Economies and Cultures (ANTH 210)
Sex, Reproduction & Culture (ANTH 297SR)
Italy: Fascism to Fashion (ANTH 344)
Problems in Anthropology (ANTH 364 ~ JYWP)
Global Bodies (ANTH 494 BI)
Writing Ethnography (ANTH 697 CC)
European Field Studies (ANTH 660, 680, 685)
Ethnographic Data Analysis (ANTH 697 ED)
Economic Anthropology: Crisis, Value, Possibility (ANTH 697 EA)
Research in Cultural Anthropology (ANTH 804)
Fall 2020: On Sabbatical
ANTH 210 Economies and Cultures
ECONOMIES AND CULTURES offers a plurality of perspectives on a range of economic systems, beliefs, and practices across the world. It emphasizes anthropological approaches to economic phenomena; offers a critique of leading theoretical perspectives in the field; examines relationships among economic, political, ritual, and social aspects of culture; and focuses on the impact of globalization, its inequalities, and possibilities. 4 credits. (No prerequisites.)
ANTH 697 Economic Anthropology: Crisis, Value, Possibility
In an era when the economy dominates cultural and institutional practices as well as political discourse, this graduate seminar turns to the subfield of economic anthropology to address problems related to value, inequality, reciprocity, and solidarity. A critical feminist approach to knowledge production informs this seminar. In that spirit, our point of departure is Anna Tsing’s The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins (2015) to address a key question: What manages to thrive in the ruins we have made? This multispecies ethnography invites thinking about possible worlds and provides contemporary mooring for considering the legacies of Marx, Malinowski, and Mauss. How have these legacies shaped research agendas? What inspirations are there for conducting careful ethnographic analysis to address questions related to urgent problems with economic dimensions? We consider key legacies in terms of understanding economic diversity, limitations, and possibilities. We collectively grapple with political economy approaches as well as newer agendas related to the anthropology of crisis, neo-Marxism, feminism, ecological anthropology, development anthropology, post-peasants, neoliberalism, and globalization. The seminar aims to provide a nurturing space to incubate student
ANTH 344 Italy: Fascism to Fashion
This course complements the department’s strength in the anthropology of Europe. The point of departure is Antonio Gramsci’s Selections from the Prison Notebooks, an influential text within and beyond anthropology particularly for its concept of hegemony. This course uses Italy as a case study to investigate five key themes: the state, civil society and hegemony; the body politic; kinship, gender, and reproduction; culture, economy and globalization. Throughout, we will consider symbolic as well as materialist approaches to grasping experiences of everyday life as they play out in one of Europe’s southern territories. 4 Credits. Gen Ed SB.
ANTH 494 IE Global Bodies
The human body has increasingly become an object of anthropological study. The body is rich as a site of meaning and materiality. Similarly, culture inscribes itself on the body in terms of “normalization” and governance. This course will explore pertinent issues surrounding the body today and scholarly work on embodiment. Topics such as personhood, natural vs. artificial bodies, identity and subjectivity as they articulate with nationality, race, class, sex, gender, domination and marginalization, and policy will be discussed. We will tend to the body in three main stages over the life course, including birth, life, and death, with relevant case studies from each stage (e.g., organ trafficking and transplanting, breastfeeding, reproductive politics, drug trials, and undocumented bodies). Check out our digital storytelling archive of fantastic student work! https://blogs.umass.edu/globalbo/
ANTH 697ED Ethnographic Data Analysis
This graduate seminar surveys methods of ethnographic data analysis. Students will become familiar with a range of approaches to analyzing qualitative data. The focus will be on developing skills to conduct systematic analysis of textual data. Skills can be extended to images, audio, and video. The course covers approaches that cut across traditions, including identifying themes, defining codes, developing codebooks, and working in teams. Exposure to advanced traditions of text-based analysis include grounded theory, discourse analysis, and word-based analysis. Hands-on data analysis assignments will make use of computer software to facilitate learning (e.g., MAXQDA). Classes meet weekly and will be divided between lectures and labs where participants will analyze data.
