Course Descriptions

First Year

1120 6.0 Making Sense of a Changing World: Anthropology Today

In this course you will use anthropological approaches to increase your understanding of global issues in diverse locales. This course challenges you to engage with other ways of knowing and being, and to rethink your taken-for-granted knowledge and beliefs through the comparative analysis of the human condition. This course will take a problem-based approach to a range of topics such as: the effects of race and racism, sources of religious conflict, alternate genders and sexualities, First Nations and health, international development and issues of social inequality. Students are encouraged to bring their own knowledge and experience as the first step in "thinking like an anthropologist" (i.e. rethinking the taken-for-granted). The emphasis in this course is developing skills (analytical thinking, writing).

An intensive 6 credit, one term section of this course will also be offered in the winter term.

Second Year

2100 6.0 Global Capitalism, Culture and Conflict

This course analyzes and critiques the social and cultural foundations of historical and contemporary forms of global capitalism. The curriculum focuses on a critical examination of the social, political, and economic consequences of the production and circulation of global commodities, the rise of consumer capitalism, and the idea of the society of perpetual growth, as well as the resulting patterns of social change that continue to transform cultures worldwide. The rise of various forms of conflict that can accompany these global processes, such as terrorism, religious fundamentalism, xenophobia, racism, and nationalism, will complement our consideration of contemporary issues ranging from immigration, transnational labour mobility, and global flows of technology..

Course credit exclusions: AP/ANTH 2100 3.00 (prior to Fall 2013).

Format: Three lecture hours

2120 6.0 Visualizing Ourselves, Visualizing Others: Media, Representation & Culture

We live in a media saturated society. In our everyday lives, we are bombarded by media images whether it be through newspapers, television, film, radio, the internet, and/or billboards. However, we seldom pause to think about the relationship between media, ourselves and others: Media are a form of communication, but what is being communicated? How do media affect understandings of ourselves and others? Is the increasing presence of media creating a global, homogenized culture or preserving cultural diversity?

An anthropological perspective on media requires us to always situate media productions in particular social, political, and cultural contexts. It also requires us to think of media as global and local phenomena: this means we will need to investigate the effects of global media in other societies, but we will also need to examine 'locally' produced media. Throughout this course we will be concerned with issues of power and how media figure in maintaining, resisting or transforming social inequality.

Format: Two lecture hours, One tutorial hour

2130 6.0 Anthropology Through the Visual: Images of Resistance/Irresistible Images

This course uses film, video, visual art, photography and social media to explore key concepts in anthropology such as race, ethnicity, nationality, globalization, power, religion, gender, class, sexuality and aesthetics. Prerequisites: None. Co-requisites: None. Course credit exclusions: None.

2140 3.0 Introduction to Archaeology and Prehistory: Humanity's Journeys

How did we, as human beings, become what we are? How do we know? This course has three main themes: first, the biological evolution of human beings and the historical development of human societies; second, the methods that palaeoanthropologists and archaeologists use to study those aspects of the human past; and third, the social context of such endeavours to know the past.

The course begins with a brief introduction to basic anthropological principles and archaeological methods. We then very briefly consider human biological evolution, and modern human variation. This course then becomes primarily concerned with culture, rather than biology, and proceeds to cover certain key events and processes in human history, including farming, the emergence of complex technology, sedentism and social stratification.

The course concludes by comparing several ancient societies (e.g. pre-contact North America, Neolithic Europe, and Easter Island), and discussing how archaeology is used to understand recent historic events and contemporary life. Throughout the course, we maintain a careful awareness of the social contexts in which archaeology is done.

Topics covered include: popular representations of archaeology, political uses of archaeology, disputes over human origins, issues surrounding the ownership of archaeological objects and the study of archaeological human remains, and conflicts and collaborations between archaeologists and indigenous peoples.

Format: Two lecture hours, One tutorial hour

2150 6.0 Early Civilizations: Complex Societies of the New and Old Worlds

What does it mean to be 'civilized'? What can we learn from the rise and fall of previous civilizations? How have ancient cultural legacies shaped our world? How were past lives like our own? This course introduces students to anthropological archaeology's view of ancient civilizations, and illuminates the web of connections that links them to our 21st century global civilization.

The course begins by surveying anthropological principles, archaeological methods, and theories about the emergence of complex societies. We then explore ancient Old World civilizations in Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Indus Valley, China, Africa, and the Mediterranean. Next, more particular attention is given to the ancient New World civilizations (Aztec, Maya, Inka), and complex societies of North America (Mississippian, Iroquois, and Northwest Coast cultures).

Themes investigated include ancient writing systems, belief systems, human-environment interaction, urbanization, culture contact, imperialism, colonization, slavery, and the historic collision of the Old and New Worlds. Throughout, the course also examines the history of archaeology itself – how and why archaeology developed – and ponders the implications. The course concludes by appraising the forces, positive and negative, currently affecting archaeological heritage. These include descendant communities, repatriation, looting, tourism, the antiquities trade, the political deployment of archaeology, and the destruction of archaeological sites.

Format: Three seminar hours

2170 6.0 Sex, Gender and the Body: Cross-Cultural Approaches to the Body, Gender, Sexuality & Kinship

This course critically examines popular explanations of what is considered natural (and what is not) about sex, gender, the body and the family. Through a cross-cultural approach, biological models of natural gender roles, as well as sexual and familial relations, are explored and questioned.

Course credit exclusions: AP/ANTH 2170 6.00 (prior to Fall 2012).

Format: Two lecture hours, One tutorial hour

2200 6.0 Anthropology of Religion and Science

This course considers religion and science from a cross-cultural anthropological perspective to explore and understand how different social groups in different cultural and historical contexts come to know and understand the world around them. This course will examine a wide range of classical and contemporary anthropological, cross-cultural approaches to some large questions that human societies might ask themselves, and to the nature of their lives, worlds, and experiences. Course Credit Exclusion AP/ANTH 2200 3.0

The course will explore ideas such as: What is understood by nature? How is it differentiated from culture? What are the implications of such a division? And how can anthropology contribute in rethinking the nature-culture divide? For example, the course may look at how the world is seen through a scientific lens and how certain ways of knowing become established as dominant truths. The course will offer a solid foundation in the anthropology of knowledge and prepare students for upper level courses.

