Anthropology Courses

CAS AN 525- Ritual and Political Identity
Provides a conceptual foundation for interpreting and understanding ritual and its role in shaping political and social identity and worldview.  Focus on cases drawn from the contemporary Muslim world.

CAS AN 547/548- Topics in Muslim Societies and Islamic Civilizations
Selected current issues and debates in current anthropology focusing on contemporary Muslim societies and Islamic civilizations.  Fall 2007 Topic: Afghanistan: Problems and Prospects. Ethnographic and historical account of Afghanistan’s traditional social organization, ecology and economy, political organization, and relationship among ethnic groups as a basis for examining the consequences of domestic political turmoil and foreign interventions over the last twenty years. The current situation in Afghanistan and the country’s prospects for the future will also be addressed. 4 cr.  Fall 2004 Topic: Media, Market, and Material Culture in Muslim Society. This course examines the role of media, market, and material culture in shaping the intersection of Islam and society. We will consider Islam as commodity and fashion, as fiction and film, as popular discourse, as global as well as local narratives, and the effects of these on the lives of Muslims in a variety of settings, and on the image of Muslims or Islamic civilization elsewhere.

GRS AN 707 (AN 307)- Turkey & Middle East Perspective
Social and cultural diversity of the modern Middle East with particular attention to Turkey. Focus on the interplay of tradition and socioeconomic changes that have occurred during the 20th century and their implications for the future.

GRS AN 717- Power and Society in the Middle East
Taught Fall 2010 by Jenny White
Peoples and cultures of the Middle East from Afghanistan to Morocco and from the Caucuses to Yemen. Focuses on social organization, family structure, the relationship between the sexes, and the development and maintenance of authority.

GRS AN 718 (AN 318)- Southeast Asia: Tradition and Development
Provides an in-depth introduction to the cultural traditions and contemporary development of Southeast Asia. Examines the contemporary society and culture through the optic of political and cultural history, so as to understand the “imaginative revolutions” that have shaped this region and are transforming it still today.

GRS AN 719- Anthropology of Muslim Cultures and Politics
This course will consider the ways in which power and authority are expressed and reproduced in the Middle East within a wide range of social and political settings.  We will begin by outlining the underlying principles and tensions of Middle Eastern history and social organization, then move to a discussion of the ways in which these principles and tensions are expressed in religious, communal, gender and political relationships. We also will consider the effects of the media and global market on authority and power relations within these settings.

GRS AN 720- Women in the Muslim World
A cross-cultural approach to the diversity and complexity of women’s lives in the Muslim world, including the United States. Looks at issues such as gender equality, civil society and democracy, sex segregation and sexual politics, kinship and marriage, and veiling. 4 cr. Cross-listed for minor in Women’s Studies.

GRS AN 747 (AN 347)- Afghanistan
Ethnographic and historical examination of Afghanistan’s traditional social and political organization, ecology and economy, and relationship among ethnic groups. Civil wars and foreign interventions over the last thirty years, the current situation in Afghanistan, and prospects for the country’s future.

GRS AN 755 (AN 355)- Religious Fundamentalism in Anthropology
Anthropological study of the global phenomenon of religious fundamentalism.  A product of the modern world, fundamentalism is perceived as counter-cultural and anti-nationalist.  Cases drawn from North America and Islamic Middle East, with special attention to women’s interpretation of religion.

GRS AN 760 (AN 360)- The Nomadic Alternative
Enthographic and historical examination of nomads in Africa and Eurasia.  Focus on the ecology of pastoralism, nomadic social organization, political relations between the ecology of pastoralism, nomadic social organization, political relations between nomads and states, the rise and fall of steppe empires, and the future of nomads.