This course introduces the media as an arena for anthropology by exploring how media texts and technologies are embedded in social forces and cultural values. The course reveals the assumptions about reality that frame representations of cultural difference and social inequality in documentary films, track the global circulation of mass media, and examines how indigenous societies have taken up media-making as a means of cultural production and politics. By studying media from anthropology’s comparative and ethnographic perspectives, students learn to identify and describe the diverse and potent relationships between media and social life.
This seminar offers students the opportunity to dig into readings treating American history during the early national period, roughly 1783-1820, when the ideals of the Revolution met the realities of statecraft, when the social institutions of British America were strained through a new national idiom, and when many important issues that would prove vital to subsequent American history were first raised. Participants in the course read and talk about Washington, Jefferson, and the like, but also people and groups who are less familiar.
This creative-collaborative assignment is meant to give students an opportunity to engage critically with visual art and explore the ways it has been put to use to both re-frame and re-conceptualize the Caribbean’s catastrophic history. By coming together around the work of one of the Caribbean artists recently featured in the Small Axe Visual Life of Catastrophe project, students are asked to think about limits and potentials of visualizing disaster through art. How might the visual arts help us see history with new eyes? In what ways do these artistic works call upon us to look at our present differently—perhaps, not just as a moment in time but as the remains of an unending catastrophe? How might both of these practices of seeing and looking compel us towards a new kind of response, a new notion of responsibility or, even, an ethics that is informed by the unimaginable atrocities that still haunt our everyday life?
In June and July 2016, students traveled to Athens and the island of Lesbos, notebooks and cameras in hand, to serve as eyewitnesses at a pivotal moment in world affairs. Their challenging assignment: Produce a compelling and rigorous first rough draft of history.
This course traces the intersecting discourses of race, nation, and disease throughout US history, examining various “living laboratories” or sites of state-sanctioned medical experimentation on populations such as Asian American, African American and Latinx, deemed to harbor disease.
Born in the late 1800s, the New Negro movement demanded political equality, desegregation, and an end to lynching, while also launching new forms of international Black cultural expression. The visionary modernity of its artists not only reimagined the history of the black diaspora by developing new artistic languages through travel, music, religion and poetry, but also shaped modernism as a whole in the 20th century. Incorporating field trips and sessions in the Princeton University Art Museum, this course explores Afro-modern forms of artistic expression from the late 19th-century into the mid-20th century.
The East Asian Studies department’s East Asian Humanities course expands upon a model developed four years ago. In collaboration with staff from the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning, faculty members in the department continue to develop an online space that not only presents course materials but also allows students augment course readings with multimedia annotations of their own. Teams of students also developed digital projects such as timelines, interactive narratives, and digital maps.
One-term project for visiting (Department of English) Professor David Ball, ’07, Dickinson College. Features student-created maps and entries to create an overview of New York modernism between 1890 and 1940.
Visit: Mapping NYC Modernism
A six-week summer program at the University of Tokyo (UT) is designed specifically for rising juniors and seniors who are preparing to begin their research for their junior papers and senior theses. The program includes: weekly seminars with UT students by guest lecturers on topics and methods related to the theme of “Nature and the Environment;” weekly meetings with the instructor on individual research; and field trips to sites associated with nature and environment in and around Tokyo. Students may also audit courses offered in English at UT. During the final week of the program, the group will take a trip to the Tohoku region, traditionally known for its rich landscape, as represented in the works of the haiku poet Matsuo Basho, writer Miyazawa Kenji, and folklorist Yanagita Kunio. We will also visit sites and local organizations to study the environmental, social, and economic repercussions of the massive earthquake/tsunami of 2011 and the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The site was created for Professor Haruko Wakabayashi, Researcher and visiting faculty member, Department of East Asian Studies.
WAR, MEMORY, AND IDENTITY documents a six-week summer program, in partnership with the University of Tokyo, and particularly the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia. With resources and scholars covering the region, and often focusing on different perspectives and questions than those that animate American discussions, the University of Tokyo provides a superb environment for research and study that can contribute to the many junior papers and senior theses each year that deal with these complex issues.
While in Tokyo, students will be in a program led by Dr. Haruko Wakabayashi of Princeton’s East Asian Studies Department, which include weekly seminars held with University of Tokyo students inviting guest lecturers who will discuss their research topics and methods related to the theme of “War, Memory, and Identity.” These seminars are designed to help students build perspectives from a variety of disciplines and develop research questions. Each student will also have the opportunity to meet with and receive feedback from scholars in the field. In addition, the weekly research meetings will tailor discussion to the questions and concerns of individual students. Students will also go on field trips to sites associated with war and memory in Tokyo and in Hiroshima.
Visit: War, Memory and Identity