Anthropology (ANTH-UA)

ANTH-UA 1  Culture, Power, Society  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall, Spring, and Summer terms  
What does it mean to think anthropologically? This course considers historically foundational practices of anthropological thought, its core method, fieldwork, and its most influential product, the ethnography, in order to think practically and creatively along the lines of what constitutes cultures, societies, translation, and difference. A central goal is to advance the concept of culture, with its attendant solidarities, hierarchies, and exclusions, in order to better understand continually changing systems of collective identifications.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 2  Human Evolution  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall, Spring, and Summer terms  
Investigates the evolutionary origins of humans. The study of human evolution is a multidisciplinary endeavor involving a synthesis of concepts, techniques, and research findings from a variety of different scientific fields, including evolutionary biology, paleontology, primatology, comparative anatomy, genetics, molecular biology, geology, and archaeology. Explores the different contributions that scientists have made toward understanding human origins and provides a detailed survey of the evidence used to reconstruct the evolutionary history of our own species.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 3  Introduction to Archaeology  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall, Spring, and Summer terms  
Introduces contemporary archaeology, its theories, practices, and early societies and cultures. Examines current methodological and theoretical viewpoints of archaeological scholarship within the discipline of anthropology. Focuses on key transformations in cultural evolution, such as the origins of modern humans, the emergence of food production, and the development of complex societies, urbanism, and early states. Explores gender roles, landscapes and settlements, technologies, art, cognitive systems, urbanism, and state formation.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 11  Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion  (4 Credits)  
Offered in the fall. 4 points. Focuses on fundamental theoretical and methodological issues pertaining to the academic study of religion. Exposes students to, and familiarizes them with, some of the more important theories of the origin, character, and function of religion as a human phenomenon. Students are given an opportunity to encounter and test an assortment of the main scholarly approaches to understanding and interpreting religious phenomena, including psychological, sociological, anthropological, and hermeneutical perspectives.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 16  Language, Power, Identity  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
Explores how identity is a process of “becoming” rather than a mode of “being" by examining how speakers enact their gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, and socioeconomic class through everyday conversations, narratives, performances, literacy activities, and public debates. Also explores the moral and political consequences of people's identification strategies by examining how their beliefs about language reinforce or contest normative power structures. Readings on the relationship between bilingual education and accent discrimination, multilingualism and youth counterculture, migration and code-switching, media and religious publics, linguistic nationalism and xenophobia, and literacy and neo/liberalism in different areas of the world.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: ANTH-UA 1.  
ANTH-UA 17  Language, Culture, and Society  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
Explores the role of language in culture and society by focusing on gender, ethnicity, social class, verbal genres, literacy, and worldview.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: ANTH-UA 1 AND Restriction: (Academic Level = Sophomore OR Junior OR Senior).  
ANTH-UA 35  Medical Anthropology  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring and Summer  
Analyzes medical beliefs and practices in African, Asian, and Latin American societies. Studies the coexistence of different kinds of medical specialists (e.g., shamans, herbalists, bonesetters, midwives, physicians trained in indigenous and cosmopolitan medicine), with particular reference to the structures of health resources available to laymen and problems of improving health care.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: ANTH-UA 1 AND Restriction: Academic Program NYU Precollege.  
ANTH-UA 36  Global Biocultures: Anthropological Perspectives on Public Health  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
Surveys the mutual shaping of culture and biology in diverse contexts around the world. Starts with sociocultural theories of biocultural process and ends with ethnographies of disability, drugs, food, place, pain, and biotechnology. Examines the relationship between larger political economic structures and individual subjectivities, and examines biological experience as simultaneously material and socioculturally plastic.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 50  Fossil Evidence for Human Evolution  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall and Spring  
Analyzes fossil evidence for human evolution and the paleoanthropological inferences derived from such evidence. Emphasizes methods of phylogenetic reconstruction, taxonomy, functional anatomy, and paleoecology.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: ANTH-UA 2.  
ANTH-UA 51  Evolution and Human Variation  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall and Spring  
Humans are the most wide-ranging of all of the species on earth. Our evolutionary history and our ability to adapt to such a broad range of environments is dependent on the results in the patterns of human variability we see today. New techniques have been developed that allow us to explore the different levels of human variation. This course focuses on new data and methodologies, including molecular genetic techniques, and the hypotheses and controversies generated by these new perspectives.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: ANTH-UA 2.  
ANTH-UA 53  Human Genetics  (4 Credits)  
In-depth analysis of the genetic component of human variability. Discusses mechanisms of inheritance, gene expression in individuals and populations, and alternative explanations for genetic variability. Explores the implications of modern advances in genetics, such as genetic engineering and gene therapy.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: ANTH-UA 2.  
ANTH-UA 54  Primate Behavioral Ecology  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall and Spring  
Why do some primates live in large social groups while others are solitary and yet others live in pairs or cooperatively breeding families? Why are strong social hierarchies seen in some primate taxa but not in others? How do multiple species of primates often manage to coexist in the same habitat? Why are social relationships in some primate species characterized by strong bonds among females while such bonds are absent in other primates societies? Why do some species of primates show marked geographic variability in behavior and social structure? The answers to these and other questions lie in understanding the relationships between each species and its ecological and social setting and in understanding each species? phylogenetic history. In this course, students explore the diversity of primate social systems and the evolutionary relationships among the primates, and we discuss many of the general ecological laws that have been proposed by evolutionary biologists as the keys to understanding important features of primate behavior and ecology.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: ANTH-UA 2.  
ANTH-UA 55  Evolutionary Medicine  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
Examines human health and disease within an ecological framework, exploring the interactions of environmental, genetic, physiological, and cultural factors in the expression and distribution of human diseases. Develops pathology profiles for nonhuman primates; prehistoric human populations; and hunting and gathering, agricultural, and industrial groups, with emphasis on the expression of infectious disease in human history and newly (re-) emerging diseases.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: ANTH-UA 2.  
ANTH-UA 59  Primate Communication  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
Examines how primates communicate and why their communication takes the forms it does. Discusses general issues associated with the study of animal communication: potential functions of communication, different modalities by which communicative signals can be transmitted, types of information that can be conveyed via each of these modalities, and ways in which researchers go about studying animal communication systems. Examines ways environmental and sociological factors influence the evolution of forms of communication.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: (ANTH-UA 2 OR CORE-UA 305).  
ANTH-UA 60  The Unstoppable Human Species: Archaeology of Human Evolution  (4 Credits)  
This course covers the archaeological record of human evolution spanning from ~3 million years up until 12 thousand years ago. This critical period in human evolution witnessed a three-fold increase in our brain size, our range/habitat expansion from portions of Africa to the entire subpolar world, and the emergence of fully “modern” Homo sapiens. During the course you will be introduced to the behavior, ecology, and technology of tool-using humans and their ancestors. We track human cultural evolution from the earliest evidence for culture to discussions about our continuing cultural evolution.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: ANTH-UA 3.  
ANTH-UA 61  Introduction to Archaeological Science  (4 Credits)  
In the past fifty years scientific techniques have increasingly been applied to archaeological material to help answer questions about objects’ age, provenance, and production technology. This information in turn addresses questions related to trade and exchange, cultural identity, human mobility, craft organization, and technological innovation. This lecture-based course provides a non-technical introduction to a wide range of scientific techniques commonly used to analyze archaeological materials. Through the examination of case studies, we will focus on the questions that drive research, discuss the advantages and limitations of the available techniques, and the importance of sampling, calibration, and statistical analysis.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 62  Evolution and Sex  (4 Credits)  
This course will explore the sexual lives of primates through an evolutionary lens. From sexual-selection theory to sperm competition to endocrinology, we will take a comparative approach to examining just how fundamental sexuality is to many aspects of both non-human and human primate biology
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: ANTH-UA 2.  
