103 Introduction to Anthropology SO
An introduction to the basic ideas and methods of social anthropology. Examines major theoretical and ethnographic concerns of the discipline from its origins to the present, such as family and kinship, production and reproduction, history and evolution, symbolism and representation, with particular attention to such issues as race and racism, gender and sexuality, class, and ethnicity. Prerequisite: Not open to students who have completed BMC Anth 102.
155 Themes in the Anthropology of Religion SO (Cross-listed in Religion and African and Africana Studies)
What is it that rituals actually do? Are they enactments (affirmations) of collective ideals or are they arguments about these? Are they media for political action or are they expressions of teleological phenomena? The course is a comparative study of ritual and its place in religious practice and political argumentation. Concrete case studies will include an initiation ritual in South Africa, the Communion Sacrament in Christianity, a Holocaust commemorative site in Auschwitz, and the cult of spirit-possession in Niger. Emphasis on writing, frequent essays. Enrollment limited to 20. Preference to Freshmen and Sophomores. Cross-listed in Religion.
202 Among Men: Construction of Masculinities SO (Cross-listed in Gender and Sexuality Studies)
A comparative exploration of the socio-cultural politics of gender, with particular reference to masculinity, the course combines an intellectual historical approach, i.e. how the related notions of maleness, manhood and masculinity have featured in the history of social thought, and a thematic focus on issues such as the men's movements, popular culture, queer movement, etc. While the course will be grounded on an anthropological notion of the social basis of power, culture and identity formation, the readings will nonetheless be interdisciplinary -- including historical narratives, literature and film ethnographies (from Africa and the United States) and critical work from fields such as queer, feminist and postcolonial studies. Prerequisite: Anthropology 103 Offered occasionally.
204 Anthropology of Gender SO (Cross-listed in Gender and Sexuality Studies)
The cultural construction of gender and sexuality, kinship, inheritance, and marriage; the performative dimensions of sexual identity; the cultural politics of motherhood; myths of matriarchy; ideologies of masculinity and femininity. Not open to students who have completed Anthropology 216b or Bryn Mawr Anthropology 106. Offered occasionally.
205 Social Anthropology: Artisans in Global Context SO
In this course we examine artisanal and artistic production, and how such productive systems intertwine with other aspects of social organization, such as kinship and gender, and are affected by large-scale forces, such as marketization and globalization. Students will conduct independent research on a small-scale producer in the Philadelphia area. Prerequisite: Anthropology 102 or 103. Offered occasionally.
206 Anthropology of Art SO
This course looks at the social and cultural foundations of a category of things referred to as “art.” We examine the properties of these things and of the people who make, trade, exhibit, and look at art, and ask why they (we) do that. This involves a) understanding, and making theory about, the general development of the concept and uses of “art” in European civilization, as well how and why objects from “exotic” (that is, colonized) societies (in particular Africa, Native America, and Australia) have been identified and collected as a particular kind of art (“primitive art”) and b) exploring the “power of images” in diverse societies and social contexts. These questions allow us to challenge our received conceptions of what art is and does and to broaden our understanding of human creativity beyond conventional notions of art, taste, and value, and power. Prerequisite: One course in ANTH or consent of the instructor. Offered occasionally.
207 Visual Anthropology SO
Examines the history and development of anthropology's relationship to the visual, focusing particularly on ethnographic film. Explores the relationship between ethnographic texts and visual ethnographic materials in socio-cultural anthropology. Visual ethnography investigated as a mode for representing culture and a site of cultural practice. Special attention paid to questions of collaboration and documentary for social change. Students produce ethnographic films in crews for final projects. Prerequisite: Anth 103 at Haverford or 102 at Bryn Mawr. Typically offered in alternate years.
208 Museum Anthropology SO
What kinds of uses, values, and meanings do people attribute to objects? Why do museums exist as special sites for housing objects? What do museums do to objects, how, and why? This course is a comparative and historical introduction to museums and objects, and an overview of the kinds of things anthropologists do in and around museums. Students conduct research on museums (museums as the object of research) and do museum research (research as museum professionals). Offered occasionally.