Third Year

3020 6.0 Race, Racism & Popular Culture

This course critically explores ideas of race and racist practice, both past and present. Through a range of readings and audio-visual materials, we will examine how race is produced and reproduced, as well as how racism is perpetuated and sustained, in multiple, shifting, and context-dependent ways. Of particular concern will be the ways in which various forms of popular culture are shaped by, and shape, race and racism.

The course will also look at how race and racisms intersect with, and in, the production of other identity categories and experiences, including gender, nation, class, ethnicity and sexuality. Overall, the course proceeds with the understanding that race is a social (often ideological) construction rather than a biological given. Attention will thus be given to histories of the idea of race and racist practice, and the social forces giving rise to these, both past and present.

The course will also try to illuminate some of the more subtle 'new racisms' characteristic of the contemporary period. A highlighting of Canadian context-specificities will be important in this regard, and throughout. We will also look at how (thinking about) conditions of globalization, diaspora and creolisation can complicate and help to enrich our understandings of race and the workings of racism in the contemporary period. Various strategies of resistance to racism will also be considered and debated in the process of exploring 'race from below'. A range of explanatory models and approaches will be examined from political economy and historical materialism, to discourse theory and performance theory.

Format: Three lecture hours

3030 3.0 Discourses of Colonialism

What do sixteenth century explorer's accounts of cannibalism, late nineteenth century colonial census records of Fijian villages, and the 1989-90 exhibit Into the Heart of Africa at the Royal Ontario Museum have in common? They are all discourses of colonialism. They are part of a process by which much of the world has been, and still is, imagined and represented as an object of Euro-American expansion and control.

This course examines the role played by these and other practices and events in the formation of those attitudes and stereotypes that shape political and economic domination. The topics covered in this course cover three main themes. In the first section of the course, we trace the genealogies of "the other" by examining the historical foundations of European "imperial culture" in art, literature, and science. This section considers how these cultural forms shaped notions of gender, race, and human evolution and impelled the expansion of European empire through the representation of non-European peoples as needing salvation and requiring domination.

In the second section of the course, we consider how these historically situated discourses are linked to modernist images of salvation, education, labour, health, race, and gender in the establishment and maintenance of a colonial order. In the final section of the course, we look at the persistence of colonial discourse in contemporary, postcolonial theories of race, development, and globalization.

3040 6.0 The Anthropology of Digital Media and Visual Representation

This course will look at a wide variety of visual media online, including art, photography, film, and specific digital technologies (such as video games and online museums) to explore the ways in which these shape both the perception of, and the experience of, cultural difference and identity. Of central concern are representations of race, ethnicity, class, gender, and "otherness." Prerequisites: None. Co-requisites: None. Course credit exclusions: ANTH 2120 6.0 and ANTH 2120 3.0.

3040 6.0 The Anthropology of Digital Media and Visual Representation

This course will look at a wide variety of visual media online, including art, photography, film, and specific digital technologies (such as video games and online museums) to explore the ways in which these shape both the perception of, and the experience of, cultural difference and identity. Of central concern are representations of race, ethnicity, class, gender, and "otherness." Prerequisites: None. Co-requisites: None.

3050 3.0 Disabling Lives: Anthropological Interpretations

After considering approaches that are distinctive to the interpretation of disability, this course considers autobiographical interpretations from social science perspectives. The above perspectives will then be combined by asking students to consider disability biographies.

Course credit exclusions: ANTH 3000G 3.0; ANTH 3080 6.0

3080 6.0 Modes of Enablement: A Cultural Perspective on Physical Disability

Anthropological studies of disability examine disability in a context of a "localized and globalizing world" (Ingstad and Whyte (2009) looking at physical and intellectual disability within a context of "personhood," an understanding developed in the comparative study of disability. For the anthropologist and other social observers, personhood emerges from a "social model of disability."

This course considers visible and invisible dimensions of disablement: where the boundary between visible and invisible is defined culturally and socially. We explore the borderline quality of disabilities or their liminality (Turner), the relationships between the able-bodied and disabled, a difference that is socially-defined or reflected in social exclusion, in gender relations and in stigma.

Within both Euro-American societies, and in the Third World, distinctive disability cultures, like that which has emerged among the deaf, and the blind, extend to numerous other disabled 'communities' frequently most easily observed in cyberspace where they overcome barriers of exclusion. In this context, disability minorities may share a "Disability Consciousness," which defines their identity in contrast with the able-bodied. Course topics include a history of the relationship between "disability" and "normality," gender and disability, media (literature, film and television), as well as advertising and photography and disability. An additional focus of the course is the relationship between the disabled, and their support persons, relationships with medical professionals and what Albrecht refers to as "the rehabilitation business."

Winter term introduces the concept of "virtual disability, and is publicly" or how disabled persons escape marginality and stigma through online disability cultures. Winter a comparative perspective and focus on Disability Culture with a specific focus on 'deaf culture' and 'blind culture'. This course often attracts students with the experience working with disabled consumers. Moreover, a number of students have continued an interest in disability through their choice of courses, summer work and careers.

Format: Three seminar hours

3120 6.0 The Anthropology of Tourism

Disneyland and Las Vegas, Yosemite National Park and East African safari parks, the Royal Ontario Museum and Maya ruins in Belize. Why are such varied places major sites in the western tourist imagination? What exactly are modern tourists looking for as they travel "into the heart of Africa" or up the Sepik River of New Guinea, and what effect does the presence of these guests have on the host societies? What is the allure of "sun, sex, sea, and sand" and who are the people who consume these sights? How is international tourism changing in the early twenty-first century and what are the implications of these changes for local cultures throughout the world?

These are just some of the questions and issues that we will be addressing in this course. In the first section of the course we will be considering approaches taken by social scientists to the study of 'The Tourist' in an attempt to understand some of the reasons behind the desire to travel and/or sight-see. First we will be considering the cultural construction of meaning through modern tourist practice - focusing on theories of authenticity and the "tourist gaze." Then we will be looking at recent theories of the 'postmodern' tourist that examine commodification and desire as central to late 20th c and early 21th c tourist practice. In the next section of the course we will shift to a consideration of the tourist site, looking at what happens when we travel.

