Graduate Courses - Fall 2014

ANT 500-00P [5625]  Proseminar in Anthropology

Carol Worthman
M 10:00-1:00

ANT 500 provides a graduate survey of the field of Anthropology, especially as practiced here at Emory University.  We begin with a brief introduction to some of the debates and issues surrounding the analytical scope, theories, and methods of the field of Anthropology. The bulk of the semester will be spent exploring how these wide ranging approaches to Anthropology, epistemology, methodology, theory, and inter-disciplinarity are reflected, translated, and applied in Anthropological research. These engagements with Anthropological scholarship will be enacted in several forms: (1) a pro-seminar, in which various faculty members of the Emory Anthropology Department visit the class to present and discuss their ‘sub-field’ of anthropology and their own scholarly research; (2) weekly précis papers summarizing a selected text from the assigned readings; (3) individual research projects (annotated bibliographies as well as a more integrative ‘review essay’) engaging a range of theories and methodological approaches within their chosen area of scholarship.  Students are also strongly encouraged to attend scholarly presentations sponsored within the department as well as related campus talks, seminars and workshops as they arise over the course of the semester. 

ANT 501-00P [8609]  History of Anthropological Thought

Robert Paul
TU 9:00-12:00

This course traces some of the main trends in the history of theory in socio-cultural anthropology since the field’s origins in the early twentieth century.  Beginning with the Victorian-era thinkers such as Tylor, Morgan, Frazer, and others who pioneered the scholarly study of world ethnography, attention then focuses on the two figures who conceptualized the entitities that were to become the subject matter of modern socio-cultural anthropology, Emile Durkheim and Franz Boas.  The former is responsible for giving “society” the status of a “thing” to be studied in its own right, while the latter gave shape to the modern anthropological concept of “culture”.  From Durkheim flow both the French tradition of anthropology, exemplified by figures such as Marcel Mauss and Claude Levi-Strauss, and the English tradition of social anthropology, exemplified by thinkers such as A.R. Radcliffe-Brown, Meyer Fortes, Victor Turner, Mary Douglas, Maurice Bloch, and others.  The American school of cultural anthropology initiated by Boas features such very diverse figures as Ruth Benedict, Margaret Mead, Leslie White, Julian Steward, and Marvin Harris.  The turn towards cultural interpretation in American anthropological thought produced figures such as Clifford Geertz, David Schneider, Sherry Ortner, and Marshall Sahlins, and this approach in turn has led to the critical post-modernism of such thinkers as James Clifford, George Marcus, Michael Fischer, Renato Rosaldo, and others who have importantly shaped the contemporary intellectual climate of American cultural anthropology.  

ANT 508-000 [8402]  Culture and Mind

Bradd Shore
F 10:00-1:00

Culture and Mind will study symbolic and cognitive dimensions of culture. A synthesis of traditional Symbolic Anthropology and Cognitive Anthropology, the course deals with how cultural forms help underwrite human meaning.  It will consider the relationship between cultural institutions, cultural knowledge and the mind. The course attempts to bridge the objectivist view of culture as public institutions and artifacts in the world with the experientialist vision of culture as cognitive models in the mind.  Readings will draw from the classic literature in cognitive and symbolic anthropology, as well as more recent work from anthropology on cultural models and related work in cognitive psychology.

CANCELLED - ANT 514-000 [7796]  Feminist Anthropology and Ethnography

ANT 555-00P [5735]  Research Seminar in Biological Anthropology

TH 4:30 - 5:30 PM

ANT 585-00P [8403]  Development and Change

Peter Little
TU 4:00-7:00

‘Development’ is a highly contested field that has attracted considerable scholarly and applied interest in anthropology and other social sciences.  This course examines anthropological and social science contributions to understandings of development and underdevelopment and addresses the different theories, critiques, and "schools" of development studies; social science research on selected themes of development; and the institutional actors (international development agencies, non-government organizations, and governments) that shape the discourse and activities of development.   The course is intended to cover both the theoretical and policy aspects of development anthropology and to challenge the student to think critically about development problems and the narratives that inform policy and development processes.

ANT 585-01P [8404]  Ethnography and Its Edges

Debra Vidali
W 1:00-4:00

This seminar examines how the edges of ethnography have expanded significantly in recent years, in relation to at least four different types of challenges and opportunities:  (1) new types of research problems, (2) experiments with the ethnographic form itself, (3) expanded horizons of interdisciplinarity and public scholarship, and (4) deepened engagements with epistemological concerns about the nature of evidence.

We begin the semester with close readings of “classic” statements and examples of the ethnographic method.  Following this we consider the “writing culture” moment in late 20th century anthropology, as well as more recent scholarship that explores continuities between ethnography and other genres of research/writing/representation that document and analyze human experience (e.g. journalism, film, theater, literary nonfiction, and fiction).  The majority of the term focuses on new work that exemplifies the challenges of producing rigorous and engaged ethnography across a range of genres, audiences, and media.  Emphasis will be placed on phenomenological approaches in anthropology and on other topics that have in recent years compelled reflection and experimentation with the ethnographic form itself, for example, works that examine embodied experience, relations to space and time, affect, visuality, the senses, storytelling, performance, consciousness, and modes of knowing.

There are three main learning objectives:

  1. Students will learn to critically assess ethnographic fieldwork and writing in terms of both implicit and explicit epistemologies.
  2. Students will develop an understanding of ethnographic forms in relation to ethnographic objects and objectives.
  3. Students will experiment with and critically assess different forms of ethnographic documentation and representation, in relation to their own work.

