Anthropology

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

Director of Undergraduate Studies:

Professor John Pemberton; 858 Schermerhorn Extension; 212 854-7463; jp373@columbia.edu; Fall term 2021

Departmental Consultants:
Archaeology: Prof. Zoë Crossland, 965 Schermerhorn Extension; 212-854-7465; zc2149@columbia.edu  Office Hours are by appointment
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.

Senior 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
  • Steven Gregory
  • Ralph L. Holloway, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology
  • Claudio Lomnitz
  • Mahmood Mamdani
  • Brinkley Messick
  • Rosalind Morris
  • Elizabeth Povinelli
  • Nan Rothschild (Barnard, emerita)
  • David Scott, Department Chair
  • 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
  • Maria Jose de Abreu
  •  
  •  

Lecturers

  • 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 UN1002The Interpretation of Culture
ANTH UN2004INTRO TO SOC & CULTURAL THEORY
ANTH UN2005THE ETHNOGRAPHIC IMAGINATION

Archaeology Focus

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

ANTH UN1002The Interpretation of Culture
ANTH UN2004INTRO TO SOC & CULTURAL THEORY
ACLG UN2028Pasts, 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 UN1002The Interpretation of Culture

Archaeology Focus

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

ACLG UN2028Pasts, 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 2021
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 2021: ANTH UN1002
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 1002 001/11418 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Online Only
Naor Ben-Yehoyada 3 76/120
Fall 2021: ANTH UN1002
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 1002 001/11220 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Syantani Chatterjee 3 68/120

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 2021: ANTH UN1007
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 1007 001/00541 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Room TBA
Camilla Sturm 3 125/120

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.

Fall 2021: ANTH UN1008
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 1008 001/11168 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Room TBA
Terence D'Altroy 3 120/120

ANTH UN2004 INTRO TO SOC & CULTURAL THEORY. 3.00 points.

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

Fall 2021: ANTH UN2004
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 2004 001/10118 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Room TBA
John Pemberton 3.00 44/120

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. Required of all Anthropology majors (and tracks) within the Barnard Department. As of Fall, 2018, UN 3040 replaces the two semester sequence of 3040/4041 Anthropological Theory I/II). Intended only for Barnard majors and minors.

Fall 2021: ANTH UN3040
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3040 001/00540 M W 10:10am - 11:40am
Room TBA
Brian Larkin 4 25/30

ANTH UN3151 Living with Animals: Anthropological Perspective. 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 2021: ANTH UN3151
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3151 001/10120 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Hannah Chazin 4 9/18

ANTH UN3663 The Ancient Table: Archaeology of Cooking and Cuisine. 4 points.

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

Prerequisites: None

Humans don’t just eat to live. The ways we prepare, eat, and share our food is a complex reflection of our histories, environments, and ideologies. Whether we prefer coffee or tea, cornbread or challah, chicken breast or chicken feet, our tastes are expressive of social ties and social boundaries, and are linked to ideas of family and of foreignness.


How did eating become such a profoundly cultural experience? This seminar takes an archaeological approach to two broad issues central to eating: First, what drives human food choices both today and in the past? Second, how have social forces shaped practices of food acquisition, preparation, and consumption (and how, in turn, has food shaped society)? We will explore these questions from various evolutionary, physiological, and cultural viewpoints, highlighted by information from the best archaeological and historic case studies. Topics that will be covered include the nature of the first cooking, beer-brewing and feasting, writing of the early recipes, gender roles and ‘domestic’ life, and how a national cuisine takes shape. Through the course of the semester we will explore food practices from Pleistocene Spain to historic Monticello, with particular emphasis on the earliest cuisines of China, Mesoamerica, and the Mediterranean. 

Fall 2021: ANTH UN3663
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3663 001/00539 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Camilla Sturm 4 16/16

ANTH UN3723 American Material Culture. 4 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

This seminar provides an intensive introduction to material culture analysis and its potential contributions to the study of American history. As such, our focus is methodological. In seminar discussions, we will consider both (1) key texts that give intellectual shape to the central questions in modern material culture studies and (2) published case studies demonstrating how to engage in serious object-based research. Seminar discussions will be supplemented by visits to three NYC museums (the American Museum of Natural History, the 9/11 Museum, and the Tenement Museum) as well as three laboratory practicums. Designed for both Archaeology/Anthropology and American Studies majors, as well as other students interested in using the methods of material culture analysis in original research projects. (Depending on the student’s choice of a research paper topic, this seminar also fulfills either the pre-1800, the 19th century, or the post-1900 Foundations requirement of the American Studies major.) No prerequisites.

Fall 2021: ANTH UN3723
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3723 001/00538 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Room TBA
Severin Fowles 4 25/25

ANTH UN3821 Native America. 4 points.

