Anthropology

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

Director of Undergraduate Studies:

Professor Naor Ben-Yehoyada; 470 Schermerhorn Extension; 212 854-8936; nhb2115@columbia.edu; Professor John Pemberton; 858 Schermerhorn Extension; 212-854-7463; jp373@columbia.edu; Spring term 2022, Professor Maria José de Abreu; 957 Schermerhorn Extension; 212-854-4752; md3605@columbia.edu, Fall 2022

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, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology
  • Myron L. Cohen
  • Terence D’Altroy
  • 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, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology
  • 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

  • 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 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
ANTH UN2028Think Like an Archaeologist: Introduction to Method & Theory

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:

ANTH UN2028Think Like an Archaeologist: Introduction to Method & Theory

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 2022
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 2022: ANTH UN1002
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 1002 001/11702 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
614 Schermerhorn Hall
Naor Ben-Yehoyada 3 72/90
Fall 2022: ANTH UN1002
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 1002 001/10256 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Naor Ben-Yehoyada 3 0/120

ANTH UN1003 The Environment. 3.00 points.

This course introduces students to the fundamental idea of an “environment” and its concomitant concepts of crisis, climate, history, planet, and humanity. The course considers these concepts from within the humanities, while also offering a global and anthropological perspective. Through lectures, discussions, and assignments students will become familiar with major academic debates in environmental humanities and environmental studies. Students from all areas of study are welcome and no prior knowledge of the material is necessary

Fall 2022: ANTH UN1003
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 1003 001/12554 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Sonia Ahsan 3.00 0/100

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 2022: ANTH UN1007
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 1007 001/00691 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
304 Barnard Hall
Camilla Sturm 3 0/100

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 2022: ANTH UN2004
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 2004 001/10262 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Room TBA
John Pemberton 3.00 0/70

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 2022: ANTH UN3040
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3040 001/00492 W 10:10am - 11:25am
207 Milbank Hall
Lesley Sharp 4 0/30

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

Fall 2022: ANTH BC3234
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3234 001/00422 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
111 Milstein Center
Severin Fowles 4.00 0/15

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

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 2022: ANTH UN3663
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3663 001/00423 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
502 Diana Center
Camilla Sturm 4 0/16

ANTH UN3702 Black/Life/Science. 4.00 points.

What is the relationship of the production of scientific knowledge to Black life in the Americas? What can thinking that arises out of the intellectual traditions of Black Studies contribute to our understandings of the many genres of science (social, physical, earth, life) and their relationship to justice? Building from these essential questions, this course offers a framework for considering the ways that canonical sciences have constrained, categorized, and delimited Black lives, exploring such themes as: technoscientific constructions of race difference, epigenetic theories about the heritability of trauma, histories of biomedical experimentation, the long durée of eugenicist thinking, and the relationship of racialized (and gendered) bodies to their environments. We will also explore scientific scripts emergent from “below,” like: folk healing, speculative fictions, and Black nationalist origin stories, that have and continue to be sources of imaginative and emancipatory promise. In addition to developing the capacity to read widely across genres of science and critical studies thereof, students will develop skills in the deconstruction and speculative refiguring of scientific discourse

Fall 2022: ANTH UN3702
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3702 001/12546 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Room TBA
Vanessa Agard-Jones 4.00 0/14

ANTH UN3729 Burning Down the House: Anthropology of Revolution. 4.00 points.

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

Fall 2022: ANTH UN3729
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3729 001/12867 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Anna Reumert 4.00 0/18

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 2022: ANTH UN3823
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3823 001/10689 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Terence D'Altroy 4 0/15

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 2022: ANTH BC3871
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3871 001/00420 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
502 Diana Center
Paige West, Lesley Sharp, Camilla Sturm 4 0/26

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.

Fall 2022: ANTH UN3879
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3879 001/00424 M 2:00pm - 4:00pm
227 Milbank Hall
Lesley Sharp 4 0/15

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 2022: ANTH UN3888
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3888 001/10259 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Marilyn Ivy 4 0/15

ANTH BC3911 The Social Contexts of U.S. Immigration Law and Policy. 4 points.

Examines the historical and contemporary social, economic, and political factors that shape immigration law and policy along with the social consequences of those laws and policies.  Addresses the development and function of immigration law and aspects of the immigration debate including unauthorized immigration, anti-immigration sentiments, and critiques of immigration policy.

Fall 2022: ANTH BC3911
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3911 001/00425 M 10:10am - 12:00pm
502 Diana Center
J.C. Salyer 4 0/25

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.  

