeness and exemplarity that subtend them.The course will consider the everyday as an alternative concept to ‘culture’ and habitus,’ while looking at the ethnographic works that were informed by those ideas. Students will undertake weekly writing assignments as part of an investigation not only of method, but of aesthetics, expression, and representation in general.

Fall 2017: ANTH UN3957
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3957 001/22582 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
963 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Rosalind Morris 4 21/15

ANTH UN3966 Culture and Mental Health. 4 points.

Enrollment limited to 20.

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

This course considers mental disturbance and its relief by examining historical, anthropological, psychoanalytic and psychiatric notions of self, suffering, and cure. After exploring the ways in which conceptions of mental suffering and abnormality are produced, we look at specific kinds of psychic disturbances and at various methods for their alleviation.

Spring 2017: ANTH UN3966
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3966 001/26402 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
467 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Karen Seeley 4 17/20
Fall 2017: ANTH UN3966
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3966 001/76090 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Karen Seeley 4 14/20

ANTH UN3999 The Senior Thesis Seminar in Anthropology. 4 points.

Enrollment limited to 15. Open to CC and GS majors in Anthropology only.

Prerequisites: The instructor's permission. Students must have declared a major in Anthropology prior to registration. Students must have a 3.6 GPA in the major and a preliminary project concept in order to be considered. Interested students must communicate/meet with thesis instructor in the previous spring about the possibility of taking the course during the upcoming academic year. Additionally, expect to discuss with the instructor at the end of the fall term whether your project has progressed far enough to be completed in the spring term. If it has not, you will exit the seminar after one semester, with a grade based on the work completed during the fall term.

This two-term course is a combination of a seminar and a workshop that will help you conduct research, write, and present an original honors thesis in anthropology. The first term of this course introduces a variety of approaches used to produce anthropological knowledge and writing; encourages students to think critically about the approaches they take to researching and writing by studying model texts with an eye to the ethics, constraints, and potentials of anthropological research and writing; and gives students practice in the seminar and workshop formats that are key to collegial exchange and refinement of ideas.,

During the first term, students complete a few short exercises that will culminate in a fully developed, 15-page project proposal, as well as a preliminary draft of one chapter of the senior thesis. The proposal will serve as the guide for completing the thesis during the spring semester. The spring sequence of the anthropology thesis seminar is a writing intensive continuation of the fall semester, in which students will have designed the research questions, prepared a full thesis proposal that will serve as a guide for the completion of the thesis or comparable senior capstone project, and written a draft of one chapter. Readings in the first semester will be geared toward exploring a variety of models of excellent anthropological or ethnographic work.  Only those students who expect to have completed the fall semester portion of the course are allowed to register for the spring; final enrollment is contingent upon successful completion of first semester requirements. Weekly meetings will be devoted to the collaborative refinement of drafts, as well as working through issues of writing (evidence, voice, authority etc). All enrolled students are required to present their project at a symposium in the late spring, and the final grade is based primarily on successful completion of the thesis/ capstone project.,

Note: The senior thesis seminar is open to CC and GS majors in Anthropology only. It requires the instructor’s permission for registration. Students must have a 3.6 GPA in the major and a preliminary project concept in order to be considered. Interested students should communicate with the thesis instructor and the director of undergraduate study in the previous spring about the possibility of taking the course during the upcoming academic year. Additionally, expect to discuss with the instructor at the end of the fall term whether your project has progressed far enough to be completed in the spring term. If it has not, you will exit the seminar after one semester, with a grade based on the work completed during the fall term.,

Spring 2017: ANTH UN3999
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3999 001/69630 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
963 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Lila Abu-Lughod 4 7/15
Fall 2017: ANTH UN3999
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3999 001/72714 T 6:10pm - 8:00pm
963 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Catherine Fennell 4 2/15

Archaeology

ANTH UN1007 The Origins of Human Society. 3 points.

Mandatory recitation sections will be announced first week of classes.

An archaeological perspective on the evolution of human social life from the first bipedal step of our ape ancestors to the establishment of large sedentary villages. While traversing six million years and six continents, our explorations will lead us to consider such major issues as the development of human sexuality, the origin of language, the birth of “art” and religion, the domestication of plants and animals, and the foundations of social inequality. Designed for anyone who happens to be human.