ANTH-UA 64  Islam and the Americas  (4 Credits)  
The premise of this course is that Islam is best understood as a “discursive tradition,” articulated through diverse kinds of reasoning and relations of power that are a part of particular historical and social conditions. The course explores Muslim diasporas in North America, Latin America, and the Caribbean, which hail from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East or consist of converts (or “returnees”) within the Americas. We will engage in cross-cultural comparison in order to (i) examine implicit theoretical, political, and cultural assumptions in the study of Muslims' lived experience, (ii) explore the relationship between orthodoxy and Muslims’ vernacular interpretations, (iii) interrogate the ways that the interpretive categories “Muslim,” “Islam,” “religion,” “gender,” and “race” present symbolic and other distinctions between “New” and “Old” Worlds, and (iv) consider the ways that “Muslim” and “Islam” are made meaningful among a diverse array of Muslims and non-Muslims in the Americas.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 80  Emerging Diseases  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall and Spring  
Integrates evolutionary biology, genetics, immunology, ecology, and behavioral ecology, along with sociocultural anthropology, politics, and economics, to better understand newly emerging and reemerging diseases as they affect human health. General evolutionary theory and an introduction to Darwinian medicine are provided before the course examines viral, bacterial, parasitic, and prion-based diseases along with their hosts, vectors, and other organisms. Particular attention is paid to how humans have purposely and inadvertently created both biological and cultural environments for the transmission of different diseases. Media representations and misrepresentations are examined throughout the course.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 82  The Social Life of Museums  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall, Spring, and Summer terms  
This course considers “the museum” as an object of ethnographic inquiry, examining it as a social institution embedded in a broader field of cultural heritage that is perpetually under negotiation. We reflect on how museum principles of classification, practices of collection and exhibition, uptake of media, technology, and archiving have influenced the ways in which knowledge has been formed, presented, and represented; and interrogate the role of museums as significant social actors in broad anthropological debates on power, materiality, value, representation, culture, nationalism, circulation, aesthetics, science, history, and “new” technologies. By the end of the semester, students will have gained both historical and ethnographic perspectives on how museums help us to know and reproduce ourselves and “others,” and how these institutions craft, control, and circulate cultural heritage in various social lives.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: Yes  
ANTH-UA 90  Human Ecology  (4 Credits)  
This course seeks to assess the degree to which variations in human biology and culture can be understood as adaptations to varying external conditions. We examine the relationship of human systems of action and the natural world in order to understand the various forms of human adaptation. Case studies of several living peoples, contemporary and past biological communities, and prehistoric cultures provide the material for interpretation and evaluation of theoretical positions.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: ANTH-UA 2.  
ANTH-UA 104  State and Society in South Asia  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered occasionally  
Introduces the cultures and societies of the Indian subcontinent. Focuses not only on the history and ethnography of South Asia, but also on the major concepts and debates in the anthropological study of the region. Topics will include caste, kinship, gender, nationalism, ethnic conflict, globalization, and popular culture.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: CORE-UA 516.  
ANTH-UA 105  Ethnographies of Asia  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered occasionally  
Southeast Asia has figured prominently in the concerns of Americans and Europeans from the trade in the Spice Islands (not Indonesia) to the war in Vietnam and its aftermath. This area is one of the most complicated and interesting areas of the world to study because several major world civilizations have contributed to the development of the area over a period of many centuries, yet the civilizations developed there are distinctive and syncretic. An interdisciplinary approach is taken in presenting this material in an attempt to integrate the ideas of anthropologists, historians, political scientists, economists, and linguists concerned with the area.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: ANTH-UA 1.  
ANTH-UA 111  Populism, Religion, and Crisis in Europe  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall and Spring  
Populist rhetoric, rising xenophobia, anti-migrant hysteria, Islamophobia, high unemployment, and restrictive legislation have called many of the myths that undergird Europe's enlightened public sphere into question. In this class, we will turn to a number of recent ethnographic studies in Europe to help us re-think the idea of Europe historically and today.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 112  Anthropology of Gender and Sexuality  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
This course examines the social and cultural forces that shape the construction of sex, gender, and sexuality. It takes these categories as nonbinary and fluid. Using an intersectional approach, it considers how various subject positions including race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, immigration status, religion, and ability impact gender and sex roles. It traces historical trajectories of foundational feminist anthropology, while also exploring queer theories and performativity. It seeks to interrogate social hierarchies based on sex, gender, and sexuality, exploring who has been traditionally excluded from positions of power and privilege. Topics such as race and porn, BDSM, asexuality, heteronormativity, transgender identities, queer coming out narratives, down-low sexual practices, polyamory, sex work, and queer kinship will be explored in order to challenge normative frameworks of sex and gender.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: ANTH-UA 1.  
ANTH-UA 113  Disability Worlds: Anthropological Perspectives  (4 Credits)  
This course examines the genealogy of disability as a topic in anthropology and related disciplines in the social sciences and humanities, exploring the relationship of such work to disability studies, arts and activism. We will consider early key works, as well as recent ethnographies, stressing the significance of disability for theorizing human difference in intersection with other experiences of oppression, resistance, and creativity. The course will also incorporate guest speakers on contemporary intersectional activism, films, performance and relevant events at NYU. This course counts for a minor or major in anthropology and as a required core course for the disability studies minor.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 122  Culture, Power, and Visual Representation  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall and Spring  
This course explores anthropology’s relationship to visuality, focusing on ethnographic film as a mode for representing culture and as a site of cultural practice. We will examine the emergence of and the contestations around ethnographic film and its relationship to wider debates about documentary and non-fictional film practice, while locating its emergence within the history of visuality that defines 20th century modernity. As the title of the course suggests, one of the central themes we will think through is the relationship between representation, power, and knowledge as manifest in cross-cultural filmic projects. Throughout the course we will interrogate ethnographic film as a signifying practice, its status as a form of anthropological knowledge, and discuss the ethical and political concerns it raises.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: ANTH-UA 1.  
ANTH-UA 123  Anthropology of Media  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall, Spring, and Summer terms  
This course examines the social and political life of media and how it makes a difference in the daily lives of people as a practice – in production, reception, or circulation. It is organized around the following key questions: What is media? What role do media play in producing or shaping our sense of reality? What is the relationship between media and culture? How are media implicated in social change? It provides an overview of the increasing theoretical attention paid to the mass media by anthropologists, and focuses on concrete ethnographic examples.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: ANTH-UA 1.  
