Anthropology

Anthropology studies humankind from a comparative perspective that emphasizes the diversity of human behavior and the importance of culture in both describing and explaining that variety. While the discipline encompasses the biological nature of our species and the material aspects of human adaptation, it takes as fundamental the idea that humans respond to nature and natural forces in large part through culture—that is, the system of practices and signs through which people interact and communicate. Anthropology, then, is the study of human beings as cultural animals. Sociocultural anthropology, the focus of the MIT program, draws its data from the direct study of contemporary peoples living in a wide variety of circumstances, from peasant villagers to tropical forest hunters and gatherers to professionals working in technological organizations to urban populations in modern societies.

Anthropology at MIT offers students a broad exposure to scholarship on human culture. The field is more generally distinguished from other humanities and social science disciplines by its insistence that understanding people's ways of life is often best accomplished by living and working among them—that is, by doing fieldwork. This immersive work—often described as ethnography—reveals the multiple positions and perspectives that constitute social worlds. Ethnographic representations in texts and films can provide excellent contextual resources for work in engineering, science, and other fields in the humanities, social sciences, and management.

Undergraduate Study

MIT’s Anthropology Program provides introductions to intensive studies in such areas as environmentalism; agriculture and food production; the organization and cultures of science, medicine, and technology; law and human rights; gender, sex, race, and class; and nationalism and ethnic identity.

Excluding Independent Study, Thesis, and Special Subjects, the Anthropology curriculum is divided into six topic clusters that provide depth on related topics:

  • 21A.00 Introduction to Anthropology: Comparing Human Cultures and 21A.01 How Culture Works are core subjects.
  • 21A.100 to 21A.199 address general issues related to culture and identity.
  • 21A.300 to 21A.399 examine health, disease, medicine, and biology in global and local settings.
  • 21A.400 to 21A.499 investigate issues and conflicts related to the environment, law, and human rights.
  • 21A.500 to 21A.599 focus on science, technology, and media in various institutional, economic, and political contexts.
  • 21A.800 to 21A.899 are methods and theory subjects.

For additional information, visit the anthropology website.

Students taking a concentration in anthropology should enroll in either 21A.00 Introduction to Anthropology: Comparing Human Cultures or 21A.01 How Culture Works, and two other subjects. Anthropology subjects qualify for several interdisciplinary concentrations, including those in Women's and Gender Studies, Latin American and Latino Studies, and Science, Technology, and Society.

Bachelor of Science in Anthropology (Course 21A)

The undergraduate program leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Anthropology (Course 21A) provides a thorough grounding in cultural anthropology.

Majors learn about the concept of culture and the processes by which humans make meaningful transactions, the nature of ethnographic fieldwork, and the connections between anthropology and the other social sciences. Majors study the theories explaining human behavior as well as the range of methods anthropologists use to analyze empirical data. Students can focus on particular geographical areas, such as Latin America, Europe, North America, Africa, or Asia, and on issues like neocolonialism, ethnic conflict, human rights, environmental movements, globalization, or expressive, medical, or scientific cultures.

The anthropology student comes to understand that the hallmark of the discipline is the comparative study of human societies. Emphasis is on understanding diversity and the importance of the concept of culture in explaining that variety, as well as on learning about the universals of behavior that may underlie diversity.

Joint Degree Programs

Joint degree programs are offered in anthropology in combination with a field in engineering or science (21E, 21S). See the joint degree programs listed under Humanities.

Either 21A.00 Introduction to Anthropology: Comparing Human Cultures or 21A.01 How Culture Works is strongly recommended as a preliminary subject for all anthropology degree programs.

Minor in Anthropology

The Minor in Anthropology consists of six subjects arranged into three tiers as shown below. Students create individual programs with the help of the minor advisor to ensure that they gain a coherent introduction to the methods, approaches, and some of the results of the discipline.

Tier I
21A.00Introduction to Anthropology: Comparing Human Cultures12
or 21A.01 How Culture Works
Tier II
Select four subjects with a unifying theme (not to include 21A.00 or 21A.01)42-48
Tier III
21A.852Seminar in Anthropological Theory12
or 21A.802 Seminar in Ethnography and Fieldwork
Total Units66-72

Graduate Study

HASTS Graduate Program

The Anthropology Program, the History faculty, and the Program in Science, Technology, and Society collaborate in the graduate program History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and Society (HASTS) leading to a PhD; see the description under the Program in Science, Technology, and Society.

Inquiries

Further information on subjects and programs may be obtained from the Anthropology Office, Room E53-335, 617-452-2837.

Faculty and Teaching Staff

Stefan Helmreich, PhD

Elting E. Morison Professor in Humanities

Professor of Anthropology

Head, Anthropology Program

(On leave, fall)

Susan S. Silbey, PhD

Leon and Anne Goldberg Professor of Humanities

Professor of Sociology and Anthropology

Professor of Behavioral and Policy Studies

Member, Institute for Data, Systems, and Society

Acting Head (Fall), Anthropology Program

Professors

Michael M. J. Fischer, PhD

Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities

Professor of Science and Technology Studies

Professor of Anthropology

Heather Anne Paxson, PhD

William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor

Professor of Anthropology

(On leave, fall)

Christine Walley, PhD

Professor of Anthropology

Associate Professors

Manduhai Buyandelger, PhD

Class of 1956 Career Development Professor

Associate Professor of Anthropology

Erica C. James, PhD

Associate Professor of Anthropology

Graham M. Jones, PhD

Associate Professor of Anthropology

(On leave, fall)

Assistant Professors

Amy Moran-Thomas, PhD

Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Professors Emeriti

James Howe, PhD

Professor Emeritus of Anthropology

Jean E. Jackson, PhD

Professor Emerita of Anthropology

Arthur Steinberg, PhD

Professor Emeritus of Anthropology

The anthropology subjects described below are grouped within seven areas: Core Subjects; Culture and Identity; Global Health; Environment, Development, and Conflict; Science, Technology, and Media; Cross-cultural Dialog and Investigations; and Independent Study, Special Subjects, and Thesis.

