2020-21 Anthropology Graduate Timetable

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Last Updated: October 14, 2020

*NOTE: Timetable subject to change or modification.  Anthropology graduate students will be able to enroll into Fall session graduate courses starting August 6, 2020. Enrolment for Winter session graduate courses will begin October 16, 2020. Students from other departments should follow instructions for enrollment at: https://anthropology.utoronto.ca/graduate/course-information-2/graduate-course-descriptions-timetable/

Fall 2020 – Courses Start September 14, 2020 (return to top of page)

SPECIAL NOTE: All courses in the Fall 2020 session can be completed through online participation. Course enrolment for fall session courses opens on August 6, 2020.
MONDAY
Course Title Section Field Mode of Delivery Time Room Instructor Campus
ANT 3005H F Advanced Topics in Paleoanthropology LEC0101 EVO Online synchronous 2pm-4pm N/A D. Begun N/A
ANT 4050H F Zooarchaeology LEC0101 EVO/ARCH Online synchronous 12pm-2pm N/A G. Dewar N/A
ANT 6064H F Evidence and Uncertainty: The Politics of Law and Science LEC0101 SCL Online synchronous 12pm-2pm N/A V. F. Bozcali N/A
ANT 6100H F* History of Anthropological Thought LEC0101 SCL Online synchronous 2pm-4pm N/A J. Sidnell/ J. Barker N/A
TUESDAY
Course Title Section Field Mode of Delivery Time Room Instructor Campus
ANT 3031H F Advanced Research Seminar I: Sleep and Primate Evolution LEC0101 EVO Online synchronous 10am-12pm N/A D. Samson N/A
ANT 3049H F Advanced Seminar in Evolutionary Morphology LEC0101 EVO Online synchronous 2pm-4pm N/A L. Schroeder N/A
ANT 4026H F Arctic Archaeology LEC0101 ARCH Online synchronous 2pm-4pm N/A T. M. Friesen N/A
ANT 6062H F Disability Anthropology LEC0101 SCL Online synchronous 2pm-5pm N/A C. Hartblay N/A
  SCL Dissertation writing seminar (bi-weekly) (Note: First class (September 15) tentatively scheduled for Tuesday 10am-12pm)   SCL Online synchronous TBA N/A A. Mittermaier N/A
WEDNESDAY
Course Title Section Field Mode of Delivery Time Room Instructor Campus
ANT 4038H F Archaeology of Urban Development (*added July 22, 2020) LEC0101 ARCH Online synchronous 12pm-3pm N/A J. Jennings N/A
ANT 6017H F Post-colonial Science Studies and the Cultural Politics of Knowledge Translation LEC0101 SCL Online synchronous 12pm-2pm N/A S. Satsuka N/A
ANT 6200H F Ethnographic Practicum LEC0101 SCL Online synchronous 3pm-6pm N/A T. Li N/A
THURSDAY
Course Title Section Field Mode of Delivery Time Room Instructor Campus
ANT 6019H F Anthropology of Neoliberalism LEC0101 SCL Online synchronous 9am-12pm N/A J. Song N/A
ANT 6150H Y Proposing Ethnographic Research (bi-weekly) (*half course running from Sept. to April) LEC0101 SCL Online synchronous 1pm-4pm N/A A. Paz/K. Maxwell N/A
  EVO and ARCH Dissertation Writing Seminar (bi-weekly)   EVO/ARCH Online synchronous 2pm-4pm N/A T. M. Friesen N/A
FRIDAY
Course Title Section Field Mode of Delivery Time Room Instructor Campus
ANT 4068H F Archaeology of Technology LEC0101 ARCH Online synchronous 10am-12pm N/A H. Miller N/A
COURSES OF INTEREST IN OTHER DEPARTMENTS
Course Title Section Field Mode of Delivery Time Room Instructor Campus
To be announced at a later date.