ANTH-UA 124  Film and Tourism  (4 Credits)  
How have cultures been represented on film, from travelogues and expedition films in the early 20th century to television and the internet in the 21st? Film and tourism are deeply connected industries that play critical roles in the global economy. Tourism is among the most powerful mediums of transnational encounter, while film showcases these encounters to a wider public in cinemas or from the comfort of their home. Tourism is implicated in the histories of pilgrimage, colonialism, and ethnography, successfully retracing their itineraries and replicating their discourse. Film has documented this trajectory. The course offers a selective introduction to the past and present of ethnographic and documentary filmmaking, while also considering "Hollywood" depictions of global cultures and films made for social media platforms. This course joins scholarly and filmmaking sensibilities to examine the critical role that film, including the context within which it is produced as well as its circulation and consumption, plays in the portrayal and construction of identities. Particular attention will be paid to film as an exhibition space, a touristic stage on which cultures are "performed.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 202  Introduction to Archaeobotany  (4 Credits)  
This course is an introduction to the field of archaeobotany, the study of botanical remains from archaeological sites aimed at the reconstruction and interpretation of human-plant relationships in the past. Through active participation, students will learn the processes underlying the inclusion and preservation of botanical remains in the archaeological record, understand the main methodologies and laboratory protocols employed for their recovery and identification, and explore the principal assumptions deployed for their interpretation. Through this work, students will be directly engaging with the central and current trends in archaeobotanical research. The course is built around lectures, in-class discussion, and practical lab experience. Students will be involved in hands-on work at the microscope, collectively conducting an analysis of a macro-botanical assemblage from an archaeological site.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 203  The Archeology of Food and Foodways  (4 Credits)  
Food represents an omnipresent central aspect of human life and experience, being ultimately a requisite for life itself. Nevertheless, food is also more than diet and subsistence: social relationships are built and maintained through foodways – i.e., through eating habits and culinary practices. In these terms, food and foodways intersect social phenomena, such as gender, ethnicity, status, and religious beliefs. This course provides a multidisciplinary and comparative overview of food and foodways in the Ancient World. The course is organized in three main sections: (i) we will discuss the main theoretical approaches to the study of food and foodways, as well as the methods that we can deploy in order to access the evidence of food and food consumption in the archaeological record; (ii) having introduced the main archaeological approaches to ancient food studies, in the second section of the course we will analyze a selection of topics currently central in the field – e.g., subsistence and diet, feasting and food security, ethnicity and gender. Each topic will be discussed by means of case studies originating from different regions and periods; (iii) the last section of the course is a regional survey of food and foodways. In three different classes we will concentrate respectively on food and cooking traditions in the prehistoric and historic periods in Eastern Asia, the Mediterranean Basin, and Central America.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 210  Hunter-Gatherer Lifeways  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered occasionally  
Although they are no longer the dominant form of human sociality or adaptation, hunter-gatherers continue to play a pivotal role in anthropological theory. But who are hunter-gatherers? Some argue that the problem with trying to pigeon-hole hunter-gatherers is that this taxonomic unit holds little practical or evolutionary legitimacy. Others contend that people have evidently lived off the land without agriculture or animal husbandry, so at some level, hunter-gatherer is a meaningful category. Yet, few of the qualities assigned to hunter-gatherers hold up to detailed cross-cultural investigation. For example, hunter-gatherer subsistence is not inherently linked to peaceful coexistence, affluence, small group sizes or settlement mobility. Moreover, hunter-gatherer populations commonly thought to be deeply entrenched in evolutionary time are now known to result from complex historical processes of globalization and colonial expansion. This course will explore the diversity of lifeways subsumed under the banner of the hunter-gatherer. Drawing on a wide range of cross-cultural datasets, the course will unpack hunter-gatherer behavioral variability across broad topics, not paradigms. We will examine variations in hunter-gatherer subsistence, mobility, social organization, belief systems, landscape use, and material culture. Finally, we will ask to what degree the concept of the hunter-gatherer and the study of modern hunter-gatherers can help anthropologists understand and explore human behavior in the deeper past.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: ANTH-UA 3.  
ANTH-UA 211  Early Cities and States  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered occasionally  
Considers two distinct processes: (1) the origins of food production and consequent development of domesticated plants and animals and (2) the trend toward increasing social, political, and economic complexity that culminates in early states. Several independent examples of each process from both the Old and New Worlds. Special attention to the various theories that have been advanced to account for such developments.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: ANTH-UA 3.  
ANTH-UA 213  Topics in Archaeology  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall and Spring  
Explores selected key issues and problems in archaeological anthropology. See the department's website for specific topics each term.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: Yes  
ANTH-UA 214  Topics in Anthropology  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall and Spring  
Explores selected key issues and problems in archaeological anthropology. See the department's website for specific topics each term.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: Yes  
Prerequisites: ANTH-UA 3.  
ANTH-UA 216  Surveys of Regional Prehistory II:  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered occasionally  
Examines the archaeological evidence for two major transformations: the origins of food production (the domestication of plants and animals) and the development of early cities and states. Examines how ecological and environmental changes influenced the development of increasingly complex social organization and our present understanding of food production, urbanism, and state-level societies.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: Yes  
Prerequisites: ANTH-UA 3.  
ANTH-UA 217  Barbarian Europe  (4 Credits)  
Between the end of the Ice Age and the expansion of the Roman Empire, temperate Europe witnessed a series of social and economic transformations that represented a transition from a hunting and gathering way of life to urban chiefdoms. Along the way, these hunter-gatherers became agriculturalists and stockherders, learned to use metals, and developed social structures as complex as any found in Old World civilizations. Examines changes in later prehistoric Europe from about 8000 B.C. to the arrival of the Romans.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: ANTH-UA 3.  
ANTH-UA 220  Religion and Media  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered occasionally  
This course introduces the long-standing and complex connection between religious practices and various media. We'll analyze how human hearing, vision, and the performing body have been used historically to express and maintain religious life through music, voice, images, words, and rituals. Time will then be spent on more recent electronic media such as radio, film, television, video, and the Internet. An anthropological/ historical perspective on studying religion is pursued.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 225  Discovering Archaeology in NYC  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall, Spring, and Summer terms  
In this course, New York City is our archaeological site. The archaeology of New York City extends back some 10,000 years, from Native American societies, to the colonial encounter, into the industrial era, and through to the present day. In this course we will study the archaeological investigations that have taken place throughout the five boroughs of New York City. In doing so we will see how the city became a locus of global trade, in people, goods, and ideas. We will investigate how, as a nodal point in this global system, it came to develop its own cultures and ideologies. We will also learn about the federal, state, and local laws that mandate when and how archaeology is conducted in advance of construction activities and the extent to which Native American Tribes and local communities are involved in this process.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 226  The Archaeology of Climate Change  (4 Credits)  
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing humankind today and most of the public discourse on this topic focuses on the future. And yet, all of our experience with the natural world lies in the past. This course will delve into some of the issues that arise from contemplating climate change in a historical and human evolutionary perspective: what is humans’ natural environment? How many times did the climate change significantly during human history? Did climate determine the course of human evolution and/or social change? When did humans first begin to tinker with the environment? And finally: what solutions for the future can we glean from our collective historical experience? The course will use primary literature from the fields of archaeology, paleoanthropology, and paleoclimatology to guide students toward a better understanding of climate change at the human scale.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 228  Introduction to Data Science in Archaeology  (4 Credits)  
This course introduces students to essential data science tools used in modern archaeological research. We will use these data science tools to tackle archaeological questions with contemporary relevance, for example: Why did the Mayan civilization collapse? Why are there giant stone heads on Easter Island? How does archaeological evidence change what we know about the Holocaust? Throughout these questions, we examine the ethics and social impacts of archaeology and data science. This is a novice-friendly class for students with no prior experience with archaeology, computers, programming, or statistics.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 232  Ethnicity & The Media  (4 Credits)  
Examines media images in relation to the making of ethnic and racial identities in the United States. Surveys some of the theoretical approaches to the study of images, paying particular attention to the intersection of history and ideologies or representation. Looks into the nature and politics of stereotypes; inquires into their reproduction through discourses, representations, and practices; and then moves to a comparative examination of media images in relation to the making of African American, Latino, Asian, and Native American images in the media, looking specifically at changes and continuities in the representation of these four minority groups in the media.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 306  The Anthropology of Property  (4 Credits)  
This course is an exploration of theories and practices surrounding the concept of property. We will read some work from political theory and by some early contributors to thinking on property in anthropology; then we turn to work by anthropologists and others who have been contributing to this topic in recent times. We will look at a number of contemporary issues such as property restitution in the former socialist bloc, postcolonial transformations of property forms, bioprospecting, and cultural property rights.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: ANTH-UA 1.  
ANTH-UA 321  Topical Seminar in Social and Cultural Anthropology II  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
Topics vary by semester.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: Yes  
ANTH-UA 322  Anthropology of Cities  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered occasionally  
Cities and urbanization processes as key spaces for analyzing debates around citizenship, democracy, and national identity across the globe. We also examine cities as creative hubs where some major social transformations are taking place, such as the growth of neoliberalism and the evolution of creative industries and economies across the world. Topics include: Latin American cities, enclave urbanism, new types of segregation, and new imaginaries of class and “urban” identities in the region.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: ANTH-UA 1.  
