ANT 1010: Nigerian/Hausa Language and Culture

Hausa is one of the most important African languages, spoken by more than 50 million people in Nigeria and numerous other countries. This course offers intensive first-year instruction in the Hausa language while introducing students to the customs, beliefs, and concerns of Nigerian Hausa speakers as expressed through various media.

Credits: 4

Department: Anthropology
ANT 1500: Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology

The major fields of interest and contributions of social and cultural anthropologists. Accounts of life in different societies are read to illustrate how institutions vary in different cultural settings and to explore what it means to be a member of a culture different from one’s own.

Credits: 3

Department: Anthropology
ANT 2175: Language, Culture and Society

Explores the different roles that language plays in the lives of people, communities, and nations. Topics include language and thought, language and power, poetics and verbal art, bilingualism, African-American English (“Ebonics”), pidgin and Creole languages, Native American language revitalization, “politically correct”; language, and the rise of English as a global language.

Credits: 3

Department: Anthropology
ANT 2250: Film and Anthropology

How useful a tool is film for the study of peoples who come from cultures entirely different from one’s own? Appropriate readings accompany the visual material, in addition to ethnographic accounts of the societies viewed in class and discussions of the problems encountered in filming non-Western peoples.

Credits: 3

Department: Anthropology
ANT 2320: Performing Arts in Cross-Cultural Perspective

An introductory survey of music, theatre, and dance in Western and non-Western cultures, including the relationships between music and religion, dance and weddings, theatre and curing. The course also explores the performing arts as aesthetic phenomena in their own right. Live performances by non-Western performers and optional field trips are planned.

Credits: 3

PREREQ: ANT1500 Or MSA1050 Or NME1050

Department: Anthropology
ANT 2340: Drugs, Bodies, Design

Using texts and films, students analyze how street drugs and legitimated pharmaceuticals become entangled with the economic and aesthetic practices of marginal and mainstream social worlds. Topics include rural Midwestern methamphetamine production as a cottage industry; the ways that steroids and methamphetamine refashion the HIV+ body and identity; and the designs of “performance enhancers” like Adderall that make machines out of bodies.

Credits: 3

Department: Anthropology
ANT 2400: Anthropology of South Asia

Using ethnographic case studies, this course introduces students to a broad range of anthropological research on South Asia. Topics include colonial forms of knowledge and early descriptive accounts of the region; the caste system; constructions of transgender, feminine, and masculine identities and communities; postcolonial and diasporic identities and communities; and globalization and ethnoreligious conflict in India and Pakistan.

Credits: 3

Department: Anthropology
ANT 2460: Anthropology for the Public: Social Justice and Advocacy

Anthropological research, theory, and practice have a great deal to contribute to the central issues of our time. Students explore the relationship between anthropology as an academic field of study that builds on rigorous grounded research and broader, global questions of social justice and transformative action. This course also examines how the discipline’s holistic approach and global reach can be used to engage public debate, shape social policy, and advocate for social change.

Credits: 3

Department: Anthropology
ANT 2470: Museum Anthropology

An introduction to the poetics of representation, display, and performance in museums. Students critically analyze museums as spaces of encounter and culture contact; consider the political economy of museums and their links to the education, tourism, and entertainment industries; and participate in and report on curatorial projects at the Neuberger Museum of Art.

Credits: 3

PREREQ: (ANT1500 Or CAN1500 ) Or (MSA1050 Or NME1050 )

Department: Anthropology
ANT 2555: Magic, Witchcraft, and Modernity

Investigates magic and witchcraft in the shadow of technology, industrialization, and capitalism. Readings range from athletes who employ superstition to cope with uncertainty, to more challenging case studies on witchcraft, spirit possession, shamanism, and other forms of magic as healing. Alongside classical anthropological texts, concepts such as fetishism, fantasy, and enchantment are explored in contemporary contexts, including film, art, and literature.

Credits: 3

PREREQ: ANT1500 Or MSA1050

Department: Anthropology
ANT 2610: Introduction to Ethnomusicology

A survey of theoretical orientations and methodologies for the study of musical production, performance, and consumption in particular cultural contexts and within global flows of materials, ideas, cultural forms, and people. Focuses on music as a communication medium and collective poetic process. Students attend and critically engage musical performances and/or engage directly in musical production and performances.

Credits: 3

PREREQ: (ANT1500 Or CAN1500 ) Or (MSA1050 Or NME1050 )

Department: Anthropology
ANT 2730: New Black Ethnographies

Begins with historical examples of ethnographic work on black diasporic cultures and then moves to contemporary anthropological work on black life from around the world. Underscores the history of anthropology in understanding race and racial politics and also draws on an array of topical issues, from mass incarceration to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Credits: 3

Department: Anthropology
ANT 2755: Global Sexualities

Explores and compares the diverse ways in which sexuality and gender are practiced, experienced, and regulated in different communities around the world. Particular attention is paid to how sexual identities and practices have influenced, and been influenced by, global political, economic, and cultural movements, including colonialism, capitalism, feminism, queer activism, and the spread of world religions.

