Spring 2018

ANT 503 (1253) - Evolutionary Processes

Dietrich Stout

MW 1:00-2:15

This course aims to situate the study of human adaptation and evolution within the broader theoretical framework of evolutionary biology. We will cover core issues including genetics, phylogenetics, natural selection, sexual selection, behavioral ecology, life history evolution, the evolution of development, and gene-culture co-evolution using examples drawn from both ancient and recent human evolution. Required for doctoral students in Anthropology.

ANT 585/MBC 700 (1254) – Evolution of Childhood

Melvin Konner

Th 6:00-9:00 PM

This course will cover the evolutionary and anatomical foundations of psychological, especially social and emotional, development, as well as comparative socialization and cross-cultural varieties of enculturation. We will read the instructor’s new book on the subject, which has four major sections (evolution, maturation, socialization, enculturation) and a concluding section. Among the topics covered will be relevant parts of: life history theory, evolution of ontogeny, evolutionary developmental psychology, neural and neuroendocrine development from fetal life through puberty and parenthood, comparative socialization with an emphasis on primates and other mammals, early experience effects, stress responses in animal models and children, hunter-gatherer childhood as the human cultural baseline, cross-cultural comparisons of childhood and childrearing, theories of culture and personality, cultural evolution, human universals, and a proposed “culture acquisition device” common to all (normal) human brains and minds. Among the questions we will consider are: How did parent-offspring conflict figure in human evolution? What in social and emotional development depends as much or more on “postnatal neuroembryology” as on experience? How do socialization and enculturation differ? What are our legacies from mammalian, primate, ape, and earlier hominin development? Is “maternal sentiment” a human universal? Is culture unique to humans? How do genetic and cultural evolution interact? Are there commonalities of process at varied levels of analysis such as evolution, brain development, learning, socialization, and enculturation? And, finally, what are the unique features of human childhood?

Prerequisites: None.

Text: Konner, Melvin. The Evolution of Childhood: Relationships, Emotion, Mind (Harvard University Press, 2010)

Additional Weekly readings: Journal articles to be determined. The text of the book was completed in 2009, and one key goal of the course will be to read studies and review papers bringing each topic up to date.

Requirements: Class participation, oral presentations, and a final paper. Written work should look critically at topics in the book and even argue with it.

ANT 585 (1255) – Evolution of Human Subsistence

Jessica Thompson

F 11:00-2:00

This course examines human nutrition and subsistence behavior from an evolutionary perspective. It begins with human nutritional literature and discussions of our biological requirements, then moves into comparison of modern human dietary ecology with those of other primates, especially our closest living relatives, the great apes. We then turn to literature that demonstrates the methods and theoretical approaches that are currently used to reconstruct past diets. As we begin to follow the evidence for changes in subsistence in the hominin lineage, case studies using these methods will be integrated into discussions of how we know what we do about past nutrition. The course will spend time on key issues and debates such as changes from closed-habitat to open-habitat foraging, the origins of meat-eating, the role of extractive foraging in human social systems, variation in hunter-forager subsistence systems, the origins of domestication, and the phenomenon of fad diets in industrialized nations. The course will be delivered in a seminar-style format, with key readings each week that follow topical themes, with assessment based on in-class participation, critical essays, and a final research project.

ANT 585 (1257) – Decolonization Theory and Practice

Debra Vidali

W 2:30-5:30

This graduate seminar focuses on theories and practices that shift and challenge conventional Western modes of intellectual production and research. Drawing on contemporary interdisciplinary scholarship as well as critiques from within anthropology, we will consider the ways in which imperialism, structures of inequality, and settler mentalities are potentially embedded within academic knowledge practices. Issues of positionality, intent, responsibility, ethics, and voice in research, as well as questions about genres of research communication loom large in these debates. We will learn about (and practice) non-Western anthropologies, Indigenous anthropologies, African anthropologies, “epistemologies of the South,” and other ways of knowing/doing research. In addition, we will explore how practitioners of applied anthropology, public anthropology, participatory action research, and multi-modal ethnography provide models for decolonizing research. Readings under consideration include work by Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Faye V. Harrison, Trinh Minh-ha, Audre Lorde, Vine Deloria, J. Kēhaulani Kauanui, Eduardo Kohn, Mariana Mora, and Mark Rifkin.

ANT 585 (4260) – Anthropology and Psychoanalysis

Robert A. Paul

W 6:00–9:00 PM

Just over a century ago Freud published his book Totem and Taboo, launching a dialogue, or debate, about the relations between psychoanalysis and anthropology that has waxed and waned but continues to this day. Both disciplines seek to go beyond ordinary perspective on the world, anthropology in breadth, through cross-cultural awareness, psychoanalysis in depth, through the exploration of the unconscious mind and its fantasies.  But are they compatible, and if so, how? That is the question. This seminar provides an overview of some of the most important theoretical and ethnographic contributions to this intellectual conundrum, examining the work of leading contributors to the literature who have tried to apply psychoanalysis to anthropology and/or vice versa. Some of the authors to be considered include classic authorities such as Geza Roheim, Bronislaw Malinowski, Ernest Jones, Georges Devereux, Abram Kardiner, Karen Horney, and John Whiting; along with more recent thinkers such as Alan Dundes  Jean Briggs, Melford Spiro, Gananath Obeyesekere, Waud Kracke, Vincent Crapanzano, John Ingham, Nancy Chodorow,  Douglas Hollan, Kate Schechter, and others.  