ANTH-UA 323  Race and Caste  (4 Credits)  
Among the most consequential expressions of human social organization are caste and race. Each is a familiar part of the American landscape, caste construed as exotic ("Eastern") and race as homegrown ("Western"), yet both are objects of critique. The presumed differences between caste and race have drawn attention to certain forms of social inequality while discouraging understanding them beyond conventional categories that define certain geographies. Although caste and race are symbols that represent particular master narratives about country and culture, and create and project discrete images of "the other," on-the-ground distinctions between them always have been slippery, with long histories of interaction between them shaped by varying contexts. Geared for students who have had a basic course in anthropology, history, cultural studies, sociology, or diaspora, or an area studies course on the Atlantic World or South Asia, this course will engage in wide-ranging, comparative, and interdisciplinary exploration of caste and race, both as distinct categorical entities and as imbricated relations of power.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 326  Introduction to Forensic Anthropology  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring and Summer  
Biological anthropology examines the evolutionary history and adaptability of humans and our ancestors. Forensic anthropology is an applied subfield of biological anthropology that provides expert analysis of the skeleton in a medicolegal setting by utilizing methods developed in skeletal biology, archaeology, and the forensic sciences. Forensic anthropologists play critical roles in identifying victims of mass fatalities (such as World Trade Center and Oklahoma City bombings), in investigating homicides (such as identifying the Russian tsar?s family), and in distinguishing cause of death. We examine how forensic anthropologists approach modern and historic crimes in the laboratory and the field. Students are introduced to the underlying theory and the applied techniques that forensic anthropologists use to recover and identify individuals and assess cause of death.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 327  Introduction to Bioarchaeology  (4 Credits)  
Bioarchaeology is a theoretical and methodological framework for studying human skeletal remains from archaeological contexts. Over the course of our lives, our skeletons are silently recording our unique stories. Through careful analysis, bioarchaeologists can “read” these stories and construct osteobiographies, which include information about age, sex, health, diet, stature, ancestry, activity, and experience of physical trauma. Individual osteobiographies are then assembled to study large-scale, population-level social trends. By integrating these various lines of data with social theory, bioarchaeologists can create a dynamic picture of the past that brings human experience to the foreground. This course provides an introduction to the field of bioarchaeology. Over the course of a semester, students will gain a basic understanding of human osteology and – through hands-on experience and lectures – will learn the methods that bioarchaeologists use to study human remains. Case studies from across the globe will then be introduced to demonstrate how bioarchaeology can approach a range of questions about human behavior.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: ANTH-UA 3.  
ANTH-UA 330  Gender, Violence, and The Law  (4 Credits)  
Examines the global prevalence of gender violence and the varied meanings of violence against women and changes in terminology over time. Examines ways of theorizing gender and violence including performative ideas of gender. The creation of gender violence as a social problem is a product of social movements in the United States, Europe, India, and many other parts of the world. It is now understood globally as an important human rights violation. Also examines the forms of intervention that have been developed in the United States and globally for diminishing violence against women, including policing, prosecution, and punishment.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 331  Human Rights & Culture  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
This course offers an overview of the human rights system, looking at its basic elements and studying how it works. It focuses on the relationships between human rights and culture and between global ideas and practices and local ones. Human rights campaigns frequently encounter resistance in the name of protecting cultural differences. This is particularly common with issues concerning women, children, and the family. The course explores several issues that raise questions of human rights and culture, such as female genital cutting, trafficking of persons, food justice, and indigenous peoples' rights to culture. Using these examples, the course considers how the human rights system deals with tensions between global standards and local ways of life. It examines the meanings of rights and of culture in these debates and shows the implications of adopting an anthropological analysis of these situations. The goal of the course is developing an understanding of human rights in practice.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 335  Anthropology of Law  (4 Credits)  
Anthropologists view law as basic to social life but highly variable in different cultural and historical contexts. This course examines theoretical and methodological issues in legal anthropology, looking at some of the classics in the field as well as contemporary work concerning the cultural dimensions of law and their relationship to forms of discipline, power and governmentality. The course begins from classic works that grappled with the question of defining law in contexts that lacked formal legal systems and used law to measure an alleged transition from “primitive” to “civilized” law. The second part of the course explores legal pluralism, law and the colonial process, law and culture, and the disputing process.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 351  Belief and Social Life in China  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring term of odd numbered years  
The Chinese word for ?religion? means ?teaching.? Explores what Chinese people ?taught? themselves about the person, society, and the natural world and thus how social life was constructed and maintained. Examines in historical perspective the classic texts of the Taoist and Confucian canon and their synthesis; Buddhist, especially Ch?an (Zen). Discusses the practices of filiality in Buddhism, Confucian orthodoxy, and in folk religion.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 400  Transnationalism  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered occasionally  
"Examines what is considered "new" in the ongoing reconstruction of world order and its accompanying disorder. Also examines how this changes the ways people earn their livelihoods; how cultures are transmitted and hybridized; how migrating populations maintain connections to their homelands; how group identities are constructed and asserted; and how social movements around newly politicized issues arise. Discusses changing roles of nation-states and the growing significance of transnational, diasporic, and globalized social relations and cultural forms."
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: ANTH-UA 1 AND Restriction: (Academic Level = Junior OR Senior).  
ANTH-UA 401  Topical Sem:  (2-4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall and Spring  
Topics vary by semester.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 410  The Social Life of Food  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
Explores some of the ways that people use food, cuisines, and eating to organize and engage with social worlds. This focus provides a concrete means for deepening our understanding of alternative models of social explanation. Drawing on ethnographic material from a wide range of cultures, as well as feature films and our own observations and interviews, we consider topics such as the material dimensions of food production, distribution, and consumption (e.g., how food scarcity or abundance shapes collective possibilities, expectations, and values; the causes, consequences, forms, and myths of globalization) and the cultural meanings and social distinctions encoded in food practices (e.g., how food is used cross-culturally as a marker of social identity—class, gender, and ethnicity—and source of meaning—nostalgia, anxiety, and so on).
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: ANTH-UA 1.  
ANTH-UA 411  Environmental Anthropology  (4 Credits)  
This course is an overview of social science approaches to the study of environment and society. Students will be introduced to key theoretical debates in critical environmental studies such as the relationship between nature and culture, the politics of knowledge, economy and environment, and development and conservation. The class focuses on applying an ethnographic lens to contemporary environmental issues, one that centers on an analysis of power and process, in topics ranging from natural resource extraction, environmental justice, climate change, science and technology, toxicity, pollution, disaster and infrastructure. Articles will be supplemented with film and documentaries throughout the course.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 490  Urban Political Ecology  (4 Credits)  
Explores the gap between aspirations for, and the enactment of, urban sustainability. How contests over environmental knowledge, sociocultural ideology, and discourse shape human engagement with urban nature, and in turn influence social and natural transformation.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 495  Urban Greening Lab: New York  (4 Credits)  
Explores the theory and practice of urban “greening” as it has been planned, debated, and implemented in New York City. Drawing on analytical tools from the social and biophysical sciences, considers how New York’s historical and contemporary context have shaped the meaning, implementation, and social experience of environmental improvement. Examines “What does it mean to ‘green’ New York? What does it mean to ‘green’ a city?” The analytical approach seeks to integrate ecosystem ecology concepts, urban design principles, and social scientific sensibilities.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 501  Approaches to Latinx Studies  (4 Credits)  
Explores a set of principles that have guided Latino/a presence in the United States. These principles can be found in many but not necessarily all of the readings. They include urban/rural life, freedom/ confinement, memoir as source of voice/other sources of voice, generational separation and identity, and loss and healing. The course traces a movement through time from masculinist nationalism to the recognition of variations in gender, sexuality, race, class, region, and national origin. Other principles may be added to this list as the course proceeds.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 511  Topical Seminar in Biological Anthropology I  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall and Spring  
Only open to majors in anthropology who have the permission of the director of undergraduate studies or the instructor. This seminar explores, theoretically and methodologically, selected key current issues and problems in biological anthropology. See the department?s internal catalog.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: Yes  
Prerequisites: ANTH-UA 2.  
