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Elizabeth Engelhardt, Chair Burdine 437, Mailcode B7100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-7277

John Hartigan

Affiliate Faculty Ph.D., University of California, Santa Cruz

Professor
John Hartigan

Contact

AMS 315D • Anthropol Of Race/Ethnicity

30895-30910 • Fall 2014
Meets MW 900am-1000am CLA 0.112
(also listed as AFR 317D, ANT 310L )
show description

This course examines how and why these forms of identity matter so intensely, both in

this country and around the world. Our aim is to understand the fundamental dynamics

shaping racial and ethnic identity by drawing on theories and methods from

anthropology. The first third of the course will cover key concepts and the basic forces

that make ethnicity and race important. The second portion of the course will develop a

cultural perspective on these topics by surveying a range of ethnographic work on these

forms of identity. The final third of class will address a variety of ways that race and

ethnicity operate in the sphere of public culture. Rather than attempt to present a survey

of various groups and traditions, the aim of this course is to introduce students to the

challenges of producing reliable knowledge claims about race and ethnicity.

 

AMS 315D • Anthropol Of Race/Ethnicity

30770-30785 • Fall 2013
Meets MW 900am-1000am CLA 0.112
(also listed as AFR 317D, ANT 310L )
show description

Why are race and ethnicity such important aspects of our everyday lives?

This course examines how and why these forms of identity matter so intensely, both in

this country and around the world. Our aim is to understand the fundamental dynamics

shaping racial and ethnic identity by drawing on theories and methods from

anthropology. The first third of the course will cover key concepts and the basic forces

that make ethnicity and race important. The second portion of the course will develop a

cultural perspective on these topics by surveying a range of ethnographic work on these

forms of identity. The final third of class will address a variety of ways that race and

ethnicity operate in the sphere of public culture. Rather than attempt to present a survey

of various groups and traditions, the aim of this course is to introduce students to the

challenges of producing reliable knowledge claims about race and ethnicity.

AMS 315D • Anthropol Of Race/Ethnicity

30635-30650 • Fall 2012
Meets MW 900am-1000am CAL 100
(also listed as AFR 317D, ANT 310L )
show description

Why are race and ethnicity such important aspects of our everyday lives? This course critically examines how these forms of identity matter so intensely, both in this country and around the world. We will work at comprehending the fundamental dynamics that shape the development and maintenance of racial identity by drawing on key concepts from anthropology. After a general overview of how racial relations are socially structured in the United States, we will examine some of the symbolic materials and mediums through which people express a sense of ethnic identity and belonging—music, dress, dance, and stories. This portion of the course will also focus on the performance of racial and ethnic identities in various forms of popular culture. Subsequently, we will concentrate on a variety of urban settings where ethnicity is the basis for political and social mobilization. Students will have an opportunity to develop a detailed awareness of a particular ethnic group through a research paper.

AMS 315D • Anthropol Of Race/Ethnicity

30566-30569 • Fall 2011
Meets MW 900am-1000am UTC 3.132
(also listed as AFR 317D, ANT 310L )
show description

Why are race and ethnicity such important aspects of our everyday lives? This course critically examines how these forms of identity matter so intensely, both in this country and around the world. We will work at comprehending the fundamental dynamics that shape the development and maintenance of racial identity by drawing on key concepts from anthropology. After a general overview of how racial relations are socially structured in the United States, we will examine some of the symbolic materials and mediums through which people express a sense of ethnic identity and belonging—music, dress, dance, and stories. This portion of the course will also focus on the performance of racial and ethnic identities in various forms of popular culture. Subsequently, we will concentrate on a variety of urban settings where ethnicity is the basis for political and social mobilization. Students will have an opportunity to develop a detailed awareness of a particular ethnic group through a research paper.