Winter 2021 – Courses Start January 4, 2021 (return to top of page)

SPECIAL NOTE: Delivery Mode for the Winter 2021 session has been confirmed. Course enrolment for Winter 2021 courses will open October 16, 2020.
MONDAY
Course Title Section Field Mode of Delivery Time Room Instructor Campus
ANT 3047H S* Evolutionary Anthropology Theory LEC9101 EVO Online synchronous 4pm-6pm N/A M. Silcox TBA
TUESDAY
Course Title Section Field Mode of Delivery Time Room Instructor Campus
ANT 4020H S* Archaeology Theory LEC9101 ARCH Online synchronous 2pm-5pm N/A C. Cipolla N/A
ANT 6003H S* Critical Issues in Ethnography I LEC9101 SCL Online synchronous 10am-1pm N/A J. Boddy N/A
ANT 6055H S Anthropology of Subjectivity and Personhood LEC9101 SCL Online synchronous 2pm-4pm N/A V. Napolitano N/A
  SCL Dissertation writing seminar (bi-weekly) (Note: First class tentatively scheduled for Tuesday 10am-12pm)   SCL Online synchronous TBA N/A A. MIttermaier N/A
WEDNESDAY
Course Title Section Field Mode of Delivery Time Room Instructor Campus
ANT 4042H S Archaeology of Complex Hunter-Gatherers LEC9101 ARCH Online synchronous 12pm-2pm N/A G. Coupland N/A
ANT 4043H S Archaeology of Ritual, Religion, and Ideology LEC9101 ARCH Online synchronous 2pm-5pm N/A E. Swenson N/A
ANT 6006H S* Genealogies of Anthropological Thought LEC9101 SCL Online synchronous 1pm-4pm N/A T. Sanders N/A
ANT 6033H S Advanced Research Seminar III: Friendship LEC9101 SCL Online synchronous 4:30pm-7pm N/A N. Dave N/A
ANT 6063H S Anthropology of Infrastructures LEC9101 SCL Online synchronous 10am-12:30pm N/A W. Butt N/A
THURSDAY
Course Title Section Field Mode of Delivery Time Room Instructor Campus
ANT 3048H S Primatological Theory and Methods LEC9101 EVO Online synchronous 1pm-3pm N/A J. Teichroeb N/A
ANT 4060H S Specific Problems I: Archaeology of Homo erectus LEC9101 ARCH Online synchronous 10am-12pm N/A M. Chazan N/A
ANT 6150H Y Proposing Ethnographic Research (bi-weekly)  (*half course running from Sept. to April) LEC0101 SCL Online synchronous 1pm-4pm N/A A. Paz/K. Maxwell N/A
ANT 7001H S Medical Anthropology I LEC9101 SCL Online synchronous 10am-12pm N/A J. Taylor N/A
  EVO and ARCH Dissertation Writing Seminar (bi-weekly)   EVO/ARCH Online synchronous 2pm-4pm N/A T. M. Friesen N/A
FRIDAY
Course Title Section Field Mode of Delivery Time Room Instructor Campus
No scheduled offerings. 
COURSES OF INTEREST IN OTHER DEPARTMENTS
Course Title   Field   Time Room Instructor Campus
To be announced at a later date.
(*) : denotes a CORE COURSE – see 2020-21 Anthropology Graduate Handbook for program specific course requirements.

2020-21 Graduate Course Descriptions (return to top of page)

ANT 3005H F – Advanced Topics in Paleoanthropology (D. Begun) (return to timetable)

In this course we survey the fossil record of apes and humans from their origins in the Oligocene to the evolution of the modern humans, through critical analysis of the most contentious and debated areas of inquiry. The major themes have included the timing of hominoid origins, the origins of upright (orthograde) posture, the common ancestor of great apes and humans, the geography of ape and human origins, the nature of the last common ancestor of chimps and humans (the “missing link”), human (hominin) origins, behavior in the earliest humans, debates on australopithecine taxonomy and phylogeny, the origin of the genus Homo, bipedalism in Australopithecus and Homo, geographic, morphological and behavioral radiation of Homo,  Denisovians, Neandertals and the origins of modern humans. Together we will select topics based on current issues and interest of the participants, keeping in mind that the goal is to familiarize you with the broad sweep of paleoanthropology in preparation for your own research and/or your background for teaching courses with human evolution content. Students will be assessed based on participation (leading and contributing to discussion), preparation of an AAPA-style abstract and a final AAPA-style presentation. Topics will be of your choosing with my guidance.   