Credits: 3

Department: Anthropology
ANT 3070: Myth and Ritual

The social anthropology of myths and rituals in both simple and complex societies. Some attention is given to the approaches of Durkheim, Lévi-Strauss, Edmund Leach, Victor Turner, and Clifford Geertz, who have made contributions within the theoretical schools of structuralism and symbolic anthropology.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: ANT1500

Department: Anthropology
ANT 3140: Women Cross-Culturally

An examination of some of the theoretical literature about gender and the debates concerning the position of women cross-culturally in both “simple” and complex societies.

Credits: 4

Department: Anthropology
ANT 3150: Classics in Anthropological Literature

Theoretical concepts and their use in analyzing empirical data. Students read and critically analyze the work of some of the major thinkers in anthropology, including Benedict, Mead, Malinowski, Radcliffe-Brown, Geertz, Turner, and Lévi-Strauss.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: ANT1500 And (ANT1010 Or ANT2175 Or ANT2235 Or ANT2250 Or ANT2320 Or ANT2330 Or ANT2340 Or ANT2400 Or ANT2410 Or ANT2470 Or ANT2555 Or ANT2610 Or ANT2755 ) And (ANT3070 Or ANT3175 Or ANT3185 Or ANT3190 Or ANT3215 Or ANT3255 Or ANT3275 Or ANT3345 Or ANT3350 Or ANT3380 Or ANT3390 Or ANT3410 Or ANT3415 Or JST3455 Or JST3456 Or JST3457 Or ANT3540 Or ANT3600 Or ANT3610 Or ENV3800 )

Department: Anthropology
ANT 3185: Global Media, Local Cultures

Explores how media technologies and genres are produced, used, and interpreted in different cultural contexts around the world. Emphasis is placed on the effect of different media on people’s social identities and communities, including families, nations, and religions. Anthropological theories of media and performance are applied to ethnographic research projects in and around the Purchase College community.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: (ANT1500 Or CAN1500 ) Or (MSA1050 Or NME1050 )

Department: Anthropology
ANT 3190: Urban Anthropology

The experiences and problems of city dwellers in the Third World and migrants from Third World countries to Western cities, including New York. Topics include urbanization and family life, adaptation of migrants, ethnicity and class, the culture of poverty, and methods of urban anthropologists.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: ANT1500 Or CAN1500 Or ANT2055

Department: Anthropology
ANT 3215: Anthropology of Religion

Examines both foundational and newer critical approaches to understanding religion from an anthropological perspective. Texts cover a diversity of topics from a variety of cultures, including the construction of religion as an analytical category; religion’s relation to secularism, law, and political ideology; religion and gender; and embodied religious experience. In particular, the relationships between media and religion are explored. Not intended as a general survey of religious traditions.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: ANT1500 Or NME1050 Or MSA1050

Department: Anthropology
ANT 3255: Urban Life in Africa

Africa is home to some of the oldest and fastest-growing cities in the world. Rapid urbanization brings challenges, opportunities, and expectations. Topics include colonial and postcolonial urban planning; corruption and informal economies; violence and security; ethnicity, nationalism, and pan-Africanism; modernism and traditionalism; youth styles and subcultures; charismatic Christianity and Islamic reformism.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: ANT1500

Department: Anthropology
ANT 3330: Middle Eastern Cultures: Texts and Films

Explores the various cultures, geography, and history of the Middle East, including Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Israel. Some time is also devoted to minorities within a larger context. The selected texts and films raise awareness of human rights issues as well as the political, ethnic, and national complexities of the region. Both fiction and nonfiction works are used.

Credits: 4

Department: Anthropology
ANT 3345: Media and Performance in Africa

Explores how African performing artists and audiences have responded to the cultural, political, and economic circumstances of the times and places in which they live. Performance media include music, song, dance, film/video, and the spoken word, with a special focus on western and southern Africa. Students draw on anthropological theories to produce, perform, and critique their own versions of African performance texts.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: (ANT1500 Or CAN1500 ) Or (MSA1050 Or NME1050 )

Department: Anthropology
ANT 3350: Myth, Ritual, and Performance

How have myth, ritual, and performance functioned as ways to comprehend, organize, and even generate the world around us? What are the values and constraints of symbolic structures as they shape and influence bodies and environments? Students consider both structural and poststructural approaches to performance as a medium for exploring, but also transgressing, structures of everyday life.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: ANT1500 Or THP2020 Or MSA1050 Or MSA1050