Texts:  The following texts are currently under consideration.  Seminar selections will also be made based on participants’ interests. 

Crapanzano, Vincent.  2003.  Imaginative Horizons:  An Essay in Literary-Philosophical Anthropology.
Grimshaw, Anna.  2001.  The Ethnographer's Eye:  Ways of Seeing in Anthropology.
Jackson, Michael.  2012.  Lifeworlds:  Essays in Existential Anthropology.
Rabinow, Paul, George E. Marcus, James D. Faubion, and Tobias Rees.  2008.  Designs for an Anthropology of the Contemporary.
Saldana, Johnny.  2011.  Ethnotheatre:  Research from Page to Stage.
Smith, Linda Tuhiwai.  2012.  Decolonizing Methodologies:  Research and Indigenous Peoples.  Second edition.
Spry, Tami.  2011.  Body, Paper, Stage:  Writing and Performing Autoethnography.
Stewart, Kathleen.  2007.  Ordinary Affects.
Stoller, Paul.   2008.  The Power of the Between:  An Anthropological Odyssey.
Strathern, Marilyn.  2005.  Partial Connections.  Updated edition.

Assessment:  Assessment will be based on class presentations, critical writing, and an assignment that demonstrates the student’s own application of epistemological concerns in relation to ethnographic forms, objects and objectives. 

ANT 585-000  [8631]  Themes and Approaches in Latin History: New Paradigms, Old Trends

Jeffrey Lesser & Thomas Rogers
M 9:00-12:00

“Outrageous” would be a fair descriptor of trying to cover the 500-year sweep of Latin American History in thirteen three-hour seminars. Yet this graduate course – along with the undergraduate survey course models that resemble it – demands that Latin Americanists conduct such selective coverage. “Themes and Approaches in Latin American History” embraces the impossibility of the task through critical and explicit engagement with methods of research, pedagogy, and narrative.

Students will engage with conventional geographic and chronological frameworks for understanding and teaching Latin American history. At the same time, students will challenge orthodox paradigms by evaluating new scholarship and questioning dominant conceptions of periodization, methodology, and discipline. Articles on historiography, theory, and teaching will supplement national/local case studies and canonical texts.

Over the course of the semester, students will gain familiarity with what are considered to be the major chronological moments and formative events in the region, while fleshing out interdisciplinary approaches, perspectives, methods, and linkages. Analytical concerns revolve around the relationship between methodology and empirical conclusions, and how scholars’ shifting intellectual and political agendas have led them to integrate different disciplinary approaches into the study of history.

ANT 585-001 (8633)  Voicing the Voiceless

Gyanendra Pandey & Jonathan Prude
TH 4:00-7:00

This course deals with histories of the marginalized and the subordinated in South Asia and North America: gays, lesbians and transsexuals; dispossessed indigenous communities; ancient inhabitants, and very recent immigrants; religious minorities; African-Americans, Dalits and women. We are concerned with the disfranchised in the broadest sense of the term, groups who were considered incapable of representing themselves or writing their own histories – indeed, often as people without history, and certainly without an archive. The seminar will examine how viewpoints and practices have changed in light of the intellectual and political challenges of the last half-century and more: feminism, the African American and Dalit movements, anti-colonial, postcolonial and ‘minority’ histories. We will also engage with issues of representation and the recovery of ‘voice’ (Joan Scott, ‘Evidence of Experience’; Spivak, ‘Can the subaltern speak?’)
Weekly readings will include classic texts in North American and South Asian history, and more recent interventions in the debates on the historical discipline and the meaning of the archive. Examples are Eugene Genovese’s Roll, Jordan, Roll; Laurel T. Ulrich’s A Midwife’s Tale. The Life of Martha Ballard; Ted Rosengarten’s All God’s Dangers, The Life of Nate Shaw; essays by the photographic historian/theorist Allan Sekula (for example “The Body in the Archive”), on the American side; Ranajit Guha’sElementary Aspects of Peasant Insurgency; Shahid Amin’s Event, Metaphor, Memory; Prathama Banerjee’s The Politics of Time; Arondekar’s For the Record, on the Indian side; plus various Pandey, edited, anthologies, which have important contributions from leading US and Indian scholars.

ANT 585-002 [9691]  Local/Global Media

Jenny Chio
W 4:30-7:30 PM

This seminar will explore the tensions and elasticity of media as a simultaneously local and global mode of sociality and politics. Through close readings of contemporary media and visual culture theory, alongside ethnographies of media production, circulation, and consumption, we will examine how media forms and media technologies engage and engender particular ways of being in the world that are equally specific to local contexts and expressions of global connectivity and potentialities. Moreover, this approach forces us to confront often taken for granted assumptions about media – as information, as knowledge, as constitutive of citizenship and relatedness. “Media” for our purposes will encompass a range of technologies and types, including television, radio, film, photography, print, and online; state-sponsored, commercial, underground, and independent; verbal, visual, and interactive. Seminar discussions will challenge us to consider media both as a text and as a social context, with a particular emphasis on developing productive methodological connections and analytical insights between approaches in cultural anthropology, film and media studies, and visual culture.  Topics to be addressed include independent Chinese documentary, Occupy and activist movements, urban media technologies in urban Nigeria, Indigenous media and art, soundscapes and radio, popular photography in Java, and histories of looking. Readings may include work by Ariella Azoulay, Brian Larkin, Eric Michaels, Nicholas Mirzoeff, WJT Mitchell, Karen Strassler, and Debra Vidali (Spitulnik).

ANT 797R              Directed Study

ANT 798R              Advanced Research

ANT 799R              Dissertation Research