Fall 2017: ANTH UN1007
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 1007 001/03405 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Room TBA
Severin Fowles 3 76/120

Physical Anthropology

Spring 2018
Sociocultural Anthropology

ANTH UN1002 The Interpretation of Culture. 3 points.

The anthropological approach to the study of culture and human society. Case studies from ethnography are used in exploring the universality of cultural categories (social organization, economy, law, belief system, art, etc.) and the range of variation among human societies.

Spring 2017: ANTH UN1002
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 1002 001/75227 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
501 Northwest Corner
Audra Simpson 3 79/120
ANTH 1002 002/03929 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
323 Milbank Hall
Brian Larkin 3 37/120
Fall 2017: ANTH UN1002
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 1002 001/62589 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Room TBA
Audra Simpson 3 80/120

ANTH UN1008 The Rise of Civilization. 3 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement
Mandatory recitation sections will be announced first week of classes. $25.00 laboratory fee.

Corequisites: ANTH V1008

The rise of major civilization in prehistory and protohistory throughout the world, from the initial appearance of sedentism, agriculture, and social stratification through the emergence of the archaic empires. Description and analysis of a range of regions that were centers of significant cultural development: Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Indus River Valley, China, North America, and Mesoamerica. DO NOT REGISTER FOR A RECITATION SECTION IF YOU ARE NOT OFFICIALLY REGISTERED FOR THE COURSE.

Spring 2017: ANTH UN1008
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 1008 001/25545 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
417 International Affairs Bldg
Terence D'Altroy 3 122/180

ANTH UN2005 Ethnographic Imagination. 3 points.

Introduction to the theory and practice of “ethnography”—the intensive study of peoples’ lives as shaped by social relations, cultural images, and historical forces. Considers through critical reading of various kinds of texts (classic ethnographies, histories, journalism, novels, films) the ways in which understanding, interpreting, and representing the lived words of people—at home or abroad, in one place or transnationally, in the past or the present—can be accomplished.  

Spring 2017: ANTH UN2005
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 2005 001/10760 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
717 Hamilton Hall
Rosalind Morris 3 42/100

ANTH UN3878 Neoliberal Urbanism and the Politics of Exclusion. 4 points.

Enrollment limit is 20.

This seminar examines the impact of neo-liberal strategies and practices of urban development and governance on contemporary American cities with special emphasis on the dividing practices that have led to the segregation, stigmatization and exclusion of urbanites on the basis of class, race, sex/gender and other power-laden ascriptions of difference and pathology. We will situate the formative period of neoliberal urbanism in the urban renewal or "slum clearance" programs of the 1950s and 1960s-initiatives that registered post-war anxieties concerning civil defense, urban disinvestment and growing populations of racial-cum-ethnic "minorities." Through a reading of key anthropological ethnographies and other literature across disciplines, we will examine topics including: deindustrialization and the construction of the inner city and "ghetto underclass," the cultural politics of neo-liberal governance, the privatization and policing of public space, gated communities, gentrification and socioeconomic polarization, and homelessness

Spring 2017: ANTH UN3878
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3878 001/22297 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
501a International Affairs Bldg
Steven Gregory 4 18/20

ANTH UN3880 Listening: An Ethnography of Sound. 4 points.

Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.

This course explores the possibilities of an ethnography of sound by attending to a range of listening encounters: in urban soundscapes of the city and in natural soundscapes of acoustic ecology; from histories of audible pasts and resonances of auditory cultural spaces; through repeated listenings in the age of electronic reproduction and at the limits of listening with experimental music. Sound, noise, voice, reverberation, and silence, from von Helmholtz to John Cage and beyond: the course turns away from the screen and dominant epistemologies of the visual, for an extended moment, in pursuit of sonorous objects and cultural sonorities.

Spring 2017: ANTH UN3880
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3880 001/65537 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
963 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
John Pemberton 4 19/32

ANTH UN3912 Ethnographic China. 4 points.

Contemporary China through the writings of anthropologists who have done fieldwork there during the past decade.

Spring 2017: ANTH UN3912
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3912 001/16672 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
963 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Myron Cohen 4 5/25

ANTH UN3041 Anthropological Theory II. 3 points.

