Current Courses

Sort by: TitleNumber
Filter by:

View all Summer 2019 courses.

ANTHR 1101 : FWS: Culture, Society, and Power
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Eudes Lopes
Ting Hui Lau
Natalie Nesvaderani
Kurt Jordan
This First-Year Writing Seminar is devoted to the anthropological study of the human condition.  Anthropology  examines all aspects of human experience, from the evolution of the species to contemporary challenges of politics, environment, and society.  The discipline emphasizes empirically rich field research informed by sophisticated theoretical understandings of human social life and cultural production. The diversity of anthropology's interests provides a diverse array of stimulating opportunities to write critically about the human condition. Topics vary by semester.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 1190 : Humanity
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Jonathan Boyarin
Adam Smith
This course examines the relation between humanity as a species, our group affiliations, and our individual selves. In an era of increasing division, what remains of our commitment to one another as members of a human community? As contemporary problems challenge us at a global scale, there is a pressing need to revisit the question of our shared human existence. We will touch on an array of human productions and activities, from literature and labor to ritual and religion, in order to assess our commitments to self, community, and species. Together we will seek answers to a single pressing question: what are the obligations of being human? This is not only a question of "who we are", but also where we are headed.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 1200 : Ancient Peoples and Places
Crosslisted as: ARKEO 1200 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
John Henderson
A broad introduction to archaeology-the study of material remains to answer questions about the human past. Case studies highlight the variability of ancient societies and illustrate the varied methods and interpretive frameworks archaeologists use to reconstruct them. This course can serve as a platform for both archaeology and anthropology undergraduate majors.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 1300 : Human Evolution: Genes, Behavior, and the Fossil Record
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Matthew Velasco
The evolution of humankind is explored through the fossil record, studies of the biological differences among current human populations, and a comparison with our closest relatives, the primates. This course investigates the roots of human biology and behavior with an evolutionary framework.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 1400 : The Comparison of Cultures
Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Magnus Fiskesjo
An introduction to cultural anthropology through ethnographies, or the descriptive accounts of anthropologists. Through readings and lectures, students acquaint themselves with a number of cultures from several parts of the world. The cultures range in form from those of small-scale tribal societies to those of state societies. Throughout the course, we attempt to make sense of exotic cultures in their own terms. Attention is focused on variation in cultural patterns as they are expressed in social, economic, and ritual practices. In this encounter, the principles of anthropology, as a comparative enterprise that poses distinct cultural systems in relief, will be developed. Fiction, films, and exercises supplement the formal anthropological materials.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 1520 : Tamil Conversation in Context
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Lucinda Ramberg
Andrew Willford
Description
ANTHR 1700 : Indigenous North America
Crosslisted as: AIIS 1100, AMST 1600 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Kurt Jordan
This course provides an interdisciplinary introduction to the diverse cultures, histories and contemporary situations of the Indigenous peoples of North America. Students will also be introduced to important themes in the post-1492 engagement between Indigenous and settler populations in North America and will consider the various and complex ways in which that history affected - and continues to affect - American Indian peoples and societies. Course materials draw on the humanities, social sciences, and expressive arts.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 1900 : Global Engagements: Living and Working in a Diverse World
Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Sofia Villenas
The path to global citizenship begins with a facility for navigating cultural difference. How might we engage with communities, whether here in Ithaca or across the globe, whose pasts and present understandings are fundamentally different than our own? This course is designed to help students bring global engaged learning into their Cornell education. It introduces skills that are vital for intercultural engagement, including participant-observation research, ethnographic writing, and the habits of critical reflexivity. Students will complete projects with service learning placements in the Ithaca community. They will also begin an ePortfolio as they explore their identity and engage with the international community on campus.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 2021 : Viruses- Humans-Viral Politics (Social History and Cultural Politics of HIV & AIDS)
Crosslisted as: AMST 2841, BSOC 2841, FGSS 2841, LGBT 2841, STS 2841 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Christopher Roebuck
This course explores what has been termed "the modern plague."  It investigates the social history, cultural politics, biological processes, and global impacts of the retrovirus, HIV, and the disease syndrome, AIDS. It engages material from multiple fields: life sciences, social sciences, & humanities as well as media reports, government documents, activist art, and community-based documentaries. It explores various meanings and life-experiences of HIV & AIDS; examines conflicting understandings of health, disease, the body; investigates political struggles over scientific research, biomedical & public health interventions, and cultural representations; and queries how HIV vulnerability is shaped by systems of power and inequality. As well, we come to learn about the practices, the politics, and the ethics of life and care that arise in "the age of epidemic."
View course details
Description
ANTHR 2045 : American Indian Music in Context
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Chad Uran
This course will introduce students to the politics, practices, aesthetics, and purposes of North American Indigenous music.  Students will learn about socio-historical contexts of colonization and sovereignty, and how they influence the production and reception of North American Indigenous musical expressions. Other topics of focus will include issues of representation, cultural property ownership, and ethical concerns. Our readings, as well as the music we listen to and see performed, will be organized according to overlapping themes and genres such as "welcoming, asking permission, and thanksgiving," or "revitalization and resistance," and more. Students will learn how music exists as a means to express cultural continuity, and is embedded in and reflective of myriad aspects of Native American social life.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 2165 : They Were What They Ate: Food in the Ancient World
Crosslisted as: ARKEO 2165 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Dana Bardolph
"Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are," wrote renowned gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin in 1825. Since then, it has become axiomatic within anthropology that social relationships are constructed through food-related practices and embodied in food, from the most basic tasks of acquiring food resources to the social and political contexts of the consumption of food and drink. In this course, we will consider the theoretical and methodological approaches that archaeologists use to study food and eating in ancient societies from a global anthropological perspective. Topics to be addressed include transitions to agriculture; ritual foodways; feasting and politics; gender and identity; colonialism; and food scarcity. Readings will include a range of Old and New World case studies.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 2201 : Early Agriculture
Crosslisted as: ARKEO 2201 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Nerissa Russell
Throughout most of the human career, people survived by hunting and gathering wild foods. The advent of food production is one of the most profound changes in (pre)history. This course examines the current evidence for the appearance and spread of agriculture (plant and animal domestication) around the world. We will consider definitions of agriculture and domestication, the conditions under which it arises, the consequences for those who adopt it, and why it has spread over most of the world.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 2245 : Health and Disease in the Ancient World
Crosslisted as: ARKEO 2245, BSOC 2245 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Matthew Velasco
The history of humankind is also a history of health and disease; the rise of agricultural societies, ancient cities, and colonial empires had wide-ranging effects on diet and nutrition, the spread of infectious diseases, and occurrence of other health conditions. This history has also been shaped by complex interactions between environment, technology, and society. Using archaeological, environmental, textual, and skeletal evidence, we will survey major epidemiological transitions from the Paleolithic to the age of European conquest. We will also examine diverse cultural experiences of health, illness, and the body. How do medical practices from "pre-modern" societies, such as the medieval Islamic world and the Inca Empire, challenge dominant narratives of scientific development? The implications of past health patterns for modern-day communities will also be explored.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 2310 : The Natural History of Chimpanzees and the Origins of Politics
Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Adam Arcadi
This course will examine the natural history of wild chimpanzees with an eye toward better understanding the changes that would have been necessary in human evolutionary history to promote the emergence of human culture and political life. After an overview of early research and preliminary attempts to apply our knowledge of chimpanzee life to social and political theory, the class will focus on our now extensive knowledge of chimpanzees derived from many ongoing, long-term field studies. Topics of particular interest include socialization, alliance formation and cooperation, aggression within and between the sexes, reconciliation, the maintenance of traditions, tool use, nutritional ecology and social organization, territorial behavior, and the importance of kin networks. The question of whether apes should have rights will also be explored.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 2400 : Cultural Diversity and Contemporary Issues
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Frederic Gleach
This course will introduce students to the meaning and significance of forms of cultural diversity for the understanding of contemporary issues. Drawing from films, videos, and selected readings, students will be confronted with different representational forms that portray cultures in various parts of the world, and they will be asked to examine critically their own prejudices as they influence the perception and evaluation of cultural differences. We shall approach cultures holistically, assuming the inseparability of economies, kinship, religion, and politics, as well as interconnections and dependencies between world areas (e.g., Africa, Latin America, the West). Among the issues considered: "political correctness" and truth; nativism and ecological diversity; race, ethnicity, and sexuality; sin, religion, and war; global process and cultural integrity.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 2410 : South Asian Diaspora
Crosslisted as: AAS 2100 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Viranjini Munasinghe
This interdisciplinary course (with an emphasis in anthropology) will introduce students to the multiple routes/roots, lived experiences, and imagined worlds of South Asians who have traveled to various lands at different historical moments spanning Fiji, South Africa, Mauritius, Britain, Malaysia, United States, Trinidad, and even within South Asia itself such as the Tamil-speaking population of Sri Lanka. The course will begin with the labor migrations of the 1830s and continue up to the present period. The primary exercise will be to compare and contrast the varied expressions of the South Asian Diaspora globally in order to critically evaluate this transnational identity. Thus, we will ask what, if any, are the ties that bind a fifth-generation Indo-Trinidadian whose ancestor came to the New World as an indentured laborer or "coolie" in the mid-19th century to labor in the cane fields, to a Pakistani medical doctor who migrated to the United States in the late 1980s. If Diaspora violates a sense of identity based on territorial integrity, then could "culture" serve as the basis for a shared identity?
