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Major Concentrations

Social and cultural theory

Students concentrating in social and cultural theory would take four theory-focused courses in addition to Theory 1 and 2. If, however, they complete the core theory course requirement in their junior year and the topics of Theory 1 and/or Theory 2 change in their senior year, they may repeat either or both for credit towards the concentration. Other courses include:

ANTH201 Key Issues in Black Feminism

ANTH203 Sex, Money and Power

ANTH242 All Our Relations? Kinship and the Politics of Knowledge

ANTH289 Ritual, Health, and Healing
ANTH302 Critical Perspectives on the State
ANTH307 Middle-class Culture: Politics, Aesthetics, Morality
ANTH312 Bodies, Science, Knowledge
ANTH322 Nationalism, Gender and Sexuality
ANTH336 Nationality, Ethnicity, Identity
ANTH397 The Politics of Nature
ANTH398 Queer/Anthropology

Crafting ethnography

This concentration examines the dialogic and textual production of anthropological knowledge through critical reflection on processes of ethnographic research and writing. It includes hands-on training in ethnographic methods, consideration of the processual ethics and politics of knowledge production, and attention to creative ways of representing cultural diversity.

ANTH 208 Crafting  Enthnography

ANTH227 Middletown Materials
ANTH230 Anthropology of Cities
ANTH232 Alter(ed)native Approaches: Middletown Lives
ANTH362 Crafting Ethnography (may count towards both methods requirement and concentration)
ANTH398 Queer/Anthropology: Ethnographic Approaches to Queer Studies

ANTH 399 Rereading Gendered Agency

Producing and consuming culture

This concentration explores the interplay between anthropological notions of culture as "way of life" and humanist notions of culture as aesthetic and intellectual productions. Drawing from anthropology, cultural studies and the sociology of taste, it interrogates   "low" or "popular" as well as "high" cultural forms and takes the formation and operation of regimes of cultural value as a primary object of knowledge. Courses in this concentration deal with such matters as: the formation of a market for cultural goods, the development of modern media and culture industries and their relationship to autonomous artistic production, the use of cultural commodities in the formation of social identities.

ANTH203 Sex, Money and Power
ANTH222 Anthropology of Art
ANTH244 Television: The Domestic Medium
ANTH277 Commodity Consumption and the Formation of Consumer Culture
ANTH290 Youth Culture
ANTH306 Understanding Television
ANTH307 Middle-class Culture: Politics, Aesthetics, Morality
ANTH308 Television Storytelling: The Conditions of Narrative Complexity
ANTH340 Urban Social Movements

Colonial and postcolonial Worlds

This concentration examines the ongoing process of colonialism in a wide variety of geographical contexts, questioning any clear division between pre-colonial, colonial, and postcolonial periods. The courses stress the unequal power relations that structured colonial encounters and that continue to pervade postcolonial conditions and neocolonial structures. They also stress the manner in which indigenous agency in the form of cultural and political resistance has been studied by a variety of anthropologists. This concentration also includes prehistoric archaeology by extending the study of the manner in which social and economic differentials structured inter- and intra-societal relations prior to the existence of more recent historical colonial contexts.

ANTH217 Intro to U.S. Racial Formations
ANTH228 Transnational Sexualities
ANTH250 Foragers to Farmers: Hunting and Gathering and the Development of Agriculture
ANTH259 Anthropology of Development
ANTH261 Native Sovereignty
ANTH264 Native Americans, Archaeology
ANTH268 Prehistory of North America
ANTH301 U.S. in the Pacific Islands
ANTH303 African Diaspora Archaeology
ANTH304 Gender in South Asian Contexts
ANTH336 Ethnicity, Nationality, Identity

ANTH397 The Politics of Nature

Capitalist modernities: past and present

This concentration focuses on transnational capitalist formations and transformations. Taking a historical and ethnographic approach to the study of capitalist modernities, the courses examine such themes as material culture, capitalist cultures, relations of production and consumption, class making and struggles, and commodities and signs. They pay careful attention to the cultural particularities and peculiarities of capitalist processes in time and across space while simultaneously holding in tension their interconnections and overlaps.   

ANTH203 Sex, Power, Money: Intimacy and Exchange

ANTH208 Crafting Enthography

ANTH 210 Post-Quake Haiti
ANTH225 Historical Archaeology of the Modern World
ANTH234 Anthropology and Political Economy
ANTH259 The Anthropology of Development
ANTH277 Commodity Consumption and the Formation of Consumer Culture
ANTH290 Youth Culture
ANTH307 Middle-class Culture: Politics, Aesthetics, Morality
ANTH336 Ethnicity, Nationality and Identity
ANTH339 Anthropology of Globalization
ANTH340 Urban Social Movements

Social and political geographies

This concentration focuses on how culture, identities, and socio-political institutions and struggles are spatialized and altered in the context of globalization. The courses examine how world-making projects, such as development and neoliberalism, for example, impact nations and states, boundaries and borderlands, cities, towns, and villages, and how they affect the subjectivities, modes of belonging, and cultural and political practices of those inhabiting these shifting landscapes.

ANTH227 Middletown Materials
ANTH228 Transnational Sexualities
ANTH230 Anthropology of Cities
ANTH232 Alter(ed)native Approaches: Middletown Lives
ANTH255 Religious Worlds of New York
ANTH259 The Anthropology of Development
ANTH302 Critical Perspectives on the State
ANTH339 The Anthropology of Globalization
ANTH340 Contemporary Urban Social Movements
ANTH397 The Politics of Nature: Modernity and its Others

Material culture and temporal processes

This concentration provides a specifically anthropological archaeology alternative to the Archaeology major, which offers a more art historical approach. Through this concentration students are introduced to a variety of historical and prehistorical approaches to the study of the human past. Courses combine studies of archaeological materials and contemporary studies of material culture, space and place, with theoretical questions surrounding interpreting these. The concentration also offers an engagement with contemporary and historical cultural anthropology through the study of space and place in the material world.

