04:30 PM to 07:10 PM T
Horizon Hall 3001
Section Information for Fall 2021
This is the first semester of a two-semester pro-seminar sequence required for graduate students in the MA program in anthropology. The course is organized thematically around the “big ideas” that formed anthropology, with particular attention to the concepts of culture and society, and to the theorists who made the most original and influential contributions (including Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Boas, Mead, Benedict, Malinowski, Dubois, Levi-Strauss, Geertz, Fanon). Students gain a foundation in the history of anthropological theory and the development of the ethnographic method as they examine how the two go together. We first identify anthropology’s Euro-American roots, animated by debates over science, nature, race, and religion. What, we ask, does it mean to study humanity in all of its diversity? How was anthropology predicated on the ideas of cross-cultural comparison, a hierarchy of civilizations, and notions of “the Other”? What ideas is the discipline predicated on today? To this end, we look specifically at the emergence of anthropology out of nineteenth century concerns over the nature of “primitive” societies and evolutionary theory to understand how it was formalized and institutionalized as a twentieth-century discipline. In charting how society and culture have been theorized and debated about historically, we reflect on forms of anthropological knowledge and ethnographic sensibilities that are relevant today, as well as their meaning and stakes for a present and future anthropology.
Enrollment limited to students with a class of Advanced to Candidacy, Graduate, Non-Degree or Senior Plus.
Enrollment is limited to Graduate, Non-Degree or Undergraduate level students.
Students in a Non-Degree Undergraduate degree may not enroll.