Prerequisites: Required of all Barnard Anthropology majors; open to other students with instructor’s permission only. To be taken in conjunction with ANTH 3040, preferably in sequence.

The second of a two semester sequence intended to introduce departmental majors to key readings in social theory that have been constitutive of the rise and contemporary practice of modern anthropology. The goal is to understand historical and current intellectual debates within the discipline. This course replaces ANTH V 3041 - Theories of Culture: Past and Present.

Spring 2017: ANTH UN3041
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3041 001/03338 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
207 Milbank Hall
Elizabeth Green 3 10/30

ANTH V3842 The Semiotics of Crisis. 4 points.

Enrollment limit is 15 and preference given to anthropology majors.Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

What do we mean when we say something is "in crisis"? How do we recognize crisis and what are the consequences of that recognition? We will approach these questions by revisiting and reclaiming several key texts from within and beyond anthropology on the intertwined problems of crisis and social reproduction

ANTH UN3880 Listening: An Ethnography of Sound. 4 points.

Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.

This course explores the possibilities of an ethnography of sound by attending to a range of listening encounters: in urban soundscapes of the city and in natural soundscapes of acoustic ecology; from histories of audible pasts and resonances of auditory cultural spaces; through repeated listenings in the age of electronic reproduction and at the limits of listening with experimental music. Sound, noise, voice, reverberation, and silence, from von Helmholtz to John Cage and beyond: the course turns away from the screen and dominant epistemologies of the visual, for an extended moment, in pursuit of sonorous objects and cultural sonorities.

Spring 2017: ANTH UN3880
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3880 001/65537 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
963 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
John Pemberton 4 19/32

ANTH UN3888 Ecocriticism for the End Times. 4 points.

Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.

This seminar aims to show what an anthropologically informed, ecocritical cultural studies can offer in this moment of intensifying ecological calamity.  The course will not only engage significant works in anthropology, ecocriticism, philosophy, literature, politics, and aesthetics to think about the environment, it will also bring these works into engaged reflection on "living in the end times" (borrowing cultural critic Slavoj Zizek's phrase).  The seminar will thus locate critical perspectives on the environment within the contemporary worldwide ecological crisis, emphasizing the ethnographic realities of global warming, debates on nuclear power and energy, and the place of nature.  Drawing on the professor's long experience in Japan and current research on the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster,  the seminar will also take care to unpack the notion of "end times," with its apocalyptic implications, through close considerations of works that take on the question of ecocatastrophe in our times.  North American and European perspectives, as well as international ones  (particularly ones drawn from East Asia), will give the course a global reach.

Spring 2017: ANTH UN3888
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3888 001/23546 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
467 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Marilyn Ivy 4 18/20

ANTH UN3966 Culture and Mental Health. 4 points.

Enrollment limited to 20.

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

This course considers mental disturbance and its relief by examining historical, anthropological, psychoanalytic and psychiatric notions of self, suffering, and cure. After exploring the ways in which conceptions of mental suffering and abnormality are produced, we look at specific kinds of psychic disturbances and at various methods for their alleviation.

Spring 2017: ANTH UN3966
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3966 001/26402 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
467 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Karen Seeley 4 17/20
Fall 2017: ANTH UN3966
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3966 001/76090 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Karen Seeley 4 14/20

ANTH UN3998 Supervised Individual Research Course In Anthropology. 2-6 points.

Prerequisite: the written permission of the staff member under whose supervision the research will be conducted.