AMS 315 • Anthropol Of Race & Ethnicity

29875-29890 • Fall 2009
Meets MW 900-1000 MEZ B0.306
(also listed as AFR 317D, ANT 310L )
show description

Introduction to Race and Ethnicity, ANT 310L, 2009

Dr. John Hartigan

MEZ BO.306, MW 9:00-10:00

E-mail: Hartigan@mail.utexas.edu; Tel.232-9201

Office Hours: Wed, Fri 1-2pm, & by appt. (EPS 1.142)

 

Teaching Assistants:

Emily Lynch, Office Hours: 10-11 on Mondays and by appointment in EPS 4.110.

Gwen Ferreti, Office Hours:, 12:30-1:30 on Thursdays at the Medicci Cafe (on Guadalupe) and by appointment.

Objectives: Why are race and ethnicity such important aspects of our everyday lives? This course critically examines how and why these forms of identity matter so intensely, both in this country and around the world. Our aim is to understand the fundamental dynamics shaping racial and ethnic identity by drawing on theories and methods from anthropology. The first third of the course will cover key concepts and the basic forces that make ethnicity and race important. The second portion of the course will develop a cultural perspective on these topics by surveying a range of ethnographic work on these forms of identity. The final third of class will address a variety of ways that race and ethnicity operate in the sphere of public culture. Rather than attempt to present a survey of various groups and traditions, the aim of this course is to introduce students to the challenges of producing social knowledge about race and ethnicity.

Dynamics: The lectures and readings will present various aspects of ethnic and racial identity, using examples drawn from around the globe and our everyday lives. Discussion sections on Fridays provide students the opportunity to comment on and raise questions about the material.

Grading and Course Requirements: Evaluations in this course will be based on one exam and two assignments (a book review and a mini-ethnography), as well as class participation. The exam will cover roughly the first half of the course and represent 30% of your grade. The book review, of Blue-Chip Black, will count for 20% and the ethnographic project, regarding some aspect of race and ethnicity, will be worth 40% of your overall grade. Both these assignments are described below. Class participation (i.e. active involvement in discussions, attendance, etc.) will count for 10% of the final grade.

Attendance Policy: Attendance for lectures is expected and is mandatory for discussion sections. Students with two or more unexcused absences from discussions will have their final evaluation reduced by at least one letter grade.

This syllabus is not a contract; reading assignments and topics are subject to change, reflecting the general pace of student/instructor progress in this class.

Texts: (available at University Co-op and Beat the Bookstore).

Ethnicity and Race: Making Identities in a Changing World, Cornell & Hartman.

Blue-Chip Black: Race, Class, and Status in the New Black Middle Class, Lacy.

A reader will be available at Abel's Copies, 715-D W.23rd Street. Phone: 472-5353.

Class Schedule.

Week 1 Introduction.

W 8-26: Why race and ethnicity matter.

Week 2 Colonialism, Nationalism, Post-colonialism.

M 8-31: Historical overview. Readings: Ethnicity & Race, Chps 1-2.

W 9-2: The Balkans and the Caucus Mts. Readings: Ethnicity & Race, pgs 146-153.

Week 3 Ethnicity: The Middle East and Africa.

M 9-7: No class for Labor Day.

W 9-9: Postcolonial Ethnicity. Readings: Ethnicity & Race, Chps 3-4.

Week 4 Race, Culture, Power.

M 9-14: What is Race? Readings: Ethnicity & Race, Chp 5.

W 9-16: Race, Culture, Nature. Readings: Ethnicity & Race, Chp 6

Week 5 Landscape of Race: Politics, Labor, Residence.

M 9-21: Possessive Investment in whiteness. Readings: Lipsitz.

W 9-23: Pulling it all together. Readings: Ethnicity & Race, Chp 7-8.

Week 6 America's "National Conversation on Race."

M 9-28: 2007: A year of race in the news: "arenas" and "interpretive repertoires." Readings: Hartigan, "From 'gangsta parties' to the 'post-racial' Promised Land: A year of race stories"

W 9-30: 2009: updating the conversation. Readings: Hartigan, "'Race Doesn't Matter': Manic glimpses of a post-racial future."

Week 7 Cultural Perspectives on Race.