ANT 3031H F – Advanced Research Seminar I: Sleep and Primate Evolution (D. Samson) (return to timetable)

I envision this course as an overview of our current understanding of primate sleep ecology and function with particular focus on how these elements drove the evolution of human sleep. Specifically, the aim of the class will be to provide students with a strong, theoretical background of the function of sleep in the animal kingdom with particular attention paid to primate lineages. This will serve as a springboard for the application of several innovative methods measuring the spectrum of behaviors on the inactive-active continuum.

As an overview, the course will be presented in four sections: (i) Sleep: descriptions, functions, and mechanisms from eukaryotes to humans, (ii) The evolution of primate sleep, (iii) Methods: measuring sleep and activity in primates, and (iv) Evolution’s legacy on human sleep. The first section provides students with an overview of the mechanisms and functions of sleep and circadian rhythms, as well as a historical approach that fills in the context for which most of these fundamental discoveries were made. The second section presents a phylogenetic perspective on how sleep is expressed in extant species, in both human and non-human primates. The third section, departs from presenting background information and will focus on the application of the current scientific methods used to measure sleep-wake behavior throughout mammals. Finally, the fourth section provides the most up to date evolutionary narrative of the major transitions of human sleep and the consequences of these derived characteristics to our understanding of modern sleep disorders within an evolutionary mismatch framework. The course will conclude with a forward thinking series of predictions on how science and technology will fundamentally alter the way humans sleep in the 21st century and beyond.

ANT 3047H S* – Evolutionary Anthropology Theory (M. Silcox) (return to timetable)

The course is an intensive exploration of the ideas that form the foundation and leading concepts in evolutionary anthropology; historically important readings and current concepts will be presented and discussed in the context of research, including areas of population biology, evolution of our lineage, broadly framed.

ANT 3048H – Primatological Theory and Methods (J. Teichroeb) (return to timetable)

In this course, we will take a historical perspective and examine major changes and advancements in theory in primatology. We will critically review some seminal theoretical works and the research of important scholars in the field. We will focus on how the social movements and gender biases of the time shaped the disciplines of primatology and biological anthropology. We will then move on to cover current issues and important theories in primatology. Given the breadth of the field, topics may include ecology, population biology, social behavior, cognition, genetics, and conservation. Students will present and discuss articles at weekly meetings, with a strong focus on class participation, and a final paper will be required.

ANT 3049H F – Advanced Seminar in Evolutionary Morphology (L. Schroeder) (return to timetable)

Building on the theory introduced in the Evolutionary Anthropology Core Course, this advanced seminar will provide students with a critical understanding of evolutionary biology and its fundamental concepts. The focus will be on evolutionary morphology, an aspect of evolutionary biology that addresses the “how” and “why” of morphology; the evolutionary processes that shape morphological variability and the effects of these at multiple levels of organismal biology. This course will also emphasize the application of quantitative genetic techniques and theory to studies in biological anthropology. In addition, the concepts of integration, evolvability and modularity will be discussed in an evolutionary developmental context. The ultimate goal of this course is to provide students with the foundational knowledge of the key concepts of evolutionary biology, cultivate critical evaluation skills, and provide the theoretical background for independent research project development in evolutionary morphology.