Here we will consider the global inequalities that underlie tourism, the impact of tourism on expressive culture, sex tourism, the issue of alternative tourism, and the problem of 'nature' in tourist practice. We will also be considering recent interest in the role of tourism in the construction of politically and economically salient forms of local identity.Format: Three seminar hours

3130 3.0 Archaeology and Society: Local Pasts in Global Present

Archaeology and society are intertwined, locally and globally. This course interrogates those connections, examining the role of archaeological heritage and investigation within contemporary society, as well as the influence of social and political forces on archaeological interpretation, governance and practice.

Course credit exclusions: ANTH 3000N 3.0

Format: Three seminar hours

3160 6.0 Sex, Love & Marriage: Cross Cultural Approaches to Kinship

This course seeks to develop cross-cultural perspectives on such topics as marriage and mating, the formation of domestic groups, extended kinship ties and social networks, the kindred and various forms of descent groups, the family as a pathway to madness and many other topics. The stress will be on the importance of kinship as an ideology and set of symbols for ordering human relationships.

3170 6.0 Historical Anthropology & the Politics of History

This course examines (a) how and why anthropologists have incorporated history into their ethnographic work and (b) the ways in which the past is perceived and used, both by anthropologists and the people amongst whom they study.

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3190 3.0 Food, Eating and Nutrition in Cross-Cultural Perspective

Nutritional anthropology, a subfield of medical anthropology, examines the relations between food, culture and biology.

This course explores the social and cultural basis of human food systems using a cross-cultural approach. Nutritional anthropology, a subfield of medical anthropology, integrates an understanding of human biology with the social and cultural basis of human food systems. We will begin by examining nutrition and the cultural construction of bodily needs, as well as transformations of traditional and indigenous food systems and dietary practices.

Our study of food and eating requires an understanding of the food system from multiple theoretical perspectives. We explore the many social meanings of food, and consider theories intent on deciphering the symbolic structures that underlie food taboos and customs. What we eat and how we eat is also part of who we are. Using ethnographic examples, we investigate how food is involved in the making of ethnic and national identities, as well as bodies, personalities and lifestyles. Finally, we explore global and social transformations of food and culture involving industrialization, corporatization, and food movements, considering how food, eating and nutrition intersection with power, poverty, and food security.

Format: Three seminar hours

3200 3.0 The Anthropology of International Health

This course explores the field of international health from a critical anthropological perspective. We begin by tracing the emergence of international aid and development with attention to the cultural assumptions at play in the formation of problems and models by which to address them. We will then look at a range of serious health problems facing the developing world in greater depth, as well as the specific efforts of international experts and agencies to address them. Specific health topics will include infectious diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS, maternal and infant mortality, hunger and malnutrition, the integration of traditional healing into formal health care systems, and anthropological engagement in the field.

3210 6.0 Public Anthropology

What should be the role of anthropology in the contemporary world? How can anthropology apply its methods and insights to local and global problems of inequality, injustice, and human suffering?

This course looks at the development of a publicly engaged anthropology that combines academic and applied anthropology in order to illuminate the larger social issues and problems of our times, encourage broad public conversations about them, and ultimately, affect social change.

We begin by tracing the ways that anthropologists have historically engaged with public issues and examine the implications of anthropology's critical rethinking of its theory and methods since the 1980s. We then examine key issues and case studies in Public Anthropology including: the impact of anthropological representations on the people they study; questions of cultural ownership and appropriation; debates around the repatriation of native artifacts and human remains held in museums; anthropologists' roles as advocates for indigenous peoples' political goals (such as land claims), and anthropologists' contributions to humanitarian and health crises (such as HIV/AIDS and TB).

Format: Two lecture hours, One tutorial hour

3220 6.0 Greed, Globalization & the Gift: The Culture(s) of Capitalism

Global capitalism at the millennium is triumphant: Or is it? Are alternate models of "Economic Man" redundant, or can Economic "science" be contested on its home turf, the "free" market? Can anthropology offer unique insights into "modern" economies: or are we limited to reflection on the "gift" or "moral" economies posited by traditional economic anthropology?

This course has two main themes: first, it examines the nature of capitalist enterprise historically and ethnographically. It thus focuses upon the anthropology of capitalism and the capitalist firm, and the new multi-sited methods required to study a global economic system. We will examine the variety of forms of corporate capitalism (including the differences between agrarian and industrial capitalisms); the spread of capitalism and the "world system" through to the age of globalization; and the failure of neo-liberal development policies to deliver economic prosperity.

Secondly, this course aims to provide undergraduates with the critical tools they require to analyze the pervading neoliberal economic culture within which most current government, media and business discourses are couched. The "battle in Seattle", the Zapatista revolt in Chiapas and other attacks on the World Trade Organization all point to the increasing interconnection of global capital flows, neoliberal economic restructuring, and global movements of resistance. We will thus examine these movements through the use of alternate models of economic behaviour, such as those provided by the Substantivists, Political Economy approaches, and the work of Bruno Latour and the Critical Accounting Theorists.

Format: Three seminar hours[/togle]

3230 6.0 Women, Culture & Society

This course explores the contributions of anthropology to the study of gender, and the contributions of feminism to anthropology. We begin with a critical look at the history of androcentric bias in anthropological field work and theory and then trace the anthropological study of women's lives from the emergence of the "anthropology of women" in the 1970s to contemporary feminist anthropology.

Drawing on ethnographic examples from around the world, we will explore women's lives in depth, taking the perspective that sex, gender, and sexuality are best understood as socially and culturally constructed categories cross cut by race, class, religion and nation.

Among the specific topics covered in this course are: marriage and the family, adoption and parenting, midwifery and childbirth, fashion and beauty, globalization and women's work, and women's agency and political activism. We will also address a number of theoretical and methodological dilemmas raised by the relationship between feminism and anthropology.

Format: Three seminar hours

3230 6.0 Women, Culture & Society

This course explores the contributions of anthropology to the study of gender, and the contributions of feminism to anthropology. We begin with a critical look at the history of androcentric bias in anthropological field work and theory and then trace the anthropological study of women's lives from the emergence of the "anthropology of women" in the 1970s to contemporary feminist anthropology.

Drawing on ethnographic examples from around the world, we will explore women's lives in depth, taking the perspective that sex, gender, and sexuality are best understood as socially and culturally constructed categories cross cut by race, class, religion and nation. Among the specific topics covered in this course are: marriage and the family, adoption and parenting, midwifery and childbirth, fashion and beauty, globalization and women's work, and women's agency and political activism. We will also address a number of theoretical and methodological dilemmas raised by the relationship between feminism and anthropology.