Fall 2022: ANTH BC3932
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3932 001/00426 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
501 Diana Center
J.C. Salyer 4 0/25

ANTH UN3937 Mass-Mediations of Modernity. 4 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

Prerequisites: at least one course in anthropology or social theory.

How do new media technologies affect social worlds? What is the relationship between mass mediation and modernity? Explores the force of media technology and its relationship to transnational forms of capital, to the development of new subjectivities, and to the rise of new networks of power and social relations.

Fall 2022: ANTH UN3937
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3937 001/10267 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Rosalind Morris 4 0/22

ANTH UN3947 Text, Magic, Performance. 4 points.

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

Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.

This course pursues interconnections linking text and performance in light of magic, ritual, possession, narration, and related articulations of power. Readings are drawn from classic theoretical writings, colonial fiction, and ethnographic accounts. Domains of inquiry include: spirit possession, trance states, séance, ritual performance, and related realms of cinematic projection, musical form, shadow theater, performative objects, and (other) things that move on their own, compellingly. Key theoretical concerns are subjectivity - particularly, the conjuring up and displacement of self in the form of the first-person singular "I" - and the haunting power of repetition. Retraced throughout the course are the uncanny shadows of a fully possessed subject --within ritual contexts and within everyday life.

Spring 2022: ANTH UN3947
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3947 001/11716 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
963 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
John Pemberton 4 18/18
Fall 2022: ANTH UN3947
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3947 001/10263 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
John Pemberton 4 0/16

ANTH UN3970 Biological Basis of Human Variation. 4 points.

Enrollment limited to 15.

Prerequisites: ANEB UN1010 and the instructor's permission.

Biological evidence for the modern human diversity at the molecular, phenotypical, and behavioral levels, as distributed geographically.

Fall 2022: ANTH UN3970
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3970 001/10684 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Ralph Holloway 4 0/10

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 2022: ANTH UN3997
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3997 001/10597  
Nadia Abu El-Haj 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 002/10598  
Lila Abu-Lughod 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 003/10599  
Vanessa Agard-Jones 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 004/10601  
Naor Ben-Yehoyada 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 005/10607  
Brian Boyd 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 006/10886  
Marco Castro 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 007/10890  
Hannah Chazin 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 008/10892  
Zoe Crossland 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 009/10895  
Terence D'Altroy 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 010/10899  
Maria Jose de Abreu 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 011/10900  
Catherine Fennell 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 012/10901  
Severin Fowles 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 013/10902  
Marilyn Ivy 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 014/10903  
Brian Larkin 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 015/10904  
Claudio Lomnitz 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 016/10905  
Mahmood Mamdani 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 017/10907  
Ellen Marakowitz 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 018/10908  
Juan Mazariegos 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 019/10909  
Brinkley Messick 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 020/10910  
Rosalind Morris 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 021/10911  
John Pemberton 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 022/10912  
Elizabeth Povinelli 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 023/10914  
David Scott 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 024/10916  
Karen Seeley 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 025/10917  
Lesley Sharp 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 026/10918  
Audra Simpson 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 027/10919  
Camilla Sturm 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 028/10922  
Paige West 2-6 0/10
ANTH 3997 029/10923  
Sally Yerkovich 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 2022: ANTH UN3999
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3999 001/14419 M 12:10pm - 2:00pm
457 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Zoe Crossland 4 3/15
Fall 2022: ANTH UN3999
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3999 001/10257 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
457 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Lila Abu-Lughod 4 0/10

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

Fall 2022: ANHS GU4001
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANHS 4001 001/10688 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Room TBA
Terence D'Altroy 3.00 0/100

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

Fall 2022: ANTH GU4145
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 4145 001/10258 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Vanessa Agard-Jones 3.00 0/14

ANTH GU4172 Written Culture. 3 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

At the turn of the twentieth century, writing was considered the evolutionary “hallmark” of civilization. Its presence or absence in societies also served to demarcate the boundaries of disciplinary inquiry, with anthropologists then specialized in peoples “without” writing. In recent decades, however, as critical reflection began to focus on writings by anthropologists, attention also turned to what James Clifford referred to as “the scratching of other pens.” Studies of our own and other textualities now are part of advancing conversations between Anthropology, History and Literary Studies. Among other topics, we will study the earlier print revolution for ideas that might help us understand "texting" and other aspects of writing in the current digital revolution.

Fall 2022: ANTH GU4172
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 4172 001/10261 M 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Brinkley Messick 3 0/15

ANTH G4345 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.

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 2022: ANTH UN1007
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 1007 001/00691 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
304 Barnard Hall
Camilla Sturm 3 0/100

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.