ANT 4020H S* – Archaeology Theory (C. Cipolla) (return to timetable)

This seminar offers an in-depth examination of the history of archaeological theory and the major theoretical approaches defining the discipline today. Students explore competing schools of archaeological thought concerned with the study of material culture, past social formations, and historical process. From functionalist and natural science-focused positions to poststructural and postmodern inquiries into meaning, representation, and politics to more recent archaeological attempts to de-center humans in hopes of liberating things, this seminar covers a diverse set of perspectives. Emphasis is placed on how shifting positions on human nature, social organization, alterity, gender, and power directly shape archaeological reconstructions and representations of the past. Ultimately, the seminar should provide students with a rich understanding of the theoretical frameworks that underpin contemporary archaeological research and the unique problems inherent in archaeological efforts to represent and interpret the material record.

ANT 4026H F – Arctic Archaeology (T. M. Friesen) (return to timetable)

Despite its harsh environment, the North American Arctic has seen the development of a series of diverse and successful societies. A number of factors make the Arctic a unique and particularly rewarding place to perform archaeology, including the possibility of working collaboratively with descendants of the peoples who produced the archaeological record; the presence of knowledgeable elders who, in many cases, grew up “on the land”; the often excellent preservation of artifacts and ecofacts due to extreme cold and aridity; and the relatively simple ecosystem, which can enhance reconstruction of human-environment interactions. This seminar will focus on understanding the archaeological and, to a lesser extent, ethnographic records of Inuit and related peoples, with an emphasis on the Eastern Arctic (Inuit Nunangat, a.k.a. northern Canada, and Greenland) during the past 5,000 years. Readings and discussion are intended to be useful to a range of students interested in archaeological analysis and interpretation, and not only for those planning to specialize in the Arctic. A broad array of topics will be covered relating to economic and social organization, climate change archaeology, ethnographic analogy, migration, cultural landscapes, and Indigenous-settler interactions. In addition, we will pay close attention to the modern political and social context of archaeology in the North.

ANT 4038H F – Archaeology of Urban Development (J. Jennings) (return to timetable)(*added July 22, 2020)

Since the work of V. Gordon Childe, archaeologists have recognized the importance of the urban revolution in human history.  Yet what happened within these cities was only one small part of this revolution.  Urbanization also created the countryside and the tenuous, shifting relationships that linked cities to farmers, herders, traders, pilgrims, and other people that lived outside the city walls.  In this seminar, we will examine the early relationship between city and countryside from around the world.  Each week we will read 3 articles on one aspect of this relationship and then discuss the articles in class.  Students will submit a reading report for 7 of these weeks. The one page single spaced report will distill the critical elements of each reading and link them to the broader themes of the course.  Each student will lead discussion for one week, as well as be asked to write a 20-25 page research paper that examines this city/countryside dynamic in one region of the world. 

ANT 4042H S – ​Archaeology of Complex Hunter-Gatherers (G. Coupland) (return to timetable)

Complex hunter-gatherers challenge traditional anthropological theory concerning the importance of agriculture to the emergence of cultural complexity. Complex hunter-gatherers – those societies with high population densities, sedentary settlement, developing political economies, and most importantly, pronounced social inequality – have been recorded ethnographically in a few areas of the world, particularly in the Pacific Northwest, but were otherwise thought to have been rare and anomalous. Recent archaeological studies show, however, that complex hunter-gatherers may have been much more common in the more distant past. In this course we will consider the meaning of complexity, look at the factors that are prerequisite to complexity among hunter-gatherers, and examine the ways in which complexity is maintained in hunting and gathering societies. We will also look at how archaeologists recognize evidence of complexity in the archaeological record. Finally, we will examine several case studies (in the form of student presentations) of complex hunter-gatherers from around the world.