CPLT 751/ANT 585-006 (5193) - Experiments in Scholarly Form

Angelika Bammer and Anna Grimshaw

T 4:00-7:00 PM

Established forms of scholarly inquiry often appear immutable.  The peer reviewed essay, the monograph, the conference presentation have long served as professional markers in the academy.  But the rise of new fields of inquiry, coupled with a growing dissatisfaction within existing fields, have put pressure on the traditional forms through which scholarship is pursued.  While such pressure is sometimes experienced negatively, as a problem of academic legitimation, this course explores how this moment can be productive -- an occasion for innovation and creativity.

Drawing on a series of case studies, we examine ways of pursuing intellectual inquiry that extend beyond the conventional forms of scholarly representation.  In particular, we consider experiments in a variety of genres and media, focusing on text-based (memoir, dialogue, essay, diary), image-based (photo-essay, film), and hybrid (comic book) forms. 

The goal of this course is threefold: (1) Students will learn to critically assess the possibilities and limitations of conventional forms in their fields; (2) They will experiment with new forms of scholarly presentation in the context of their own research; (3) They will learn to make a case that effectively situates innovation in the context of their scholarly work.

Materials include:  Bammer, A. and Boetcher Joeres, R-E.  The Future of Scholarly Writing (2015);  Berger, J and Mohr, J. A Seventh Man (1975);  Steedman, C.  Landscape for a Good Woman (1986); Gardner, Robert Forest of Bliss (1996); Stewart, K. Ordinary Affects (2007); Sousanis, Nick, Unflattening (2015).

ANT 585-010 (6114) - Anthropology and Law

Michael Peletz

W 4:00-7:00

This seminar examines anthropology’s engagement with law and law-like phenomena in the 21st century. It is geared toward graduate students and advanced undergraduates who intend to pursue (or have already conducted) research on topics ranging from human rights, humanitarianism, gender inequities, and sex trafficking to mass incarceration, racialized state violence, and social justice. Throughout the course we will examine regimes of knowledge, power, and governance, and why, as many scholars claim, the rise of neoliberal globalization has typically gone hand in hand with a punitive turn both in legal arenas and in more expansive cultural-political domains. One of the more general goals of the course is to explore how contemporary discourses and practices bearing on crime, risk, security, and policing illuminate new forms of sovereignty and citizenship as well as recent transformations in the relationships linking capital, governance, and the state.

ANT 585-008 (5308) Crosslisted with HIST 585/HISP 710/JS 730R - (Im)migrants, Ethnicities, and Identities in Latin America

Jeffrey Lesser

T 9:00-12:00

Latin America (in its both contemporary and historical geographies) has received large numbers of (im)migrants.  Some came by choice, often with religious and/or economic goals.  Others were forced migrants, working on the plantations and mines that formed the basis of the exploitative colonial economy. In the nineteenth century, (im)migration came to play a critical economic, social and political role in the newly formed nations of Latin America.  At times (im)migrants were viewed as saviors and their entrance was encouraged by elites.  In other moments anti-(im)migrant movements and legislation were widespread.  As time passed, some of the descendants of those who migrated to and within Latin America re-migrated, at times to other American countries, at times to new continents. This course will put human movement into conversation with the creation of racial, ethnic and national identities in Latin America. We will analyze the history of racial and ethnic discourses and their sociopolitical uses in the formation of modern nations and empires.  We will examine postcolonial societies and their constant tension with the legacies of (im)migration.  An important goal of the course is to examine questions, themes and methods which in turn can be linked to each student’s own research project.

ANT 585-007 (5216) Crosslisted with HIST 585/WGS 585 - Subaltern Studies

Gyanendra Pandey

Th 1:00-4:00

See history.emory.edu for course description.

ANT 585/HISP 730 - Topics in Intercultural Discourse and Translation: Intercultural Communication

Xochitl Marsilli-Vargas

Wednesday 4:00pm-7:00pm

This course is an intensive introduction to the study of communication as a cultural system and speech as socially embedded communicative practice. It is designed for those wishing to gain enough background in theories of contact and communication to critically understand the place of language in social interaction. It is designed for graduate students; upper level undergraduates are welcome to enroll, with permission of the instructor. There are no special prerequisites.

Topics include (among many): How does culture influence the communication process? What is the relation between culture, communication, and identity? How do various societal factors (economics, mass media, religion) influence intercultural communication?

ANT 555R – Research Seminar in Biological Anthropology

Craig Hadley

Th 4:00-5:00

Required for first through third year biological anthropology graduate students.