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

Fall 2022: ANTH BC3234
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3234 001/00422 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
111 Milstein Center
Severin Fowles 4.00 0/15

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

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 2022: ANTH UN3663
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3663 001/00423 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
502 Diana Center
Camilla Sturm 4 0/16

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.

Fall 2022: ANTH UN3823
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3823 001/10689 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Terence D'Altroy 4 0/15

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

Fall 2022: ANHS GU4001
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANHS 4001 001/10688 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Room TBA
Terence D'Altroy 3.00 0/100

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.

Fall 2022: ANTH GU4345
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 4345 001/10323 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Brian Boyd 3 0/25

Physical Anthropology

 Spring 2022
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 2022: ANTH UN1002
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 1002 001/11702 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
614 Schermerhorn Hall
Naor Ben-Yehoyada 3 72/90
Fall 2022: ANTH UN1002
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 1002 001/10256 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Naor Ben-Yehoyada 3 0/120

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 2022: ANTH UN1009
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 1009 001/00520 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
214 Milbank Hall
Elizabeth Green 3 20/25

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 2022: ANTH UN2005
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 2005 001/14451 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
310 Fayerweather
Omer Shah 3.00 40/60

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 2022: ANTH UN2028
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 2028 001/11703 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
417 Mathematics Building
Hannah Chazin 4 57/60

ANTH UN2141 Frontier Imaginaries. 3.00 points.

This course uses primary documents and supplemental readings from two “frontiers” in order to study how colonialism has created different conditions of the ancestral present; how archival “cores” effect the possibility of documenting ancestral heritability; and how text-based documentation mediate how different frontiers are imagined and governed. The course will focus on two frontier regions: the Alpine region of Trentino and the coastal region of the Northern Territory of Australia, centering on the turn of the 18th to 19th century. The course examines the dynamics between colonialism and liberal governance--how the European conquest of the western Atlantic and Pacific continues to transform modes of liberal governance long after the first colonial fleets disgorged their armies, explorers, and settlers. It approaches a turn in the politics of difference by tracking how two sets of clans have moved through historical forms of the ancestral present, namely, changing imaginaries of social form, time, and heritability; and how these imaginaries emerge from and materially sediment into human bodies and the more-than-human world. The clans are, on the one hand, the Simonaz clan, patronym, Povinelli, and Bartolot clan, patronym, Ambrosi from Carisolo, Trentino; and, on the other hand, the totemic clans of the Karrabing that stretch along the coastal region of Anson Bay, Northern Territory, Australia

Spring 2022: ANTH UN2141
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 2141 001/13875 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
313 Fayerweather
Elizabeth Povinelli 3.00 47/60

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

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 2022: ANTH UN3007
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3007 001/12152 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
307 Pupin Laboratories
Brian Boyd 3.00 21/30

ANTH UN3160 Body and Society. 4 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

Prerequisites: A 1000 level course in anthropology is strongly recommended but not required as a prerequisite

As an introduction to the field of medical anthropology, this seminar addresses themes of health, affliction, and healing across sociocultural domains.  Concerns include critiques of biomedical, epidemiological and other models of disease and suffering; the entwinement of religion and healing; technocratic interventions in healthcare; and the sociomoral underpinnings of human life, death, and survival.  A 1000 level course in Anthropology is recommended as a prerequisite, although not required.

Spring 2022: ANTH UN3160
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3160 001/00523 F 10:10am - 12:00pm
227 Milbank Hall
Gina Jae 4 13/16

ANTH UN3465 Women and Gender Politics in the Muslim World. 3 points.

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

Practices like veiling that are central to Western images of women and Islam are also contested issues throughout the Muslim world. Examines debates about Islam and gender and explores the interplay of cultural, political, and economic factors in shaping women's lives in the Muslim world, from the Middle East to Southeast Asia.

Spring 2022: ANTH UN3465
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3465 001/11700 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
142 Uris Hall
Lila Abu-Lughod 3 68/90

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 2022: ANTH UN3665
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3665 001/00524 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
227 Milbank Hall
Gina Jae 4.00 13/16

ANTH UN3811 Toxic. 4 points.

Enrollment limit is 16.

It is no secret by now that we live in a toxic sea. Every day, in every place in this world, we are exposed to an unknown number of contaminants, including those in the places that we live, the air that we breathe, the foods that we eat, the water that we drink, the consumer products that we use, and in the social worlds that we navigate. While we are all exposed, the effects of these exposures are distributed in radically unequal patterns, and histories of racialization, coloniality, and gendered inequality are critical determinants of the risks to wellness that these toxic entanglements entail. Scientists use the term "body burden" to describe the accumulated, enduring amounts of harmful substances present in human bodies. In this course, we explore the global conditions that give rise to local body burdens, plumbing the history of toxicity as a category, the politics of toxic exposures, and the experience of toxic embodiment. Foregrounding uneven exposures and disproportionate effects, we ask how scientists and humanists, poets and political activists, have understood toxicity as a material and social phenomenon. We will turn our collective attention to the analysis of ethnographies, memoirs, maps, film, and photography, and students will also be charged with creating visual and narrative projects for representing body burden of their own.