View course details
Description
ANTHR 2420 : Nature/Culture: Ethnographic Approaches to Human-Environment Relations
Crosslisted as: AIIS 2420, BSOC 2420 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Paul Nadasdy
One of the most pressing questions of our time is how we should understand the relationship between nature (or "the environment") and culture (or society) - and/or whether these should be viewed as separate domains at all.  How one answers this question has important implications for how we go about thinking and acting in such diverse social arenas as environmental politics, development, and indigenous-state relations.  This course serves as an introduction to the various ways anthropologists and other scholars have conceptualized the relationship between humans and the environment and considers the material and political consequences that flow from these conceptualizations.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 2421 : Worlding Sex and Gender
Crosslisted as: FGSS 2421, LGBT 2421 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Lucinda Ramberg
An introduction to the anthropology of sex, sexuality and gender, this course uses case studies from around the world to explore how the worlds of the sexes become gendered.  In ethnographic, ethnohistorical and contemporary globalizing contexts, we will look at: intersexuality & 'supernumerary' genders; physical & cultural reproduction; sexuality; and sex- & gender-based violence & power. We will use lectures, films, discussion sections and short field-based exercises.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 2433 : Anthropology of Law and Politics
Crosslisted as: LSP 2433 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Vilma Santiago-Irizarry
The need to monitor human behavior and regulate order among individuals and groups is inherent to the human condition. This course is a basic introduction to the ways in which anthropology has examined legal and political processes across diverse societies and cultures. Students will learn foundational anthropological and legal principles and how they are applied among specific sociocultural groups.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 2468 : Medicine, Culture, and Society
Crosslisted as: BSOC 2468, FGSS 2468, STS 2468 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Saida Hodzic
Elif Sari
Medicine has become the language and practice through which we address a broad range of both individual and societal complaints. Interest in this "medicalization of life" may be one of the reasons that medical anthropology is currently the fastest-growing subfield in anthropology. This course encourages students to examine concepts of disease, suffering, health, and well-being in their immediate experience and beyond. In the process, students will gain a working knowledge of ecological, critical, phenomenological, and applied approaches used by medical anthropologists. We will investigate what is involved in becoming a doctor, the sociality of medicines, controversies over new medical technologies, and the politics of medical knowledge. The universality of biomedicine (or hospital medicine) will not be taken for granted, but rather we will examine the plurality generated by the various political, economic, social, and ethical demands under which biomedicine has developed in different places and at different times. In addition, biomedical healing and expertise will be viewed in relation to other kinds of healing and expertise. Our readings will address medicine in North America as well as other parts of the world. In class, our discussions will return regularly to consider the broad diversity of kinds of medicine throughout the world, as well as the specific historical and local contexts of biomedicine.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 2470 : Islam and Gender
Crosslisted as: FGSS 2770, MEDVL 2770, NES 2770, RELST 2770 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Seema Golestaneh
This course explores the role of gender and sexuality in shaping the lives of Muslims past and present. Through a close examination of ethnographies, intellectual histories, and religious treatises, we will analyze the key debates and discourses surrounding the intersection of gender and Islam. We begin by investigating Quranic revelations and hadith concerning gender and sexual ethics, female figures of emulation in early Islam, and feminist exegeses of the Quran. Continuing onward, we focus upon the everyday lives of Muslim women and non-binary individuals in medieval, colonial, and post-colonial contexts, highlighting the ways in which people negotiate and respond to the sexual politics of the times in which they live as we ask what, if anything, is specifically "Islamic" about the situations under discussion? Following this, we embark upon a history of sexuality within Islam, tracing the ways in which the categories of "homosexuality" and "heterosexuality" came to exist in the Muslim world, as well as the history and positionality of trans communities past and present. We then continue with an exploration of Islamic feminism as it exists today, looking to the ways in which Muslim feminists have critically engaged both religious texts as well as Western feminist theory. Finally, the course concludes by analyzing the relationship between the study of Islam, gender, and empire.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 2546 : South Asian Religions in Practice: The Healing Traditions
Crosslisted as: ASIAN 2254 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Andrew Willford
This course offers an anthropological approach to the study of religious traditions and practices in South Asia (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Nepal). The course begins with a short survey of the major religious traditions of South Asia: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Islam. We look to the development of these traditions through historical and cultural perspectives. The course then turns to the modern period, considering the impact of colonialism, nationalism, and globalization upon religious ideologies and practices. The primary focus of the course will be the ethnographic study of contemporary religious practices in the region. We examine phenomena such as ritual, pilgrimage, possession, devotionalism, monasticism, asceticism, and revivalism through a series of ethnographic case studies. In so doing, we also seek to understand the impact of politics, modernity, diasporic movement, social inequality, changing gender roles, and mass mediation upon these traditions and practices.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 2577 : American Jewish Women and the Body of Tradition
Crosslisted as: AMST 2577, FGSS 2577, JWST 2577, NES 2577, RELST 2577 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Cara Rock-Singer
Description
ANTHR 3000 : Introduction to Anthropological Theory
Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Viranjini Munasinghe
This seminar course is designed to give anthropology majors an introduction to classical and contemporary social and anthropological theory and to help prepare them for upper-level seminars in anthropology. The seminar format emphasizes close reading and active discussion of key texts and theorists. The reading list will vary from year to year but will include consideration of influential texts and debates in 19th-, 20th-, and 21st-century anthropological theory especially as they have sought to offer conceptual and analytical tools for making sense of human social experience and cultural capacities.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 3020 : Representing Brooklyn: Race, Place and Popular Culture
Crosslisted as: AMST 3020, ASRC 3020 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Oneka LaBennett
Hip Hop/Hipster/Immigrant/Brownstone Brooklyn. This course borrows from hip hop's notion of "representing" to explore popular and cultural understandings of race and place in Brooklyn as depicted in print, music, film, and online. While today Brooklyn is New York City's hippest borough and the site of swift gentrification, booming real estate, and the ever-escalating displacement of immigrant and Black communities, in the 1980s and 1990s it was a hotbed of hip hop music, making the borough synonymous with Black cultural production. The course examines Black cultural production as it relates to representations of Brooklyn and deconstructs images and discourses that marginalize the borough's Black residents. Spanning the period from 1945 to the present day, the commodification of hip hop in the 1980s-1990s, and close readings of films including Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing," to reflect on how Black popular culture engages with Brooklyn's diverse communities. While materials are interdisciplinary in approach, our investigation is informed by anthropological, historical, and literary texts covering topics including immigration, youth culture, transnationalism, gentrification, authenticity, and classed, gendered and racialized inequality.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 3020 : Representing Brooklyn: Race, Place and Popular Culture
Crosslisted as: AMST 3020, ASRC 3020 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Oneka LaBennett
Hip Hop/Hipster/Immigrant/Brownstone Brooklyn. This course borrows from hip hop's notion of "representing" to explore popular and cultural understandings of race and place in Brooklyn as depicted in print, music, film, and online. While today Brooklyn is New York City's hippest borough and the site of swift gentrification, booming real estate, and the ever-escalating displacement of immigrant and Black communities, in the 1980s and 1990s it was a hotbed of hip hop music, making the borough synonymous with Black cultural production. The course examines Black cultural production as it relates to representations of Brooklyn and deconstructs images and discourses that marginalize the borough's Black residents. Spanning the period from 1945 to the present day, the commodification of hip hop in the 1980s-1990s, and close readings of films including Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing," to reflect on how Black popular culture engages with Brooklyn's diverse communities. While materials are interdisciplinary in approach, our investigation is informed by anthropological, historical, and literary texts covering topics including immigration, youth culture, transnationalism, gentrification, authenticity, and classed, gendered and racialized inequality.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 3061 : Computing Cultures
Crosslisted as: COMM 3560, INFO 3561, STS 3561, VISST 3560 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Malte Ziewitz
Computers are powerful tools for working, playing, thinking, and living. Laptops, PDAs, webcams, cell phones, and iPods are not just devices, they also provide narratives, metaphors, and ways of seeing the world. This course critically examines how computing technology and society shape each other and how this plays out in our everyday lives. Identifies how computers, networks, and information technologies reproduce, reinforce, and rework existing cultural trends, norms, and values. Looks at the values embodied in the cultures of computing and considers alternative ways to imagine, build, and work with information technologies.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 3110 : Documentary Production Fundamentals
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 6110, PMA 3510, PMA 6510 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Natasha Raheja
This course introduces students to documentary film production and story development. Through lectures, screenings, workshops, and technical labs, students will develop single-camera digital video production and editing skills. Weekly camera and editing exercises and one-on-one sessions with the instructor will enhance students' documentary filmmaking techniques. Additionally, students will gain an understanding of nonfiction film theory from the perspective of production and learn to critically engage and comment on each other's work. Discussions of debates around ethnographic representation and filmmaking ethics will help students to solve practical storytelling dilemmas. Over the course of the semester, students conduct pre-production research and have the opportunity to develop a film proposal and make a short film.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 3235 : Bioarchaeology
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 6235, ARKEO 3235, ARKEO 6235 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Matthew Velasco
Bioarchaeology is the study of human remains from archaeological sites. Like forensic scientists at the scene of the crime, bioarchaeologists search for clues embedded in human bone and mummified tissues to reconstruct how ancient peoples lived and died. As a dynamic living system, the human skeleton responds not only to hormones that govern human development but also to physiological stress brought on by disease, malnutrition, and trauma. The human body is also an artifact molded by cultural understandings of gender, prestige, self-expression, and violence. In this course, students will learn the scientific techniques for estimating skeletal age and sex, diagnosing pathology, and reconstructing diet and migration patterns. This course emphasizes the critical integration of biological and cultural evidence for understanding past individuals and societies.  