M 10-5: EXAM.

W 10-7: Ethnography and Cultural analysis. Readings: Restaurants Book (selected chps.) and Blue-Chip Black, Preface and Appendix A.

Week 8 Whiteness: Ethnographic Perspectives.

M 10-12: Studying white people, pt 1. Readings: Hartigan, "White Detroit."

W 10-14: Studying white people, pt 2. Readings: Hartigan, selection from Race in the 21st Century.

Week 9 Blackness: Ethnographic Perspectives.

M 10-19: Studying black people, pt 1. Readings: Kelley, "Yo' Mama's DisFUNKtional."

W 10-21: Studying black people, pt 2 . Readings: Jackson, "Real Fiction."

Week 10 Beyond Black and White: Ethnographic Perspectives.

M 10-26:  Latino ethnographies. Readings: Limon, "Carne, Carnales, and the Carnivalesque."

W 10-28: Asian and diasporic identities, Readings: Parrenas and Siu, "Asian diasporas."

Week 11 Ethnography of Race. [ethnographic research topics due in disc. sections]

M 11-2: Blue-Chip Black, Introduction + chps 1-3.

W 11-4: Blue-Chip Black, chps 4-6 + Conclusion.

Week 12 Sorting Out Race and Culture. [notes from initial observations/interviews due in sections]

M 11-9: Cultural Analysis. Readings: Hartigan, "Taking it to the field."

W 11-11: Racial Analysis: The case of "white music." Readings: Perry, "Doing Identity," Frere-Jones, "Paler Shade."

Week 13 Gentrification. [book reviews due in disc. sections]

M 11-16: Reproducing race in urban space. Readings: Turf Wars, Gabriella Modan

W 11-18: Multicultural Corona and Black Corona. Readings: Black Corona, Gregory.

Week 14 Immigration.

M 11-23: Debates over belonging. Readings: Oboler, "Racializing Latinos in the U.S.: Toward a New Research Paradigm."

W 11-26 No Class.

Week 15 Technologies of Race

M 11-30: Readings: Nakamura, "Digital Racial Formations."

W 12-2: Concluding Comments.

Assignments: Here are initial, basic descriptions of the written projects you will do in this class. More detailed information will be provided when we reach the portion of the course that features these assignments. These projects are designed to facilitate your engagement in the process of generating social data and analysis concerning race and ethnicity.

1. Reviewing Blue-Chip Black: (5 pgs, due November 13th)

The goal in this writing project is to develop your understanding of what make a good ethnography. In reviewing Blue-Chip Black, your aim is to summarize the core methods, theories, and research questions developed and deployed by Karyn Lacy. You will need to provide an overview of the book's key concerns and findings. But you will also need to hone in on aspects of this ethnography that you find particularly interesting. In closing this review, you must convey an overall assessment of the work, reflecting on its strengths and weaknesses.

2. Ethnographic project: (7 pgs, due December 11th) Based on interviews and additional observations, you will write an analytical description of some aspect of racial dynamics. The goal is to objectify some portion of the cultural processes by which we "do" race and ethnicity. Various templates or models for these projects will be presented through lectures and readings during weeks seven through twelve. As well, course materials during this period will illustrate the basics of developing a cultural analysis. These projects will be your opportunity to try out this approach to social science research. Your project may be comparative, by trying to distinguish race and ethnicity, or you could singularly focus on just one of these broad subjects. You will use ethnographic data to formulate a basic insight or intuition pertaining to the continuing significance of race. Ethnographic research is assembled from an array of preliminary tasks, which will be covered and assessed in discussion sections over the last few weeks of the term. Such preliminary tasks include:

  • Identifying assumptions about and orientation towards race.
  • Formulating a cultural question or frame of analysis.
  • Practicing techniques of observation and interviewing.
  • Identifying relevant units of analysis.
  • Analyzing portions of interviews.

General Grading Criteria for Papers.