Format: Three seminar hours

3240 6.0 Sexing the Subject: Sexuality from a Cross-Cultural Perspective

This course examines theories and practices of sexuality in our own lives and in the lives of people in other societies. In Canada 'common sense' notions about sexual behaviour assume essential and natural traits common to all humanity i.e., there are two genders, man and woman; they are related to each other through sexual attraction; sex is either for pleasure or for reproduction; and some sexual practices are deviant and immoral.

We begin this course by critically interrogating some of these assumptions, highlighting the development of biological determinism and social constructionism as dominant Western paradigms. We then turn to the study of sexuality in other societies, examining how anthropologists have tried to understand sexual practices and concepts that are, at times, very different from their own, and the various theoretical models through which these practices have been analyzed.

Throughout the course, we will critically reflect on how our own discourses about sex, sexuality, gender and society influence our understanding of people, and how these discourses have contributed to maintaining unequal social relationships. We will discover how in studying sexuality, history, politics, economics, race, and media must be all factored into the analysis. By the end of this course, we should have a better understanding of the range and meanings of sexual practices and discourses about sex cross-culturally.

Format: Three seminar hours

3270 3.0 The Anthropology of Outer Space

The Anthropology of Outer Space offers an anthropological voyage of exploration to other worlds, through human culture, popular imagination, science, and technology. Outer space is full of human paradoxes. Human beings have so far physically travelled only as far as our Moon, and the most distant human artifact, the interstellar probe Voyager 1, has barely left our solar system; yet, the reach of our imagination and technologically-mediated viewing extends to the edge of the known universe.

We have been a space-faring species for only 40 years; yet our past and future are full of dreams of colonizing our solar system. No life of any kind has so far been discovered off Earth, despite the efforts of the sciences of astrobiology and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence; yet, our popular culture is full of imaginary extraterrestrial Others. When Neil Armstrong walked on the Moon, it was touted as "one giant leap for mankind", and the ground beneath his feet has been suggested by the UN to be the "common heritage of mankind"; yet, the flag he planted was American. A substantial fraction of North Americans don't know that the earth orbits the sun, rather than vice versa; and yet, the website for NASA's Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, had 6.5 billion hits in the six weeks after their landing.

This course will explore these contradictions and more, through an anthropological gaze. Throughout, the course will deal with modern science but will be grounded in the human experience of space, as mediated through technology, culture, and politics. Particular topics covered will include: discourses of exploration; the cross-cultural history of scientific speculation about other life in the cosmos and the implications of detection; the use of Moon/Mars analog sites on Earth; simulations of space voyages; near-term plans for crewed explorations of Mars; long-term plans for the colonization of the solar system; Mars rovers, the experiences of telepresence, and websites like GoogleMars; the material culture and sites of space exploration; the private spaceflight revolution; space tourism; space and nationalism; and the connections between space exploration, transnational corporations, and the machinery of war.

Format: Three seminar hours

3280 6.0 Anthropology and Psychiatry in Global Context

This course is concerned with furthering the dialogue and mutual engagement between Medical Anthropology and Cultural Psychiatry - in the context of localized communities, multicultural societies, and global networks alike. Applying a pluralized concept of psychiatry, the course will investigate prevalent practices in clinical psychiatry alongside other culturally and historically formulated strategies of coming to terms with locally defined states of mental disorder. It will explore a diversity of modes of experiencing, expressing, recognizing, interpreting, and addressing mental distress, providing participants with a solid theoretical and conceptual basis while, at the same time, exploring a large body of specific empirical case studies. In so doing, the course offers well-contextualized insights into a number of current issues including the pharmaceutical commodification of mental health, the medicalization of difference, personhood and notions of a 'normal' human condition, stigma and idioms of distress, migration and trauma, psychiatric epidemiology and global mental health policy, and symbolic forms of healing. Engaging with ongoing controversies and debates, it encourages new and critical views onto the practical realities and structural challenges of mental disorder and suffering in Canada and beyond.

Format: Three seminar hours

3320 6.0 Religious Ritual and Symbolism

How major anthropological thinkers seek to explain the variety and complexity of human ritual and symbolic behaviour informs this course. Ethnographic examples and materials on ritual events, religious symbolism, and belief systems will enrich this anthropological perspective. A series of topics will be investigated including shamans, sorcery and witchcraft, specific examples of Asian and European religions and New Age religious movements. After a review of various ways to approach the study of religion within Anthropology with a focus on symbolic theory, the course will concentrate on a number of topics.

Some of the areas of interest investigated and developed for extensive discussion include myth, ritual, shamans, sorcery and witchcraft, and religious systems of the Americas, Africa, Europe and Asia. Students will be encouraged to discuss topics including issues surrounding purity and pollution, gender and religion, religious festivals and performances, and major life concerns like the problem of evil and suffering. Students will be exposed to the anthropological approach to the study of religion through discussions of theories in anthropology and a variety of ethnographic examples. This course will provide the students with grounding in the anthropological approach to the study of religion and expand their knowledge of anthropological techniques and perspectives.

3330 6.0 Health & Illness in Cross-Cultural Perspective: An Introduction to Medical Anthropology

"Health and illness are not merely biological states, but are conditions which are ultimately related to and constituted by the social nature of human life" (Lock & Gordon). Using critical and cross-cultural perspectives, we will examine the diverse ways in which individuals and societies understand, express, and manage illness and health. In doing so, we will see that medical anthropology offers a window into the relationship between our bodies and our social, cultural and political worlds.

Through this course you learn the central early and contemporary theories and methods of medical anthropology. This foundational underpinning will guide your critical study of health and illness, which will include topics such as: the diversity of medical beliefs and practices; the relationship between healers and patients; the national & international health arenas; the life cycle, gender and health; and the social implications of the new technologies of biomedicine.

Format: Three seminar hours

3350 6.0 Culture as Performance: The Anthropology of the Arts

Think about world's fairs, raves, shopping malls, national dance companies, museums, national parks, the circus, mass advertising, wrestling matches, ritual performances, situationalist happenings, art galleries, tourist adventures and all other means of mass cultural performances. These are forms of cultural representation that enact the modern world as exhibition and spectacle. They are also forms of expressive culture that share a logic, the structure, power, and effects of which we will examine in this course.