209 Anthropology of Education: State of the Debate SO
Education and schooling in anthropological literature. We will compare the concepts of ""socialization"" in British Social Anthropology with ""cultural transmission"" in American Cultural Anthropology to look for the different ways in which the role of education in social reproduction and transformation has been framed over time. In addition to basic works by thinkers such as Durkheim, Malinowski, Mead, Benedict and Boas, we will read a selection of ethnographies of schooling from the United States, Africa and Japan. Prerequisite: Anthro 103 and one course in Education. Offered occasionally.
216 Women and Power in Comparative Perspective SO (Cross-listed in Gender and Sexuality Studies)
This course explores issues of power and its operation through examining women and women's experience. Course readings combine theoretical materials on power and women's empowerment with ethnographic studies that allow us to investigate theoretical questions in specific contexts. We consider the nature of power, the sources of social inequality, and the potential for powerful action on individual and collective levels. Offered occasionally.
220 Storytelling and the Ethnographic Imagination SO
From anthropology's inception as a discipline, anthropologists have experimented with the relationship between ethnographic writing and storytelling. Even early anthropologists who were deeply committed to the idea of anthropology as a science such as the founder of ethnography Bronislaw Malinowski nevertheless tried to entertain, excite, and emotionally engage readers by using storytelling techniques for ethnographic monographs. "Imagine yourself suddenly set down, surrounded by all your gear, alone on a tropical beach close to a native village, while the launch or dinghy which has brought you sails away out of sight". In this course we explore ways to combine ethnography with techniques from dramatic writing. Students read classic and contemporary works by anthropologists who enrich ethnographic writing with techniques from dramatic writing; conduct individual ethnographic research projects; and experiment with story-telling techniques to present their findings. Prerequisite: Anthropology 103 or permission of the instructor Offered occasionally.
225 Anthropology of Postcolonialism SO
An examination of cultural and social transformation in the former USSR, Central/Eastern Europe, China, and Cuba through readings in recent ethnography. How do socialist-era institutions and ideologies continue to influence people's contemporary efforts to create a new kind of society and market? In what sense can we speak of shared national histories and cultures as determinative of these processes - or is it culture itself that is changing? Prerequisite: Anthropology 102 or 103. Offered occasionally.
235 Social Practice of Media SO
This course will examine cross-culturally how the mass media print and electronic, old and new have become critical to the constitution of subjectivities, collectivities, and histories in the contemporary world and are the primary means for the circulation of symbolic forms across space and time. Attention is paid to how the production, reception, and circulation of media forms and technologies are integrated into social practice at the local, national, and transnational levels. Prerequisite: Anthro 103 or consent Offered occasionally.
236 Language and Electronic Media SO
20th century politics and culture were intimately linked to the rapid development of radio, television, and film. These electronic media have creatively engaged with local cultural practices around the world in reshaping the nature of artistic expression, national, gendered, and racial difference, and political power. This course uses anthropological notions of language to examine cultures of electronic media around the globe. We will create a theoretical frame that will allow us to look at radio, video/film, television, the internet, and mobile phone technologies as forms of social mediation. Mass media will be considered in relation to the formation of new types of embodiment, value, production, and consumption. In particular, we will trace how actor-centered performance approaches to language, reference, and authority give insight into the making of contemporary, electronically-mediated ways of understanding the world. This class draws together the fields of philosophy of language, linguistic anthropology, media studies, and various approaches to performance studies. Prerequisite: Anthro 103 or consent of the professor Offered occasionally.
241 Anthropology of the Mediterranean SO (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature and Latin American and Iberian Studies)
This course focuses on pluralism and cultural interaction in circum-Mediterranean societies. It includes such topics as: orientalism and the problematics and politics of ethnographic production in and on peripheral societies; the use and abuse of concepts of cultural continuity; ethno-religious interaction in rural and urban settings; imperial legacies and nation-state ideologies in 21st century cultural politics; local and transnational economic systems; migration patterns, conflicts, and contemporary social transformations. Typically offered in alternate years.
244 Anthropology of China SO (Cross-listed in East Asian Studies and Gender and Sexuality Studies)
This course is a basic introduction to the anthropology of China. The scope of our inquiry is about one century: we begin with traditional China and end with the present. Our primary site is the Chinese mainland (rather than Taiwan, Hong Kong, or the Chinese diaspora). Our goals include learning specific information about China, Chinese society, and Chinese culture; examining a range of diverse anthropological approaches to the study of human beings; exploring the political dimensions of representation; and reflecting on the relationship between political systems, the economy, and social formations. Prerequisite: One course in ANTH or EAST. Typically offered in alternate years.