ANTH-UA 533  Latinx Art & Visual Culture  (4 Credits)  
Perspectives on Latinx visual culture from media to contemporary art, paying particular attention to the political economy of culture, and the racial politics and cultural politics involved in representation in the media, museums and contemporary art worlds. Topics include: visual culture and history, decolonizing perspectives toward museums and collections, workings of art and aesthetics markets and more. Students will write a paper on a related topic of their choice.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 603  Popular Culture in Latin America  (4 Credits)  
Latin American Popular culture offers a "window" and a "mirror" into the many worlds and histories embodied and circulated by the national and imagined pueblos (peoples.) It remains an arena for ideas of nationalism and identity to be created, maintained, and shared within everyday life. This course explores Latin America's rise and evolution of popular culture. Anthropologically, in this course, we will inspect the varied and sometimes conflicting ways in which popular culture maintains a public commentary on violence and nationalism throughout the hemisphere. Additionally, we will examine the ways in which popular culture (re)solves social problems, whilst also casting a light on inequalities. In the context of Latin America, race, gender/sexuality, and class persist as dominant conceptual frameworks which complicate 'normative' definitions and expressions of nationalism, identity, and citizenship. For this reason, we will ask how do understandings of gender, class, race, and sexuality shape the ways they are (mis)represented in popular culture forms? How does Latin American popular culture migrate and shape the Latinx experience and culture industries abroad? Lastly, we will assess the social and political impact of popular culture on claims and affirmations of identity, belonging, and authenticity.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 608  Last Hunters-First Farmers  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
The transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture and animal husbandry is often called the Agricultural Revolution. This change in human subsistence strategies led to changes in many other aspects of human life, including settlement patterns, demography, social organization, and religious practices. It also provided the economic basis for the development of complex urban societies in many regions of the world. Examines the archaeological evidence for the transition from foraging to farming on a worldwide basis.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 609  Migration, Mobility, and Dispersal in Prehistory  (4 Credits)  
Most of the public discourse on migration and mobility focuses on policy, using the current situation as a kind of natural state of being, from which all moral and rational arguments can be developed. In this course, we will take the long-term view of human evolution on the geologic time scale and ask ourselves: what is our species’ natural range of residential mobility, and how do we compare with the rest of our closest relatives, both living and extinct? When did humans settle the different continents for the first time? How did different technologies, such as the wheel and long-distance watercraft affect mobility and migration? What is the extent to which social structure and kinship affected dispersal and migration? What is the history of immigration, borders, and intolerance? And finally: what solutions for the future can we glean from our collective historical experience? The course will use primary literature from the fields of archaeology, paleoanthropology, paleogenetics, and archaeolinguistics to guide students toward a better understanding of why and how people moved around the globe in the past.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 636  Gods and Profits: Religion and Capitalism  (4 Credits)  
The course explores the 'enchanted' production and reproduction of capitalism and the effects of capitalism on ever-transforming religious practices. Through a combination of classical and contemporary approaches in political economy, religious studies, and anthropology, we will address what makes capitalism a unique mode of exchange and explore examples of the spirits that haunt the market's invisible hand as well as those that resist its powerful reach. Our readings and discussions will cover important debates surrounding the history and origins of capitalism in Europe; classical anthropological writings on "pre-capitalist" economies encountered during European colonial expansion; and current writings that refuse the distinction between the supposedly separate spheres of religion and the economy.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 637  Religion, Art, and the City  (4 Credits)  
This course offers a new vantage point on the remarkable city in which we live. We will explore New York through lenses that may be unfamiliar to you, but that have long been essential to its rich diversity and historical complexity: its religion, its art, and those moments when the two have intersected. The course will begin with the big questions: what do we mean when we say art? What do we mean when we say religion? Why do they often seem to be referring to similar sets of ideas and practices? How do museums get us to look at both religion and art in particular ways? We will then move into looking at the city through the lens of religion and art. We will begin with a tour of the signs of Islam that populate lower Manhattan. Following, we will confront the complex interweaving of race, religion, politics, art, and real estate in New York. The final section of the class will look at religion and art beyond institutions. How are urban boundaries made and undone through religion and art? How do religious and artistic practices creative alternative spaces in the city? How, following tragedy, has the city memorialized itself through museum practices? In this final section of the class we will pay a visit the 9/11 museum.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 649  Monsters and Their Humans  (4 Credits)  
Humanity has long imagined monstrous transformations of ourselves. What do these creatures mean to us, historically and today? What do we think we are becoming? Investigates the supernatural in popular culture through vampires and zombies. Places them in the context of our imagination of the divine through history and ethnography, and also alongside our intimate problems of managing sex, gender, race, and class. The archives of religions, psychologies, philosophy, film, TA, and novels provide rich source material, Requires a short midterm essay and a longer final project, while posting to a forum most weeks.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 703  Islam in the World  (4 Credits)  
The course focuses on the ways in which Islamic belief and practices are taught, comprehended, debated and experienced in daily life in communities of Muslims across the contemporary world. We study the different forms such practices and beliefs take in the context of societies, cultures, histories and political economies of varying kinds, from the Middle East to Indonesia, from West Africa to India. We examine wide-ranging debates among Muslims about what is orthodox and what unorthodox, what is permitted and what not, how children and adults should be taught to ‘be Muslim’ and what an ethical Muslim life really is in our complex and conflict ridden world. Reading materials center on anthropologists’ close study of communities and groups across the Muslim world today.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 747  Introduction to Native American Studies  (4 Credits)  
This course is a general introduction to the field of Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS). The course will introduce students to the central questions and debates of NAIS, including but not limited to Indigenous hidden histories and oral histories; comparative indigeneities; questions of ‘discovery’ and colonialism; the politics and representations of lands, massacres, and museums; and questions of law, gender, and sexuality. It begins by asking students to consider the history of the field and weaves throughout questions about the complicated and contested terrain of the term Indigeneity. It ends with discussions about decolonizing research and Indigenous survivance and futures, thus preparing students to consider theories and methodologies they will encounter in more advanced courses for the NAIS minor. By the end of the semester, students will have gained both historical and ethnographic perspectives on how NAIS and other forms of representation help us to know and reproduce ourselves and ‘Others’; the different questions of historical trauma and survival that affect Indigenous communities today and how institutions continue to hold a significant role in constructing, controlling and circulating Indigenous cultural heritage and representations of the past. The course begins by recognizing and locating the history and continued presence of Native American Lenape people here in Mannahatta. It then uses this as a point of departure reaching beyond Native North America to the histories, politics, and experiences of Indigenous populations in an international and hemispheric context.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 800  Special Topics:  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall and Spring  
Topics vary by semester.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: Yes  
ANTH-UA 950  Honors Research I  (2 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
Open only to honors majors who have the permission of the director of undergraduate studies and the instructor.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 951  Honors Research II  (2 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
Open only to honors majors who have the permission of the director of undergraduate studies and the instructor. May be taken in either order. 4 points per term.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 980  Internship  (1-4 Credits)  
Typically offered occasionally  
Opportunities for students to gain practical work experience sponsored by selected institutions, agencies, and research laboratories are negotiated with the internship sponsor, a departmental supervisor, and the student. Requirements may vary but include 8 to 12 hours of fieldwork per week, regular meetings with the departmental supervisor, and assignments relevant to the internship experience. Student initiation of internship placement is encouraged.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: Yes  
ANTH-UA 981  Internship  (1-4 Credits)  
Typically offered occasionally  
Opportunities for students to gain practical work experience sponsored by selected institutions, agencies, and research laboratories are negotiated with the internship sponsor, a departmental supervisor, and the student. Requirements may vary but include 8 to 12 hours of fieldwork per week, regular meetings with the departmental supervisor, and assignments relevant to the internship experience. Student initiation of internship placement is encouraged.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: Yes  
ANTH-UA 997  Independent Study  (1-8 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall, Spring, and Summer terms  
Prerequisite: permission of the instructor and the director of undergraduate studies. 2 or 4 points per term; 6 or 8 points in exceptional cases.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: Yes  
ANTH-UA 998  Independent Study  (2-8 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring and Summer  
PrereqPrerequisite: permission of the instructor and the director of undergraduate studies. 2 or 4 points per term; 6 or 8 points in exceptional cases.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: Yes  
ANTH-UA 9037  Anthropology of Indigenous Australia  (4 Credits)  
This course offers an introduction to some of the classical and current issues in the anthropology of Indigenous Australia. The role of anthropology in the representation and governance of Indigenous life is itself an important subject for anthropological inquiry, considering that Indigenous people of Australia have long been the objects of interest and imagination by outsiders for their cultural formulations of kinship, ritual, art, gender, and politics. These representations—in feature films about them (such as Rabbit-Proof Fence and Australia), New Age Literature (such as Mutant Message Down Under), or museum exhibitions (such as in the Museum of Sydney or the Australian Museum)—are now also in dialogue with Indigenous forms of cultural production, in genres as diverse as film, television, drama, dance, art and writing. The course will explore how Aboriginal people have struggled to reproduce themselves and their traditions on their own terms, asserting their right to forms of cultural autonomy and self-determination. Through the examination of ethnographic and historical texts, films, archives and Indigenous life-writing accounts, we will consider the ways in which Aboriginalities are being challenged and constructed in contemporary Australia. The course will consist of lectures interspersed with discussions, student presentations, and films/other media; we may also have guest presenters.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 9061  Climate Change  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall and Spring  
Climate change is among the most complex and challenging problems that we have confronted as a civilization, but the responses and impacts will vary largely across space and the global population. This course is designed to give you an overview of the scientific basis of climatic change, and will expose you to multiple facets of a very interdisciplinary and encompassing field. You will be introduced to the physical science of our climate system, the contributing system components, and the basic mechanisms that govern how the climate system responds to drivers of change. We'll then explore climate change from multiple perspectives: paleoclimatic change, recent historical variability and change, future climate projections as well as social and economic issues.Each session will start with a discussion about a scientific paper (or parts of the IPCC report) followed by a one hour lecture and practical work at the end of each session. The practical work will have large components of learning scientific writing and presentation.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 9062  Environmental Social Movements  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall and Spring  
How do social movements form in response to environmental concerns? What makes them effective or ineffective? This course analyses the various social movements that organized in response to environmental concerns. Both historical and sociological dimensions of environmental movements are covered, with particular attention given to how issues of environmental protection and social justice intersect. At NYU Berlin, the course includes American (I), European, and in particular German (II), as well as global movements (III).