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

This is an undergraduate seminar that takes up primary and secondary sources and reflections to: a) provide students with an historical overview of Native American issues and representational practices, b) provide students with an understanding of the ways in which land expropriation and concomitant military and legal struggle have formed the core of Native-State relations and are themselves central to American and Native American history and culture, and c) provide students with an understanding of Native representational practices, political subjectivity, and aspiration.

Fall 2021: ANTH UN3821
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3821 001/10325 F 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Audra Simpson 4 38/40

ANTH UN3829 Absent Bodies. 4 points.

Enrollment limited to 15.

Prerequisites: Open to undergrad majors; others with the instructor's permission.

Across a range of cultural and historic contexts, one encounters traces of bodies - and persons - rendered absent, invisible, or erased. Knowledge of the ghostly presence nevertheless prevails, revealing an inextricable relationship between presence and absence. This course addresses the theme of absent bodies in such contexts as war and other memorials, clinical practices, and industrialization, with interdisciplinary readings drawn from anthropology, war and labor histories, and dystopic science fiction.

Fall 2021: ANTH UN3829
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3829 001/00670 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Lesley Sharp 4 15/15

ANTH V3861 Anthropology of the Anthropocene. 4 points.

Enrollment limited to 20. Priority given to majors in Anthropology.

This course focuses on the political ecology of the Anthropocene. As multiple publics become increasingly aware of the extensive and accelerated rate of current global environmental change, and the presence of anthropogenesis in ever expanding circumstances, we need to critically analyze the categories of thought and action being developed in order to carefully approach this change. Our concern is thus not so much the Anthropocene as an immutable fact, inevitable event, or definitive period of time (significant though these are), but rather for the political, social, and intellectual consequences of this important idea. Thus we seek to understand the creativity of "The Anthropocene" as a political, rhetorical, and social category. We also aim to examine the networks of capital and power that have given rise to the current state of planetary change, the strategies for ameliorating those changes, and how these are simultaneously implicated in the rhetorical creation of "The Anthropocene".

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 2021: ANTH BC3871
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3871 001/00535 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Lesley Sharp, Gina Jae, Brian Larkin, Camilla Sturm 4 24/25

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

Fall 2021: ANTH UN3878
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3878 001/10241 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Steven Gregory 4 20/20

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.

Fall 2021: ANTH UN3888
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3888 001/10311 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Marilyn Ivy 4 10/15

ANTH UN3976 ANTHROPOLOGY OF SCIENCE. 4.00 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

This course examines specific debates in the history and philosophy of science, and in science and technology studies (STS), with a view towards exploring the relationships among science, technology and society. The first half of the course engages methodological questions and theoretical debates concerning the nature of epistemology, and the significance of social interests, material agency, laboratory and social practices, and “culture(s)” in the making of scientific knowledge. The second half delves more specifically into the ways in which sciences and technologies are both embedded in and shape contemporary social and political practices and imaginaries

Fall 2021: ANTH UN3976
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3976 001/00534 Th 11:00am - 12:50pm
Room TBA
Gina Jae 4.00 13/20

ANTH UN3997 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.

Fall 2021: ANTH UN3997
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3997 001/11612  
Vanessa Agard-Jones 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 002/11609  
Naor Ben-Yehoyada 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 003/11610  
Audra Simpson 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 004/11614  
Catherine Fennell 2-6 1/10
ANTH 3997 005/11636  
Steven Gregory 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 006/11639  
Marilyn Ivy 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 007/11640  
Brian Larkin 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 008/11641  
Claudio Lomnitz 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 009/11644  
Brinkley Messick 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 010/11645  
Ellen Marakowitz 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 011/11648  
John Pemberton 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 013/11650  
Lesley Sharp 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 014/11652  
Elizabeth Povinelli 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 015/11654  
David Scott 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 016/11657  
Paige West 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 017/11660  
Maria Jos de Abreu 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 018/11661  
Lila Abu-Lughod 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 019/11663  
Brian Boyd 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 020/11666  
Hannah Chazin 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 021/11668  
Terence D'Altroy 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 022/11670  
Severin Fowles 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 023/11671  
Ralph Holloway 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 024/11674  
Zoe Crossland 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 025/11675  
Juan Mazariegos 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 026/11676  
Camilla Sturm 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 027/11680  
Marco Castro 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 028/11682  
Nadia Abu El-Haj 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 029/14178  
Audra Simpson 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 030/14179  
Czarina Thelen 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 119/11664  
Zoe Crossland 2-6 0/10

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 senior thesis in anthropology. Students who write theses are eligible to be considered for departmental honors. The first term of this course introduces a variety of approaches used to produce anthropological knowledge and writing; encourages students to think critically about the approaches they take to researching and writing by studying model texts with an eye to the ethics, constraints, and potentials of anthropological research and writing; and gives students practice in the seminar and workshop formats that are key to collegial exchange and refinement of ideas. During the first term, students complete a few short exercises that will culminate in a substantial draft of one discrete section of their senior project (18-20 pages) plus a detailed outline of the expected work that remains to be done (5 pages).,