ANT 4043H ​S – Archaeology of Ritual, Religion, and Ideology (E. Swenson) (return to timetable)

This course offers an intensive study of archaeological approaches to ritual, religion, and ideology within a comparative historical framework.  Students will examine key theoretical paradigms in the anthropology of religion while assessing the ways in which inferences on social process, identity politics, and prehistoric worldviews can be derived from ritual contexts preserved in the material record.  We will critically evaluate archaeological methods employed to identify the physical traces of ritual practice and will scrutinize in turn competing theories of past ceremonialism.  Other themes to be addressed in the course include: a critique of functionalist interpretations of religion popular in archaeological research; the materiality of ritual performance and the aesthetics of religious spectacles; and archaeological analyses of ritual deposits/landscapes to reconstruct past ontologies, power relations, historical change, and culturally specific structures of practice.

ANT 4050H F – Zooarchaeology (G. Dewar) (return to timetable)

This course will focus on zooarchaeological interpretation: how do archaeologists reconstruct past human behaviour on the basis of animal bones recovered from archaeological sites?  As has become increasingly clear over the past decades, in order to interpret archaeofaunas the zooarchaeologist must understand factors ranging from the natural (e.g., fluvial processes, carnivore activity, and differential bone density) to the cultural (e.g., ritual disposal of bone, and status differences in access to meat of different species), and everything in between (e.g., methods of quantification, patterns of bone transport, isotope analyses, and butchery methods).  This course will cover seminal and recent papers on the theory and methods used to develop robust and complex pictures of ancient human lifeways.

ANT 4060H S ​- Specific Problems I – Archaeology of Homo erectus (M. Chazan) (return to timetable)

The goal of this course is to explore the proposition that the fossil species Homo erectus is the first human taxa.  The argument for extending humanity back 1.8 million years to include Homo erectus, while emphasizing the distinctiveness of humanity, is that with Homo erectus we see a creature whose web of connections with the natural world—including conspecifics—creates a novel ecology.  We will be approaching Homo erectus from a range of perspectives beginning with the history of the discovery and definition of this species.  We will then move on to the various facets of the archaeological record including subsistence, technology, society, innovation and expansion, and ultimately extinction.  This course is appropriate to all students in archaeology and evolutionary anthropology as well as students with a more general interest in the relationship between nature and culture.

ANT 4068H F – Archaeology of Technology (H. Miller) (return to timetable)

In this course, participants will learn to examine technologies both from the perspective of the modern scholar and (as best we can) from the perspective of the ancient craftsperson. Final hands-on projects for the course will employ these perspectives to carry out experimental or replicative studies. Many past students have been able to use their projects as portions of their PhD or Masters research, or as the basis for publications unrelated to their main focus of research.

We will explore various themes and approaches in the archaeological study of technology, such as organization and control of production and consumption, material culture, style of technology, the value of objects, and reasons for the development and adoption of new technologies, as well as techniques that archaeologists and others have used to study ancient technology. The course is designed to allow discussion of additional themes of interest to participants related to their research foci, and to be flexible in the particular crafts examined by the class as a whole. (Resign yourselves to stone tools and pottery, but additional craft or technology groups covered are usually quite varied: food, metals, textiles, transportation, etc.) Typical sources of information for these explorations include archaeological and other papers on major theoretical topics; ethnographic readings, videos and interviews with experts; analysis of archaeological data; and hands-on reconstruction, experimentation and analysis by participants.

In Fall 2020, this course will continue to include hands-on work and a final hands-on project, although offered entirely remotely; participants do not need to be in the GTA to take this course. Individual lab access for specific projects can also be arranged as needed for those in the GTA. Potential participants are requested to contact Heather Miller (heather.miller@utoronto.ca) as soon as possible during the summer to discuss possible themes of interest and/or course projects; participation during the summer is not required, however, to successfully enrol and complete this fall course.