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 9063  Modern Italy  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall and Spring  
This course introduces contemporary Italy in all its complexity and fascination. Reviewing politics, economics, society, and culture over the past two centuries, the course has a primary goal -- to consider how developments since the 1800s have influenced the lives and formed the outlook of today's Italians. In other words, we are engaged in the historical search for something quite elusive: Italian "identity". Topics will include the unification of the country, national identity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the First World War, and Italian fascism, World War Two and the resistance, the post-war Italian Republic, the economic "miracle", the South, the Mafia, terrorism, popular culture, and the most recent political and social developments, including Italy and the European Union. Lectures combine with readings and films (taking advantage of Italy's magnificent post-war cinema).
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 9065  Ancient Israel: History & Archaeology  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
The story of the archaeological discipline in the Land of Israel is strongly tied with the major developments that the region has undergone in the last two centuries. This course offers an overview of the history of archaeology in Palestine since the appearance of the first European travelers and missionaries in the mid-19th century, along the vibrant interest of collectors, forgers and robbers in the Promised Land, through the appearance of the first scientific excavations, the rise of the American biblical archaeology and its influence on local Israeli research. Special attention will be given to the way the newly born Israeli archaeology helped to establish the Zionist identity that wished to pass over two thousand years of Diaspora history; the methods by which the nascent Israeli archaeology connected new-comers to the land of the patriarchs and the manner by which Israeli scholars served state interests in the creation of the national Zionist ethos. The aftermath of the Six Days War and the increasing tension between the Bible and archaeology will be discussed in light of the intense debate over the historicity of the Exodus story, Joshua's conquests and the United Kingdom of David and Solomon. Finally, at the turn of the millennium, post-modern archaeology presented a new pluralistic view of the past. This multi-vocal framework will be used as a background for discussing the archaeology of otherness and minorities in 21st century Israel.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 9066  Sexualities of the Middle East: A Cultural History  (4 Credits)  
The course will tackle questions of sexuality in the Middle East from a historical perspective. Applying methodologies of queer theory, it will discuss the complex history of sexuality in the Middle East, and sketch the genealogy of Western attitudes towards both Arab and Jewish sexuality. Relying on theorists and historians like Michel Foucault, Robert Aldrich, Khaled El-Rouayheb, Samar Habib, and Joseph Massad, we will explore the essential role that the queer issue plays in the contemporary politics of the region.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 9067  Languages of Israel  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall and Spring  
Is Israel a multilingual or a monolingual country? This is a question with which many educators, linguists, politicians and laypeople have been struggling. In this course we will explore several issues of language use and practice in Israel, language ideology and language policy. We will start by learning the orthographies (spelling systems) of Hebrew and Arabic and practice them through the methodology of Linguistic Landscape. We will tour Tel Aviv-Jaffa and other places and study public signs and their use in Hebrew and Arabic as well as in other languages. We will look at signs, advertisements, instructions, buildings, streets, billboards, etc. This exercise will teach us much about the public space, who controls it and what cultural and political messages it sends us. We will then study parts of the basic lexicon of Hebrew and Arabic and also review their grammatical structure as well as their historical background—all of this in the larger context of the Semitic language family. Furthermore, in this course we will review the language policies of Israel. Language policies refer to decisions regarding language use in education and in society in general. Some language policies are explicit, others are not; some are top down, others are bottom-up; yet, policies are always derivatives of the groups that make up political entities (e.g., majority elites, minorities, immigrants, indigenous) interacting with a variety of political, ideological, social and economic factors. We will pay a special attention to the mechanisms used to determine language policies on the ground. We will also investigate language use in Israel; the practice and ideology behind the use of Hebrew as well as of the participating language Arabic (standard and colloquial varieties); the use of English, everybody's second language in Israel; the use of recent immigration languages, Russian and Amharic as well as previous immigrants (French, Polish, Rumanian, and more); the use and loss of heritage Jewish languages in Israel, and much more.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 9070  Languages of Paris  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
This course presents the linguistic situation in greater Paris from the perspective of urban sociolinguistics. Topics include the range of French dialects spoken in Paris, their origins and their future; the linguistic situation of immigrants whose first language is not French, particularly immigrant communities from North Africa and Arabic-speaking communities; the connections between language and social and educational issues within and around Paris.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 9071  International Perspectives on Human Rights  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall and Spring  
We are constantly reminded by current events that the assumption about Man being endowed with the unalienable rights to "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" is far from self-evident for a large number of people. Humans still experience refugee crises, forced migration, war crimes, genocide, indiscriminate prison regimes, forms of contemporary slavery, torture, censorship, violation of privacy and free speech, discrimination based on individual attributes such as education, income, gender, race and disabilities in spite of two hundred and fifty years of Universal Rights discourse. Yet would we be able to identify these plights of Man in the absence of universal human rights principles? And to what extent the universalistic scope of these rights is the result of a common ground among different cultures or is a beacon of domination? This course focuses on Human Rights in principle and the current international Human Rights regime that is being criticised for its apparent ineffectiveness in handling humanitarian crisis. The course aims to familiarize the students with the mechanisms by which Human Rights emerge, are advocated, implemented, enforced, and criticised highlighting open questions as to the future of the current international Human Rights regime. The underlying ambition of the course is to provide the students with a critical framework to address Human Rights from the perspective of the Social Sciences rather than the dominant legalist frame on this topic.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 9072  What is Islam?  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
This course explores the origins of Islam and the development of its rituals and doctrines to the 21st century. It assumes no previous background in Islamic studies. Students will learn about topics such as the Koran and the Prophet, Islamic law, the encounter of East and West during the Crusades, and Islam in Britain. They will find out how Muslims in different regions have interpreted and lived their religion in past and present. Readings will include not only scholarly works but also material from primary sources, for example the Koran, biographies and chronicles. The course consists of a combination of lectures, seminar discussions, field trips and includes other media, such as film.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 9073  Religion, Culture, & Politics in Central Europe  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
This course explores various religious phenomena that formed political ideas and cultural values of Central Europe in different historical periods. Religion is without doubt one of the most important elements that shaped history and contemporary face of this region and mutual interaction of these phenomena is principally evident in cultural richness of Prague. In the course we examine particularly those Central European religious figures and events that remarkably influenced the world's history and enriched human thinking. First, we study Christianization of the Central European countries and the prominent role of religion in political and cultural transformation in medieval period. Then we follow the religious reformation process and development of relationship between Judeo-Christian tradition and the secular world in early modern period. Finally, we explore the situation of religious institutions in totalitarian societies and their struggle against communist regime. The transformation of Catholicism in the 1960s is also examined together with the role of religion in the post-communist and post-modern societies.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 9074  Law & Human Rights in Central Europe  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall and Spring  