The spring sequence of the anthropology thesis seminar is a writing intensive continuation of the fall semester, in which students will have designed the research questions, prepared a full thesis proposal that will serve as a guide for the completion of the thesis and written a draft of one chapter. Only those students who expect to have completed the fall semester portion of the course are allowed to register for the spring; final enrollment is contingent upon successful completion of first semester requirements.,

In spring semester, weekly meetings will be devoted to the collaborative refinement of drafts, as well as working through issues of writing (evidence, voice, authority etc.). All enrolled students are required to present their project at a symposium in the late spring, and the final grade is based primarily on successful completion of the thesis/ capstone project.,

Note: The senior thesis seminar is open to CC and GS majors in Anthropology only. It requires the instructor’s permission for registration. Students must have a 3.6 GPA in the major and a preliminary project concept in order to be considered. Interested students should communicate with the thesis instructor and the director of undergraduate study in the previous spring about the possibility of taking the course during the upcoming academic year. Additionally, expect to discuss with the instructor at the end of the fall term whether your project has progressed far enough to be completed in the spring term. If it has not, you will exit the seminar after one semester, with a grade based on the work completed during the fall term.  Enrollment limit is 15.,

Requirements: Students must have completed the requirements of the first semester of the sequence and seek instructor approval to enroll in the second.

Spring 2021: ANTH UN3999
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3999 001/11454 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Online Only
Zoe Crossland 4 9/10
Fall 2021: ANTH UN3999
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3999 001/10119 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
457 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Lila Abu-Lughod 4 5/12

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.

Fall 2021: ANTH GU4002
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 4002 001/11221 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Ralph Holloway 3 6/10

ANTH GU4066 Hydropolitics in Madagascar. 4.00 points.

GIS course with training in landscape analysis, digital mapping and web-based presentations of geospatial data. We will draw on archaeological and historical evidence, aerial photographs and satellite imagery to map and explore the history and politics of the irrigated landscape around Madagascar’s capital city. We will critically assess what different mapping techniques offer, and what kind of narratives they underpin or foreclose upon

Fall 2021: ANTH GU4066
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 4066 001/13513 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Eric Glass, Zoe Crossland 4.00 7/15

ANTH GU4118 Settler Colonialism in North America. 3 points.

Enrollment limited to 20 and instructor's permission. Upper level ugrads with background in poli theory and anthropological theory

This course examines the relationship between colonialism, settlement and anthropology and the specific ways in which these processes have been engaged in the broader literature and locally in North America. We aim to understand colonialism as a theory of political legitimacy, as a set of governmental practices and as a subject of inquiry. Thus we will re-imagine North America in light of the colonial project and its ?technologies of rule? such as education, law and policy that worked to transform Indigenous notions of gender, property and territory. Our case studies will dwell in several specific areas of inquiry, among them: the Indian Act in Canada and its transformations of gender relations, governance and property; the residential and boarding school systems in the US and Canada, the murdered and missing women in Juarez and Canada and the politics of allotment in the US. Although this course will be comparative in scope, it will be grounded heavily within the literature from Native North America.

Fall 2021: ANTH GU4118
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 4118 001/10326 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Audra Simpson 3 6/15

ANTH GU4282 ISLAMIC LAW. 3.00 points.

Fall 2021: ANTH GU4282
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 4282 001/10237 F 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Brinkley Messick 3.00 8/15

ANTH GU4653 Art beyond Aesthetics: Decolonizing approaches to representation. 4.00 points.

This course is a combination of lectures, seminar participation, and group practicums which probes the possibility of a decolonial art research practice. This course introduces students to western approaches to politics and art through a sustained engagement with critical Indigenous and anticolonial theories of human relations to the more-than-human world. It is a mixture of lectures, class discussion, and individual practicums which lead to final projects that combine image and text

Fall 2021: ANTH GU4653
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 4653 001/13512 Th 1:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Elizabeth Povinelli 4.00 5/16

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 2021: ANTH UN1007
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 1007 001/00541 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Room TBA
Camilla Sturm 3 125/120

ANTH UN3151 Living with Animals: Anthropological Perspective. 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 2021: ANTH UN3151
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3151 001/10120 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Hannah Chazin 4 9/18

ANTH BC3234 Indigenous Place-Thought. 4.00 points.