247 Anthropology and Literature: Ethnography of Black South African Writing 1888-2008 SO (Cross-listed in African and Africana Studies)
Through analysis of the development of writing in colonial and apartheid South Africa this course examines the "crisis of representation" of the past two decades in literature and anthropology. We will consider debates about the textual status of ehtnographic monographs and the more general problems of writing and social power. Specifically, we will look at how such writing contributed to the construction and transformation of black subjectivity. Course material will include 19th and 20th century texts by black South Africans including life narratives, particularly collaborated autobiographies by women in the 1980's. Prerequisite: Anthro 103 Typically offered in alternate years.
249 Colonialism, Law, Human Rights in Africa SO (Cross-listed in Peace, Justice, and Human Rights and African and Africana Studies)
This course examines the colonial legacies of contemporary discourses of human rights and development as they are relevant in contemporary global politics. By taking an historical approach to the idea of rights we will make connections between sovereignty, the rule of law, and the rights of citizenship. We will use a critical eye to explore the conditions of possibility that allow states, development organizations, donor agencies, and individuals to unwittingly reproduce centuries old tropes of poverty, degradation, and helplessness of non-Western peoples. Using historical descriptions of the encounters between Europeans and Africans in West Africa and South Africa we will unpack assumptions about African societies. We will also explore liberalism and it connections to British colonialism its contemporary incarnations. Prerequisite: One course relating to Africa, African politics, African literature.
252 State and Development in South Asia SO (Cross-listed in Peace, Justice, and Human Rights)
How does government actually work? In this class, we will focus on everyday work of government in South Asia- the way in which its routines make particular kinds of states and citizens. We will focus on the kinds of political authority produced by the everyday work of states, particularly as they are created through the plans and programs of development. Prerequisite: Anth 103
254 Diseased Bodies: AIDS, Culture and the Anthropology of the Body SO
A study of discourses of cultural and medical management and stigmatization of the diseased human body. We will look at how cultural perceptions of disease generate binaries of taboo/restoration, this ambivalence of the diseased body in ideologies of social subjectivity. The course will be informed by an approach to this problem which views the human body as society's investment in its cultural and material reproduction while also serving as an ideological frontier separating socialized subjectivity from potentially antisocial libidinal forces of the biological self. Within this framework we will pursue the question: in what specific ways does disease, HIV in particular, represent a breach of the boundary between the body as social order and the carnal forces of its disruption? With HIV as an organizing problematic the course will be structured around themes including religious notions of the body, sin and redemption; Western philosophical opposition of the body to the faculty of reason; interventionist technologies of modern medicine and the secularization of illness; African notions of the social body and disharmonies of disease. We will conclude the course reflections on how my work on HIV prevention in South Africa has addressed these cultural issues in local communities. Prerequisite: At least one 100 level course in Social Sciences and consent of the professor
256 Political Anthropology SO
This course considers politics as what groups of people do to affect their social conditions, and examines how their ability to affect those conditions is organized and controlled. Through the reading of ethnography and anthropological theory, we will raise questions about how "leaderless" societies organize social action, about the interrelations of gender, bodies, and politics, and about the ways in which power is exercised and contested in different societies. We will discuss how modern states arose and what impact they have had on the peoples they incorporate and on options for political action in contemporary complex global political systems. Prerequisite: Anthro 103 Offered occasionally.
257 Ethnic Conflict SO
The comparative study of ethnic identity and collective violence. Ideological systems of classification and differentiation, such as kinship, race, class, ethnicity and nationality. Case studies of contemporary struggles and conflicts, informed by classic and recent anthropological theory. Prerequisite: One course in Anthropology or permission of the instructor. Offered occasionally.
258 Politics of Culture and Identity SO (Cross-listed in Peace and Conflict Studies)
This course will examine how "culture" and "identity" have become increasingly important frameworks through which claims to resources, rights, and power are articulated. Drawing on a diverse set of case studies, we will ask how we can approach politics of culture and identity ethnographically, and what role anthropology might have to play in such struggles. Prerequisite: Anthropology 102 or 103. Offered occasionally.
259 Ethnographies of Islam SO
Comparative ethnographies of Muslim societies. Islam as a field of anthropological inquiry and theorizing. Ethnographic representation and the construction of ethnographic authority. Islam in the western imagination. Prerequisite: One course in ANTH or consent of the instructor. Typically offered in alternate years.