Department: Anthropology
ANT 3380: Avant-Garde Cultures and Everyday Life

Examines the avant-garde from historical and cultural perspectives, as both a lens and object of social critique. How the avant-garde engages with everyday life through various forms of artistic and technological mediation is also explored. Covers such topics as shock and aesthetics, collage, manifestos, found objects, and commodification, and examines various types of experimental music and performance.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: (ANT1500 Or CAN1500 ) Or (MSA1050 Or NME1050 )

Department: Anthropology
ANT 3390: Critical Perspectives on Language and Culture

Students perform close readings and engage in in-depth discussions of theoretical texts, illustrative ethnographic works, and audio/video recordings on the relationships between language and culture. Questions explored include: What assumptions about culture are implicit in any given method of analyzing language practices? What lies beyond the reach of language? Topics covered include affect, gesture, semiotics, and symbolic violence.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: ANT1500

Department: Anthropology
ANT 3410: Anthropology of Art and Aesthetics

An exploration of the arts of a variety of cultures, both Western and non-Western. Topics include the relationship of art to other social institutions; the role of the artist in society; the ways that people make aesthetic judgments; and the evolutionary significance of art.

Credits: 4

Department: Anthropology
ANT 3415: Anthropology of Sound and Listening

An anthropological and ethnomusicological approach to sound, listening, and modernity, with emphasis on recent scholarship concerning aural/audio cultures. Topics include avant-garde sound poetry, noise and war, soundscapes and urban noise, silence and deafness, listening practices and mobility in urban space, background music (Muzak), and sound art and installations.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: (ANT2175 Or ANT2320 Or ANT2400 Or ANT2460 Or ANT2555 Or ANT2610 Or ANT2755 Or ANT3150 Or ANT3560 Or ANT3255 Or ANT3190 Or ANT3215 Or ANT3345 Or ANT3350 Or ANT3380 Or ANT3390 Or ANT3540 Or ANT3560 Or ANT3600 Or ANT4070 Or ANT4100 Or ANT4160 Or ANT4860 Or ANT1010 ) And (ANT1500 Or MSA1050 )

Department: Anthropology
ANT 3540: Sensing and Knowing in Anthropology, Psychology, and the Arts

What theories of embodiment, mind, and matter must be adopted to adequately grasp experiences of time, space, color, emotion, and attention? How can people conceptualize forms of experience without purging them of poetic resonance? Students explore this interdisciplinary field in connection with the arts. Includes readings in cognitive science, anthropology, and poetry, plus collaborative art projects, sensory experiments, and excursions.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: ANT1500 Or PSY1530 Or BPS1530 Or MSA1050 Or NME1050

Department: Anthropology
ANT 3560: Fieldwork: Qualitative Methods

The methodological, political, and ethical issues of participant observation. Students read and discuss classical examples of participant-observation research. Each student conducts a participant-observation field research study and presents a preliminary version of the results to the seminar before submitting the written report. Limited to anthropology majors.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: ANT1500 And ANT3150 And ANT3150

Department: Anthropology
ANT 3600: Japan: Aesthetics, Politics, Modernity

Drawing on scholarly texts, novels, films, and music, this course critically examines the aesthetics and politics of modernity in Japan. Topics include fascism and aesthetics in interwar Japan; folk art and Japanese imperialism; criminality and the everyday in postwar Japan; public spectacles (Tokyo Olympics, Osaka Expo); postwar avant-garde movements; consumer culture and department stores.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: ANT1500 Or CAN1500

Department: Anthropology
ANT 4070: Current Anthropological Literature

Students focus on recent theoretical texts in cultural anthropology and are expected to present short oral reports on these texts and to lead class discussion. Limited to anthropology majors in their senior year.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: ANT1500 And ANT3150

Department: Anthropology
ANT 4860: Special Topic: Geographic Area

Special anthropological topics by geographic area.

Topic: Youth Culture in Contemporary Japan
Drawing on scholarly and popular texts, films, and music, this course examines the contested role of youth culture in contemporary Japan. Beginning in the immediate postwar era, it moves towards the post-bubble era of 1990s Japan and ends in the post-3/11 moment. The politics of youth culture are investigated at a moment in which Japan’s economic power is on the decline while its soft power is being circulated and consumed on a global level. Students explore these issues through a range of topics: consumer culture in the bubble-economy era, technologies of writing and new media, shifting notions of masculinity, healing commodities and affective labor, youth protest movements and precarious labor, and art and politics in post-3/11 Japan.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: ANT1500 And (ANT1010 Or ANT2175 Or ANT2235 Or ANT2250 Or ANT2320 Or ANT2330 Or ANT2340 Or ANT2400 Or ANT2410 Or ANT2470 Or ANT2555 Or ANT2610 Or ANT2755 ) And (ANT3070 Or ANT3175 Or ANT3185 Or ANT3190 Or ANT3215 Or ANT3255 Or ANT3275 Or ANT3345 Or ANT3350 Or ANT3380 Or ANT3390 Or ANT3410 Or ANT3415 Or JST3455 Or JST3456 Or JST3457 Or ANT3540 Or ANT3600 Or ANT3610 Or ENV3800 )

Department: Anthropology
ENV 3800: Human Ecology

An interdisciplinary review of the reciprocal relationships between culture and environment in both traditional and complex societies. Past human-induced environmental degradation provides lessons applicable to current problems. Topics include the Green Revolution; cultural change and population trends; traditional vs. industrial food production; and the impact of global change, concepts of sustainability, and the commons.