View course details
Description
ANTHR 3405 : Multicultural Issues in Education
Crosslisted as: AMST 3405, EDUC 3405, LSP 3405 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Sofia Villenas
This course explores research on race, ethnicity and language in American education. It examines historical and current patterns of school achievement for minoritized youths. It also examines the cultural and social premises undergirding educational practices in diverse communities and schools. Policies, programs and pedagogy, including multicultural and bilingual education, are explored.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 3416 : The Barbarians
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 6416, ASIAN 3332, ASIAN 6632 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Magnus Fiskesjo
The idea of the barbarians is as old as civilization itself. But what is a barbarian, and what is the role that barbarians play, as the savage enemies of civilization? In this course we will address such questions by looking at how different civilizations have imagined their barbarians, ranging from their key role in Greek drama, and as infidels in religious conceptions, to Chinese walls, and American savagery. We will examine both historical examples, and the barbarians of today -- the terrorists and insurgents so often framed as dark and primitive, in contrast with ourselves. Through readings and visual materials, we will seek to discover what these barbarians have in common. We will look comparatively for the underlying patterns of history that the barbarians are drafted from, to draw a new picture of the barbarians. At the same time, we will arrive at a new understanding of civilization as such, as well as of the general nature of human inequality, and how it is justified.   
View course details
Description
ANTHR 3703 : Asians in the Americas: A Comparative Perspective
Crosslisted as: AAS 3030, AMST 3703, ANTHR 6703 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Viranjini Munasinghe
The common perception of ethnicity is that it is a "natural" and an inevitable consequence of cultural difference. "Asians" overseas, in particular, have won repute as a people who cling tenaciously to their culture and refuse to assimilate into their host societies and cultures. But, who are the "Asians?" On what basis can we label "Asians" an ethnic group? Although there is a significant Asian presence in the Caribbean, the category "Asian" itself does not exist in the Caribbean. What does this say about the nature of categories that label and demarcate groups of people on the basis of alleged cultural and phenotypical characteristics? This course will examine the dynamics behind group identity, namely ethnicity, by comparing and contrasting the multicultural experience of Asian populations in the Caribbean and the United States. Ethnographic case studies will focus on the East Indian and Chinese experiences in the Caribbean and the Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Filipino, and Indian experiences in the United States.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 3901 : Going Global: Preparing for Engaged Learning
Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Sofia Villenas
So you're enrolled in an upcoming study abroad program! Now what? How can you make the most of your experience? This half-semester course is designed to prepare students departing for any study abroad or domestic engaged learning programs. This course provides the opportunity to refine the skills necessary for cross-cultural encounters, including participant-observation research, ethnographic writing, and the habits of critical reflexivity. Students will research the culture and history of their destination and develop an ePortfolio to capture their experiences. They will also consider how to succeed in a foreign academic environment by engaging with the international community on campus.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 3902 : Coming Home: Making the Most of Engaged Experiences
Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Sofia Villenas
How has your study abroad experience shaped you and your perspective on the world? What does it mean to be a global citizen? This half-semester course is designed for students returning from study abroad or other engaged learning programs. Students will reflect on topics such as identity, difference, and navigating cross-cultural encounters by writing narratives based on their experience and revising their ePortfolio. In doing so, they will grapple with "culture shock" and share moments of personal growth. They will also have the opportunity to contribute to the international community on campus.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 4013 : Textual Ethnography
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 7013, NES 4513, NES 6513 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Seema Golestaneh
This course explores the implications and significance of using textual materials as anthropological evidence. While participant observation remains the cornerstone of ethnography, literary, archival, and other written works are increasingly being utilized as primary sources within the anthropological project. This course will hence offer an overview of anthropological works that trace the intersections between cultural production and the literary imagination. Rather than consider the literary elements of ethnography itself, we will strive to understand the disparate forms of social phenomena—both knowledge and practices—that arise from texts and textual practices specifically. Examples include analyses of literary cultures, media forms and non-traditional textual sources, bureaucratic structures, the use of archives, and more. Particular attention will be paid to works based in the Middle East and the Islamic world. By examining the different theoretical, political, and ethical considerations of using the written word as ethnographic evidence, we will be able to shed light on the anthropological project as a whole.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 4041 : What is (an) Epidemic? (Infectious Diseases in Historical, Social, and Political Perspective)
Crosslisted as: BSOC 4841, FGSS 4841, STS 4841 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Christopher Roebuck
The term "epidemic" travels widely and wildly in contemporary worlds.  But, what, when and where is "the epidemic"? How and why does epidemic unfold? This senior seminar offers an interdisciplinary exploration of infectious diseases.  Our investigations take us from medieval Europe's "Black Plague," to Tuberculosis in early twentieth century United States and its global resurgence at the turn of the twenty-first, to Ebola and its ongoing, periodic outbreaks today. We consider the consequences epidemics have for how we live and imagine shared ecological futures.  Examining work from the life sciences, social sciences, and arts & humanities, we explore the ways in which life and death, disease and survivability, health and thriving are shaped by infectious microbes, embodied eco-social forces, and contingent regimes of knowledge-power. 