Spring 2017: ANTH UN3998
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3998 001/24588  
Brian Boyd 2-6 0
ANTH 3998 002/26627  
Myron Cohen 2-6 0
ANTH 3998 003/76844  
Rune Reyhe 2-6 1
ANTH 3998 004/25720  
Zoe Crossland 2-6 0
ANTH 3998 005/72468  
Terence D'Altroy 2-6 0
ANTH 3998 006/22673  
E. Valentine Daniel 2-6 0
ANTH 3998 008/73595  
Catherine Fennell 2-6 3
ANTH 3998 009/15902  
E. Valentine Daniel 2-6 0
ANTH 3998 010/69571  
Marilyn Ivy 2-6 0
ANTH 3998 011/18795  
Yasmin Cho 2-6 0
ANTH 3998 012/60153  
Naor Ben-Yehoyada 2-6 0
ANTH 3998 014/29194  
Ellen Marakowitz 2-6 0
ANTH 3998 015/27967  
2-6 0
ANTH 3998 016/62864  
Rosalind Morris 2-6 0
ANTH 3998 017/11893  
John Pemberton 2-6 1
ANTH 3998 018/25846  
Elizabeth Povinelli 2-6 0
ANTH 3998 021/22612  
Partha Chatterjee 2-6 0
ANTH 3998 022/62786  
Karen Seeley 2-6 0
ANTH 3998 024/71311  
Michael Taussig 2-6 1
ANTH 3998 026/76314  
Lila Abu-Lughod 2-6 0
ANTH 3998 029/13321  
Ralph Holloway 2-6 0
ANTH 3998 030/14835  
2-6 0
ANTH 3998 031/64732  
Steven Gregory 2-6 0
ANTH 3998 032/23319  
Brinkley Messick 2-6 0
ANTH 3998 033/23082  
Mahmood Mamdani 2-6 0
ANTH 3998 034/64242  
David Scott 2-6 0
ANTH 3998 036/60992  
Claudio Lomnitz 2-6 1
ANTH 3998 039/75210  
Sarah Muir 2-6 0
ANTH 3998 041/16490  
2-6 0
ANTH 3998 042/24276  
Marilyn Ivy 2-6 0
ANTH 3998 044/74740  
Vanessa Agard-Jones 2-6 0
ANTH 3998 045/73266  
2-6 0
ANTH 3998 046/72941  
Elizabeth Povinelli 2-6 0
ANTH 3998 052/15784  
Carole Vance 2-6 0

ANTH UN3999 The Senior Thesis Seminar in Anthropology. 4 points.

Enrollment limited to 15. Open to CC and GS majors in Anthropology only.

Prerequisites: The instructor's permission. Students must have declared a major in Anthropology prior to registration. Students must have a 3.6 GPA in the major and a preliminary project concept in order to be considered. Interested students must communicate/meet with thesis instructor in the previous spring about the possibility of taking the course during the upcoming academic year. Additionally, expect to discuss with the instructor at the end of the fall term whether your project has progressed far enough to be completed in the spring term. If it has not, you will exit the seminar after one semester, with a grade based on the work completed during the fall term.

This two-term course is a combination of a seminar and a workshop that will help you conduct research, write, and present an original honors thesis in anthropology. The first term of this course introduces a variety of approaches used to produce anthropological knowledge and writing; encourages students to think critically about the approaches they take to researching and writing by studying model texts with an eye to the ethics, constraints, and potentials of anthropological research and writing; and gives students practice in the seminar and workshop formats that are key to collegial exchange and refinement of ideas.,

During the first term, students complete a few short exercises that will culminate in a fully developed, 15-page project proposal, as well as a preliminary draft of one chapter of the senior thesis. The proposal will serve as the guide for completing the thesis during the spring semester. The spring sequence of the anthropology thesis seminar is a writing intensive continuation of the fall semester, in which students will have designed the research questions, prepared a full thesis proposal that will serve as a guide for the completion of the thesis or comparable senior capstone project, and written a draft of one chapter. Readings in the first semester will be geared toward exploring a variety of models of excellent anthropological or ethnographic work.  Only those students who expect to have completed the fall semester portion of the course are allowed to register for the spring; final enrollment is contingent upon successful completion of first semester requirements. Weekly meetings will be devoted to the collaborative refinement of drafts, as well as working through issues of writing (evidence, voice, authority etc). All enrolled students are required to present their project at a symposium in the late spring, and the final grade is based primarily on successful completion of the thesis/ capstone project.,

Note: The senior thesis seminar is open to CC and GS majors in Anthropology only. It requires the instructor’s permission for registration. Students must have a 3.6 GPA in the major and a preliminary project concept in order to be considered. Interested students should communicate with the thesis instructor and the director of undergraduate study in the previous spring about the possibility of taking the course during the upcoming academic year. Additionally, expect to discuss with the instructor at the end of the fall term whether your project has progressed far enough to be completed in the spring term. If it has not, you will exit the seminar after one semester, with a grade based on the work completed during the fall term.,