We begin the course by investigating what it means to talk about cultural performance in the age of spectacle consumption, and then take up a series of historical and contemporary examples of popular culture, artistic expression, and entertainment in order to develop a clear understanding of the role of performance and spectacle in the making of contemporary social and cultural worlds. Throughout the course, we will be building on theoretical arguments in poststructuralist anthropology related to the process of cultural production, affect, and materialist semiotics.

The expected learning outcomes of this course are as follows: 1) to provide students with an overall introduction and understanding of the structure, context, and power of cultural performances as everyday activities or as framed public spectacles; 2) to provide students with the tools to recognize the effects and affective forces of spectacle consumption in the contemporary world anywhere they find them; to ensure the students become familiar with, and have the ability to utilize, the ideas developed in this course in their everyday lives.

Format: Three seminar hours

3370 3.0 Power & Violence: The Making of Modernity

This course will examine the place of organized political violence in the making of the most recent widespread, large-scale dominant social system: "modernity". During its making there has been a massive and unprecedented proliferation of organized violence within and between different groups, peoples, and states. But, even as this pattern is increasingly "globalized" and "normalized", it is deeply uneven in its sources and its causes, in its proliferation and its uses, and in its effects.

The first premise of the course is that if there is to be any understanding of this increasing proliferation and use of organized political violence in the historical making of our contemporary world, we need to enquire into three fundamental aspects of "violence" as a dimension of power: First, into ideologies of violence.

Second, the social and cultural organization of violence - i.e., how violence is "embedded" in everyday social relationships and practices as well as in certain specialized institutions.

Finally, the increasing incorporation of violence through the development and use of extreme forms of "technologies of destruction."

A second premise of the course is that if there is to be any potential resolution of the problems which the proliferation and use of organized violence generates, then attention must also be paid to the existence of "non-violent" ideologies, social organization, and "patterns of reconciliation" – even if these exist in only limited ways and contexts within these contemporary socio-cultural "life-forms".

Format: Three seminar hours

3400 6.0 The Politics of Recognition: Citizenship and Civil Society

The idea of civil society has stirred social imaginations and political aspirations across the globe. It has also been the casualty of state responses to the "war on terror". The goal of this course is to examine the nature and the relevance of notions and discourses of civil society and citizenship and the lexicon of related constructs ("moral community", "public sphere", "democracy" and "civility") to contemporary societies.

Some of the questions we will explore include: What are the problems, paradoxes and possibilities presented by the importation of the ideas and practices of civil society and citizenship into different ethnographic contexts? What is the appeal of civil society and who sets the standards? Who is included or excluded and why? What does the language of citizenship really mean in contemporary societies? Through a variety of ethnographic case studies we will analyze the intersections of civil society and citizenship with gender and sexuality, race, religion, ethnicity, nationalism and class.

Format: Three seminar hours

3410 6.0 Race, Ethnicity and Nationalism: Us and Them

This course examines the significance and perceptions of race, ethnicity and of nationalism as concepts and as modes of configuring identity and organizing social life cross-culturally. Course credit exclusions:  AP/ANTH 3410 6.0 (prior to Fall 2014) and AS/ANTH 3410 6.0 (prior to Fall 2009).

3420 6.0 Indigenous Peoples & Indigenous Rights

Who are indigenous peoples, how are indigenous peoples defined and who defines them? Is there a universally accepted definition of indigeneity? What are the conditions under which people seek to be identified as indigenous? What rights do indigenous peoples have and how do these relate to human rights more generally? How have economic globalization, the use of new information and communications technologies, and international environmental movements shaped indigenous politics?

3430 3.0 Money and Technologies of Exchange

Economic Anthropology has long examined non-market systems of exchange as a means of critiquing the cultural assumptions of market ideology. This course updates this anthropological critique through an ethnographic examination of the market, money, spheres of exchange, and alternative exchange technologies.

3440 3.0 Governmentality & Development: Selected Cases

This course examines the idea of "development" in the context of European state formation, colonialism and globalization. It examines development in Indonesia or India, for example, through the lens of Michel Foucault's concepts of "biopower" and "governmentality" with an eye to explaining the "development of underdevelopment." Governmentality refers to "governmental rationality," the set of strategies, programs and social technologies by which states aim to structure the possibilities for individual action by managing and disciplining populations and spaces. Such programs are not always coherent, and the assemblages they form have contradictory effects on the ground. This course, for example, may look at the ways in which the colonial Dutch state and subsequent "New Order" government sought to reshape families, improve hygiene and farming, and manage "model villages" with the long term goal of economic "take-off".

3520 3.0 The Social Lives of Places & Things: Material Culture and the Archaeology of the Contemporary Past

We are surrounded by a material world, which we make, and which makes us. One of the unique characteristics of human beings is the incredible variety of things which we create, use, distribute, cherish, discard, or remake. But what do things mean? How do we interact with them? What do they contribute to the human experience?

This course addresses the "stuff of life" - including the material things and the constructed places around us. As the physical manifestations of culture, things and places both reflect and influence social relationships. Full of meaning, they can be "read" with the techniques of archaeology and material culture studies, and understood with anthropological and interdisciplinary theory. Thus, we will examine the social lives of things and places, and consider what they say about human relationships with others and with their environment.

Case studies will range from shopping malls to graveyards, zoos, 20th century homes and industrial sites, and battlefields. We will examine material culture in traditional societies, material culture under socialism, and second-hand clothing and recycling/reuse of consumer goods. We will also consider unusual cases such as human artifacts in our solar system (e.g. Moon landing site).

3560 6.0 Anthropology of the Senses

This course examines how humans make and understand the world through their senses, the history of the senses in Western and non-Western systems of thought and experience, and the contemporary meanings and uses of the senses in a range of socio-cultural contexts. Students explore the multidimensional nature of the senses through lectures, field-trips, experimentation and by working with practitioners in different disciplines.

Format: Three seminar hours

3570 6.0 Anthropology, Islam & Muslim Societies

This course examines debates amongst anthropologists about the study of Islam and Muslim societies, and Muslim expressions of Islam according to anthropological themes including the body, space, ritual, knowledge, agency and representation. Students design and undertake a field-based research project.