Credits: 3

Department: Anthropology
HIS 2320: First Peoples to European Contact: New World Archaeology

Focuses on the prehistory of the Americas from the first peoples through 1492, beginning with the Ice Age cultures of the New World and moving forward chronologically. South, Central, and North American cultures are examined, including the Olmec, Woodlands, and Mississippi Valley cultures, pueblo culture, and the Maya, Aztec, and Inca.

Credits: 4

Department: Anthropology
HIS 3585: Archaeology of Empires: The Ancient World

Introduces the largest unit of political organization, the empire, and its early appearances in various regions of the world. The focus is on Akkadia in Mesopotamia, Egypt’s New Kingdom, the Qin Dynasty in China, and the Inca Empire in South America (also known as the Inka Empire). The course reviews theories of sociopolitical organization and development drawn from anthropological archaeology, economics, ecology, and political science.

Credits: 4

Department: Anthropology
MSA 2210: Transhumanist Media

Students focus on how humans are represented and configured across media platforms, how the self is culturally constructed, and how technology continually redefines the meaning of “human.” The class also considers what these figurations indicate about contemporary political subjectivities, gender identities, and species belonging. The work of notable thinkers, including William Gibson, Masamune Shiroh, Stellarc, and Spike Jonze, is studied.

Credits: 3

Department: Anthropology
MSA 4100: Alternative Economies

Students look at forms of production and exchange in various contexts throughout the world that are alternatives to dominant, formal economies. These include trash picking and trash art-making, piracy and counterfeiting, independent farming, and alternative banking. Students consider the notion of value in a variety of ways and trace how production, exchange, circulation, and consumption elaborate new forms of social life.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: (MSA1050 Or NME1050 ) Or ANT1500 Or CAN1500

Department: Anthropology
MSA 4110: Lively Geographies

In recent years, anthropologists, physical and cultural geographers, biologists, and media theorists have tried to account for the more-than-human world in order to emplace humans in a general ecology of liveliness. Using methods from multiple disciplines, students explore the animacy of ordinary and extraordinary places. Topics include landscape as a contingent process, geological time, energetics, dwelling, regenerative design, and industrial-chemical ecologies.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: (MSA1050 Or NME1050 Or ANT1500 ) And (MSA3120 Or MSA3150 Or MSA3160 Or CIN3330 Or MSA3350 Or ANT3070 Or ANT3175 Or ANT3185 Or ANT3190 Or ANT3215 Or ANT3255 Or ANT3275 Or ANT3345 Or ANT3350 Or ANT3380 Or ANT3390 Or ANT3410 Or ANT3415 Or JST3455 Or JST3456 Or JST3457 Or ANT3540 Or ANT3600 Or ANT3610 Or ENV3800 )

Department: Anthropology
MSA 4160: Material Cultures

Students examine the material dimension of cultural life and explore how beliefs, sensibilities, and ways of relating to people and the environment get distilled in cultural matter. Matters include rocks, body matter, waste, water, houses, consumer commodities, and currency. Other questions explored are: How does matter become meaningful and acquire value? How do matters of the natural world become “cultural”?

Credits: 4

PREREQ: (MSA1050 Or NME1050 Or ANT1500 ) And (MSA3120 Or MSA3150 Or MSA3160 Or CIN3330 Or MSA3350 Or ANT3070 Or ANT3175 Or ANT3185 Or ANT3190 Or ANT3215 Or ANT3255 Or ANT3275 Or ANT3345 Or ANT3350 Or ANT3380 Or ANT3390 Or ANT3410 Or ANT3415 Or JST3455 Or JST3456 Or JST3457 Or ANT3540 Or ANT3600 Or ANT3610 Or ENV3800 )

Department: Anthropology
SOC 2210: Sociology of Gender

A cross-cultural examination of social constructions and expressions of gender. Students define gender, examine ideological tensions, and explore the flexibility of gendered systems.

Credits: 3

Department: Anthropology
SOC 2500: Urban Sociology

An introduction to the study of cities in the U.S. and other countries. Using a “social problems” approach, the development of urban communities and the associated issues are explored. Topics include gentrification, poverty, housing, and public transportation. This course is designed to further develop students’ writing ability and capacity for critical thinking, research, and analysis.

Credits: 3

Department: Anthropology