Scholarly writing is both an exercise in thinking and an expression of intellectual engagement with a topic or issue. Through writing you discover your relationship to a subject-not simply what you think and feel about it, but your investment or disinterest in this matter. I use the following evaluative registers for assessing the quality of a paper. While they overlap and interrelate, these foci are a means of specifying the elements of a paper.

A. Contextualize: How well has the subject been introduced? Is the context both clear and developed? Can I immediately recognize the issues that both have generated the discussion and that the paper will address? Are conclusions drawn in clear correspondence with the body of the paper?

B. Summarize: Is the topic well-thought out and clearly expressed? Are the scope and character of the issue cogently rendered? What is the tenor of the discussion and what form of evidence or data is being deployed?

C. Elaboration: How is the argument shaped and embellished? Is it effectively supported through a range of sources? Are examples well marshaled; do they enhance or disorient the discussion? Does the paper evidence developed thinking about the subject? Under this section, I often ask myself whether I have learned something.

D. Writing: Is it good? Remember: emphasis, unity, and coherence make a sentence effective and make its meaning clear; for paragraphs, be sure they correspond to the development of a complete thought, with all its qualifiers and correctives set forth in full.

Rhythm and internal strength are fundamental for each of these critical elements of composition.

E. Thoroughness: Is the work complete? Obviously, this answer is relative to the stated length requirements, but the question always keys upon whether a subject is adequately (and energetically) developed. Are ideas given multiple inflections? Is there complexity to the thought process? Am I offered competing views that resolve in a final, clear position or, perhaps, remain suspended in an engaged uncertainty?

I rely on these last registers to assess the overall capacity of a paper.

1. Strength of argument or exposition; is there sophistication to the way connections have been drawn, detailed, and commented upon?

2. Relevance to the course or assigned subject.

3. Innovation in choice of topic or mode of argument.

 

AMS 391 • Proseminar In Cultural Studies

30045 • Fall 2009
Meets M 1200-300pm EPS 1.128
(also listed as ANT 394M )
show description

Graduate standing required. Permission from instructor required.

Books and Publications

ODD TRIBES

TOWARD A CULTURAL ANALYSIS OF WHITE PEOPLE

Odd Tribes Book

2005, Duke University Press, Durham and London

Odd Tribes challenges theories of whiteness and critical race studies by examining the tangles of privilege, debasement, power and stigma that constitute white identity. Considering the relation of phantasmatic cultural forms such as the racial stereotype “white trash” to the actual social conditions of poor whites, John Hartigan Jr. generates new insights into the ways that race, class and gender are fundamentally interconnected. By tracing the historical interplay of stereotypes, popular cultural representations, and the social sciences’ objectifications of poverty, Hartigan demonstrates how constructions of whiteness continually depend on the vigilant maintenance of class and gender decorums.

Odd Tribes engages debates in history, anthropology, sociology, and cultural studies over how race matters. Hartigan tracks the spread of “white trash” from an epithet used only in the south prior to the Civil War to one invoked throughout the country by the early twentieth century. He also recounts how the cultural figure of “white trash” influenced academic and popular writings on the urban poor from the 1880s through the 1990s. Hartigan’s critical reading of the historical uses of degrading images of poor whites to ratify lines of color in this country culminates in an analysis of how contemporary performers such as Eminem and Roseanne Barr challenge stereotypical representations of “white trash” by claiming the identity as their own. Odd Tribes presents a compelling vision of what cultural studies can be when diverse research methodologies and conceptual frameworks are brought to bear on pressing social issues.

--Duke University Press

(Photo still from John Boorman’s Deliverance, 1972. Photofest.)

What Can You Say? America's National Conversation on Race

book cover

We are in a transitional moment in our national conversation on race. "Despite optimistic predictions that Barack Obama's election would signal the end of race as an issue in America, the race-related news stories just keep coming. Race remains a political and polarizing issue, and the sprawling, unwieldy, and often maddening means we have developed to discuss and evaluate what counts as "racial" can be frustrating. In What Can You Say?, John Hartigan Jr. examines a watershed year of news stories, taking these events as a way to understand American culture and challenge our existing notions of what is racial—or not.