Format: Three seminar hours

3600 3.0 The Anthropology of Industrial Work in Cross-Cultural Perspective

With Globalization and the outsourcing of production, wide swaths of the third world have undergone rapid industrialization, usually in Free Trade Zones. Utilizing an ethnographic approach, this course analyzes the social and cultural transformations on the shop-floor, in the family and in the city in Western and non-Western countries undergoing the processes of industrialization and de-industrialization.

The emphasis will be on the variety of worker experiences in different cultural contexts from "spirit possession" in Malaysian electronics factories to familial production in the new sweat-shops of Italy and Spain; the impact of international and national patterns of worker migration demanded by flexible production; the re-organization of industrial production in the old industrial core regions, such as Sheffield, England; and emergent class politics in regions of flexible production.

AP/ANTH 3610 3.0/HUMA 3365 3.0A African Oral Tradition

This course introduces students to aspects of the traditional cultures of Africa. Drawing upon historical and contemporary examples, the course examines the particular features of verbal art as performance and the social functions it serves in everyday social contexts.

Reserved Spaces: Spaces reserved for Humanities & African Studies Majors & Minors

Course credit exclusion: Prior to Fall 2009: AS/HUMA 3365 3.00.

AP/ANTH 3620 3.0/HUMA 3664 3.00 The Oral Tradition in Caribbean Culture

This course introduces students to traditional oral cultures of the African-Caribbean diaspora. Adapting an ethnographic approach, the course focuses on the culture's African origins, its evolution in the Caribbean nations, and its subsequent transplantation to urban contexts such as Toronto.

Course credit exclusions: Prior to 2009: AS/HUMA 3664 3.0

3630 3.0 The Anthropology of Illicit Networks: Migration, Transnationalism and Informal Economies

The rise of globalization has been accompanied by an intensification in both documented and, increasingly, undocumented migration. As the global political economy continues to create conditions of friction, violence and disconnection around the world, illicit networks engaged in the movement of everything from everyday consumer items to live human bodies are proliferating. Migrants are coming to rely on dangerous and elaborate networks of recruiters, transporters and corrupt officials to help them reach places of perceived safety and opportunity.

Drawing on recent ethnography on transnationalism, migration, and the informal economy, this course explores the role illicit networks play in global markets, the broader sociocultural transformations illicit networks are bringing about in the places where they operate, and the subjective experience of participating in illicit networks. Among the central questions we will ask are: how and to what degree does globalization spur undocumented migration; how do illicit networks shore-up or undermine modern nation-states; what constellations of power shape these networks; what kinds of human subjects does undocumented migration produce; and what imaginaries are created and/or disrupted by migrants en route and in place.

3640 6.0/HIST 3736 6.0A - Indigenous Struggles in the Andes

Introduces students to the history of the indigenous peoples of the Andean region of South America, which includes Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador, from the conquest of the Inca empire by the Spanish up to the present day.

Course credit exclusions: AP/HIST 3736 6.00 (prior to Fall 2013). Prior to 2009: AS/HIST 3736 6.00

Fourth Year

4030 6.0 Intercultural Training Skills

What does one do with an anthropology degree if one does not become a field anthropologist or go on to graduate school? This course attempts a partial answer to that question by helping to equip students with a body of theoretical knowledge and a repertoire of tools and skills that can be applied to each of these areas of specialization. Intercultural relations, anti-sexism, anti-racism, educational and employment equity are critical issues in today's workplaces and in everyday interactions.

The curriculum provides an understanding of how training and other organizational change strategies can be applied in different social systems (e.g., education, health care, social services, cultural organizations, mass media, government, and employment, etc.). The students will analyze relevant theories, explore different models, and practice specific experiential training skills. The underlying approach to these diverse learning experiences is social change at the level of the individual, group, organization, institution and collective culture.

Format: Three seminar hours

4120 3.0 Reconceiving Kinship: Anthropological Perspectives on Relatedness

This course explores contemporary debates in anthropology on the nature of kinship and relatedness. Beginning with a cultural critique of traditional perspectives, we consider how feminist theory, ender studies, and new reproductive technologies have reshaped the anthropological study of kinship.

4130 6.0 The Professional Anthropologist: The Anthropologist as Practitioner

Applied Anthropology uses the theory and methods of anthropology in the analysis and solution of practical, legal and policy problems for non-academic clients such as governments, development agencies, NGOs, tribal and ethnic associations, advocacy groups, social-service and educational agencies, and businesses. This course discusses the different set of ethical considerations, research constraints and report formats confronting Applied anthropologists as professionals.

Prerequisites: AP/ANTH 3110 6.00. Note: This course is open to Anthropology majors/minors only.

4160 3.0 Anthropology and Indigenous People's Health

From a medical anthropological perspective this course critically explores the historical and contemporary conditions of First Nations health, illness and healing, focusing primarily on the Canadian context and drawing from a variety of historical and contemporary places and issues. Students examine health inequities, policies and programs in historical, social, political and cultural context and in relation to the enduring effects of colonialism, including the social and embodied effects of a history of loss of indigenous land, culture, and political and economic autonomy.

The course begins with a brief overview of medical anthropology theory in relation to the study of indigenous health. Students then explore the history of disease in First Nations Canada as a reflection of the historical transformations of the relations between indigenous and colonizing nations, focusing on diseases such as smallpox, tuberculosis, diabetes and HIV/AIDS. Through the course students learn about indigenous histories and practices of care and healing as well as the ways in which First Nations communities, organizations and leadership are developing innovations in health knowledge and practices.

The course concludes with an analysis of health research modalities. Relevant issues are drawn from a range of current sources in order to explore the contemporary connections between health, disease, politics, culture, and representation.

Format: Three seminar hours

4170 3.0 Historical Anthropology & the Politics of History

In this course we will examine the sometimes tense relationship between anthropology and the discipline of history as well as the past as an object of knowledge. By the end of the course, students will understand central themes in both historical anthropology and the anthropology of history as well as the relevance of oral histories and archival records to the ethnographic endeavour. We will investigate the uses and modes of construction of "history," histories, and the past, as well as how subjects are formed in relation to colonialism, state formation, and revolution as historical and historicizing processes. We will also explore contemporary debates over the role of silences, trauma, and forgetting in our understanding of the past and the concept of "history."

