Visiting Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology
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Typically, the Middle East is viewed as a source of migration flows - a place people flee, seeking work and/or refuge in Europe and the West. But migrations to the Middle East and mobility within it increasingly characterizes this dynamic region. In this course, we will look at documented and undocumented, forced and voluntary migrations (labor migration, refugees, trafficking) in a number of contexts (Syrian, Turkish, Iraqi, United Arab Emirates, Palestinian). We will critically analyze the various types of powers and processes that structure these contemporary flows and we'll seek to better understand the perspectives of migrants and their "hosts." Throughout, we will pay careful attention to how the intersections of citizenship, class, race, ethnicity, religion, gender and sexuality affect the experience of migration. Students will examine these dynamics through close readings of social research (including several ethnographies), active class discussions, short writing assignments, and an independent research paper on a topic of their choice.+– Migration through Film
The dramatic increase in transnational migrations has prompted new debates by policymakers, activists, and scholars over the expanding global economy, cultural diversity and tolerance, and national and human security. We cannot intelligently engage these debates without first understanding the reasons for these migrations and the perspectives of migrants themselves. Using documentaries, feature films, and ethnographic works, this course will explore a variety of migrant lives and the processes that structure them. Why do people decide to go abroad? What effect does their migration have on communities at home? What is it like to be a migrant worker; to grow up as the "second generation"; to have a transnational family? What are the conditions of trafficked women and refugees? And finally, how do these experiences differ according to geography, citizenship, class, gender, age, ethnicity, race and religion? Through class discussions and analytic essays, students in the course will critically explore transnationalisms and compare and contrast the ways migrants are represented in films, public discourse, and in anthropology.+– Culture, Politics, and Policy in Europe
Traditionally anthropology has been conceived as the study of non-Western cultures, but contemporary critical approaches focus the ethnographic lens on Europe. This move was accompanied, perhaps even prompted, by an historic shift in anthropology from studying self-contained "communities" to questioning the construction of geographic categories such as "Europe" itself. After exploring this shift, this course examines the on-the-ground effects of recent political, economic, and cultural transformations here and individual roles in these changes. Themes to explore include the fall of communism or "postsocialism", new transnational migrations, rising multiculturalisms and xenophobias, European Union integration, and neoliberalism. Throughout, we will keep a close eye on the dynamic intersections of race, class, gender, citizenship, and ethnicity. Students will explore these themes through close reading of several ethnographies and careful study of a few films, class discussions and short writing assignments, and an independent research paper on a topic of their choice.+– Understanding Culture and Power: An Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
In this class, students will be introduced to the main concepts and central problems of cultural anthropology. Anthropology helps us understand common global issues --- issues of power and social change -- through the investigation of the culturally particular and local meanings in people's daily lives. In this course, we will explore these issues through close reading of ethnographies and careful viewing of ethnographic films on a range of topics (including class, race, gender, and migration). While we are sure to delve into the "exotic" ideas and practices of far-away peoples, we will also investigate "strange" ideas and practices of our own. What makes a cultural anthropologist is not just who or where or even what we choose to study, but how we study it and our comparative perspective on humankind. Students will be expected to participate actively in class discussions, write short weekly commentaries, and compose longer critical analytic essays.+– Gender in the Middle East: Ethnographic Perspectives
From popular media to policy discussions, academic analyses to activist calls to action, we are continually presented with gendered images of victimized Muslim women and violent Muslim men in the Middle East. Anthropological accounts of the lived experiences and subjective narratives of Muslims in this region complicate and confound such Orientalist stereotypes. In this course, we will critically analyze and compare ethnographies that examine Muslim lives in various Middle Eastern contexts. Through these readings, as well as lectures, films, and class discussion, we will explore how these lives are informed by gender, but also by local and global economies and politics, class, Islam, generation, sectarianism, nation, and migration. We also will take time to track the politics of gender since the "Arab Spring." Students will be expected to engage actively in class discussions, write weekly short commentaries, and complete an independent research paper.