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        Aryana Ghazi-Hessami

        Department of Anthropology
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        Tel: 212.229.5757 x3016
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        Nicolas Langlitz

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        Charles Whitcroft

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        Sarah Chant

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    • Courses in the Department of Anthropology explore the entwined concepts of “knowing that” and “knowing how.” All courses in the department follow one of two tracks. The “Perspectives” track examines different viewpoints on the subject of anthropological research. The “Practices” track trains students in ethnographic fieldwork and other research methods.

      Please consult the New School Course Catalog for a full list of courses. Fall 2019 courses include:

      • Critical Foundations of Social Theory, GANT 6051 
        Abou Farman, Assistant Professor of Anthropology

        This seminar introduces students to modern social theory, its historical moorings and its relationship to the anthropological enterprise. The seminar investigates how the concepts of society and culture evolved in relation to humanist thought and political economic circumstances as Europeans explored, missionized, and colonized. We examine how anthropological theory and practice have been modeled within and against other natural and social science disciplines. We inquire into key debates related to the categories of the human, the social, and the individual; the formation of political institutions and practices; the development of ideas about reason, culture and human nature; symbolism, consciousness and personhood; race, gender and difference; exchange, class and capital. In charting how society and culture have been theorized and debated historically, we also reflect on forms of anthropological knowledge and ethnographic sensibilities that are relevant today and their meaning and stakes for a present and future anthropology.

      • Problems in Anthropology, GANT 6065
        Ann Stoler, Willy Brandt Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and History

        This course provides an introduction into contemporary anthropology through a selection of problems preoccupying the field today. Through this lens students will get glimpses of the discipline's past and will have ample opportunity to imagine its futures. But the focus will be on current questions such as the following: What role does cultural difference play in anthropology in an increasingly globalized world? How does anthropology relate to ethnography? Does a reflection on different ethnoi still present a royal road to our understanding of anthropos? Can the descriptive practice of ethnography serve as a basis for the prescriptive project of cultural critique? Or has critique run out of steam? How does anthropology relate history to human possibilities? What happens to the separation of cultural and biological anthropology at a time when the nature/culture dichotomy is constantly called into question? Working through these and many other questions on the basis of both ethnographic and more theoretical texts will enable students to rethink the role of anthropology in the twenty-first century-as a discipline that has always been responsive to the historical moment while aiming at knowledge of the human, tout court.

      • Affective States: On the Politics and Histories of Sentiment, GANT 6280
        Ann Stoler, Willy Brandt Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and History

        This course starts from two premises: (1) that sentiments articulate the personal and the political in historically specific ways; and (2) that sentiments are historically located social phenomena with specific genealogies. In this course, we draw on a range of varied literatures in anthropology, history, philosophy, political science, and literary criticism to explore the changing ways in which thought and feeling, rationality and passion, reason and sentiment have been understood. The focus is on sentiment as an index of relations of power and as a tracer of them. Seminar themes include attention to social inequality and sentiment, state formation and affect, the politics of compassion, imperial sympathy, "structures of feeling" and sentiment as a marker of political and social location.Course requirements include weekly commentaries on the readings, a short review essay and a research paper. Readings include Albert Hirschman, The Passions and the Interests; William Reddy, The Navigation of Feeling; Carolyn Steedman, Landscape for a Good Woman; and selections from Adam Smith, David Hume, Didier Fassin, Amelie Rorty, William James, Raymond Williams, among others.

      • Cognition and Culture, GANT 6295
        Lawrence Hirschfeld, Professor of Anthropology and Psychology

        It is hardly controversial to claim that thinking occurs in and through the action of the brain, and that brains are organs that exist in individual bodies. It is equally uncontroversial to claim that all humans live in cultural environments which affect almost every facet of existence. Why, then, is there such limited intersection between the disciplines devoted to studying thought in the individual, on one hand, and the one devoted to studying cultural environments, on the other? This seminar is concerned with identifying why this unfortunate circumstance has come to be, particularly since historically anthropology and psychology enjoyed a rich relationship and sustained collaborations.

      • Anthropology & Design: Objects, Sites, Systems, GANT 6405
        Shannon Mattern, Professor of Anthropology

        Many designers use ethnographic methods, and many social scientists have taken up design practices, economies, cultures, and artifacts as their subjects of study, focusing in particular on how design “translates values into tangible experiences,” as anthropologist Dori Tunstall puts it. The New School offers us a unique environment for studying the myriad ways in which these disciplines and practices can inform one another. We’ll begin by orienting ourselves in relation to the growing field of “design anthropology.” For each subsequent week, we’ll explore a different design domain -- urban design, architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, furniture design, product design, fashion, user experience design, service design, organizational design, experience design, etc. — by reading ethnographies about those domains alongside studies of how anthropological methods have been, or could be, applied in design practice. In the process, we’ll see how design provides a window onto various critical conceptual issues and categories, including labor, environmental destruction, (dis)ability, indigeneity and post-colonial legacies, race, gender, class, and so forth. Throughout the semester we’ll host guest lectures and take field trips to see these methods in action, and students will have the opportunity to conduct a mini-ethnography of a design case study. While this seminar serves as the core course for the new Anthropology and Design track, graduate students from across the university are encouraged to enroll.

      • Science & Society, GANT 6410
        Nicolas Langlitz, Associate Professor of Anthropology

        The sciences have served as a motor of modernization. They have both addressed and created social problems — and their status in our societies is itself a site of intense problematization. This course equips students with the conceptual and methodological toolkit necessary to study the social construction of science and the scientific construction of society. As a cornerstone of the Science & Society track, the course provides a more general introduction to anthropological engagements with the sciences. But every year it also explores a particular topic. This year, we will ask: How do the sciences study and relate to morality?
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