Anthropology Graduate Courses

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  • Anthro 501: History of Anthropological Thought
    • Course Description: This course traces some of the main trends in the history of theory in socio-cultural anthropology since the field’s origins in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  It begins with a consideration of the Victorian-era thinkers such as Tylor, Morgan, Spencer, and Frazer, and then continues with a discussion of Boas and Durkheim, the two great modernizers of the field.  Durkheim’s influence in France continues through Mauss, Levi-Strauss, and Bourdieu; and in England through Malinowski and Radcliffe-Brown to Evans-Pritchard, Victor Turner, and Mary Douglas; while in America several different schools branch out from under the influence of Boas and his immediate successors such as Kroeber and Lowie: first there are Benedict and Mead, whose influence leads to latter day symbolic  anthropology as represented by Geertz, Schneider and others; then there is the important school of cultural materialism and evolution leading from Leslie White and Julian Steward to Marvin Harris, Roy Rappaport, and others; the impact of feminist theory of anthropology represented by figures such as Sherry Ortner, Michelle Rosaldo, and others; and finally the post-modern turn, represented by James Clifford, George Marcus, and Michael Fischer.
    • Topics Include
    • Frequently Taught By: Robert Paul, Vidali


  • Anthro 504: Agrarian Transformation
    • Course Description: Cultural anthropology for over fifty years has explored dimensions of global and local transformation in agricultural societies—from small tribal groups to hydraulic empires.  Exploration of this ethnographically-rich legacy will ground us in cases from around the world, shedding light on anthropology’s contributions to critical issues of our time such as globalization and resistance, environmental degradation and ecological adaptations, population growth, changing patterns and implications of stratification, proletarianization and new forms of labor force participation, gendered shifts in wealth and power, new patterns of consumption, and critical perspectives on development and modernity.  This course will use classic and newer ethnographic and theoretical works to dialogue between past work in the field and current dilemmas of sustainability, global inequalities, bioregionalism and place-based development solutions, and competing visions of 21st-century food systems.  The course will include attention to gendered analysis, household decision-making strategies, and methodological issues of ethnography; it will be useful for students preparing to do research in agrarian societies from a range of perspectives as well as students who want a stronger grounding in economic, environmental, development, and sustainability studies.  Students will have an opportunity to pursue a research project related to their own interests.
    • Topics Include
    • Frequently Taught By: Peggy Barlett


  • Anthro 510: Medical Anthropology
    • Course Description: This course is designed as an introduction to medical anthropology. The course is organized thematically and examines some of the important issues in contemporary medical anthropology, including: Illness, disease and sickness; illness as metaphor of socio-cultural distress; the process of medicalization; current paradigm shift in biomedicine; culture-bound syndromes; “naturalizing” processes; contestation for medical legitimacy in plural societies; non-western medical systems; body and mind in illness and healing; cross-cultural psychiatric anthropology; infectious disease and inequality; power/knowledge and medical practices; and ambiguity in death and dying in the era of high technology. This course will explore the role of medicine in our society, how anthropological analysis can be applicable in understanding the complexity of human conditions such as health, illness and sickness, physical and mental pain, suffering, death and dying.
    • Topics Include
    • Frequently Taught By: Chikako Ozawa-de Silva


  • Anthro 560: Methods in Cultural Anthropology
    • Course Description: This course explores methods of ethnographic fieldwork, proposal writing, and ethnographic write-up and representation in cultural anthropology.  The course is designed for first and second year graduate students in cultural anthropology who intend to conduct long-term ethnographic doctoral research in a field setting.  The course construes “methods” as the professional skills associated with practically conducting and completing doctoral fieldwork, on the one hand, and issues of writing and representation before, during, and following fieldwork, on the other.  This includes techniques and methods used to collect information in the field as well as the configuration and analysis of information for purposes of proposal writing, write-up, and various forms of media representation.  The course considers pilot studies, proposal writing, full fieldwork, and subsequent write-up as stages of professional development that are integrally linked and yet in important ways disjoined or disjunctive in our lived experience as researchers.
    • Topics Include:
    • Frequently Taught By: Bruce Knauft


  • Anthro 585: Special Topics
    • Course Description:
    • Topics Include Heritage and Power; Theory & Ethnography in the New Millennium; Anthropological Approaches to Population Issues; Global Mental Health: Anthropological Perspectives; New Paradigms/Old Trends; Subaltern Studies: Past, Present and Future; Passing in America; Image Work: Visual technique in Qualitative Research; Anthropology of Global Health; The Anthropological Study of Ritual; Evolutionary Modeling; Evolution of Human Subsistence; Statistical Methods, Evolution of the Human Brain and Cognition, Alterative Farming Systems; Muslim Cultures and Politics in Anthropological Perspective; Nation & Identities: Africa, Americas & Europe, Indigenous Peoples and Empires; Development an Change; Ethnography and Its Edges; Themes and Approaches in Latin History: New Paradigms, Old Trends; Voicing the Voiceless; Local/Global Media; Anthropology of Tourism; Globalization and Development; Un-archived Histories; Making Ethnographic Documentary; Global Migrations and Local Diasporas; Law & History in Colonial Cultures in the Atlantic World
    • Frequently Taught By: Jenny Chio, Michael Peletz, Craig Hadley, Peter Brown, Thomas Rogers, Gyan Pandey, Jonathan Prude, Anna Grimshaw, Bradd Shore, Paul Hooper, Jessica Thompson, Paul Hooper, Dietrich Stout, Peggy Barlett, Jeff Lesser and Ana Teixeria, Yanna Yannakakis Peter Little, Debra Vidali, Carla Freeman

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