The book follows race stories that have made news headlines—including Don Imus's remarks about the Rutgers women's basketball team, protests in Jena, Louisiana, and Barack Obama's presidential campaign—to trace the shifting contours of mainstream U.S. public discussions of race as they incorporate new voices, words, and images. Focused on the underlying dynamics of American culture that shape this conversation, this book aims to make us more fluent in assessing the stories we consume about race.

Advancing our conversation on race hinges on recognizing and challenging the cultural conventions governing the ways we speak about and recognize race. In drawing attention to this curious cultural artifact, our national conversation on race, Hartigan ultimately offers a way to to understand race in the totality of American culture, as a constantly evolving debate. As this book demonstrates, the conversation is far from over.

 

Race in the 21st Century: Ethnographic Approaches

book cover

What is the state of race relations in the U.S.? Are we making progress toward ending racial discrimination and prejudice? What, exactly, does "race" mean?

In Race in the 21st Century: Ethnographic Approaches, John Hartigan takes an anthropological look at questions such as these by introducing students to the study of race through qualitative approaches. In the first text to take an explicitly ethnographic approach, Hartigan summarizes and explains the current state of social science knowledge on race in the United States. In the process of surveying this research, Hartigan guides readers to think through basic important questions about race in relation to their own circumstances. Unlike many texts, however, this one focuses not on essential differences between racial or ethnic groups, but rather on the commonalities. The author concentrates on the particular contexts where people actively engage and respond to racial meanings and identities. In this way, he encourages readers to think critically about the meaning of race.

Ideal for undergraduate courses in race and ethnicity, the anthropology of race, and cultural/human diversity, Race in the 21st Century seamlessly brings together classic and contemporary studies in one accessible volume.

The author is also hosting a companion website http://www.raceinthe21stcentury.com/ that features useful web links, sample assignments, and reviews of ethnographies not covered in the text.

Features

  • A brief and accessible look at the current state of social science knowledge on race in the U.S.
  • Introduces students to the study of race through ethnographic approaches.
  • Key concepts include cultural processes such as racial formation, racialization, and colorblind racism; the tools to perform cultural analysis in order to understand cultural dynamics; and the controversies surrounding racial identity as it relates to human diversity.
  • Ethnographic vignettes include both classic and contemporary studies such as Powdermaker's After Freedom and Moffatt's Coming of Age in New Jersey.
  • The text focuses on commonalities instead of differences between racial or ethnic groups.
  • The author encourages readers throughout to think critically about race as it applies to their own lives.
  • Two appendixes provide readers with guidance about understanding ethnographic research and preparing to undertake their own.

Publications

Mexican Genomics and the Root of Racial Thinking, Cultural Anthropology, 28 (3), 372-395, August, 2013

Translating “race” and “raza” between the United States and Mexico,” North American Dialogues, 16 (1): 32-45, 2013.

Millennials for Obama and the Messy Antic Ends of Race, Anthropology Now, 2(3): 1-9, October.

 What Does Race Have to Do With It?, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 15, 2010

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Is the Tea Party Racist, Austin American Statesman, July 16, 2010

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Is Race Still Socially Constructed?: The Controversy over race and genetics. Science as Culture, 17(2), 163-193.

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Race Does Matter, But Not in Ways We Expect. Austin American Statesman, September 1, 2008.

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How to Talk about White People. Austin American Statesman, May 12, 2008

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What if Obama is Wrong. Austin American Statesman, March 20, 2008.

Review of An Unexpected Minority: White Kids in an Urban School. American Journal of Sociology 112(6).

Saying Socially Constructed is Not Enough. Anthropology News, February 2006.

Odd Tribes: Towards a Cultural Analysis of White People. Duke University Press, 2005

Culture Against Race: Reworking the Basis for Racial Analysis. South Atlantic Quarterly, 104(3), 543-560.

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