Core Subjects

21A.00 Introduction to Anthropology: Comparing Human Cultures

Prereq: None
U (Spring)
3-0-9 units. HASS-S

Through the comparative study of different cultures, anthropology explores fundamental questions about what it means to be human. Seeks to understand how culture shapes societies, from the smallest island in the South Pacific to the largest Asian metropolis, and affects the way institutions work, from scientific laboratories to Christian mega-churches. Provides a framework for analyzing diverse facets of human experience, such as gender, ethnicity, language, politics, economics, and art.

A. Moran-Thomas

21A.01 How Culture Works

Prereq: None
U (Fall)
3-0-9 units. HASS-S

Introduces diverse meanings and uses of the concept of culture with historical and contemporary examples from scholarship and popular media around the globe. Includes first-hand observations, synthesized histories and ethnographies, quantitative representations, and visual and fictionalized accounts of human experiences. Students conduct empirical research on cultural differences through the systematic observation of human interaction, employ methods of interpretative analysis, and practice convincing others of the accuracy of their findings.

M. Buyandelger

Culture and Identity

21A.101[J] Identity and Difference

Same subject as WGS.170[J]
Prereq: None
Acad Year 2016-2017: Not offered
Acad Year 2017-2018: U (Spring)

3-0-9 units. HASS-S

Examines several theoretical perspectives on human identity and focuses on processes of creating categories of acceptable and deviant identities; how identities are formed, how behaviors are labelled, and how people enter deviant roles and worlds; and responses to differences and strategies for coping with these responses. Describes how identity and difference are inescapably linked.

Staff

21A.103[J] The Science of Race, Sex, and Gender

Same subject as STS.046[J], WGS.225[J]
Prereq: None
U (Spring)
3-0-9 units. HASS-S

See description under subject WGS.225[J].

A. Sur

21A.104 Memory, Culture, and Forgetting

Subject meets with 21A.119
Prereq: None
Acad Year 2016-2017: Not offered
Acad Year 2017-2018: U (Spring)

2-0-7 units. HASS-S

Introduces scholarly debates about the sociocultural practices through which individuals and societies create, sustain, recall, and erase memories. Emphasis is given to the history of knowledge, construction of memory, the role of authorities in shaping memory, and how societies decide on whose versions of memory are more "truthful" and "real." Other topics include how memory works in the human brain, memory and trauma, amnesia, memory practices in the sciences, false memory, sites of memory, and the commodification of memory. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.

M. Buyandelger

21A.111[J] For Love and Money: Rethinking the Family

Same subject as WGS.172[J]
Prereq: None
Acad Year 2016-2017: Not offered
Acad Year 2017-2018: U (Spring)

3-0-9 units. HASS-S

Cross-cultural case studies introduce students to the anthropological study of the social institutions and symbolic meanings of family, gender, and sexuality. Investigates the different forms families and households take and considers their social, emotional, and economic dynamics. Analyzes how various expectations for, and experiences of, family life are rooted in or challenged by particular conceptions of gender and sexuality. Addresses questions surrounding what it means to be a "man" or a "woman," as well as a family member, in different social contexts.

H. Paxson

21A.119 Memory, Culture, and Forgetting

Subject meets with 21A.104
Prereq: None
Acad Year 2016-2017: Not offered
Acad Year 2017-2018: G (Spring)

3-0-9 units

Introduces scholarly debates about the sociocultural practices through which individuals and societies create, sustain, recall, and erase memories. Emphasis is given to the history of knowledge, construction of memory, the role of authorities in shaping memory, and how societies decide on whose versions of memory are more "truthful" and "real." Other topics include how memory works in the human brain, memory and trauma, amnesia, memory practices in the sciences, false memory, sites of memory, and the commodification of memory. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.

M. Buyandelger

21A.120 American Dream: Exploring Class in the US

Prereq: None
U (Fall)
Not offered regularly; consult department

3-0-9 units. HASS-S

Americans have historically preferred to think of the United States in classless terms, as a land of economic opportunity equally open to all. Yet, social class remains a central fault line in the US. Subject explores the experiences and understandings of class among Americans positioned at different points along the US social spectrum. Considers a variety of classic frameworks for analyzing social class and uses memoirs, novels and ethnographies to gain a sense of how class is experienced in daily life and how it intersects with other forms of social difference such as race and gender.

C. Walley

21A.130[J] Introduction to Latin American Studies

Same subject as 17.55[J], 21G.084[J]
Prereq: None
U (Fall)
3-0-9 units. HASS-S; CI-H

See description under subject 17.55[J].

T. Padilla, P. Duong

21A.140[J] Cultures of East Asia

Same subject as 21G.047[J]
Prereq: None
U (Fall)
3-0-9 units. HASS-S

Explores diverse cultures, everyday experiences, and political economies in East Asian countries, such as China, Japan, Korea, and Singapore, with additional examples from the surrounding regions. Examines the different ways people in these regions experience and understand globalization, as well as the changing structures of kinship and family, work and organizational culture, media, consumption, and the role of government. Readings cover ethnographic studies of the world's largest seafood market in Tokyo, the effect of the Asian financial crisis on South Korea, the role of science in formulating China's one child policy and its economic and social implications, and the state and ethnic diversity in Singapore.

M. Buyandelger

21A.141[J] Images of Asian Women: Dragon Ladies and Lotus Blossoms

Same subject as 21G.048[J], WGS.274[J]
Prereq: None
Acad Year 2016-2017: Not offered
Acad Year 2017-2018: U (Spring)

3-0-9 units. HASS-S

Explores some of the forces and mechanisms through which stereotypes are built and perpetuated. In particular, examines stereotypes associated with Asian women in colonial, nationalist, state-authoritarian, and global/diasporic narratives about gender and power. Students read ethnography, fiction, and history, and view films to examine the politics and circumstances that create and perpetuate the representation of Asian women as dragon ladies, lotus blossoms, despotic tyrants, desexualized servants, and docile subordinates. Students are introduced to debates about Orientalism, gender, and power.

M. Buyandelger

21A.143[J] Gender and Japanese Popular Culture

Same subject as 21G.039[J], WGS.154[J]
Subject meets with 21G.591

Prereq: None
Acad Year 2016-2017: Not offered
Acad Year 2017-2018: U (Spring)

3-0-9 units. HASS-H

See description under subject 21G.039[J].

I. Condry

21A.150 Teaching and Learning: Cross-Cultural Perspectives

Prereq: None
U (Spring)
3-0-9 units. HASS-S

Explores the diverse ways that people teach and learn in different countries, disciplines, and subcultures (computer gamers, magicians, jazz musicians, etc.). Compares schooling to other forms of knowledge transmission, from initiation and apprenticeship to recent innovations in online education. Students discuss various learning theories and apply them to a variety of in-class activities using qualitative methods to conduct original research on topics of their choice. Limited to 15.

G. Jones

21A.155 Food, Culture, and Politics

Prereq: None
Acad Year 2016-2017: Not offered
Acad Year 2017-2018: U (Spring)

3-0-9 units. HASS-S

Explores connections between what we eat and who we are through cross-cultural study of how personal identities and social groups are formed via food production, preparation, and consumption. Organized around critical discussion of what makes "good" food good (healthy, authentic, ethical, etc.). Uses anthropological and literary classics as well as recent writing and films on the politics of food and agriculture.

H. Paxson

21A.156 Introduction to Sociology

Prereq: None
U (Fall)
3-0-9 units. HASS-S

Explores how social and historical structures shape individual experience and organize patterns of behavior. Focuses on the major social structures of contemporary society, such as family, government, work and organizations, religion, popular culture and mass media, criminal justice and the law, racial and ethnic group membership, community geography, and education.

L. Tso

21A.157 The Meaning of Life (New)

Prereq: None
U (Spring)
3-0-9 units. HASS-S

Examines how a variety of cultural traditions propose answers to the question of how to live a meaningful life. Considers the meaning of life, not as a philosophical abstraction, but as a question that individuals grapple with in their daily lives, facing difficult decisions between meeting and defying cultural expectations. Provides tools for thinking about moral decisions as social and historical practices, and permits students to compare and contextualize the ways people in different times and places approach fundamental ethical concerns.

G. Jones, H. Paxson

21A.200 Magic, Science, and Religion

Prereq: None
U (Fall)
Not offered regularly; consult department

3-0-9 units. HASS-S

Explores the origins of magic, science, and religion as forms of belief within and across cultures. Addresses the place of rationality and belief in competing sociocultural theories, with a focus on analyzing modern perspectives. Examines how cases of overlap between magic, science, and religion raise new questions about modernity and human nature.

G. Jones

Global Health

21A.300 Practicum in Global Health and Development

Subject meets with 21A.329
Prereq: None
U (Spring)
3-3-6 units. HASS-S

Provides training for students to critically analyze the relationship between "health" and "development." Draws upon the theory and methods of medical anthropology, social medicine, public health, and development to track how culture, history, and political economy influence health and disease in global communities. Students work in teams to formulate research questions, and collect and analyze qualitative data in clinical and community settings in the greater Boston area, in order to design effective development interventions aimed at reducing health disparities in the US and abroad. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.

E. C. James

21A.301 Disease and Health: Culture, Society, and Ethics

Prereq: None
U (Fall)
3-0-9 units. HASS-S

From a cross cultural and global perspective, examines how medicine is practiced, with particular emphasis on biomedicine. Analyzes medical practice as a cultural system, focusing on the human and social side of things. Considers how people in different societies think of disease, health, body, and mind. Enrollment limited.

A. Moran-Thomas

21A.302[J] Dilemmas in Biomedical Ethics: Playing God or Doing Good?

Same subject as WGS.271[J]
Prereq: None
U (Fall)
3-0-9 units. HASS-S

An introduction to the cross-cultural study of biomedical ethics. Examines moral foundations of the science and practice of western biomedicine through case studies of abortion, contraception, cloning, organ transplantation and other issues. Evaluates challenges that new medical technologies pose to the practice and availability of medical services around the globe, and to cross-cultural ideas of kinship and personhood. Discusses critiques of the biomedical tradition from anthropological, feminist, legal, religious, and cross-cultural theorists.

E. C. James

21A.303[J] The Anthropology of Biology

Same subject as STS.060[J]
Prereq: None
Acad Year 2016-2017: Not offered
Acad Year 2017-2018: U (Fall)

3-0-9 units. HASS-S

Applies the tools of anthropology to examine biology in the age of genomics, biotechnological enterprise, biodiversity conservation, pharmaceutical bioprospecting, and synthetic biology. Examines such social concerns such as bioterrorism, genetic modification, and cloning. Offers an anthropological inquiry into how the substances and explanations of biology — ecological, organismic, cellular, molecular, genetic, informatic — are changing. Examines such artifacts as cell lines, biodiversity databases, and artificial life models, and using primary sources in biology, social studies of the life sciences, and literary and cinematic materials, asks how we might answer Erwin Schrodinger's 1944 question, "What Is Life?", today.

S. Helmreich

21A.304[J] Reproductive Politics and Technologies

Same subject as WGS.175[J]
Prereq: None
U (Fall)
Not offered regularly; consult department

3-0-9 units. HASS-S

Examines through comparative case studies how cultural, moral, and political values give meaning to human reproductive events and inform people's uses of medical technologies. Focuses on how technological mediations of fertility, pregnancy and birth (e.g., contraception, abortion, in vitro fertilization, prenatal testing, etc.) offer opportunities for the formation of gender and kinship, the reproduction of social inequalities, and the implementation of national population and international development agendas. Considers how bioethical evaluation of reproductive technologies might take into account the motivations and experiences of actual users.

H. Paxson

21A.305[J] Drugs, Politics, and Culture

Same subject as STS.062[J]
Prereq: None
Acad Year 2016-2017: Not offered
Acad Year 2017-2018: U (Fall)

3-0-9 units. HASS-S

Explores the relationship between drugs and society in a cross-cultural perspective, looking at intersections between drugs and phenomena such as poverty, religion, technology, colonialism, conflict, and global capitalism. Examines histories behind the use and abuse of various substances, including opium, cocaine, and prescription pharmaceuticals. Considers why different societies prohibit and sanction different drugs; the politics of markets and clinical trials; and how social conditions affect the circulation of medicines in global health. Limited to 25.

A. Moran-Thomas

21A.306 Culture, Embodiment, and the Senses

Prereq: None
Acad Year 2016-2017: Not offered
Acad Year 2017-2018: U (Fall)

3-0-9 units. HASS-S

Examines historical and cross-cultural debates about the relationship between mind, brain, emotion, and behavior; memory and recall; sensory experience; and illness and healing. Assesses cultural traditions that challenge scientific interpretations of experience arising from western philosophical and physiological models. Explores how experience itself is culturally mediated, interpreted, and elaborated within symbolic, political, and other fields.

E. C. James

21A.307 Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health and Health Care

Prereq: None
Acad Year 2016-2017: Not offered
Acad Year 2017-2018: U (Spring)

3-0-9 units. HASS-S

Examines health and health care for racial and ethnic minorities in the United States drawing on sociological perspectives. Using qualitative and quantitative research methods, students document and seek explanations for why racial and ethnic minorities have poorer health outcomes and receive lower quality health care than other societal groups. Examines the effects of discrimination in health care settings; the effect of psychosocial stress on mental and physical health; and the ways the health care system specifically generates disparate outcomes for racial and ethnic minorities through interpersonal and institutional processes.

Staff

21A.308 Global Mental Health

Prereq: None
Acad Year 2016-2017: Not offered
Acad Year 2017-2018: U (Spring)

3-0-9 units. HASS-S; CI-H

Provides skills to critically analyze issues of mental health in historical and cross-cultural contexts. Studies mental illness as a complex biopsychosocial experience embedded in particular political and economic frameworks. Examines the relationships among culture, gender, embodiment, and emotional distress; power inequalities and ideas of the "normal" and "abnormal;" and how such conceptions influence caregiving practices, whether in traditional or biomedical contexts. Evaluates how the disciplines of psychology, psychoanalysis, and psychiatry have developed in the West, and considers their influence on mental health interventions in global settings. Limited to 25.

E. James

21A.319[J] History and Anthropology of Medicine and Biology

Same subject as STS.330[J]
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Acad Year 2016-2017: Not offered
Acad Year 2017-2018: G (Spring)

3-0-9 units

See description under subject STS.330[J].

S. Helmreich

21A.329 Practicum in Global Health and Development

Subject meets with 21A.300
Prereq: None
G (Spring)
3-3-6 units

Provides training for students to critically analyze the relationship between "health" and "development." Draws upon the theory and methods of medical anthropology, social medicine, public health, and development to track how culture, history, and political economy influence health and disease in global communities. Students work in teams to formulate research questions, and collect and analyze qualitative data in clinical and community settings in the greater Boston area, in order to design effective development interventions aimed at reducing health disparities in the US and abroad. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.

E. C. James

21A.331[J] Infections and Inequalities: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Global Health

Same subject as 7.331[J], HST.431[J]
Prereq: None
Acad Year 2016-2017: Not offered
Acad Year 2017-2018: U (Spring)

3-0-9 units. HASS-S

Examines case studies in infectious disease outbreaks to demonstrate how human health is a product of multiple determinants, such as biology, sociocultural and historical factors, politics, economic processes, and the environment. Analyzes how structural inequalities render certain populations vulnerable to illness and explores the moral and ethical dimensions of public health and clinical interventions to promote health. Limited to 25.

E. James, D. Kim, A. Chakraborty

21A.359[J] Introduction to Global Medicine: Bioscience, Technologies, Disparities, Strategies (New)

Same subject as HST.934[J], STS.449[J]
Prereq: None
G (Spring)
3-0-6 units

See description under subject HST.934[J].

M. Fischer, E. James, M. J. Good

Environment, Development, and Conflict

21A.400 The Stakes of International Development

Prereq: None
Acad Year 2016-2017: Not offered
Acad Year 2017-2018: U (Spring)

3-0-9 units. HASS-S; CI-H

Offers an anthropological perspective on international development. Students consider development, not in policy or technical terms, but through its social and political dynamics and its impacts on daily life. Examines the various histories of, and meanings given to, international development as well as the social organization of aid agencies and projects. Follows examples of specific projects in various parts of the world. Examples: water projects for pastorialists in Africa, factory development in Southeast Asia, and international nature parks in Indonesia. Enrollment limited.

C. Walley

21A.409[J] Ethics of Intervention

Same subject as 11.238[J]
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Acad Year 2016-2017: Not offered
Acad Year 2017-2018: G (Spring)

3-0-9 units

An historical and cross-cultural study of the logics and practices of intervention: the ways that individuals, institutions, and governments identify conditions of need or states of emergency within and across borders that require a response. Examines when a response is viewed as obligatory, when is it deemed unnecessary, and by whom; when the intercession is considered fulfilled; and the rationales or assumptions that are employed in assessing interventions. Theories of the state, globalization, and humanitarianism; power, policy, and institutions; gender, race, and ethnicity; and law, ethics, and morality are examined.

E. C. James

21A.410 Environmental Struggles

Prereq: None
Acad Year 2016-2017: Not offered
Acad Year 2017-2018: U (Spring)

3-0-9 units. HASS-S

Offers an international perspective on the environment. Using environmental conflict to consider the stakes that groups in various parts of the world have in nature, while also exploring how ecological and social dynamics interact and change over time, subject considers such controversial environmental issues as: nuclear contamination in Eastern Europe; genetic bioprospecting in Mexico; toxic run-off in the rural US; the Bhopal accident in India; and the impact of population growth in the Third World.

C. Walley

21A.411[J] People and Other Animals

Same subject as 21H.380[J]
Subject meets with 21A.419[J], 21H.980[J]

Prereq: None
U (Spring)
2-0-10 units. HASS-S

See description under subject 21H.380[J].

H. Ritvo

21A.415[J] Energy Decisions, Markets, and Policies

Same subject as 11.161[J], 14.43[J], 15.031[J], 17.397[J]
Prereq: 14.01, 15.0111, or permission of instructor
Acad Year 2016-2017: Not offered
Acad Year 2017-2018: U (Fall)

4-0-8 units. HASS-S

See description under subject 15.031[J].

C. Warshaw

21A.419[J] People and Other Animals

Same subject as 21H.980[J]
Subject meets with 21A.411[J], 21H.380[J]

Prereq: None
G (Spring)
2-0-10 units

See description under subject 21H.980[J].

H. Ritvo

21A.429[J] Environmental Conflict and Social Change

Same subject as STS.320[J]
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Acad Year 2016-2017: G (Fall)
Acad Year 2017-2018: Not offered

3-0-9 units

Explores the complex interrelationships among humans and natural environments, focusing on non-western parts of the world in addition to Europe and the United States. Use of environmental conflict to draw attention to competing understandings and uses of "nature" as well as the local, national and transnational power relationships in which environmental interactions are embedded. In addition to utilizing a range of theoretical perspectives, subject draws upon a series of ethnographic case studies of environmental conflicts in various parts of the world.

C. Walley

21A.439[J] Food and Power

Same subject as STS.429[J]
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Acad Year 2016-2017: G (Spring)
Acad Year 2017-2018: Not offered

3-0-9 units

See description under subject STS.429[J].

D. Fitzgerald

21A.442[J] Violence, Human Rights, and Justice

Same subject as WGS.270[J]
Prereq: None
Acad Year 2016-2017: Not offered
Acad Year 2017-2018: U (Spring)

3-0-9 units. HASS-S

An examination of the problem of mass violence and oppression in the contemporary world, and of the concept of human rights as a defense against such abuse. Explores questions of cultural relativism, race, gender and ethnicity. Examines case studies from war crimes tribunals, truth commissions, anti-terrorist policies and other judicial attempts to redress state-sponsored wrongs. Considers whether the human rights framework effectively promotes the rule of law in modern societies. Students debate moral positions and address ideas of moral relativism.

E. C. James

21A.455[J] Law and Society

Same subject as 11.163[J], 17.249[J]
Subject meets with 21A.459

Prereq: None
Acad Year 2016-2017: Not offered
Acad Year 2017-2018: U (Fall)

3-0-9 units. HASS-S

Studies legal reasoning, types of law and legal systems, and relationship of law to social class and social change. Emphasizes the profession and practice of law, including legal education, stratification within the bar, and the politics of legal services. Investigates emerging issues in the relationship between institutions of law and science.

S. Silbey

21A.459 Seminar in Readings on Law and Society

Subject meets with 11.163[J], 17.249[J], 21A.455[J]
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Acad Year 2016-2017: Not offered
Acad Year 2017-2018: G (Fall)

3-0-9 units

Explores the historical and contemporary literature, theoretical and empirical, tracking the roles of law in society as a common yet distinctive aspect of everyday life. Focuses on law as a social institution, a system, and as a feature of popular culture. Highlights the relationship between the internal logic of legal devices and economic, political and social processes and change. Emphasizes law as a practical resource, a mechanism for handling a wide range of unspecified social issues, problems, and conflicts, and at the same time, as a set of limited although shared representations and aspirations.

S. Silbey

21A.461 What Is Capitalism?

Prereq: None
Acad Year 2016-2017: Not offered
Acad Year 2017-2018: U (Fall)

3-0-9 units. HASS-S; CI-H

Introduces academic debates on the nature of capitalism, drawing upon the ideas of scholars as diverse as Adam Smith and Karl Marx. Examines anthropological studies of how contemporary capitalism plays out in people's daily lives in a range of geographic and social settings, and implications for how we understand capitalism today. Settings range from Wall Street investment banks to auto assembly plants, from family businesses to consumer shopping malls. Enrollment limited.

C. Walley

Science, Technology, and Media

21A.203 Anthropology through Speculative Fiction

Prereq: None
U (Fall)
Not offered regularly; consult department

3-0-9 units. HASS-S

Examines how anthropology and speculative fiction (SF) each explore ideas about culture and society, technology, morality, and life in "other" worlds. Investigates this convergence of interest through analysis of SF in print, film, and other media. Covers traditional and contemporary anthropological themes, including first contact; gift exchange; gender, marriage, and kinship; law, morality, and cultural relativism; religion; race and embodiment; politics, violence, and war; medicine, healing, and consciousness; technology and environment.

E. C. James, S. Helmreich

21A.500[J] Technology and Culture

Same subject as STS.075[J]
Prereq: None
U (Fall)
2-0-7 units. HASS-S

Examines the intersections of technology, culture, and politics in a variety of social and historical settings ranging from 19th-century factories to 21st-century techno dance floors, from Victorian London to anything-goes Las Vegas. Discussions and readings organized around three questions: what cultural effects and risks follow from treating biology as technology; how computers have changed the way we think about ourselves and others; and how politics are built into our infrastructures. Explores the forces behind technological and cultural change; how technological and cultural artifacts are understood and used by different communities; and whether, in what ways, and for whom technology has produced a better world. Limited to 40.

A. Moran-Thomas

21A.501[J] Art, Craft, Science

Same subject as STS.074[J]
Prereq: None
Acad Year 2016-2017: Not offered
Acad Year 2017-2018: U (Spring)

3-0-9 units. HASS-S
Credit cannot also be received for 21A.509[J], STS.474[J]

Examines how people learn, practice, and evaluate traditional and contemporary craft techniques. Social science theories of design, embodiment, apprenticeship learning, skill, labor, expertise, and tacit knowledge are used to explore distinctions among art, craft, and science. Also discusses the commoditization of craft into market goods, collectible art, and tourism industries. Ethnographic and historical case studies include textiles, Shaker furniture, glassblowing, quilting, cheesemaking, industrial design, home and professional cooking, factory and laboratory work, CAD/CAM. Demonstrations, optional field trips, and/or hands-on craft projects may be included. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.

H. Paxson

21A.502 Fun and Games: Cross-Cultural Perspectives

Prereq: None
U (Fall)
Not offered regularly; consult department

3-0-9 units. HASS-S

Considers the cultural organization of play in different communities and societies. Explores why all people play, how different cultures experience fun, and what particular games mean, if anything. Surveys major theories of play in relation to a variety of play phenomena, such as jokes, video games, children's fantasies, sports, and entertainment spectacles. As a final project, students develop their own case study.

G. Jones

21A.503[J] Language and Technology

Same subject as 24.913[J], STS.070[J]
Prereq: None
Acad Year 2016-2017: Not offered
Acad Year 2017-2018: U (Fall)

3-0-9 units. HASS-S

Examines cultural impact of communication technologies, from basic literacy to cell phones, and computer-based social networks on patterns of verbal interaction. Introduces theories and methods of linguistic anthropology pertinent to technologies that make it possible for people to communicate across distances in space and time. Students develop their own research projects exploring the cultural dimensions of technologically enhanced communication.

G. Jones

21A.504[J] Cultures of Computing

Same subject as STS.086[J], WGS.276[J]
Prereq: None
U (Spring)
3-0-9 units. HASS-S

Examines computers anthropologically, as artifacts revealing the social orders and cultural practices that create them. Students read classic texts in computer science along with cultural analyses of computing history and contemporary configurations. Explores the history of automata, automation and capitalist manufacturing; cybernetics and WWII operations research; artificial intelligence and gendered subjectivity; robots, cyborgs, and artificial life; creation and commoditization of the personal computer; the growth of the Internet as a military, academic, and commercial project; hackers and gamers; technobodies and virtual sociality. Emphasis is placed on how ideas about gender and other social differences shape labor practices, models of cognition, hacking culture, and social media.

Staff

21A.505[J] The Anthropology of Sound

Same subject as STS.065[J]
Prereq: None
U (Spring)
Not offered regularly; consult department

3-0-9 units. HASS-S

Examines the ways humans experience sound and how perceptions and technologies of sound emerge from cultural, economic, and historical worlds. Consider how the sound/noise boundary has been imagined, created, and modeled across sociocultural and scientific contexts. Learn how environmental, linguistic, and musical sounds are construed cross-culturally as well as the rise of telephony, architectural acoustics, sound recording, and the globalized travel of these technologies. Questions of sound ownership, property, authorship, and copyright in the digital age are also addressed.

S. Helmreich

21A.506 The Anthropology of Politics

Prereq: None
U (Fall)
3-0-9 units. HASS-S

Examines the birth and international expansion of an American industry of political marketing. Focuses attention on the cultural processes, sociopolitical contexts and moral utopias that shape the practice of political marketing in the US and in different countries. By looking at the debates and expert practices at the core of the business of politics, explores how the "universal" concept of democracy is interpreted and reworked through space and time. Examines how different cultural groups experimenting with political marketing understand the role of citizens in a democracy.

M. Vidart-Delgado

21A.507[J] Resonance: Sonic Experience, Science, and Art

Same subject as 4.648[J]
Subject meets with 4.649[J], 21A.519[J]

Prereq: None
Acad Year 2016-2017: Not offered
Acad Year 2017-2018: U (Fall)

3-0-9 units. HASS-A

See description under subject 4.648[J].

S. Helmreich, C. Jones

21A.509[J] Art, Craft, Science

Same subject as STS.474[J]
Prereq: None
G (Spring)
3-0-9 units
Credit cannot also be received for 21A.501[J], STS.074[J]

Examines how people learn, practice, and evaluate traditional and contemporary craft techniques. Social science theories of design, embodiment, apprenticeship learning, skill, labor, expertise, and tacit knowledge are used to explore distinctions among art, craft, and science. Also discusses the commoditization of craft into market goods, collectible art, and tourism industries. Ethnographic and historical case studies include textiles, Shaker furniture, glassblowing, quilting, cheesemaking, industrial design, home and professional cooking, factory and laboratory work, CAD/CAM. Demonstrations, optional field trips, and/or hands-on craft projects may be included. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.

H. Paxson

21A.519[J] Resonance: Sonic Experience, Science, and Art

Same subject as 4.649[J]
Subject meets with 4.648[J], 21A.507[J]

Prereq: None
Acad Year 2016-2017: Not offered
Acad Year 2017-2018: G (Fall)

3-0-9 units

See description under subject 4.649[J].

S. Helmreich, C. Jones

21A.550[J] DV Lab: Documenting Science through Video and New Media

Same subject as STS.064[J]
Subject meets with 21A.559

Prereq: None
U (Spring)
3-3-12 units. HASS-A; CI-H

Uses documentary video making as a tool to explore everyday social worlds (including those of science and engineering), and for thinking analytically about media itself. Students make videos and engage in critical analysis. Provides students with instruction on how to communicate effectively and creatively in a visual medium, and how to articulate their own analyses of documentary images in writing and spoken word. Readings drawn from documentary film theory, anthropology, and social studies of science. Students view a wide variety of classic documentaries and explore different styles. Lab component devoted to digital video production. Includes a final video project. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Limited to 12.

C. Walley, C. Boebel

21A.551[J] Advanced DV Lab: Documenting Science through Video and New Media

Same subject as STS.068[J]
Prereq: 21A.550[J] or permission of instructor
Acad Year 2016-2017: Not offered
Acad Year 2017-2018: U (Spring)

3-3-6 units. HASS-A

Advanced exploration of documentary film theory and production that offers a social scientific perspective on documentaries about science, engineering, and related fields. Student work focuses on final digital video projects. Discussion and readings tailored to the questions and issues raised by specific student projects; labs focus on the technical skills required to complete more advanced work. Enrollment limited.

C. Walley, C. Boebel

21A.559 DV Lab: Documenting Science through Video and New Media (New)

Subject meets with 21A.550[J], STS.064[J]
Prereq: None
G (Spring)
3-3-12 units

Uses documentary video making as a tool to explore everyday social worlds (including those of science and engineering), and for thinking analytically about media itself. Students make videos and engage in critical analysis. Provides students with instruction on how to communicate effectively and creatively in a visual medium, and how to articulate their own analyses of documentary images in writing and spoken word. Readings drawn from documentary film theory, anthropology, and social studies of science. Students view a wide variety of classic documentaries and explore different styles. Lab component devoted to digital video production. Includes a final video project. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Limited to 12.

C. Walley, C. Boebel

Cross-cultural Dialog and Investigations

21A.801[J] Cross-Cultural Investigations: Technology and Development

Same subject as EC.702[J], STS.071[J]
Subject meets with EC.792[J], 21A.839[J], STS.481[J]

Prereq: None
Acad Year 2016-2017: Not offered
Acad Year 2017-2018: U (Spring)

3-0-9 units. HASS-S

Enhances cross-cultural understanding through discussion of practical, ethical, and epistemological issues in conducting social science and applied research in foreign countries or unfamiliar communities. Includes research practicum to help students develop interviewing, participant-observation, and other qualitative research skills, as well as critical discussion of case studies. Open to all interested students, but intended particularly for those planning to undertake exploratory research or applied work abroad. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.

C. Walley

21A.802 Seminar in Ethnography and Fieldwork

Prereq: Permission of instructor
Acad Year 2016-2017: Not offered
Acad Year 2017-2018: U (Spring)

3-0-9 units. HASS-S

Introduction to ethnographic practices: the study of and communicating about culture. Subject provides instruction and practice in writing, revision of fieldnotes, and a final paper. Preference to Anthropology majors and minors.

Staff

21A.809 Designing Empirical Research in the Social Sciences

Prereq: Permission of instructor
G (Spring)
3-0-9 units

Foundations of good empirical research in the social sciences. Introduction to the basic assumptions and underlying logic of both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Explores a variety of approaches to research design, evaluates the products of empirical research, and practices several common techniques. Discusses several major theoretical paradigms used as interpretive frameworks for social science research. Students develop a proposal for their own research project.

S. Silbey

21A.819 Qualitative Research Methods

Prereq: Permission of instructor
G (Fall)
3-6-3 units

Training in the design and practice of qualitative research. Organized around illustrative texts, class exercises, and student projects. Topics include the process of gaining access to and participating in the social worlds of others; techniques of observation, fieldnote-taking, researcher self-monitoring and reflection; methods of inductive analysis of qualitative data including conceptual coding, grounded theory, and narrative analysis. Discussion of research ethics, the politics of fieldwork, modes of validating researcher accounts, and styles of writing up qualitative field research.

S. Silbey

21A.829[J] Ethnography

Same subject as STS.360[J]
Prereq: Permission of instructor; Coreq: 21A.859[J]
Acad Year 2016-2017: Not offered
Acad Year 2017-2018: G (Fall)

3-0-9 units

See description under subject STS.360[J]. Preference to HASTS, CMS, HTC and Sloan graduate students.