This course explores the development of the rule of law and human rights issues in post-communist Central Europe. We will also refer to transitional systems outside the post-communist region. Although dealing with Central European region, we will often talk about American situation as well. First, we will face a short introduction into the history of the Central European region and its culture of human rights, and try to delineate this region. Next, we will examine the historical, national and international context of making constitutionalism and the rule of law in Central Europe. We will try to understand what human rights actually mean. We will face the debates that occurred when emerging democracies dealt with the former communist regimes. On several case studies, we will explain several basic attitudes towards the former communist regimes, its apparatchiks, its agents, and collaborators (lustration laws and dealing with the communist crimes). We will compare these approaches with those found elsewhere (South Africa, Latin America). Furthermore, we will examine contemporary human rights debates surrounding abortion, freedom of speech, social rights, the relation between religion and the state, the discrimination against minorities, gay rights, gender discrimination, affirmative action etc. We will also analyze the Western legal transplants in Central Europe and the post-communist application of basic rights. Finally, we will deal with the European Union and the legal dimension of the European Enlargement of 2004.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 9075  Immigration  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall and Spring  
To provide an understanding of the main immigration trends in Britain, France and Germany since 1850 To provide an understanding of the problems attending the social and political integration of immigrants in contemporary Western Europe To compare the experience and understanding of immigration in Europe with the experience and understanding of immigration in the United States To examine the ways in which the memory of immigration is represented in literature and contemporary culture.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 9076  Transnational Migration  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall and Spring  
This course proposes to look at migration from a contemporary perspective and to examine how it reconfigures identity and citizenship. It looks at the present situation through a historical perspective, taking the current 'refugee crisis' as a point of departure, and placing it in a European and global context. The course is intentionally multidisciplinary and incorporates debates from history, sociology, anthropology, political science, geography as well as cultural and urban studies. This will permit students from different backgrounds to approach the subject from their own vantage point and with their chosen methodological instruments. The course starts from observation and media analysis to lead students to theoretical approaches, instead of using a more common deductive approach. Field trips are included where Berlin is the case study, which will give students an opportunity for experiential learning. Structured discussions are a central element of the course and follow several methods: fishbowl, panel, open space, world café etc. There is an emphasis on teamwork in class, although assessment is based upon individual performance.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 9077  The Politics of Organized Crime  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall and Spring  
What most people know about Italian criminal organizations comes from stereotypical representations in popular culture – films and literature. The analysis of real-world data, such as investigations, proceedings and crime statistics, dismisses many of the accepted myths about Italian mafias over the last decades. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the definitions of this complex phenomenon by demystifying criminal underworld. This course will examine the organization of mafia groups in Italy, their codes and symbols, their activities both in legal and illegal markets, and their relationship to politics and other social institutions. The Italian case will be compared with those countries where Italian mafia groups migrated (such as the United States) and other nations where similar groups operate. Comparisons will enable students to disentangle different types of organized crime and to discover patterns and mechanisms of emergence and persistence across countries. The course will include also a review of the policies designed to control organized crime and of the grassroots initiatives to reduce the risk and combat mafia infiltration into local economy and society.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 9078  Argentina Hoy / Argentina Today (in Spanish)  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall and Spring  
The course is designed for students who want to perfect their Spanish as they expand their knowledge regarding social and political issues within modern Argentine society. The reading of different dramatic texts and viewing of various films throughout the semester will serve to expand lexicon, strengthen grammar and improve the student's style. The objective of this course is that the students familiarize themselves with everyday language of current newspapers and magazines, at the same time as they enter into the world of local culture. To this end, every week the students will analyze and debate the cultural and literary content texts that are to be studied and every two weeks the students will present a written composition of the topics covered in class. In the classroom linguistic correction will be emphasized along with auditory practice through the use of a wide range of materials and resources: theoretical explanations, comprehension and vocabulary exercises, film viewing, as well as exercises that highlight certain morphological aspects or grammatical usage of Spanish. Classes will be conducted in Spanish.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 9079  Myths Icons & Invented Trad: A Cultural History of Latin America (in Spanish)  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
Mitos, Íconos y Tradiciones Inventadas seeks to make students familiar with the rich and complex history of Latin America through the study of some of its most known and iconic cultural expressions. It does also work as an introductory map to the most influential and widespread approaches in Latin American social sciences, cultural studies and literary criticism. Thus, students will not only have a first encounter with key historical processes that lie behind some well know cultural icons, but also will be introduced to arguments and ways of writing that help constitute modern Latin American educated Spanish. The course is structured in four topics. The first two weeks work as an introduction, and are devoted to ways of representing political authority in Latin America. The core of the course seeks to study and discuss three issues that are crucial for an understanding of our present: Violence in Latin America, Drugs and the Narco-machine, The Economy of Latin American Passion. Students will study these topics through a variety of cultural materials, including literary texts, film, papers from several disciplines, theater plays, art shows and songs.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 9083  Cultural History of Latin America: Ciudad, Paisaje y Arquitectura  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
The purpose of this course is to study Latin American cities, landscape and architecture as they appear in aesthetic representations, from the 19th century to the present, paying special attention to Argentinean and Brazilian examples. Historical analysis will be used better to understand present day cultural formations. To this end, we will explore the spatial and landscape designs from the Argentinean pampa that led to the conception of Sarmiento’s civilización-barbarie dichotomy, especially through the intellectual networks established by Victoria Ocampo with Le Corbusier and the poet Elizabeth Bishop in Brazil with Lota de Macedo Soares; we will follow the (political) history of the creation of the Palermo parks; and we will trace the aesthetic and political writings of the River Plate from 19th century to the present.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 9085  Queer Cultures and Democracy  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
In the last ten years, several Latin American nations have witnessed decisive progress in the legal recognition of non-normative sexualities and gender identities. Argentina passed the same-sex marriage law in 2010 and the gender identity law in 2011, followed by Uruguay in 2013; Colombia also approved the legal recognition of same sex couples, and in Mexico, Cuba, Brazil, the pressure of queer demands and visibility in the public sphere is stronger than ever. The conventional map of “advanced democracies” crafting models of democratization that could be exported to less developed nations seems definitely challenged: a new understanding of the complex, and multiple temporalities of queer cultures in North and South America is more necessary than ever. In order to explore this rich and multi-layered landscape, this course wants to trace and reconstruct the historical detours of queer cultures in Buenos Aires and New York as cities that epitomize queer struggles in Argentina and the US. Taking as starting point the present context of growing acceptance and inclusion of queer citizens both in Latin America and the US, the course revisits the last three decades in order to question the dominant and frequently reductive narratives of steady, lineal progress. This class is aimed at developing an understanding of the nuances and contradictions of this complex historical transformation.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 9087  Documenting the African City  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall and Spring  
This interdisciplinary course combines ethnographic readings, representations, and interpretations of city and urban cultures with a video production component in which students create short documentaries on the city of Accra. The interpretative classes will run concurrently with production management, sights and sound, and post-production workshops. The course will have three objectives: (1) teach students the documentary tradition from Flaherty to Rouch; (2) use critical Cinema theory to define a document with a camera; and (3) create a short documentary film.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 9088  Culture of the City  (4 Credits)  