View course details
Description
ANTHR 4085 : Beyond Reason: An Anthropology of the Irrational
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 7085 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Jessica Cooper
Description
ANTHR 4139 : Global Currents: Immobility and Multi-Sited Ethnography
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 7139, MUSIC 4239, MUSIC 6239, SHUM 4639, SHUM 6639 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Catherine Appert
Ever-increasing global interconnection drives some of the most pressing political and ethical questions of our time. This seminar centers on two intersecting areas of inquiry. The first deals with the nature of global movements: how people, ideas, arts, and capital move through world. Engaging postcolonial theory and scholarship on contemporary migration and transnationalism, we will interrogate the idea of borders and nations as well as those categories—like diaspora—that surpass or circumvent them. The second area of inquiry involves questioning how and why we might study these processes ethnographically. Here we will consider the potential and limitations of multi-sited and global ethnography, and question the possibility of an activist ethnography of global interconnection. For longer description and instructor bio visit http://societyhumanities.as.cornell.edu/courses.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 4235 : Meaningful Stuff: Interpreting Material Culture
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 7235, ARKEO 4235, ARKEO 7235 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Frederic Gleach
"Res ipsa loquitur" -- the thing speaks for itself. This common expression captures a widespread belief about objects' roles in human lives, but "hearing" what objects have to say is actually a complex cultural process. An object rarely has a single meaning; they are read variously in different cultural settings, and even by different individuals within a cultural system. How does one know -- can one know -- the meanings of an object? How are objects strategically deployed in social interaction (particularly in cross-cultural interactions, where each side may have radically different understandings)? How does one even know what an object is? We will explore the history and variety of ways that material culture and its meanings have been studied, using archaeological and ethnographic examples.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 4246 : Human Osteology
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 7246, ARKEO 4246, ARKEO 7246 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Matthew Velasco
This is an intensive laboratory course in the study of human skeletal remains. A detailed knowledge of skeletal anatomy is fundamental to forensic anthropology, bioarchaeology, and the medical sciences. This course teaches students how to identify all 206 bones and 32 teeth of the human skeleton, in both complete and fragmentary states. Students will also learn osteological methods for establishing a biological profile (age-at-death, sex, stature, and biological affinity) and documenting skeletal trauma and pathological lesions. Hands-on laboratory training will be supplemented by case studies that demonstrate the importance of human osteology for criminal investigations in the present and the study of health and violence in the past. The ethics of working with human remains are also discussed.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 4256 : Time and History in Ancient Mexico
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 7250, ARKEO 4256, ARKEO 7250, LATA 4250, LATA 7250 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
John Henderson
An introduction to belief systems in ancient Mexico and Central America, emphasizing the blending of religion, astrology, myth, history, and prophecy. Interpreting text and image in pre-Columbian books and inscriptions is a major focus.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 4264 : Zooarchaeological Interpretation
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 7264, ARKEO 4264, ARKEO 7264 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Nerissa Russell
This course follows from last semester's Zooarchaeological Method. We will shift our emphasis here from basic skills to interpretation, although you will continue to work with archaeological bones. We will begin by examining topics surrounding the basic interpretation of raw faunal data: sampling, quantification, taphonomy, seasonality. We will then explore how to use faunal data to reconstruct subsistence patterns, social structure, and human/animal relations.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 4268 : Aztecs and Their Empire: Myth, History, and Politics
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 7268, ARKEO 4268, ARKEO 7268, LATA 4268, LATA 7268 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
John Henderson
Examines the structure and history of the largest polity in ancient Mexico, the "empire" of the Aztecs, using descriptions left by Spanish invaders, accounts written by Aztecs under Colonial rule, and archaeological evidence. Explores Aztec visions of the past, emphasizing the roles of myth, religion, and identity in Aztec statecraft and the construction of history.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 4330 : How Do We Know Nature? Language, Knowledge and the Environment
Crosslisted as: COGST 4330, STS 4330 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Luisa Cortesi
Description
ANTHR 4390 : Primate Conservation: Cross-cultural Perspectives on Wilderness Preservation and Animal-Human
Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Adam Arcadi
Primate species are going extinct.  The goal of this seminar is to examine a variety of issues related to conservation in general, and to the conservation of primates in particular.  For example, what is "wilderness"?  Is there cross-cultural variation in how wild nature is valued?  Can ethics be extended beyond humans?  Is consumerism the real culprit in the global ecological crisis?  How do human and nonhuman primate ecologies intersect, and how can understanding these intersections be integrated into conservation efforts?  How, in practice, does one develop and implement a real-world conservation action plan?  Discussions will focus both on theoretical issues and on the analysis of a new generation of real-world conservation initiatives that depend on interdisciplinary collaboration.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 4403 : Ethnographic Field Methods
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 6403 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Vilma Santiago-Irizarry
This course will provide students with practical understanding about what anthropologists actually do in the field. We will examine problems that emerge in conducting fieldwork that raise ethical, methodological, theoretical, and practical issues in the observation, participation in, recording, and representation of culture(s). Students will be expected to develop a semester-long, local research project that will allow them to experience fieldwork situations.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 4409 : Qualitative Methods in the Social Sciences
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 7409 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Sofia Villenas
This course is an introduction to the practice and conceptual foundations of qualitative research methods in the social sciences. Students will learn different approaches with the opportunity to experience the practical dimensions of conducting a qualitative study, including research design, participant observation, interviewing, discourse analysis, and narrative inquiry. In the process, we will explore the principles, theories and epistemologies informing various paradigms in qualitative research. What does it mean to do interpretive research? What do feminist and critical ethnographies look like? What are critical race methodologies? What does it mean to think with performativity, power, deconstruction, desire or decoloniality? We will also examine dilemmas and issues concerning ethics, informed consent, researcher positionality and relationships, and writing and reporting.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 4437 : Ethnographies of Development
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 7437 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Marina Welker
This seminar develops an ethnographic approach to projects aiming to improve the human condition. Our object of study - development, humanitarianism, and the will to improve - is defined capaciously to allow for the study of projects ranging in orientation from politically conservative to progressive and revolutionary; from religious to secular; and from the global South to the global North. Whether we are studying construction megaprojects or hygiene lessons, programs for preserving tradition or introducing modernity, climate change mitigation efforts or truth commissions, we will explore ethnographically the actors, targets, explicit motives, practical techniques, and intended and unintended consequences. Our aim will be to link the micropolitics of lived experience and intersubjective relations to the macropolitics that structure and enable improvement projects.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 4451 : Time and Temporality
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 7451 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Lucinda Ramberg
The concept of historical progress of mankind (sic) cannot be sundered from the concept of its progression through a homogeneous, empty time. - Walter Benjamin
View course details
Description
ANTHR 4460 : Heritage and its Entanglements: Representing, Collecting, and Preserving Cultural Identity
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 7460, ARKEO 4460, ARKEO 7460 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
John Henderson
An exploration of the ways that cultural heritage is embodied in things, particularly archaeological landscapes, sites, and artifacts.   Identifying stakeholders in relation to collecting and controlling these things and representing heritage is a key focus:  what voices should states and other political entities have?  local residents? descendants?  How should descendants be identified?  Other key topics include looting and the market in smuggled antiquities; repatriation; the ethics of studying and publishing looted objects; community engagement; forces that destroy heritage and strategies for preserving it; re-invented and imagined heritage.  These issues will be examined using the collections of the Johnson Museum of Art and through case studies, including Colonial Williamsburg, African Burial Ground, Harriet Tubman House, the ancient Maya, and archaeology in the Third Reich.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 4468 : Jewish Ethnography: Jewish Communities Yesterday and Today
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 7468, JWST 4468, JWST 7468, NES 4468, NES 7468 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Jonathan Boyarin
The anthropology of Jews, Jewishness and Judaism is a wonderful laboratory for studying vital issues in the study of culture and society: textuality and orality; gender, reproduction and the cycle of generations; tradition, modernity and postmodernity; diaspora and the state; genetics and the politics of identity; forms of difference in the metropole and in colonialism. Until recent decades, there were almost no serious ethnographies of Jewish communities. Today there is a rich new literature in this field.  We will read widely to become familiar with this new literature, exploring the politics of ethnography; memoir as an ethnographic source; reflexive and auto-Jewish ethnographies; traditionalist and modernist communities; and communities spread widely through Europe, North America, North Africa and the Middle East.  
View course details
Description
ANTHR 4473 : Messiah and Modernity
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 7473, GERST 4473, GERST 7473, JWST 4473, JWST 7473, NES 4473, NES 7473 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Jonathan Boyarin
This course combines Jewish religious history with studies in the philosophy of modernity, focusing on changing conceptions of time and history.  We will interrogate possible or implicit connections between traditional Jewish notions of Messianic redemption on one hand, and post-Enlightenment conceptions of revolution and progress on the other (always bearing in mind that the dominant Christian ideology in the West also has Messianic content).  Some readings will provide historical background on Jewish Messianism.  We will explore aspects of the intellectual dialogue between Walter Benjamin, a leading European thinker on literature and the philosophy of history in the first decades of the twentieth century, and his lifelong friend Gershom Scholem, founder of the scholarly study of Jewish mysticism.  We will continue by considering how post-World War II thinkers, especially on the Continent, have responded to the critique of modern ideologies of progress inaugurated by Benjamin and his friends in the so-called "Frankfurt School."
