Topics Courses

Spring 2019

ANTH 100 Topics in Anthropology and the Modern World: Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan

Instructor: Dr. Brian Spooner

This year's edition of the course will focus on the problems in the relationship between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and in the political development of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Please contact the instructor, Dr. Brian Spooner (spooner@sas.upenn.edu), for further details. 

 

ANTH 319 Multi-Modal Ethnography: Black Women Moving

Instructor: Dr. Aimee Meredith Cox

In this course we explore the theory and methods employed by Black women ethnographers, artists, and activists invested in transforming the traditional norms of the academic disciplines and creative contexts in which they operate. These boundary erasing, rule breaking women challenge us to think expansively and act courageously in our efforts to not only dream a new world but bring that world into fruition.

The life and work of anthropologist/dancer/choreographer/activist Katherine Dunham (1909 – 2006) provides the framework through which we think through the strategies contemporary scholar-artists employ in their social justice practices, while the concept of MOVEMENT is our theoretical and methodological foundation for engaging with the work of historical and contemporary Black women change agents. We will ask how movement functions in the work of Dunham and these contemporary scholar-artists in terms of: the moving and/or dancing body; movement and migration across geographic territories and imagined space; and participation in social movements. Inspired by the techniques these women have developed for re-imagining the possibilities for moving as an act of social change, we will experiment with creating our own embodied artistic practices and research methods.

Students who register for this class should anticipate a holistic experience that requires an openness to physical activity and choreography (accessible to all) as one of our primary tools for both analyzing the multi-media course texts, as well as constructing our own boundary crossing projects.