ANTH202  Paleoanthropology
ANTH225  Historical Archaeology of the Modern World
ANTH226  Feminist and Gender Archaeology
ANTH227  Middletown Materials: Theory and Practice
ANTH230  Anthropology of Cities
ANTH250  Foragers to Farmers: Hunting and Gathering and the Development of Agriculture
ANTH268  Prehistory of North America
ANTH277  Commodity Consumption and the Formation of Consumer Culture
ANTH372  Archaeology of Death
ANTH373  Field Methods in Archaeology

Axes of difference

This concentration focuses on difference along lines of identity and identification. Courses emphasize the cultural, economic, political and historical production (through, e.g., colonialism, slavery, commodity capitalism, immigration, state formation, religion, social movements) of social categories age, race, class, gender, sexuality, disability, etc. Through queer, antiracist, feminist, and materialist approaches, this concentration highlights the links between the localized and historical construction of social categories and the ways subjects come to identify with and as these categories. The concentration also focuses critical attention on the ways such identifications create social belonging, with attendant potentials for the (re)entrenchment of social hierarchy as well as political empowerment. 

ANTH203 Sex, Money, and Power Anthropology of Intimacy and Exchange
ANTH207 Gender in a Transnational Perspective
ANTH217 Introduction to U.S. Racial Formations
ANTH220 Rereading Gendered Agency Black Women's Experience of Slavery
ANTH226 Feminist and Gender Archaeology
ANTH228 Transnational Sexualities
AMST265 Introduction to Trans Studies Interdisciplinary Approaches
ANTH290 Youth Culture
ANTH304 Gender in South Asian Contexts

ANTH312 Bodies of Science, Bodies of Knowledge

ANTH312 Bodies, Science Knowledge

ANTH322 Nationalism and the Politics of Gender and Sexuality
ANTH331 Black Feminist Thoughts and Practices
ANTH398 Queer/Anthropology Ethnographic Approaches to Queer Studies

ANTH399 Rereading Gendered Agency

Embodiment and biopolitics

Students in this concentration explore the politics and poetics of living in bodies in a range of modernities around the globe, from transnational technocultures to biomedicine to indigenous life worlds to pre-modern communities, and study how cultural and historical processes entangle bodies in regimes of power and truth.   The concentration's themes include the ways science and biotechnology are reconfiguring bodies and naturecultures; the commoditization of bodies;  bodies as evidence and texts; and how bodies are both marked by difference (e.g. gender, race, sexuality, etc) and sites of counter-resistance and human agency and creativity.  An important focus of the concentration concerns contestations over what is taken to be 'the' universal ground of being, i.e. 'nature.'  Courses cover illness and healing in both biomedicine and indigenous medicines, biopolitics and biosociality, biological citizenship, kinship and 'new' reproductive technologies, reproductive politics, the queering of bodies and knowledges, the human and the posthuman, theory and embodiment, forensic science, bodies in archeology, and imaginations of embodiment that extend to the nonhuman (technology, machine) and/or the other-than-human (animals, spirits, gods).

ANTH228 Transnational Sexualities
ANTH242 All Our Relations? Kinship and the Politics of Knowledge
ANTH220 Rereading Gendered Agency Black Women's Experience of Slavery
ANTH261 Indigenous Sovereignty Politics
ANTH264 Native Americans, Archaeology, and Repatriation
ANTH283 Interpretation of Ritual

ANTH289 Ritual, Health, and Healing
ANTH312 Bodies of Science, Bodies of Knowledge
ANTH349 The Human Skeleton
ANTH372 Archaeology of Death
ANTH397 The Politics of Nature Modernity and Its Others
ANTH398 Queer/Anthropology Ethnographic Approaches to Queer Studies

ANTH399 Rereading Gendered Agency

Performance, representation, identity

This concentration focuses on cultural performances and ethnographic representation. Courses emphasize the performativity of cultures and identities,  for example, the ways individuals both become social subjects and exert their agency through embodied processes of identity-making, or the ways in which social or religious ritual, popular culture or media can both reinforce as well as challenge social belonging and norms of power and culture. This concentration also focuses attention on the ethnographic representation of cultural performances and performativity students study video, film, and other mediated approaches to performance and cultural production, including ethnographic writing and museum studies.

ANTH 210 Post-Quake Haiti

ANTH223 Blurred Genres Feminist Ethnographic Writing
ANTH228 Transnational Sexualities
ANTH232 Alter(ed)native Approaches Middletown Lives

ANTH242 All Our Relations? Kindship and the Politics of Knowledge
ANTH277 Commodity Consumption and the Formation of Consumer Culture
ANTH283 Interpretation of Ritual

ANTH289 Ritual, Health, and Healing
ANTH244 Television The Domestic Medium
ANTH290 Youth Culture
ANTH304 Gender in South Asian Contexts
ANTH307 Middle-Class Culture Politics, Aesthetics, Morality
ANTH308 Television Storytelling The Conditions of Narrative Complexity
ANTH321 Rereading Gendered Agency II Black Women's Experience of Slavery
ANTH322 Nationalism and the Politics of Gender and Sexuality
ANTH398 Queer/Anthropology Ethnographic Approaches to Queer Studies

ANTH399 Rereading Gendered Agency