View course details
Description
ANTHR 4479 : Ethnicity and Identity Politics: An Anthropological Perspective
Crosslisted as: AAS 4790, AAS 7479, ANTHR 7479 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Viranjini Munasinghe
The most baffling aspect of ethnicity is that while ethnic sentiments and movements gain ground rapidly within the international arena, the claim that ethnicity does not exist in any objective sense is also receiving increasing credence within the academic community. How can something thought "not to exist" have such profound consequences in the real world? In lay understandings, ethnicity is believed to be a "natural" disposition of humanity. If so, why does ethnicity mean different "things" in different places? Anthropology has much to contribute to a greater understanding of this perplexing phenomenon. After all, the defining criterion for ethnic groups is that of cultural distinctiveness. Through ethnographic case studies, this course will examine some of the key anthropological approaches to ethnicity. We will explore the relationship of ethnicity to culture, ethnicity to nation, and ethnicity to state to better understand the role ethnicity plays in the identity politics of today.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 4513 : Religion and Politics in Southeast Asia
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 7513, ASIAN 4413, ASIAN 7713 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Andrew Willford
This course explores how religious beliefs and practices in Southeast Asia have been transformed by the combined forces of colonialism, nationalism, and globalization. By examining both diversity and resurgence in one of the world's most rapidly modernizing regions, we aim to understand the common economic, social, and political conditions that are contributing to the popularity of contemporary religious movements. At the same time, we also consider the unique ideological, theological, and cultural understandings behind different religions and movements. Through this process we also rethink conceptions of modernity.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 4520 : Society and Culture in the Nilgiris: Engaged Research in Rural South India
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Lucinda Ramberg
Andrew Willford
Description
ANTHR 4733 : The Lower East Side: Jews and the Immigrant City
Crosslisted as: AMST 4533, ILRLR 4533, ILRLR 7533, JWST 4533, JWST 7533, NES 4533, NES 7533 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Elissa Sampson
American Jews have frequently been touted as a "model minority." This course will take a more critical look at the historical interactions between Jewish immigration, United States industrialization, and processes of social and geographical mobility—all through the prism of New York's Lower East Side, first home for over 750,000 Jewish immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe, the Ottoman Empire and elsewhere between the mid-19th century and the 1920s.  We will compare the Jewish experience to that of other immigrants/migrants by considering social institutions as well as material and other cultural practices. We will examine interactions with the built environment —most especially the tenement—in Lower East Side culture. Special attention will be paid to immigrant labor movement politics including strikes, splits, and gender in the garment trade. From the perspective of the present, the course will examine how commemoration, heritage tourism and the selling of [immigrant] history intersect with gentrifying real estate in an "iconic" New York City neighborhood. Projects using the ILR's archives on the Triangle Fire and other topics are explicitly encouraged. This course counts as an out of college elective for B. Arch and M. Arch students.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 4910 : Independent Study: Undergrad I
Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Adam Arcadi
Billie Isbell
Jane Fajans
Magnus Fiskesjo
Frederic Gleach
John Henderson
David Holmberg
Kurt Jordan
Stacey Langwick
Kathryn March
Viranjini Munasinghe
Nerissa Russell
P. Steven Sangren
Vilma Santiago-Irizarry
Matthew Velasco
Marina Welker
Andrew Willford
Paul Nadasdy
Sofia Villenas
Lucinda Ramberg
Saida Hodzic
Adam Smith
Jonathan Boyarin
Independent reading course in topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses. Students select a topic in consultation with the faculty member who has agreed to supervise the course work.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 4910 : Independent Study: Undergrad I
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Adam Arcadi
Billie Isbell
Jane Fajans
Magnus Fiskesjo
Frederic Gleach
John Henderson
David Holmberg
Kurt Jordan
Stacey Langwick
Kathryn March
Hirokazu Miyazaki
Viranjini Munasinghe
Annelise Riles
Nerissa Russell
P. Steven Sangren
Vilma Santiago-Irizarry
Matthew Velasco
Thomas Volman
Marina Welker
Andrew Willford
Paul Nadasdy
Sofia Villenas
Lucinda Ramberg
Saida Hodzic
Adam Smith
Jonathan Boyarin
Independent reading course in topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses. Students select a topic in consultation with the faculty member who has agreed to supervise the course work.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 4920 : Independent Study: Undergrad II
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Adam Arcadi
Billie Isbell
Jane Fajans
Magnus Fiskesjo
Frederic Gleach
John Henderson
David Holmberg
Kurt Jordan
Stacey Langwick
Kathryn March
Hirokazu Miyazaki
Viranjini Munasinghe
Annelise Riles
Nerissa Russell
P. Steven Sangren
Vilma Santiago-Irizarry
Matthew Velasco
Thomas Volman
Marina Welker
Andrew Willford
Paul Nadasdy
Sofia Villenas
Lucinda Ramberg
Saida Hodzic
Adam Smith
Jonathan Boyarin
Independent reading course in topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses. Students select a topic in consultation with the faculty member who has agreed to supervise the course work.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 4920 : Independent Study: Undergrad II
Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Adam Arcadi
Billie Isbell
Jane Fajans
Magnus Fiskesjo
Frederic Gleach
John Henderson
David Holmberg
Kurt Jordan
Stacey Langwick
Kathryn March
Viranjini Munasinghe
Nerissa Russell
P. Steven Sangren
Vilma Santiago-Irizarry
Matthew Velasco
Marina Welker
Andrew Willford
Paul Nadasdy
Lucinda Ramberg
Saida Hodzic
Adam Smith
Jonathan Boyarin
Independent reading course in topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses. Students select a topic in consultation with the faculty member who has agreed to supervise the course work.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 4925 : Nilgiris Independent Study
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Andrew Willford
Description
ANTHR 4983 : Honors Thesis Research
Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Adam Arcadi
Billie Isbell
Jane Fajans
Magnus Fiskesjo
Frederic Gleach
John Henderson
David Holmberg
Kurt Jordan
Stacey Langwick
Kathryn March
Hirokazu Miyazaki
Viranjini Munasinghe
Annelise Riles
Nerissa Russell
P. Steven Sangren
Vilma Santiago-Irizarry
Matthew Velasco
Thomas Volman
Marina Welker
Andrew Willford
Paul Nadasdy
Sofia Villenas
Lucinda Ramberg
Saida Hodzic
Adam Smith
Jonathan Boyarin
Research work supervised by the thesis advisor, concentrating on determination of the major issues to be addressed by the thesis, preparation of literature reviews, analysis of data, and the like. The thesis advisor will assign the grade for this course.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 4984 : Honors Thesis Write-Up
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Adam Arcadi
Billie Isbell
Jane Fajans
Magnus Fiskesjo
Frederic Gleach
John Henderson
David Holmberg
Kurt Jordan
Stacey Langwick
Kathryn March
Hirokazu Miyazaki
Viranjini Munasinghe
Annelise Riles
Nerissa Russell
P. Steven Sangren
Vilma Santiago-Irizarry
Matthew Velasco
Thomas Volman
Marina Welker
Andrew Willford
Paul Nadasdy
Sofia Villenas
Lucinda Ramberg
Saida Hodzic
Adam Smith
Jonathan Boyarin
Final write-up of the thesis under the direct supervision of the thesis advisor, who will assign the grade for this course.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 4991 : Honors Workshop I
Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Paul Nadasdy
Course will consist of several mandatory meetings of all thesis writers with the honors chair. These sessions will inform students about the standard thesis production timetable, format and content expectations, and deadlines; expose students to standard reference sources; and introduce students to each other's projects. The chair of the Honors Committee will assign the grade for this course.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 4992 : Honors Workshop II
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Saida Hodzic
Course will consist of weekly, seminar-style meetings of all thesis writers until mid-semester, under the direction of the honors chair. This second semester concentrates on preparation of a full draft of the thesis by mid-semester, with ample time left for revisions prior to submission. Group meetings will concentrate on collective reviewing of the work of other students, presentation of research, and the like.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 6015 : Teaching Anthropology/Teaching Culture
Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Magnus Fiskesjo
This course is a systematic engagement with issues in teaching anthropology to undergraduate students.  Where there is broad agreement in other social sciences about what should be taught in undergraduate courses, no such common understanding exists in the field of anthropology.  This course will explore the history of the teaching of anthropology, pedagogical issues unique to anthropology, and the pragmatics of teaching anthropology, especially the problems of teaching across cultures.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 6020 : History of Anthropological Thought
Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Lucinda Ramberg
This course examines the history and development of anthropology as a discipline with emphasis on British social anthropology and American cultural anthropology.  The course will trace major schools of thought -- Evolutionism, Functionalism, and Structuralism-- leading to the post-structural "critique of culture." The latter part of the course will examine a range of  debates around anthropology's method and claims to theory beginning with the reflexive turn.  Specifically, this part of the course will address how the recognition by anthropologists of the operations of power both in the "world out there" and "within anthropology" has led to diverse methodologies and theories that define contemporary anthropology.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 6025 : Proseminar in Anthropology
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Magnus Fiskesjo
This course explores advanced topics in anthropological theory and practice. It builds on the history of the discipline that students will have examined in the preceding course ANTHR 6020, and seeks to immerse students in major contemporary theoretical developments and debates and the discipline's most pressing concerns. Coursework will proceed mainly by way of reading, writing, and discussion.  