Course objectives: Students taking this course will (1) develop a working familiarity with a range of methods used to analyze ethnographic data, (2) be able to select appropriate methods for a variety of research questions, (3) acquire hands-on experience using analytic techniques, and (4) apply these skills to their own independent projects.
ANTH 494 IE Global Bodies
The human body has increasingly become an object of anthropological study. The body is rich as a site of meaning and materiality. Similarly, culture inscribes itself on the body in terms of “normalization” and governance. This course will explore pertinent issues surrounding the body today and scholarly work on embodiment. Topics such as personhood, natural vs. artificial bodies, identity and subjectivity as they articulate with nationality, race, class, sex, gender, domination and marginalization, and policy will be discussed. We will tend to the body in three main stages over the life course, including birth, life, and death, with relevant case studies from each stage (e.g., organ trafficking and transplanting, breastfeeding, reproductive politics, drug trials, and undocumented bodies).
ANTH 364 Problems in Anthropology
Through the themes of “culture and power,” we examine key theoretical trends that influence and inform contemporary anthropology. The course has two main goals: to foster critical thinking skills within the discipline of anthropology, and to achieve mastery of writing skills. To this end, you will be required to write in five different genres and for different purposes. This course fulfills the Junior Year Writing requirement. Open to anthropology majors only. Must have passed ENGLWRT 111 or 112 or 113.
ANTH 804 Research in Cultural Anthropology
This upper-level graduate seminar provides a forum for students to undertake directed writing projects under the guidance of the instructor. The structure of the seminar enables participants to pursue individualized goals in close dialogue with each other and offers a framework for structured mentoring. Class will meet weekly and follow a seminar format. We use a writer’s group format to devote ourselves to workshopping writing products. During class time, we will engage in both in-class writing and pre-writing exercises. By the end of the semester, participants will be expected to have completed a full draft of their target text (statement/prospectus/dissertation chapter/article). This seminar is appropriate for advanced graduate students who are working with a body of research data. Th 2:30-5:15 pm.
Other Courses Taught
ANTH 697cc Writing Ethnography
This graduate seminar takes ethnography as its object of analysis and its subject of practice. The seminar provides students with tools for thinking through the politics of representation. We examine the ongoing consequences of the representational crisis that plagued ethnography, with vehemence in the 1980s, and investigate how and to what degree the genre has recovered. As Veena Das asks, “What is it to engage the life of the other in the context of the everyday?” We may also question whether we are committed to ethnography as a genre, and if so how and why? In addition, the seminar will provide students with a space to practice their own ethnographic writing. In both our reading and writing, we will explore conventional as well as experimental (or blurred) forms of representation, including critical ethnography, the ethnographic novel, creative non-fiction, and cross-cultural memoir.
ANTH 697 Economic Anthropology: Legacies of Marx, Malinowski, and Mauss
This graduate seminar examines anthropology’s contribution to understanding the relationships among economies and cultures, meanings and values, inequality and justice. Our point of departure is to consider the legacies of Marx, Malinowski and Mauss. What research agendas did these Western thinkers inspire or foreclose in the field of anthropology and the subfield of economic anthropology? How did their legacies shape research agendas? We consider the legacies in terms of understanding economic variety, limitations and possibilities. We investigate implications of one defining moment in the field, the formalist-substantivist debate, and collectively grapple with implications for newer agendas related to neo-Marxism, feminism, ecological anthropology, development anthropology, neoliberalism, globalization, global crisis and responses. Key texts include Economies and Cultures (Wilk and Cliggett), The Gift (Mauss), A Post-Capitalist Politics (Gibson-Graham), Liquidated (Ho), and Cosmologies of Credit (Chu), as well as selections by John Cole, Karen Hansen, Carla Freeman, David Graber, Sidney Mintz, Aihwa Ong, William Roseberry, Marshall Sahlins, Marilyn Strathern, Eric Wolf, May-Fair Yang, among others. We will engage key themes through presentation, reflection and discussion. Ideally, each student will select a “legacy” and construct a final project around it.
