Introduction to Anthropology

ANT 201 Spring 2004 Carl Icahn Laboratory 101 M-W 11:00-11:50 AM Professor: João G. Biehl ( Office: 205 Aaron Burr Hall Phone: 258 6327 Office Hours: Tuesday 3:00-5:00 PM Preceptor: Seth Messinger ( Course Description: Anthropology is a comparative study of culture, society, and human difference. The field challenges us to consider the many ways in which people’s lives are shaped by social relations, cultural images, and historical forces. Based on ethnographic accounts and documentary films, the course will introduce the student to the primary domains of social and cultural anthropology: kinship and social organization; religion, belief and rituals; gender and sexuality; variations in family life and parenting and in individual identity-making; deviancy and social control; economic and social exchanges; colonialism and political violence; sickness and healing; rational-technical interventions and social suffering; global developments and transformations in local worlds; shifting concepts of human rights and citizenship. The course will familiarize students with ethnographic fieldwork methods and will question the universality of cultural categories and the range of variation among human societies. The course will also introduce students to some of the key historical figures in 20th century anthropology and to the development of key concepts, theoretical approaches, and to major dilemmas in the field, past and present, as it seeks to understand, interpret, and represent the lived world of people abroad and at home. Requirements/Grading: The success of the course depends on your commitment to complete all required readings for each class and precept meeting, to critically reflect on the readings, to participate actively in class and precept discussions, and to creatively integrate these insights in the written assignments (one short paper and two take home exams). Class and Precept Participation: 15% Short Paper (due on March 1): 20% Take Home Midterm Exam 25% Take Home Final Exam 40%

Chronicle of Guayaki Indians. Learning to Labor: How Working Class Kids Get Working Class Jobs. New York: Vintage Books. Taussig. and are on reserve at Firestone Library: Clastres. Pierre. All Our Kin. Muegler. Berkeley: University of California Press. Paul. Michael. Shostak. New York: Basic Books. New York: Columbia University Press. 1997. Shamanism. Eric. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Course Materials Assigned articles and book chapters can be downloaded from Firestone Library’s electronic reserve. 2001. The Age of Wild Ghosts. 1998. Marjorie. Willis. 1981. Stack. New York: Zone Books. 1986. 2 . Carol. 1977. The following books will be available for purchase at the U-Store. Colonialism. Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman. and the Wild man: A Study in Terror and Healing.

37-44. Clifford. “From the Native’s Point of View.” Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. 1992 [1955]. Raymond. Film: Bronislaw Malinowski: Off the Veranda Week Two February 9 and 10 Culture Matters and the Native’s Point of View Malinowski. 1984 [1922]. 1983. Bronislaw. “The Exploration of Cultural Diversity. 1989. 1-25. 107-114. Lévi-Strauss.” Local Knowledge: Further Essays in Interpretive Anthropology. 7393. New York: Penguin Books. “Anthropology. pp. Geertz. 3-16.” Mirror For Humanity: A Concise Introduction to Cultural Anthropology.” Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews & Other Writings. 1996. Kottak. 38-40. Michel. Williams. 1972-1977. pp. A Diary in the Strict Sense of the Term. 17-21. Bronislaw. pp. pp. Long Grove: Waveland Press. 80-84. Foucault. New York: Basic Books.1-20. pp. 1983. pp. 272-279. 3 . pp. Conrad Phillip. New York: Pantheon Books.” and “Culture. Argonauts of the Western Pacific. New York: Overture Books. xv-xviii. 87-93. “Two Lectures. Tristes Tropiques. 1980.Week One February 2 and 4 What is Anthropology? Malinowski. New York: Oxford University Press. 49-80. Claude. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

pp. Gilbert Herdt). 1994). pp. (Excerpts) Gordon.” Mirror For Humanity: A Concise Introduction to Cultural Anthropology. 255-267. Conrad Phillip. the story of a !Kung Woman Week Four February 23 and 25 Social Body.” Rituals of Manhood: Male Initiation in Papua New Guinea (ed. “What about ‘Female Genital Mutilation?’ And Why Understanding Culture Matters in the First Place.” Annual Editions. Kenyatta. 4 . Miner. Horace. Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman. and Identity Benedict. Marjorie. Poole. 1989 [1934]. New York: Vintage Books.251-278. “Body ritual Among the Nacirema. 1981. “Culture. “The Individual and the Pattern of Culture. 1956. Jomo. New York: Vintage Books. pp. Ritual.” In Facing Mount Kenya: The Tribal Life of the Gikuyu. The Bushman Myth: The Making of the Namibian Underclass.21-36. pp. Shweder. 1992. Film: N!ai. Robert. pp. 1996. “Initiation of Boys and Girls. Kottak. Film: Guardians of the Flutes by Paul Reddish (BBC. Ruth.” American Anthropologist 58:503-507. 1962.144152 (originally published in Daedalus. Fall 2000.125-148. “The Ritual Forging of Identity: Aspects of Person and Self in Bimin-Kuskusmin Male Initiation. 157-220. New York: Overture Books.” Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Fitz John Porter. pp.Week Three February 16 and 18 The Ethnography of a Life History Shostak. Boulder: Westview Press. Berkeley: University of California press.209-232). 99-154. Richard.