Spring 2017: ANTH UN3999
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3999 001/69630 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
963 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Lila Abu-Lughod 4 7/15
Fall 2017: ANTH UN3999
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3999 001/72714 T 6:10pm - 8:00pm
963 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Catherine Fennell 4 2/15

ANTH W4282 Islamic Law. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL).
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

An introductory survey of the history and contents of the Shari'a, combined with a critical review of Orientalist and contemporary scholarship on Islamic law. In addition to models for the ritual life, we will examine a number of social, economic, and political constructs contained in Shari`a doctrine, including the concept of an Islamic state, and we also will consider the structure of litigation in courts. Seminar paper.

Archaeology

ANTH UN1008 The Rise of Civilization. 3 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement
Mandatory recitation sections will be announced first week of classes. $25.00 laboratory fee.

Corequisites: ANTH V1008

The rise of major civilization in prehistory and protohistory throughout the world, from the initial appearance of sedentism, agriculture, and social stratification through the emergence of the archaic empires. Description and analysis of a range of regions that were centers of significant cultural development: Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Indus River Valley, China, North America, and Mesoamerica. DO NOT REGISTER FOR A RECITATION SECTION IF YOU ARE NOT OFFICIALLY REGISTERED FOR THE COURSE.

Spring 2017: ANTH UN1008
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 1008 001/25545 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
417 International Affairs Bldg
Terence D'Altroy 3 122/180

ACLG V2028 Pasts, Presents & Futures: An Introduction to 21st Century Archaeology. 3 points.

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to archaeology. We start with a critical overview of the origins of the discipline in the 18th and 19th centuries, and then move on to consider key themes in current archaeological thinking. These include ‘time and the past: what is the difference’? What are archaeological sites and how do we ‘discover’ them? How is the relationship between the living and the dead negotiated through archaeological practice? What are the ethical issues? How do we create narratives from archaeological evidence? Who gets written in and out of these histories? Archaeology in film and media is also covered. 

ANTH UN3300 Pre-Columbian Histories of Native America. 3 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement
Enrollment limited to 40.

This course explores 10,000 years of the North American archaeological record, bringing to light the unwritten histories of Native Americans prior to European contact. Detailed consideration of major pre-Columbian sites is interwoven with the insight of contemporary native peoples to provide both a scientific and humanist reconstruction of the past.

Spring 2017: ANTH UN3300
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3300 001/09998 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
202 Altschul Hall
Severin Fowles 3 113/150

ANTH UN3993 World Archaeologies/Global Perspectives. 4 points.

Enrollment limited to 15.

Prerequisites: the instructor's permission and at least one of the following: ANTH V1007, ANTH V1008, or ACLG V2028.
This capstone seminar explores global archaeology from a postcolonial perspective. We will address the history of archaeological interpretation and explore the politics and practice of archaeology by ,considering specific case studies from around the world. The seminar fulfills the major seminar requirement for the archaeology major

Spring 2017: ANTH UN3993
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3993 001/29034 F 2:10pm - 4:00pm
467 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Zoe Crossland 4 2/19

Physical Anthropology

ANTH GU4002 Controversial Topics in Human Evolution. 3 points.

Enrollment limited to 10.

Prerequisites: an introductory biological/physical anthropology course and the instructor's permission.

Controversial issues that exist in current biological/physical anthropology, and controversies surrounding the descriptions and theories about particular fossil hominid discoveries, such as the earliest australopithecines, the diversity of Homo erectus, the extinction of the Neandertals, and the evolution of culture, language, and human cognition.

ANTH GU4148 The Human Skeletal Biology II. 3 points.

Enrollment limit is 12 and Intructor's permission required.

Recommended for archaeology and physical anthropology students, pre-meds, and biology majors interested in the human skeletal system. Intensive study of human skeletal materials using anatomical and anthropological landmarks to assess sex, age, and ethnicity of bones. Other primate skeletal materials and fossil casts used for comparative study.

Spring 2017: ANTH GU4148
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 4148 001/18436 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
865 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Ralph Holloway 3 12/12

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EEEB GU4700 Race: The Tangled History of a Biological Concept
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