This seminar considers what it means to be of a place and to think with and be committed to that place—environmentally, politically, and spiritually. After locating ourselves in our own particular places and place-based commitments, our attention turns to the Indigenous traditions of North America, to accounts of tribal emergence and pre-colonial being, to colonial histories of land dispossession, to ongoing struggles to protect ecological health and land-based sovereignty, to the epistemological and moral systems that have developed over the course of many millennia of living with and for the land, and to the contributions such systems might make to our collective future. The seminar’s title is borrowed from an essay on “Indigenous place-thought” by Mohawk/Anishinaabe scholar Vanessa Watts

ANTH UN3663 The Ancient Table: Archaeology of Cooking and Cuisine. 4 points.

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

Prerequisites: None

Humans don’t just eat to live. The ways we prepare, eat, and share our food is a complex reflection of our histories, environments, and ideologies. Whether we prefer coffee or tea, cornbread or challah, chicken breast or chicken feet, our tastes are expressive of social ties and social boundaries, and are linked to ideas of family and of foreignness.


How did eating become such a profoundly cultural experience? This seminar takes an archaeological approach to two broad issues central to eating: First, what drives human food choices both today and in the past? Second, how have social forces shaped practices of food acquisition, preparation, and consumption (and how, in turn, has food shaped society)? We will explore these questions from various evolutionary, physiological, and cultural viewpoints, highlighted by information from the best archaeological and historic case studies. Topics that will be covered include the nature of the first cooking, beer-brewing and feasting, writing of the early recipes, gender roles and ‘domestic’ life, and how a national cuisine takes shape. Through the course of the semester we will explore food practices from Pleistocene Spain to historic Monticello, with particular emphasis on the earliest cuisines of China, Mesoamerica, and the Mediterranean. 

Fall 2021: ANTH UN3663
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3663 001/00539 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Camilla Sturm 4 16/16

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.

ANHS GU4001 THE ANCIENT EMPIRES. 3.00 points.

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

The principal goal of this course is to examine the nature and histories of a range of early empires in a comparative context. In the process, we will examine influential theories that have been proposed to account for the emergence and trajectories of those empires. Among the theories are the core-periphery, world-systems, territorial-hegemonic, tributary-capitalist, network, and IEMP approaches. Five regions of the world have been chosen, from the many that could provide candidates: Rome (the classic empire), New Kingdom Egypt, Qin China, Aztec Mesoamerica, and Inka South America. These empires have been chosen because they represent a cross-section of polities ranging from relatively simple and early expansionist societies to the grand empires of the Classical World, and the most powerful states of the indigenous Americas. There are no prerequisites for this course, although students who have no background in Anthropology, Archaeology, History, or Classics may find the course material somewhat more challenging than students with some knowledge of the study of early societies. There will be two lectures per week, given by the professor

ANTH GU4175 WRITING ARCHAEOLOGY. 3.00 points.

Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.

Like fiction archaeology allows us to visit other worlds and to come back home again. In this class we'll explore different genres of archaeological texts. How do writers contribute to the development of narratives about the past, what are the narrative tricks used by archaeologists, novelists and poets to evoke other worlds and to draw in the reader? What is lost in the translationfrom the earth to text, and what is gained? There is an intimacy to archaeological excavation, an intimacy that is rarely captured in archaeological narratives. What enlivening techniques might we learn from fictional accounts, and where might we find narrative space to include emotion and affect, as well as the texture and grain of encounters with the traces of the past? How does archaeological evidence evoke a particular response, and how do novels and poems work to do the same thing? What is the role of the reader in bringing a text to life?  Enrollment limit is 15.  Priority:  Anthropology graduate students, archaeology senior thesis students.

ANTH GU4345 Neanderthal Alterities. 3 points.

Enrollment priorities: Graduate students, and 3rd & 4th year undergraduates only

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

Physical Anthropology

 Spring 2021
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 2021: ANTH UN1002
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 1002 001/11418 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Online Only
Naor Ben-Yehoyada 3 76/120
Fall 2021: ANTH UN1002
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 1002 001/11220 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Syantani Chatterjee 3 68/120

ANTH UN1009 Introduction to Language and Culture. 3 points.

This is an introduction to the study of the production, interpretation, and reproduction of social meanings as expressed through language. In exploring language in relation to culture and society, it focuses on how communication informs and transforms the sociocultural environment.

Spring 2021: ANTH UN1009
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 1009 001/00635 T Th 10:10am - 11:35am
304 Barnard Hall
Gretchen Pfeil 3 41/80

ANTH UN2005 THE ETHNOGRAPHIC IMAGINATION. 3.00 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. Discussion section required

Spring 2021: ANTH UN2005
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 2005 001/11397 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Online Only
Rosalind Morris 3.00 33/120

ANTH BC2427 ANTHROPOLOGY OF CLIMATE CHANGE. 3.00 points.