261 Memory, History, Anthropology SO
The social aspects of memory. Collective representations and memorial genres. Institutional memory and the effects of institutions on individual memory. Memory in oral and literate societies. Memory as a political act and a tool of political legitimacy. Mourning and trauma. Role of narrative in memory and the relationship between non-narrative forms and memory. How memory relates to the present and to the past. The course will examine a number of influential theoretical texts on memory and look at selected case studies. Prerequisite: One course in anthropology or consent. Offered occasionally.
263 Anthropology of Space: Housing and Society SO
Space, place and architecture in anthropological theory; the contributions of anthropology to our understanding of the built and imagined environment in diverse cultures. Topics include: the body and its orientation in space; the house, kinship and cosmology; architecture as a communicative/semiotic system; space and sociopolitical segregation and integration; space and commodity culture. May be taken for Bryn Mawr Cities credit. Prerequisite: One course in ANTH or CITY. Offered occasionally.
270 Psychoanalysis and Anthropology SO
This course will trace areas of convergence of anthropology and psychoanalysis from the beginnings of the discipline of anthropology to the present through selected topics, including: kinship, society and the self: sexual difference; the interpretation of dreams; anthropological hermeneutics, ethnographic fieldwork and clinical practice (listening, transference, countertransference), magic and fetishism, individual and collective violence. Prerequisite: Anthropology 102 or 103. Offered occasionally.
281 Nature/ Culture: An Introduction to Environmental Anthropology SO (Cross-listed in and Environmental Studies and Peace, Justice, and Human Rights)
An introduction to the ideas and methods central to environmental anthropology. Topics covered will include political ecology, crises and uncertainty, indigeneity and community management. Prerequisite: Anth 103 OR Envs 101, Case Studies.
303 History and Theory of Anthropology SO
The development of anthropological thought in the West. Enlightenment theories of society and the human subject, the study of social organization in 19th and early 20th centuries (including Marx and Durkheim), social anthropology and cultural anthropology . Structuralism, Marxist anthropology, postmodernism and the crisis of representation in the 1980s and 1990s. Prerequisite: Anthro 103
310 Modes of Thought SO
Anthropology as a discipline concerned with the translation of cultures. Propositions concerning ""modes of thought"" or ""belief"" in traditional and modern societies, debates about rationality and models of social and cultural evolution. Prerequisite: One other course in Anthropology, Sociology or Philosophy. Offered occasionally.
315 Human Rights, Gender and Knowledge: The Truth And Reconciliation Commission in South Africa SO
Reflection on the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission from the perspective of rural women's testimonies. Reports and scholarly reflections on the TRC often reflect the perspectives of elite groups. Based on first hand research funded by the CPGC, the course will have students read testimonies based on collected submissions by women from poor rural communities who lost members of their families during the struggle against Apartheid. We will try to understand the role of gender in testimonies to the TRC and how knowledge was distributed unequally between men and women. We will situate women's testimonies within the larger context of human rights discourses. We will read critical theories of human rights and Truth Commissions. We will also discuss taped interviews I carried out in 2008/9 with the same women, family members and other members of the community. These testimonies and recorded interviews will form primary readings for the course. Prerequisite: Anthro 103 , and at least one 200 level class in Anthropology Offered occasionally.
322 Ethnographic Methods SO
Qualitative research methods, with a focus on participant-observation. Theoretical debates, ethical questions, and practical issues concerning the craft of ethnographic field work will both be addressed. Students will conduct several small-scale field exercises and design and implement a larger ethnographic project. Prerequisite: ANTH 102 or 103. Preference to ANTH majors/minors. Typically offered in alternate years.
327 Ritual and Performance SO (Cross-listed in African and Africana Studies)
This course examines theories of performance and practice as a way for understanding how specific events and actions relate to social structure, history, and memory. We will explore how bodies become produced and contested in the performance of political and personal productive and sensuous activity. The course's central thematic explores the tension between theories of performance and theories of practice which highlight key philosophical issues within anthropology and social thought more generally: power and its enactment, the relationship between personal experience and macro-sociological processes, the nature of consciousness, structure versus agency, and stasis versus change. Prerequisite: Anthro 303 Offered occasionally.