Spring 2022: ANTH UN3811
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3811 001/11701 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
467 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Vanessa Agard-Jones 4 13/14

ANTH UN3835 Air Matters. 4.00 points.

This course focuses on conceptualizing air across cultures, time and space. If western episteme has long relied on earthbound vocabularies in order to edify its modernizing project, what happens when we set to rethink its basic premises through aerial logics? Can we even suggest adopting an air perspective or point of view without falling back into those very earthbound terms on which knowledge has long been made to be grounded? Adopting a multidisciplinary approach, this course proposes to analyze plural histories of the air that have not been sufficiently acknowledged. Drawing on a variety of cultural and historical examples, each week will entail ungrounding air through a particular subject-matter: medical, legal, war, race, gender, religion, media and technology, pollution and climate change, design, art and architecture, cities and countryside, the future of masks, or exoplanet atmospheres

Spring 2022: ANTH UN3835
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3835 001/14052 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
467 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Maria Jose de Abreu 4.00 11/18

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 2022: ANTH UN3880
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3880 001/11717 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
963 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
John Pemberton 4.00 11/15

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 2022: ANTH UN3893
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3893 001/11709 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
467 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Karen Seeley 4.00 12/14

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

Spring 2022: ANTH UN3933
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3933 001/17028 M 10:10am - 12:00pm
467 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Brinkley Messick 4.00 23/30

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 2022: ANTH UN3939
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3939 001/11715 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
467 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Marilyn Ivy 4.00 18/17

ANTH UN3998 SUPERVISED INDIVIDUAL RESEARCH. 2.00-6.00 points.

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

Spring 2022: ANTH UN3998
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3998 001/12504  
Nadia Abu El-Haj 2.00-6.00 0/10
ANTH 3998 002/12505  
Lila Abu-Lughod 2.00-6.00 0/10
ANTH 3998 003/12506  
Vanessa Agard-Jones 2.00-6.00 0/10
ANTH 3998 004/12507  
Naor Ben-Yehoyada 2.00-6.00 0/10
ANTH 3998 005/12508  
Svetlana Borodina 2.00-6.00 0/10
ANTH 3998 006/12509  
Brian Boyd 2.00-6.00 0/10
ANTH 3998 007/12510  
Hannah Chazin 2.00-6.00 0/10
ANTH 3998 008/12511  
Zoe Crossland 2.00-6.00 1/10
ANTH 3998 009/12512  
Terence D'Altroy 2.00-6.00 0/10
ANTH 3998 010/12513  
Maria Jose de Abreu 2.00-6.00 0/10
ANTH 3998 011/12514  
Catherine Fennell 2.00-6.00 0/10
ANTH 3998 012/12515  
Severin Fowles 2.00-6.00 0/10
ANTH 3998 013/12516  
Elizabeth Green 2.00-6.00 0/10
ANTH 3998 014/12517  
David Harvey 2.00-6.00 0/10
ANTH 3998 015/12518  
Ralph Holloway 2.00-6.00 0/8
ANTH 3998 016/12519  
Marilyn Ivy 2.00-6.00 0/10
ANTH 3998 017/12520  
Laurel Kendall 2.00-6.00 0/10
ANTH 3998 018/12521  
Brian Larkin 2.00-6.00 0/10
ANTH 3998 019/12522  
Claudio Lomnitz 2.00-6.00 0/10
ANTH 3998 020/12523  
Mahmood Mamdani 2.00-6.00 0/10
ANTH 3998 021/12524  
Juan Mazariegos 2.00-6.00 0/10
ANTH 3998 022/12525  
Ellen Marakowitz 2.00-6.00 0/10
ANTH 3998 023/12526  
Brinkley Messick 2.00-6.00 0/10
ANTH 3998 024/12527  
Rosalind Morris 2.00-6.00 0/10
ANTH 3998 025/12528  
John Pemberton 2.00-6.00 0/10
ANTH 3998 026/12529  
Elizabeth Povinelli 2.00-6.00 0/10
ANTH 3998 027/12530  
Nan Rothschild 2.00-6.00 0/10
ANTH 3998 028/12531  
David Scott 2.00-6.00 0/10
ANTH 3998 029/12532  
Karen Seeley 2.00-6.00 0/10
ANTH 3998 030/12533  
Audra Simpson 2.00-6.00 0/10
ANTH 3998 031/12534  
Lesley Sharp 2.00-6.00 0/10
ANTH 3998 032/12535  
Paige West 2.00-6.00 0/10
ANTH 3998 033/14460  
Omer Shah 2.00-6.00 0/10
ANTH 3998 034/15221  
Rosalind Morris 2.00-6.00 0/8
ANTH 3998 035/16871  
Laurel Kendall 2.00-6.00 0/10
ANTH 3998 036/16872  
David Harvey 2.00-6.00 0/10