ANTH 665 European Field Studies II
This seminar is the first of a three-semester European Field Studies Program. This first semester focuses on project conceptualization and research design. This particular iteration of the seminar marks the starting point of a three-year programmatic commitment to “Cultural Heritage in European Societies and Spaces.” Specifically, the 2010-11 research stream of Memory, Monuments, and Commemoration brings together students whose projects investigate a range of ways and contexts in which “contentious politics in heritage narratives and practices [are] related to remembering and marking the past” (see http://www.anthro.umass.edu/chess/content/research-focus). Toward that end, readings, discussions, and assignments will prepare students to undertake productive and meaningful research in Europe.
ANTH 685 European Field Studies III
ANTH 697 Ethnographic Writing
ANTH 205 Inequality and Oppression
Undergraduate course inventory
cultural politics, social theory and writing, economic anthropology, oppression & inequality; narrative, memory and community; Italy; global bodies.
|205-Inequality and Oppression (Gen Ed)
297b-Culture, Politics, Population
105-Language, Culture, Communication
364-Problems in Anthropology (Junior Year Writing Program)397-Memory, Narrative, Community
397fc Italy: Fascism to Fashion
497 Global Bodies
|Spring 2006, 2009
Spring 2003, Fall 2003
Fall 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006; Spring 2006, Fall 2006, Fall 2008, Fall 2009Spring 2007, Fall 2008 (senior capstone)
Graduate course inventory
ethnographic writing, historical anthropology & social memory; population & governmentality; theory & method; and European field studies.
|597-Culture, Politics, Population
641-Theory and Method in Sociocultural Anthropology (co-taught with Jacqueline Urla)660-European Field Studies Pro-Seminar
680-European Field Studies oversight
685-European Field Studies III
797-Historical Anthropology and Social Memory
797-Population and Governmentality
Spring 2006, 2009, 2010
My philosophy of teaching rests on three principles. First, enthusiasm is infectious and ultimately inspires students to engage the material. Second, students need dialog and direction. I aim to present material so students can learn a sense of “intellectual genealogy” in terms of where ideas come from and the possible consequences of certain ways of thinking. I use active learning techniques, discussion and writing assignments to grasp students’ points of view as well as learn from their insights and questions. Third, I see anthropology as a design for living. Given anthropology’s mission to educate students and the public in biological and cultural diversity, I search for opportunities to connect social science to students’ own lives and diverse social environments. This means not only understanding how we become social beings, but comprehending the complex histories, struggles, inequities, achievements and potentials of the human world—and why they matter.
Recent courses taught
ANTH 497S ST-Global Bodies
Lec: Wednesdays, 12:20-3:20 p.m. (Course #39687)
Seminar, Majors only, or instructor permission needed. The human body has increasingly become a popular object for anthropological study. The body is rich as a site of meaning and materiality as well as for “normalization” and governance. This course will explore some of the most pertinent issues surrounding the body today. Topics such as personhood, natural vs. artificial bodies, identity and subjectivity (nationality, race, class, sex, gender), domination and marginalization, and policy will be discussed. We will focus on the body in three main stages: birth, life, and death, with relevant case studies in each stage (e.g., reproductive politics,organ transplant ethics, deviant bodies, etc.). This is a senior capstone course in the Department of Anthropology. As such, it fulfills criteria in the following areas: 1) holism; 2) engagement and activism; 3) practical skills; and 4) change. The course has a digital ethnography component as a final project option. Examples from final digital ethnographic stories can be found on the blog from a senior capstone offered Fall 2008. http://blogs.umass.edu/anthro397mm-ekrause-2/digital-stories-2/
ANTH 364 Problems in Anthropology
ANTH 205 Inequality and Oppression
Lec: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 9:30-10:20 a.m. (Course #11776)
The course explores the roots and manifestations of inequality and oppression in the United States. Special attention will be given to the ways in which race, class, gender and sexuality articulate with one another. Material touches on truths and fallacies of biological variation. Readings emphasize cultural and social aspects of power with particular attention to historical influences as related to systems, practices and ideologies of consumption, production, distribution as well as resistance. Case studies include topics such as toy consumption, food production, immigration, health care and education.
ANTH 697CC Ethnographic Writing
Tuesdays, 1-3:45 p.m. (Course #17154)