ANT 6003H S* – Critical Issues in Ethnography I​​​ (J. Boddy) (return to timetable)

‘Ethnography’ is at once a (relatively disciplined) practice of interpersonal engagement, and the results of this practice conveyed and transformed through writing. In this course we examine books variously positioned within the realm of ‘ethnography’ in an effort to become more familiar with what the genre does and does not entail. The selected texts are thematically linked by concerns for place, time, subject/person, power and subjugation. Each provides a point of departure for exploring a range of ethnographic methods and theoretical models. We examine issues such as authorial positioning and voice, use of ‘plot’, narrative style, characterization, and representation, all the while attending to the means by which the ethnography was produced and its often problematic historical and intellectual context.

ANT 6006H S* – ​Genealogies of Anthropological Thought (T. Sanders) (return to timetable)

This advanced seminar aims to equip students with a partial intellectual history of sociocultural anthropology. Such courses are often structured chronologically, moving from classical to contemporary social and anthropological theory (e.g., ANT6100). This course instead assumes a familiarity with the theoretical canons, their critiques and historical emergence, and attends to particular foundational questions and epistemological concerns that have long preoccupied anthropologists. Thus, each week serves as a minor genealogy of anthropological thought. Through the seminar students should come to appreciate not only the varied theoretical positions and projects that have animated anthropology at specific sociohistorical moments, but also the recursive nature of anthropological theorising itself – the many ways that old questions are continually being revisited, revised and reanimated through new lexicons and lenses.

ANT 6017H F – Post-colonial Science Studies and the Cultural Politics of Knowledge Translation (S. Satsuka) (return to timetable)

This graduate seminar explores the politics of cultural translation by intersecting Science and Technology Studies (STS) and anthropology. Cultural translation among different worldviews and practices has been foundational to the production of anthropological knowledge, and anthropological inquiries have increasingly been concerned with encounters between technoscience and other knowledge making practices. STS has examined technoscience as a series of processes of “translation” of specific practices and knowledge among various actors and actants, and elucidated how these translation practices generate various – often competing and conflicting –material-semiotic worlds. Recently, the necessity of the postcolonial and decolonial approaches to science has been advocated. We will explore how we might theorize “translation” by reading critical theory and concrete cases, and how anthropological attention to the politics of translation might contribute to responding to this call.

ANT 6019H F – Anthropology of Neoliberalism​ (J. Song) (return to timetable)

For the year of 2020-21, this seminar course explores conceptual worlds of Marx and Mauss by reading a few original texts and some secondary texts. It will juxtapose key notions that these thinkers articulated in debates with their contemporary mainstream thoughts. Those notions include exchange (of gift, commodity), accumulation (of wealth, capital), and totality (social and natural, production-consumption-distribution). Engaging in those texts and notions, the course aims training academic skills of close reading, articulation of conceptual thoughts, short responses, peer review and revision of research papers.

ANT 6033H S – Advanced Research Seminar III: Friendship (N. Dave) (return to timetable)

Friendship—as concept & practice—both carries a heavy burden and can fall easily out of view. Conceptually, friendship is often proffered as a queerish alternative to more structured and structuring forms of love like the couple form and the heteronormative family. It carries an ethical promise, of life lived otherwise and yet intimately. Despite and alongside its ethical weight, friendship—particularly among women, racialized people, disabled folks, queers, and other-than-humans—serves a political function of forging strange affections and radical experiments in being-with. In this course we will ally with friendship across anthropology, literature, philosophy, and film. We will ally with friendship as intimacy, animacy, enmity, care, beauty, ordinariness, responsibility & its failures, radical affinities, violence, and imagination. The syllabus will include such authors as Leela Gandhi, Michel Foucault, Hervé Guibert, Elizabeth Povinelli, Lauren Berlant, Audre Lorde, Simone Weil, bell hooks, Rabindranath Tagore, Roland Barthes, and Fred Moten. Films will include In the Mood for Love (2000) and Weekend (2011), among others to be chosen collectively.     