This course focuses on some of the present, and possible future, socio-ecological conditions of life on planet earth. In particular we will work to understand the historic, economic, political, and socio-cultural forces that created the conditions we call climate change. With this we will take a particular interest in the question of how race, ethnicity, Indigeneity, class, and gender articulate with the material effects of climate change. The course also focuses on how we, as scholars, citizens, and activists can work to alter these current conditions in ways that foster social and ecological justice for all living beings. Although we will ground our scholarship in anthropology, to encourage interdisciplinary and even transdisciplinary thought, weekly readings will be drawn from across scholarly and activist canons. While becoming familiar with scholarly and activist conversations about space and place, risk and vulnerability, and ontology and epistemology, we will work through a series of recent events as case studies to understand causes, effects, affects, and potential solutions

Spring 2021: ANTH BC2427
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 2427 001/00636 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Room TBA
Paige West 3.00 86/100

ANTH UN3665 The Politics of Care. 4.00 points.

What are the consequences of entrenched inequalities in the context of care? How might we (re)imagine associated practices as political projects? Wherein lie the origins of utopic and dystopic visions of daily survival? How might we track associated promises and failures as they travel across social hierarchies, nationalities, and geographies of care? And what do we mean when we speak of “care”? These questions define the scaffolding for this course. Our primary goals throughout this semester are threefold. First, we begin by interrogating the meaning of “care” and its potential relevance as a political project in medical and other domains. Second, we will track care’s associated meanings and consequences across a range of contents, including urban and rural America, an Amazonia borderland, South Africa, France, and Mexico. Third, we will address temporal dimensions of care, as envisioned and experienced in the here-and-now, historically, and in a futuristic world of science fiction. Finally, and most importantly, we will remain alert to the relevance of domains of difference relevant to care, most notably race, gender, class, and species. Upper level seminar; 4 points

Spring 2021: ANTH UN3665
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3665 001/00639 M Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
Ll001 Milstein Center
Gina Jae 4.00 19/20

ANTH UN3831 Cultures and Ecomomies: Explorations in Economic Anthropology. 4 points.

Enrollment limited to 15. Priority given to juniors and seniors

This class explores the intersection of economy, culture, and society from a comparative, anthropological perspective. What have anthropologists learned about the different economic systems of the societies they study? How do economic practices and processes interact with the broader sociocultural worlds in which they are pursued and elaborated? What kind of concepts and methods do anthropologists draw on in their ethnographic (and archeological) researches into the diversity of human economic life? By reading classic and contemporary works in the field of economic anthropology, this class introduce students to longstanding discussions and debates about: economic rationality as a social form; the application of economic principles and methods to non-marketized societies; the nature of exchange and value; the sociocultural dimensions of monetarization and marketization; the role of gender and class in economic production; and the paradoxes of private property in everyday lives. Anthropology and economics have maintained a long and productive, if often combative, relationship with one another, and one of the aims of the course is to explore that relationship from a number of critical perspectives.

Spring 2021: ANTH UN3831
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3831 001/00640 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
318 Milbank Hall
Gretchen Pfeil 4 10/16

ANTH BC3872 Senior Thesis Seminar: Problems in Anthropological Research. 4 points.

Prerequisites: Must complete ANTH BC3871x. Limited to Barnard Senior Anthropology Majors.

Offered every Spring. 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.

Spring 2021: ANTH BC3872
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3872 001/00641 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Ll001 Milstein Center
Gina Jae, J.C. Salyer, Camilla Sturm, Gretchen Pfeil 4 23/25
ANTH 3872 002/00697  
J.C. Salyer 4 1/1

ANTH UN3880 LISTENINGS: AN ETHNOG OF SOUND. 4.00 points.

Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.
We explore the possibilities of an ethnography of sound through a range of listening encounters: in resonant urban soundscapes of the city and in natural soundscapes of acoustic ecology; from audible pasts and echoes of the present; through repetitive listening in the age of electronic reproduction, and mindful listening that retraces an uncanniness inherent in sound. Silence, noise, voice, chambers, reverberation, sound in its myriad manifestations and transmissions. From the captured souls of Edison’s phonography, to everyday acoustical adventures, the course turns away from the screen and dominant epistemologies of the visual for an extended moment, and does so in pursuit of sonorous objects. How is it that sound so moves us as we move within its world, and who or what then might the listening subject be?

Spring 2021: ANTH UN3880
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3880 001/11416 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Online Only
John Pemberton 4.00 15/15

ANTH UN3893 THE BOMB. 4.00 points.

This course investigates the social history of nuclear arms in the context of World War II and the Cold War, exploring their ramifications for subjects and societies. We consider historical, ethnographic, medical and psychiatric accounts of the bomb’s invention and fallout, including the unknowable bodily injuries caused by radiation and the ecological contamination inflicted on indigenous communities where atomic weapons were tested. Throughout the course, we investigate government propaganda designed to produce political subjects who both endorse and fear nuclear imperatives; who support expanding militarization and funding for weapons development; and who abide escalating political rhetorics of nuclear aggression

Spring 2021: ANTH UN3893
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3893 001/11452 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
Online Only
Karen Seeley 4.00 12/15

ANTH BC3932 Climate Change, Global Migration, and Human Rights in the Anthropocene. 4 points.