View course details
Description
ANTHR 6102 : Political Culture
Crosslisted as: AMST 6202, GOVT 6202, HIST 6202, SOC 6200 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Richard Bensel
This course will explore the relationship between popular belief, political action, and the institutional deployment of social power. The class will be roughly divided in three parts, opening with a discussion of how the material world influences the culture of a society. The middle section will connect culture to political ideology, including symbolism and the construction of group identity. The last part of the course will consider ways in which cultural symbols and ideology can be manipulated in order to legitimate government authority. We will then, coming full circle, trace how political regimes can influence the social practices from which culture originates.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 6110 : Documentary Production Fundamentals
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 3110, PMA 3510, PMA 6510 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Natasha Raheja
This course introduces students to documentary film production and story development. Through lectures, screenings, workshops, and technical labs, students will develop single-camera digital video production and editing skills. Weekly camera and editing exercises and one-on-one sessions with the instructor will enhance students' documentary filmmaking techniques. Additionally, students will gain an understanding of nonfiction film theory from the perspective of production and learn to critically engage and comment on each other's work. Discussions of debates around ethnographic representation and filmmaking ethics will help students to solve practical storytelling dilemmas. Over the course of the semester, students conduct pre-production research and have the opportunity to develop a film proposal and make a short film.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 6235 : Bioarchaeology
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 3235, ARKEO 3235, ARKEO 6235 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Matthew Velasco
Bioarchaeology is the study of human remains from archaeological sites. Like forensic scientists at the scene of the crime, bioarchaeologists search for clues embedded in human bone and mummified tissues to reconstruct how ancient peoples lived and died. As a dynamic living system, the human skeleton responds not only to hormones that govern human development but also to physiological stress brought on by disease, malnutrition, and trauma. The human body is also an artifact molded by cultural understandings of gender, prestige, self-expression, and violence. In this course, students will learn the scientific techniques for estimating skeletal age and sex, diagnosing pathology, and reconstructing diet and migration patterns. This course emphasizes the critical integration of biological and cultural evidence for understanding past individuals and societies.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 6403 : Ethnographic Field Methods
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4403 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Vilma Santiago-Irizarry
This course will provide students with practical understanding about what anthropologists actually do in the field. We will examine problems that emerge in conducting fieldwork that raise ethical, methodological, theoretical, and practical issues in the observation, participation in, recording, and representation of culture(s). Students will be expected to develop a semester-long, local research project that will allow them to experience fieldwork situations.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 6416 : The Barbarians
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 3416, ASIAN 3332, ASIAN 6632 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Magnus Fiskesjo
The idea of the barbarians is as old as civilization itself. But what is a barbarian, and what is the role that barbarians play, as the savage enemies of civilization? In this course we will address such questions by looking at how different civilizations have imagined their barbarians, ranging from their key role in Greek drama, and as infidels in religious conceptions, to Chinese walls, and American savagery. We will examine both historical examples, and the barbarians of today -- the terrorists and insurgents so often framed as dark and primitive, in contrast with ourselves. Through readings and visual materials, we will seek to discover what these barbarians have in common. We will look comparatively for the underlying patterns of history that the barbarians are drafted from, to draw a new picture of the barbarians. At the same time, we will arrive at a new understanding of civilization as such, as well as of the general nature of human inequality, and how it is justified.   
View course details
Description
ANTHR 6440 : Proposal Development
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Marina Welker
This seminar focuses on preparing a full-scale proposal for anthropological fieldwork for a dissertation. Topics include identifying appropriate funding sources; defining a researchable problem; selecting and justifying a particular fieldwork site; situating the ethnographic case within appropriate theoretical contexts; selecting and justifying appropriate research methodologies; developing a feasible timetable for field research; ethical considerations and human subjects protection procedures; and preparing appropriate budgets. This is a writing seminar, and students will complete a proposal suitable for submission to a major funding agency in the social sciences.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 6703 : Asians in the Americas: A Comparative Perspective
Crosslisted as: AAS 3030, AMST 3703, ANTHR 3703 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Viranjini Munasinghe
The common perception of ethnicity is that it is a "natural" and an inevitable consequence of cultural difference. "Asians" overseas, in particular, have won repute as a people who cling tenaciously to their culture and refuse to assimilate into their host societies and cultures. But, who are the "Asians?" On what basis can we label "Asians" an ethnic group? Although there is a significant Asian presence in the Caribbean, the category "Asian" itself does not exist in the Caribbean. What does this say about the nature of categories that label and demarcate groups of people on the basis of alleged cultural and phenotypical characteristics? This course will examine the dynamics behind group identity, namely ethnicity, by comparing and contrasting the multicultural experience of Asian populations in the Caribbean and the United States. Ethnographic case studies will focus on the East Indian and Chinese experiences in the Caribbean and the Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Filipino, and Indian experiences in the United States.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 7013 : Textual Ethnography
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4013, NES 4513, NES 6513 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Seema Golestaneh
This course explores the implications and significance of using textual materials as anthropological evidence. While participant observation remains the cornerstone of ethnography, literary, archival, and other written works are increasingly being utilized as primary sources within the anthropological project.  This course will hence offer an overview of anthropological works that trace the intersections between cultural production and the literary imagination. Rather than consider the literary elements of ethnography itself, we will strive to understand the disparate forms of social phenomena—both knowledge and practices—that arise from texts and textual practices specifically. Examples include analyses of literary cultures, media forms and non-traditional textual sources, bureaucratic structures, the use of archives, and more. Particular attention will be paid to works based in the Middle East and the Islamic world. By examining the different theoretical, political, and ethical considerations of using the written word as ethnographic evidence, we will be able to shed light on the anthropological project as a whole.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 7085 : Beyond Reason: An Anthropology of the Irrational
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4085 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Jessica Cooper
Description
ANTHR 7120 : Anthropology and Ontology
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Paul Nadasdy
In recent years, it has become fashionable in anthropology to write about ontology, so much so that some have begun referring to an "ontological turn" in the discipline. Although many see interest in questions of ontology as something new, in fact such questions have important antecedents both in anthropology and related disciplines. Accordingly, we will read classical as well as more contemporary works that engage with issues now considered "ontological." The idea is neither to advocate for nor "debunk" the notion of ontology, but rather to engage with it in its proper historical and theoretical context. We will reflect deeply and critically on what – if anything – "ontology" enables us to think/analyze that older notions like "worldview" and "culture" do not.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 7139 : Global Currents: Immobility and Multi-Sited Ethnography
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4139, MUSIC 4239, MUSIC 6239, SHUM 4639, SHUM 6639 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Catherine Appert
Ever-increasing global interconnection drives some of the most pressing political and ethical questions of our time. This seminar centers on two intersecting areas of inquiry. The first deals with the nature of global movements: how people, ideas, arts, and capital move through world. Engaging postcolonial theory and scholarship on contemporary migration and transnationalism, we will interrogate the idea of borders and nations as well as those categories—like diaspora—that surpass or circumvent them. The second area of inquiry involves questioning how and why we might study these processes ethnographically. Here we will consider the potential and limitations of multi-sited and global ethnography, and question the possibility of an activist ethnography of global interconnection. For longer description and instructor bio visit http://societyhumanities.as.cornell.edu/courses.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 7235 : Meaningful Stuff: Interpreting Material Culture
