This course is designed as an introduction to cultural anthropology for educators and education researchers.
Review of fundamental anthropological concepts for the analysis of educational institutions and processes around the world.
Analyses of basic anthropological concepts, with particular reference to the influence of cultures and subcultures on the learning process, to education in multicultural classrooms, and to the relevance of psychological anthropology to educational issues. Four-point enrollment requires attendance at film showings before or after class and additional discussion sessions held at hours to be arranged.
An introduction to the anthropological study of cities and how larger-scale urban relationships affect schooling. Emphasis is placed on understanding urban inequality.
A general survey of sub-Saharan Africa, using contributions from theoretical approaches to anthropological research in the area. Emphasis on socioeconomic, ideological and religious, educational, and political analysis of African communities.
This seminar considers issues and problems of development in sub-Saharan Africa. It examines specific development projects from different theoretical and empirical perspectives.
An exploration of technologies, broadly defined, and the contexts of their development, use, and politics of distribution locally and globally, drawing on research in anthropology and related disciplines.
This course has been developed with practitioners of anthropology, educators, health professionals and globalization in mind. This course focuses on family as an agentive space where people construct with what they have around them. This focus is organized on two anthropological positions for their applied utility. One, culture is understood as all-encompassing situated in context and history, and is also a politicized concept. Two, the course is developed from the comparative Boasian approach to understanding human phenomenon, that different causes produce like effects or like causes produce different effects. The course will begin with an overview of anthropological research on kinship and relatedness by exploring the various possibilities in the composition of a typical family, how the family is formed, and how belongingness is maintained in different parts of the world. The second portion of the course will be devoted to what impacts the family and vice versa. Finally, this course will engage categories such as biological and social bases of family, honor, sexuality, love, wealth, religion, and institutions such as schools, the humanitarian/development/human rights regimes, and the nation-state. Ethnographic examples throughout the semester will focus on the socio-historical context, concreteness of actions, and use of resources.
Advanced masters students may register for internships, research projects related to the IP, or intensive individual study of some aspect of their concentration. Registration is only by permission of the instructor under whose guidance the work will be undertaken. Times for individual conferences will be arranged. Enrollment may be for 1 or more points each term, and registration is not limited to one or two terms. Advisor Approval Required.
This course provides training in knowledge-production through ethnographic research using participant-observation. Students will be able to gain an understanding of ethnography as a way of knowing how people do what they do. Part one of the course will be devoted to research design, which includes developing different types of research questions, selecting sites and anthropological methods suitable for answering these questions, and examining anthropological approaches for applied purposes. Part two of the semester consists of looking at the difficulties of conducting research driven by established categories like culture, as well as the challenges inherent in ethnography such as objectivity, representation, and ethical dilemmas. This half of the semester will be dedicated to helping students produce a research study proposal that they will present to their cohort. Throughout the course, students will be reading examples of ethnographic research relevant to policy-making in order to understand how approaches to ethnography have developed. The peer-review process will be heavily implemented in this course, where students are given the opportunity to evaluate and comment on each other’s work. Students will be expected to study and read the assigned readings, and be able to participate in class discussions on the course readings. This course is foundational for students who are doing ethnographic fieldwork for their master’s IP or doctoral dissertation. There are no prerequisites.
In an age in which big data is purported to solve contemporary human problems, Ethnography and Participant-observation have much to contribute. One contribution is that these make it possible to call into question the solutions put forth by way of representing human beings and their interactions with numbers. This course asks students to reflect more deeply upon what ethnographic research is and its role in scholarly and practical knowledge production. In the first of this series of courses (ITSF 5000: Introductory Methods of Ethnography and Participant-Observation), the emphasis is on operationalizing and designing a research project and writing a proposal that tightly integrates the general problem to be addressed and the method to be used. In this second course in the series, the emphasis is on the actual hands-on process of conducting fieldwork, recording of observations (field notes, mechanical recording and transcription), analysis, and on the writing of the final report. Readings and hands-on activities will be assigned. The semester will be divided into three modules; participant-observation, participant-observation with audiovisual, and virtual ethnography. Each module will involve data analysis and a write-up. This course will take place every Tuesday for 1 hour and 40 minutes. However, there will be a component that requires students and the instructor meet outside for 2-3 Saturdays for 1 hour and 40 minutes for participant-observation work in place of the Tuesday meetings. This is the more advanced of the two courses on ethnography offered in the department. Beginners in participant-observation research should enroll in ITSF 5000. It is possible to enroll in both simultaneously.