While the existence of processes of anthropogenic climate change is well established, predictions regarding the future consequences of these processes are far less certain. In no area is the uncertainty regarding near and long term effects as pronounced as in the question of how climate change will affect global migration. This course will address the issue of climate migration in four ways.  First, the course will examine the theoretical and empirical literatures that have elucidated the nature of international migration in general.  Second, the course will consider the phenomena of anthropogenic climate change as it relates to migration.  Third, the course will consider how human rights and other legal regimes do or do not address the humanitarian issues created by anthropogenic climate change.  Fourth, the course will synthesize these topics by considering how migration and climate change has arisen as a humanitarian, political, and economic issue in the Pacific.  Human Rights elective.  

Spring 2021: ANTH BC3932
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3932 001/00642 M W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
J.C. Salyer 4 20/25

ANTH UN3933 ARABIA IMAGINED. 4.00 points.

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

As the site of the 7th century revelation of the Quran and the present day location of the sacred precincts of Islam, Arabia is the direction of prayer for Muslims worldwide and the main destination for pilgrimage. Arabia also provides a frame for diverse modes of thought and practice and for cultural expression ranging from the venerable literature of the 1001 Nights to the academic disciplines of Islam and contemporary social media, such as Twitter. We thus will approach Arabia as a global phenomenon, as a matter of both geographic relations and the imagination. While offering an introduction to contemporary anthropological research, the course will engage in a critical review of related western conceptions, starting with an opening discussion of racism and Islamophobia. In the format of a Global Core course, the weekly assignments are organized around English translations of Arabic texts, read in conjunction with recent studies by anthropologists

ANTH UN3939 ANIME EFFECT: JAPANESE MEDIA. 4.00 points.

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. Prerequisites: the instructor's permission

Spring 2021: ANTH UN3939
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3939 001/11453 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Online Only
Marilyn Ivy 4.00 15/15

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 2021: ANTH UN3998
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3998 001/11583  
Vanessa Agard-Jones 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3998 002/11584  
Naor Ben-Yehoyada 2-6 1/10
ANTH 3998 003/11586  
Brian Boyd 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3998 004/11588  
Hannah Chazin 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3998 005/11589  
Myron Cohen 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3998 006/11591  
Zoe Crossland 2-6 2/10
ANTH 3998 007/11592  
David Harvey 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3998 008/11593  
Catherine Fennell 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3998 009/11596  
Severin Fowles 2-6 1/10
ANTH 3998 010/11597  
Steven Gregory 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3998 011/11599  
Marilyn Ivy 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3998 012/11600  
Laurel Kendall 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3998 013/11601  
Firat Kurt 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3998 014/11602  
Brian Larkin 2-6 2/10
ANTH 3998 015/11604  
Claudio Lomnitz 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3998 016/11605  
Ellen Marakowitz 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3998 017/11606  
Juan Mazariegos 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3998 018/11608  
Brinkley Messick 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3998 019/11609  
Rosalind Morris 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3998 020/11610  
John Pemberton 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3998 021/11611  
David Scott 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3998 022/11613  
Karen Seeley 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3998 023/11614  
Paige West 2-6 1/10

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 senior thesis in anthropology. Students who write theses are eligible to be considered for departmental honors. The first term of this course introduces a variety of approaches used to produce anthropological knowledge and writing; encourages students to think critically about the approaches they take to researching and writing by studying model texts with an eye to the ethics, constraints, and potentials of anthropological research and writing; and gives students practice in the seminar and workshop formats that are key to collegial exchange and refinement of ideas. During the first term, students complete a few short exercises that will culminate in a substantial draft of one discrete section of their senior project (18-20 pages) plus a detailed outline of the expected work that remains to be done (5 pages).,

The spring sequence of the anthropology thesis seminar is a writing intensive continuation of the fall semester, in which students will have designed the research questions, prepared a full thesis proposal that will serve as a guide for the completion of the thesis and written a draft of one chapter. Only those students who expect to have completed the fall semester portion of the course are allowed to register for the spring; final enrollment is contingent upon successful completion of first semester requirements.,

In spring semester, weekly meetings will be devoted to the collaborative refinement of drafts, as well as working through issues of writing (evidence, voice, authority etc.). All enrolled students are required to present their project at a symposium in the late spring, and the final grade is based primarily on successful completion of the thesis/ capstone project.,

Note: The senior thesis seminar is open to CC and GS majors in Anthropology only. It requires the instructor’s permission for registration. Students must have a 3.6 GPA in the major and a preliminary project concept in order to be considered. Interested students should communicate with the thesis instructor and the director of undergraduate study in the previous spring about the possibility of taking the course during the upcoming academic year. Additionally, expect to discuss with the instructor at the end of the fall term whether your project has progressed far enough to be completed in the spring term. If it has not, you will exit the seminar after one semester, with a grade based on the work completed during the fall term.  Enrollment limit is 15.,

Requirements: Students must have completed the requirements of the first semester of the sequence and seek instructor approval to enroll in the second.