4200 3.0 Practicing Ethnography: Advanced Approaches to Ethnographic Methods

This advanced course provides upper level students with the opportunity to critically examine and apply qualitative research methods used to produce ethnographies (written descriptions and analyses of a particular group of people or institution). Ethnographic methods, the core methods in social anthropology, raise questions about representation and authority. Courses in anthropology often use one or more ethnographies to illustrate particular subjects like tourism, ethnicity, or medical anthropology.

This course requires students to deconstruct and reconstruct the ethnographic process through a critical reading of contemporary ethnographies, combined with direct engagement with the experience of doing ethnography. The course includes reading a selection of ethnographies to see how and why the methods work, and selecting specific methods ethnographers use to produce their ethnographies. With appropriate ethics instruction and ethics clearance, students apply these methods, and write up the results. This year, we examine York University ethnographically as our fieldsite.

The course is organized around student experience in the practice of doing ethnographic analysis. Students have the opportunity to work individually and cooperatively in teams, and to critique their own techniques and those of their peers in a supportive environment. The course provides upper level students with the opportunity to apply research skills acquired in anthropology 3110 or related methods courses to the work of producing pieces of ethnographic analysis.

4220 6.0 The Cultures of the Web

 

This course applies anthropological concepts of community and culture to the Internet. Beginning with the cultural context of virtual communication, students experience fieldwork within a virtual culture and relate this experience to current research.
Course credit exclusions: AP/ANTH 4200H 6.00 and AP/ANTH 4210H 3.00.

PRIOR TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusions: AS/ANTH 4200H 6.00, AS/ANTH 4210H 3.00 and AS/ANTH 4220 6.00.

Format: Three seminar hours

4230 3.0 The Anthropology of Space & Place

This course articulates anthropological and interdisciplinary ways of studying place and space that interrogate modernist separations. It explores contemporary and historical place making and spatial fragmentation.

4240 3.0 Nature, Politics & Difference: Anthropology of Social/Natures

This course provides an anthropological perspective on the cultural politics of environment and development. Drawing on ethnographic case studies from diverse geographical contexts, the course examines the cultural practices, ideologies and discourses that inform environmental struggles and affect the livelihoods of marginal peoples across the globe.

4250 6.0 Religious Movements in Global Perspective

Within a framework of the politics of identity, this course explore the tension between religious and national identities, the character and scope of transnational religious communities, and takes up fundamentalism as one response to developments in cosmopolitan modern societies.

Course credit exclusion: ANTH 4200J 6.0

4260 6.0 Social & Cultural Change

Critical considerations of the theoretical dimensions in this field of anthropology (concepts, models, methodologies, explanations) leads to study of the causes, processes and effects of social change in a range of developed and Third World societies. Particular and contrasting case studies are examined in detail.

4270 3.0 Imagined Societies: An Anthropology of Nations Without Boundaries

The borders of contemporary nation-states neatly and powerfully demarcate boundaries drawn between groups of people. These boundaries may be based on cultural, symbolic, or other supposedly primordial differences such as ethnicity or language. Yet, the porousness and mutability of national boundaries is revealed through the ways in which they are periodically redrawn or transgressed through both global and local processes: from the fall of empires and regime changes to the international migration of refugees and other ‘national bodies’, the rise of regional and supranational unions, and transnationalism. While these ways of imagining and organizing belonging have challenged the nation, the nation remains a fundamental site of identification for many people today. Many people continue to willingly fight – and even die – for the nation. This includes minority communities within national boundaries in their bid for recognition of their own national identities. Drawing on a world-wide set of examples we will explore key questions and tensions in the cultural production of nations as “imagined communities.”

Format: Three seminar hours

4330 3.0 Critical Issues in Medical Anthropology

Comparative perspectives on health, illness and medical systems are studied from the viewpoint of anthropology and related disciplines. Emphasis is placed on understanding the roles of the practitioner and patient in their social and cultural contexts and the importance of applied medical anthropology to the wider community.

4340 6.0 Advocacy & Social Movements

This is a course on modern forms of social advocacy, and the link between public interest advocacy and the "new" social movements. Most of the new social movements, like the environmental movement, contest dominant interests through transformation of cultural or cosmological values. Thus the advocacy process becomes a central part of the social construction of knowledge in modern society.

This course will examine various forms of social advocacy, from the advocacy of anthropologists on behalf of indigenous societies (applied anthropology), to advocacy for human rights, the organization of advocacy in the public sphere, the interrelationship of advocacy with mass media and propaganda, and the move for inclusion of advocacy organizations in global governance (e.g. in the fields of environment and human rights). The course brings together a range of topics that would otherwise be treated in separate university departments – anthropology; mass communication; environmental studies.

A key part of this course will be the undertaking of a small fieldwork project on a selected advocacy group in the Toronto area. Much of the discussion in the first term will be aimed at providing the necessary background, both practical and theoretical, for the undertaking of such a project.

The projects will investigate the way in which the advocacy groups are organized, how they maintain relations with the mass media, and the way in which they undertake social construction of knowledge. The project will require students to keep a diary of contacts made with their advocacy group; project findings can - are encouraged - to be used in the final examination.

Format: Three seminar hours

4350 3.0 Perspectives in Visual Anthropology

This course examines how humans produce, receive and use visual media (i.e., photographs, film, etc.) in different societies and cultures, how the visual is differentiated from other forms of expression, and the social and culture apparatus that support such processes.

Format: Three seminar hours

4410 3.0 The Anthropology of Human Rights

Anthropology, a discipline grounded in the principles of cultural relativism, has been uncomfortable with the universalizing discourse of human rights since it was first codified in the United Nation's 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

Initially, anthropologists rejected the Declaration's claims outright, asserting the superiority of their own pluralist understandings of what constitutes the human over the Western ones that they argued the Declaration was falsely claiming as universals. Since the end of the Cold War, however, human rights claims have become an increasingly important tool for marginalized and subaltern communities—anthropologists' traditional subjects—to assert their political claims. Recognizing this, anthropologists have scrambled to engage the notion of human rights in a less confrontational mode while retaining their commitment to relativism.

This course will survey this history in order to set up the conceptual problems anthropologists face when discussing human rights. It will then proceed to examine some of the strategies anthropologists have used to resolve these problems, including expanding the subject of rights to include collectivities as well as individuals, using rights as a tool of advocacy, grounding rights in anthropological concepts of culture, and treating human rights itself as a culture.