This course covers theories and ethnographies from linguistic anthropology, or the study of how communication shapes and is shaped by social life. It considers examples from different educational contexts, such as literacy, exams, and teaching, and how they intersect with major categories of inequality such as race, class, and gender. Students are encouraged to think critically about communicative norms in institutions like schools and to apply the themes of the course to their own interests and backgrounds.
This course asks how "race" and "class" shape and are shaped by schooling in the United States and other regions around the globe, privileging ethnography as the best way to find out how these broad concepts play out for diverse participants in diverse contexts, on the ground.
Caribbean experiences have been central to the development of postcolonial theory. This course draws on this work as well as research in anthropology and related fields to investigate how peoples in one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse regions on earth make sense of the past, flourish or just get by in the present, and envision workable futures in a globalizing and media saturated world.
The concepts, theories, and methods of psychological anthropology. Cross-cultural studies of learning processes. Emphasis on recent work in the field, problems of cross-cultural methodology, and the study of socialization.
This course considers the theories and concepts used by anthropologists and other social scientists in the analysis of political behavior and institutions. It analyzes contemporary theories for the study of power and their use in ethnographies of education. It also considers political topics, such as social movements and the state.
Introduction to the anthropological investigation of educative institutions (villages, neighborhoods, families, peer groups, schools, etc.) and of the policy issues anthropology addresses.
Utilizing theoretical and methodological perspectives from social and cultural anthropology, this course is designed to explore the contextual dimensions of illicit drug use as well as other drug-related issues. A comparative, cross-cultural approach will be utilized and case material drawn from traditional as well as modern settings.
For anthropologists and non-anthropologists contemplating independent, qualitative research, this course provides hands-on experience in basic techniques for generating, recording, and managing anthropological data in the field.
This course draws upon the anthropology of literacy, sociology of language, sociolinguistics, and critical, interdisciplinary studies of reading and writing to address basic questions about the nature of writing, reading, and graphic/material communication; the politics and processes of access to various systems; and the significance of various literacies around the world.
Drawing on the anthropology of globalization and sociology of immigration, the course reviews major theories of immigrant incorporation and exclusion processes, examines case studies of im/migrants, refugees, and displaced persons and their adaptation processes inherent in the process of migration, and considers educational practices and policies that develop in order to address mobility in diverse contexts. The course asks how cultural, social, political, and economic factors influence im/migrant incorporation, and how educators can facilitate im/migrant students’ opportunities for learning through changes in policies, pedagogies, and curricula.
Permission required. This is a year-long critical review of important works in anthropology and education and applied anthropology. During the spring semester, students present proposals for their summer fieldwork before the members of both programs. Required of, and open only to, first-year doctoral students. Meets concurrently with ITSF 5611 during the spring semester.
From Fieldwork to Text. This year-long course focuses on practical translation of field research into such forms as research reports, grant applications, and initial drafts for public presentation. Topics include analysis of evidence, relationships between evidence and theory, and writing appropriately for varied audiences and stakeholders. During the spring semester, students report on their completed summer fieldwork. Required of second-year doctoral students. Advanced MA students and third year doctoral students who have completed summer fieldwork are also welcome. Meets concurrently with ITSF 5610 during the spring semester.
Education intersects cultural production in myriad ways involving large scale planning, environmental interventions, institutions like museums and parks, heritage initiatives, media old and new, and individual and local projects. This course investigates these and other modes of cultural production through the lenses of semiotic theories, anthropology, and related fields.
Advanced students may register for intensive individual study of some aspect of their concentration. Registration is only by permission of the instructor under whose guidance the work will be undertaken. Times for individual conferences will be arranged. Enrollment may be for 1 or more points each term, and registration is not limited to one or two terms.
This workgroup meets every other week to discuss current issues in psychological anthropology. It also discusses and reviews current research and proposals for research of workgroup members, including faculty, alumni, and doctoral students concentrating in psychological anthropology.