ANT 6055H S – Anthropology of Subjectivity and Personhood (V. Napolitano) (return to timetable)

Personhood, subjectivity and human nature lie at the heart of anthropological inquiry: the meaning and relationship of self and other; how representations of human nature have developed and have shaped an imagination of a (Western) anthropos; the tensions between universality, singularity and the multitude; the exchange between humans and non-humans.

This course addresses the place of personhood and subjectivity through debates around themes such as the “Religious Subject”, the “Precarious Subject” and “Beyond-the-Subject”. The goal of the course is to introduce students to theoretical frameworks that have effectively been employed by anthropologists and critical theorists when studying personhood, subjectification and human nature, and also to think them through themes such as colonialism and post-colonialism. This course will be run as a seminar with evaluation based on participation, one oral presentation, weekly reports, and a final paper.

ANT 6062H F – Disability Anthropology (C. Hartblay) (return to timetable)

This graduate research seminar explores the emergence of disability anthropology as a subfield at the intersection of medical anthropology and critical disability studies. We will examine the theoretical and methodological innovations that scholars enacted in the shift from “anthropologists with disabilities” to an “anthropology of disability” to a “disability anthropology” that tracks the work that the category of disability does. In doing so, we track systems of ableism that emerge across different cultural settings. Throughout the course, we will ask and engage the following questions: What is an anthropological approach to the study of disability? How has disability anthropology emerged as an area of research for sociocultural anthropologists? What epistemological concerns does disability anthropology provoke regarding human ways of knowing and coming to know, and what are the implications for ethnography? Moreover, how has anthropology as a field and ethnography as a research practice contributed to the emergence of today’s robust scholarly debates in global disability studies? How ought anthropologists reconcile the prescriptivism of disability pride politics with the descriptivism of the ethnographic project? How does the anthropological perspective challenge assumptions about about disability vis-à-vis human capacities and socialities across social worlds and over time? What theoretical underpinnings hold together the core logics of the anthropological approach to disability, and what divergent theoretical approaches characterize recent disability anthropology? Throughout, we will problematize normative cultural paradigms of: a biological and curative approach to bodily and mental difference; cartesian dualism in perceptions “normal” bodyminds; patriarchy, racialization, and colonization as bound to logics of ableism; and ableist hierarchies of productivity.

Texts include works by scholars such as: Karen Nakamura, Faye Ginsburg and Rayna Rapp, Benedicte Ingstad and Susan Whyte, Joao Biehl, Don Kulick, Michele Friedner, Devva Kasnitz, Can Açikosz, Olga Soloman, Lawrence Ralph, Julie Livingston, Annemarie Mol, and others. 

ANT 6063H S – Anthropology of Infrastructures (W. Butt) (return to timetable)

Infrastructures have increasingly drawn scholarly attention as critical sites for studying the distribution and organization of contemporary life. This scholarship has taken up infrastructure as an empirical object of analysis (i.e. socio-technical systems), a methodological approach for studying complex, multiscalar processes, and even, a metaphor for thinking about society and language. Drawing up on historical and ethnographic approaches, the seminar will examine how environments come to be produced through infrastructures. In doing so, we will focus on how environments and infrastructures are entangled with histories (of colonialism, imperialism, and capitalism) that have and continue to unfold at diverse temporal and geographic scales, while also tracing how things such as land, labor, law, property, ecologies, the state, and life itself have been enfolded into these processes. As environments are transformed—exterminated, exhausted, and cultivated—so are the lives of those who inhabit them. Thus, throughout this seminar, we will pay particularly close attention to how forms of life, both human and non-human, have historically been made possible, endured, or extinguished within such environments and their infrastructures, and consider how anthropologists, when confronted by those forms of life, have imagined other possible futures.

