Department of Anthropology

James Brow

Professor EmeritusPh.D., University of Washington

James Brow



Social anthropology of South Asia, especially Sri Lanka; agrarian change, economic development, colonialism, nationalism, ethnicity, globalization.


Research interests:
Political economy, social theory, colonialism and nationalism; South Asia. Anthropology of development and underdevelopment; Sri Lanka; South Asian anthropology; economic development in village communities.


ANT 392M • Intro To Grad Social Anthro

30705 • Fall 2009
Meets W 1030-1200 EPS 1.128

Introduction to Graduate Social Anthropology

Anthropology 392M (30860, 30865)

Fall 2009


Professor James Brow                                                                        Professor Kamran Asdar Ali

Office: EPS 2.208                                                                        Office EPS 1.116

Office Hours: M 1:30 to 3:00 and W 2-4                                                   Tuesday 1-3

Office Phone: 471-0058                                                                        Office Phone: 471-7531            `                                                  



This course introduces students to theory in sociocultural anthropology from its colonial roots to the contemporary period. This course is not a history of anthropological theory, but will provide a chronological and contextualized perspective as we explore and interpret the relationships between varying and, at times, competing theoretical, epistemological, and ethical claims on anthropology.


There are two sections of the course, both of which are co-taught by Professors Ali and Brow.  The sections meet together on Wednesdays from 10:30 to 11:45 A.M. in EPS 1.128 for a common lecture that introduces the assigned readings for the week.  Each section meets separately in a seminar to discuss the week’s readings, Seminars will be held on Mondays in EPS 1.130KA, one at 9:00 and the other at 10:30.  Both seminars will be led by the professor who introduced the week’s topic the previous Wednesday.



Students will be expected to write four papers of 5 to 6 double-spaced pages (approximately 1250 to 1500 words) over the span of the semester. Two papers will be submitted to each of the two instructors. Papers are to be concise and cogent discussions of the readings, and are based on a focus questions provided for each assignment. Late papers will be marked down substantially, and papers more than two days late will ordinarily not be accepted. Each paper will be worth 15% of the overall grade.


Each student will be expected to lead the discussion, and to write a discussion paper of one to one-and-a-half pages, for four seminars, two for each of the instructors. These papers, copies of which are to be distributed to all members of your seminar group, should address significant issues raised by the readings and provide a focus for the seminar discussion.


Class participation is absolutely essential. Students are expected to attend class regularly, and to be ready to participate in the seminar discussion.  Unexcused absences will lower a grade. Attendance, participation in class discussions, and discussion papers will comprise 40% of the final grade.


Grading Summary

Four papers, each worth 15% of the overall grade……………………………….60% of overall grade                       

Discussion papers and leadership, class participation and attendance…………...40% of overall grade

                                                                                                  TOTAL                      100%



The following books are available at the University Co-op Bookstore:

Tucker, Robert C., ed., The Marx-Engels  Reader (2nd ed). New York: Norton,1978

Wolf Heydebrand, ed., Max Weber: Sociological Writings. New York: Continuum, 1994.

E.R. Leach, Political Systems of Highland Burma. London: Berg, 1954.

Pierre Bourdieu, Outline of a Theory of Practice. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1977.

Williams, Raymond., Marxism and Literature.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977

              Marshall Sahlins, Historical Metaphors and Mythical

Curriculum Vitae

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