Graduate Courses - Fall 2015
ANT 500-00P  Proseminar in Anthropology
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.
Particulars: Only students registered in the Anthropology PhD program may enroll. All enrollments are processed through Anthropology.
ANT 501-00P  History of Anthropological Thought
This course traces some of the main trends in the history of theory in socio-cultural anthropology since the field’s origins in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It begins with a consideration of the Victorian-era thinkers such as Tylor, Morgan, Spencer, and Frazer, and then continues with a discussion of Boas and Durkheim, the two great modernizers of the field. Durkheim’s influence in France continues through Mauss, Levi-Strauss, and Bourdieu; and in England through Malinowski and Radcliffe-Brown to Evans-Pritchard, Victor Turner, and Mary Douglas; while in America several different schools branch out from under the influence of Boas and his immediate successors such as Kroeber and Lowie: first there are Benedict and Mead, whose influence leads to latter day symbolic anthropology as represented by Geertz, Schneider and others; then there is the important school of cultural materialism and evolution leading from Leslie White and Julian Steward to Marvin Harris, Roy Rappaport, and others; the impact of feminist theory of anthropology represented by figures such as Sherry Ortner, Michelle Rosaldo, and others; and finally the post-modern turn, represented by James Clifford, George Marcus, and Michael Fischer.
ANT 555R-000  Research Seminar in Biological Anthropology
Required for First-year through Third-year Biological Anthropology Students
ANT 585-000  New Paradigms/Old Trends
Cross-listed with HIST
Difficult as it is to cover the 500-year sweep of Latin American History in thirteen three-hour seminars, this graduate course 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 work 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  Subaltern Studies: Past, Present, and Future
Cross-listed with HIST, ILA, WGS
What is Subaltern Studies? A history of the poor and the marginalized in the colonized world? A supplement to standard histories of state and society? A new archive for people without history, and without written records of their own? Or a challenge to the disciplines of anthropology, history, sociology, religious studies, etc, as we know them?
The first volumes of the Indian Subaltern Studies initiative, launched by a group of graduate students and teachers in the early 1980s, were regarded as another instance of ‘history from below’, with the difference that the method was now being applied to a ‘Third World’ country by its own scholars. Later Subaltern Studies have been seen as a prominent example of postcolonial writing, and accused of having succumbed to Western theory in a way that reduces the original concern with the ‘subaltern’.
What were the political and historiographical debates out of which these writings emerged, and what are the debates they have in turn generated? What accounts for the alleged move from a critique of nationalism and the state, to a critique of history? How have scholars of South and North America, Africa and other parts of the world responded to the idea of ‘Subaltern Studies’, and to questions regarding the portability of theory – or its applicability across cultures and continents?
The purpose of this course is to think through some of these questions in the light of our different disciplines and individual research agendas.
ANT 585-002  Passing in America
Cross-listed with HIST
What does it mean for people to transform themselves in a society devoted to self-improvement, on the one hand, and continuing authenticity, on the other? To reinvention and yet also to sincerity? When is acquiring a new identity permissible and commendable? When is it dangerous and subversive? Who decides? Under the broad flag of “Passing,” this seminar will explore such questions as they unfolded across American history from colonial times to the present and amidst transitions across boundaries of class, race, ethnicity, and gender. Materials for the course will include primary and secondary sources, fiction and non-fiction, texts, images, and film.
Required Textbooks, Articles, and Resources:
1. B. Franklin, Autobiography
2. Neil Harris, Humbug
3. H. Melville, The Confidence Man
4. K. Haltunnen, Confidence Men and Painted Women
5. H. Alger, Jr. Ragged Dick
6. Dale Cockrell, Demons of Disorder: Early Blackface Minstrels and Their World
7. Phelps, Silent Partner
8. N. Enstad, Ladies of Labor
9. Chauncy, Gay New York
10. N. Larsen, Passing
11. The Jazz Singer (movie)
12. B. Schulberg, What Makes Sammy Run?
13. Paris is Burning (movie)
14. B. Ehrenreich, Nickel and Dimed
Assessments will be based on robust and thoughtful participation in weekly class sessions and on two written assignments (approximately ten pages each).