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4235, ARKEO 4235, ARKEO 7235 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Frederic Gleach
"Res ipsa loquitur" -- the thing speaks for itself. This common expression captures a widespread belief about objects' roles in human lives, but "hearing" what objects have to say is actually a complex cultural process. An object rarely has a single meaning; they are read variously in different cultural settings, and even by different individuals within a cultural system. How does one know -- can one know -- the meanings of an object? How are objects strategically deployed in social interaction (particularly in cross-cultural interactions, where each side may have radically different understandings)? How does one even know what an object is? We will explore the history and variety of ways that material culture and its meanings have been studied, using archaeological and ethnographic examples.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 7246 : Human Osteology
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4246, ARKEO 4246, ARKEO 7246 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Matthew Velasco
This is an intensive laboratory course in the study of human skeletal remains. A detailed knowledge of skeletal anatomy is fundamental to forensic anthropology, bioarchaeology, and the medical sciences. This course teaches students how to identify all 206 bones and 32 teeth of the human skeleton, in both complete and fragmentary states. Students will also learn osteological methods for establishing a biological profile (age-at-death, sex, stature, and biological affinity) and documenting skeletal trauma and pathological lesions. Hands-on laboratory training will be supplemented by case studies that demonstrate the importance of human osteology for criminal investigations in the present and the study of health and violence in the past. The ethics of working with human remains are also discussed.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 7250 : Time and History in Ancient Mexico
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4256, ARKEO 4256, ARKEO 7250, LATA 4250, LATA 7250 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
John Henderson
Explores the ways Mesoamericans understood the world and their place in it, and the ways they constructed history as these are reflected in the few books that have survived from the period before the European invasion. Examines the structure of writing and systems of notation, especially calendars, and considers their potential for illuminating Mesoamerican world views and approaches to history.  Primary focus is detailed analysis of five precolumbian books: Codex Borgia, a central Mexican manual of divinatory ritual; Codex Boturini, a history of migration in central Mexico; Codex Nuttall, a Mixtec dynastic history; and two Maya books of astrology and divination, Codex Dresden and Codex Madrid.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 7264 : Zooarchaeological Interpretation
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4264, ARKEO 4264, ARKEO 7264 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Nerissa Russell
This course is intended to follow on from Zooarchaeological Method in the fall; it is assumed that students have some familiarity with the nature of zooarchaeological material.  In this course, we will consider issues related to the interpretation of archaeological animal bones: quantification, seasonality, taphonomy, subsistence, the origins of hunting, animal domestication, modes of consumption, meat sharing, the use of secondary products (milk, wool, traction).
View course details
Description
ANTHR 7268 : Aztecs and Their Empire: Myth, History, and Politics
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4268, ARKEO 4268, ARKEO 7268, LATA 4268, LATA 7268 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
John Henderson
Examines the structure and history of the largest polity in ancient Mexico, the "empire" of the Aztecs, using descriptions left by Spanish invaders, accounts written by Aztecs under Colonial rule, and archaeological evidence. Explores Aztec visions of the past, emphasizing the roles of myth, religion, and identity in Aztec statecraft and the construction of history.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 7409 : Qualitative Methods in the Social Sciences
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4409 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Sofia Villenas
This course is an introduction to the practice and conceptual foundations of qualitative research methods in the social sciences. Students will learn different approaches with the opportunity to experience the practical dimensions of conducting a qualitative study, including research design, participant observation, interviewing, discourse analysis, and narrative inquiry. In the process, we will explore the principles, theories and epistemologies informing various paradigms in qualitative research. What does it mean to do interpretive research? What do feminist and critical ethnographies look like? What are critical race methodologies? What does it mean to think with performativity, power, deconstruction, desire or decoloniality? We will also examine dilemmas and issues concerning ethics, informed consent, researcher positionality and relationships, and writing and reporting.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 7437 : Ethnographies of Development
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4437 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Marina Welker
This seminar develops an ethnographic approach to projects aiming to improve the human condition. Our object of study - development, humanitarianism, and the will to improve - is defined capaciously to allow for the study of projects ranging in orientation from politically conservative to progressive and revolutionary; from religious to secular; and from the global South to the global North. Whether we are studying construction megaprojects or hygiene lessons, programs for preserving tradition or introducing modernity, climate change mitigation efforts or truth commissions, we will explore ethnographically the actors, targets, explicit motives, practical techniques, and intended and unintended consequences. Our aim will be to link the micropolitics of lived experience and intersubjective relations to the macropolitics that structure and enable improvement projects.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 7451 : Time and Temporality
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4451 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Lucinda Ramberg
The concept of historical progress of mankind (sic) cannot be sundered from the concept of its progression through a homogeneous, empty time. - Walter Benjamin
View course details
Description
ANTHR 7460 : Heritage and its Entanglements: Representing, Collecting, and Preserving Cultural Identity
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4460, ARKEO 4460, ARKEO 7460 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
John Henderson
An exploration of the ways that cultural heritage is embodied in things, particularly archaeological landscapes, sites, and artifacts.   Identifying stakeholders in relation to collecting and controlling these things and representing heritage is a key focus:  what voices should states and other political entities have?  local residents? descendants?  How should descendants be identified?  Other key topics include looting and the market in smuggled antiquities; repatriation; the ethics of studying and publishing looted objects; community engagement; forces that destroy heritage and strategies for preserving it; re-invented and imagined heritage.  These issues will be examined using the collections of the Johnson Museum of Art and through case studies, including Colonial Williamsburg, African Burial Ground, Harriet Tubman House, the ancient Maya, and archaeology in the Third Reich.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 7468 : Jewish Ethnography: Jewish Communities Yesterday and Today
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4468, JWST 4468, JWST 7468, NES 4468, NES 7468 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Jonathan Boyarin
The anthropology of Jews, Jewishness and Judaism is a wonderful laboratory for studying vital issues in the study of culture and society: textuality and orality; gender, reproduction and the cycle of generations; tradition, modernity and postmodernity; diaspora and the state; genetics and the politics of identity; forms of difference in the metropole and in colonialism. Until recent decades, there were almost no serious ethnographies of Jewish communities. Today there is a rich new literature in this field.  We will read widely to become familiar with this new literature, exploring the politics of ethnography; memoir as an ethnographic source; reflexive and auto-Jewish ethnographies; traditionalist and modernist communities; and communities spread widely through Europe, North America, North Africa and the Middle East.  
View course details
Description
ANTHR 7473 : Messiah and Modernity
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4473, GERST 4473, GERST 7473, JWST 4473, JWST 7473, NES 4473, NES 7473 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Jonathan Boyarin
This course combines Jewish religious history with studies in the philosophy of modernity, focusing on changing conceptions of time and history.  We will interrogate possible or implicit connections between traditional Jewish notions of Messianic redemption on one hand, and post-Enlightenment conceptions of revolution and progress on the other (always bearing in mind that the dominant Christian ideology in the West also has Messianic content).  Some readings will provide historical background on Jewish Messianism.  We will explore aspects of the intellectual dialogue between Walter Benjamin, a leading European thinker on literature and the philosophy of history in the first decades of the twentieth century, and his lifelong friend Gershom Scholem, founder of the scholarly study of Jewish mysticism.  We will continue by considering how post-World War II thinkers, especially on the Continent, have responded to the critique of modern ideologies of progress inaugurated by Benjamin and his friends in the so-called "Frankfurt School." 