ANT 6064H F – Evidence and Uncertainty: The Politics of Law and Science (V. F. Bozcali) (return to timetable)

This seminar explores the production and politics of legal evidence, scientific proof, and uncertainty. It unpacks the ways in which technical-scientific knowledge production processes are mobilized within the legal field, and enable certain legal and political outcomes, while making others impossible. Drawing on the fields of political and legal anthropology, science and technology studies and critical human geography, the seminar brings foundational texts investigating epistemological and ontological conditions of evidence, certainty, and uncertainty together with the recent ethnographies of controversies in the fields of law and science. The seminar will examine various cases that include, but are not limited to, injury claims, environmental contaminations, systematic human rights violations, and political asylum cases.

ANT 6100H F* – History of Anthropological Thought (J. Sidnell/J. Barker) (return to timetable)

As an introduction to the history of anthropological thought, this MA-level core course aims to familiarize students with the key thinkers, theoretical approaches, and ethnographic innovations that shaped the discipline between the late 1800’s and the 1980’s.  It likewise considers the kinds of knowledge, ethics, and modes of both representation and analysis these different approaches approaches have demanded.  An understanding of the historically situated character of our discipline is a crucial component of our contemporary practice, and this includes taking seriously the intellectual genealogies out of which–and often against which—contemporary thought has emerged.

ANT 6150H Y – Proposing Ethnographic Research (A. Paz/K. Maxwell) (return to timetable)

This seminar aims to assist doctoral students to develop thesis and research grant proposals. Throughout the seminar, the participants will be guided step by step to produce effective proposals for anthropological fieldwork. The seminar is designed as an intensive writing workshop that is based on timely sharing of work and peer-discussion. Run in workshop style, the seminar will help participants to develop skills of giving and receiving constructive comments on each other’s writing.

ANT 6200H F – Ethnographic Practicum (T. Li) (return to timetable)

Participants in this class conduct an independent ethnographic inquiry, analyse data, write it up and publish it on the Ethnography Lab website as an original contribution to knowledge. The premise of the class is that the most effective way to learn how to do ethnographic research is by actually doing it, with guidance and plenty of opportunity for feedback. The format of the class is collaborative. Each year the class has a common theme. All students identify a research site related to the theme, usually a site within the University of Toronto where they conduct primary ethnographic research, and bring issues of research design, ethics, theory and analysis to the weekly group session for collective brainstorming. Assignments include individual weekly blog posts, collective synthesis and writing for the website, and an individual final report.

The theme for Fall 2020 is knowledge. In the time of COVID, knowledge is on the move. Scientific and public health knowledge have renewed currency; so do conspiracy narratives and “fake news.” Digital surveillance of individuals and populations has increased exponentially while everyday life and work recede into domestic spaces and semi-sealed “bubbles.” The knowledge economy of the university reflects societal trends. What kinds of knowledge do universities value, promote and transmit in the context of COVID? What shifts occur in practices of knowledge generation and transmission? Do promises to decolonize knowledge and pay greater attention to the diversity of experience gain traction under COVID, or do big numbers and modelling rule the day? And what contributions can ethnography make to knowledge generation? Does it have distinctive frameworks and methods to track new practices and emergent forms of life, including life under lock-down? Are there ways we can replicate the dense contextual knowledge generated by “being there” without actually being there?

Ethnographic research sites for this project may include homes, offices, classrooms, unions, cafeterias, and all kinds of media platforms. Studies will focus on the U of Toronto or other universities globally where we may establish collaborations. Don’t worry if you don’t have a topic or site in mind at the outset. Bring your half-baked ideas to the first class, and we’ll brainstorm collectively to turn them into something interesting, researchable, and well worth 12 weeks of your time. Check out the Ethnography Lab website to see student work and be inspired! https://ethnographylab.ca/category/ethnography-of-the-university/

ANT 7001H S – Medical Anthropology I (J. Taylor) (return to timetable)

Offers a graduate level introduction to current work in the field of medical anthropology that is informed by sociocultural anthropology. Readings address many topics and geographic locations, and will be selected to highlight differences — at the level of questions asked, literatures and disciplines engaged, methods used, writing style employed, and intended audience. May feature some virtual visits by scholars whose work the class will read.