Spring 2021: ANTH UN3999
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3999 001/11454 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Online Only
Zoe Crossland 4 9/10
Fall 2021: ANTH UN3999
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3999 001/10119 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
457 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Lila Abu-Lughod 4 5/12

ANTH GU4052 Post/Socialist Bodies. 4.00 points.

This upper-level online seminar examines the cultures and politics of the body in socialist and postsocialist countries. As we will engage with embodied aspects of living under post/socialism, we will treat bodies as sites of political contestation, as well as makers and breakers of cultural worlds. Drawing on anthropological and historical scholarship, we will explore several thematic clusters: corporeal anchors of post/socialist political regimes and ideological formations, variability and commonality of bodily regimes across different post/socialist contexts, and the effects of the creation and dissolution of the Soviet Union on the viability, mortality, and vibrancy of life. We will develop an understanding of post/socialism as a political reality populated by a wide diversity of bodies: laboring and idle, cared and uncared for, gendered and racialized, craving and satiated, disabled and enhanced, among others. This course offers an account on post/socialist idiosyncrasies of the medicalization, politicization, economization, and moralization of the body

Spring 2021: ANTH GU4052
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 4052 001/13867 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
Online Only
Svetlana Borodina 4.00 13/15

ANTH GU4116 Sympathy, Librlism, & Conduct of Care. 3.00 points.

. This seminar examines the distribution and obligations of care under late liberalism. We work from classical approaches to human sentiment (e.g. Hume, Adam Smith) to explore the relationship of forms of care {management, empathy) to different modes of statecraft. In particular we examine links between imperial colonialism and liberal democracy in terms of different techniques of administering social difference (e.g. race, multiculturalism, class, population, ...). We critically investigate the role of the discipline of anthropology within this rubric and read several ethnographies that dwell on the interrelation of care and vulnerability. Across the course, we scrutinize what types of subjects care, for whom, and to what effect

Spring 2021: ANTH GU4116
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 4116 001/11455 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Online Only
Catherine Fennell 3.00 11/15

ANTH GU4143 ACCUSATION. 3.00 points.

This course examines the politics and practices of collective accusation in comparative perspective. It treats these phenomena in their relation to processes of political and economic transition, to discourses of crisis, and to the practices of rule by which the idea of exception is made the grounds for extreme claims on and for the social body-usually, but not exclusively, enacted through forms of expulsion. We will consider the various theoretical perspectives through which forms of collective accusation have been addressed, focusing on psychoanalytic, structural functional, and poststructuralist readings. In doing so, we will also investigate the difference and possible continuities between the forms and logics of accusation that operate in totalitarian as well as liberal regimes. Course readings will include both literary and critical texts

Spring 2021: ANTH GU4143
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 4143 001/11401 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Online Only
Rosalind Morris 3.00 7/19

ANTH GU4145 Zora. 3.00 points.

Zora Neale Hurston—Barnard College ‘28 and a once-graduate student in Columbia’s department of Anthropology—was a pioneering chronicler of Black folklore, a student of Black expression, and a creative imaginer of Black worlds via her novels, short stories, plays and poetry. From her travels throughout the U.S. South, to Haiti, Jamaica, and beyond, Hurston took as her mission a diasporic articulation of Black life in the Americas. In this seminar, we ask what a deep reading of Hurston’s oeuvre can teach us about the history of Anthropology, about the blurry borders between fiction and ethnography, and about the legacies that her work leaves—in communities of scholarly practice and beyond

Spring 2021: ANTH GU4145
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 4145 001/11988 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Online Only
Vanessa Agard-Jones 3.00 20/20

ANTH GU4349 Shades of the Political: Anthropological Investigations of Everyday Life in Turkey. 3.00 points.

This course aims to investigate the contemporary outlines of political anthropology, as well as its potentialities, through the lenses of the studies on Turkey. Since its original formulation in Aristotle, the political has been conceived at the nexus of life, goodness, and craft, each one continuously implicating the others, waving the webs of meaning in human communities to create a good life. Pushing this insight forward, we will combine ethnographic and theoretical works on political questions with a variety of fieldworks on Turkey, paying specific attention to meanings, signs, imaginaries, and practices as enacted in the daily lives of ordinary people. We will study specificities of political discourses, state practices and social movements in order to complicate and expand our understanding of ideology, hegemony, class, and power. We will be asking questions such as: How do specific histories emerge in people’s political imaginaries? What are the social and political practices that sustain such histories while erasing others? Is the state an entity that people encounter in their daily lives or an imaginary assemblage that is being used to make sense of power relations in modern societies? How do the power relations that circulate within bureaucratic institutions interact with people’s sexual practices? Can we observe the ideologies and workings of world markets in local settings? Are there any intersection points where ordinary people relate questions of wealth to questions of political order? Focusing on ethnographic works on Turkey, this course asks these and other questions as part of a broader effort to understand the origins, developments, and possibilities of the modern political world

Spring 2021: ANTH GU4349
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 4349 001/15809 W Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Online Only
Firat Kurt 3.00 6/30

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.