View course details
Description
ANTHR 7479 : Ethnicity and Identity Politics: An Anthropological Perspective
Crosslisted as: AAS 4790, AAS 7479, ANTHR 4479 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Viranjini Munasinghe
The most baffling aspect of ethnicity is that while ethnic sentiments and movements gain ground rapidly within the international arena, the claim that ethnicity does not exist in any objective sense is also receiving increasing credence within the academic community. How can something thought "not to exist" have such profound consequences in the real world? In lay understandings, ethnicity is believed to be a "natural" disposition of humanity. If so, why does ethnicity mean different "things" in different places? Anthropology has much to contribute to a greater understanding of this perplexing phenomenon. After all, the defining criterion for ethnic groups is that of cultural distinctiveness. Through ethnographic case studies, this course will examine some of the key anthropological approaches to ethnicity. We will explore the relationship of ethnicity to culture, ethnicity to nation, and ethnicity to state to better understand the role ethnicity plays in the identity politics of today.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 7513 : Religion and Politics in Southeast Asia
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4513, ASIAN 4413, ASIAN 7713 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Andrew Willford
This course investigates the extent to which religious beliefs and practices in Southeast Asia have been transformed by the combined forces of colonialism, nationalism, and globalization.  By examining diversity, difference, and resurgence in one of the world's most rapidly changing regions, we aim to understand the economic, social, and political conditions contributing to the popularity and resurgence of religious ideologies and contemporary movements.  At the same time, we also consider closely the unique ideological, theological, and cultural understandings that shape different religions and movements.  Through this process we also rethink conceptions of modernity as both a cultural and social force.  One key aim of this course will be to analyze the relationships between state-sponsored "official nationalisms," religious ideologies and practices, and changing socioeconomic conditions.  In doing so, we also aim to better understand the forces behind and implications of heightened ethnic sentiments and violence in the region, as well as changing gender ideologies.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 7520 : Southeast Asia: Readings in Special Problems
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Magnus Fiskesjo
Marina Welker
Andrew Willford
Independent reading course on topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses. Students select a topic in consultation with the faculty member who has agreed to supervise the course work.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 7520 : Southeast Asia: Readings in Special Problems
Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Magnus Fiskesjo
Marina Welker
Andrew Willford
Independent reading course on topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses. Students select a topic in consultation with the faculty member who has agreed to supervise the course work.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 7530 : South Asia: Readings in Special Problems
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
David Holmberg
Kathryn March
Viranjini Munasinghe
Lucinda Ramberg
Andrew Willford
Independent reading course in topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses. Students select a topic in consultation with the faculty member who has agreed to supervise the course work.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 7530 : South Asia: Readings in Special Problems
Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
David Holmberg
Kathryn March
Viranjini Munasinghe
Lucinda Ramberg
Andrew Willford
Independent reading course in topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses. Students select a topic in consultation with the faculty member who has agreed to supervise the course work.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 7540 : Problems in Himalayan Studies
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
David Holmberg
Kathryn March
Description
ANTHR 7550 : East Asia: Readings in Special Problems
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Hirokazu Miyazaki
Annelise Riles
Magnus Fiskesjo
Independent reading course in topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses. Students select a topic in consultation with the faculty member who has agreed to supervise the course work.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 7550 : East Asia: Readings in Special Problems
Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Hirokazu Miyazaki
Annelise Riles
Magnus Fiskesjo
Independent reading course in topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses. Students select a topic in consultation with the faculty member who has agreed to supervise the course work.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 7900 : Department of Anthropology Colloquium
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Adam Arcadi
Magnus Fiskesjo
Frederic Gleach
Matthew Velasco
John Henderson
Kurt Jordan
Stacey Langwick
Hirokazu Miyazaki
Viranjini Munasinghe
Annelise Riles
Nerissa Russell
P. Steven Sangren
Vilma Santiago-Irizarry
Thomas Volman
Marina Welker
Andrew Willford
Sofia Villenas
Lucinda Ramberg
Saida Hodzic
Adam Smith
Jonathan Boyarin
A bi-weekly series of workshops and lectures on a range of themes in the discipline sponsored by the Department of Anthropology. Presentations include lectures by invited speakers, debates featuring prominent anthropologists from across the globe, and works in progress presented by anthropology faculty and graduate students.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 7900 : Department of Anthropology Colloquium
Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Adam Arcadi
Magnus Fiskesjo
Frederic Gleach
Matthew Velasco
John Henderson
Kurt Jordan
Stacey Langwick
Hirokazu Miyazaki
Viranjini Munasinghe
Annelise Riles
Nerissa Russell
P. Steven Sangren
Vilma Santiago-Irizarry
Thomas Volman
Marina Welker
Andrew Willford
Sofia Villenas
Lucinda Ramberg
Saida Hodzic
Adam Smith
Jonathan Boyarin
A bi-weekly series of workshops and lectures on a range of themes in the discipline sponsored by the Department of Anthropology. Presentations include lectures by invited speakers, debates featuring prominent anthropologists from across the globe, and works in progress presented by anthropology faculty and graduate students.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 7910 : Independent Study: Grad I
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Adam Arcadi
Paul Nadasdy
Matthew Velasco
Billie Isbell
Jane Fajans
Magnus Fiskesjo
Frederic Gleach
Kurt Jordan
Stacey Langwick
Kathryn March
Hirokazu Miyazaki
Annelise Riles
Nerissa Russell
P. Steven Sangren
Vilma Santiago-Irizarry
Thomas Volman
Marina Welker
Andrew Willford
Sofia Villenas
Lucinda Ramberg
Saida Hodzic
Adam Smith
Jonathan Boyarin
Independent reading course in topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses. Students select a topic in consultation with the faculty member who has agreed to supervise the course work.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 7910 : Independent Study: Grad I
Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Adam Arcadi
Billie Isbell
Jane Fajans
Magnus Fiskesjo
Frederic Gleach
John Henderson
David Holmberg
Kurt Jordan
Stacey Langwick
Kathryn March
Viranjini Munasinghe
Nerissa Russell
P. Steven Sangren
Vilma Santiago-Irizarry
Matthew Velasco
Marina Welker
Andrew Willford
Paul Nadasdy
Sofia Villenas
Lucinda Ramberg
Saida Hodzic
Adam Smith
Jonathan Boyarin
Independent reading course in topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses. Students select a topic in consultation with the faculty member who has agreed to supervise the course work.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 7920 : Independent Study: Grad II
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Adam Arcadi
Billie Isbell
Jane Fajans
Magnus Fiskesjo
Frederic Gleach
John Henderson
David Holmberg
Kurt Jordan
Stacey Langwick
Kathryn March
Hirokazu Miyazaki
Viranjini Munasinghe
Annelise Riles
Nerissa Russell
P. Steven Sangren
Vilma Santiago-Irizarry
Matthew Velasco
Thomas Volman
Marina Welker
Andrew Willford
Paul Nadasdy
Sofia Villenas
Lucinda Ramberg
Saida Hodzic
Adam Smith
Jonathan Boyarin
Independent reading course in topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses. Students select a topic in consultation with the faculty member who has agreed to supervise the course work.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 7920 : Independent Study: Grad II
Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Adam Arcadi
Billie Isbell
Jane Fajans
Magnus Fiskesjo
Frederic Gleach
John Henderson
David Holmberg
Kurt Jordan
Stacey Langwick
Kathryn March
Viranjini Munasinghe
Nerissa Russell
P. Steven Sangren
Vilma Santiago-Irizarry
Matthew Velasco
Marina Welker
Andrew Willford
Paul Nadasdy
Sofia Villenas
Lucinda Ramberg
Saida Hodzic
Adam Smith
Jonathan Boyarin
Independent reading course in topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses. Students select a topic in consultation with the faculty member who has agreed to supervise the course work.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 7930 : Independent Study: Grad III
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Adam Arcadi
Billie Isbell
Jane Fajans
Magnus Fiskesjo
Frederic Gleach
John Henderson
David Holmberg
Kurt Jordan
Stacey Langwick
Kathryn March
Hirokazu Miyazaki
Viranjini Munasinghe
Annelise Riles
Nerissa Russell
P. Steven Sangren
Vilma Santiago-Irizarry
Matthew Velasco
Thomas Volman
Marina Welker
Andrew Willford
Paul Nadasdy
Sofia Villenas
Lucinda Ramberg
Saida Hodzic
Adam Smith
Jonathan Boyarin
Independent reading course in topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses. Students select a topic in consultation with the faculty member who has agreed to supervise the course work.
View course details
Description
ANTHR 7930 : Independent Study: Grad III
Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Adam Arcadi
Billie Isbell
Jane Fajans
Magnus Fiskesjo
Frederic Gleach
John Henderson
David Holmberg
Kurt Jordan
Stacey Langwick
Kathryn March
Viranjini Munasinghe
Nerissa Russell
P. Steven Sangren
Vilma Santiago-Irizarry
Thomas Volman
Marina Welker
Andrew Willford
Paul Nadasdy
Sofia Villenas
Lucinda Ramberg
Saida Hodzic
Adam Smith
Jonathan Boyarin
Independent reading course in topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses. Students select a topic in consultation with the faculty member who has agreed to supervise the course work.
View course details
Description