ANTH UN3947 Text, Magic, Performance. 4 points.

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

Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.

This course pursues interconnections linking text and performance in light of magic, ritual, possession, narration, and related articulations of power. Readings are drawn from classic theoretical writings, colonial fiction, and ethnographic accounts. Domains of inquiry include: spirit possession, trance states, séance, ritual performance, and related realms of cinematic projection, musical form, shadow theater, performative objects, and (other) things that move on their own, compellingly. Key theoretical concerns are subjectivity - particularly, the conjuring up and displacement of self in the form of the first-person singular "I" - and the haunting power of repetition. Retraced throughout the course are the uncanny shadows of a fully possessed subject --within ritual contexts and within everyday life.

Spring 2022: ANTH UN3947
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3947 001/11716 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
963 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
John Pemberton 4 18/18
Fall 2022: ANTH UN3947
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3947 001/10263 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
John Pemberton 4 0/16

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 2022: ANTH UN3999
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3999 001/14419 M 12:10pm - 2:00pm
457 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Zoe Crossland 4 3/15
Fall 2022: ANTH UN3999
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3999 001/10257 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
457 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Lila Abu-Lughod 4 0/10

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

ANTH GU4123 Historical Anthropology. 4.00 points.

This is an introduction to the interdisciplinary approaches of historical anthropology, in sources, methods and conceptualizations. Taking studies of differing Muslim societies by leading anthropologists as examples, we will examine the possibilities of this mode of inquiry. Students will give seminar presentations on the readings and complete a semester paper

Spring 2022: ANTH GU4123
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 4123 001/15219 F 10:10am - 12:00pm
963 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Brinkley Messick 4.00 14/20

ANTH GU4132 Mental Health & Illness in Post/Soc. 4.00 points.

This seminar takes mental health and illness in socialist and postsocialist countries as objects of anthropological investigation. It explores the ways in which mental health care, diagnostics, suffering, and therapeutic systems are constituted by and constitutive of the post/socialist cultural, political, and socioeconomic contexts. Topics include critical approaches to psychiatric diagnostics; the development of the Soviet psychiatric complex, neuropharmaceuticals, and addiction treatment practice; the constitution and treatment of mental disabilities; institutional and communal mental healthcare; deinstitutionalization; experimental treatments; healing and injurious socioeconomic and political forces; social abandonment and death. Class readings will present a mixture of theoretical texts and ethnographic/historical material from post/socialist regions

Spring 2022: ANTH GU4132
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 4132 001/16976 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
457 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Svetlana Borodina 4.00 14/15

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 2022: ANTH GU4148
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 4148 001/11706 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
865 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Ralph Holloway 3 7/8

ANTH GU4481 Science and Art in Archaeological Illustration. 4 points.

Archaeology has provided a rich imaginative resource for many artists, who have found inspiration in the discipline’s material engagement with the past, its evocation of absent presences, and its strange juxtaposition of practical activity and textual narrative. In this course we continue the exploration of art’s intersections with archaeology, but we take an alternate starting point. Scientific illustration has been a key part of archaeological work since the discipline’s origins in the antiquarian investigations of the 16th and 17th centuries. These antiquarian records drew upon techniques that were elaborated during the Renaissance and many of these illustrative forms remain relevant today. 

Spring 2022: ANTH GU4481
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 4481 001/14421 T 12:10pm - 4:00pm
954 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Zoe Crossland 4 13/17

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.

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 2022: ANTH UN2028
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 2028 001/11703 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
417 Mathematics Building
Hannah Chazin 4 57/60

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

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 2022: ANTH UN3007
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3007 001/12152 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
307 Pupin Laboratories
Brian Boyd 3.00 21/30

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 2022: ANTH BC3223
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3223 001/00539 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
214 Milbank Hall
Camilla Sturm 3.00 17/20

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 2022: ANTH GU4148
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 4148 001/11706 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
865 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Ralph Holloway 3 7/8

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