CANCELLED — ANT 585S-000  Image Work: Visual Techniques in Qualitative Research
Cross-listed with HIST, SOC
ANT 585S-001  Anthropology of Global Health
M 2:30-3:45/W 2:00-3:50
Once a week, this course meets together with a two-credit Rollins School of Public Health class entitled “Anthropological Perspectives on Global Health” (GH 557). It is a combination of discussion and some lecture on the biocultural and cultural analysis to five global health areas: infectious disease; nutrition (under nutrition and obesity); reproductive health; and community health; and global health policy. The focus is on low and middle income countries and a major theme goal is for PH students to understand that every global health intervention entails a cross-cultural interaction. The lesson, therefore, is that successful PH practitioners must be reflexively cognizant of their own culture. Most readings for this part of the course are article-length ethnographic case studies. Student valuation is based upon biweekly homework exercises, a book review and two essay tests. In Fall 2015 this part of the course will be 2:00-3:50 on Wednesdays. RSPH students in the class usually come from all departments of the school; Anthropology graduate students will benefit from interactions with MPH students who have a more applied orientation.
The second part of the course is a culturally-oriented seminar in Medical Anthropology that focuses on the cultural history of global public health and ethnographic monographs of public health programs or problems. At the beginning of the semester, students in this part of the course help select possible books based on their particular interests. Students help lead class discussions. Some selected books or dissertations usually chosen have been written by Emory Anthropology alumni. Generally, this part of the course does not emphasize biocultural approaches or studies of Biomedicine. Topics usually include: cultural history of colonial medicine and international health; population programs; disease-specific programs (polio, malaria); women’s health; complex humanitarian emergencies. However, readings are not geographically limited because the field of global health also includes high income countries. Evaluation of students is based on class participation (including some reaction postings), and a relatively short individualized writing project. Depending on student schedules, the seminar is scheduled to meet Mondays 2:30-3:45.
ANT 585S-002  The Anthropological Study of Ritual
Cross-listed with RLTS
DESCRIPTION: This course is a study of ritual and related performance frames from an anthropological perspective. We begin with fundamental questions about the evolutionary origins of ritual and ritualization for humans, and then attempt to address the questions of the nature of ritual and why it has persisted in human life despite the evolution of language. Using a number of detailed case studies from both religious and secular ritual forms, we will study the diverse forms and functions of ritual, and explanations of ritual from both scientific and indigenous perspectives. Finally we will look at a variety of other performance frames such as play, games and theater, asking how they are related to ritual.
1. Grimes, Ronald L. (ed.) Readings in Ritual Studies. Ronald L. Grimes. Pearson, 1995. ISBN-13: 978-0023472534 ISBN-10: 0023472537
2. Buford, Bill, Among the Thugs. New York: Vintage, 1993 ISBN-13: 978-0679745358 ISBN-10: 0679745351
3. Rappaport, Roy A. Ritual and Religion in the Making of Humanity. Cambridge, U.K.; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999. ISBN-10: 0521296900, ISBN-13: 978-0521296908
4. Kertzer, David, Ritual, Politics, and Power, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988 ISBN-10: 0300040075, ISBN-13: 978-0300040074
5. Van Gennep, Arnold, Rites of Passage, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961, ISBN-13: 000-0226848493 ISBN-10: 0226848493
6. Bell, Catherine, Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. ISBN-13: 978-0199735105 ISBN-10: 0199735107
7. Tinbergen, Niko, The Herring Gull's World: A Study of the Social Behaviour of Birds (The New Naturalist) Paperback, 1989 SBN-10: 1558210490/ISBN-13: 978-1558210493
8. Garvey, Catherine Play (Enlarged Edition). Cambridge: Harvard University Press , 1990. ISBN-10: 0674673654/ISBN-13: 978-0674673656
9. Walens, Stanley Feasting With Cannibals: An Essay on Kwakiutl Cosmology Princeton Legacy Library) Paperback, 2014. ISBN-10: 069161461X/ISBN-13: 978-0691614618
10. Goffman, Erving Interaction Ritual, New York, Anchor Books, 1967 ISBN-10: 0394706315, ISBN-13: 978-0394706313
11. Apffel-Marglin, Frederique, Subversive Spiritualities: How Rituals Enact the World, New York: Oxford University Press, 2012. ISBN-10: 0199793867/ISBN-13: 978-0199793860
12. Caroline Humphrey and James Laidlaw, The Archetypal Actions of Ritual A Theory of Ritual Illustrated by the Jain Rite of Worship
ANT 585S-003  Evolutionary Modeling
The intended consumers of the course are graduate students in anthropology, biology, or other social or life sciences seeking to leverage evolutionary theory in their research. Students should come with a foundation in basic mathematics, and should be willing to learn new skills and techniques. The computational and numerical aspects of the course will employ the NetLogo and R software packages. Student commitments will include readings, homework assignments, a modeling project, and in-class participation.
ANT 585S-004  Evolution of Human Subsistence
Semester Description: Human nutrition and subsistence behavior from an evolutionary perspective. Methods for reconstructing past diets and addressing key origins questions in our lineage. Discussions of the impacts of significant changes in human subsistence over the last 6 million years. Seminar format with final research project.
Semester Details: 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.