or sexuality.” Culture and Truth: The Remaking of Social Analysis. New York: Basic Books. New York: Zone Books. 1997 [1974]. “Caring and Being Cared For: Displacing Marriage. pp. Chronicle of Guayaki Indians.29-45. and Sexuality. 1997. New York: Roman and Littlefield. Pierre. kinship.1-21. pp. Carol. Gender. “Thick Description: Toward and Interpretive Theory of Culture. 1993. Englewood Cliffs.Week Five March 1 and 3 Kinship Geertz. 332. The Gender/Sexuality Reader. 107-117. American Kinship. Jane. Renato. John. Film: Margaret Mead (produced by NBC) First Assignment is due on March 1: A short paper (no more than 4 double-spaced pages) discussing the concept of “cultural relativism” in light of a contemporary issue related to religion.21-29. 1968. Collier. New York: Routledge. NJ: Prentice Hall.71-81.” James Faubion (ed.). “Grief and a Headhunter’s Rage. pp. Schneider. The Ethics of Kinship: Ethnographic Inquiries. Week Six March 8 and 10 People’s History and The Limits of Ethnographic Representation Clastres. 1998. Clifford. New York: Basic Books. Kinship. p. (Excerpts) Rosaldo. “Is there a Family?” Roger Lancaster (ed. Borneman.). Boston: Beacon. David. Spring Break 5 . 1973.” The Interpretation of Cultures. Stack. 2001. pp. 1968. All Our Kin.

” Journal of Peasant Studies. Learning to Labor: How Working Class Kids Get Working Class Jobs. Week Eight March 29 and 31 Where is Anthropology Today? Marcus. Marshall. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.J. Aihwa. Culture/Power/History Reader. 2000." Dirks. 1986. Michael. Film: The Invention of Childhood by Liliana Sulzbach (2000). Anthropology as Cultural Critique. 27-65.77-110. 141-170. (Excerpts). Ong. Nicholas (ed. Pamela. “The Ground of All Making: State Violence. 1986. Berkeley: University of California Press. Scott. Shamanism. and the Wild man: A Study in Terror and Healing. 1996.” Current Anthropology 37(5):737-762. and Political Activists. “Everyday forms of peasant resistance. 5-35. Princeton: Princeton University Press. pp. Michael M. Paul. “Cultural Citizenship as Subject-Making. pp. pp. Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. the Family. Arjun. George and Fischer. pp. Violence and Subjectivity. 6 . vol.).1-116. Colonialism. Week Nine April 5 and 7 Globalization and Cultural Citizenship Sahlins. p.” Veena Das et al (ed).Week Seven March 22 and 24 The Sense of Inequality Willis. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. New York: Columbia University Press. Appadurai. 1977. James C. Reynolds. Taussig. "Cosmologies of Capitalism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 13 (1986).

20002. Das. Violence.252-270. Nancy. pp. Bodies Politics. Berkeley: University of California Press. “The Circle of Beneficence: Narrating Coherence in a World of Corruption. and Margaret Lock. and Place in Southwest China.” Cultural Anthropology 16 (3):314-353. Development. Displacement. 2001.137-174. Nelson. “Stumped Identities: Body Image. Lawrence.” Manuscript. and Healing: The Bhopal Case. pp. Kottak. 1997. 1996. Week Eleven April 19 and 22 Memory. “Cultural Exchange and Survival. International Social Science Journal 175:157-67. pp. Chicago: The University of Chicago press. Conrad Phillip. (Excerpts) Scheper-Hughes. 7 . and the Mujer Maya as Prosthetic.” Social Suffering. 1998. Eric. and Modernity in the Colombian Pacific. and Place Muegler.” Mirror For Humanity: A Concise Introduction to Cultural Anthropology. Diane. Arturo. Week Ten April 12 and 14 Social Suffering Arthur Kleinman. Berkeley: University of California Press. “Un-Doing: The Politics of the Impossible in the New South Africa. “Introduction. 2001.3-20. pp. The Age of Wild Ghosts: Memory. “Suffering.Rosen. Veena Das. Legitimacy. New York: Overture Books.” Critical Events: An Anthropological Perspective on Contemporary India.” The Culture of Islam: Changing Aspects of Contemporary Muslim Life. Escobar. 2003. Veena. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Violence.

Greenhouse. 2000. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Jean and John Comaroff. and Kay B. 2002.” In Carols J.Week Twelve The Future of Anthropology Geertz. “Millenial Capitalism: First Thoughts on a Second Coming. Ethnography in Unstable Places.” Available Light: Anthropological Reflections on Philosophical Topics. Clifford. pp.218-263.” Public Culture 12(2):291-343. Durham: Duke University Press. and Incomplete Transitions. 8 . “Toward an Anthropology of Fragments. Elizabeth Mertz. Instabilities. Warren (eds). Kay. Warren. Comaroff. 2000. “The world in pieces: culture and politics at the end of the century.379-392. pp.