350 Social and Cultural Theory SO (Cross-listed in Peace, Justice, and Human Rights)
This class is an intensive reading workshop on contemporary ethnography with an emphasis on questions of the anthropological representation of marginalized groups and on the predicaments of contemporary life in the context of globalization and social change. Among other things, we will discuss how the craft of anthropology draws on its disciplinary resources to address these predicaments and to communicate its insights. The intention of the course is to deepen students' understanding of the history, theory, and uses of anthropology through its application in ethnography, and to develop students' capacity to read deeply and learn from ethnographic work that treats subjects and lives unfamiliar to them. Prerequisite: Two courses in Anthropology, one of which must be Anthro 303 Offered occasionally.
351 Writing and Social Construction of Subjectivity SO (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature)
This course is an interdisciplinary exploration of writing as a social institution, personal ritual, cultural artifact and a technology. Beginning with some debates in the social sciences concerning the place of literacy in individual cognitive development and social progress, we will proceed to explore some core assumptions about speech and writing in western thought from Plato to recent French feminist theory. The goal of this course is to offer students a genealogical account of anthropological ways of thinking about the human being as a creative agent and a social subject. Prerequisite: Anthropology 103 and Anthropology 303
355 Anthropology and the New Faces of Modernity SO
An examination of recent trends in reflection on modernity in the human and social sciences. This course addresses questions about social subjectivity, globalization and the endurance of modernity through a number of ethnographic snapshots from different parts of the world. Prerequisite: Anthro 103 and one 200-level course in Anth Offered occasionally.
358 Anthropology of Capitalisms SO
This course explores capitalism from an anthropological perspective. We combine study of theoretical work on capitalist processes and the nature of capitalism with ethnographic studies of how capitalism operates in particular places at particular times. Our work includes examining and producing materials in multiple media, including written texts, film, and oral presentations. Students will conduct ethnographic studies of capitalisms over the course of the semester, and will work together in crews to make films about capitalisms. Each crew will produce at least two short films. Prerequisite: Anthropology 207 or 303 Offered occasionally.
361 Advanced Topics in Ethnographic Area Studies SO
Advanced work in the study of an ethnographic area offered in the department. In addition to ethnographic monographs, course materials will include missionary records, memoirs, and realist fiction where appropriate. The course is intended to develop skills of social and cultural analysis and to deepen the student's understanding of an ethnographic area. Prerequisite: One course in an appropriate ethnographic area or consent. Offered occasionally.
365 Advanced Readings in Visual Anthropology SO
This is an advanced course in visual anthropology which explores the history and development of anthropology's relationship to visual practices both as a mode for representing culture and as a site of cultural practice. One of the central themes of the course is the relationship between representation, power, and knowledge as manifest in cross-cultural representation. Prerequisite: Anth 207 Offered occasionally.
415 Research Seminar in the Material Culture of China: Producers and Collectors of Chinese Ceramics SO (Cross-listed in East Asian Studies)
This course focuses on the production and collecting practices of Chinese porcelain. It provides a basic introduction to research on material culture, Chinese high-fired ceramics, and the practices of collectors and porcelain producers. Students who complete this class will gain a good basic understanding of the technical and social aspects of Chinese ceramic production, forms and decoration of Chinese ceramics, the porcelain center of Jingdezhen, and the political and cultural aspects of Chinese porcelain consumption. In addition to engaging with course materials, each student will design and complete a major independent research project related to ceramics or an aspect of Chinese material culture. Prerequisite: One course in Anth, East, or permission. Offered occasionally.
450 Senior Seminar: Research and Writing SO
Students research and complete a thesis in socio-cultural anthropology over the course of two semesters. The seminar includes course meetings and individual consultations. Prerequisite: Senior standing in ANTH at Haverford Typically offered every Fall.
451 Senior Seminar: Supervised Research and Writing SO
Supervised Research and Writing, is the second in the two-course sequence for seniors in Anthropology. Students will complete a thesis using primary sources and/or fieldwork and will participate in a thesis writing workshop. Prerequisite: Sr standing in ANTH at HC Typically offered every Spring.
460 Teaching Assistant SO
Discussion leader and course assistant in Anthropology 103, Anthropology 110, or other selected anthropology courses; includes responsibility for selected tutorials. Final Paper. Typically offered every Semester.
480 Independent Study SO