4420 3.0 The Gendered Politics of War

War is increasingly waged on the bodies of unarmed civilians. Where it was once the purview of male soldiers who fought enemy forces on battlefields quite separate from civilian homes, contemporary conflict blurs such distinctions, rendering civilian women, men, and children its main casualties.

In every militarized society, war zone, and refugee camp, violence against women and men is part of a broader continuum of violence that transcends the simple diplomatic dichotomy of war and peace. This continuum of violence dissolves any division between public and private domains. Sites of war and peace are ultimately linked; both can be sites of violence. Explicitly feminist analyses of gender in conflict situations address the politics of social and economic disparities and explore possibilities for changing power imbalances that include gender relations.

The course will link feminist analyses of gender to empirical studies that are grounded in particular conflict zones. Gender relations and identities are (re)produced by governments, militaries, militias, schools, sports, and media. Documenting the panoply of strategies that generate violence against civilian women and men in the name of the nation, the state, the economy, or the family is the first step towards changing these hegemonic, seemingly transparent notions of what it means to be a man or a woman in a given society.

4430 6.0 The Anthropology of Reproduction, Personhood & Citizenship

Human reproductive events and experiences are made meaningful through the complex interplay of biology, culture, and society. Powerful institutions within society such as biomedicine, law, and politics, also shape the way people imagine and manage their reproductive lives, as do global economic and development trends.

This course draws on feminist perspectives on women's health and the body as well as theory and methods in medical anthropology to explore the complex relationships between reproduction, personhood, and citizenship through the study of contemporary and historical issues.

Topics will include: family planning and maternity care interventions in the name of colonialism and development; state and faith sanctioned uses of new reproductive and genetic technologies in realizing goals of nation, citizenship and family; pregnancy and motherhood as "skills of consumption" in North America; the globalization of the abortion debate through NGO funding policies; maternity care in contexts of poverty, violence, and migration; the implications of technology for parental and fetal personhood, and birthplace and citizenship issues worldwide. Students enrolling in this course should have some familiarity with health, reproduction or science studies through previous courses.

Format: Three seminar hours

4440 3.0 Towards an Anthropology of Masculinities

Taking its lead from feminist anthropology, an anthropology of masculinities is dedicated to analyzing formations of and relationships between gender, power, and culture in order to destabilize what is often taken for granted as a 'natural' category of being (which obfuscates a privileged positionality).

Format: Three seminar hours

4450 3.0 Anthropology of the City

In the next few decades, there will be more people living in cities than ever before. The tremendous growth of cities around the world but especially in the global south, which now has cities comprising of fifteen to twenty-five million people (almost half the size of the population of Canada), poses an interesting set of questions for anthropology, a discipline that has traditionally focused on smaller groups and settings.

Through a close reading of a few classics in Urban Anthropology and contemporary ethnographic case studies from Mexico, Brazil, Thailand, India, China, USA, and Canada, first half of the course introduces the students to the foundational concepts and methodological tools used by anthropologists in the study of the city.

Covering approaches from World-Systems theory to theories of space and place, everyday practices, and governmentality, the course examines the historical, social, political-economic forces that make cities to be the locus of capitalist production, consumption, labor, migration, wealth and waste. In the second half, the course focuses on the ethnographic case studies from the global north and south to examine urban forms, gentrification, crime, violence, urban renewal, poverty, im/migration, neighborhoods, dissent, and governance in the megapolises and critically engages with the methodological challenge posed by the scale and complexity of the city for anthropology.

In addressing the ways anthropologist can draw on and contribute to the study of the city, the course considers the methodological exercise of the flaneur to study the everyday life of the city as well as other anthropological methods.

The goal of the course is to make students reflect on the space of the city, how it is configured by micro-and macro-practices of a range of actors (humans and non-humans) and in turn constitute the city as a anthropological site, process, and a practice. Specific assignments are designed to engage and reflect on different aspects of a city (politics, populations, possibilities, media, governance) they know and one they don't know.

Format: Three seminar hours

4550 3.0 Anthropology of Cosmopolitanisms

The concept cosmopolitanism is used in this course to describe and  examine a range of  cultural practices and identity formations (past and present) that occur in situations marked by movement, cultural flows and mixing.  The concept's history, multiple meanings and applications are explored as are the tensions that may arise as cosmopolitan identities and aspirations to 'openness' encounter tendencies toward 'closures' in identities grounded in nationalism, religion, ethnicity.

Format: Three seminar hours

4560 6.0 The Anthropology of Science & Technology

What is a scientific fact? How are facts produced in scientific laboratories? How do they circulate? And how do we make sense of scientific facts in our daily lives? This course offers an introduction to anthropological studies of science and technology with a focus on the power of facts in contemporary technoscientific cultures. The anthropology of science is a fast-growing area of ethnographic research that approaches science as both a practice and a culture. Today, anthropologists' field sites include nuclear weapons laboratories, science classrooms, surgical operating theatres, pharmaceutical companies, animal breeding farms, ecological restoration sites, activist communities, and disaster zones like Chernobyl and Bhopal.

In these fields, anthropologists track the material cultures of science, including the objects and instruments scientists design and use to conduct their research. Building on anthropological interest in forms of cultural production and reproduction, anthropologists of science forge inquiries into the ways that scientific institutions produce new generations of scientists, new cultures of knowledge, and new forms of expertise.

Anthropologists also examine how Western cultural concepts of life and health are continuously transformed through biomedicine and biotechnologies, and how people rework scientific facts in their daily lives and worlds. The course builds on anthropological literature to explore how facts are stabilized in scientific communities, how facts are made to travel, and how we incorporate facts into our lives and fashion our selves in conversation with expert knowledge. Through close examination of ethnographic studies, active discussion, and hands-on research, the course takes a close look at the politics of science and technology and the intersection of science with race and gender, and new formations of capital and identity.

Format: Three seminar hours

ANTH 4570 3.0 The Brain, Self & Society

This course is designed for fourth year students in social sciences interested in neurosciences and psychiatry. It introduces students to different disciplinary perspectives on neurosciences, the self, neuropsychiatry, and narratives of the brain in contemporary biomedicine. This seminar leads advanced students through explorations of epistemological and ontological shifts in neurosciences and personhood, in both the global South and the North.

Open to: 4th year HESO majors, Medical Anthropology minors, (and other social science students with permission)
Cross-listed: AP/SOSC 4145 3.00