Fall 2021: ANTH UN1008
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 1008 001/11168 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Room TBA
Terence D'Altroy 3 120/120

ANTH UN2028 Think Like an Archaeologist: Introduction to Method & Theory. 4 points.

$25 mandatory lab fee.

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to methods and theory in archaeology – by exploring how archaeologists work to create narratives about the past (and the present) on the basis on the material remains of the past. The course begins with a consideration of how archaeologists deal with the remains of the past in the present: What are archaeological sites and how do we ‘discover’ them? How do archaeologists ‘read’ or analyze sites and artifacts? From there, we will turn to the question of how archaeologists interpret these materials traces, in order to create narratives about life in the past. After a review of the historical development of theoretical approaches in archaeological interpretation, the course will consider contemporary approaches to interpreting the past.

Spring 2021: ANTH UN2028
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 2028 001/11419 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Online Only
Hannah Chazin 4 33/90

ANTH BC2888 How China Became Chinese. 3.00 points.

As a modern nation, China is proud of its deep cultural roots, often referencing its ‘5,000 years of continuous history’ as a point of pride in a world of much younger polities. Why only 5,000 years of history? Why was 3,000 BC the ‘beginning’ of China? What happened before then? This course introduces students to the ancient Chinese world before it was the Middle Kingdom. We will draw on archaeological evidence from the Upper Paleolithic to the Qin period to give voice to a complex social, political, and economic past unknown or unrecorded by the court historians of first dynasties. Finally, we will turn our attention to the present to examine how the study of Chinese prehistory has contributed to modern notions of a uniquely 'Chinese' culture – and how the notion of Chinesness has evolved through time

Spring 2021: ANTH BC2888
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 2888 001/00637 T Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Camilla Sturm 3.00 18/24

ANTH UN3007 ARCHAEOL BEFORE THE BIBLE. 3.00 points.

Please note that this is not a class on “biblical archaeology”. It is a course about the politics of archaeology in the context of Israel/Palestine, and the wider southwest Asia region. This course provides a critical overview of prehistoric archaeology in southwest Asia (or the Levant - the geographical area from Lebanon in the north to the Sinai in the south, and from the middle Euphrates in Syria to southern Jordan). It has been designed to appeal to anthropologists, historians, and students interested in the Ancient Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Studies. The course is divided into two parts. First, a social and political history of archaeology, emphasizing how the nature of current theoretical and practical knowledge has been shaped and defined by previous research traditions and, second, how the current political situation in the region impinges upon archaeological practice. Themes include: the dominance of "biblical archaeology" and the implications for Palestinian archaeology, Islamic archaeology, the impact of European contact from the Crusades onwards, and the development of prehistory

Spring 2021: ANTH UN3007
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3007 001/11451 M F 10:10am - 11:25am
Online Only
Brian Boyd 3.00 11/30

ANTH BC3223 Gender Archaeolxgy. 3.00 points.

This seminar critically reexamines the ancient world from the perspective of gender archaeology. Though the seedlings of gender archaeology were first sown by of feminist archaeologists during the 70’s and 80’s, this approach involves far more than simply ‘womanizing’ androcentric narratives of past. Rather, gender archaeology criticizes interpretations of the past that transplant contemporary social roles onto the archaeological past, casting the divisions and inequalities of today as both timeless and natural. This class challenges the idea of a singular past, instead championing a turn towards multiple, rich, messy, intersectional pasts. The ‘x’ in ‘archaeolxgy’ is an explicit signal of our focus on this diversity of pasts and a call for a more inclusive field of practice today

Spring 2021: ANTH BC3223
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3223 001/00638 T Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Camilla Sturm 3.00 15/16

Physical Anthropology

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 2021: ANTH GU4148
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 4148 001/11989 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
865 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Ralph Holloway 3 1/6

Of Related Interest

Anthropology (Barnard)
ANTH BC3868ETHNOGRAPHIC FIELD RESEARCH IN NYC
Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
CSER UN3904Rumor and Racial Conflict
CSER UN3924Latin American and Latina/o Social Movements
CSER UN3990Senior Project Seminar
Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology
EEEB GU4700Race: The Tangled History of a Biological Concept
Women's and Gender Studies
WMST UN1001Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies