Anthropology

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Local:$ 60.1 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 60.1 k / Year(s) Deadline: Jan 1, 2025
9 place StudyQA ranking:2350 Duration:

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Anthropology concentrators must take nine departmental courses: two courses at the 200-level (normally completed prior to senior year), three core courses (described below), and four elective courses (at least one of which should be at the 300-level and one at the 400-level).

The core courses ensure that students will have a systematic understanding of the scope, methods and theories of anthropology associated with cultural inquiry and its implications for an understanding of human experience. They are:

  • ANT 300 (Ethnography, Evidence and Experience, normally taken as 300B in junior fall unless a student is studying abroad)
  • ANT 301 (The Ethnographer's Craft, normally taken as 301B in junior spring unless studying abroad)
  • ANT 390 (History of Anthropological Theory, normally taken as 390B in the fall of the student's senior year)

Required junior and senior seminars support students' independent work. To prepare for independent senior thesis research, students should plan to complete Ethnography, Evidence and Experience and The Ethnographer's Craft by the end of their junior year.

The departmental electives may be chosen in accordance with each student's special interests while satisfying departmental requirements as explained in the first paragraph above. Up to two courses outside the anthropology department may be taken as cognates to satisfy departmental electives. These may be courses taken during study abroad, or courses in other departments at Princeton. Any proposed cognates must be approved by the departmental representative. Cognates taken at Princeton may be counted so long as they are judged by the departmental representative to be relevant to a student's junior or senior independent work. Well prepared undergraduates may take graduate seminars for departmental credit. To enroll in a graduate seminar, the student must have the approval of the departmental representative and the instructor of the course. 

Courses

  • ANT 201 Foundational Concepts in Anthropology SAAn introduction to anthropology's concept of culture and its relevance to the comparative study of societies. The focus is on the ways in which cultural communities express knowledge, values and commitments through relationships. Themes include culture and cultural identity, race and ethnicity, the organization of social life, the importance of language and symbols, the cultural embeddedness of gender and sexuality, the interrelationship of institutions and value systems, cultural varieties of power and authority, and the relevance of sociocultural inquiry to contemporary issues. Two lectures, one preceptorial. Staff
  • ANT 206A Human Evolution Spring ECAn investigation of the evidence and background of human evolution. Emphasis will be placed on the examination of the fossil and genetic evidence for human evolution and its functional and behavioral implications. Two lectures, one preceptorial. J. Monge
  • ANT 206B Human Evolution (also 
  • EEB 306
  •  ) Spring ECAn investigation of the evidence and background of human evolution. Emphasis will be placed on the examination of the fossil and genetic evidence for human evolution and its functional and behavioral implications. Two lectures, one preceptorial, one 90-minute laborabory. J. MongeANT 215 Human Adaptation (also 
  • EEB 315
  •  ) Fall STLHuman adaptation focuses on human anatomy and behavior from an evolutionary perspective. Lectures and weekly laboratory sessions focus on the evolution of the human brain, dentition, and skeleton to provide students with a practical understanding of the anatomy and function of the human body and its evolution, as well as some of its biological limitations. No science background required. Two 90-minute lectures, one three-hour laboratory. J. Monge
  • ANT 232 Social Lives, Social Forces SAExamining "social forces" through social relationships provides a way to examine some key assumptions behind such everyday distinctions as altruism/self-interest, public/private, rules/ norms, regulation/free market, kinship/citizenship, friend/foe. This seminar untangles these binaries by exploring various settings--of family, community, law, and business--where they have been put into practice as organizing principles, and thus into contention. It also follows them beyond the United States into postcolonial and post-socialist environments, so as to further hone our comparative and interpretive questions. One three-hour seminar. C. Greenhouse
  • ANT 300A Ethnography, Evidence and Experience Fall SAThis course relates key concepts in anthropology (e.g., culture, society, power, meaning) to everyday experience, with the aim of fostering students' ability to think analytically across diverse cultural fields. We alternate between classic theoretical texts and "dossiers" of highly current readings about issues both familiar to students (from experiences at home or abroad) and relevant to ethnographic research and writing. For example: digital media, embodied knowledge, language, ritual and symbols, textual interpretation, and modern forms of power and inequality. Staff
  • ANT 300B Ethnography, Evidence and Experience Fall SAThis course relates key concepts in anthropology (e.g., culture, society, power, meaning) to everyday experience, with the aim of fostering students' ability to think analytically across diverse cultural fields. We alternate between classic theoretical texts and "dossiers" of highly current readings about issues both familiar to students (from experiences at home or abroad) and relevant to ethnographic research and writing. For example: digital media, embodied knowledge, language, ritual and symbols, textual interpretation, and modern forms of power and inequality. Anthropology juniors enroll in ANT300B; all others should enroll in ANT300A. Staff
  • ANT 301A The Ethnographer's Craft Spring SAWhat are social and cultural facts? And how do we identify these facts using anthropological research methods? This field methods course is for students interested in learning how to work with complex and often contradictory qualitative data. Students will examine how biases and beliefs affect the questions we ask, the data we collect, and our interpretations. Key topics include objectivism, interpretation, reflexivity, participant-observation, translation, and comparison. Staff
  • ANT 301B The Ethnographer's Craft Spring SAWhat are social and cultural facts? And how do we identify these facts using anthropological research methods? This field methods course is for students interested in learning how to work with complex and often contradictory qualitative data. Students will examine how biases and beliefs affect the questions we ask, the data we collect, and our interpretations. Key topics include objectivism, interpretation, reflexivity, participant-observation, translation, and comparison. Anthropology juniors enroll in ANT301B; all others should enroll in ANT301A. Staff
  • ANT 303 Economic Experience in Cultural Context SAThis course explores the social and cultural contexts of economic experience in the US and around the world. It considers how the consumption, production, and circulation of goods--today and in times past--become invested with personal and collective meanings. It pays special attention to symbolic and political dimensions of work, property (material, intellectual, and cultural), wealth, and "taste" (i.e., needs and wants). Additionally, course participants do a bit of anthropological fieldwork by learning to draw everyday experiences systematically into conversation with academic sources. R. Lederman
  • ANT 304 Political Anthropology SAA cross-cultural examination of collective action, power, authority and legitimacy. Topics will include the diversity of systems of leadership and decision making, the sociocultural contexts of egalitarianism and hierarchy, contemporary contests over power-sharing and state legitimacy, forms of power outside the state, and human rights struggles. One three-hour seminar. Staff
  • ANT 306 Current Issues in Anthropology SAA course taught by different members of the department and visiting faculty on various subjects not normally taught in regular courses. Staff
  • ANT 308 Forensic Anthropology SAAn introduction to the analytical techniques that biological anthropologists apply to forensic (legal) cases. Topics include human osteology, the recovery of bodies, the analysis of life history, the reconstruction of causes of death, and various case studies where anthropologists have contributed significantly to solving forensic cases. Discussions will cover the limitations of forensic anthropology and the application of DNA recovery to skeletal/mummified materials. One three-hour seminar. J. Monge
  • ANT 310 Fundamentals of Biological Anthropology ECA survey of current data and debates in evolutionary theory, molecular anthropology, primate biology and behavior, primate and human evolution, and modern human biology and adaptation. One three-hour seminar. Staff
  • ANT 311 Cultural Analysis and International Development Dilemmas SADesigned to give students the anthropological tools to analyze concrete development dilemmas. Specific instances of violent ethnic conflict, international food relief, refugee rights, the global factory, and culturally diverse regional blocs will be considered. Staff
  • ANT 316 Cultural Diversity: Money, Sex, Nation SAThis course explores the use of money, sex, and national belonging in processes of cultural diversification. Its focus is anthropological: making and understanding difference in space and time. Its method is primarily ethnographic: relating face-to-face or personal encounters to macro-political factors and to contemporary issues. Drawing from film, music, and selected readings, it examines how money, sex, and national form create value and interact to create people. Students will be asked to examine critically and reflexively their own prejudices as they influence the perception and evaluation of cultural differences. One three-hour seminar. J. Borneman
  • ANT 318 Understanding Muslim Social and Political Movements SAIntroduces students to a number of contemporary movements claiming to restore Islam as the central norm for practice in the social, economic, and political life of Muslim communities and societies. These movements are studied from an anthropological perspective, using anthropological studies as well as writings by orientalists and others. The course is centered on the reconfiguration of religion, self, community, identity, and power. Emphasis on the Arab world and Iran. One three-hour seminar. Staff
  • ANT 321 Ritual, Myth, and Worldview SAAn exploration of classic and modern theories of religion (belief, ritual, myth, worldview) as they pertain to a cross-cultural understanding of these phenomena. One 90-minute lecture, one 90-minute class. I. Clark-Deces
  • ANT 322 Cross-Cultural Texts HAThis seminar closely reads descriptive and fictive works replete with cross-cultural representations and juxtaposed histories. What makes a given comparative account--whether colonialist or postcolonialist--compelling? Various genres--ethnographic essays, intense travel narratives, translated tales and myths, and novels--receive concerted attention. One three-hour seminar. Staff
  • ANT 323 Japanese Society and Culture (See EAS 225)
  • ANT 330 The Rights of Indigenous Peoples EMUsing American Indian sovereignty, Australian Aborigine land claims, the Canadian Bill of Rights, the Maori Treaty of Waitangi, and various international conventions, students will consider whether there is a fundamental right to cultural integrity, and the historical, legal, and ethical implications posed by the relations between modern states and their indigenous populations. One 90-minute lecture, one 90-minute class. L. Rosen
  • ANT 335 Medical Anthropology EMExploration of cross-cultural constructions of sickness, disease, health, and healing interrogates our basic ethical, moral, and political positions. Our healing and disease models derive from specific cultural assumptions about society, gender, class, age, ethnicity, and race. Categories of disease from one culture can compromise ethical positions held by another. We pursue the moral implications of a critique of medical development and the political and ethical implications of treating Western medicine as ethnoscience as well as universal truth. One 90-minute lecture, one 90-minute class. J. Biehl
  • ANT 336 The Anthropology of Selected Regions SAThe significant impact of peoples of particular regions on the development of anthropological theory, method, and sensibility. Special attention to the dynamic precolonial history of the region and to political and religious movements in the contemporary context of rapid socioeconomic change. Staff
  • ANT 337 Social Change in Contemporary India (also 
  • SAS 337
  •  ) SAThis course introduces students to the debates that have defined the anthropological study of India. It explores classic and recent theories of caste and hierarchy, focusing in particular on the ethnography of change in everyday Indian life. The course also considers the emergence of identity politics in India. Communal identities and power relations in India are often expressed and challenged in popular religious practices. The course will explore everyday Indian religiosity with reference to debates about Hindu reformism and nationalism. One three-hour class. I. Clark-Deces
  • ANT 341 The Anthropology of Gender SAComparative perspectives on sexual divisions of labor, sex-based equality and inequality, and the cultural construction of "male'' and "female.'' Analysis of gender symbolism in myth and ritual, and of patterns of change in the political participation and power of the sexes. Two 90-minute lectures with discussion. Staff
  • ANT 342 The Anthropology of Law EMStudy of the relation between formal legal institutions and the social and cultural factors influencing their development. Western and non-Western systems compared in terms of their forms of judicial reasoning, implementation through law of moral precepts, fact-finding procedures, and dispute settlement mechanisms. Two 90-minute lectures. Staff
  • ANT 352 Pacific Islanders: Histories, Cultures, and Change SAThis course concerns histories of Pacific Islanders from the first settlements through colonial rule. It will also look at the diversity of cultures and their sociocultural transformation in more recent times. Throughout the semester, we will also use Pacific ethnography to shed light on general questions concerning cultural difference, inequality, and issues of interpretation/translation. Two 90-minute classes. R. Lederman
  • ANT 359 Acting, Being, Doing, and Making: Introduction to Performance Studies (See THR 300)
  • ANT 360 Ethics in Context: Uses and Abuses of Deception and Disclosure EMStage magic delights us with expert illusions; biomedicine and other fields use deception as a research tool (e.g., placeboes); and everyday politeness may obscure painful truths. With deception and disclosure as springboards, this course explores the contextual complexity of personal and professional ethical judgment, with special but not exclusive attention to knowledge circulation. Topics include: social fictions in daily life across cultures; the tangled histories of science and stage magic; ethically controversial cases from popular culture ("reality" TV, journalism), the arts (fictive memoirs), academia (sharing/plagiarizing), and more. R. Lederman
  • ANT 363 Islamic Social and Political Movements (See NES 363)
  • ANT 366 Mesoamerican Art (See ART 267)
  • ANT 375 Culture and International Order (also 
  • GSS 374
  •  ) SAThis course focuses on the relation of local and global cultural processes to international orders and regimes. After colonialism and after the Cold War, there is a fundamental reorganizing of "peoples" and "cultures." Emphasis on the increased intensity and scale of interaction between local and global processes, on changes in group identifications, on the transformation of ideologies (cultural, economic, religious, political), and on alternative ways of imagining and managing life. One three-hour seminar. J. Borneman
  • ANT 380 Critical Perspectives in Global Health (See GHP 350)
  • ANT 390A History of Anthropological Theory Fall HAA review of the main currents in anthropological theory with particular emphasis on major issues in American and European anthropology and the intellectual climate within which they developed. Staff
  • ANT 390B History of Anthropological Theory Fall HAA review of the main currents in anthropological theory with particular emphasis on major issues in American and European anthropology and the intellectual climate within which they developed. Anthropology seniors enroll in ANT 390B; all others should enroll in ANT 390A. Staff
  • ANT 404 Special Topics in Regional Studies (also 
  • NES 404
  •  ) SAAnalysis of a major world region stressing the issues of cultural diversity, history, and social change. Attention will be given to the theoretical contributions of regional study, the history of regional approaches, and the internationalization of the production of anthropological research. Staff
  • ANT 405 Topics in Anthropology SAStudy of a selected topic in anthropology; the particular choice will vary from year to year. Staff
  • ANT 406 Theoretical Orientations in Cultural Anthropology ECAnalysis of classical and contemporary sources of cultural anthropology, with particular emphasis on those writers dealing with meaning and representation. The topical focus of the course will vary with the instructor. One three-hour seminar. Staff
  • ANT 412 Anthropological Approaches to the Study of Religion (also 
  • REL 412
  •  ) SAClassic and modern theories of religion relevant to anthropologists. Students will familiarize themselves with anthropological monographs dealing with a particular aspect of religion: shamanism, witchcraft, possession and ecstasy, healing. Prerequisite: instructor's permission. Staff
  • ANT 413 Cultures and Critical Translation ECApproaches to language and culture by Sapir, Saussure, and their forerunners and successors. The seminar draws on anthropology, linguistics, and other disciplines alert to critical theories of translation. Topics include fieldwork encounters, standardized nationalist and colonialist languages, philosophies of translation, ritual languages, marketplace discourse, and orality/literacy. One three-hour seminar. Staff
  • ANT 415 The Anthropology of Science ECThis course considers how the sciences can be studied ethnographically, how they vary culturally one from another, and how scientific knowledge is generated. It develops an understanding of the values and social contexts of Western scientific practice through the comparative study of Western and non-Western systems of knowledge, and explores the implications and validity of the assumption that the sciences are culturally produced rather than objective standards transcending culture. One three-hour seminar. Staff
  • ANT 425 Post-War French Social Theory SAUsing the works of thinkers such as Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Aron, Ricoeur, Levi-Strauss, Foucault, and Bourdieu, the course will present students with some conflicting images of Western society. It will introduce students to these authors, with emphasis on their departure from traditional schools of thought and the consequences of their ideas on the production of knowledge and societies. One three-hour seminar. Staff
  • ANT 427 Democracy and Ethnography in the United States SAEthnography is a mode of research, a creative literary genre, and a democratic discourse. This seminar focuses on these different ways of reading in relation to the ethnography of the United States--to consider how ideas about personhood, gender, citizenship, community, identity, and power "work" simultaneously as theory and practice. Drawing on close readings of ethnographies, fiction, and public policy debates, the seminar gives particular attention to the (often uneasy) connections among anthropological theories of cultural identity, political struggles over rights, and literary experiments in social analysis. One three-hour seminar. C. Greenhouse
  • ANT 432 Memory, Trauma, Accountability SAExplores issues surrounding the relation of individual memory to collective trauma, the social forms of redress to trauma, and attempts to establish accountability for harm. Takes up three major approaches to memory: social organization (Halbwachs), psychoanalysis (Freud), and associative temporalities (Sebald). Examines various genres in which the memory of loss is retained or displaced, and the landscapes and histories in which such memories are recalled and losses repaired. A better understanding of such memories will improve our approaches to cultural observation, documentation, analysis, and interpretation. One three-hour seminar. J. Borneman
  • ANT 441 Gender: Contested Categories, Shifting Frames SAAn exploration of the reciprocal influences of anthropology and gender studies, considering both classic and recent contributions; an evaluation of key interpretive categories (for example, "nature,'' "domestic,'' "woman'') specifically in the context of cross-cultural translation; and comparison of various approaches to questions about the universality of gendered power hierarchies. One three-hour seminar. R. Lederman
  • ANT 451 Visual Anthropology LAExplores the theories and methods of ethnographic filmmaking. This seminar introduces students to the pioneering work of filmmakers including Robert Flaherty, Jean Rouch, and Fred Wiseman in order to address questions of documentary authenticity, knowledge, methods, ethics, and audience. One three-hour seminar. C. Rouse
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