M. Fischer

21A.839[J] Cross-Cultural Investigations: Technology and Development

Same subject as EC.792[J], STS.481[J]
Subject meets with EC.702[J], 21A.801[J], STS.071[J]

Prereq: None
Acad Year 2016-2017: Not offered
Acad Year 2017-2018: G (Spring)

3-0-9 units

Enhances cross-cultural understanding through discussion of practical, ethical, and epistemological issues in conducting social science and applied research in foreign countries or unfamiliar communities. Includes research practicum to help students develop interviewing, participant-observation, and other qualitative research skills, as well as critical discussion of case studies. Open to all interested students, but intended particularly for those planning to undertake exploratory research or applied work abroad. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.

C. Walley

21A.852 Seminar in Anthropological Theory

Prereq: Permission of instructor
Acad Year 2016-2017: Not offered
Acad Year 2017-2018: U (Fall, Spring)

3-0-9 units. HASS-S

Focuses on core issues and approaches in anthropological theory and method. Studies theoretical frameworks for the analysis and integration of material from other subjects in cultural anthropology. Reading and discussion of classics of anthropological theory and contemporary critiques. Students prepare and present analyses of texts. Preference to Anthropology majors and minors.

Staff

21A.859[J] Social Theory and Analysis

Same subject as STS.250[J]
Prereq: None
G (Spring)
3-0-9 units

Major theorists and theoretical schools since the late 19th century. Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Bourdieu, Levi-Strauss, Geertz, Foucault, Gramsci, and others. Key terms, concepts, and debates.

S. Helmreich

Independent Study, Special Subjects, and Thesis

21A.901 Independent Study in Anthropology

Prereq: Two subjects in Anthropology
U (Fall, IAP, Spring, Summer)
Units arranged
Can be repeated for credit.

Opportunity for independent study, guided research, practicum, or field work under regular supervision by a faculty member. Projects require prior approval of the instructor and Head of the Anthropology Program. Normal maximum is 6 units; exceptional 9- or 12-unit projects occasionally approved. HASS credit awarded only by individual petition to the Subcommittee on the HASS Requirement; minimum of 9 units required for HASS credit.

Consult Program Head

21A.902 Independent Study in Anthropology

Prereq: Two subjects in Anthropology
U (Fall, IAP, Spring, Summer)
Units arranged
Can be repeated for credit.

Opportunity for independent study, guided research, practicum, or field work under regular supervision by a faculty member. Projects require prior approval of the instructor and Head of the Anthropology Program. Normal maximum is 6 units; exceptional 9- or 12-unit projects occasionally approved. HASS credit awarded only by individual petition to the Subcommittee on the HASS Requirement; minimum of 9 units required for HASS credit.

Consult Program Head

21A.929 Graduate Independent Study

Prereq: None
G (Fall, IAP, Spring, Summer)
Units arranged
Can be repeated for credit.

Opportunity for study or projects at an advanced level with an Anthropology faculty member.

Consult Program Head

21A.939 Graduate Independent Study

Prereq: None
G (Fall, IAP, Spring, Summer)
Units arranged
Can be repeated for credit.

Opportunity for study or projects at an advanced level with an Anthropology faculty member.

Consult Program Head

21A.949 Graduate Independent Study

Prereq: None
G (Fall, IAP, Spring, Summer)
Units arranged
Can be repeated for credit.

Opportunity for study or projects at an advanced level with an Anthropology faculty member.

Consult Program Head

21A.950 Teaching Anthropology

Prereq: None
G (Fall, Spring)
Units arranged [P/D/F]
Can be repeated for credit.

For qualified graduate students serving as either a teaching assistant or instructor for subjects in Anthropology. Enrollment limited by availability of suitable teaching assignments.

Staff

21A.S01-21A.S02 Special Subject in Anthropology

Prereq: None
Acad Year 2016-2017: Not offered
Acad Year 2017-2018: U (Fall, IAP, Spring, Summer)

Units arranged

Seminar or lecture on a topic in anthropology that is not covered in the regular curriculum.

Staff

21A.S10-21A.S11 Special Graduate Subject in Anthropology

Prereq: None
Acad Year 2016-2017: Not offered
Acad Year 2017-2018: G (Fall, IAP, Summer)

Units arranged

Seminar or lecture on a topic in anthropology that is not covered in the regular curriculum.

Staff

21A.THT Anthropology Pre-Thesis Tutorial

Prereq: None
U (Fall, IAP, Spring, Summer)
Units arranged
Can be repeated for credit.

Students writing a thesis work with an advisor to develop research topics, review relevant research and scholarship, frame research questions, choose an appropriate methodology for data collection and analysis, and draft the introductory and methodology sections of their theses. Includes substantial practice in writing (with revision) and oral presentations.

Consult Program Head

21A.THU Undergraduate Thesis in Anthropology

Prereq: 21A.THT
U (Fall, IAP, Spring, Summer)
Units arranged
Can be repeated for credit.

Completion of work on the senior major thesis under supervision of a faculty thesis advisor. Includes oral presentation of thesis progress early in the term, assembling and revising the final text, and a final meeting with a committee of faculty evaluators to discuss the successes and limitations of the project.

Staff

21A.UR Undergraduate Research

Prereq: None
U (Fall, IAP, Spring, Summer)
Units arranged [P/D/F]
Can be repeated for credit.

21A.URG Undergraduate Research

Prereq: None
U (Fall, IAP, Spring, Summer)
Units arranged
Can be repeated for credit.

Individual participation in an ongoing research project. For students in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.

Staff