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  • Current Courses

  • 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. Spring 2022 Anthropology courses include:

    • Forensics of CapitalGANT 6145

      Michael Ralph, Faculty Fellow 

    • The Death Seminar, GANT 6217
      Abou Farman, Associate Professor of Anthropology

    • Redesigning the Academy, GANT 6286
      Shannon Mattern, Professor of Anthropology

      In this workshop, part of the Anthropology and Design graduate minor (although open to all graduate students), we integrate critical university studies, educational anthropology, decolonizing movements, theories and methods of radical pedagogy, histories of alternative schools, and art and design work committed to institutional and pedagogical critique in order to assess the state of the American academy and imagine it otherwise. As we interrogate everything from learning architectures and evaluation systems to admissions and publishing models, we engage in seminar discussions, design workshops, fieldwork exercises, and field trips; host guest speakers; and, depending upon course planning, potentially collaborate on parallel projects with other institutions. Students create speculative syllabi and curricula, compose manifestos and critical pitch decks, and design other pedagogical materials and epistemological infrastructures. Permission required

    • Grammers of Time, GANT 6296
      Anne Stoler, Willy Brandt Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and History
      This is a seminar about one of the seemingly most banal and quotidian concepts with which we live, and the most ambiguous, abstract, and precise concepts: time. In the fields of knowledge production from anthropology, history, philosophy, geology and physics, to name a few. contest what we know about it, what we can know and what that knowing tells us about the disparate worlds -the imaginary and material, in which we live. Our task is this seminar is more limited: to ask about the social and environmental ecologies in which people experience and talk about time, on the relationalities on which it depends. We talk about “losing time,” “wasting time,” “doing time,” “being on time,” “saving time. ” We refer repeatedly to concepts that don’t use the word time but invoke it nonetheless as the frame of concern: anticipation, waiting, gift-giving, expectation, hope, boredom, procrastination, leisure, urgency, are distributed differently in our social and political environments, tethered to social location in particular ways. Do we shape time or does time shape us? We’ll look at what the concept, “temporalities” offers, so pervasive in current social inquiry. People live in different temporalities, multiple temporalities and conflicting ones; the world is divided among those who must adhere to specific protocols of time and timing and those who can disregard them...but sometimes they too may not. This seminar is an exploration of the modalities and the grammars (the required rubrics of tense) that mandate that time is considered in one way and not another. Philosophically, sociologically, and with respect to social history, how time is allocated, distributed, understood is a diagnostic of the worlds we live in and the pressures upon us to adhere to, refuse, and reshape what we see as its requirements and demands. 

    • Ethnography and Writing, GANT 6310
      Hugh Raffles, Professor of Anthropology and Director, Graduate Institute for Design, Ethnography, and Social Thought

      This seminar explores some of the modes of writing available to anthropologists. It focuses on ethnography as a genre and on some of the more intriguing attempts to locate its borders. Materials will range widely across relevant writings, both fiction and nonfiction. Students develop extended written projects that route their own topical interests and prior research through the preoccupations of the course. Registration for this course requires instructor approval.

    • Anthropology and Design: Objects, Sites, Systems, GANT 6405
      Barbara Adams, Assistant Professor of Design and Social Justice

      Designers commonly use ethnographic methods, and social scientists often adopt design practices, economies, cultures, and artifacts as their subjects of study, focusing on how design “translates values into tangible experiences,” as anthropologist Dori Tunstall puts it. The New School offers us a unique environment in which to study the myriad ways in which these disciplines and practices can inform one another, and we begin our semester by examining those relationships: anthropology of design, ethnography for design, ethnography as design, and so forth. We then explore conceptual case studies, taking up various anthropological concepts and concerns and observing how they’re designed — made material, experiential, affective, and given form — through a range of design practices (from urban design and architecture to fashion and software design) and how anthropological concepts and methods inform those practices. Throughout the semester, we host guest lecturers and take field trips (including some TBD!) to see these methods in action, and students have the opportunity to conduct a final research project, which could take the form of a written research paper, an ethnographic report, or a research-based creative project. 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. Permission is required.

    • Science and Society, GANT 6410
      Nicolas Langlitz, Associate Professor and Chair 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 and Society subject area, 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 ask: How do the sciences study and relate to morality?

    • PhD ProSeminar III: Grant Writing, GANT 7007
      Lawrence Hirschfeld, Professor of Anthropology and Psychology (CSD)

      This seminar is a practical course in grant writing. It has three goals: to help you clarify and present your research project, to help you develop an understanding of grant proposals as process and genre, and to increase your chances of obtaining funding.

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