This course explores urban experience in Italy from two distinct perspectives, the historical and the theoretical. We will start with a historical overview of the evolution of the urban environment in Italy. This overview will extends from ancient and roman times to the (re-)birth of towns by the year 1000, when various towns identified themselves around their piazzas, churches, streets, and within their walls, to the evolution of Italian towns in modern times, the changes in size and organization, the emergence of new spaces and new functions, and the emergence of new institutions such as Cafes, Museums, Train Station. The focus of these first lectures will be on the city of Florence. The second dimension of the course, which will be articulated at two levels, will reflect upon the way in which we conceptualize, represent and construct discourses about cities in modern times. Firstly, we will make an exploration of some texts, concepts that have contributed to shaping our way to understand modern cities. We will also explore the various possible positioning of the self towards the city, the "seer", the "Flaneur" the Stroller", and we will investigate how the bodies of these subjects is then constituted. Secondly, we'll go through some discourses and representations of the city: maps, views, panoramas points, travel literature, tourist guides and narrative literature (e.g. detective novel) will provide with quite different ways to tell of (and relate to) the experience of the Italian and specifically Florentine urban environment.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 9089  Global Connections:  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall and Spring  
The course descriptions for this course varies on the location taught. Please view the course description in the course notes below.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 9091  The Australian Experience  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall and Spring  
This course offers a wide-ranging critique of Australian culture and society. It aims to interrogate Australian society with a methodology that draws on critical race theory, feminism, social geography and cultural studies. It will look at issues such as the relationship between Australian settler culture and Aboriginal Australians; Australia’s experience of migration and multiculturalism; Australians’ relationship with their environment; and Australians’ sense of national identity. In particular, it will consider how these issues have played out in popular culture. This course offers a special experience for students wishing to broaden and deepen their methodologies of cultural analysis. Australian society is fascinating in itself, but it also offers a unique perspective on transnational issues such as identity formation, social justice movements and the experience of multiculturalism. For instance, given Australia’s history of Indigenous and non-Indigenous relations, the issue of race in a post-colonial context is particularly acute here. Through comparison with the Australian experience, students will develop a more critical view of American and global society. Students wishing to pursue a career that involves cultural analysis will benefit greatly from studying Australian society, in Australia, and thus developing this comparative approach.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 9093  Current Social, Political and Urban Challenges to European Cities  (4 Credits)  
An introduction to urban societies and politics in Europe. Designed to provide students with practical and theoretical tools to understand and critically analyze European cities. Looks closely at the social, political and urban challenges these cities are currently facing. Urban concepts, as well as pertinent theories in the field, will be studied in order to better comprehend the ever-changing urban fabric of metropolitan areas across Europe. Pays special attention to Madrid and how this city is responding to issues such as gentrification, social exclusion, immigration, racial and spatial segregation, political participation and social movements, public spaces, creative industries, environmental policies, sustainability and local economic development. Specific case studies will provide concrete examples of conflicts around urban space and both participatory and bottom-up initiatives.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 9100  Culture, Identity and Politics in Latin America  (4 Credits)  
Spanish and Portuguese Prerequisites: Students must have taken or be enrolled in SPAN-UA 100. The course comprises topics related to culture, cultural identity and cultural and identity politics referred to five cases located in Latin America: 1) indigenous peoples in Argentina (areas of Chaco: Qom/toba- Wichí and Mocoví, and Patagonia-Pampa: Rankülche) and indigenous peoples in Amazon (Achuar) and, 2) Andean farmers (Aymaras) and indigenous workers of Chaco (Toba), 3) popular sectors of the City of Buenos Aires (“villeros” [shanty town residents], pickets, "barras bravas" [soccer hooligans]) and 4) middle class in San Pablo and Buenos Aires. Through this empirical tour students will learn about and analyze different records related to the debate on "culture" that commenced years ago: essentialism and constructivism, redefinition of opposing concepts nature/culture, multiculturalism, domination and resistance, activism, etc.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 9200  From "Gypsies" to "Roma": Ethnic Politics in a Global Prague  (4 Credits)  
The course will introduce students to the development of Romany politics and culture from a persecuted minority through to the emergence of Romany organizations with an emphasis on Central and Eastern Europe. The aim is to challenge any essentializing view on Roma as either a people outside or/and without society or as perennial victims of oppression. Two main approaches have dominated the teaching of Romany issues: a culturalist/ethnic approach, which stresses Romany cultures, and an economistic approach, which stresses ́poverty ́. This course will challenge mono-causal and a-historic explanations for the social situation of Roma and will stimulate students to think about Roma in a critical holistic way that brings into consideration the societies they live in. Building on a diverse selection of empirical material, ranging from ethnographic, historical and sociological case studies to artistic representations of Roma, the course will present the Roma “as good to think” for our comprehension of current social issues. The course is divided into three interconnected thematic blocks – 1. Identity, community and culture, 2. Power, the State and social stratification, 3. History, memory and politics of representation – which will allow to cover much of the current debates on the plight of European Roma as well as a grasp of social theories on marginality.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 9252  Contemporary Perspectives on the Civil War and the 'Recovery of Historical Memory' in Spain  (4 Credits)  
This course introduces students to anthropological approaches to the study of historical memory through one important and controversial topic in contemporary Spain: the effects and after-effects of the unburial of mass graves of civilians executed during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) as well as during the postwar years. Most of the exhumations occurring during the last 15 years are of mass graves containing Republican militants and sympathizers executed in what has been labeled by historians as politicide, genocide or even Holocaust. To understand contemporary engagements with this violent past, we will explore the main landmarks of the current exhumation campaign. This includes attention to the origins of these graves, their genealogy since the end of the Civil War, and especially the impact of the exhumed bodies on various milieus from the judicial system and forensic labs to popular culture and the arts.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 9255  Migration and Cultural Diversity in Spain: Anthropological Approaches (In Spanish)  (4 Credits)  
“Migration and Cultural Diversity in Spain” analyzes current migratory flows and their implications, one of the key topics in Spain and the European Union today. This course explores anthropological approaches to developing theoretical and analytical frameworks for understanding the diversity and complexity of migrations and their effects on society and culture.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: (SPAN-UA 50 OR SPAN-UA 9050 OR SPAN-UA 200) AND SPAN-UA 9200.  
ANTH-UA 9256  Migration and Cultural Diversity in Spain: Anthropological  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall and Spring  
Migration and Cultural Diversity in Spain analyzes current migratory flows and their implications, one of the key topics in Spain and the European Union today. This course explores anthropological approaches to developing theoretical and analytical frameworks for understanding the diversity and complexity of migrations and their effects on society and culture. Taught in English.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 9495  Urban Greening Lab:  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall and Spring  
This course provides a comprehensive examination of the city's urban ecology and approaches to urban planning, while introducing their history, and the correlations between the city's built structure, urban nature and culture. The course combines lectures, workshops and site visits to several facets of the city's 'green' past and present. The course investigates the city's 'green' structures in relation to the economic, socio-cultural, and political processes that shape it, while placing an emphasis on sustainable ideas and projects and how they influence the city's built structure.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 9800  Special Topics  (4 Credits)  
Analyzes current migratory flows and their implications, one of the key topics in Spain and the EU today. From a multidisciplinary perspective that articulates anthropology, sociology, and other disciplines, the course seeks to offer students theoretical and analytical frameworks to analyze critically the diversity and complexity of migrations and their effects on society and culture.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
ANTH-UA 9901  Urban Ethnography  (4 Credits)  
Through a focus on contemporary Paris, this course aims to explore the insights offered by anthropological approaches to cities and urban life. We will consider the relationships between urban spatial organization and an array of social, economic and political phenomena; the relevance of consumption and display to the shaping of urban identities; and the shifting dynamics of social groups and boundaries within the urban context. This will be accomplished through course readings and also through training in urban ethnographic research methods, supporting each student’s own systematic observation over the semester of one locus of everyday Parisian life. The final project for the course will be a piece of ethnographic analysis based on this field research.
Grading: CAS Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No